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Class 2. Terms+Theories.docx

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Liam Kilmurray

Terms & Theories Theory - A plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena - Humans at their most creative (the best that you can get), may never be proven Jean Jacques Rousseau Voltaire - Francois-Marie Arouet - Eternal Verites vs. Logical Empiricism o Verites (truth) whatever bible or scripture existed was true in that time vs. finding things out for yourself, testing what you know and believe to be true (being logical) Epistemology - The study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity - Using science as a way of gauging the truth and finding outcomes The Scientific Method - Observation - Generalization – generalize what you observe - Verification – falsify the generalization Other Theories Functionalism - An assessment of social institutions by role: the analysis and explanation of social institutions according to the function they perform in society. Example: the family seen as an institution for social stability and cohesion (African countries marrying cousins to keep wealth in the family Relativism - A theory asserting that there is no absolute truth, only truth relative to the individual, or to a particular time or culture. Relativism may also be defined as the radical denial of objectivity. (There is no absolute truth, just the truth to the group in that time) Neil Smelser - ‘Theory of Collective Behaviour’ – 1962 Collective Behaviour Theory - North American Influence - Classic Theory of social movements - Often called stress/breakdown theory - Comes about during a period of social disruption - We can explain collective behaviour, uprising, etc. when we have a major social destruction. Assumptions: 1. Exists outside of institutionalized structures (grass roots) 2. Arises at times of disorder, structural breakdown, or rapid social change (war, famine, upheaval) 3. Important role allocated to shared beliefs (class, ethnicity, language, age) - Chicago School Approach - Associated with Symbolic interactionism - Studies the interactions between people, application of symbols in interaction. Concerned with the interaction order of daily life and exp
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