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Sociological theories

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أستاذ المادة عبد المهدي عبد الرضا حسن الشحماني       22/03/2020 06:14:41
Sociological theories
Functionalist perspective
Conflict perspective
Interaction perspective
Post modern perspective
Founders of the functionalist perspective :
August Comte (1798-1857)
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)

August Comte (1798-1857) "father of sociology"
The science about society
social physics
Comte invented the term sociology
Evolutionist
Positivist
Comtes positivism
Comte s views of the three stages of the history of sciences. In order as follows, the stages are:

Theological - nature has a will of it s own. This stage is broken down into three stages of its own, including animismروحانية, polytheismشرك, and monotheismالتوحيد.

Metaphysical state - though substituting ideas for a personal will.
Positive - a search for absolute knowledge.
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
Englishman
Evolutionist – “survival of the fittest”
Optimist
Laissez-faire liberalism
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)
Frenchman
Evolutionist
Division of labour
Study of suicide
“Anomy”
Statistics applied in sociology

Functionalism
Society is a combination of different parts/institutions such as:
Family, religion, economy and educational system
These institutions secure the evolution and growth of society
The characteristics of society
Well planned uniformity
Stability and equilibrium between different parts
Consensus of the main values
Every institution has a function which helps society to remain stable
What is, is good – “natural selection” of good institutions/functions
Functionalistic research questions?
Mapping, describing and analysing
The positive functions
The institutions
(The dysfunctions)
Assignmentمهمة
Mention all main parts/institutions which you believe are the brick stones of society. How do these parts work together in creating societies equilibrium?
What are the main weaknesses of the functionalist perspective in describing society?
Is it politically biased? If, then how?
Conflict نزاع perspective
Founders?
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
German revolutionist philosopher, sociologist and economist
Friedrich Engels (1820-1895)
German socialist philosopher

Marxism
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...”
Dialecticجدلية
Class struggleصراع
National economy
Socialismاشتراكية
Communismشيوعية
Conflict perspective in modern sociology
Not only focusing on class struggle as Marx did, but on the overall power structure in society, such as conflicts between different groups of interests
Producers and consumers, employers and employed, Muslims and Christians, teachers and students, parents and kids, personality and culture
Conflict causes social change
In every society there are conflicts; conflict is the driving force of social change

Conflict does not necessary mean violence, rather tension, competitionمنافسة or disagreement about objectives and values, conflict of interests

Research questions?
Mapping of power-relations
Someone is making benefit of the situation at the expense of someone else
How can we dissolve the conflict? Can there be a win-winفوز solution?

Conflict vs. functionalist perspective
The conflict paradigm highlights parts of society where functionalists usually do not focus on
The weakness of the conflict paradigmنموذج is that they miss the consensus- and balance in society
Assignment

The conflict paradigm presupposes that resources and power are limited, which in turn, creates tension and conflicts between different groups.
Investigate some relationships within the school from the viewpoint of conflict theories, for example the relationship between teachers and students, or between school-board and students, or between pastime تسلية and studies.

Assignment
The functionalist paradigm presupposes that every part of society has a (positive) function.
Investigate some relationships within the school from the viewpoint of functionalist perspective, for example the relationship between teachers and students, or between school-board and students, or between pastime and studies.

Interaction perspective

Max Weber (1860-1920)
Verstehen
Understanding the meaning of human action
Thought to be characteristic of the social sciences opposed to the natural sciences
Identifies different kinds of authorities
Traditional
Charismatic
Rational
Ideal types
Institutionalised social action
Iron cage
Interaction perspective/founders
George Herbert Mead (1880-1949)
Symbolic interaction
Human behaviour has a deeper symbolic meaning
Humans learn the meaning of social behaviour, by socialisation
Erving Goffman (1922- )
Role theory
Objectivity/impartialityنزاهة
Is objectivity possible in (social) sciences?
Scientists have consciousness formed by their personal experience, they live in a certain culture, place and time, they have their personal interests
Is objectivity desirable in science?

Postmodernism/post structuralism
Michel Foucault (1926-1984)
History of madness and medicine
History of sexuality
The Archaeology of Knowledge
Deconstruction
Discourse/discourse analysis
Plurality of knowledge and method
Power and knowledge; Relativism


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