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© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
The Sociological Perspective:Sociology is the systematic study of human society; its point of view is Seeing the general in the particular Sociologists identify general social patterns in the behaviour of particular individuals. Individuals are unique, but Society acts differently on various categories of people (Cont’d) © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
The Sociological Perspective (Cont’d)Seeing the strange in the familiar Giving up the idea that human behaviour is simply a matter of what people decide to do. Understanding that society shapes our lives. (Cont’d) © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
The Sociological Perspective (Cont’d)Seeing individuality in social context Emile Durkheim’s research on suicide showed that some categories are more likely to commit suicide than others. Society affects even our most personal choices. More likely to commit suicide: males, Protestants, wealthy, and unmarried. Less likely to commit suicide: females, Jews, Catholics, the poor, and married. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Importance of Global PerspectiveThe study of the larger world and our society’s place in it, e.g., level of economic development Societies throughout the world are increasingly interconnected through technology and economics. Many problems that we face in Canada are more serious elsewhere. Thinking globally is a good way to learn more about ourselves. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Map 1-1 © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Applying the Sociological PerspectiveSocial marginality: the more marginal people are the more likely they are to embrace this perspective, when others take it for granted. Social crisis: With change or crisis the vision is stimulated Sociological thinking can lead to wanting to change “the system” © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Benefits of the Sociological PerspectiveHelps 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 to recognize diversity and live in a diverse world © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
The Origins of SociologyScience Comte’s Stages: Theological, Metaphysical, & Scientific Positivism – a means to understand the world based on science Social Change Industrialization, urbanization, and political revolution, promote a new awareness of society. Marginal Voices Important contributions were made by those who were pushed to the margins of society. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Canadian Sociology Sociology began in the early 20th century Teaching and research began first in Quebec Harold A. Innis, an early influence: Economic development depended on resources Marshall McLuhan Influence of electronic media on society John Porter, the leading sociologist Inequality and ethnic relations in The Vertical Mosaic © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Sociological Theory Theory: a statement of how and why facts are related Theoretical paradigm: a set of fundamental assumptions that guides thinking and research Structural-functional Social-conflict Symbolic-interaction © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Structural-Functional ParadigmViews society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability Our lives are guided by: Social structure refers to any relatively stable patterns of social behavior found in social institutions Social functions refer to the consequences for the operation of society as a whole. Manifest functions are intended; latent functions are unintended; and social dysfunctions are undesirable. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Social-Conflict ParadigmViews society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change Sociologists study How factors such as ethnicity, race, sex, class, and age are linked to social inequality Dominant group vs. disadvantaged group relations Some want to change society © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Symbolic-Interaction ParadigmUnlike the two previous macro-level paradigms this is micro-level Views society as the product of everyday interactions of individuals Sociologists view society as the shared reality that people construct as they interact with one another a mosaic of subjective meanings and variable responses © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Critical Evaluation of ParadigmsStructural-functional Assumes “natural” order, ignores inequalities of social class, race and gender, focuses on stability at the expense of conflict Social-conflict Ignores how shared values and mutual interdependence unify society If it pursues political goals, it cannot be scientific Symbolic-interaction Ignores larger social structures, effects of culture, factors such as class, gender, ethnicity, and race © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Recent Paradigms Feminist paradigm: The study of women’s lives Micro: reproduction of gender through language and emotion management Macro: constraints and forms of resistance in women’s lives Postmordernist paradigm: Anti-theory and –methods Deconstructs and demystifies assumptions, hierarchies of knowledge and ideological motivation © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Table 1-2 © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
© 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.Table 1-2 (cont’d) © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
Applying the Perspectives to SportFunctions: Manifest: provides recreation Latent: fostering social relationships Dysfunctions (U.S.): schools are more concerned with performance than marks. Conflict: Some sports are more accessible than others Interaction Fitting in takes time. © 2005 Pearson Education Canada Inc.
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