Theory and Methods

Sociological Theory

What is sociology ?

  • Sociology is the systematic and scientific study of the world around us
  • Sociology emerged after the 'industrial revolution' in the 19th century
  • Sociology evolved as a response to 'Modernity' - where agricultral societies gave way to industrial and urban societies

Modernity can be seen to be centred on three significant changes:

  • The economic revolution of capitalism
  • The political global development of nation states 
  • The cultural shift - Rationality and Scientific thinking began to replace Religion and Traditions
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Sociological Theory

Who are the 3 founding fathers of Sociology:

Karl Marx (1818-83) - Saw modernisation as an oppertunity for creating a society the could reflect the intrests of the people

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) - Had mixed views on change. He advocated reforms however was worried that too much rapid social could undermine the stability of society

Max Weber (1864-1920) - Was the most negative. He freared thast the emerging industrialisation was becoming increasingly beurocratic and stifiling. He reffered to beuraucratic structures as an 'Iron Cage' around society

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Sociological Theory

What is the Functionalist Perspective ?

Herbert Spencer: 'Organic Analogy' Society is like the human body - It is made up of organs that are 'interrealated' and 'interdepndant' 

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