The first step is to see the connection between oneself and the history his or her society is based around. It also is important to question how ones society is and is not different than other societies. The second question is regarding the understanding of how ones society fits into the bigger picture of history and how that human history influences the current societal organization. The third question links the first two questions by asking how the structures have directly influenced the individual and shaped their personality and morals. It is important to have a sociological imagination because it helps one to further question actions and thoughts in order to see what causes them and ultimately is a good framework to examine the social world.
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.
Social Structure and Social Interaction This essay will examine and discuss the importance of social structure and social interaction, in the shaping of individual identity and determine if there is one that has more influence than the other. To answer this question effectively it is necessary to understand both elements and the role they play in defining our identity. When sociologists undertake sociological analysis, there are two levels social structure is the macro sociological viewpoint and social interaction is micro sociological aspect. Social structure as described by Henslin, Possamai, and Possamai-Inesdy (2011) is the influence of traditional behavior which configures a group, such as the interactions between males and females, or doctors and patients. Steven E. Barkan wrote in Sociology: Comprehensive Edition (v.1.0), the foremost areas of social structure is positions, roles we have in our community, community systems, groups and associations.
In this article an attempt is made to define the theory focusing on the structure of society as it has originally been equated to the human body. In the human body the individual organs each perform a function, together these functions make a system and the systems function as the body. The interdependence of the structures within society is alluded to with particular emphasis on the consensus that should exist for the establishment and maintenance of equilibrium in society. The equilibrium will be achieved through evolutionary change which implies a gradual and non confrontational process. An account is given of the application of the theory and how the various structures within society functions for the good and benefit of the whole as well as a reflection on the relevance of the theory in modern society.
Vygotski believed development results directly from social interactions. Vygotshi thought social interaction was affected by culture and language and vise versa culture and language were affected by social interaction. All three affected each other and thus affecte a person’s development. Also they both view language as important in knowledge construction and again differ in how it works. Vygotski believed external speech is the precursor of internalized private speech, self talk that guides thinking and action.
Structure versus Agency is a major sociological key debate, it attempts to explain how a society is created and where our place as human being is, but also how we fit in it. Does the society we live in determines our lives? What determines our individual behaviour, social structures or human agency? The human behaviour and the interactions between humans in a society are the major topics in sociology. Although the question that sociologist ask themselves are the same, their answers and theories can be completely opposite.
By understanding the concepts of the each theories a person can see how they can affect the social institution, such as the family, differently and can present a more much better understanding of the concepts as they apply to reality. What are the Sociological theories? Functionalism, the Conflict Theory, and Interactionism comprise the three main sociological theories. These theories affect the way people think and perceive the world around them. As a result, the development, nature and understanding of different social institutions, including the family, health-care systems, religion, education, media, politics and economy, are determined or affected by these three social theories.
Mills interpreted the Sociological Imagination as “the vivid awareness of the relationship between experience and the wider society” (Mills, 1959). However, in order to become aware of the connection between our personal background and the wider society, we as individuals would need to activate our Sociological Imagination and detach ourselves from everyday patterns in order to gain a new perspective. We have come to infer that using ones Sociological Imagination is understanding that factors from society and societies of our past contribute to the way our family, friends, and neighbours may behave. Different societies in various parts of the world differ in forms of government, cuisines, dress and ways of entertainment. These life styles present in dissimilar societies world wide can be explained by looking and studying the conditions, resources and ways of thinking that have been used in the past , which were gradually passed down to future generations, becoming the traditions and customs we see today.
There are two major aspects in regards to the sociological perspective, the first being interaction between social structure and an individual and the idea of two levels of analysis. When it comes to the interaction of social structure and the individual, sociologists tend to concentrate not so much on the characteristics of an individuals behavior but rather on the precedents that are collective amongst individuals in regards to society and groups around them. The key to grasping sociology comes from the inevitability and repetition, which are seen in customary social behaviors throughout society and individuals. Social structures are socially embodied in the actions, thoughts, beliefs, and long-lasting temperaments of individual human beings. The typical being often has a
However, whereas iconological analysis aims to understand what social conventions and ideological goals stand behind given visual motifs, social semiotics aims to systematically reveal conventions in order to promote social change. Social semioticians claim that “the signs of articulation” found in texts form the basis for later articulations of the same ideological discourses into other texts. This is because they are immediately available for perception and interpretation by others, who are then likely to re-articulate them into a variety of texts and by means of various semiotic modes. Being able to systematically analyze texts, then, allows not only to renegotiate meanings that would be otherwise re-articulated “as fixed, irrevocable and natural” (Iedema, 2001, p. 201), but also to use resource inventories as tools for design promoting social change (Jewitt & Oyama, 2001). Social semioticians see all semiotic action as social action, as embedded in larger economic and cultural practices and power relations.