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From Social Thought to Social Science  Social sciences developed out of the human desire to understand the world and predict events.

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Presentation on theme: "From Social Thought to Social Science  Social sciences developed out of the human desire to understand the world and predict events."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Social Thought to Social Science  Social sciences developed out of the human desire to understand the world and predict events

2 Renaissance Science comes first to the natural and physical world

3 Science of sociology emerges from the social ferment of 18 th and early 19 th centuries Scientific Revolution  French Revolution Industrial Revolution

4 Emerging scientific discoveries had huge impact on people’s social lives Kepler, Copernicus, Newton, Galileo, Descartes, and Ptolemy

5 Voltaire Rousseau Diderot Montesquieu  18th Century philosophers believed in progress guided by human reason rather than the idea of preordained fate

6 French Revolution  American and French revolutions were social movements fueled by the ideas of:  Egalitarianism  Democracy  Self-government

7 Industrial Revolution  Horses to the Steam Engine  Rural to Urban  Cottage industry to Mass production Massive changes in society

8 New social conditions require new ways to answer social questions  If the current social structure was not divinely ordained, what structure would replace old traditions?  Would people’s increasing desire for freedom lead to deterioration of social order?  Answers to these questions not found in Scripture or Greek Classics

9 Sociological Imagination  Sociologists are concerned with how social conditions influence our lives as individuals  The sociological imagination helps one see the relationship between social conditions and one’s own situation in life

10 Early Sociologists thinking  KARL MARX(1818-1883): Conflicts between workers and owners of capital would cause major upheavals  People should try to change society Marx didn’t consider himself A sociologist, but his ideas About class struggle are sociological

11  EMILE DURKHEIM(1858-1917): Social change would be the result of population growth, and change in organization of work and community life  Well known for suicide studies  Each country had stable suicide rates, and different sub groups had different suicide rates THEREFORE human behavior cannot be understood simply in individualistic terms; we must always examine Social forces in people’s lives

12 MAX WEBER(1864-1920): People attach meaning to their own actions and the actions of others. Social life is based on the accumulation of individual interactions. Societies differ in how their members see the world and interact with it.

13 Sociology, the Human Science  DEFINITION: “The scientific study of human societies and human behavior in the many groups that make up society  CORE IDEA: Individual choice is always determined to some extent by a person’s environment

14 “How is our identity shaped by culture?” “Theory” A suggested explanation for something… A systematic and general attempt to explain something… “Why do people get married?” “Why do people commit crimes? “How does the media affect us?” “Why do kids play truant from school?” “Why do some people believe in God?”

15 “Theory” …is something we use all the time in our everyday life “Why do I feel unwell?” “Why are my friends behaving oddly?” “Why do I have to go to school?” We all use theory to construct explanations about the social world in which we live… Which, in a way, is what Sociologists also try to do… In a slightly different way, of course…

16 Sociological Perspectives sociological theories are usually known by their more- common label of “Sociological Perspectives” A “perspective”, for our current purposes, is simply a way of looking at and understanding the social world. Different sociologists, working within different perspectives, construct different theories about the nature of that world…

17 Sociological Perspectives… The following slides are designed to help you understand the basic themes / principles of a range of sociological perspectives They do this by using analogies… In other words, they help you to decide “what society is like” (from different sociological perspectives) by asking you to compare “society” to something familiar… Part of your task in the following screens, therefore, is to use a variety of different analogies to develop a picture of how the concept of “society” is seen and explained by different sociological perspectives…

18 Functionalism  Social structures exist to fulfill vital functions (purposes) for society  Function of family is to raise and train new generation  Change can throw social structures out of balance.  Agrarian societies with large families became out of sync as need for labor decreases.  Now current family structures are ‘dysfunctional’

19 Functionalism… “Society Is Like”: A Human Body Characteristics of human body…Characteristics of society… Each part of the body works in harmony with all other parts Each part of society works in harmony with all other parts

20 Conflict theory  Emphasizes the role of conflict and power in social change  How power affects distribution of scarce resources  How conflict changes societies. (Politics, social movements, corporate power structures and struggles)

21 Conflict theory  Most history points to conflict and strife as basic to society  WWI and WWII  The Great Depression  Civil Wars  Holocaust

22 Conflict Theory… “Society Is Like”: A Football league Characteristics of football league…Characteristics of society… A league is characterised by competition between teams Society involves competition between social groups / classes

23 Major Sociological Perspectives  INTERACTIONISM:  Views social order and social change as resulting from repeated interactions among individuals and groups.  EXAMPLE: “Alive”  Our world is socially constructed.  Nothing contains ‘built in’ meanings. Humans give arbitrary meanings  How do they learn and understand social meanings?  ‘social processes’  Meanings can be changed

24 “Society Is Like”: A Play Characteristics of a play…Characteristics of society… A play has actors who play their individual roles Society consists of individual actors who play a variety of roles Interactionism…

25 APPLY THESE 3 PERSPECTIVES TO SPORTS  Functions of sports?  manifest?  latent?  dysfunction?  Sports and Conflict  race?  economic power?  Sports as Interaction  rules?  ongoing and changing?  different realities?

26 Levels of analysis:  MACRO: Whole societies and the way they are changing  Large scale patterns of society

27 Levels of Analysis: Micro Implications of individual behavior

28 Personal Space  Examples of marking personal space at school? Class? lunch? bus? bathroom?  How do you feel when someone invades your personal space? Why do you think you feel this way?  Look around class right now. How are people marking their personal space?

29  Intimate distance: 6-18 inches  personal distance: 18 inches to 4 feet  social distance: 4-12 feet  Public distance: 12 feet or more

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