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The Sociological Perspective

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1 The Sociological Perspective
The systematic study of human society

2 What is Sociology ? Scientific study of society and human behavior (Henslin, 2007) Systematic, scientific study of human society (Thio, 2000; Macionis, 2003) Scientific study of human and social behavior (Robertson, 1989) The process of scientific inquiry into social attitudes and behaviors and the cultural products of those attitudes and behaviors (Lamberton, 1998) The scientific study of human society; the study of social behavior and the interaction of people in groups (Landis, 1980) Nothing less than a special form of consciousness (Berger, 1963)

3 What is Sociology ? Scientific study of society and human behavior (Henslin, 2006) Systematic, scientific study of human society (Thio, 2000; Macionis, 2003) Scientific study of human and social behavior (Robertson, 1989) The process of scientific inquiry into social attitudes and behaviors and the cultural products of those attitudes and behaviors (Lamberton, 1998) The scientific study of human society; the study of social behavior and the interaction of people in groups (Landis, 1980) Nothing less than a special form of consciousness (Berger, 1963)

4 Science Requires the development of theories that can be tested by systematic research A body of knowledge obtained by logical, systematic methods of research which allows researchers to form generalizations (Honesty) Places isolated, seemingly meaningless events into patterns we understand

5 “...The systematic study of human society ”
What Is Sociology? “...The systematic study of human society ” Systematic Scientific discipline that focuses attention on patterns of behavior Human society Group behavior is primary focus; how groups influence individuals and vice versa At the “heart of sociology” The sociological perspective which offers a unique view of society

6 Branches of Science Natural Science Social Science

7 Social Sciences Sociology Economics Psychology Political Science

8 Why Study Sociology?

9 Perspective A variety of points of view of any given subject.

10 The Big Picture

11 Sociological Imagination
Allows us to see the strange in the familiar.










21 Global Perspective The study of the larger world and our society’s place in it.

22 Why Take Sociology? Education and liberal arts
Well-rounded as a person Social expectations More appreciation for diversity The global village Domestic social marginality Enhanced life chances Micro and macro understanding Increase social potentials

23 Village of 100 people

24 Benefits of the Sociological Perspective
Helps us assess the truth of common sense Helps us assess both opportunities and constraints in our lives Empowers us to be active participants in our society Helps us live in a diverse world

25 Importance of Global Perspective
Where we live makes a great difference in shaping our lives Societies throughout the world are increasingly interconnected through technology and economics. Many problems that we face in the United States are more serious elsewhere. Thinking globally is a good way to learn more about ourselves.

26 Global Map 1.1 Women’s Childbearing in Global Perspective

27 The Sociological Perspective Peter Berger
Seeing the general in the particular Sociologists identify general social patterns in the behavior of particular individuals. Seeing the strange in the familiar Giving up the idea that human behavior is simply a matter of what people decide to do Understanding that society shapes our lives

28 Sociological Perspective and Sociological Imagination
C. Wright Mills

29 Sociological Imagination
“History” is happening so quickly that we can’t process what’s going on and we can’t notice that the world is changing quicker than ever before (Changes- technology, etc.) In general the average person is too scared or chooses to not to look at the bigger picture.

30 C. Wright Mills’ Sociological Imagination
The power of the sociological perspective lies not just in changing individual lives but in transforming society. Society, not people’s personal failings, is the cause of social problems. The sociological imagination transforms personal troubles into public issues. One cannot understand oneself without understanding the social and historical context in which one lives.

31 Your Choice? College? Career? Marriage?

32 Honesty Do you consider yourself an “Honest person”?
Using a “sociological imagination” or perspective, what factors can you suggest might influence a person’s honesty? How would you rate the level of honesty in your immediate milieu? School, neighborhood, community, nation…

33 Sociological Imagination
Groups -Discuss Sociological Imagination-Illustrations In groups Thinking Globally -pg. 8 Seeing Sociology in Everyday Life- p. 10 In the Times- pg. 11 Thinking about Diversity -p. 18 Controversy & Debate -pg. 21


35 Emile Durkheim French Sociologist, concerned with Social Order and Social Integration Pioneered sociological research with his study of suicide

36 Durkheim’s Study of Suicide
Emile Durkheim’s research showed that society affects even our most personal choices. More likely to commit: male Protestants who were wealthy and unmarried Less likely to commit: male Jews and Catholics who were poor and married One of the basic findings: Why? The differences between these groups had to do with “social integration.” Those with strong social ties had less of a chance of committing suicide.

37 National Map 1.1 Suicide Rates across the United States

38 Figure 1.1 Rate of Death by Suicide, by Race and Sex, for the United States.

39 Teenage Suicide Applying what you understand from the Sociological Imagination (perspective) discuss in your group: “How does the social and historical milieu suggest that the personal trouble of suicide is reflective of a public issue of teen suicide.

40 Web Access: Sociology
Create a login and password (see requirements/suggestions) Access code: SSNAST-ABOHM-CUING-DAGAN-MYTHS-VIRES

41 The Origins of Sociology
One of the youngest of academic disciplines, sociology has its origins in powerful social forces. Social Change Industrialization, urbanization, political revolution, and a new awareness of society Science 3-Stages: theological, metaphysical & scientific Positivism–A way of understanding based on science Gender & Race These important contributions have been pushed to the margins of society.

42 Sociological Perspective
Learning to look at society in different ways Helps us see general social patterns in the behavior of particular individuals Encourages us to realize that society guides our thoughts and deeds

43 From our limited experiences …
Judge the greater society Place blinders on our views Develop our prejudices Develop our discriminations Develop our concepts of right and wrong

44 Sociological Imagination allows us to think “globally”
Where we live makes a great difference in shaping our lives Societies are increasingly interconnected Many US problems are more serious elsewhere Good way to learn about ourselves

45 The Development of Sociology
Social/Political Factors of the Industrial Revolution Rise of factory-based economy Emergence of great cities European political and social changes Flood of Anthropological Data Influences from Natural Sciences

46 Auguste Comte 1798-1857 The Father of Sociology
French philosopher who coined the term “Sociology” Favored “positivism” Concerned with Statics and Dynamics

47 Herbert Spencer Like Comte, concerned with Social Order and Social Change Developed “Organism” theory Applied Darwin’s Theories of Evolution to societies “Survival of the fittest”

48 Karl Marx An economist, concerned with Social Change through Social Conflict and revolution Developed theories of Class Conflict

49 Max Weber German Sociologist who emphasized under- standing the social world from the viewpoint of the individuals Claimed that religion is a central force in social change, particularly in the advancement of capitalism in Protestant and Catholic countries. Stressed Value Freedom

50 Harriet Martineau 1802-1876 First woman sociologist
Translated Comte’s work from French to English Studied British and American societies

51 Jane Addams 1860-1935 Key founder of American sociology
Developed study strategies to solve social problems Founded the Hull House Instrumental in the formation of several government programs

52 W.E.B. Du Bois First African American to receive a doctorate from Harvard Created the NAACP Concerned with racial equality Advocated the use of force to gain equality

53 Sociological Theory Theory: a statement of how and why facts are related Explains social behavior to the real world Theoretical paradigm: A set of fundamental assumptions that guides thinking Structural-functional Social-conflict Symbolic-interaction

54 Sociology- John Macionis
To Access Textbook online: Do the following: FCPS Website Teacher Blogs Ostlund Sociology Textbook Password: jmsoc

55 Theoretical perspective:
Read pages Sociological Theory In your notebook Put the fundamental aspects of the 3 theories into whatever organizational scheme that makes the most sense to you. Make sure you include important terms. JOURNAL TOPIC #1 (In notebook) Read pgs Sociology of Sports- Pick another topic and analyze that topic applying the 3 theoretical perspectives.

56 Theory A general statement about how some parts of the world fit together and how they work; and explanation of how two or more facts are related to one another A statement of how and why facts are related Correctly predicts future events Makes the facts of social life comprehensible and understandable

57 Paradigm A conceptual model that serves as a cognitive map to organize experience so that it has meaning and is comprehensible to the observer.

58 Theoretical Paradigm A basic image of society that guides thinking and research A model of society, or an orienting strategy guiding views of and questions about society

59 Analysis of Orientation
Macro Level Micro Level

60 Major Sociological Theoretical Perspectives
Functional Analysis Conflict Theory Symbolic-Interactionism

61 Functional Analysis A theoretical framework in which society is viewed as a whole unit, composed of interrelated parts, each with a function that, when fulfilled, contributes to society’s equilibrium Also known as functionalism and structural functionalism

62 Functional Analysis Focuses on Social Structure and Social Function
Is macro-level orientation Argues that Social Order is based on Social Consensus Originated from the work of Spencer and Durkheim

63 Social Consensus Condition in which most members of society agree on what is a “good” and cooperate to achieve it.

64 Types of Function Manifest Function Latent Function Dysfunction

65 Critical Evaluations of Functional Analysis
Tends to be conservative Tends to dismiss change Overlooks the negative

66 Structural-Functional Paradigm
The basics A macro-level orientation, concerned with broad patterns that shape society as a whole Views society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability Key elements: Social structure refers to any relatively stable patterns of social behavior found in social institutions. Social function refers to the consequences for the operation of society as a whole.

67 Who’s Who in the Structural-Functional Paradigm
Auguste Comte Importance of social integration during times of rapid change Emile Durkheim Helped establish sociology as a discipline Herbert Spencer Compared society to the human body Robert K. Merton Manifest functions are recognized and intended consequences. Latent functions are unrecognized and unintended consequences. Social dysfunctions are undesirable consequences.

68 Conflict Theory A theoretical framework in which society is viewed as being composed of groups competing for scarce resources. 68

69 Conflict Theory Focuses on Social Tension and Social Change
Is macro level orientation Argues that Social Order is maintained by direct or indirect exercise of power Originated from the work of Karl Marx

70 Conflict Binds groups together as they pursue their own interests
Focuses attention on social problems Leads to beneficial changes that might have otherwise not have occurred

71 Critical Evaluation of the Social-Conflict Paradigm
Fails to come to grips with orderly, stable, and less controversial aspects of society Overemphasizes the negative

72 Social-Conflict Paradigm
The basics: A macro-oriented paradigm Views society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change Key elements: Society is structured in ways to benefit a few at the expense of the majority. Factors such as race, sex, class, and age are linked to social inequality. Dominant group vs. disadvantaged group relations

73 Who’s Who in the Social-Conflict Paradigm
Karl Marx The importance of social class in inequality and social conflict W.E.B. Du Bois Race as the major problem facing the United States in the 20th century

74 Feminism and the Gender-Conflict Approach
A point of view that focuses on inequality and conflict between women and men Closely linked to feminism, the advocacy of social equality for women and men Women important to the development of sociology: Harriet Martineau and Jane Addams

75 The Race-Conflict Approach
A point of view that focuses on inequality and conflict between people of different racial and ethnic categories People of color important to the development of sociology: Ida Wells Barnett and W.E.B. Du Bois

76 Symbolic-Interactionism
A theoretical perspective that focuses on how people use symbols to establish meaning, develop their views of the world, and communicate with one another.

77 Interactionism Focuses on details of everyday life and interaction between people, and on how meaning is assigned to human interaction Is micro level orientation Argues that society responds through symbolic interaction Originated from the studies of Max Weber and George Herbert Mead

78 The interaction that takes place between people through symbols.
Symbolic Interaction The interaction that takes place between people through symbols.

79 Critical Evaluation of Symbolic-Interactionist Paradigm
Neglects the larger social institutions and social processes Neglects powerful issues of stability and change

80 Who’s Who in the Symbolic-Interaction Paradigm
Max Weber Understanding a setting from the people in it George Herbert Mead How we build personalities from social experience Erving Goffman Dramaturgical analysis George Homans & Peter Blau Social-exchange analysis

81 Critical Evaluation Structural-Functional Social-Conflict
Too broad, ignores inequalities of social class, race & gender, focuses on stability at the expense of conflict Social-Conflict Too broad, ignores how shared values and mutual interdependence unify society, pursues political goals Symbolic-Interaction Ignores larger social structures, effects of culture, factors such as class, gender & race

82 Applying Theory Major Theoretical Approaches

83 Applying the Approaches: The Sociology of Sports
The Functions of Sports A structural-functional approach directs our attention to the ways in which sports help society operate Sports have functional and dysfunctional consequences

84 Sports and Conflict Social-conflict analysis points out that games people play reflect their social standing. Sports have been oriented mostly toward males. Big league sports excluded people of color for decades. Sports in the United States are bound up with inequalities based on gender, race, and economic power.

85 Sports as Interaction Following the symbolic-interaction approach, sports are less a system than an ongoing process. All three theoretical approaches—structural-functional, social-conflict, and symbolic-interaction—provide different insights into sports. No one is more correct than the others.

86 Symbolic-Interaction Paradigm
The basics A micro-level orientation, a close-up focus on social interactions in specific situations Views society as the product of everyday interactions of individuals Key elements Society is nothing more than the shared reality that people construct as they interact with one another. Society is a complex, ever-changing mosaic of subjective meanings.

87 Figure 1.2 “Stacking” in Professional Football

88 Sociological Theories
On the left side of the notes you took on Sociological theories- develop some chart, picture, mnemonic device, or other depiction to help you distinguish between the theories. Share with the people in your group

89 Three Theoretical Perspectives
Social Networking School Religion Government Urbanization Funerals Family War

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