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What is Theory and Why is It Important?. An Analogy.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Theory and Why is It Important?. An Analogy."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Theory and Why is It Important?

2 An Analogy

3  Four active political parties:  Libertarians  Republicans  Democrats  Communists  What do you know about the basic philosophy of each?

4  Libertarians believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility. The Libertarian Party itself serves a much larger pro-liberty community with the specific mission of electing Libertarians to public office.  Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.

5  “A basic tenet of Republican philosophy is that the strength of a nation depends on the strength of each individual. Each individual is endowed by the Creator with the freedom to seek and achieve goals and is also obliged to respect the rights of others to seek and achieve goals. Each is endowed with free will which brings the responsibility to respect as well as compete. The purpose of government is to ensure that the rights of the individual are protected, and at the same time the government must restrict its activities to providing only the services that individuals cannot provide alone, such a highway contraction, postal service, or nation defense.  Republican philosophy recognizes that the best place for government to operate is locally at the community and state level where it can more effectively offer services that help individuals who may be unable to provide for themselves. While offering individual service, the ideal goal is to help those in need to become independent. Total dependence on governmental services or the aid of others weakens the individual’s abilities and self- esteem. Therefore, with equal rights and equality of opportunity secured by the government, the individual should be also to exercise his/her free will to achieve personal and economic goals.”

6  “We believe that every American, whatever their background or station in life, should have the chance to get a good education, to work at a good job with good wages, to raise and provide for a family, to live in safe surroundings, and to retire with dignity and security. We believe that quality and affordable health care is a basic right. We believe that each succeeding generation should have the opportunity, through hard work, service and sacrifice, to enjoy a brighter future than the last.”  “Democrats believe in people: poor and wealthy, old and young, woman and man, immigrant and American-born. We believe that this is America's strength: different people uniting, working together for the good of each and for the good of all. We believe that government's role is to protect the people and ensure justice, freedom and equal opportunity. We believe that by standing firm on these values…America can reclaim our vision as a land of optimism and unity.”

7  “We Communists believe that socialism is the very best replacement for a capitalist system that has served its purpose, but no longer meets the needs and requirements of the great majority of our people.  What will be the goals of our socialist society?  A life free of exploitation, insecurity, poverty; an end to unemployment, hunger and homelessness.  An end to racism, national oppression, anti-Semitism, all forms of discrimination, prejudice and bigotry. An end to the unequal status of women.  Renewal and extension of democracy; an end to the rule of corporate America and private ownership of the wealth of our nation. Creation of a truly humane and rationally planned society that will stimulate the fullest flowering of the human personality, creativity and talent. “

8  blican+party+philosophy blican+party+philosophy    1191021/k.228A/Preamble_Our_Blueprint_for _the_Golden_State.htm 1191021/k.228A/Preamble_Our_Blueprint_for _the_Golden_State.htm 

9  Given the philosophy of each party, what kind of policies would each propose regarding TAXES?  Libertarians  Government hands off = no taxes.  Republicans  Government provides services individuals cannot = limited taxes.  Democrats  Government insures basic needs are met for all = higher taxes  Communists  Government responsible for the complete redistribution of wealth = rich taxed heavily/poor pay no taxes


11  Nature of Society  Society is marked by ongoing interaction which is based on symbolic communication. Society is constructed through interaction between individuals.  Major Theorists  George Herbert Mead Erving Goffman Charles Horton Cooley  Level of Analysis  Micro  Assumptions  Reality is a social construction.  Belief = Reality (Thomas Theorem)  The meaning that one attributes to a situation is based on past experience; thus change occurs when one “improvises” on a script.  Key Questions  How do individuals attribute meaning to...?  Weaknesses  Difficult to connect to larger institutions and larger social forces.

12  Nature of Society  Society is a system characterized by social inequality which tends to benefit some categories of people more than.  Major Theorists  Karl Marx Max Weber W.E.B. Du Bois C. Wright Mills  Level of Analysis  Macro  Assumptions  Societies are competitive arenas.  Change is inevitable./The point of study to create change.  Group in power strives to maintain the status quo.  Key Questions  How is society divided? Who benefits? How is the status quo challenged?  Weaknesses  Lacks strong explanation of social harmony and cohesion.

13  Nature of Society  Society is like an organism with interdependent parts (i.e. an integrated system). Society is a reality sui generis (more than the sum of its parts).  Major Theorists  Emile Durkheim August Compte Talcott Parsons Robert Merton  Level of Analysis  Macro  Assumptions  All parts of society serve either a manifest or latent function.  Truly dysfunctional parts of society will gradually cease to exist.  Key Questions  What are the functions of...? How does it serve the maintenance of society?  Weaknesses  Tautological  Does not address power differential, inequality, or social change.

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