Sociological Perspective: Introduction, Plural and Sociological Perspectives

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Introduction

  • The ways of looking at the society
  • The view varies with experiences of individuals as members of society
  • Difference between social nature of individuals and common-sense way of looking at things
  • Social perspective not the same as natural perspective

Plural Perspectives

  • Society is plural
  • Multidimensional
  • Various concepts exhibited by various groups and individuals
  • Deep insightful study required
  • Validation is required

Why Validation?

  • Society is coherent, logical, and systematical
  • Study should be in the same way
  • To create a baseline
  • Upon this, research can be repeated

Sociological Perspectives

  • C. Wright Mills referred to the sociological perspective as the intersection of biography and history
  • An approach to understanding human behavior by placing it within its broader social context.
  • Functionalist
  • Marxist
  • Interactionist
  • Feminist
  • Post-modernist

Functionalism

  • Socialization and social integration for social stability
  • Social institutions perform functions to help ensure social stability.
  • Slow social change is desirable
  • Rapid social change threatens social order

Conflict Theory

  • Pervasive inequality based on
    • Social class,
    • Race,
    • Gender, etc.
  • Far-reaching social change in order to eliminate social inequality
  • Aim to create an egalitarian society

Symbolic Interactionism

  • People construct their roles as they interact
  • Not only which society teaches them during socialization
  • Individuals create their definitions of the situations
  • Socially construct the reality of these situations based on experiences
  • Rely on symbols like conversations and gestures to reach - shared understanding of the interaction

Feminist

  • ‘Whenever women were subordinated, they have subordinated always and everywhere’
  • Recognised the situation and protested as a counter
  • 1780s – rise of feminist literature and activity, revolutions
  • Early 20th century- women suffrage, civic reforms
  • Marianne Weber, Florence Kelley, Jane Addams some women sociologists
  • The works were translated by men according to their own perspective of society and gender
  • History of male response to feminist claims

Post-Modernist

  • Succeeded modernity
  • New ways of thinking for new kind of world
  • World of simulation
  • Hyper-reality
  • Reject grand narratives of classical theories
  • Prefer limited or no explanations
  • Focus on peripheral aspects of society not the core aspects
  • Post-modern society – implosive and flattening reproductive technology (television)

MCQ

Q. 1. According to who, the sociological imagination involves the ability to recognize that private troubles are rooted in public issues and structural problems?

i. C. Wright Mills

ii. Spencer

iii. Blumer

iv. Comte

Answer: i. C. Wright Mills

Q. 2. Which sociological perspective prefers interdisciplinary studies with integration and argues against boundaries?

i. Conflict

ii. Feminist

iii. Post-modern

iv. None of these

Answer: iii. Post-modern

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