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Sociology: Then and Now Chapter 1 Section 2
The Development of Sociology • Sociology is a relatively new science. • Sociology, a separate academic discipline dedicated to the analysis of society, did not develop until the late 1800 s. • Several political, social, and economic changes led to the development of sociology.
Factors that led to Development of Sociology 1. Industrial Revolution • rapid social and political changes took place in Europe • rural farms and cottage industries gave way to an economy based on large-scale production • factories replaced the home as the main site for manufacturing
Factors that led to Development of Sociology 1. urban population explosion produced many social problems • people seeking work outpaced available jobs • housing shortages developed • crime increased • pollution became a major problem
Auguste Comte • French philosopher • founder of sociology, coined the word “sociology” • first person to apply the methods of the physical sciences to the study of society • focused on social order and social change
Harriet Martineau • British writer • conducted early sociological studies in Britain and the U. S. • advocate of the idea that scholars should try to improve society, not just study it • best known for translating Comte’s works into English
Karl Marx • German writer editor • believed that the structure of society is influenced by how its economy is organized
Herbert Spencer • English civil engineer • adopted a biological model of society • believed that society is a set of interdependent parts that work together to maintain the system over time • social Darwinism • coined the phrase “survival of the fittest”
Emile Durkheim • French professor • believed that sociologists should focus on observable social phenomena • influential in the development of the functionalist perspective • studied suicide rates in several European countries, the first true sociological study
Max Weber • German professor • developed the concept of the ideal type • believed that society should attempt to understand the meanings that individuals attach to their actions • influenced the development of the interactionist perspective • Verstehen is the empathetic understanding of the meanings others attach to their actions.
Jane Addams • American social worker • thought that analyzing social problems was the first step to solving them • created Hull House, a settlement house that provided assistance for the poor
W. E. B. Du Bois • American writer • used community studies to underscore the significance of race in American society • believed that sociologists should be involved in social reform as well as academic study
Current Perspectives • In an effort to explain the social world, sociologists develop theories, or explanations of the relationship among particular phenomena. • Sociologists also adopt broad theoretical perspectives to provide a foundation for their inquiries. • A theoretical perspective, or a school of thought, is a general set of assumptions about the nature of things.
Current Perspectives • Functionalist Perspective – views society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system • Conflict Perspective – Interested in how those who possess more power in society exercise control over those with less power • Interactionist Perspective – focuses on how individuals interact with one another in society in everyday situations
Functionalist Perspective 1. A society is a relatively integrated whole. 1. A society tends to seek relative stability. 1. Most aspects of a society contribute to the society’s well-being and survival. 1. A society rests on the consensus of its members.
Functionalism • A function is the positive consequence that an element of society has for the maintenance of a society. – manifest functions are intended and recognized – latent functions are unintended and unrecognized • A dysfunction is the negative consequence that an element of society has on a society.
Conflict Perspective 1. A society experiences inconsistency and conflict everywhere. 1. A society is continually subjected to change. 1. A society involves the constraint and coercion of some members by others.
Functionalist vs. Conflict Perspective • The assumptions behind the functionalist perspective and the conflict perspective are the reverse of each other. • Functionalists see a basic agreement on values within a society. • The conflict perspective focuses on the disagreements among various groups in a society or between societies.
Interactionist Perspective 1. People’s interpretations of symbols are based on the meanings they learn from others. 1. People base their interaction on their interpretations of symbols. 1. Symbols permit people to have internal conversations. Thus, they can gear their interaction to the behavior that they think others expect of them and the behavior they expect of others.
Symbolic Interactionism • A symbol is something chosen to represent something else. – It may be an object, a word, a gesture, a facial expression, a sound. • A symbol is something observable that often represents something unobservable, something abstract. – The American flag is used as a symbol of the U. S. • Those who create and use the symbols assign the meanings to them.