Presentation on theme: "SocNotes: A Study Companion Perspective, Theory, and Method"— Presentation transcript:
1 SocNotes: A Study Companion Perspective, Theory, and Method Sociology: Chapter 1Perspective, Theory, and Method
2 The Sociological Perspective SocNotes: A Study CompanionThe Sociological PerspectiveSociology is the systematic study of human society.The sociological perspective helps us to see the general in the particular (Peter Berger 1963).It encourages us to realize that society guides our thoughts and deeds.Sociology also encourages us to see individuality in the social context.The sociological perspective reveals the power of society to shape individual livesC. Wright Mills: called this POV the sociological imagination”
3 Benefits of the Sociological Perspective SocNotes: A Study CompanionBenefits of the Sociological PerspectiveThe sociological perspective helps us assess the truth of “common sense.”The sociological perspective helps us assess both opportunities and constraints in our lives.The sociological perspective empowers us to be active participants in our society.The sociological perspective helps us to live in a diverse world.
4 The Origins of Sociology SocNotes: A Study CompanionThe Origins of SociologyThree major social changes during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Europe) are important to the development of sociology.(1) The rise of a factory-based industrial economy.(2) The emergence of great cities in Europe.(3) Political changes.
5 The Origins of Sociology SocNotes: A Study CompanionThe Origins of SociologyAuguste Comte believed that the major goal of sociology was to understand society as it actually operates.Comte saw sociology as the product of a three-stage historical development:(1) The theological stage (God >Society).(2) The metaphysical stage (Humans >Society).(3) The scientific stage (Science >Society).
6 SocNotes: A Study Companion Sociological TheoryA theory is a statement of how and why specific facts are related.The goal of sociological theory is to explain social behavior in the real world.Example: Durkheim had a theory: categories of people with low social integration (men, Protestants, the wealthy, and the unmarried) are at higher risk of suicide.
7 Sociologists use 3 theoretical approaches: SocNotes: A Study CompanionSociologists use 3 theoretical approaches:Structural-Functional ApproachSocial-Conflict ApproachSymbolic Interaction Approach
8 The Structural–Functional Approach Comte, Durkheim, Spencer SocNotes: A Study CompanionThe Structural–Functional Approach Comte, Durkheim, SpencerThe structural-functional paradigm sees society as a complex system whose parts work together.It asserts that our lives are guided by social structures (any relatively stable pattern of social behavior).Each social structure has social functions (the consequences of a social pattern for the operation of society as a whole).Manifest Functions– recognized & intended consequences of any social patternLatent Functions– the unrecognized & unintended consequences of any social patternSocial Dysfunctions – any social pattern that may disrupt the operation of society
9 The Social–Conflict Approach Karl Marx SocNotes: A Study CompanionThe Social–Conflict Approach Karl MarxThe social-conflict paradigm sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change.Gender-Conflict ApproachRace-Conflict ApproachStructural-Functional + Social Construct = Macro Level PerspectiveBoth have their weaknessesPopularity: Social-Conflict
10 The Symbolic–Interaction Approach Max Weber & George Herbert Mead SocNotes: A Study CompanionThe Symbolic–Interaction Approach Max Weber & George Herbert MeadThe symbolic-interaction paradigm sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals.Studies how people, in everyday interaction, construct realityIt focuses on patterns of social interaction in specific settings.Symbolic-interactionism has a micro-level perspective.
11 Research: Doing Sociology SocNotes: A Study CompanionResearch: Doing SociologyPositive Sociology -uses the logic of science to understand how variables are related; tries to establish cause & effect; demands objectivityInterpretive Sociology -focuses on the meanings that people attach to behavior; people construct reality in their everyday lives; Weber’s Verstehen is learning how people understand their worldCritical Sociology -uses research to bring about social change; focuses on inequality; rejects principle of objectivity claiming all research is political
12 The Methods of Sociological Research Part 1 SocNotes: A Study CompanionThe Methods of Sociological Research Part 1The Experiment – investigates cause and effect under highly controlled conditions.The experiment is used to test a hypothesis – an unverified statement of a relationship between variables.A Survey – subjects respond to a series of questions in an interview.-The most widely used of all research methods.-They yield descriptive findings.
13 The Methods of Sociological Research Part 2 SocNotes: A Study CompanionThe Methods of Sociological Research Part 2Investigation takes place in the field, where people carry on in their everyday lives.Participant observation – investigators systematically observe people while joining their routine activities.Not all research requires investigators to collect their own data.Secondary analysis – a researcher uses data collected by others.The most widely used statistics are gathered by government agencies.
14 Ten Steps in Sociological Investigation SocNotes: A Study CompanionTen Steps in Sociological Investigation(1) What is your topic?(2) What have others already learned?(3) What, exactly, are your questions?(4) What will you need to carry out research?(5) Are there ethical concerns?(6) What method will you use?(7) How will you record the data?(8) What do the data tell you?(9) What are your conclusions?(10) How can you share what you’ve learned?