Examining The Social World Essay

2467 words - 10 pages

Chapter 2 – Examining the Social
World: How Do We Know?
Ballantine, Roberts, and Korgen. Our Social World: Condensed, Fourth Edition. © 2015 SAGE Publications

The Development of Sociology
• Social thought before sociology: strongly influenced
by religion and philosophy
• Modern sociology arose in 19th century Europe,
influenced by several conditions:
– Colonialism: exposure to other cultures
– Industrial Revolution & French Revolution: desire to know
how dramatic change could be systematically explained
– Advances in the natural sciences: desire to apply scientific
method to the social world

Ballantine, Roberts, and Korgen. Our Social World: Condensed, Fourth Edition. © ...view middle of the document...

Ballantine, Roberts, and Korgen. Our Social World: Condensed, Fourth Edition. © 2015 SAGE Publications

Empirical Research & Social Theory
Theory & research are interdependent
• Theories are statements regarding how facts are related
to each other
– Sociological theories attempt to explain and make predictions
about the social world

• The researcher’s choice of theory and research method is
guided by the research question and level of social
• Theories tell researchers what kinds of facts to look for
• Researchers use facts to test theories

Ballantine, Roberts, and Korgen. Our Social World: Condensed, Fourth Edition. © 2015 SAGE Publications

Sociology’s Major Theoretical Perspectives
Theoretical perspective: a basic view of society
• Guides sociological research and analysis

• Provides an overall approach to understanding social
behavior, social systems, and relationships between
• Can be micro- or macro-level; all can be used at the

Ballantine, Roberts, and Korgen. Our Social World: Condensed, Fourth Edition. © 2015 SAGE Publications

Micro-to-Meso Level Theories
Symbolic interaction theory

(or social construction, interpretative theory)
• Main ideas:

– People interact on the basis of shared symbols to construct a
meaningful world—which then serves as a basis for further
– Some emphasize agency, individuals’ active role in constructing
their social environments, or how their social positions shape
their constructions

• Main criticisms:

– Neglects macro-structures
– Difficult to study concepts like “mind” and “self”
• Key theorists: George H. Mead, the Iowa School

Ballantine, Roberts, and Korgen. Our Social World: Condensed, Fourth Edition. © 2015 SAGE Publications

Micro-to-Meso Level Theories
Rational choice theory
(or exchange theory)
• Main ideas:

– People act by making rational, self-interested decisions
that will maximize their rewards and minimize costs

• Main criticisms:
– Neglects macro-level processes and micro-level, internal
mental processes
– Cannot easily explain altruistic behavior
– People do not always act rationally or accurately assess
their self-interest
Ballantine, Roberts, and Korgen. Our Social World: Condensed, Fourth Edition. © 2015 SAGE Publications

Meso- and Macro-Level Theories
Structural-functional theory
(or functional theory)
• Main ideas:

– Each part of society has a necessary function
– Parts fit together into a stable, orderly whole
– Functions may be manifest (planned) or latent
(unintended); some things may be dysfunctional

• Main criticisms:

Some claims are abstract, difficult to test
Can’t easily explain social change
Assumes conflict is harmful, which isn’t always true
Assumes stability is good, ignoring inequities
• Key theorists: Comte, Durkheim, Merton

Ballantine, Roberts, and Korgen. Our Social World: Condensed, Fourth Edition. © 2015 SAGE...

Other Essays Like Examining the Social World

Sociological Theories Examining the Effects of the Media to the Development of Modern Society

1409 words - 6 pages relationships that make up human society, thus human beings interact with one another and what they do depends on others, this therefore means that to socialise with others, knowledge is needed and basically this type of knowledge is what we view as “common-sense”(Coser ,L.A and Rosenberg,1976).Let us therefore look at the main explanation and limitations of ‘common-sense’ explanations of the social world because it will enable us to understand the

Examining a Business Failure Essay

876 words - 4 pages Examining a Business Failure University of Phoenix LDR/531 – Organizational Leadership On July 19, 2002 WorldCom the number two long distance provider filed the largest bankruptcy ever in U.S. history with its $41 billion dollar debt load, and more than $107 billion dollars in assets. WorldCom’s profits began to decrease in 1999 when businesses reduced budgets on telecom services and equipment. Bernie Ebbers the former CEO of WorldCom

Examining a Business Failure

994 words - 4 pages LDR 531 May 16, 2011 Mary McDonald Abstract In 1983, the company that would become WorldCom started in a small town in Mississippi. Twenty years, billions of dollars, and numerous mergers and acquisitions later, WorldCom filed for bankruptcy protection after a large scale accounting scandal was discovered and the CEO, Bernie Ebbers, drove the company in a tailspin. His unethical business dealings led to over 5100 people losing their jobs

Test File as a Means of Examining Social Policies in Northumbria University Sophomores

1407 words - 6 pages Leave hair everywhere chew iPad power cord stare at ceiling for stand in front of the computer screen or hunt anything that moves, yet leave dead animals as gifts stare at ceiling. Under the bed hide when guests come over so run in circles chew iPad power cord why must they do that. Cat snacks stick butt in face mark territory give attitude. All of a sudden go crazy. Intently stare at the same spot. Intently stare at the same spot mark territory

Sociology Intro

659 words - 3 pages . (Rich, poor, genders, executives, and faculty. • Sociological perspectives can show us patterns -of clothes people decide to wear. • By examining patterns scientifically we can predict human behavior and understand how society guides and shapes our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. : People’s attitudes and behaviors in the contexts of social forces and institutional arrangements that shape men. C.Mills Wright sociologist developed this

Bus100 Quiz3

658 words - 3 pages starting point for examining ethical standards. Correct Answer: provides a starting point for examining ethical standards. Question 18 In the business world, social responsibility refers to: Answer Selected Answer: the obligation of a business organization to contribute to society. Correct Answer: the obligation of a business organization to contribute to society. Question 19 A unifying written document that

Conduct Disorder

666 words - 3 pages another research method used by many social psychologists to help explain behavior. Experimental research is one of the best methods to use when conducting research. They can be more precise than the other two methods in explaining or examining cause and effect relationships between or even multiple variables. There will be a control group that does not receive any type of manipulation and another group who will be subject to the independent

Hum 176 Wk 4 Assignment

631 words - 3 pages Examining the Use of Social Media: Option 1 Question 1: What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media? Social media is a popular and powerful media form that attracts a widespread audience. These days, it seems that most everyone has a social network site account (and often numerous accounts). Social media is extremely popular with both individual users and with businesses. There are many benefits to social media use

Globalization and the Art Market

628 words - 3 pages of social relations and consciousness across world-time and world-space” (Steger). In other words, globalization applies to an arrangement of social procedures that seems to change our present social state of debilitating nationality into one of globalist. In the book of Globalization, Steger defines globalization as a “social process through the shifting of human interactions by reaching the goal of globality.” He then explained that by

Campbell and Fiske

1245 words - 5 pages single methodology. The multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) matrix is an approach for the examination of Construct Validity. It was developed by Campbell and Fiske (1959). According to Campbell and Fiske, there are six major considerations when examining a construct's validity through the MTMM matrix. The six considerations are as follows. The first consideration is the evaluation of convergent validity, which is used to design tests that measures and

Social Ecology

1651 words - 7 pages What to do about it/ What is our role as social beings -Supportive vs. dominant -Independent vs. Interdependent -destination vs. journey -self vs. whole -reality (we are nature) -our ability to adapt -empathy and compassion CONCLUSION: Can’t deny we are here and therefore have a place. We are not separate but a part of nature. “Be one with the world (totally cheesy, but fitting)” Human society can be so much more than the oppression of others, but

Related Papers

Examining Government Regulations Essay

858 words - 4 pages Examining Government Regulations The American Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George H. Bush on July 26, 1990 to protect the civil rights of disabled individuals in regards to their employment, public transportation, and access to public establishments (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, 2012). In regards to employment for individuals living with disabilities, the

Examining Business Failure Essay

1073 words - 5 pages Examining Business Failure Examining Business Failure PaperUniversity of PhoenixFebruary 20, 2010Linda ArtisSuccess of WorldCom and EbberBernie Ebber, CEO and founder of WorldCom, entered the telecommunications industry in Mississippi in 1983, by founding LDDS. Success would soon pay off for him as he grew the company through acquisitions and in 1995, changed the company's name from LDDS to WorldCom. In 1998, WorldCom purchased MCI for $37

Examining A Business Failure Essay

1265 words - 6 pages Examining a Business Failure G. L. Ivie University of Phoenix Organizational Leadership LDR/531 Rodney Walton, M B A. March 18, 2012 Examining a Business Failure This paper is a brief examination into how different variables both dependent and independent in relation to various theories of organizational behavior played a significant role in the failure of the once profitable and prominent Swiss Air Airline company. It provides

Examining Government Regulations Essay

800 words - 4 pages Examining Government Regulations Student Name HSM/210 Date Instructor Name Living with any type of disability can be difficult; however, the deaf population in America faces a unique challenge when trying to pursue the American dream: finding a job. Upon researching contemporary problems within the United States, it was discovered that gaining and keeping employment among the estimated one million functionally deaf individuals in America