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TOPICAL DISCUSSION OUTLINES for SOCSCI4 Topic: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES IN SOCIOLOGY I. What is a theory? What is a theoretical paradigm?

Levels of analysis: a. Macro-level analysis b. Micro-level analysis Sociologists analyze social phenomena at different levels and from different perspectives. From concrete interpretations to sweeping generalizations of society and social behavior, sociologists study everything from specific events (the micro level of analysis of small social patterns) to the big picture (the macro level of analysis of large social patterns). II. Three (3) Major Theories a. Symbolic-Interactionism b. Structural-Functionalism c. Conflict Theory Topic: SOCIO-CULTURAL EVOLUTION OF SOCIETIES I. What is a society? What does it mean by socio-cultural evolution? Sociocultural evolution(ism) is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, describing how cultures and societies have changed over time. Note that "sociocultural evolution" is not an equivalent of "sociocultural development" (unified processes of differentiation and integration involving increases in sociocultural complexity), as sociocultural evolution also encompasses sociocultural transformations accompanied by decreases of complexity (degeneration) as well as ones not accompanied by any significant changes of sociocultural complexity (cladogenesis).[1] Thus, sociocultural evolution can be defined as "the process by which structural reorganization is affected through time, eventually producing a form or structure which is qualitatively different from the ancestral form."

Most 19th-century and some 20th-century approaches aimed to provide models for the evolution of humankind as a whole, arguing that different societies are at different stages of social development. The most comprehensive attempt to develop a general theory of social evolution centering on the development of socio-cultural systems was done by Talcott Parsons on a scale which included a theory of world-history. Another attempt both on a less systematic scale was attempted by World System approach. Many of the more recent 20th-century approaches focus on changes specific to individual societies and reject the idea of directional change, or social progress. Most archaeologists and cultural anthropologists work within the framework of modern theories of sociocultural evolution. Modern approaches to sociocultural evolution include neoevolutionism, sociobiology, the theory of modernization and the theory of postindustrial society.

II. Types of Societies a. Hunting and Gathering Society b. Horticultural Society c. Pastoral Society d. Agrarian Society e. Industrial Society f. Post-Industrial Society III. Range and Limits of Technology Topic: GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS I. What is a social group? What is a category? What is a crowd? What is an aggregate? How are the above-named collections of people different from each other? What are the characteristics of a social group? II. Types of Social Groups a. Groups according to social ties b. Groups according to self-identification

c. Groups according to purpose d. Groups according to geographical location and degree or quality of relationship e. Groups according to form of organization III. Group Size a. Dyad b. Triad c. Social Network IV. Group Leadership a. 2 Kinds of Leadership b. 3 Leadership Styles V. Formal Organizations a. Types of Formal Organizations Topic: SOCIALIZATION I. What is socialization? What is personality? II. Nature vs. Nurture a. Charles Darwin: The Role of Nature b. Social Sciences: The Role of Nurture III. Understanding Socialization a. The Elements of Personality: Sigmund Freud b. Cognitive Development: Jean Piaget c. Moral Development: Lawrence Kohlberg d. Bringing in Gender: Carol Gilligan e. The Social Self: George Herbert Mead f. Eight Stages of Development: Erick Erikson IV. Agents of Socialization a. Family b. School c. Peer Groups d. Mass Media e. Religious Organizations f. Workplace V. Socialization and the Life Course Topic: CULTURE

I. What is culture? What does it mean by enculturation? II. Components of Culture a. Symbols b. Values c. Beliefs d. Norms (Mores, Folkways, Laws) III. Characteristics of Culture a. Learned b. Shared c. Symbolic d. All-encompassing e. Stable yet Dynamic f. Integrated g. Transmitted h. Adaptive and Maladaptive i. Patterned j. Compulsory k. Essential for Life l. A Social Product m. Accumulated IV. Levels of Culture a. National Culture b. International Culture c. Subculture International General cultural traits often extend beyond borders. Much of Latin America, for example, shares the same overall culture. Similarly, The US and Canada share many cultural standards. International culture tends to be very broad, however, and one will find a wide range of variation between the culture of, for example, Peru and Brazil. International culture is the most general classification of culture. National For the most part, the people within a nation tend to have the same general cultural characteristics. Americans, for example, tend to value individual freedom over extensive family ties. These national cultural traits, however, are almost as weak as international cultural traits. Indeed, one

could often find groups of people who share more in common with a group of people in another country than in their own. This tends to be the case in areas where borders were arbitrarily drawn for political reasons. (E.g. Africa or the Middle East.) Subcultures Within any given culture (especially a large culture), one would be likely to find subcultures. In America, for example, the various economic classes form their own subcultures. Middle class families, for example, tend to emphasize individualism and happiness, whereas lower class families tend to emphasize obedience more. Both groups are still very much a part of the American culture; however, it is the distinction that can be made between them that makes them subcultures. Occasionally a subculture might have to practice its culture secretly. During the early 1960s, for example, homosexuality was illegal, so homosexual cultures needed to maintain secrecy. Jewish culture during the 1930s in Nazi Germany is another example. Such subcultures are called clandestine cultures. Individual Variation Culture is different for every member, and any study of culture must take into account those differences. Men and women tend to view their culture differently due to different places in society, and likewise a chief is likely to view the culture differently than a peasant. Despite these differences, the actual variation relative to another culture is negligibly small. V. Issues in understanding Culture a. Ethnocentrism b. Xenocentrism c. Cultural Relativism d. Cultural Rights vs. Human Rights VI. Mechanisms of Cultural Change a. Diffusion b. Acculturation c. Independent Invention d. Globalization f. Discovery

VII. Other Principles that Characterize Culture a. Cultural Universals b. Particular Culture c. General Cultures Topic: Basic Social Institutions a. Religion and Society b. Government and Law c. Economy d. Education e. Marriage and Family Topic: Family Planning and Responsible Parenthood a. Reproductive Health b. Family Planning c. Responsible Parenthood