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Lecture 5

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Dan Silver

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SOCC40 Lecture 5 EVOLUTION MIDDLE RANGE THEORY FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS MANIFEST + LATENT FUNCTIONS ROLE SETS EVOLUTION • Question Parsons wanted to ask was how do we know when a change is positive or negative for society? -change with evolution because people are always trying out new things +with dress, etc. • Some changes are either positive evolutionary or negative • What criteria do we use to determine that change has occurred? • When is a change evolutionary or not- when does it lead to that animal forming at a higher level? -if it helps you survive • Parsons way was to go to AGIL and said we will know something is positive evolutionary if it allows AGIL to function better at a higher level -Differentiation • Links differentiation with one of the four functions (AGIL) -if it is going to be functional, does it carry out one of these functions • Differentiation + Goal -in a household, you contribute to tasks that are for the house -differentiation means that at some point you take out work functions out of the house and take them somewhere else (firm) -separates goals because now household has goals and firm has goals -goal of the family, which is outside of the firm, is not to raise children and meet emotional needs or husband and wife -goal of firm is producing most at least cost -differentiation; two different goals where there used to be one • Is this a function or upgrade from previous situation? -look at next function  adaption +Adaption • Adaptive upgrading -about the question of whether or not this split or differentiation allows people to achieve their goals better than they would have without the differentiation -looks like it is positive from an economic view; in the firm people can focus entirely on their work without distractions of family, can train specifically for a job- don’t just have to be born in a family, bigger labour market with workers who are more interested in that job; leads to higher performance in work -with the family, they can now focus more directly on their internal life; parenting and love between parenting and children, couple can focus on romantic relationship; able to get more goods and services for lower price and able to have deeper emotional bonds • Adaptive upgrading can cause its own problems -when you split up organizations and institutions which previously fused functions together; can be a major source of strain when people have to adjust to new situations; people were traumatizes -have to leave ancestral and family behind to go to work, family businesses closed down, dad was working all day and all night not seeing kids, workers couldn’t set their own schedules as much, rise of wage labour in firm; wage capitalists vs. owners begins • Is there solution to new problem? +Inclusion • Solution is at inclusion -change is positive evolutionary if you can include the results of that change in the overall social structure; if you create mechanisms where one supports the other • Inclusion can cause its own problems -don’t have to be positive -what makes differentiation positive adaptation is that firm can hire any qualified worker; not bound to hire within family; huge influx of people coming from different places- all flocking to live her and being included in new roles -drawback is that people working in factories hate each other; Protestants and Catholics working together, or Germans and Poles -all these different household backgrounds that are clashing • When is inclusion evolutionary? • When it’s value-generalization +Value-generalization • Have to come up with value that is beyond religious and other differences, which wouldn’t feel like an imposition from the outside • Societies that were able to make value generalization work were with citizenship -binds together workers and owners with obligations they share equally -authorizes a lot of laws about labour relations • Not all changes are automatically evolutionary • Have to figure out when they are and when they aren’t -AGIL helps us figure this out MERTON • Parsons was king of the hill is sociology from 30s-60s; wasn’t an easy reign; always was being criticized • Merton became the top dog in sociology from 50s-70s • Great innovator theoretically, came up with great ideas in sociology • Founded modern sociology of science; science as a social practice • Born in 1910 • Parents were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe • His name when he was born was Meyer Schuldtnik • Was an amateur magician -was going to name himself Merlin -but Merton sounded like Merlin so he chose that • Robert came from Robert Houdini, who Harry Houdini took his name from; great magician • Robert K. Merton; Robert the King Merton • invented the idea of a focus group • died in early 2000’s MIDDLE RANGE THEORY • Parsons thought the most important thing to do for sociological theory was to create systematic understanding of society, everything in society, and everything society relates to -then can understand how changing one variable changes everything else • Merton rejected that whole idea -wasn’t against idea of building a system as such, but what he strongly disagreed with was that that was the first thing we need to do- those equations on the board to see how well our models worked • Theories of the middle range; s
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