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Pitt SOC 0010 - Sociological Theory

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Sociological Theory- Theory: an abstract proposition that both explains the social world and makes predictions about future events- Can and do change over time because theories seek to explain society, which itself also changes over time- Sociological Family Tree- Auguste Comte- Coined the term “sociology”- Positivism: the only way we can know something is observing it through the senses (to see, hear, smell etc.)- Reponses to the other types of knowing things (reasoning, proofs, religious understandings etc.) because we can speculate but through the senses is how we know - Social Physics: his way of explaining his positivism idea - Harriet Martineau- English journalist and political economist- Profoundly shaped by American inequality - Developed the perspective that US was fundamentally flawed because of slavery and inequality of woman - Most known for English translation of Comte’s work - Because womans ideas were devalued (because they were thought tobe less intellegent) so because she was a woman and he was a man- Herbert Spencer - First great English speaking sociologist - Survival of the fittest- Known as social Darwinism before Darwin made it famous - The era of the 1800s is referred to as sociologys classical period because it marked the beginning of sociology as a discipline and the work done in this period forms a foundation for all the sociological work that followed- Huge societal transformation- Emile Durkheim - Establish sociology as a discipline - Mechanical Solidarity: agrarian, pre-modern societies- Comes from shared beliefs and values - Argued that social bonds exist in all types of societies even though the types of bonds could be different - Argued that industrial/modern societies were held together by Industrial Societies (ex. Modern cities)- Created interdependence as a result of division of labor: we all do different things/division of labor and we all depends on one another because we can’t do everything and that’s what holds together modern industrial societies - Most famous for his study of suicide - Found that there’s a pattern- Modern we think its more of an individual thing but its not - The more connected someone is to others the less likely they will be to commit suicide - Social factors play a role - Functionalism - society is more than the sum of its parts- Public ritual - Put people together by belief system - Karl Marx- German philosopher and political activist- Conflict Theory- Conflicting ideologies and eventually the dominant one will knock off the subordinate one- Lived during industrial Revolution - Emergence of capitalism while he is studying - His writing and thinking is based on the reaction of capitalism coming about - Believed that capitalism was created class conflict and that is was aninevitable outcome and that it was creating social inequality - Between bourgeoisie who owned the means of production (money, factories, natural resources, land) and the proletariat, who are the workers - Historical Materialism: “it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but on the contrary, it is their social existence which determines their consciousness…”- Whichever social class you’re in would determine how you think about things and how you view the world - Max Weber- Power, prestige and property - Interested in the shift from traditional society to the modern industrial society - Depend on one another because we have similar beliefs - Rationalization: the application of economic logic to all human activity (supply and demand) he saw this as problematic and this was happening because of the development of Bureaucracies (university)- Rules and regulations that are supposed to be different from the rules and all of the people - Disenchantment: Inevitable result of the dehumanizing of people in bureaucracies because all humans are equal under the rule - Facebook/atms where you don’t interact with humans - American Sociology- “Chicago school” - Essential turning point in the development of sociology in the US- Chicago thinkers- Charles Horton cooley- George Herbert mead- W.I. Thomas- W.E.B. DuBois- Said the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line - Double consciousness: always looking at oneself through the eyes of others  in a society where African Americans are seen as less important, one of the outcomes is that African Americans have to both see themselves as the wider society sees them and how they see themselves - Important founder of US sociology - African American so he’s left out when talking about founders - Jane Addams- Uses the city of Chicago and how its developing as a lab - Behavior of people is shaped by social and physical environments - Microsociology- Local interactional context- Face to face encounters- Observation and interviews- Macrosociology - Large parts of society- Usually statistical


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