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Theoretical approaches to sociology

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Ivanka Knezevic

 Microstructures = intimate, you get to know quite a a lot about ppl you make those relationships with. Ex. Family and friends  Macrostructures = Ex. “Class structures in Canada: what different classes are there, what effect on society do they have, relationship between different classes in Canada”, “Middle class”  Wright Mills explanation: unemployment leads to many issues, from financial stress to abusive relationships. It can be viewed as a personal problem. o We can look at the cause two ways  As a personal problem: it’s the person’s unemployment that is causing the issues  As a general problem of all unemployed: so look for solutions to unemployment through the government  Governments are interested in situations that are society wide; if unemployment only led to one abusive family in Canada they would not look for solutions, but as it effects more, they work on ways to decrease society’s unemployment rate  Proximal = microstructure; things that happen to us in our everyday lives  Distal = macrostructure; a public issue (may look as it’s a personal issue if it effects your family, but most likely effects numerous families in society)  How: is abuse in relationship starting right away in the relationship, or only later in the relationship? Are all children abused, or only one sibling?  Why: What is the catalyst for abuse? Financial, mental illness, etc.  Values: whatever attributes we think are important in society. o Sociologist will do research based on their values; ex. Gender inequality, abusive families, class issues, etc.  Sociologist have to declare their biases, restrict their biases as much as possible by having rigorous research  much publish all data even if it goes against ones beliefs  How do large social groups/organization/etc support social order? o Being through education system allows you to learn how things work in school; Professors have to play by the rules which also allows things to run according to plan  Structural functionalism sees order vs. Neo-Marxism see inequality (ex. In school; they see the power difference: the university vs. the students)  Neo-Marxism: don’t just look at how social inequality is maintained; they also look at how it is challenged. o Sometimes people in bad situations can make changes occur to fight the inequality they’re facing  “To create meaning” = How do people understand, for example, family abuse.  There has to be common assumptions of what will happen in a relationship that all parties involved believe o Ex. Professor and Students must have same assumptions and beliefs of how lectures will work  Patriarchy = dominance over women  Post-modernism do not care if common understanding exists o Will describe one person’s view in detail and an opposing person’s view, and leave it like that; they just describe differing views  Symbolic interactionism continue and discuss how those views could eventually combine  Functionalist believe: Religion increases social solidarity; to make sure people hold similar beliefs/traditions/etc o Believe: All parts of society all depend on each other, like all of a person’s organs depend on one another.  Structuralist believe: Shared values maintain society  Functionalist accept differences, and say that is what allows society to work  Structuralist say that all have to share values 
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