Flashcards in Lecture 17 Deck (49)
What are the two things that theory does?
Prediction and explanation.
Is theory just a guess?
No, it is acquired through repeated testing and confirmation.
Name a social science that adopts natural sciences protocol:
Are sociological theories scientific theories?
Is sociology after explanations?
No, sociologists don't explain social phenomenon. Most of what you find is about the interpretation of social phenomenon.
The kind of theorizing that is done in sociology. After conceptualizations of a more philosophical nature.
Written and spoken communication.
People who adopt this perspective are after critique of the social. Driven to seek human emancipation from oppression.
Who is driven to seek human emancipation from oppression?
Moral viewpoint/ideal. Sociologists are guided by this moral ideal. Have some idea of how the world should be and isn’t, and are interested in understanding that or giving humanity a “push” in that better direction.
Who is driven to study or "push" towards moral ideals?
Sociological theories are based around the...
Work of intellectual heroes. When talking about theories, we look for intellectual heroes. Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Foucault, etc. Not really a sound basis for explaining social phenomenon. How can we apply living in a particular socioeconomic context and transplant their ideas to a different 21st Century context? Treat their writings with reverence.
Why does sociology need theories? (2 main reasons).
* Need conceptual framework, gives individuals common language to work with.
* Way of advertising membership to subculture. Gives members identity. Recognition, familiarity. Don’t want to keep reinventing the wheel. Don’t want someone to come in and invent something that is already invented.
How is sociology fragmented?
There is no common narrative that binds all sociologists together. As a consequence of this, there are multiple theories in the sociology of deviance. Multiple theories trying to explain same phenomenon.
Give an example of how the usefulness of a sociological theory can vary:
Theory might really explain gang violence well, but may not be able to use it to explain terrorism.
Which theories dominate in sociology?
Three categories of theories in sociology:
Positivist, Interpretive, Critical.
Belief that the social sciences can be scientific like the natural sciences.
Those who are more subjective and aren’t as concerned about being scientific capture ___ and ___ theories.
How society functions. Says that the social structure of society creates deviance. Based on the assumption that each of society’s structures will fulfil a particular function that is necessary for the maintenance of social order.
How is deviance treated under the functionalist theory?
Social pathology. Deviance is sickness, society is larger organism.
Who is associated with functionalist theories?
- August Comte.
- Emile Durkheim.
- Talcott Parsons.
- Robert Merton.
- Herbert Spencer.
Functionalist theories are ___-level theories.
Focuses on societal processes.
How did Comte apply functionalist theory?
Society is a large, complex machine. Many parts of this machine keep it operational.
How idd Spencer apply functionalist theory?
Following Darwin’s work, Spencer applied this approach but used an organic analogy. Took a more biological approach. If an organ is removed, the organism dies. Deviance as a sickness. Crime, mental disorders, drug abuse, and suicide needed to be “remedied.”
What 2 major developments came from Spencer's work in changing the functionalist theory to a more biological approach?
* Medical Model of Deviance. Those who engage in deviant acts are sick. Suffering from mental illness.
* Emphasis on social structure and how deviance can break down society. How it can be dysfunctional. Emphasized how that dysfunction can lead to breakdown in institutions.
Medical Model of Deviance
Those who engage in deviant acts are sick. Suffering from mental illness.