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SOC211H5 (29)
Chapter 7


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Nicole Myers

Ch. 7 The Social Disorganization Perspective Sociological Positivism: The Pathology of Society  The idea that “pathology” can exist at the social level is characteristic of the social disorganization perspective  This view dominated the sociology of deviance from the 1890s to the mid 1930s and later formed the basis for interactionist, social learning, and control theories, all of which will be discussed in later chapters. Origins of The Social Disorganization Perspective  Sociological positivism emerged when thinkers from various backgrounds (philosophy, theology, political science, and natural science) began to look for regularities in social life, just as natural science had sought regularities in pland and the animal life.  Beyond a desire to follow the example set by the natural sciences, these early sociologists were motivated by the historical changes that led to increasingly obvious concentrations of deviance among people in particular social classes and groups.  Religion, which had been largely irrelevant (if not antagonistic) to classical theory, now served as a motivating factor in the scientific study of society  Those who were relatively well off were encouraged by their religious leaders to concern themselves with the quality of the physical, spiritual and moral life around them. Emile Durkheim and Sociological Positivism  Durkheim believed that societies, like other organisms, evolve from simple to more complex forms.  In Durkheim’s terms, the members of a society share a common conscience that holds them together in a state of mechanical solidarity. Little individualism or real freedom exist
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