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Bishop's University
SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

Functionalist  View the social world as a dynamic system of interrelated and interdependent parts  View human society as being similar to an organism  Society is made up of structures that work together for the good of the collective  Assumes that changes in one area of society may lead to changes in others  Functionalists assert that change is possible when the system faces challenges or dysfunctions Conflict Theory  Based on the assumption that society is grounded upon inequality and competition over scarce resources that ultimately result in conflict, which often inspires social change.  Power is the core of all social relationships am dos scarce and unequally divided among members of society  Social values and the dominant ideology are vehicles by which the powerful promote their own interests at the expense of the weak  How society is characterized by how power defines and influences virtually all human interactions  Tend to believe more strongly that they should become actively involved in advocating for those people in society who lack social power Symbolic Interactionism  Emphasize that society and all social structures are nothing more than the creations of interacting people and that they can, therefore, be changed  Thomas Theorem: assertion that what people define as real are real in their consequences  Highlight the important ways in which meanings are created, constructed, mediated, and changed by members of a group or society  Study the way in which people define the social situations they find themselves in Feminist Theory  No a single theory, just many strands  Women and men should be social and political equals Charles Wright Mills  Suggested people who do not, or cannot, recognize the social origins and character of their problems may be unable to respond to these problems effectively.  Highlighted the difference between what he called personal troubles and which result from individual challenges, social issues.  Not seeing failures as partially, or entirely, the result of social forces is to lack quality of mind; the ability to look beyond personal circumstance into social context  Sociological imagination – term for the ability to perceive how dynamic social forces influence individual lives Peter Berger  Builds on how sociologist see the world  Defines sociological perspective as the ability to view the world from two distinct yet complementary perspectives: seeing the general in the particular and seeing the strange in the familiar  Seeing the general in the particular is the ability to look at seemingly unique events or circumstances and then recognize the larger features involved  Sociologist need to tune their sociological perspective by thinking about what is familiar and seeing it as strange Karl Marx (Macrotheorist, conflict theorist)  Philosopher, economist, political scientist, historian, and sociologist  Insight into the nature of human relationships  Believed people are naturally competitive with each other because they have unlimited wants but an unequal ability to fulfill them  All human relationships have power imbalances  How power permeates the ways people interact not only as individuals but also as entire classes  Worked with Friedrich Engels  Human consciousness and human interaction with the material world could change society Emile Durkheim (Macrotheorist, functionalist)  Believed people wanted to work together for collective benefits  Less critical view of human nature  Believed that the new urban and industrial society presented many challenges to both the individual and the collective  Low levels of social integration and regulation were a source of various social problems, rising deviance and suicide rates  Focus on the causes of the decline in moral society and on the institutions of religion and education.  Referred to collective conscience  Culture and society exist outside of the individual, are independent of the individual, and outlive the individual  Believe studying collective conscience was impossible but that one could study social facts  Any social organization that increases a person‟s healthy connection to others will decrease suicide and minimize the chances of people suffering from anomie  Analyzes how society grows and changes over time Max Weber (Symbolic Interactionists)  How the social world is becoming increasingly rationalized over time, by which he meant that people are becoming more focuses on selecting the most efficient means to accomplish any particular end.  People becoming more focused on defining what they want and what they are willing to do to get it  Result in people who act like machines and do not appreciate the larger social world in which they exist.  Emphasis on verstehen – deep understanding and interpretation of subjective social meanings George Herbert Mead (Symbolic Interactionists)  Viewed the individual mind and self as rising out of the process of communication, in effect, we become ourselves through social interaction  Looked at individual factors  His approach become known as symbolic Interactionism  Human mind results from the individuals ability to respond to and engage with the environment  Human behaviour is virtually always the product of interaction with others Charles Horton Cooley (Symbolic Interactionists)  Suggested people define themselves by how others view them  Theorized by considering how others view us, we actually become the kind of person we believe others see us to be (“looking glass self”)  Method called sympathetic introspective- the value of putting yourself into another persons‟ shoes  Self-fulfilling prophecy – prediction, once made, causes the outcome to occur Herbert Blumer (Symbolic Interactionists)  How people create their sense of self within the larger social world  Continued what Mead started Thomas Hobbes (conflict theorist)  Believed people were driven by two primary passions: fear of death and the desire for power  True nature of humankind is therefore self-preservative, and he argued that long- term stability can be achieved only when citizens join together and agree to forgo their individual power to the gains achieved within a collective  Suggested that people are responsible for creating the social
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