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
o Connections can be made between all
Major Sociological Theories
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
How SF explains social order?
o Natural interconnections between institutions
How SF explains social disorder?
o Temporary occurs only at times of social change