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Flashcards in Prelim Deck (199)
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1

Common sense Views
NATURALISTIC

explanations assume that "natural" and god given reasons for behaviour can be identified
-it is only natural that 2 people should fall in love, get married, live together and have children

2

Common sense Views
INDIVIDUALISTIC

an explanation that tries to explain a situation solely in terms of the individual or persons involved in it
- no attempt to understand it 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
- uses evidence from objective research to support these explanations

4

CS vs S

CS= people may divorce because they don't love each other anymore
S= may look at divorce rates over time and consider laws that have made divorce either

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

Consensus theories:
Strengths

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

11

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)

12

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

13

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

14

Conflict theory:
Strengths

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

Feminism Theories:
Radical

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

19

Feminism Theories:
Radical
Strengths

-clear evidence that there is inequalities

20

Feminism Theories:
Radical
Weaknesses

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

21

Feminism Theories:
Liberal

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

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

Feminism Theories:
Black
Strengths

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

26

Feminism Theories:
Black
Weakneses

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

27

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

28

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)

29

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

30

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