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Lecture

Levines Template Lecture #1

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2240E
Professor
Charles Levine
Semester
Fall

Description
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 persons • - 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 things • 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 institutions ◦ explicitly intend to use a biological metaphor to understand society ◦ you are a role, or else you are a deviant, you internalize norms ex classroom • 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 time ◦ 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 Question Two : What is human nature? Do we have instincts? What are instincts? • for an instinct to exist it has to be present in every member of the species, has to be immutable, cannot be changed ◦ disposition is a better word for instinct • some theorists claim by human nature we are egocentric/self centred/greedy - not logical to say they are these things by nature ◦ the sociological question is under what circumstances are they these things/ are not these things ◦ cannot say that people are this way because of nature - but you can ask what environments influenced this behaviour ◦ Emile / Sophie - saying Sophie should learn to be a house wife because thats how she is by nature, wollenstencraft says send them both to school lets see who is smart and who is not ◦ Nature vs Nurture ◦ compte is nature ◦ nuture more likely to be nominalist Question Three : How are the relationships among society, culture and individuals understood? • the sociological relevance of the person is understood based on how society bases the roles for us to play • some theorists will say we are
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