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Soc 102 lecture 1

by: Freddie816

Soc 102 lecture 1 SOC 102

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Contemporary sociological theory: intro
Contemporary Sociological Theory
Class Notes
sociology, jepson, SOC 102




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Freddie816 on Tuesday March 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 102 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Jepson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 72 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Sociological Theory in Sociology at University of California - Los Angeles.


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Date Created: 03/29/16
    329/16    ● How did Sociology begin?  ○ The beginning of the 20th century (up to the end of WWI)  brought profound  changes to society   ■ Original thinkers such as Marx, Weber and Durkheim attempt to explain  these dramatic changes in what is now known as contemporary thought,  however, these thinkers were 19th century thinkers and were only able to  explain the changes that were occurring within their times and to an  extent, were unable to explain the various other changes in society such  as:  ● Internet   ● Flight  ● Automobile   ● Integration   ● Globalization   ○ The transition from traditional to modern society was not smooth or  peaceful, but was marked by upheaval and conflict (war and revolution)  i.e.:  ■ The holocaust  ■ Various civil rights movement   ■ Social relations are negotiable and can be changed  ■ Race. gender and sexuality are not destiny   ○ Social scientists view of the world (in the 20th century)   ■ Society progresses (evolves) through stages  ○ Science challenges religion   ■ Scientific (factual) explanations replace religious/supernatural  thinking   ■ However, it was not predicted that in the current era, religion  would remain strong and constant  ● There is still constant debate about science ruling over  religion and vice versa  ● Science cannot explain everything nor provide us with the  purpose of life  ● I.e­the U.S. embraces science but is the most developed  religious economy in the nation   ● Social scientists today do not believe society is evolving   ○ Thoughts on Specialization  ■ With progression, society becomes more specialized/people  know a lot about one thing rather than a range of things. I.e­ a      329/16    dermatologist who only specializes in treating your skin, cannot  be expected to perform brain surgery (that is out of his range of  knowledge and we must be referred to another specialist for this  procedure). In this way, we become more and more dependant  on others to do the things that we cannot, such as by how we hire  a plumber to fix our plumbing ( out of our expertise )  ■ Pros  ● Creates more jobs  ● Specialists are good at what they do  ● Specialists are productive  ■ Cons   ● People become more dependant on others and are unable  to perform simple tasks themselves  ● Self interest becomes the basis of relationships   ○ Organicism  ■ Organicism is the idea that society works as a system such as the  human body in which each organ functions to maintain the body  in a healthy state, similarly, each individual within society works  together to improve society (maintain health/increase productivity)  ● We all contribute to the health of society   ○ Contract replaces custom  ■ It used to be that our role was handed down generation to  generation but now, our roles are governed by legal contracts  ● Society is becoming more legalized  ● Contract societies imply expanding markets which imply  expanding self interest   ● Relationships become commodified  ○ Everything is for sale (love→ Eharmony)   ■ Contribution by Weber   ● This functions as a bureaucracy in which humans are  governed and become dependant on rules. Because of  this, humans become mindless and soulless and use rules  to justify immorality, “I was only following the rules”  ○ Society as a social construct  ■ Society is built off on ideas, customs and values, based on its  unique culture (phenomenon is culturally dependant)       329/16    ■ Each society will therefore have its own definition of different  phenomenon, such as gender, class and race  ● Each of these concepts varies from culture to culture and  from time to time (depends on time and place)  ○ Each of these is negotiable   ○ Individualism  ■ Our society/culture today emphasizes the individual/individual  gain  ● We are not only isolated but are given too much freedom  ● Too much freedom leads to anomie (loss of norms)   ○ Society fails to adequately integrate the individual  


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