SY101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Symbolic Interactionism, Feudalism, Social Forces

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20 Apr 2018
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SY101 LECTURE SEPTEMBER 18 & 25 2017
CHAPTER 2: SOCIAL THEORY
Seeing the World Through Social Theory
- Social Theories
o Systematic ideas about the relationships between individuals and societies
o Ambition of social theorists is to provide a way to understand how societies hold
together and how they organize and impact the lives of the individuals who live
with them
- Conveys a Large Range
o From seeking to explain universal features of all societies to those more focused
on specific time/places
Levels of Analysis
- Macrosociology
o Focuses on broad features of society (i.e. social class and patriarchy)
- Microsociology
o Emphasizes social interaction (i.e. survival strategies of the homeless people)
Social Theories
- Enable us to see things differently
- Can guide and provoke
- Encourage us to ask new questions
- Often incite action and critical thinking to come up with new approaches
3 Common Themes Among Social Theories
1) What is the nature of the individual, and what are the capacities of the individual to act
in the context of society?
2) What is the bias of social order? What is that which holds society together?
3) What are the circumstances or conditions under which societies change
Classical Social Theory in the Late 19th an Early 20th century
- Periods of enormous change, marked by key transitions
o Change from agriculture to industry based on economy
o Movement from rural to city areas
o Governmental changes from monarchies to democracies
o Decline in religious influence in public life
The Origins of Sociology
- Auguste Compte and Positivism
o Integrated that what he witnessed could be translated into science and the study
of Sociology
o Kept religion in play
o “aid he eer read aoe’s ork ut atuall did
o Coied the ter soiolog
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Document Summary

Conveys a large range: from seeking to explain universal features of all societies to those more focused on specific time/places. Macrosociology: focuses on broad features of society (i. e. social class and patriarchy) Microsociology: emphasizes social interaction (i. e. survival strategies of the homeless people) Often incite action and critical thinking to come up with new approaches. What is that which holds society together: what are the circumstances or conditions under which societies change. Classical social theory in the late 19th an early 20th century. Periods of enormous change, marked by key transitions: change from agriculture to industry based on economy, movement from rural to city areas, governmental changes from monarchies to democracies, decline in religious influence in public life. Integrated that what he witnessed could be translated into science and the study of sociology: kept religion in play, aid he (cid:862)(cid:374)e(cid:448)er read a(cid:374)(cid:455)o(cid:374)e"s (cid:449)ork(cid:863) (cid:271)ut a(cid:272)tuall(cid:455) did, coi(cid:374)ed the ter(cid:373) (cid:862)so(cid:272)iolog(cid:455)(cid:863)

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