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Sociological Perspective part two

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PART 2

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Sociological Perspective part two

  1. 1. Conflict/Functionalist Theories KARL MARX EMILE DURKHEIM
  2. 2. CONFLICT THEORY • Begins with Marx and his analysis of history • Thesis/antithesis = struggle (conflict)
  3. 3. • Synthesis = a new order is produced because of the struggle between the classes • Three stages of history: feudalism, capitalism & socialism (it was an inevitable destination!) (Many call it communism)
  4. 4. Always a struggle The materialist view of history = the most important determinant of social life is the work people are doing, especially work that results in provision of the basic necessities of life, food, clothing and shelter.
  5. 5. Power=ownership • He maintained that everything of value in society results from human labour. Thus, Marx saw working men and women as engaged in making society, in creating the conditions for their own existence. • Every part of human history and existence must be understood through the lens of social/economic theory • All relationships are based on conflict/struggle • Who has the power? Who wants it? Who owns the resources?
  6. 6. Only 1 institution: private property • The central institution of capitalist society is private property, the system by which capital (that is, money, machines, tools, factories, and other material objects used in production) is controlled by a small minority of the population. • This leads to two opposed classes, the owners of capital (called the bourgeoisie) and the workers (called the proletariat), whose only property is their own labour time, which they have to sell to the capitalists.
  7. 7. • Economic exploitation leads directly to political oppression, as owners make use of their economic power to gain control of the state and turn it into a servant of bourgeois economic interests. • Police power, for instance, is used to enforce property rights and guarantee unfair contracts between capitalist and worker.
  8. 8. Oppression is everywhere! • The economic structure of society moulds the superstructure, including ideas (e.g., morality, ideologies, art, and literature) and the social institutions that support the class structure of society (e.g., the state, the educational system, the family, and religious institutions). • What do you think? Is school oppressive?
  9. 9. Functionalist theory / Durkheim • First theory in sociology • Two fundamentals: • 1- application of scientific method (sociologists must be objective & without bias) • 2- institutions fulfill basic human needs and all groups play a role in achieving equilibrium
  10. 10. Balance, equilibrium, stability • Key words for functionalism • Think of any system that must co-ordinate its parts for survival (body & organs) • A social system with needs that must be met • When change in one group happens, other groups must adjust, adapt, respond...to accommodate for the change, finding the equilibrium again - Homeostasis • HOMOEOSTASIS IS THE KEY WORD HERE
  11. 11. A society is • A system of inter-related “parts” • A change in one affects the others • Most changes are the result of “evolution” or natural progression of ideas and social change • Durkheim was influenced by Darwin`s work • Functionalism focuses on the individual and how social forces influence him (Macro perspective)
  12. 12. The social self • Functionalism understands the individual to be a product of social forces in the environment • Almost puppet-like (has been the criticism) • The individual`s place in the social structure will determine their actions
  13. 13. • Functionalist want to PREDICT behavior • This explains the emphasis on the scientific method • Shared values (solidarity) is key to group cohesiveness • Example: laws, rules, constitutions are an explicit expression of supreme values (justice, freedom) that are held in common by a group/society
  14. 14. • Functionalism is a macro approach to studying society; it defines society as a system of interrelated parts. • A good metaphor is the body with its interrelated organs that all work together to produce the state of health of the person. It has built in mechanisms that maintain stasis or balance. (Sweating, shivering, etc.)
  15. 15. In society, when things happen to provoke change or throw it off kilter, other mechanisms come into play to help bring back to a balance. Sometimes this new balance is slow change, in the case of people`s values changing faster than the laws or the other way around. What examples can you think of to prove this theory?
  16. 16. Capitalism and the Economy
  17. 17. Conflict + Functionalist
  18. 18. What Is Media? • Media are any formats or vehicles that carry, present, or communicate information – books, posters, Web pages, clay tablets, and radio. • Mass media refers to any form of media that reaches the mass of the people. 22
  19. 19. Political Economy of the Media • Media ownership in the United States is in the hands of six companies. • Those companies affect the information and messages communicated to the public.
  20. 20. Do Advertisers Control the Media? Advertising is the primary source of revenue for newspapers, magazines, television and radio Advertisers may exert control over the media by biasing editorial content, limiting coverage of certain issues, or influencing program content Media’s dependence on advertising for revenue makes them vulnerable to control by advertisers
  21. 21. Do Advertisers Control the Media? They must report the news fairly and accurately to retain public confidence Advertisers need the media more than the media need any one advertiser Media maintain separation between news and business departments “The Wall”
  22. 22. Sociological Perspectives : Functionalism The media gets people to go along with the ideas presented because it seems to portray the status quo or the natural order of things. In doing so, it helps reinforce values and norms. Transmission of the social heritage refers to the ability of the media to communicate values, norms, and styles across time and between groups. A television network might air a violent police drama with the aim of entertaining, but the actual function served for the audience might be learning how to solve conflicts.
  23. 23. Sociological Perspectives: Conflict From a Marxist viewpoint, status-symbol chocolate advertising exemplifies how “commodity fetishism” helps maintain capitalism. Such advertising legitimizes the elite class by reinforcing the image of upper-class superiority and by presenting the luxurious lifestyle as something to aspire to. Can you give me some other examples? 27 Godiva promotes the idea that consumers of their chocolates are somehow “higher class” and more “tasteful” than people who do not consume them. As a result, their chocolates have a higher exchange value than the everyday, $1 chocolates meant for middle and lower-class consumers. Can you say “Starbucks?”
  24. 24. Sociological Perspectives: Symbolic Interactionism • The media uses symbols of happiness and success to attempt to affect an abstract social structure. For instance, companies no longer try to sell their products – they instead try to sell a lifestyle. • Customers believe that if they acquire the product, their lifestyle will change. Examples? 28
  25. 25. Social and Cultural Consequences Does advertising encourage materialism? Does advertising make people buy things they don’t need? Is advertising just a reflection of society?
  26. 26. Advertising and Stereotyping Portrayal of women to reflect their changing role in society Portrayal of women as sex objects Ethnic stereotyping/ representation Gender stereotyping Sexual orientation Criticisms of Advertising With Regard to Stereotyping
  27. 27. What is your opinion of this ad? Is this woman portrayed as a sex object? Does this ad contain cues that are sexually suggestive? Does this ad present an image of sexual submissiveness?
  28. 28. Working in America • Workers are more productive than ever, yet job insecurity is high. • As a result, many people are working longer hours, especially people at higher income levels, in order to prove loyalty or achieve marginal benefits.
  29. 29. Theorizing the Transition to Capitalism • Karl Marx – stated that capitalism created alienation in workers— including alienation from the products they produced, from the production process, from other workers, and from themselves and their creative tendencies – predicted both that capitalism would ultimately destroy itself and that the working class would rise against the capitalist class, leading to a period first of socialism and then of communism
  30. 30. Figure 14.4 Champagne-Glass Distribution You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
  31. 31. Recent Changes in Capitalism • In society today, people actually earn less money (relative to the cost of living) compared to the early 1900s. This is because: – Only men were “supposed to” work. – Men were paid enough to provide for the whole family. – Unfortunately, the higher wage was at the cost of women’s freedom and autonomy.
  32. 32. 40% Of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage
  33. 33. Recent Changes in Capitalism • Compared to other industrialized countries and some developing countries, Americans work longer hours and have fewer vacation benefits and less generous family leave policies. • Even when generous benefits are available, workers often do not take advantage of them, which suggests that work is central in the lives of Americans.
  34. 34. Figure 14.3 Annual Vacation Days and Holidays Worldwide You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
  35. 35. Recent Changes in Capitalism Conflict – Functionalist – Symbolic Interaction perspectives Globalization refers to the processes that create and intensify worldwide social exchanges and interdependencies. – creates an increase in trade and economic exchanges – magnifies the division between the world’s rich and poor
  36. 36. The Reign of the Corporation • A corporation is a juristic person — an entity that has all the legal rights, duties, and responsibilities of a person, although their primary goal is generally pursuit of profit.
  37. 37. The Reign of the Corporation This model raises concerns about – corporate ethics – environmental responsibility – fair wages
  38. 38. The Reign of the Corporation To fight for workers’ rights, workers sometimes form a union - a collective organization that unites for the purpose of collective bargaining.

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