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Sociology 102 unit 11- theory.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SY102
Professor
Kimberly Ellis- Hale
Semester
Summer

Description
Sociology 102: Unit 11- THEORY  Sociological task- develop a wide ranging system of ideas or general explanations about social relations  These general explanations are called theories  The history of modern sociological theories started with the Age of Reason/ Enlightenment  Zeitlin: identifies 6 social conditions that helped the emergence of Enlightenment 1. Political Revolution- resulted in the disorder and break down of traditions  Scholars were challenged to explain order and disorder, stability and the change that occurred after these revolutions 2. Industrial Revolution- technological advances and development of large industries  Changes caused a migration of ppl from farms to urban centers to find employment  Scholars were concerned with the disruption of traditional social relations and the conditions of working class 3. Rise of Socialism- ppl in poverty start looking for another way of life  Scholars want to develop a social system with more equality in ownership and means of production 4. Urbanization- everyone travelling from villages to cities caused overcrowding, pollution, nose, traffic, crimes  Scholars wanted to discuss these issues and make them part of research agenda 5. Religious Transformation- fundamental religious change- emergence of Protestantism  Scholars interested in religion in relation to social stability and change 6. Growth of Science- new scientific methods develop  Natural sciences (chemistry, physics and biology) enjoyed recognition- Sociology adopted the methods of natural sciences  These transformations were related to the development of Enlightenment as a period of intellectual development  Philosophers challenged traditional ways of life and helped to develop grand, general and abstract systems of ideas  Enlightenment scholars used methods from natural sciences and applied them to the social world to help discover the social laws governing human behaviours  Auguste Comte- coined term sociology  Intellectual mentor- Claude Hernri de Saint- Simon- major influence on Comte  Saint Simon: society needed immediate reform by industrialists an bankers  Comte: theoretical work should take precedence over reform  Comte: Evolution of society is paralleled by evolution of the individual mind  Three stages of development 1. Affective- ppl are governed by biologically innate propensities (drive for food, sexual instinct) 2. Cognitive- contemplation, mediation, deduction and inductive reasoning are sources of human conduct 3. Active- courage in undertaking, prudence in execution and firmness in accomplishment become important  Comte: people tend to be devoted believers in childhood - critical metaphysicians in adolescence - and natural philosophers in adulthood  Each branch of human knowledge in passed successively through 3 different theoretical conditions  Comte: every successive stage grew out of the proceeding one  These stages correspond to the stages in the development of social organization, the types of social unites, and of the material conditions of human life  3 stages of development in human society: 1. Theological stage- humans explain events through actions of gods  Human mind is seeking the essential nature of beings, and supposes all phenomena are produced by supernatural begins  Priest manage society, military men rule it  Ex. Egyptian, Greek and roman polytheism 2. Metaphysical stage- events were understood in terms of innate essence or original causes  Focus was on critique of theistic doctrines and emphasis on free intellectual inquiry in order to organize the social world based on its inherent natural causes  Ex. Middle Ages  State arose into prominence at this time 3. Scientific or positive stage- science became major force of knowledge, and the search for absolute notions, and origin and destination of universe  Causes of phenomena were abandoned ¸scholars want to study observable scientific relationships and their laws  Stage was governed by industrial administers and scientific moral guides  Comte: insisted on importance of intellectual knowledge of social development. But also included other causes of change and development  Population increase, increase of division of labour, the family  Comte: 3 most important sources of spiritual ties 1. Language- vessel in which thoughts of proceeding generations are expressed, and w/o it, no social order would be possible 2. Religion- indispensible source of legitimization for gov’ts 3. Division of Labour- links humans to their fellows and contributes to human solidarity by creating functional interdependency among individuals  Karl Marx- divided human societies into modes of production  5 great modes of productions: 1. Primitive communism- classless  Land and resources are plentiful and population is small- no need for private ownership  But population increases, division of labour expands and surplus profits appear  Pop increases, tribes come into contact with each other- wars over scare resources  Winning tribe takes resources an enslaves members of defeated tribe  Leaders start confiscating wealth and slaves for themselves- establish hierarchies and class system  Marx: class is defined in terms of the individual’s relationship to the organization of product
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