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The Sociological Point of View Sociology: Then and Now

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Presentation on theme: "The Sociological Point of View Sociology: Then and Now"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Sociological Point of View Sociology: Then and Now
Section 2

2 Sociology: Then and Now
Sociology did not develop until the 1800’s. Several factors led to the development of Sociology Political and Social Change Revolutions Growth of population Individual freedom and rights

3 Important Factors Industrial Revolution Urban Populations
Farms and cottage industries disappear and large scale production and factories are born. People leave their homes in the country and cities begin to grow. Urban Populations The # of people looking for a job outpaced the available jobs. Housing Shortages Crime Pollution Difficulty adjusting to city (Country = personal relationships)

4 Important Factors People can no longer ignore social problems and therefore begin wanting personal freedoms and rights American Revolution French Revolutions All of these changes political, social, and economic caused people to question old ideas and ways of life. Scholars especially begin to question traditional explanations of everything.

5 Auguste Comte French Philosopher (1798-1857)
Founder of sociology as a distinct subject First to apply the methods of the physical sciences to the study of social life. Coined the phrase Sociology to describe the study of society. Focused on two major areas: social order and social change.

6 Auguste Comte Social Statics: certain processes hold society together.
Social Dynamics: Society changes through definite processes. Uncover these principles through methods of scientific methods. Comte originally worked for social change and reform. In 1816 he was expelled from school and never completed his degree. He began practicing “cerebral hygiene” and ignored all other works and writers to keep his mind pure.

7 Herbert Spencer English Philosopher (1820-1903)
Began his life as a civil engineer for a railway company. After inheriting a large sum of money he no longer needed to work and began studying sociology. Modeled his studies after the teachings of Charles Darwin.

8 Herbert Spencer Just as a biological organism has parts that work together to keep the body going so does society. Society is a set of independent parts that work together to maintain the system over time. Considered social change and unrest to be natural occurrences in society’s quest to perfection. Spencer believed that only the best aspects of society would survive over time and that nothing should be done to fix social problems.

9 Herbert Spencer Believed that only the fittest societies would survive over time. He actually coined the phrase “survival of the fittest”, not Charles Darwin. His views became known as Social Darwinism. He also disregarded the ideas and writings of other scholars whose ideas were different. Both Spencer and Comte and their ideas fell out of favor.

10 Karl Marx Prussian Philosopher (1818-1883)
Attended several universities and earned a doctorate. Could not get a teaching position because of his political views. Worked as a writer and editor for a radical newspaper. Government eventually shut down the paper because of his revolutionary views.

11 Karl Marx Believed the structure of society is influenced by how its economy is organized. Society is divided into two classes Bourgeoisie (Capitalists) Proletariat ( workers) The Capitalists own the means of production: the materials and means used to produce goods and services. The Proletariats own nothing, the provide the labor needed to produce goods and services.

12 Karl Marx Marx believed this imbalance in power would lead to conflict and that it would only end when the workers overthrew the capitalists. Marx believed the workers would then create a classless society in which each citizen would contribute according to ability and would be rewarded according to his needs.

13 Emile Durkheim French Philosopher (1858-1917)
Educated in both France and Germany Taught at the University of Bordeaux Developed the first university sociology course One of the first sociologists to systematically apply the methods of science to the study of society.

14 Emile Durkheim Like Comte was concerned with the problems of social order. Like Spencer saw society as independent parts that maintain the system Durkheim viewed the role of these independent parts in terms of their functions. Function is the consequence that an element of society produces for the maintenance of its social system.

15 Emile Durkheim Interested in the Function of Religion in maintaining social order. He believed that shared beliefs and values were the glue that held society together. Durkheim believed that you should only study features of society that are directly observable. Durkheim’s study of Suicide See Map pg. 13

16 Max Weber Prussian Philosopher (1864-1920)
Received his doctorate from the University of Berlin Taught at University of Berlin and University of Heidelberg Interested in separate groups within society rather then society as a whole.

17 Max Weber Focused on effects of society on the individual.
Believed sociologists should go beyond studying what can be directly observed and attempt to uncover feelings and thoughts. Weber proposed Verstehen: an attempt to understand the meanings individuals attach to their actions. In other words put yourself in the place of others and see the situation through their eyes.

18 Max Weber Weber also employed the concept of Ideal type.
Ideal Type: a description comprised of the essential characteristics of a feature of society. Ideal type is the base we use to compare to. A description of an ideal type school may be different from St. Joe but you would know it was describing an educational institution.

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