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Chapter 2 Sociology’s Family Tree: Theories and Theorists. What is Theory?. Plausible explanation Cause-and-effect Among observed phenomenon. What is Theory?. Common-sense theories Everyone creates theories Make sense of world. Common Sense Theories. Examples:

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what is theory
What is Theory?
  • Plausible explanation
  • Cause-and-effect
  • Among observed phenomenon
what is theory1
What is Theory?
  • Common-sense theories
    • Everyone creates theories
    • Make sense of world
common sense theories
Common Sense Theories
  • Examples:
    • How to make friends?
    • How to succeed in college?
    • How to get a job?
sociological theories
Sociological Theories

Not just how things happen, but

  • Why?
theory
Theory
  • Vital to making sense of social life
  • Facts make sense because we interpret them using
    • Categories
    • Assumptions
categories
Categories
  • Class of people or things
  • Particular shared characteristics
assumptions
Assumptions

Beliefs we hold to be true

  • Often with little or no evidence
assumptions about human nature
Assumptions About Human Nature
  • Selfish or Selfless
  • Aggressive or Compassionate
  • Competitive or Cooperative
  • Basic needs:
    • Food / Water
    • Companionship
    • Perception of control
formal sociological theory
Formal Sociological Theory
  • Assumptions and categories explicit
  • Open to examination
  • Scrutiny, and
  • Reformulation
sociological theories1
Sociological Theories
  • Explain social world
  • Make predictions->Future
sociological theory
Sociological theory
  • Where did it come from?
  • Theories and theorists
  • Current theoretical approaches
  • Sociology as science
where did it come from
Where did it come from?
  • 18th & 19th century
  • New system of production:
    • Industrial revolution
    • Capitalism
    • Colonialism
where did it come from1
Where did it come from?
  • Enlightenment: New Ideas
  • Humanism
    • Importance of human rather than divine matters
  • Science
    • Knowledge of physicalworldby

observation& experimentation

  • New political forms
    • Democracies
auguste comte 1798 1857
Auguste Comte

(1798–1857)

theories and theorists
Theories and theorists
  • Auguste Comte
  • Coined term “Sociology” (1839)
    • Also called “Social Physics”
  • Assumption:
    • Society=Organism
  • Categories:
    • Social Statics
    • Social Dynamics
theorist auguste comte
Theorist: Auguste Comte
  • Sociology-> Similar to biology
  • Groundwork-future sociologists
  • Helped build the discipline
harriet martineau 1802 1876
Harriet Martineau(1802-1876)

Categories:

  • Gender
  • Politics
  • Race

Assumptions:

  • Equality
  • Belief in science
theorist harriet martineau
Theorist: Harriet Martineau
  • Social activist
    • Labor unions
    • Abolition of slavery
    • Women’s suffrage
  • Traveled to United States
  • Translated Comte’s work from French to English
slide20
Theorist: Herbert Spencer

(1820-1903)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cxfbq4evdTY

The Greatest Individual of the 19th Century

theorist herbert spencer
***Theorist: Herbert Spencer
  • Categories:
    • “Fit” and “Unfit”
    • Men and Women
    • Rich and Poor
theorist herbert spencer1
Theorist: Herbert Spencer
  • Assumptions:
    • Society=Organism
    • Societiesadapt to changing environment
    • “Survival of the Fittest”
theorist emile durkheim
Theorist: Emile Durkheim
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXQqMyMIAhI
  • Sociology->Academic discipline
    • Taught courses
    • Research—”Suicide”
theorist emile durkheim1
Theorist: Emile Durkheim
  • Categories:
    • Social facts (Material & Non-material)
    • Types of social solidarity
      • Mechanical solidarity—Similarities
      • Organic solidarity—Differences
theorist emile durkheim2
Theorist: Emile Durkheim
  • Assumptions:
  • Society studied as science
  • Social factors hold society together
karl marx 1818 1883
Karl Marx

(1818-1883)

theorist karl marx
Theorist: Karl Marx
  • German philosopher
  • Political activist
  • Contributed to Conflict Theory
theorist karl marx1
Theorist: Karl Marx
  • Categories:
    • Social Class
      • Proletariat
      • Bourgeoisie
    • Modes of Production
theorist karl marx2
Theorist: Karl Marx

Assumptions

  • Humans want to work
  • Humans are creative
  • Humans are social
  • Society is shaped by “mode of production”
videos about marx
Videos about Marx
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ztVeUX8Hpo&feature=related
  • Marxism made simple
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KUl4yfABE4&feature=related
  • The Communist Manifesto Cartoon
theorist max weber
Theorist: Max Weber
  • Categories:
    • Types of societies
      • Traditional
      • Modern industrial
    • Social Class
      • Class
      • Status
      • Party
theorist max weber1
Theorist: Max Weber
  • Assumptions:
    • Modern societies-> Dehumanizing
    • Increasing bureaucracy
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBCAlZPF0D0&feature=related
    • Social institutions=“Ironcage”
theorist w e b du bois
Theorist: W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Categories:
    • Race
    • African American perspective: “double consciousness”
    • Education
      • Industrial
      • Higher
theorist w e b du bois1
Theorist: W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Assumptions:
    • History influences self
    • “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”
modern schools of thought
Modern Schools of Thought

Structural Functionalism

  • Society as:
    • Stable
    • Ordered system
    • Interrelated parts
structural functionalism
Structural Functionalism
  • Social institutions:
    • Family
    • Education
    • Politics
    • Economy
  • Meets need of society
    • Function
conflict theory
Conflict Theory
  • Social conflict basis:
    • Of society and
    • Social change
  • Source of Conflict:
    • Inequality
conflict theory1
Conflict theory
  • Conflict and tension
    • Basic to social life
    • Disagreements over goals & values
  • Sources of Conflict
    • Scarce resources
    • Power
conflict theory2
Conflict theory
  • Focus:
  • Dominance
  • Competition
  • Social change
conflict theory3
Conflict theory
  • Materialist
    • Labor and Economic reality

2.Critical-> existing arrangements

  • Dynamichistorical change
    • Inevitable
symbolic interactionism
Symbolic Interactionism
  • Interaction
  • Symbols
  • Shared meaning
  • Social creation of reality
feminist theory
Feminist Theory
  • Gender inequalities
    • Nature
    • Source
  • Gender structures social world
  • Remedies to inequalities
queer theory
Queer Theory
  • Sexual identity is social construct
  • No sexual category fundamentally deviant or normal
postmodernist theory
Postmodernist Theory
  • Social reality is:
  • Diverse
  • Changing
  • No truth, reason, right, order, or stability
  • Everything is relative & temporary
theory in everyday life1

Case Study

Focus of Analysis

Perspective

Level of Analysis

Theory in Everyday Life

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