2 Learning GoalsBy the end of this lesson you will understand seven theoretical perspectives.You will be able to compare the theories to each other.You will be able to evaluate the usefulness of each theory.
3 Success CriteriaOn the unit test you will be able to use the theories to explain case studies as well as explain why one theory is more useful than another in a particular situation.
4 TheoriesWhen scientists explain their observations, their answers reflect their theoriesSome theories have been used to explain human behaviour for many yearsOther theories have been revised and replacedTheories are NOT FACTS, just attempts to explain evidence
5 MICRO vs MACRO Perspectives MACRO theories study the interaction between society and institutions such as the law, family, politics, etc.MICRO theories emphasize the relationships within individual families
7 Structural Functionalism MACRO ApproachAttempts to explain how society is organized to perform required functionsFocuses on how institutions, such as the law, political system, and the family functionAssumes societies are stable when structures function to benefit society
8 Structural Functionalism Examines the roles individuals play to contribute to the bigger pictureStatus = a specific position within a social groupRole = the set of behaviours an individual is expected to demonstrate within a statusNorm = most prevalent behaviours in that roleExample: An individual with a “father” status is expected to take on behaviours such as working, child care and providing to fulfill his role. It is the norm for a father to work outside the household.
9 Structural Functionalism Strengths of Approach:Explains how family interacts with societyEmphasizes family strengths rather than weaknesses• Weaknesses/Criticisms of Approach:• does not explain why societies or families change.Change and individual differences are seen as disruptions• only one acceptable form of family rather than many variations• doesn’t deal with interpersonal relationships
10 Systems Theory MICRO AND MACRO Attempts to explain how groups of individuals interact as a system and influence each otherA system is a set of interrelated partsFamily systems have a complex organizationIndividuals within the system influence each other in a reciprocal way
11 Systems TheoryThe family system changes when a change in one person’s behaviour causes the behaviour of another to evolveThe larger family system contains subsystems (father-child, mother-father)A genogram diagram depicts the relationships within a family system
12 Systems Theory Advantages: Disadvantages: Explains the behaviour of individuals as inseparable from the groupExplains why behaviour continues in destructive patterns even through generationsDisadvantages:Can be difficult to determine how others within the family are influencing an individuals behaviourOverlooks experience of individualsSocial/Structural factors, such as unemployment are not taken into consideration
13 Symbolic Interactionism MICRO ApproachA psychological theory that attempts to explain how individual choose how they will act based on their perceptions of themselves and of othersPeople define and interpret their experiences and give meaning to them
14 Symbolic Interactionism “Me” =objective qualities (tall, male, student)“I” = subjective self (good student, shy, lonely)Role taking = being able to anticipate how other’s will respondCommunication requires common language and use of shared symbols
15 Cooley’s Looking Glass Self “I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am”
16 Symbolic Interactionism AdvantagesEmphasizes mental processes and takes individual perception and interpretations into considerationSense of individual controlExplains importance of shared symbols and communicationDisadvantagesObservations of researchers may be influenced by the researchers interpretationsPays little attention to the impact of wider society and does not explain society-wide changes in families
17 Social Exchange Theory MICRO approachA psychological theory that attempts to explain the social factors that influence reciprocal relationshipsPeople act to maximize the benefits and minimize costs to themselvesIndividuals interpret their experiences in terms of costs vs benefits
18 Social Exchange Theory Relationships are stable when the benefits that each person receives balance the costs of the relationshipsThis theory is used to explain how individuals make decisions to form and maintain relationships that may be seen as unacceptable to others
19 Social Exchange Theories WeaknessesA limitation of this theory is that some people are offended by the cost/benefit analysisAttempts to explain individual behaviour and needs and pays less attention to family dynamics
20 Developmental Theories An interdisciplinary MICRO approach to describe patterns to explain growth and change throughout the human life cycleDevelopmental Tasks = role expectations that challenge people to developErik Erikson – people develop individual identities separate from their parents to make the transition to adulthood
21 Developmental Theories Examine biological, psychological, social and cultural factors that influence developmentDifferent factors at different agesOutline predictable stages marked by normative eventsAt each stage there are developmental prerequisitesOne must complete on developmental task to move onto the next
22 Developmental Theories DisadvantagesNot all stages will fit all families or individualsSome families will experience non-normative events such as death of a child, etcStages make the theory restrictive because they do not always occur in order, or occur at all
23 Conflict TheoryA MACRO interdisciplinary sociological and political theoryExplains how power holds a society togetherConflict exists because of inequalitiesGroups compete with each other to meet their needs
24 Conflict TheoryUnlike functionalists, conflict theories question “Functional for whom?”Conflict Theories explain WHY societies changeSociety is divided according to powerKarl Marx – The bourgeoisie vs the proletariatFriedrich Engels – the division between the sexes in marriage parallels that between the classes
25 Conflict TheoryDescribes the relationship of men and women within a family as one of exploitation and oppression, and is used for analyzing power and authority within the familyDisadvantageNegative approach
26 Feminist Theories A branch of conflict theories Developed in the second half of the 20th century to explain the impact of sex and gender on behaviourConsiders issues from the point of view of women