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
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
o Sometimes people in bad situations can make changes occur to fight the inequality
“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
o Ex. Professor and Students must have same assumptions and beliefs of how lectures will
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
Functionalist believe: Religion increases social solidarity; to make sure people hold similar
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