theories function in three ways, 1. Prevent being taken in by flukes 2. Theories make sense of observed
patterns in ways that can suggest other possibilities. 3, theories can shape and direct research efforts
pointing out toward likely discouveries through empirical observation
Some research don’t seek to explain like theories but seek to describe
- Paradigm: model or framework for observation and understanding which shapes both what we
see and how we understand. The conflict paradigm causes us to see social behaviour one way;
the interactionist paradigm causes us to see diff.
- In the paradigms we see a re
-- macrotheory: aimed at understanding the big picture of instituitions, whole societies &
interactions among societies. Eg. Karl marx examination of class struggle.
-microtheory: theory aimed at understanding social life at the intimate level of individuals and
interactions. Eg play of behaviour of girls differs from boys.
Comte coined together the phrase positivism to describe to describe scientific approach in contrast
to whathe regard as negative elements in the enlightenment.
Conflict Paradigm: aroused from new view of evolution of capitalism. Karl Marx: social behaviour
can be seen as process of conflict attempt to dominate others and to avoid being dominated eg.
Struggle of economic classes, capitalism produced oppression of workers by owners. Simmel: small
scale conflict , conflict in tight groups were more serious. Focuses on class, gender, ethnic stuggles it
can also be applied whnever diff groups have competing interests.
Symbolic Interactionism: simmel interested in hoe individuals interacted with one another, began
with dyads (two ppl) and triads (3) Cooley and the looking glass*: lend insight into nature of
interactions in ordinary socio life and understand unusual interactions .
Ethnomethodology: creating social structures and interactions are creating their realities, people are
constantly trying to make sense of their life, everyone acts like a social scientist, this focuses on
Structural Functionalism: known as social system theory, grows out of notion by comte a social
entity such as an organization or whole society can be viewed as organsism, made up of parts which
contributes to the functioning of the whole. Society as a social system then looks for the functions
served by the various components.
Feminist Paradigm: come attention to aspects of social life that are not revealed by other
paradigms. Focus on gender differences and how they relate to the rest of social organization.
Drawn attention to oppression of women in a great many societies which shed light generally.
Challenged consensus in society.
Rational Objectivity Reconsidered: Positivism: has generally represented the belief in a logically ordered objective reality that we can
come to know better through science.
Elements of Theory: paradigms general frameworks and viewpoints in contrast theory are
systematic sets of interrelated statements intended to explain some aspect of social life, theories
flesh out & specify paradigms.
Elements of a theory: observation: refers to seeing, hearing and touching
Corresponding idea is fact, to mean phenomenon that has been observed
Theory attempts to systematicall