Chapter 03 - Social Theories Making Sense of Abstract Theories Sociological theories are the core and underlying strength of the discipline. They guide researchers in their studies.
History of sociology The field of sociology itself—and sociological theory by extension—is relatively new. Both date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
The drastic social changes of that period, such as industrializationurbanizationand the rise of democratic states caused particularly Western thinkers to become aware of society.
The oldest sociological theories deal with broad historical processes relating to these changes. Since then, sociological theories have come to encompass most aspects of societyincluding communitiesorganizations and relationships.
Sociological theory attempts to answer the following three questions: In the myriad attempts to answer these questions, three predominately theoretical i. These problems are largely inherited from the classical theoretical traditions. The consensus on the central theoretical problems is: The first deals with knowledge, the second with agency, and the last with time.
Lastly, sociological theory often grapples with the problem of integrating or transcending the divide between micro, meso and macro-scale social phenomena, which is a subset of all three central problems.
These problems are not altogether empirical problems, rather they are epistemological: Objectivity and subjectivity[ edit ] Main articles: Objectivity scienceObjectivity philosophyand Subjectivity The problem of subjectivity and objectivity can be divided into a concern over the general possibilities of social actions, and, on the other hand the specific problem of social scientific knowledge.
In the former, the subjective is often equated though not necessarily with the individual, and the individual's intentions and interpretations of the objective. The objective is often considered any public or external action or outcome, on up to society writ large.
A primary question for social theorists, is how knowledge reproduces along the chain of subjective-objective-subjective, that is to say: While, historically, qualitative methods have attempted to tease out subjective interpretations, quantitative survey methods also attempt to capture individual subjectivities.
Also, some qualitative methods take a radical approach to objective description in situ. The latter concern with scientific knowledge results from the fact that a sociologist is part of the very object they seek to explain.
Bourdieu puts this problem rather succinctly: How can the sociologist effect in practice this radical doubting which is indispensable for bracketing all the presuppositions inherent in the fact that she is a social being, that she is therefore socialized and led to feel "like a fish in water" within that social world whose structures she has internalized?
How can she prevent the social world itself from carrying out the construction of the object, in a sense, through her, through these unself-conscious operations or operations unaware of themselves of which she is the apparent subject — Pierre Bourdieu, "The Problem of Reflexive Sociology" in An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology  Structure and agency[ edit ] Main article: Structure and agency Structure and agency, sometimes referred to as determinism versus voluntarism,  form an enduring ontological debate in social theory: Discussions over the primacy of either structure and agency relate to the core of sociological epistemology "What is the social world made of?
Synchrony and diachrony[ edit ] Synchrony and diachrony, or statics and dynamics, within social theory are terms that refer to a distinction emerging out of the work of Levi-Strauss who inherited it from the linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure.
Diachrony, on the other hand, attempts to analyze dynamic sequences. Following Saussure, synchrony would refer to social phenomena as a static concept like a language, while diachrony would refer to unfolding processes like actual speech.
In Anthony Giddens' introduction to Central Problems in Social Theory, he states that, "in order to show the interdependence of action and structure In terms of sociology, historical sociology is often better positioned to analyze social life as diachronic, while survey research takes a snapshot of social life and is thus better equipped to understand social life as synchronic.
Some argue that the synchrony of social structure is a methodological perspective rather than an ontological claim. Classical theoretical traditions[ edit ] The contemporary discipline of sociology is theoretically multi-paradigmatic. Utilitarianismalso known as "rational choice" or "social exchange", although often associated with economicsis an established tradition within sociological theory.
Ward and William Graham Sumner. Contemporary sociological theory retains traces of each these traditions and they are by no means mutually exclusive.
Structural functionalism A broad historical paradigm in both sociology and anthropologyfunctionalism addresses the social structure as a whole and in terms of the necessary function of its constituent elements. A common analogy popularized by Herbert Spencer is to regard norms and institutions as 'organs' that work toward the proper-functioning of the entire 'body' of society.
It is in Radcliffe-Brown's specific usage that the prefix 'structural' emerged.Writing Papers That Apply Sociological Theories or Perspectives. For those taking sociological theory classes, in particular, you need to be aware that theories are constituted by more than causal relationships.
and to focus your discussion on those aspects. A second strategy is to make sure that you relate the details of the case in an. SOCIOLOGY • Discussions; Discussion Question: Use your sociological imagination to explain family violence, as explained in the chapter. After reading the Case Study of Anita Jackson, which theory of deviant behavior do you think best explain Anita’s criminal behavior?
Could more than one theory be applied? Extra-Social Causes.
Durkheim suggested that, a priori, there are two kinds of extra-social causes sufficiently general to have an influence on the suicide schwenkreis.com, within the individual psychological constitution there might exist an inclination, normal or pathological, varying from country to country, which directly leads people to commit suicide.
Dec 17, · Do patterns of female labor force participation help explain the religious gender gap? One theory discussed in Chapter 7 on why women generally tend to be more religious than men is that, in many societies, women are less likely than men to work in the labor force, a social role that some studies find is associated with lower levels of religious commitment.
View Homework Help - W5 Discussion Sociological Theories of Deviance and Crime from SOC at Grantham University. W5 Discussion Sociological Theories of Deviance and Crime Introduction to Sociology86%(7).
Scientific Change. How do scientific theories, concepts and methods change over time? Answers to this question have historical parts and philosophical parts.