Consensus theory: institutions exist for their function in society, society adapts accordingly.
Adaption, goal attainment, integration, latency.
Moving equilibrium: institutions change in regards to societal change.
Organic analogy: issues in one part of society affect others.
Durkheim and Parsons: Evaluation:
Free will is overlooked. Some functions do not benefit everyone: poverty benefits the rich. Negatives are seen as positives as if it did not have a function, it would not exist.
Proletariat are victims of false conciousness.
Traditional institutions and values maintain social order. Family are central to this role. Nuclear family with a traditional division of labour will maintain social stability. Traditional model based on patriarchal values, men gain more. Domestic violence.
Ruling class construct values to benefit own interests. Inequality is presented as reasonable. Bourgeoisie control the means of production, proletariat work. Petit bourgeoisie: small business owners exploit on a large scale.
Pauperisation: capitalists drive down wages to increase profits.
Class consciousness: proletariat realise they are being exploited, aim to overthrow capitalism.
Economic structure: primitive communism, ancient societies, capitalism, communism.
Gramsci: choices of different classes. Concessions to the proletariat. Dual consciousness: proletariat influenced by ruling class ideology but aware of injustice.
Althusser: Economic system, political system, ideological system. RSAs and ISAs benefit capitalism.
Communism is becoming capitalism. Ignores non-class inequalities.
Reproductive rights for women. Porn and prostitution are expressions of patriarchal power and women’s oppression.
Motherhood and marriage are based on patriarchal assumptions. Political lesbianism or celibacy as alternatives.
Capitalist drive for profits leads to oppression.
Prejudice aids ruling class.
Women workers exploited more than males.
Social Action Theory:
Human behaviour is meaningful and directed towards achievement. Weber: purposeful or goal-oriented rational action, value-oriented rational action, affectual action, traditional action.
Action cannot be meaningful unless it is goal oriented.
Bureaucracies carry out rational social action. Modern societies have been rationalised.
Mead: symbolic, looking-glass self, game playing and role taking, interaction.
Goffman: the dramaturgical approach: how people perceive themselves.
Becker: power labels individuals, benefits them.
Giddens: structuration, structures make social action possible. State could not be reproduced without institution, duality of structure.
Documents, measures and practices through which individuals make sense of the world.
Disrupt settings to see how people react to uncover social norms.
Weber: scientific rationality, gradual secularisation and bureaucratisation.
Class has become fragmented and views have diffused.
Giddens: disembedding: interaction, regardless of geographical barriers, without face to face.
Beck: class is a ‘zombie’ category. Skeggs: class is still dominant. Elliott: risk can be avoided by rich.
Harvey: globalisation speeding up communication. Difficult to create a sense of identity - hybridity.
Baudrillard: consumption of superficial culture, marketing and advertising, consumerism focused on just buying items. Simulacrum - media created world.
Sociology as a Science:
Durkheim: objective social facts can be obserbed. Empiricism. Cause and effect.
Atkinson: Phenomology: data is socially created, product of human meaning.
Popper: sociology can be scientific. Hpyothetico: deductive model, developing theories, identifying hypothesis, collecting evidence then changing the theories in accordance. Allows attempts to falsify.
Kuhn: paradigm is an accepted framework of concept. Rarely challenged.
Keat and Urry: closed systems: variables can be controlled and measured.
Open systems: researcher can’t control variables.
Science assumes existence of unobservable structues.
Paradigm shift, no accepted framework.
Atkinson: all data is the product of meaning.
Douglas: elaborate conspiracy. Believe we can define social facts.
Keep values from interfering with research.
Comte: sociology has a duty to improve lives. Theological, metaphysical, scientific.
Gouldner: difficult to separate personal interests.
Weber: choice must be influenced by values, but method must not.
Affects what is being studied: resource distribution, funding, attitudes, too much opposition, economy, government ideology.
Marx: exposing injustice, equality and oppression. Policies benefit majority, disguise exploitation of proletariat.
A sociological problem: social life, requiring explanation.
Social problem: social behaviour causing public friction.