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Sociology 101: WK 1, Thursday (8/25): Foundations and Research Lecture

by: Ryan Williams

Sociology 101: WK 1, Thursday (8/25): Foundations and Research Lecture SOCA 101

Marketplace > West Virginia University > Sociology > SOCA 101 > Sociology 101 WK 1 Thursday 8 25 Foundations and Research Lecture
Ryan Williams
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About this Document

Notes cover the in-class lecture and include a discussion about the three different paradigms of sociology, predominant theorists in those paradigms, and the research process. Pulled from the lectu...
Introduction to Sociology
Dr. Kristi D. Wood-Turner
Class Notes
sociology, Introduction to Sociology, sociological perspective, Culture, Theory, Research Methodologies, research, research methods
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ryan Williams on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCA 101 at West Virginia University taught by Dr. Kristi D. Wood-Turner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at West Virginia University.


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Date Created: 09/05/16
Sociology 101 WK 1, TR 8/25 Williams 1 Chapter 1 – “The Sociological Perspective” Continued Lecture Notes: • Paradigm- Theoretical framework through which scientists study the world • Major Sociological Paradigms- 1. Functional Analysis (Functionalism)- Defines society as a systemof interrelated parts  Memory key:Clapping  Macro-leveltheory  Key terms: structure, equilibrium  Core Questions: What keeps society functioningsmoothly? What are the different parts of society and how do they work together? What are the unintended/intendedconsequencesof anevent? 2. Conflict Theory- Views societyas an unequal system that brings conflict and change  Memory key: Fists  Marco-leveltheory  Key terms: inequality, power, conflict, exploitation, competition  Core Questions: How are wealth and power distributed? Are there groups that get ahead in society and why? 3. Symbolic Interactionalism- focuses on how peopleinteract with others in their everyday lives  Memory key: High-five  Micro-leveltheory  Key terms:symbols, interaction, meanings, definitions  Core Questions: How do people co-create society? Do people change their behavior from onesituation to the next? How does social interaction influence human relationships? • Micro-Level Theory- Examines social relations and interactions on an interpersonal level • Macro-Level Theory- Examines large -scale patterns andinstitutions Important FUNCTIONALIST Theorists • Auguste Comte (1798-1857)- Founder of Sociology, functionalist o Believed we should studySocial Statics- existingstructural elements of society o Emphasized discovery of Social Laws - statements of fact that are unchanging under given conditions & can be used as ground rules for society o Introduced Positivism- applying the scientific method to the social world • Herbert Spencer(1820-1903)- Second Founder of Sociology, functionalist Sociology 101 WK 1, TR 8/25 Williams 2 o Introduced Survival of the Fittest- helping the poor was wrong because it just prolonged the lifespan of those “less fit” to survive o Saw society as an organism : Government =Central Nervous s ystem = Regulatory System; Industry = Nourishment = Sustainingysstem; Transportation = Veins = Distribution system o Used Social Darwinism- strong societies survive and weak ones go extinct • Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)- Frenchsuicide guy, functionalist o Studied suicide rates, found that solidarity was key determining factor in suicide. Two extremes: Kamikaze vs the shut-in o Social Integration- the degree to which people are tied to social groups o Mechanical Solidarity- the state of community bonding in traditional societies where peopleshare beliefs and values and perform common activities o Organic Solidarity- occurs when people live in a society with a large division of labor • Talcott Parsons (1902-1979)- Functionalist o Saw society as independent but interrelated parts o If one part of society broke down, it would have repercussionsfor the entire system o Inertia of the Social System- in society, things tend to stay at rest until a force causes them to change. Thus, society finds a status quo and is unlikely to change without an event. o Ex. 9/11- Airport security was relaxed until the attack, then the whole system changed • Robert Merton (1910-2003)- Functionalist o Sought to create a Middle Range Theory- bridging the gap between macro- level theorization and micro-level theory o Understood that social realities have both intended and unintended functions- social factors that affect people in a society Criticisms of Functionalism • Doesn’t take into account how wealthand power influence society • Supports the status quo and doesn’t seek radical change Important CONFLICT Theorists • Karl Marx(1818-1883) – Capitalist oppression is the cause of human misery o German activist/theorist who analyzed Capitalism - an economic system in which private individuals own businesses & control the economy o False Consciousness-a person’s lack of understanding of their position in society o Class Consciousness-Understanding one’s position in the class system; needed to change society o Bourgeoisie- members of the capitalist class, owns the means of production Sociology 101 WK 1, TR 8/25 Williams 3 o Proletariat- members of the poor working class • Harriet Martineau(1802-1876) – Feminist o Focused on sexual inequality o Analyzed impact of slavery and women s’position in US society o Expanded the Conflict Paradigm • Jane Adams (1869-1935) – Founded Hull House o Leader in women’s suffrage o Believed thatin order to understand a population, you need to meet them where they are… this is the principle behind organizations like the Peace Corps • W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) – Father of Race Studies o Showed that p overty among black people in America was the result of racial discrimination o Capitalism and colonialism led to the inferior social position of black people in America o Double Consciousness- Black Americans live in two worlds, one white and one black • John Bellamy Foster – Capitalism = destruction of Earth o Theorized about negative effects of capitalism o Free-market capitalism grows by expanding markets, but will one day reach a point where it has either exhausted resource supply or has no more roomto expand o Creative destruction- capitalism must destroy a part of itself to continue growing;Ex. Environmental destruction and extreme poverty Criticisms of Conflict Theory • Too Radical o Centers on idea that powerful people oppress the weak o Ignores that competition can make individuals work harder o Many individuals in US are satisfied with the system Important SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM Theorists • George Herbert Mead(1863-1931) – Founder of Symbolic Interactionism o Root of society is the symbols that teach us to understandthe world o The building blocks of society start with our minds, where we interpret symbols o Self- A person ’s identity, developed when we learn to interpret symbols in interaction with others • Herbert Blumer(1900-1987) o Established 3 basic premises that define symbolic interactionism : 1. Humans behave toward things based on the meanings they ascribe to those things 2. The meanings of these things come fromthe social interaction one has with others & society Sociology 101 WK 1, TR 8/25 Williams 4 3. These meanings are handled in an interpretive process used by tp hrson dealing with the thing they encounter o Normally, people interpret others based on theirinterpretation of symbols, but behaviors are differentin a groupsetting. o Contagion- a rapid, irrational mode in which people do not think rationally or clearly. Ex. Black Friday shopping, burning couches after football games • Erving Goffman (1922-1982) – Dramaturgy o Dramaturgy- a theory of interaction inwhich all life is like acting o Impression Management- We are constantly attempting to manage the impressions that others have of us • Howard Becker– Deviance o Human action is related to the labels attached to it o A label is attached to a certain behavior when a group with powerful social status labels it as “deviant” o “Deviance” is rooted in other’s responsesto an individua’ls actions P. 12: “The Continuing Tension: Basic, Applied, and Public Sociology” • Basic Sociology- Analyzing some aspect of society with sole purpose of gaining knowledgeabout life in human group,snot for makingchangesinthose groups. • Applied Sociology- Using sociology so solve problems, clinical sociology • Public Sociology- Middle ground between research and reform applications of sociology. Analyzing problems, evaluating programs, suggesting solutionsto politicians and policy makers P. 21: “A Research Model” • 8 Steps of the Research Model 1. Selecting a Topic 2. Defining the Problem 3. Reviewing the Literature 4. Formulating a Hypothesis  Hypothesis- statement of what you expect to find according to the predictions froma theory  Variables- factors that change from one situation to another  Operational Definitions- precise ways to measure the variables 5. Choosing a Research Method  Analysis of documents, experiments, surveys, participant observation, case studies, secondaryanalysis, unobtrusive measures 6. Collecting the Data  Validity- operational definitions must measure what they are intended to measure  Reliability- if other researchersuse your operational definitions, their findings will be consistent with yours 7. Analyzing the Results 8. Sharing the Results


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