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Sociology 2240E Lecture Notes - Nominalism, Intentionality, Atomism

Course Code
SOC 2240E
Charles Levine

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Sociological Theory
September 20th, 2012
Theory template = way of thinking - theorist
this template involves 6/7 questions any theorist has to answer if they are going to
write sociological theory
answers are deep cognitive structures
questions are tied to deep ways about thinking about the social world
most obvious question =
What is Society?
a) social order
b) solidarity - people are internalizing values/morals
c) something that allows us to generate a system
d) construction of culture- transmitted through symbols and the speaking of
- equality = our ability to think things belong to the same class/ beaker example
what is an institution? organization + a commitment to certain values, values that
presumably influence its organizations
essentially organizations + values
what keeps society together? modes of interdependence , relationships between two
this view of society is based on biology, need certain parts to function
people who subscribe to it call them selves an organicist - see a system of
explicitly intend to use a biological metaphor to understand society
you are a role, or else you are a deviant, you internalize norms ex
Atomists - is oranicism with one exception = the atomist says that society works
like an organism most of the time, under certain circumstances individuals can
psychologically distance themselves from the social in order to critically evaluate
interested in two things
what are the circumstances that stimulate people to do this
and how do they do it
certain circumstances = somethings bugging you, something social is
being sensed as being problematic
they find themselves outside of the role they used to play, make themselves
an object to their own perception = Reflexivity
the atomist is interested in stimulants that are forceful, that force people
to see themselves as objects and starting to make judgements about who
they are, look at yourself in a relationship when you are being used
Morality exists when you sense that something is wrong, it is not present all the
it is only when you sense a dilemma, is when you make a moral judgement
about what is right and what is wrong = morality, allows us to differentiate
from conformity
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