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Chapter 2 Sociology’s Family Tree: Theories and Theorists

Chapter 2 Sociology’s Family Tree: Theories and Theorists

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Chapter 2 Sociology’s Family Tree: Theories and Theorists

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  1. Chapter 2 Sociology’s Family Tree:Theories and Theorists

  2. What is Theory? • Plausible explanation • Cause-and-effect • Among observed phenomenon

  3. What is Theory? • Common-sense theories • Everyone creates theories • Make sense of world

  4. Common Sense Theories • Examples: • How to make friends? • How to succeed in college? • How to get a job?

  5. Sociological Theories Not just how things happen, but • Why?

  6. Theory • Vital to making sense of social life • Facts make sense because we interpret them using • Categories • Assumptions

  7. Categories • Class of people or things • Particular shared characteristics

  8. Assumptions Beliefs we hold to be true • Often with little or no evidence

  9. Assumptions About Human Nature • Selfish or Selfless • Aggressive or Compassionate • Competitive or Cooperative • Basic needs: • Food / Water • Companionship • Perception of control

  10. Formal Sociological Theory • Assumptions and categories explicit • Open to examination • Scrutiny, and • Reformulation

  11. Sociological Theories • Explain social world • Make predictions->Future

  12. Sociological theory • Where did it come from? • Theories and theorists • Current theoretical approaches • Sociology as science

  13. Where did it come from? • 18th & 19th century • New system of production: • Industrial revolution • Capitalism • Colonialism

  14. 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

  15. Auguste Comte (1798–1857)

  16. Theories and theorists • Auguste Comte • Coined term “Sociology” (1839) • Also called “Social Physics” • Assumption: • Society=Organism • Categories: • Social Statics • Social Dynamics

  17. Theorist: Auguste Comte • Sociology-> Similar to biology • Groundwork-future sociologists • Helped build the discipline

  18. Harriet Martineau(1802-1876) Categories: • Gender • Politics • Race Assumptions: • Equality • Belief in science

  19. 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

  20. Theorist: Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cxfbq4evdTY The Greatest Individual of the 19th Century

  21. ***Theorist: Herbert Spencer • Categories: • “Fit” and “Unfit” • Men and Women • Rich and Poor

  22. Theorist: Herbert Spencer • Assumptions: • Society=Organism • Societiesadapt to changing environment • “Survival of the Fittest”

  23. Theorist: Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)

  24. Theorist: Emile Durkheim • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXQqMyMIAhI • Sociology->Academic discipline • Taught courses • Research—”Suicide”

  25. Theorist: Emile Durkheim • Categories: • Social facts (Material & Non-material) • Types of social solidarity • Mechanical solidarity—Similarities • Organic solidarity—Differences

  26. Theorist: Emile Durkheim • Assumptions: • Society studied as science • Social factors hold society together

  27. Karl Marx (1818-1883)

  28. Theorist: Karl Marx • German philosopher • Political activist • Contributed to Conflict Theory

  29. Theorist: Karl Marx • Categories: • Social Class • Proletariat • Bourgeoisie • Modes of Production

  30. Theorist: Karl Marx Assumptions • Humans want to work • Humans are creative • Humans are social • Society is shaped by “mode of production”

  31. 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

  32. Max Weber (1864-1920)

  33. Theorist: Max Weber • Categories: • Types of societies • Traditional • Modern industrial • Social Class • Class • Status • Party

  34. Theorist: Max Weber • Assumptions: • Modern societies-> Dehumanizing • Increasing bureaucracy • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBCAlZPF0D0&feature=related • Social institutions=“Ironcage”

  35. Theorist: W.E.B. Du Bois(1868-1963)

  36. Theorist: W.E.B. Du Bois • Categories: • Race • African American perspective: “double consciousness” • Education • Industrial • Higher

  37. Theorist: W.E.B. Du Bois • Assumptions: • History influences self • “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”

  38. Modern Schools of Thought Structural Functionalism • Society as: • Stable • Ordered system • Interrelated parts

  39. Structural Functionalism • Social institutions: • Family • Education • Politics • Economy • Meets need of society • Function

  40. Conflict Theory • Social conflict basis: • Of society and • Social change • Source of Conflict: • Inequality

  41. Conflict theory • Conflict and tension • Basic to social life • Disagreements over goals & values • Sources of Conflict • Scarce resources • Power

  42. Conflict theory • Focus: • Dominance • Competition • Social change

  43. Conflict theory • Materialist • Labor and Economic reality 2.Critical-> existing arrangements • Dynamichistorical change • Inevitable

  44. Symbolic Interactionism • Interaction • Symbols • Shared meaning • Social creation of reality

  45. Feminist Theory • Gender inequalities • Nature • Source • Gender structures social world • Remedies to inequalities

  46. Queer Theory • Sexual identity is social construct • No sexual category fundamentally deviant or normal

  47. Postmodernist Theory • Social reality is: • Diverse • Changing • No truth, reason, right, order, or stability • Everything is relative & temporary

  48. Theory in Everyday Life

  49. Case Study Focus of Analysis Perspective Level of Analysis Theory in Everyday Life