Mar15-17 Week of Notes
Mar15-17 Week of Notes soc 2083
Arkansas Tech University
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Krista Lindenberg on Friday March 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to soc 2083 at Arkansas Tech University taught by dr. huss in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see history of social theory in Sociology at Arkansas Tech University.
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Date Created: 03/18/16
Tuesday, March, 15, 2016 Parsons (1920s) Mister Sociology in America Symbolic Interactionism and Functionalism Researches economic theories and where they come from. I.e. (Durkheim & Weber). He reads these dudes for fun. Such fancy. Much wow. Established school of functionalism; if it exists in society, it must serve some function. Poverty, police brutality, racism, sexism, ableism…. super functional. Gained traction because it was appealing from a cultural perspective; aligned with people’s belief in a just world Final analysis: by 1980s, there was no more functionalists because of critical theorists that pointed out the irrationality of the core of functionalism. He wanted to be the MacDaddy of sociology, pulling everyone before him that he agreed with underneath his umbrella. He is the sounding board from which we develop better theories. Parsons wants to go after Marx, saying he got something wrong. Why is there consensus when everything is rooted in conflict? Parsons, in his critique of Marx, attempted to make it better. Parsons described a white picket fence world while Marx drew the world with photorealism. Rational = you’re out for yourself, trying to maximize profit. Benefits – costs = profit Weber says fundamental flaw in economics is that we don’t always engage in rational behavior. Weber says we are inherently nonrational. Hitmen are rational homicidal people. Most crime is nonrational. Rational crime is very rare. Rational = circular; rational is as rational does. Parsons is trying to find a new way to understand behavior Meaningful social interaction Parsons starts off sounding like a Symbolic Interactionist Four Assumptions of meaningful social action Theories should be logically consistent, concise, and deductive. It is the only way you raise questions about society. Bottom up theories do us no good. True subject matter of sociology: volunteeristic social action; meaningful and voluntary; we choose to act and it is not always rational, but it will be meaningful in the context. Focus on structure of relationships and interactions; they emerge from volunteeristic social action. The structure is normative and in operation to maintain social order. We can’t reduce human behavior to psychological OR biological phenomenon. Crime is a moving target, it changes. Our biology doesn’t. This leaves uniquely sociological factors the situation. Parsons liked economic theories, but didn’t like utilitarianism. He didn’t want to focus just on the individual. He was interested in how individuals come together. He says if we focus too much on the individual, we will become positivistic… He wanted volunteeristic social action to be the foundation. Volunteeristic Social Action Actor (person engaging in behavior) End (future social event) Some situations can be altered by the actor and some can’t. There are conditions on the situation affecting our means to the end. The degree to which the situation can be changed can be measured by normative conditions in operation. When you reduce behavior to an individual, you miss out on the social character of the situation. Actors are capable of volunteeristic social action in relation to Goals they attempt to achieve through Choices amongst alternative means which depend on Norms, values, beliefs, which orient choices of both Action is set with a context of biological/environmental constraints which constitute limits to choice of achieving ends. March 17, 2016 No class.