Sociological approach

What is special about the way sociologists approach topics? The subject matter of sociology is quite often invisible or not directly observable.

Sociological approach

What is special about the way sociologists approach topics? The subject matter of sociology is quite often invisible or not directly observable.

However sociologists can observe the consequences of such social characteristics as group pressure, authority, prestige and culture.

They then form images of these concepts using what C Wright Mills has called the sociological imagination taking into account the influence in order to view their own society as an outsider might. What sort of questions do sociologists address? Sociologists want to understand: What are theories, concepts and propositions and how are they used?

A sociological issue as a question we seek to answer with a theory or general explanation of a social phenomenon. A concept is a category of behaviour, events or characteristics that are considered similar for the sake of theory construction.

A proposition is a statement that explains one concept by means of another. If we seek to discover why racial groups sometimes live in harmony and sometimes so not, we may use the concept of racial harmony to describe the differing ways of relating.

Questions on Sociological Approach

The behavior is defined as indicating harmony exists. We would then state our theory in propositions for example different racial groups will live in harmony in situations where enough work exists for all groups to earn a decent living.

How did the discipline of sociology develop? Sociology developed in the midst of the social and intellectual upheaval surrounding the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. Three branches of sociology grew from roots in three interest groups: Karl Marx was the first major proponent of the conflict perspective.

He believed that inequality between classes causes conflict between groups of people and that society must change in order to fulfill the needs of all the people. Auguste Comte was the French scientist who gave sociology its name and promoted the scientific study of society.

Herbert Spencer extended his work developing the idea that society was an organic whole that could be studied much like the human body- the beginnings of structural-functionalism.

Emile Durkheim also promoted sociology as a science and strucutural -functionalism as a perspective with his emphasis on social facts explaining other social facts -for example in his classic study ,Suicide.

George Herbert Mead focused on how we use symbols, including language and how our use of symbols influences our social dev elopement and social life.

Sociological approach

What are the basic concepts of structural - functionalism, the conflict approach and symbolic Interactionism? Structural-functionalism assumes that order is dominant in society and that social arrangements arise and persist because they serve society and its members well.

The conflict approach assumes the dominant process in society is conflict and that society divides into two groups the masses and small elite who exploit them.

The symbolic - interaction perspective assumes that the important action in society takes place around the use of symbols that channel our thoughts and thereby define what is socially comprehensible and incomprehensible.

Practitioners of this approach often focus on interaction among individuals in contrast to the other perspective which tend to look more at social institutions.

What are the contributions of Mills, Collins, Parsons, Davis, Thomas and Goffman to the development of these theories? C Wright Mills effectively promoted a general conflict perspective in the US focusing on social class differences and introducing the concept of power elite, a tiny minority of government, military and business figures believed to control the US.

Randal Collins is one of the most articulate voices today from that perspective and he developed a formal theory of conflict applicable to all levels o society, especially analyzing the inequalities in the American educational system.

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Kingsley Davis is a major contemporary proponent of this structural-functionalism perspective and he analyses wealth and poverty from this viewpoint.

Erving Goffman has served as a major contemporary spokesperson for the symbolic interaction perspective and he describes how people present themselves in everyday life in order to manage the impression they give to others.

What is the scientific method and how can it be applied to the study of sociology? The scientific method involves eight basic steps: What are the advantages and disadvantages of the survey method, analysis of existing sources, observational study and experimental research in the study of sociology?

A survey is a research method in which a representative sample of a population is asked to respond to questions. In principle every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected so the survey should give an accurate representation of the views of a population. However people may try to answer questions as they think the survey interviewer wants them to biasing the results of the research.

Analysis of existing sources is a research technique in which the researcher uses existing documents that were created for some other purpose.A silly example, but one that illustrates this concept: You cannot call something a tomato sauce if it does not include tomatoes — because tomatoes are a central, essential ingredient (‘teaching‘ or ‘doctrine‘) of tomato sauce.

A sauce that is made with apples instead of tomatoes but is sold as ‘tomato sauce’ is a ‘cult of tomato sauce’, because it rejects one of the.

Sociological imagination: The application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions. Someone using the sociological imagination "thinks himself away" from the familiar routines of daily life.

Another way of describing sociological imagination is the understanding that social outcomes are based on what we do.

Chapter The Sociological Approach to Social Problems by Jennifer Copp on Prezi

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A sociological approach in functionalism is the consideration of the relationship between the functions of smaller parts and the functions of the whole. Functionalism has received criticism for neglecting the negative functions of an event such as divorce.

The Sociological Approach to Literary Criticism A person who examines a text closely, looking for deeper meaning and insights, is called a literary critic.

Three Major Perspectives in Sociology