-everyone has a specific role, explain social problems as an institution’s failure to preform its
Robert Merton- Social Theory and social Structure- manifest functions (school teaching math)
and latent function, not directky intended function, (school teaching social skill and dynamics)
Emile Durkheim- everything helps society (robber may cause disruption of property but unifies
the community and sets example of what is shunned)
-“common conscience”- everyone in small communities has very similar if not the same
experiances, values, norms, and identity.
-“mechanical solidarity” interdependence of individuals in small communities
-“organic solidarity” interdependent on survival and prosperity
-Suicide- laid out the foundations for the quantitative methods in modern ociology and
established sociology as a distinct and recognized discipline. Principle of the method is that
“social facts must be studied as thing, as realities external to the individual”. Visible patterns of
why people suicide rather than purely random or biologically inflicted.
-The Division of Labour-everyone is interdependent (merchant buyer, writers readers)
- arises out of division between societies “have’s” and “have nots”, whether they focus on clss
race gender, etc, and the unequal distribution of power. View society as a collection of groups
that struggle to dominate society and its institutions
-ideologies are beliefs that guide pplz interpretations of and reactions to external events.
Dominant ideology keeps the social structure and the heirachy of power stable.
Karl Marx- - attributed social problems to capitalism (economic struggle between Bourgeoisie d
Max Weber- expanded the critical theory from stuggle of capitalism to struggle between different
groups (containing different cultural values, social status, and personal honour)
-three sources of authority: 1)traditional 2) rational-legal 3) charismatic
Traditions- what we have always done Rational-legal – importance on law, science and democratic decision making
Charismatic- Jesus, Mohammed
John Porter- Vertical Mosaic- cultural mosaic of anasimulated cultures
-The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism- religion can make material progress.
Protestants believed that you are predetermined to either go to hell or heaven so fulfill your life
as much as you want. Working hard at a task (their calling) and reaching economic success was
viewed as a blessing from god since we are his creations and if we succeeds he succeeds
hence paving road to capitalism.
- focuses on small group interactions, what keeps groups together : shared meanings,
definitions, and interpretations of interacting individuals. Study how behaviours come to ve
defined or framed and how people learn to engage in everyday activities.
=>Labeling Theory- rests on the premise that any given social problem is so cause the an
influencial group of people defines it as so.
“definition of the situation”- the norm and the meanings that govern a social interaction
Herbert Blumer- - proposed social problems develop in stages: social recognicion>social
legitimating>mobilization for action>development and implementation of an official plan
Goffman-Stigma- anything that distinguishes a person from the norm discredits them. Everyone
wants to be “normal” to avaid social ridicule and we do this by hiding our “discreditable features”
by passing and covering. People also tend to group up with people like themselves causing
-Presentation of Self in Everyday life- introduces the Dramaturgical approach (social scripts and
roles). Everyone uses scripts learned from others and use them to apply in everyday situations
(aka they use it as the base, but improvise partly). Not going according to social scripts causes
negative emotions in those around you. Social roles are the source of our identities
Role embracement-person accepts the social role and identity
Role distance- person accepts the role but separates the identity associated withthat role (drop
me off a block away from school, don’t wanna ruin my image in front of my friends)
Role exit- rejection of some of the activities, rights, and responsibilities as well as identity
associated with the role World is a theater with social scripts and social roles
Peter Berger and Thomas Luckman- “The Social Construction of Reality”- all knowledge is
created, preserved and spread by social interaction
3 aspects of social interactionalism: 1) human beings act toward things on the basis of the
meaning =s that things have for them; 2) these meanings arise out of social interaction; 3) social
action results from a fitting together of individual lines of action
Giddens- positivism- sparked the enlightment era
George Simmel- one of the earliest writers to look at city life on an everyday basis. City life=
relentlessly, supremely alienating, with inhavitants numbing their emotions to cope with the
excessive stimulation that city life offers
-The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies- People have two worlds (socially acceptable
behavior mask and a secret deviant mask) people use secrets in order to perform deviance.
Everyone needs some concealment to functionally work in the society (white lies or things to
protect ourselves from negative judgement like hiding addiction)
Secret societies- “characterized by an interactuinal unit characterized in its totality by the fact
that reciprocal relations among its membersare governed by the protective function of secrecy” -
main concepts being:1) people wanna protect their ideal and activities which they give positive
value. 2) members protect secrecy and privacy of their community by controlling the
distribution of info about valued elements.
Social forms control our behavior, and are comprised of two elements: 1) content: purpose or
motive of an action 2) form: mode of interaction by which the the specific content achieves
Dyads (even number of ppl in a group) agree easily or are hard at conflict
Triads (odd numbered groups) take longer to agree but don’t polarize aka no hard conflict.
Characterized by compromises and shifting alegences. Groups tend to have task leader, joker
(tension dissolver) and emotional leader (conflict and frustration resolver.
– mixture of critical theory and symbolic interactionalism focusing on man’s domination over
women, and gender and gendering inequalities (such as women’s lives are significantly different
then man’s )
Assumptions of Feminist research:
=>all personal life has a political dimension
=>both are public and private spheres of life are gendered (unequal for men and women) =>women’s social experience routinely differs from men’s
=>patriarchy- or male control- structures the wau most societies work
=>because of routinely different experiences and differences in power, women and men view
the world differently
Main interests are the gendering of experiences, problem of victimization, and intersectionalism
(interaction of gender with other social characteristics such as class and rece to produce
particular combinations of disadvantage)
Post Modern Theory
- focused on unmasking the ideologies that protect the dominant social order and a direct
response to modernism. Modernism claims that through science we can find “the one truth” and
shape the world