Assess the Usefulness of Micro Sociology to Our Understanding of Sociology. 33 Marks

870 Words4 Pages
Many people debate about the usefulness of micro sociology to our understanding of sociology. Micro sociology focuses on the nature of everyday human social interactions on a small sale and is based on interpretative analysis. This is the bottom up approach which places emphasis on an individual and their views of society using qualitative research such as questionnaires and interviews. They believe people have free will and choice and our actions are not controlled by society. Methods of micro sociology include symbolic interactionism, phenomenology and ethnomethodology. However there is opposing argument as macro sociologists think the opposite as although they concentrate on individuals as well they also look at families and other larger groups in society in which an individual is part of. Weber a social action theorist believes people hold meanings about the world and consciously act on the basis of meaning. He saw behaviour in terms of the meanings people action to actions and classified them into four types. Instrumentally rational action is when a goal is not desirable but an induvidual still works out the best way to reach it. Value rational action is when an individual works towards a goal although doesn't know what the outcome will be. Traditional action is a routine action which is done out of habit whilst affectual action is action which is expressed by emotion. Although Weber takes into account the individual choice and focuses on understanding (meanings) when explaining a persons behaviour the four catergories are hard to apply to real situations. Also as we are our own selves and cannot put ourselves in the shoes of someone else we can never really fully understand someone's actions. Symbolic interactionism focuses on small scale interactions rather than on the social structure. It looks at coming up with meanings through social interaction and
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