Sociology 1020

Topics: Sociology, Culture, Structural functionalism Pages: 160 (32242 words) Published: March 12, 2013
Chapter 1

Definition of Sociology – The study of social behaviour and relationships. Explains why members of some groups behave differently than members of other groups.

Modern development of sociology is due to the:

Industrial Revolution and French revolution
Both lead to changes and growth of trade and cities as well as a new organization of work.

Early Sociologists

Auguste Comte – credited by some as the “founder” of sociology. Sociologists would be “priests” to guide society.

Emile Durkheim—society was like the human body: various segments work for the whole.

Karl Marx—societies are founded on power, coercion and conflict


Function: social arrangements exist because they benefit society.

Equilibrium: stability based on balance among parts and consensus.

Dysfunctions: problems that occur

Development: progress through differentiation to develop new forms and their integration.

Conflict Theory

Power: holds society together

Conflict: society’s natural state

Bourgeoisie: (owners of capital) dominate

Proletariat: (workers)

Revolution was the means of change

Symbolic Interactionism Micro (small-scale) perspective

- Emphasizes subjective over objective

- Behaviour and attitudes depend on how people construct their social world

Agents: individuals have goals and pursue them

Mead: people interact by strings of symbols, e.g., Language

Blumer: people act toward things on the basis of meanings those things have for them

Game Theory: what one chooses depends on what others choose

Feminist Theories

- Focus on women and gender

- More activist: raises consciousness

- Interdisciplinary taking leadership roles

- Accept a broader range of approach to research

- Mix different sociological approaches


One of the major concerns of sociology is:

a)explain individual sources of behaviour
b)the difference between cultural transmission and cultural uniformity c)to explain how membership in social groups affects individual behaviour d)the source of deviant behaviour
e)to study the production and consumption of resources

Symbolic interactionism focuses on:

a)a macro level of analysis
b)the place of art in society
c)cultural integration
d)the autonomy of individuals
e)conversational analysis in groups

Feminist approaches include the following, except:

a)an examination of gender as one variable among many
b)looking at the informal and hidden aspects of social life c)an examination of gender roles
d)a more disciplinary approach
e)acceptance of a variety of sociological models

Weber, more than Durkheim, believed that sociology should include:

a)linguistic relativism
b)subjective states of the individual
c)mechanical solidarity
answers: 1.c, 2.d, 3.a, 4.b

Sociological Theory (Lecture 1)
Goals of sociology
oDescribe the social world
oExplain how and why
oCritique existing social arrangements
The term sociology was coined by Auguste Comte in 1988 •Religion was the most important before this time
Within sociology there are sociological perspectives, they look at thing differently based on experiences and impact how you understand something; no one is more correct than the other •The sociological theory is based on theoretical paradigms – a basic image of society that guides thinking and research oFour main theoretical paradigms: structural functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic internationalism and feminism oThey impact how your research is done/looked at

Structural Functionalism

Founding father – Emile Durkheim
oModern society creates anomie – a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals (normalness) oWe are...

Links: Family Change
• 1st transition (1870-1950) brought smaller families, and change in economic costs and benefits of children, along with new cultural environment – making it more appropriate to control family size.
• 2nd transitions (1960-present)
Perspectives on Family Change
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