CourseSOCA01H3 LEC30 Lecture 20/09/2012
Topic: Theoretical approaches to sociology
Key educational goals/outcomes for today:
Know the five main theoretical approaches in sociology, discussed in the text and the lectures.
Understand why the lecture definition and terms for these approaches differ from those used in the
Know the main tenets of all five approaches. Understand that each is interested in a different aspect
of social reality and is therefore suitable for different areas of research. Be able to apply tenets of
the five theoretical approaches to various social phenomena, including your own everyday
Naiman, Joanne. 2012. How Societies Work. 5 edition. Halifax and Winnipeg: Fernwood
Publishing. Chapter 1.
Questions to guide the reading/to think about ahead of time for students
Summarize the explanation of Vancouver hockey riots by two journalists quoted in the text.
Why does Naiman write that “sociology is meant to shake us up”?
Naiman writes that culture is the content of our social world. Do you agree or disagree?
“Society is at the same time stable and changing.” Explain. Why is stability necessary? How does
Summarize Naiman’s view about the relationship between society and the individual.
How does Markoff’s fish cartoon explain theoretical pluralism in sociology?
Compare Thomson’s and Naiman’s classification of sociological theories. Which theoretical
approaches, identified by Thomson, are “order” and which are ‘change theories”?
Define biological determinism and apply it to social issues such as class, gender, and ethnicity and
A GENDA FOR CLASS
With the understanding of main assumptions and elements of sociological knowledge about
society, we turn to the most significant