M3. Explain why conformity and obedience are important in the public services, with reference to research studies. Conformity and obedience are forms of social influence which strongly affect our behaviour is social situations, from following fashions and unwritten social norms which organise our behaviour, to committing immoral acts because we are commanded to by someone who appears to be in a position of authority. This essay looks at the similarities and differences between the three, looking specifically at the factors that influence each two. Conformity within a group entails members changing their attitudes and beliefs in order to match those of others within the group.
It follows that specific agglomerations of ‘reality’ and ‘knowledge’ pertain to specific social contexts, and that these relationships will have to be included in an adequate sociological analysis of these contexts.” (p15) Berger and Luckmann believe that the sociology of knowledge should be concerned with a society’s criteria of knowledge and how this is developed. Their postpositivist stance is clearly laid out when they write of how members of society arrange their world view around their ‘here and now’, both originating and maintaining their ideas of reality and knowledge from their own thoughts and actions (and other significants in their life) rather than anything truly objective. The world of everyday life is not only taken for granted as reality by the ordinary members of society in the subjectively meaningful conduct of their lives. It is a world that originates in their thoughts and actions, and is maintained as real by these. (p 33) Berger and Luckmann believe that semiotics or signification is the primary means by which human beings categorise their subjective view of the world.
Sociology differs from social psychology because sociology specifically looks at the different social behaviors and the surrounding influences at more of a broader view. Sociologists look at and their interests are with the institution and also the different cultures that influence how people behave. Psychologists or researchers use many different scientific methods to conduct their research in social psychology. Some examples of these methods are; descriptive research- shows what may already exist within a group.
Why do they stand by in a group and watch an individual be beaten rather than step up to help? These are the questions that have been researched by social psychologists and we will discuss some of the answers to these questions. We will begin by examining what some of the foundational concepts behind the way people interact are from a social psychology point of view. Communication is a key concept behind how people interact with each other. There are two major forms of communication, verbal and nonverbal.
What contributed to the “crisis in social psychology” and what was the outcome? Social psychology is a blend between the discipline of psychology and sociology. Usually, within a psychological field a researcher would look at the individual; cognitions, emotions and attitudes, compared to a sociological perspective of people in groups or crowds; demography, the impact of society on them and social inequalities. Social psychology aims to combine these two, the relationship between the individual and society as a whole. Allport, in an attempt to define social psychology said it scientifically tried to explain the cognitions of the individual (for example behaviours) and how they are “influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of human beings” (Allport, 1954).
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the functionalist approach to society...(33 marks) Functionalism is a macro, consensus theory. They see human behaviour as being influenced by social forces, because it is a macro-scale approach is therefore seen as a strength as it allows functionalist sociologists to observe society, and its institutions, as a whole. Functionalists argue that, individuals are socialised into a shared value which is also known as a value consensus to ensure conformity and social order. However, this functionalists approach is criticised by action theorists, as they argue that individuals create society through their interactions. Marxists may argue that these norms and beliefs are all in interest of the Bourgeoisie and they can prevent or make change by ideological manipulation or force.
Social psychologist observe human behavior and significance of influence by outside sources such as people, society, environment, and culture. Social psychologist focus on facts that underline human behavior in social settings and how individuals’ conduct him or herself under various conditions, thus, leading to behavior, actions, and feelings. According to Mcleod (2007), “Topics examined in social psychology include: the self-concept, social cognition, attribution theory, social influence, group processes, prejudice and discrimination, interpersonal processes, aggression, attitudes and stereotypes” (para. 3). Social Psychology
Sociologists carry out their research from a number of theoretical perspectives, and depending on the views they adopt they will have different ideas about the nature of social problems and know how to solve them. Early positivist and functionalist sociologists, such as Comte and Durkheim, would argue that sociology was a science and would discover both the cause of social problems and scientifically based solutions to them. Both positivist and functionalists see social policies beneficial to society as a whole, and contribute to it running smoothly. For example, educational policies help to promote equal opportunity and reduce class boundaries. However Marxists would argue that social problems such as underachievement are simply aspects of a wider structure of class inequality, and unlike functionalists, they do not see the state and its policies beneficial to all members of society.
Although positivists prefer taking objective social facts into account, it is evident that they are subjective in the source of data they will use, or are bound to use. Interactionalists, on the other hand consider that the reality of social behaviour is to be found when individuals interact and create their own social experiences. They seek meaning, and probe into the beliefs of individuals acting together in groups. Interactionalists use qualitative data. This data deals with the quality of human experience.
Common sense views tend to reflect social traditions and conventions and therefore tend to reinforce the status quo and resist social change. Conflict approaches in sociology raise serious questions about the status quo and call for social change. 3. Common sense views tend to be historically and culturally specific and are often based on stereotypical images. Interactionist / social action theories recognize that social life is socially constructed and relative to time and place.