Origins of SociologyFrom Europe to the United States: The Minds Behind the Theories
Objectives• - Students will identify key ﬁgures in development of sociology.• - Students will discuss changing roles in society with "McDonaldization"
Vocabulary• positivism: the belief that knowledge should be derived from scientiﬁc observation.• social statics: the study of social stability and order• social dynamics: the study of social change• bourgeoisie: class owning the means for producing wealth• capitalist: person who owns or controls the means for producing wealth• proletariat: working class; those who labor for bourgeoise• class conﬂict: the ongoing struggle between the bourgeoise (owners) and the proletariat (working) classes• mechanical solidarity: social dependency based on a widespread consensus of values and beliefs, enforced conformity, and dependence on tradition and family• organic solidarity: social interdependency based on a high degree of specialization in roles• verstehen: understanding social behavior by putting yourself in the place of others.• rationalization: the mind-set emphasizing knowledge, reason and planning.
European Origins• Relatively new science - late 1800s • Heavily inﬂuenced by industrial revolution• Intellectuals desired to better understand changes to society as more and more people moved from the farms to factories • Lose of a sense of community
August Comte • Considered the father of sociology • Bright, challenging child - expelled from Ecole Polytechnique • Believed to for society to improve, scientiﬁc study needed to occur
Positivism• Comte wanted to use scientiﬁc observation to study social behavior • He called this positivism - should be a science on knowledge of which we can be “positive”, or sure• He also distinguished between studying social stability and order (social statics) and study of social change (social dynamics)
Harriet Martineau• British woman who translated Comte’s writing and published several books herself• Introduced many ideas about research method, political economy• Considered the pioneer in feminism; saw link between slavery and oppression of women
Herbert Spencer • Compared society to the human body • Composed of parts working together to promote its well-being and survival. • brains, stomachs, nervous systems, limbs : economies, religions, governments, families
Social Darwinism• Modeled after Darwin’s theory of evolution, Spencer thought that evolutionary social change led to progress (as long as people didn’t interfere) • Survival of the ﬁttest (for societies)• He opposed social reform: poor deserved to be poor and the rich to be rich - let evolution sort it out• Supported in America in 1882 - by corporate leaders
Karl Marx• Most concerned in class struggle in society• Predicted that all society would settle into two classes: bourgeoisie (owners of wealth) & proletariat (workers) • Owners would want to continue to gain more wealth and continue capitalist society
Class Conﬂict• The different interests of the different classes leads to constant class conﬂict• Marx predicted that eventually proletariate would rise up against bourgeoise and overtake the capitalists• Create a classless society where no one would be powerless
Emile Durkheim • French thinker who said that society exists because of broad consensus • Members of society agree to certain expectations • In pre-industrial times, consensus of values and beliefs surrounded family, tradition and conformity called mechanical solidarity
Post-Industrial Society• Change happened with industrial revolution • Organic solidarity - social interdependence based on a web of specialized roles. • These specialized roles make members of society rely on each other for goods and services
Scientiﬁc Methodology• Durkheim helped to develop research techniques to validate theories• Replace speculation with observation, collect and classify data and use that data for testing social theory• Durkheim introduced use of statistical techniques in research (suicide research)
Max Weber• Writer on a number of topics • Human beings act on the basis of their own understanding of a situation • Weber believed that sociologists must discover the personal meanings, values, beliefs and attitudes underlying human social behavior.
Verstehen• Weber’s concept of verstehen involved an understanding of the personal intentions of people in groups can be accomplished through empathy • By ‘putting yourself in someones’ shoes’, you can temporarily shed your values and see things from a different point of view
Rationalization• Weber also identiﬁed rationalization as a key inﬂuence in the change to an industrialized society• Tradition, emotion, superstition ➱ knowledge, reason and planning• Agriculture: belief in luck, fate or magic ➱ grounded science
Jane Addams • Early social reformer in America • Seeing a lot of corruption in government, she began her life’s work seeking social justice • Focused on problems caused by the imbalance of power among the social classes. • Active in women’s suffrage movement • Won Nobel Peace Prize (1931) - only sociologists to ever win.
W.E.B. DuBois• African-American educator and social activist• Analyzed social structure of black communities to address the “Negro problem” • Racial discrimination and segregation based on idea that blacks were an inferior race