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The Sociological Perspective. The systematic study of human society. What Is Sociology?. “...The systematic study of human society ” Systematic Scientific discipline that focuses attention on patterns of behavior Human society

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the sociological perspective

The Sociological Perspective

The systematic study of human society

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

what is sociology
What Is Sociology?

“...The systematic study of human society ”

  • Systematic
    • Scientific discipline that focuses attention on patterns of behavior
  • Human society
    • Group behavior is primary focus; how groups influence individuals and vice versa
  • At the “heart of sociology”
    • The sociological perspective which offers a unique view of society

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

why take sociology
Why Take Sociology?
  • Education and liberal arts
    • Well-rounded as a person
    • Social expectations
  • More appreciation for diversity
    • The global village
    • Domestic social marginality
  • Enhanced life chances
    • Micro and macro understanding
    • Increase social potentials

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

benefits of the sociological perspective
Benefits of the Sociological Perspective
  • Helps us assess the truth of common sense
  • Helps us assess both opportunities and constraints in our lives
  • Empowers us to be active participants in our society
  • Helps us live in a diverse world

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

importance of global perspective
Importance of Global Perspective
  • Where we live makes a great difference in shaping our lives
  • Societies throughout the world are increasingly interconnected through technology and economics.
  • Many problems that we face in the United States are more serious elsewhere.
  • Thinking globally is a good way to learn more about ourselves.

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

the sociological perspective peter berger
The Sociological PerspectivePeter Berger
  • Seeing the general in the particular
    • Sociologists identify general social patterns in the behavior of particular individuals.
  • Seeing the strange in the familiar
    • Giving up the idea that human behavior is simply a matter of what people decide to do
    • Understanding that society shapes our lives

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

durkheim s study of suicide
Durkheim’s Study of Suicide
  • Emile Durkheim’s research showed that society affects even our most personal choices.
    • More likely to commit: male Protestants who were wealthy and unmarried
    • Less likely to commit: male Jews and Catholics who were poor and married
  • One of the basic findings: Why?
    • The differences between these groups had to do with “social integration.”
    • Those with strong social ties had less of a chance of committing suicide.

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

c wright mills sociological imagination
C. Wright Mills’Sociological Imagination
  • The power of the sociological perspective lies not just in changing individual lives but in transforming society.
  • Society, not people’s personal failings, is the cause of social problems.
  • The sociological imagination transforms personal problems into public issues.

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

the origins of sociology
The Origins of Sociology
  • One of the youngest of academic disciplines, sociology has its origins in powerful social forces.
  • Social Change
    • Industrialization, urbanization, political revolution, and a new awareness of society
  • Science
    • 3-Stages: Theological, Metaphysical & Scientific
    • Positivism–A way of understanding based on science
  • Gender & Race
    • These important contributions have been pushed to the margins of society.

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

sociological theory
Sociological Theory
  • Theory: a statement of how and why facts are related
    • Explains social behavior to the real world
  • Theoretical paradigm: A set of fundamental assumptions that guides thinking
    • Structural-functional
    • Social-conflict
    • Symbolic-interaction

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

structural functional paradigm
Structural-Functional Paradigm
  • The basics
    • A macro-level orientation, concerned with broad patterns that shape society as a whole
    • Views society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability
  • Key elements:
    • Social structure refers to any relatively stable patterns of social behavior found in social institutions.
    • Social function refers to the consequences for the operation of society as a whole.

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

who s who in the structural functional paradigm
Who’s Who in the Structural-Functional Paradigm
  • Auguste Comte
    • Importance of social integration during times of rapid change
  • Emile Durkheim
    • Helped establish sociology as a discipline
  • Herbert Spencer
    • Compared society to the human body
  • Robert K. Merton
    • Manifest functions are recognized and intended consequences.
    • Latent functions are unrecognized and unintended consequences.
    • Social dysfunctions are undesirable consequences.

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

social conflict paradigm
Social-Conflict Paradigm
  • The basics:
    • A macro-oriented paradigm
    • Views society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change
  • Key elements:
    • Society is structured in ways to benefit a few at the expense of the majority.
    • Factors such as race, sex, class, and age are linked to social inequality.
    • Dominant group vs. disadvantaged group relations

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

who s who in the social conflict paradigm
Who’s Who in theSocial-Conflict Paradigm
  • Karl Marx
    • The importance of social class in inequality and social conflict
  • W.E.B. Du Bois
    • Race as the major problem facing the United States in the 20th century

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

feminism and the gender conflict approach
Feminism and the Gender-Conflict Approach
  • A point of view that focuses on inequality and conflict between women and men
  • Closely linked to feminism, the advocacy of social equality for women and men
  • Women important to the development of sociology: Harriet Martineau and Jane Addams

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

the race conflict approach
The Race-Conflict Approach
  • A point of view that focuses on inequality and conflict between people of different racial and ethnic categories
  • People of color important to the development of sociology: Ida Wells Barnett and W.E.B. Du Bois

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

symbolic interaction paradigm
Symbolic-Interaction Paradigm
  • The basics
    • A micro-level orientation, a close-up focus on social interactions in specific situations
    • Views society as the product of everyday interactions of individuals
  • Key elements
    • Society is nothing more than the shared reality that people construct as they interact with one another.
    • Society is a complex, ever-changing mosaic of subjective meanings.

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

who s who in the symbolic interaction paradigm
Who’s Who in the Symbolic-Interaction Paradigm
  • Max Weber
    • Understanding a setting from the people in it
  • George Herbert Mead
    • How we build personalities from social experience
  • Erving Goffman
    • Dramaturgical analysis
  • George Homans & Peter Blau
    • Social-exchange analysis

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

critical evaluation
Critical Evaluation
  • Structural-Functional
    • Too broad, ignores inequalities of social class, race & gender, focuses on stability at the expense of conflict
  • Social-Conflict
    • Too broad, ignores how shared values and mutual interdependence unify society, pursues political goals
  • Symbolic-Interaction
    • Ignores larger social structures, effects of culture, factors such as class, gender & race

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

applying the approaches the sociology of sports
Applying the Approaches: The Sociology of Sports
  • The Functions of Sports
    • A structural-functional approach directs our attention to the ways in which sports help society operate
    • Sports have functional and dysfunctional consequences

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

sports and conflict
Sports and Conflict
  • Social-conflict analysis points out that games people play reflect their social standing.
  • Sports have been oriented mostly toward males.
  • Big league sports excluded people of color for decades.
  • Sports in the United States are bound up with inequalities based on gender, race, and economic power.

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

sports as interaction
Sports as Interaction
  • Following the symbolic-interaction approach, sports are less a system than an ongoing process.
  • All three theoretical approaches—structural-functional, social-conflict, and symbolic-interaction—provide different insights into sports. None is more correct than the others.

Sociology, 12th Edition by John Macionis

Copyright  2008 Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education. All rights reserved.