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Developing a Sociological Consciousness

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1 Developing a Sociological Consciousness
Sociology 10-Introduction to Sociology

2 Discussion Outline Defining Sociology and the Sociological Perspective
The Sociological Imagination and Levels of Analysis The Development of Sociology Historical Underpinnings and founders Theoretical Perspectives

3 What is Sociology?

4 What is the concept of free-will?

5 Agency vs. Structure What determines an individuals behavior? Agency-making individual choices based on free-will Structure-cultural and structural influences operate in the decision making process How society is organized Society is patterned

6 Developing a Sociological Consciousness
Sociology: scientific study of social interactions and social organization Rigorous and systematic Powerful scientific tool

7 The Sociological Perspective
The Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills

8 Levels of Analysis Macro sociology - Looks at the "big picture" of society and suggests how society is affected at the institutional level. Micro sociology - Concerned with the social psychological dynamics of individuals interacting in small groups.

9 II. The Development of Sociology
18th century Political Revolutions Industrial Revolution The Enlightenment Before social science and the enlightenment, who had the authority to say what was right and wrong regarding social issues?

10 Auguste Comte (1798 – 1857) The “father of sociology”
Argued for the empirical study of society and social statics and dynamics

11 The Big Three Karl Marx Emile Durkheim Max Weber
Other voices were silenced, excluded and marginalized Who? Why?

12 Karl Marx ( ) Society fundamentally divided between two classes that clash in pursuit of their own interests Economic determinist **What did Marx see as the solution to the evils of capitalism?

13 Émile Durkheim (1858 – 1916) Social integration: density of social relationships in a collection of people Social Solidarity Suicide (1897/1951)

14 Max Weber (1864 – 1920) Verstehen: study of human subjectivity Importance of a “value-free sociology”

15 Theory A theory is a set of statements that explains why a particular phenomena happens Theories can be viewed as tools or lenses through which individuals view society and, in this case, the family. Theories differ

16 Primary Sociological Theories
Structural Functionalism-Macro Level Conflict Theory-Macro Level Symbolic Interactionism-Micro Level Feminist theories-Macro/Micro Level

17 Functionalism Society is a complex social system of interdependent parts that work together to ensure a society’s survival. Based off work of Durkheim Functions are purposes and activities to meet different needs that contribute to a society’s stability Manifest Functions Latent Functions Crime? Schools?

18 Conflict Theory Conflict theory examines the ways in which groups disagree, struggle over power, and compete for scarce resources. Based off of work of Karl Marx Marx predicted that conflict would result from widespread economic inequality. The “haves” dominate in social, political and economic activities over the “have-nots”

19 Conflict Theory-Karl Marx
Industrialization leads to two classes: the bourgeoisie, or the owners of the means of production; and the proletariat, or the workers who earn wages. The bourgeoisie use their power to control the institutions of society to their advantage. What other institutions might those at the very top of the class structure be able to control? What did Karl Marx see as the solution to social Problems inherent in a capitalist system?

20 Symbolic Interactionism
Symbolic interactionism looks at individuals’ everyday behavior and communication through symbols and shared meanings. It is a micro-level perspective. Interactionists see society as socially constructed through everyday interaction and symbols

21 Feminist Theories Feminist theories explain the social, economic, and political position of women in society. Focus is on gender issues Maintain that women suffer injustice because of their sex/gender. Seeks to free women from traditionally oppressive expectations and constraints.

22 The Perspectives Functionalism Conflict Feminist Interactionism
How does structure help society work? Conflict How are resources distributed? Feminist How does life reflect gender? Interactionism How do we construct meaning through symbols?

23 Benefits of the Sociological Perspective
Gaining a broad understanding of society Promotes and understanding of the social world and our place in it. Helps us to understand how our lives are shaped by society, but also how individuals working together can change society

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