Consensus Theories Flashcards Preview

Higher Sociology > Consensus Theories > Flashcards

Flashcards in Consensus Theories Deck (65):
1

Common sense Views:
Naturalistic explanations

-these explanations assume that natural( and sometimes god given) reasons for behaviour can be identified
"its only natural that 2 people should fall in love, get married, live together and raise a family."

2

Common sense Views:
Individualistic explanations

- an explanation that tries to explain a situation solely in terms of the individual or persons involved in it
- no attempt to understand the situation in terms of wider social forces

3

Sociological explanations

-explanations that attempt to explain social behaviour in terms of wider social forces, processes and structures
-use evidence from objective research to support these explanations

4

Common sense Views:

-based on personal opinion
-may be individual or naturalistic
-is subjective and sees only from their own point of view
-does not acknowledge bias- carries notions of being factual and true

5

Sociological explanations

-based on particular theories which have been tested through research
-challenges taken for granted assumptions
-attempts to be objective and see the whole picture
-acknowledges bias and attempts to be value free when formulating theories

6

Structural Theories

-believe our behaviour is largely structured by the society that we live in and we have little free will

-examine how the structures of society( family, education, economy, government) influence individuals

Consensus theories= functionalism
Conflict theories= Marxism, feminism

7

Action Theories

-believe that people are "actors" and powerful in shaping their world
-social action is a result of individual or group action
-society is made up of the individuals that live in it
-analyses society in terms of the individuals and groups that live in it
-looks at meaning and interpretation

8

Consensus theories

-assumption there is a certain pattern to behaviour
-explanation of behaviour through the notion of social structure
-biological analogy to explain theories
-believe there is a value consensus in society

-claim that societies could not survive without a degree of generally held beliefs and values

9

Consensus theories:
Strengths

-looks at society as a whole
-refers to social structure when analysing behaviour
-good at explaining persistence of social phenomena

10

Consensus theories:
Weaknesses

-ignores individual or group interaction
-finds it difficult to explain conflict and change
-makes assumptions about value consensus ( not everyone agrees with values)

11

Conflict theories

- claim that such(value) consensus only exists on a surface level and that societies are in fact characterised by fundamental conflicts of power, interest and wealth

-conflict theorists tend to view society as having an infrastructure and aa superstructure
-do acknowledge the interdependence of social institutions but do not see relations between institutions as harmonious
-argue that values are imposed by powerful groups in society
interested in explaining society in terms of causes and development
-stresses conflict, struggle and change

12

Consensus theory

-view society as being made up of social institutions all dependent on each other and are important for maintaining order in society
-stress the necessity for co-operation and harmony between social institutions
-consider there to be a functional unity between the different social institutions
-argue that there is a value consensus that holds social institutions and society together
-explain everything in terms of the function it performs in society, especially the way it keeps the social system in good order
-EMPHASISES HARMONY,INTEGRATION AND STABILITY

13

Conflict theory:
Strengths

-looks at society as a whole
-recognises power interests of different groups
-good at explaining conflict and changes

14

Conflict theory:
Weaknesses

-finds it difficult to explain persistence of certain phenomena
-individual and small group plays a little part in these type of explanations

15

Feminism Theories:
Marxist

-concerned with dominance of men and patriarchal nature of capitalism
-believe that women are exploited by men and capitalism
- the disadvantages position of women is seen to be a result of the emergence of private property and their lack of ownership
Bourgeosie=rich proletariat = poor
- society uses capitalism to keep the rich rich and the poor poor
-false class consciousness = poor do not realise they're being exploited

16

Feminism Theories:
Marxist
Strengths

-clear evidence of inequality
-structuralist approach
-emphasises the importance of the economy unlike functionalism
-less extreme than other forms
-believe in equality

17

Feminism Theories:
Radical

-concerned with revolutionary overthrow of patriarchy
-says that inequalities exist because of biology/ patriarchy

18

Feminism Theories:
Radical
Strengths

-clear evidence that there is inequalities

19

Feminism Theories:
Radical
Weaknesses

-ignores the progress women have made in many areas e.g work, controlling fertility, divorce

20

Feminism Theories:
Liberal

-concerned with equal rights for men and women
-less radical
-wider audience
-more diplomatic

21

Feminism Theories:
Liberal
Strengths

-played an important role in highlighting inequalities between men and women
-believes in equality unlike other groups
-considered more accessible than radical, so gained more support

22

Feminism Theories:
Liberal
Weaknesses

-overly optimistic and overly analytical
-ignores the fact that there may be a deep rooted reason for women oppression
-ethnocentric= it only really reflects the experiences of whit, middle class women

23

Feminism Theories:
Black

-believes that feminism derives from white female perspective
-believes that black women are doubly disadvantages as they suffer from both racism and sexism

24

Feminism Theories:
Black
Strengths

-identifies issues in other forms of feminism
-reminds mainstream feminists of the importance of difference

25

Feminism Theories:
Black
Weakneses

-can be accused of emphasising one race/ethnicity
-they fail to address the oppression faced by all races of women

26

Feminism Theories:
Features

need to raise gender issues
- dominance of male stream society
-desire to balance the social issues to reflect the fact that half of the pop. is female

27

Feminism Theories:
Strengths

-political movement and an academic theory=greatly raised awareness of gender issues
-given women a voice and achieved many legal changes (right to vote/divorce/abortion etc)

28

Feminism Theories:
Weaknesses

-may be ignoring wider factors such as social class
-ignores social categories such as ethnicity
-overlooks the oppression and exploitation of some men= men are more likely to lose children in child custody battles

29

Action theories:
Strengths

-takes account of the human agency
-good at explaining small scale interaction
-important in explaining the meaning and motives attached to social behaviour and the interpretation of social behaviour by others

30

Action theories:
Weaknesses

-analysis tends to be of individuals or groups thereby overlooking wider social factors
-tends to lack historical perspective
-emphasises meaning without necessarily investigating the origins of meaning
-can be seen as subjective

31

Functionalism

-society is a social system based on a value consensus
society has basic needs that must be met to survive
-the need for social order and harmony is very important

32

Functionalism:
Strengths

macro = looks at society as a whole
-refers ro social structure when analysing social behaviour

33

Functionalism:
Weaknesses

-ignores individual or group interaction
-finds it difficult to explain conflict and change
-makes assumptions about value consensus

34

Marxist theory:
Weaknesses

-seen as economically deterministic= everything revolves around money
=ignores the role of women in society
=society doesn't always operate in the interests of the ruling class

35

Action Theories:
Symbolic Interactionism

-Symbolic interactionism is a school of thought in sociology that explains social behavior in terms of how people interact with each other via symbols.
-Mead believed that one's self develops through social interactions. Moreover, how people communicate and interact with each other depends on how they interpret factors such as language, actions, and statuses (potential symbols).

36

Action Theories:
Symbolic Interactionism
Strengths

-gives an insight into small scale interaction
-Sees humans as active, creative participants who construct their social world, not as passive, conforming objects of socialisation
-Considers the social environment in which learning takes place.

37

Action Theories:
Symbolic Interactionism
Weaknesses

-Symbols may be interpreted incorrectly or differently among different groups of people.
-It can be difficult to quantify things in Symbolic Interactionism
-Overestimates the power of individuals to create their own realities, ignoring the extent to which humans inhabit a world not of their own making

38

Action Theories:
Weberian theory

-individuals and their actions matter. the world is as it is because of social action
-wanted to achieve an understanding of subjectively meaningful human action
-society must recognise the part played by individuals who have the power to act freely

39

Action Theories:
Weberian theory
Strengths

-provided a bridge between structural and action theories
-loks beyond the individual level of analysis when studying social action

40

Action Theories:
Weberian theory
Weaknesses

-assumption that humans consciously interpret the meanings and interpret the meaning and intentions behind the action of themselves and others
-could be seen as subjective
information gained from individuals may be difficult to analyse and generalise to society as a whole

41

Quantitative Methods
NUMERICAL DATA

Questionnaires
Structured interviews
Official statistics

42

Qualitative Methods
OPINION BASED (PEOPLE FEELINGS/EXPERIENCES)

Participant observation
unstructured interviews
case studies

43

Validity

-does it measure what its supposed to measure

44

Reliability

-other researches should be able to carry out the research and get the same info

45

Questionnaires

list of questions the respondent should answer

46

Questionnaires:
Adv

-reliable and easy to quantify
-sent to large numbers of people cheaply, so the sample size can be increased without spending too much
-not time consuming/ easy to organise

47

Questionnaires:
Disadv

-few people complete and return them
-respondent may not understand the questions and misinterpret it/ completely ignore it
-asking in person is better= but it is v time consuming
=census = compulsory return= may result in prosecution if not returned

48

Structured interview

face to face interview with set questions
primary source

49

Structured interview
Adv

-good response rate
-easy to quantify
-respondent can ask for clarification if they do not understand = more reliable

50

Structured interview
Disadv

-can be expensive= face to face
-time consuming
-respondent cannot expand on answers
-people may not answer honestly

51

Official statistics

statistics collected by gov,police, NHS,
secondary data
used to analyse social behaviour

52

Official statistics
Adv

-good for quantitative studies
-saves the researcher time as they don't need to collect the data
- low cost

53

Official statistics
Disadv

-may be biased beach of the way the info was collected= researcher has no control over this
-people may lie in official statistics- e.g it is estimated that 1 million people didn't complete the census in 1991
-may be difficult to compare statistics between 2 time periods

54

Non - participant observation

primary source
researcher observes the social behaviour of others
records what he/she sees at the time or immediately afterwards
researches has to interpret what they see

55

Non - participant observation
Adv

-good for describing natural behaviour= the person being observed is unaware of the researchers presence
-good for gaining an in depth picture of social behaviour

56

Non - participant observation
Disadv

-needs a high input of time by the researcher
-costs are high = needs to be present
-difficult to qualify behaviour
-no way of checking details or exploring issues further
-may be a bait of researcher sees
-ethical considerations

57

Participant observations

primary source
researcher becomes a participant in the group they want to observe
researcher presence will be unknown

58

Participant observations
Adv

-gives an in-depth picture of social behaviour
-gives a realistic picture of social behaviour
-goof at exploring meaning,feelings interactions and processes

59

Participant observations
Disadv

-high involvement of researchers time
-costs are high= always present
-can be bias
-hawthorne effect= presence of researcher may alter the way people act
-can be dangerous
-difficult to quantify results and generalise results

60

Unstructured interviews

primary source
open questions
researches has a lot of broad topics/general areas to cover

61

Unstructured interviews
Adv

-allows the researcher to explore issues in an in depth way
-researcher is not restricted to pre set questions
-respondent can elaborate answers

62

Unstructured interviews
Disadv

-can lose track of purpose and gain irrelevant information
-can be difficult to quantify results
-time consuming+ high costs = involvement

63

Case studies

involves systematic and in depth examination of a single event or case over time
carried out to gain specific info and understanding rather than to test a hypothesis

64

Case studies
Adv

-allows in depth analysis and understanding of particular cases
-may generate ideas and hypotheses for future research
-my compliment the use of other methods such as interviews

65

Case studies
Disadv

-very time consuming/ demanding
-info may only be applicable to case under investigation
-may be difficult to collate info
-may be difficult to quantify