A2 Sociology Theory Basics

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  • Sociology A2: Theory
    • Functionalism (consensus theory)
      • Society = system with interconnected  parts
      • Durkheim: people are constrained by social facts. Society needs a collective consceience to function
      • Parsons: ALL societies need a value consensus based upon shared goals
        • 4 basics needs..       1)Adaptation    2) Goal Attainment     3) Integration  4) Pattern maintenance
      • A02: Confuses cause and effect (teleological) & Ignores diversity & too deterministic
    • Marxism (conflict theory)
      • Capitalism would increase human misery eventually leading to a classless society - communism
        • Tools of capitalism include: materialism, competition, alienation
      • Proletariat (working classes) and the bourgeoisie (elite) are diametrically opposed
        • ie. P wants wages while B wants profit
      • the working class suffer from a false class conscienceness
      • Religion and family are social opium to dull the pain of opression
      • A02: Most communist regime collapsed in 1990s & too economically deterministc & ignores gender and ethnicity
    • Feminism (conflict)
      • Liberal
        • Huge achievements include: right to vote, Divorce Act 1969, Abortion Act, iinspired all other strands of feminism
        • Radical
          • Male heating
            • 3 claims: 1)Patriarchy is universal 2)Men are the enem 3)All men benefit from women's opression
              • 3 solutions: 1)separation 2)conscience raising 3)political lesbianism
            • Concept of "personal is political"
          • Black/Marxist
            • women and dually opresed
              • Marxism: Patriarchy is a product of capitalism (Engles)
              • Brewer: class, race and gender combine to create multiple sources of deprivation
      • Radical
        • Male heating
          • 3 claims: 1)Patriarchy is universal 2)Men are the enem 3)All men benefit from women's opression
            • 3 solutions: 1)separation 2)conscience raising 3)political lesbianism
          • Concept of "personal is political"
        • Black/Marxist
          • women and dually opresed
            • Marxism: Patriarchy is a product of capitalism (Engles)
            • Brewer: class, race and gender combine to create multiple sources of deprivation
      • A02: Post-modernists claims that women are a hegemonous group ie every situation is different and cannot be explained through one meta-narrative
    • Symbolic Interactionism
      • Rejects notion that the social systems determine our behaviour
        • WE ARENT PUPPETS ON A STRING
        • Individuals create society through day to day acrions
          • Our response to stimuli is person and subjective
      • George Mead: stressed importance of role taking
        • roles are only guidelines that can be changed and modified
      • Herbert Blumer's 3 assumptions: 1) Humans act on basis of  meaning  2)Meaning aren't fixed but created an developed     3) Meanings are a result of our interpretive procedures
      • Labelling Theory = gestures can often lead to labels due to stereotypes.
        • Individuals may choose to internalise labels = self fulfilling phrophecy

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