Presentation on theme: "Key People & Contemporary Perspectives. What is the “glue” that holds societies together? What provides people with a sense of belonging? Why are these."— Presentation transcript:
What is the “glue” that holds societies together? What provides people with a sense of belonging? Why are these bubbles coming out of my head?
Emile Durkheim Concerned with social order and stability People are a product of their social environment Human potential is socially based, not biologically based Societies are built on social facts Rapid social change produces social strain
Key Terms for Durkheim Social Facts Patterned ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that exist outside any one individual but that exert social control over each person. Anomie Social control becomes ineffective as a result of the loss of shared values and a sense of purpose in society
Conflict is necessary to produce social change and a better society I, too, have these bubbles popping out my head! I think today I will establish a free and classless society
Karl Marx History is a continuous clash between conflicting ideas and forces Economic changes are most important Class conflict between capitalist class (bourgeoisie) and the working class (proletariat) Alienation Fetishism of Commodities Society should be changed Criticized for too much emphasis on class struggle
Sociology should be value-free – it should exclude the researcher’s personal values and economic interests Then, we need to gain the ability to see the world as others see it It really isn’t possible for sociologists to be value-free is it?
Max Weber Bureaucracies – determines the social relationships among people These are destructive to human vitality and freedom Rationalization – the modern world has become dominated by structures devoted to: Efficiency Calculability Predictability Technological Control Emphasized the goal of value-free inquiry & necessity of understanding how others see the world
Structural Functionalist Based on the assumption that society is a stable, orderly system (Durkheim) Societal Consensus Common set of values, beliefs, behavioral expectations Society composed of inter-related parts Social structures and institutions persist because they help society persist Strains
Functionalism & Merton Manifest Functions Intended or overtly recognized by participants in a social unit Examples Latent Functions Unintended functions that are hidden and unacknowledged by participants Examples Dysfunctions Undesirable consequences May threaten a society’s capacity to adapt and survive
Conflict Perspective Groups in society are engaged in continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources (Marx, Weber) Encompasses several branches: Neo-Marxist (class struggle) Racial-Ethnic (exploitation) Feminist (gender issues)
Symbolic Interactionist Examines people’s day-to-day interactions and their behavior in small groups (micro- level) Society is the sum of the interactions of individuals and groups Subjective Reality Each person’s interpretation or definition of a given situation (shared or not shared symbols)
Post-Modern Existing theories have not successfully explained social life in a contemporary society Society focused on a shift from production to consumption Postmodern Society Information explosion Rise of a consumer society Global Village