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Sociological Perspectives Professor Maggie Mendez Introduction to Sociology.

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1 Sociological Perspectives Professor Maggie Mendez Introduction to Sociology

2 What is a Sociological Perspective?  Tool for analyzing social life.  Level of analysis MacroMacro MicroMicro  Three major perspectives in Sociology Functualist PerspectiveFunctualist Perspective Conflict PerspectiveConflict Perspective Symbolic Interaction PerspectiveSymbolic Interaction Perspective

3 Functionalist Perspective  Vision of Society A system of interrelated parts that function or operate together harmoniously.A system of interrelated parts that function or operate together harmoniously. OrganismOrganism Social SystemSocial System Macro PerspectiveMacro Perspective

4 4  Society is viewed as very similar to the human body. Each part meets a need in order to maintain a normal state of balance. Each part meets a need in order to maintain a normal state of balance. Organs are viewed as similar to social systems.Organs are viewed as similar to social systems. Organism

5 5 Social Systems  Interdependent network of social institutions (family, school, business, religion, etc.) that shape our live.  Social system contributes the stability of society.  Equilibrium  Disequilibrium

6 Macro-level of Analysis  Homelessness Examine how changes in parts of society have increased homelessness.Examine how changes in parts of society have increased homelessness.  Economy  Family

7 Conflict Perspective  Vision of Society Society is constantly changing in response to social inequality and conflict.Society is constantly changing in response to social inequality and conflict. Power strugglePower struggle Social ChangeSocial Change  Macro Perspective

8 8 Various groups are in conflict to compete for limited resources, control, or authority. Various groups are in conflict to compete for limited resources, control, or authority. Dominate Groups Subordinate Groups Wealth, Power, Prestige Resources, Control, Authority Power Struggle

9 Social Change  Conflict is inevitable and can be beneficial.  Leads to social change.  Example:  Civil Rights Movement DesegregationDesegregation

10 Macro Level of Anaysis  Homelessness Examine the struggle between social classes.Examine the struggle between social classes.  Upper classes control the economy

11 Symbolic Interactionist Perspective  Vision of Society Focus on meanings that people place on their own and one another’s behavior.Focus on meanings that people place on their own and one another’s behavior. Symbols Symbols Society is created through social interaction.Society is created through social interaction.  Micro Perspective

12 Symbols  People use symbols to develop views about the world and communicate with one another.  Define ourselves and others Relationships Self-concept  Social interactions allows society to exist

13 Micro Level of Analysis  Homelessness Analyze the culture and communication of homeless people.Analyze the culture and communication of homeless people.  How do they survive?  How do they interact with one another in the shelters and streets?

14 Summary and Review PerspectiveLevel of Analysis Point of ViewExplaining the Homelessness FunctionalistMarco level Various parts of society are interdependent and related. Examine how changes in parts of society have increased homelessness. ConflictMacro level Struggle for scarce resources by groups in society. Examine the struggle between social classes. Symbolic Interactionist Micro level How people use symbols to create society. Analyze the culture and communication of homeless people.


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