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Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2111
Linda Hunter

Lecture Notes Positivism seeks generalizable, universally applicable laws. Logic of explanation, ability to predict environments Prediction and control Objectivity is a goal Needs determinism (cause-effect relations) and empiricism (experience/knowledge about the world is grounded by what we learn from our sense perceptions) Meaning of such info has to be interpreted Interpretive Theory focuses on the meanings people attach to their social worlds Human communication, symbols are learned Relies on qualitative data Human practice/activity, human action becomes meaningful in terms of social rules, sociological variables are defined by means of human language Verstehen action of interpreting/understanding a culture by studying it Society is ongoing interaction; reality is socially constructed meanings. Conducts research by developing a qualitative account of the subjective sense people make of their world; researcher is a participant. Symbolic-interactionist/feminist Critical Theory focuses on need for social change Concept of authority and power relations and power dynamics between individuals in society Not to study the world but to change it, is this just? Tries to break class distinctions Too political, gives up claim of objectivity Society is patterns of inequality; reality is that some dominate others Research is a strategy to bring about desired change; researcher is an activist Social-conflict/feminist Conflict Tradition Developed theories of capitalism, social strification, political conflict Derivative from Marx and Weber who are usually opposites Feminism Two Waves: o 30s/40s was for the right to vote o 60s/70s was the sexual revolution o Came along with rights for other people (black people) Structural Functionalism Sees society as complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability Harmonious Symbolic Interactionism Micro-level, use of signs and symbols, everyday interactions of individuals. MEANINGS behind actions. Scientific Approach Society is an orderly system, reality is out there Conduct research by gathering empirical data ideally, quantitative; researcher tries to be an objective observer. Structural-functional paradigm Rationalism sees knowledge existing independently of physical reality Empiricism sees knowledge as based on observable, physical reality History th 17 C, Bacon and Locke reject magical ideas, argue for mechanical principles of how physical reality works Middle Ages: o Church authority supreme o Reason subordinate to faith, tension now heightened due to more time for intellectual interests o Faith alone vs. religious philosophers o 1348, Bubonic Plague (blame on sin, divine wrath) o Springboard of economic growth Women Founders Textbook Notes McDonald
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