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Theory I and II Lecture Notes

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nathan Innocente

SOC100 January 14 and 16 2014 Theory I What IsATheory? • Statements about how or why particular facts about the social world are related • Way of viewing the social world • Interconnected series of testable assertions and propositions What MakesAGood Theory? • Logical • Makes sense of the facts • Fits the evidence • Sensitizes • Widely applicable • It can be proved wrong Categorization Unit theory • Emphasizes particular problems and makes testable assertions about those problems • Eg. How do women get promoted in law firms? Metatheory • Not testable; more philosophical • Away of looking at and interpreting reality • Eg. Humans are, by nature, self-interested Major Theoretical Paradigms Functionalism • How do social structures maintain or undermine social stability? Conflict • How is social inequality maintained and challenged? Symbolic Interactionism • How do people create meaning through interaction? Feminism • What are the social sources of patriarchy SOC100 January 14 and 16 2014 Postmodernism • How are multiple ‘truths’constructed Functionalism Features • Human behaviour is governed by stable patterns of social relations • Shows how structures maintain or undermine social stability • Social structures are based mainly on shared values • Re-establishing equilibrium is the best way to solve social problems • Macro  How do macro structures impact your behaviour Concepts Structure: stable pattern of social behaviour Function: consequence of a social pattern for the operation of society Manifest function: intended consequence of a social pattern Latent function: unintended consequence of a social pattern Dysfunction: social pattern that disrupts the operation of society Function ofASport • Are sports functional? Manifest: leisure, fitness, physicality, release, identity Latent: social relationships, teamwork, jobs, competition, pride, solidarity Structure: organizations, government, schools, economy Dysfunctions: riots, injury, social hierarchy, substance abuse Conflict Features • Focuses on large, macro level structures like class relations • Major patterns of inequality in society produce social stability and social change SOC100 January 14 and 16 2014 • Stresses how member of privileged groups try to maintain their advantages while subordinate groups struggle to acquire advantages • Suggests that reducing privilege will lower conflict and increase human welfare Conflict and Karl Marx • Central idea was class conflict Marx believed workers would:  Ultimately become aware of their exploitation (Class consciousness)  Form trade unions and labour parties  End private ownership of property  Bring about “communist” theory Conflict and Max Weber • Noted growth of service sector economy with many manual workers & professionals • Argued that many members of this occupational group stabilize society • Higher status, income • Conflict not the only driving force of history • Politics, religion Conflict and Sport • Access to sports • Types of sports • Gender + sports • Disability and sports Theory II Symbolic Interactionism Features • Focus on interpersonal communication in mi
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