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General Orientation. Birth of the Social Sciences Thinking Sociologically Sociological Methods Sociological Theory & Theorists. Sociological Imagination (C. Wright Mills) . Understand Human Behavior in Terms of the Intersection of: Social Structure (& Culture) History Biography

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general orientation
General Orientation
  • Birth of the Social Sciences
  • Thinking Sociologically
  • Sociological Methods
  • Sociological Theory & Theorists
sociological imagination c wright mills
Sociological Imagination (C. Wright Mills)
  • Understand Human Behavior in Terms of the Intersection of:
    • Social Structure (& Culture)
    • History
    • Biography
  • Personal Troubles v. Public Issues
modern society
Modern Society
  • Three Great Revolutions
    • Political
    • Scientific

(Both were Result of Philosophical/Cultural Developments)

    • Industrial
  • Population Growth
sociological theory methods of research
Sociological Theory & Methods of Research
  • (Natural) Scientific Method Applied to Society
    • Focus on Aggregates/Patterns (v. Individual)
  • “Social Facts” (Emile Durkheim [1855-1917])
    • External to Individual
    • Coercive Over Individual
  • Durkheim: study patterns (social structures) + relate them to other patterns
sociological theory methods of research1
Sociological Theory & Methods of Research
  • Scientific Method (Durkheim)
    • Systematic Observation
    • Hypothesis
      • Testing
      • Verification/Falsification
    • Data are quantitative
      • Aggregate Patterns
      • Variations (Variables & relationships)
      • Descriptive Statistics, then correlation, causation
interpretive sociology
"Interpretive" Sociology
  • Focus is on definitional processes and interaction
    • occurs at the symbolic level
      • at the level of meaning
  • Field work
    • Direct observation
      • Participant observation; ethnography
  • Data are qualitative
    • "microcosmic“ (vs. aggregate or “macro”)
major theoretical approaches theorists in sociology
Major Theoretical Approaches & Theorists in Sociology
  • Conflict Theory: derived from Karl Marx (1818-1883)
    • Scarce resources are unevenly distributed among different social groups
    • source of conflict = inequality
  • Economy is the most important sector of society
    • and the chief source of conflict
    • owners of means of production in

conflict with workers

functionalism
Functionalism
  • Focus on relations between a social whole (groups/ societies) and its parts
    • Group members
    • “Institutional spheres": areas of social action
      • family, economy, etc.
  • “Function“: purpose that some action or part of society serves to maintain the whole
  • Emile Durkheim (1855-1917)
    • Crime and “Deviance"
    • plays a role in maintaining group

identity and solidarity

interpretive approach
Interpretive Approach
  • Max Weber (1864-1920)
  • Weber: "verstehen“ (“Understanding”)
    • Intersubjectivity
    • People act on the basis of meanings
    • How we define social situations
interpretive approach1
Interpretive Approach
  • George Herbert Mead (1863-1931)
  • Symbolic interaction
    • The social processes involved in creating and maintaining a given reality
    • Especially the creation of the social self (identity)
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