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1. Sept 24- Social Theories.docx

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Western University
Sociology 1021E
Secil Erdogan

Sociology  The systematic study of human society  Studies social order, disorder and social change “The sociological perspective” –is the heart of the discipline  Ie focuses on what is happening within the society instead of psychological o Students are dropping out due to the cost, no jobs, etc., instead of due to stress.  Life experiences shaped by our general categories (white, female, etc.)  Social norms, values and expectation guide our everyday behaviour o We do not act as ‘freely’ as we think  Social forces are everywhere and they affect the way we live  The relationship between personal troubles and three levels of social structure  The three levels: o 1. Micro structures –patterns of relatively intimate social relations o 2. Macro structures –overarching patterns of social relations that lie outside and above one’s circle of intimates and acquaintance o 3. Global structures –patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level o Connections can be made between all Major Sociological Theories  Structural Functionalism  Conflict Theory  Symbolic Interactionism  Feminist Theory STRUCTURAL FUNCTIONALISM  Looks at how social structures are working together  Durkheim and Parsons  A macro level perspective  Human behaviour is governed by relatively stable social structures  Like the human body  every part has a function when together  Society: a complex system whose parts work together to promote stability  Each institution plays a function in the society; when it stops having a purpose, it ceases to exist  Natural/desired state of society works together to reach harmony and balance.  Evolution  social institutions must adapt over time as opposed to sudden change  Society is based on consensus  Conservative  want everything to stay as it is Questions:  How SF explains social order? o Natural interconnections between institutions  How SF explains social disorder? o Temporary  occurs only at times of social change CONFLICT THEORY  Loo
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