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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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