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lecture 3

Course Code
Daniel Glenday

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Sociological theory
Is an explanation offered to account for a specific group of social facts or
Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology
5 different theories
Symbolic interactionism
Structural functionalism
Social conflict
Emergent theories: QUEER theory
Symbolic Interactionism
Symbols: objects or events to which we attach meaning (are the basis of
social life)
We are able to interact with others because we share an understanding of the
meaning of certain symbols
Key figures:
Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929)
George Herbert Mead (1863-1947)
Functional analysis (structural functionalism)
Society is a whole unit, made up of interrelated parts that work together
Machine metaphor and pathology
Key figures:
Emile Durkheim
Talcott Parson & Robert K. Merton

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Types of social functions include:
Manifest functions
Latent functions
e.g. the automobile can be a good example of how this works
Social conflict theory
Individuals and social groups struggle for their 'fair share' of scarce resources
Key figures:
Karl Marx
Max Weber
Feminist theory
Marxist Feminist Theories
Liberal Feminist Theories
Non-Marxist Radical Feminist Theories
Commonalities of Feminist Theories
Post Modernism
- Rejects 1) reasons promise to unmask prejudice and lead humanity toward
more personal freedom 2) human progress based on scientific discoveries and
Recognizes cultural and sexual diversity whereas modernity advances
material and cultural homogenization
New information and communications technologies mediated through the
internet makes from (images and symbols) more important than substance
M. McLuhan - global village and 'medium not the message'
Queer theory
Deliberately challenges all notions of fixed identity thereby freeing the
individual to base sex, gender and desire on individual attraction regardless of the
sex of the other person
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