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By Danii7 Mar 11, 2014 1277 Words
What do sociologists do?
*Sociologists focus their study on everything humans do i.e. health care, immigration, environmental

Looks at variables contributing to where a person is in society

Sociological Theory:
Why start with theory?
Theories provide us with frameworks to view society
Antonio Gramsci believed that everyone is a social theorist
We already use our intellects to explain how society work

The Nature of Social Life:
Sociologists work to organize peoples daily lives and schedules Social life involves all things we do without thinking about doing it Many social theorists want to specifically understand the taken-for-granted nature of social life Why is it so often unthinkingly orderly, routine, and generally predictable

 Galileo
Proposed the theory the earth rotates around the sun and the earth is not the center of the universe This theory went against what the church had said

 Darwin
Proposed the theory of evolution
“Survival of the fittest”
Natural selection
Still controversial

 Marie Curie
Discovered the theory of “radio activity”

 Albert Einstein
Introduced the theory of relativity
Physicists still study his work today

 Newton
Discovered the theory of gravity
Helped developed calculus
Theorists and physics still study his work

The Birth of Sociology in the Age of Revolution:
In the 18 hundreds came a new way of thinking by applying scientific methods Sociology was developed in the 19th century by European scholars who were aware that their world was changing rapidly and fundamentally In the 19th century was the industrial revolution, mass changes Karl Marx emerged in this time period of upheaval

What was new when sociology was invented about two centuries ago was the idea that society could be scientifically studied Still a current approach by sociologists today
The enlightenment encourages the use of reason to understand the world This set the stage for the emerging theories of Karl Marx

The Sociological Imagination:
Mills’ ideas were ignored for some time in mainstream sociology He believed that we must address social problems by linking an individual’s personal troubles with the way society is organized and structured Mills also suggested that the discipline of sociology should understand an individual’s private troubles as rooted in widespread public issues When we do so, we exhibit “the sociological imagination” When we ask ourselves what are causing factors leading to a persons place in society Makes the familiar strange and the strange familiar

 Auguste Comte (1798-1857)
Coined the term “sociology”
The study of society
He believed that sociologists should attempt to discover “natural” social laws of human existence Applied same approaches to study society as scientists did in order to become “social scientists” Comte believed that social thinking passed through three stages: 1. The assumption that the world was run by supernatural powerful Gods 2. The idea that nature replaced the belie in a miraculous God 3. The application of science to understand the special world Positivism:

Based on the idea all answers could be found by scientifically unlocking the key within theories to get at the alleged truth Throughout the most of the 19th century, sociological thinking involved search for law-like certainties that could explain social life Following Comte, this approach became known as positivism and still is known today

Classical Sociology:
Many of the questions sociologists are interested in don’t have a rational basis Many social theorists seek to understand peoples intentions and bring the elements of thinking and choosing into their analysis Comte realized two apparently contradictory things appear true of society: it basically stays the same over time and it is constantly changing Functionalism:

Functionalists theorists seek to identify the basic functions that must be fulfilled in all societies From a functionalist perspective, if something exists in society and persists over time – religion, for example or sports, or even crime – it must perform some necessary functions that is important for the reproduction and sustainability of society Institutions in our societies WE have created are functional in one way or another or in multiple When things in society get out of balanced, people talk, think about it, are on a single solution and fix the issue Societies are like a living organism

Like the human body, if you are healthy, all your body parts are functioning properly, but if a body part goes wrong, other body parts may be affected A bunch of interconnected parts
Even dysfunction in society can be functional

Sociological Founders
 Émile Durkheim
1858-1917
The most famous French sociologist of the 20th century
Durkheim argued that the simplest societies were held together by such practices as religious celebrations and gift giving When wives or gossip or stories or gifts were exchanged among tribal members, relationships were strengthened and given meaning A second source of togetherness, Durkheim said, originated in regular, sacred gatherings, events in which tribes feasted and celebrated its community People were no longer united by a single code of right and wrong, an uncertainty Durkheim termed ANOMIE The task of sociology was to put an end to anomie and conflict Famous for his study on suicide, one of the first sociological studies using a scientific approach of statistical data Durkheim’s social theory examined society as a totality of interconnected parts An approach that is fundamental to theory

Through his publications, his teaching and the work of his followers Durkheim stamped his functionalist approach to understanding society on the new discipline he helped create

 Karl Marx
Lived 1818-1883
While he did not describe himself as a sociologist he would think of himself as a philosopher Inspired movements of revolution and reform that have had deep lasting consequences for sociological theory and broader philosophical theory as well In the 1960s and 1970s, his association with communism took a back seat to his theories Marx’s theories entered sociology directly as part of a critical and radical reorientation of the discipline This challenged the functionalist theorists and so emerged conflict theory Marx sought to understand social life by focusing on how it distributes the basic necessities of life The transition to capitalism was marked by a surplus of goods This surplus went to the elite capitalists

When you sell labor, you experience alienation where you can no longer be proud of what you build of farm Marx created two classes:
1. The wage workers were referred to as the proletariat
a. The proletariat were exploited by capitalists, religious leaders and the government b. Religious messages pacified workers
c. Religions is “the opium of the people” because religion dulls the pain caused by the capitalists d. Ultimately, the after of capitalism depended upon he working-class to revolt against the system 2. The elite capitalist were referred to as the bourgeoisies Marx believed in the idealistic communist society

Usher in a more cooperative system known as socialism
Canada is some times used as an example of a socialist society due to programs such as health care, social assistance, and welfare programs No highly industrialized society has ever made the transition to socialism Alienation: refers to the separation of things that go together A separation from your own humanity and society

Marx uses the example of a black smith prior to the industrial revolution: The black smith creates hammers, horse shoes and everything he created has a sense of self and pride in those products When the capitalists came along and made those products in factories and people began to sell their labor, the pride is gone Therefore by selling your labor your selling your pride and self Capitalism is the alienated force separating humans from themselves

Power and Resistance:
The existence of power and resistance are important concepts of conflict theory “School in Capitalist America”
School system was created by middle class people for middle class kids

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