Class Notes (810,228)
Canada (494,007)
Sociology (2,416)
SOCA01H3 (591)
Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Theoretical Approaches to Sociology.docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Scarborough
Ivanka Knezevic

Theoretical Approaches to Sociology Thomson and Naiman: Two Levels of Social Structure Sociologists analyse two levels of social structure that frame and influence human agency:  Microstructures: patterns of intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interaction  Macrostructures: overarching patterns of social relations in whole societies  Other sociologists also consider mesostructures and global structures Sociological Imagination  Coined by C. Wright Mills (1959)  Sociological imagination shows you the connection between personal troubles and public issues (micro and macro structures). Social problems can only be addressed if this connection is understood  Naiman defines it as: personal troubles should be connected to issues of distal power Elements of the Sociological Approach Theory: a tentative explanation of some aspect of social life stating how and why specific facts are connected Research: the process of carefully observing social reality to test the validity of a theory Values: ideas about desirability/worth of attributes, people, objects and processes  Value-free sociology is impossible, but a sociologist’s biases must be declared and minimized by rigorous research methods (Naiman) Main Theoretical Approaches in Sociology Structural Functionalism (Thomson: Functionalism):  How is social order supported by macrostructures? Neo-Marxism (Thomson: Conflict Theory):  How is social inequality maintained and challenged? Symbolic Interactionism (Thomas: Microsociology):  How do people create meaning (understand events) when they communicate in micro level settings Feminism: the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men  What are the social sources of patriarchy in both macro and micro settings Post-Modernism:  What diverse understandings of society do (individual and collective) human actors have Functionalism (19 c anthropology) and Structuralism (1940s American sociology) Mostly macrosociology Naiman: an “order theory” 1. Human behaviour is governed by stable patterns of social relations (“social structures”). Most patterns have a function in maintaining society 2. Social structures are based on functional interdependence (like organs in a body) or shared values (difference between functionalism and structuralism) 3. Re-establishing equilibrium is the best way to stop social problems 4. Problem: explanation of change (difference between functionalism and structuralism; structuralism has a strong preference for stability over change). Emile Durkheim Conscience collective (collective consciousness) exists in all societies Traditional societies are based on mechanical solidarity: members are
More Less

Related notes for SOCA01H3

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.