Sociology introduction

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Sociology introduction

  1. 1. SOCIOLOGY 1Lecture Notes 1SOCIOLOGY: The scientific study of the human person and his/her social interaction with other individuals in the social group and society of which he/she is a member. It deals with systems of social actions and their interrelations. These include social acts, social organizations and institutions, communities and societies. (Inkeles, 1967) The science of society and the social interactions taking place. Body of scientific knowledge with theories based on scientific observation rather than armchair speculations. Science of society which consists of a body of related generalizations about human social behavior, guided by concepts and theories and arrived at by scientific investigations. (Landberg, Schrag, Larsen, 1958)AREAS OF SOCIOLOGY 1. SOCIAL ORGANIZATION: involves the study of social groups, social institutions, ethnic relations, social stratification, social mobility and bureaucracy. 2. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY: Studies human nature and personality as the product of group life. It also touches on the study of social attitudes and collective behavior. 3. SOCIAL CHANGE AND SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION: Study the change in culture and social relations and the attendant disruption that may occur. 4. POPULATION: This analyzes population number, composition, change and equality as they influence and are influenced by the social, economic, and political orders. 5. HUMAN ECOLOGY: Studies in this area deal with the human behavior of a given population in relation to its environment and the emergence of the spatial relations between the people and the environment. 6. SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY AND METHOD: This includes theory building and testing the applicability of the principles of group life as the bases for the prediction and control of human social environment. 7. APPLIED SOCIOLOGY: This makes use of the findings of pure sociological research on the various aspects and problems of daily life.SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION (C. Wright Mills) Is a quality of mind, a capacity to understand the interplay of people and society, biography and history, of self and the world.
  2. 2. THE THREE MAJOR SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES A. CONSENSUS OR STRUCTURAL FUNCTIONALIST THEORY Views society as made up of different parts which are interrelated and interdependent withone another. All the parts function to achieve order, stability and consequently equilibrium. Operates in the spirit of status quo preservation, conformity and obedience to establish patterns in society and mutual and interdependent life. Society as a cultural system – both something people do together and something they collectively know and believe in. Law as an integrating element: the force of law rather than the law of force is what will sustain a nation and guarantee its survival and growth. Leading Proponents: 1. Auguste Comte: Interested in the concepts and relations between orders and dynamics. Sociology involves the investigation of different laws of action and reaction or the interdependence of its parts. 2. Herbert Spencer: Introduced the concept of differentiation There is still integration and interdependence among different parts. 3. Emile Durkheim: The most important and prominent forerunner of modern functionalism Basically concerned with the details and nuances that define solidarity and order. Viewed values on the conception and importance of specific social structures and the behavior required. 4. Others: Bronislaw Malinowski, Arthur Radcliff-Brown, Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton B. CONFLICT THEORY (A Critical Sociological Theory) Considered as an acceptable and valid way to gain insight into human society. Does not recognize cooperation and unity as basis of human relationship but it primarily views groups and individuals making up society in continuing conflict with one another. It envisions culture, social institutions, social control and social policy as oppressive since they favor only the dominant groups and not the subordinate ones. Sees progress as disruptive. Society changes because of continuing class struggles.
  3. 3. Leading Proponents:1. Karl Marx (1818-1883) Believed that people possess an essential nature and interest and they believe in accordance to it. Societies emerged and developed due to the conflict and antagonisms between these interests and the groups that represent it. Revolution is a key to social change.2. Max Weber (1869-1920) Concerned with the relationship between politics and intellectual thoughts. Based on general and specific goals and values, Weber studies how people maneuver and behave in pursuing their interests.C. MICROSOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES View social realities in terms of highly specific and personal interaction between individuals and small groups in their everyday life. 1. Symbolic Interactionism (George Herbert Mead and Charles Horton Cooley) Recognizes that people relate with others with the use of socially constructed symbols. 2. Dramaturgical Model (Erving Goffman) Regards people as if they were acting like stage performers aware of their social status and they try to live up to the expectation inherent in that status. 3. Ethnomethodology: (Harold Garfinkel) Underscores the role of unwritten, hidden rules within a small group. These rules although implicit greatly govern the interaction among the members of the group. 4. Phenomenology (Alfred Schutz) Stresses the element of intersubjectivity since every person has a way of viewing a social phenomenon. Person’s interpretation of social reality is based on common sense knowledge in which the person creates construct or own abstract model of the world of everyday life.

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