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  • 16-17 427-303 Sociological Theories 1/2554
  • image of George Ritzer's integrative ( micro - macro ) theory of social analysis
  • Auguste Comte ( 1798 - 1857 ) http :// www . hewett . norfolk . sch . uk / CURRIC / soc / comte . htm
  • Auguste Comte ( 1798 - 1857 ) French philosopher regarded as the founder of sociology, a term he coined 1830 . He sought to establish sociology as an intellectual discipline, using a scientific approach ( 'positivism' ) as the basis of a new science of social order and social development .
  • Auguste Comte ( 1798 - 1857 ) In his six-volume "Cours de philosophie positive" 183042, Comte argued that human thought and social development evolve through three stages: the theological, the metaphysical, and the positive or scientific. Although he originally sought to proclaim society's evolution to a new golden age of science, industry, and rational morality, his radical ideas were increasingly tempered by the political and social upheavals of his time. His influence continued in Europe and the USA until the early 20th century.
  • Auguste Comte ( 1798 - 1857 ) Comte, born in Montpellier, was expelled from the Paris Ecole Polytechnique for leading a student revolt 1816. In 1818 he became secretary to the socialist Saint-Simon and was much influenced by him. He began lecturing on the 'Positive Philosophy' 1826, but almost immediately succumbed to a nervous disorder and once tried to commit suicide in the river Seine. On his recovery he resumed his lectures and mathematical teaching.
  • http :// www . socresonline . org . uk / home . html Sociological Research Online : focusing on theoretical, empirical and methodological discussions which engage with current political, cultural and intellectual topics and debates. Email : [email_address]
  • Phenomenology and Sociology Phenomenology is a 20th century philosophical way of thinking about the nature of reality which has influenced Sociology . The German Philosopher Edmund Husserl is closely linked with phenomenology . Phenomenology argues that the only 'PHENOMENA' that we can be sure of is that we are 'conscious' thinking beings . Therefore we should study any phenomena around us in terms of the way we conscoiusly experience them . This examination should be free of preconceptions and causal ideas .
  • These ideas influenced sociologists such as Alfred Schutz ( 1899-1959 ) who thought that Sociology should look at the way individual 'construct' the social world . He tried to combine the work of Weber with that of Husserl in his book " The Phenomenology of the Social World " ( 1932 ). Phenomenology
  • Ethnomethodology http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/CURRIC/soc/ethno/intro.htm
  • http :// www . hewett . norfolk . sch . uk / CURRIC / soc / crime / devmap . htm
  • Erving Goffman Symbolic Interactionist Brief Biography 1922-88, American sociologist; b. Manville, Alta. He developed a performance-oriented theory of behavior in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959). Asylums (1961), which dealt with personality changes among inmates of a mental asylum, led to his study of other institutions. He taught at the universities of California and Pennsylvania. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
  • Scientific Inquiry versus Common Sense
    • Common Sense
    • The definition of common sense is:
      • 1: the unreflective opinions of ordinary men 2: sound and prudent but often unsophisticated judgement (Mish 1991:266)
    • Common sense is a valuable tool for our everyday lives -- we would not want to totally demean its value
  • Scientific Inquiry versus Common Sense
    • Scientific Inquiry
    • The definition for scientific inquiry is:
      • A deliberate, focused, systematic, and logical means of explaining an observable event in ones world (Bolender 1993:11)
  • Scientific Inquiry versus Common Sense
      • The scientific method provides a more thorough, thoughtful explanation of events than most common sense answers could give. The scientific method may conclude that it has not found a good answer to the purpose of the event, however that is generally still a more thorough answer than most common sense answers provide (Bolender 1993:11-12).
  • Scientific Inquiry versus Common Sense
    • Most people are constantly in the process of making informal observations about their world. Attempts are made to describe, explain, predict, and control daily events (Bunker, Pearlson, and Schulz 1975).
  • Scientific Inquiry versus Common Sense
    • Perception Screening Devices
    • Common Sense
      • The layperson uses common sense to deal with everyday observations (Selltiz, Wrightsman, and Cook 1976). Laypeople use subjective ideas (opinions) to determine if an observation is reliable (Bunker, Pearlson, and Schulz 1975).
  • Scientific Inquiry versus Common Sense
    • Scientific Inquiry
      • Evidence (objective facts) is used in scientific inquiry to indicate if an idea is supportable (Bunker, Pearlson, and Schulz 1975).
  • Scientific Inquiry versus Common Sense
    • Real World Examples
    • Freshman Seminar (Bolender 1994)
    • Reducing Crime in Major Cities (Moffit 1996)
  • Scientific Inquiry versus Common Sense
    • The sociologist as a destroyer of myths.
    • Norbert Elias ([1970] 1978:50)
  • Scientific Inquiry versus Common Sense
    • Scientific inquiry--
    • How will this help me in real life?
  • Theory and Paradigm
    • Paradigm
    • The definition of a paradigm is:
      • Paradigms. . . are taken-for-granted ideas and assumptions not debated by members of a scientific discipline (Denisoff, Callahan, and Levine 1974).
  • Theory and Paradigm
    • When paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led by a new paradigm, scientists adapt new instruments and look in new places.
    • Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1970:110?)
  • Theory and Paradigm
    • Does ones paradigm make any difference in the real world? You bet it does !
    • Why Doctors Are Not Curing Ulcers
    • Brian OReilly (1997:100-112)
  • Theory and Paradigm
    • Assumption
    • The definition of assumption is:
      • . . . a preconception or given. . . . it refers to something that is taken for granted (Perdue 1986:5-6).
  • Theory and Paradigm
        • For example: Platos Six Basic Assumptions of Society (he was a sociologist before the discipline officially existed)
          • Man is an organism.
          • Organisms tend toward survival.
          • Man survives in groups.
          • Man is a social animal.
          • Man lives in an ordered society.
          • The order of society is knowable.
        • (Rose 1967 and Carroll 1972 in Denisoff, Callahan, and Levine 1974:4-5)
  • Theory and Paradigm
    • Theory
    • A definition of theory is:
      • . . . A theory is a logical deductive-inductive system of concepts, definitions, and propositions which states a relationship between two or more selected aspects of phenomena and from which testable hypotheses can be derived (Ward 1974:39).
  • Theory and Paradigm
        • Theories in sociology are intended to be descriptive, explanatory, and predictive of phenomena of interest to the discipline and to its individual practitioners (Ward 1974:39).
      • A theory is a set of concepts plus the interrelationships that are assumed to exist among those concepts. A theory also includes consequences that we assume logically t