Chapter summary imageWhat is sociology?

What is sociology?

  • a science guided by the basic understanding that our lives are affected not only by our individual characteristics but also by powerful social forces and our place in the social world

What are the four major sociological perspectives?

  • functionalism: sees society as a system of interrelated parts; a macro orientation because it focuses on larger social structures rather than individuals
  • conflict theory: views society as various groups that are in a constant struggle over scarce resources; focuses on macro issues and is concerned with inequality and how it brings about conflict and change
  • symbolic interactionism: focuses on how individual people interact with others in their everyday lives; studies how the use of symbols influences how people communicate; uses a micro approach because it is concerned with the individual’s role in creating society
  • feminist theory: views society as being based on a patriarchal ideology that benefits men and discriminates against women; focuses on issues that are relevant to women; uses both macro and micro approaches; is concerned with gender inequality

Why is community learning important ?

  • provides you with a fresh perspective and expands your understanding of sociology and your world