Last but not least, I would like to give examples and give my point of view on the word sociology, such as what does it mean to me! First, I would like to define and explain what sociology means to me! Sociology explores people and society. It examines our social institutions; our families, the state and social relationships like gender and ethnicity, to help make sense of how we both see and interpret our rapidly changing world. Sociology examines how our behavior individually and in groups is influenced by social processes and what that means.
Vushaj SOC 150-05 September 6, 2013 Writing assignment #1 Sociology is the study of society and social interaction. Sociology takes a broad approach at helping one understand how people interact in different societies. On the contrary, other social sciences look deeper into specific areas of society, rather than society as a whole. Classical sociologists Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, each contributed to the scientific study of sociology. Marx believed that societies grew and changed due to struggles of different social classes.
In this assignment, I am going to briefly explore the definitions of Functionalism and Feminism and how their ideologies affect our contemporary societies. In doing so I will give examples that expand upon the definitions and illustrate that such ideologies are evident and still have an impact on the society we live in. FUNCTIONALISM 1) The theory of design that the form of a thing should be determined by its use. 2) Any doctrine that stresses people. (Sourced form the Dictionary) Functionalism is a sociological paradigm that originally attempted to explain social institutions as collective means to fill individual biological needs.
The aim of sociological research is to establish causal explanations of social behaviour and the functions of social facts, this means if you can find the causes of negative behaviour, you can eliminate it and better the human condition. Durkheim’s theory on social facts is based on the belief that sociology can be treated like the natural sciences i.e. that laws and trends can be established that apply to everyone. The answer to this question depends on your interpretation of the term ‘science’ and your sociological perspective. According to Parsons, society is based on a value consensus, which is a set of agreed goals, values and roles that standardise and determine behaviour.
The social action approach, argues that individuals experience the social world by interpreting their actions and interactions with others and the meaning they assign to social phenomena. The starting point for understanding society should be the individual as they are authors of their own ideas. Emphasis should be given to how shared meanings develop and how these influence the way individuals define, act and react to their environment. Opposing the social action approach are the structural theories. Structural theories such as functionalism and Marxism are macro (large scale), and deterministic: they see society as a real thing existing over and above us, shaping our ideas and behaviour – individuals are like puppets, manipulated by society.
Sociological Positivism vs. Social Constructionism Social phenomena exist and deserve explanation. Sociological Positivism and Social Constructionism are two differing social theories that seek to explain the cause of social phenomena. Although these theories are often in direct discourse, they are both highly accepted and are used frequently. Sociological Positivism was first theorized my Auguste Comte. It is described by Structural Anthropologist Edmund Leach as follows: "Positivism is the view that serious scientific inquiry should not search for ultimate causes deriving from some outside source but must confine itself to the study of relations existing between facts which are directly accessible to observation.
However, this functionalists approach is criticised by action theorists, as they argue that individuals create society through their interactions. Unlike other functionalists, Parsons argues that individuals are integrated through socialisation and social order. He sees some similarities between society and a biological organism i.e. body parts are inter-related, so is society, as different institutions assist in socialisation. However, over socialization, as Durkheim argues, could be a motive to suicide as individual tends to put others before themselves.
-The basic determinants of human behavior, including criminality, may be passed on from generation to generation. -Much of human conduct is fundamentally rooted in instinctive behavioral responses characteristic of biological organisms everywhere. -The biological roots of human conduct have become increasingly disguised as modern symbolic forms of indirect expressive behavior and have replaced more primitive and direct ones. -At least some human behavior is the result of biological propensities inherited from more primitive developmental stages in the evolutionary process. -The interplay between heredity, biology, and the social environment provides the nexus for any realistic consideration of crime causation.
Nature is our DNA/genes. It is all about the biological factors that affect development. Nurture is how we are brought up. It is all about the socioeconomic and environmental factors which affect development. Historically, some philosophers and theorists have argued that we are born to be the way we are.
A theory is a set of interrelated propositions or principles designed to answer a question or explain a particular phenomenon; it provides us with a perspective. Sociological theories help us to explain and predict the social world in which we live. This paper discusses the three perspectives of Sociology; functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactionism perspectives. Thus, comparing and contrasting these different perspectives with one another by giving background and example. The pioneering European sociologists offered a broad conceptualization of the fundamentals of society and its workings.