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Founders and Pioneers of Sociology Chapter 1 section 2.

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1 Founders and Pioneers of Sociology Chapter 1 section 2

2 2 The Development of Sociology Emerges in the 1800’s in Europe due to the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution created rapid social and political changes in Europe Rapid growth of urban populations produced a multitude of social problems What problems does urbanization create? Over time, it became more difficult to ignore the effect of society on the individual Sweeping political, social, and economic changes caused some scholars to question the traditional explanations of life and attempted to prove their beliefs using a variety of methods and scientific research

3 Auguste Comte Many people consider him the founder of Sociology as a distinct subject. He attempted to apply the methods of physical sciences to the study of social life. He coined the term sociology to describe the study of society. He was intrigued by the causes and consequences of the French Revolution He began to focus on two basic areas of study: Social Order and Social Change. Functionalist Perspective

4 Emile Durkheim He developed the first university Sociology course in France. He was one of the first sociologist to systematically apply the methods of science to the study of society. He believed that society was a set of interdependent parts that maintain the system throughout time. A function is the consequence that an element of society produces for the maintenance of its social system. He was interested in the function of religion in maintaining social order. Believed shared beliefs and values were the glue that held society together. He also studied suicide rates believing that a sociologist should study only features that are directly observable. Functionalist Perspective

5 Herbert Spencer Believed that society is a set of interdependent parts that work together to maintain the system over time. He used Darwin’s theory of the evolution of biological organisms. He coined the term Social Darwinism. Social change and unrest are natural occurrences during society’s evolution towards stability and perfection. No steps should be taken to correct social ills. Only the fittest societies would survive over time, leading to a general upgrading of the world as a whole. Functionalist Perspective

6 Karl Marx He believed that the structure of society is influenced by how its economy is organized. Society is divided into two classes. Bourgeoisie (capitalists) and Proletariat (workers). He believed that a classless society would eventually form when the workers over threw those in power. (Socialism) Each citizen would contribute “according to his ability”. He believed that a society’s economic system strongly influences its social structure. This has had a lasting influence on sociology. Conflict Perspective

7 Max Weber He was interested in separate groups within society rather than in society as a whole. He thought that a sociologist should go beyond studying what can be directly observed and attempt to uncover the feelings and thoughts of individuals. Verstehen: to understanding the meanings individuals attach to their actions. Ideal Type: a description comprised of the essential characteristics of a feature of society. (education for all U.S. citizens) Interactionist Perspective

8 8 Three Main Theoretical Perspectives: Three Ways of Viewing Society FUNCTIONALISTS – see society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system Focus on groups in society Believe society held together by consensus, most agree what is best in order for society to run smoothly Focus on functions and dysfunctions; positive and negative elements of society Elements of society can have manifest or latent consequences Manifest- intended and recognized consequence Latent- unintended consequence What are the manifest and latent functions of the following? Video games, cell phones, computers, (you create an example)

9 9 Three Main Theoretical Perspectives: Three Ways of Viewing Society CONFLICT THEORISTS – focus on forces in society that promote competition and change; see social change as an inevitable feature of society Focus on groups in society Marx created this theory Want to know how those with more power exercise that power over those with less Conflicts can be violent or non-violent conflicts in society Resources are scarce (power, money) people compete for these resources, then need to protect their interests Brainstorm: How do we see the Conflict Theory playing out in the world around us?

10 10 Three Main Theoretical Perspectives: Three Ways of Viewing Society INTERACTIONISTS – focus on how individuals interact in society and on the meanings individuals attach to their own and to other’s actions, how people respond in society This theory focuses on the individual This theory is concerned with an individuals emotions, thought process/decision making Focuses on the role of symbols in everyday life How would the Interactionist Perspective apply to the following? -Choosing a job -Increased use of technology

11 11 SECTION 2 Sociology: Then and Now Functionalists see society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system; focus on functions and dysfunctions Interactionists focus on how individuals interact in society and on the meanings individuals attach to their own and others’ actions Conflict Theorists focus of forces in society that promote competition and change; see social change as an inevitable feature of society THREE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES

12 Group Activity In a group of 3: 1) Using the three perspectives of Sociology create a real-life example where you could use each theory to investigate an area (concern) in society. Be sure to explain the social concern and how the theory is useful for investigation. 2) Which theory do you like best? Explain.


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