SOC103H1 Chapter Notes -Manifest And Latent Functions And Dysfunctions, Symbolic Interactionism, Feminist Theory

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7 Feb 2013
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Chapter One Detailed Notes:
Introduction to Sociology:
Sociology and the other social sciences arose out of a desire to explain such
differences, and to find patterns in people’s social relations.
Sociologists find that using ‘common sense’ to understand the world is usually not
enough.
‘Common sense’ knowledge is that uninspected package of beliefs,
understandings, and propositions that people assume to be prudent and
sound. This blind assumption often leads to incomplete and inaccurate
explanations
Many psychological problems even varieties of mental illness have social origins
Sociologists note that what people get in life is largely the result of circumstances
beyond their control
Ie. Patterns associated with unequal opportunities
Those born in higher social classes tend to stay there, and so too do people in
humbler circumstances.
Ways of looking at sociology:
The two main macroanalytical approaches that have emerged in sociology are the
functional theory and critical theory, while the major microanalytical approach is
symbolic interactionism.
Feminist theory and postmodern theory are important additions to and variants of
these major forms
Functional Theory:
Functional theory views society as a set of interconnected parts that work together to
preserve the overall stability and efficiency of the whole.
Individual social structures families, the economy, government, education, and
others.
Ie. Families reproduce and nurture members of society, while the economy
regulates the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
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