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TOK202 1 Sociological theories Functionalist perspective Conflict perspective Interaction perspective Post modern perspective.

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Presentation on theme: "TOK202 1 Sociological theories Functionalist perspective Conflict perspective Interaction perspective Post modern perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 TOK202 1 Sociological theories Functionalist perspective Conflict perspective Interaction perspective Post modern perspective

2 TOK202 2 Founders of the functionalist perspective : August Comte ( ) Herbert Spencer ( ) Émile Durkheim ( )

3 TOK202 3 August Comte ( ) "father of sociology" The science about society – social physics Comte invented the term sociology Evolutionist Positivist

4 TOK202 4 Comtes positivism Comte's views of the three stages of the history of sciences. In order as follows, the stages are: 1. Theological - nature has a will of it's own. This stage is broken down into three stages of its own, including animism, polytheism, and monotheism. 2. Metaphysical state - though substituting ideas for a personal will. 3. Positive - a search for absolute knowledge.

5 TOK202 5 Herbert Spencer ( ) Englishman Evolutionist – “survival of the fittest” Optimist Laissez-faire liberalism

6 TOK202 6 Émile Durkheim ( ) Frenchman Evolutionist Division of labour Study of suicide – “Anomy” Statistics applied in sociology

7 TOK202 7 Functionalism Society is a combination of different parts/institutions such as: – Family, religion, economy and educational system These institutions secure the evolution and growth of society

8 TOK202 8 The characteristics of society Well planned uniformity Stability and equilibrium between different parts Consensus of the main values Every institution has a function which helps society to remain stable What is, is good – “natural selection” of good institutions/functions

9 TOK202 9 Functionalistic research questions? Mapping, describing and analysing – The positive functions – The institutions – (The dysfunctions)

10 TOK Assignment Mention all main parts/institutions which you believe are the brick stones of society. How do these parts work together in creating societies equilibrium? What are the main weaknesses of the functionalist perspective in describing society? Is it politically biased? If, then how?

11 TOK Conflict perspective Founders? Karl Marx ( ) – German revolutionist philosopher, sociologist and economist Friedrich Engels ( ) – German socialist philosopher

12 TOK Marxism Historical materialism – “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but on the contrary, it is their social existence which determines their consciousness...” Dialectic Class struggle National economy Socialism Communism

13 TOK Conflict perspective in modern sociology Not only focusing on class struggle as Marx did, but on the overall power structure in society, such as conflicts between different groups of interests – Producers and consumers, employers and employed, Muslims and Christians, teachers and students, parents and kids, personality and culture

14 TOK Conflict causes social change In every society there are conflicts; conflict is the driving force of social change Conflict does not necessary mean violence, rather tension, competition or disagreement about objectives and values, conflict of interests

15 TOK Research questions? Mapping of power-relations Someone is making benefit of the situation at the expense of someone else How can we dissolve the conflict? Can there be a win-win solution?

16 TOK Conflict vs. functionalist perspective The conflict paradigm highlights parts of society where functionalists usually do not focus on The weakness of the conflict paradigm is that they miss the consensus- and balance in society

17 TOK Assignment The conflict paradigm presupposes that resources and power are limited, which in turn, creates tension and conflicts between different groups. Investigate some relationships within the school from the viewpoint of conflict theories, for example the relationship between teachers and students, or between school-board and students, or between pastime and studies.

18 TOK Assignment The functionalist paradigm presupposes that every part of society has a (positive) function. Investigate some relationships within the school from the viewpoint of functionalist perspective, for example the relationship between teachers and students, or between school-board and students, or between pastime and studies.

19 TOK Interaction perspective Max Weber ( ) Verstehen – Understanding the meaning of human action – Thought to be characteristic of the social sciences opposed to the natural sciences Identifies different kinds of authorities – Traditional – Charismatic – Rational Ideal types – Institutionalised social action Iron cage

20 TOK Interaction perspective/founders George Herbert Mead ( ) – Symbolic interaction Human behaviour has a deeper symbolic meaning Humans learn the meaning of social behaviour, by socialisation Erving Goffman (1922- ) – Role theory

21 TOK Objectivity/impartiality Is objectivity possible in (social) sciences? Scientists have consciousness formed by their personal experience, they live in a certain culture, place and time, they have their personal interests Is objectivity desirable in science?

22 TOK Postmodernism/post structuralism Michel Foucault ( ) History of madness and medicine History of sexuality The Archaeology of Knowledge Deconstruction Discourse/discourse analysis Plurality of knowledge and method Power and knowledge; Relativism


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