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14 Cards in this Set

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What is a sociological theory?

Attempts to explain social behaviour in terms of the relation between individuals, groups & society.

What the 4 different sociological perspectives?

Functionalism


Marxism


Feminism


Social Action Theory

What are the key features of Functionalism?

Structural/macro theory


Consensus theory


Human body analogy


Basic agreement over core values

What are the key strengths of Functionalism?

Good at explaining times of consensus


Good at analysing society as a whole

What are the key weaknesses of Functionalism?

Can't explain society during times of conflict


Doesn't consider that our behaviour could be shaped by smale scale (micro) interactions

What are the key features of Marxism?

Structural/macro theory


Conflict theory


The concept of social class fundamental


Means of production (goods & services) and relations to the means of production (somebody owns the means of production or works for the owners)


Capitalist societies contain 2 main structures: infrastructure (the production of goods) & superstructure (all the other institutions)

What are the key strengths of Marxism?

Good at analysing society as a whole


Still relevant today as economy & social class still cause divisions/inequality

What are the key weaknesses of Marxism?

Capitalism is arguably now stronger than ever


Focuses on class stratification, ignoring other issues such as gender & racial inequality

What are the key features of Feminism?

Structural/macro theory


Conflict theory


Challenges gender stratification


Different types eg Black Feminists, Marxist Feminists etc

What are the key strengths of Feminism?

Good at analysing society as a whole


Challenges malestream sociology - the fact that so much research has ignored women

What are the key weaknesses of Feminism?

May be ignoring wider factors such as class


May overlook the exploitation/oppression of some men

What are the key features of Social Action?

Micro theory (small scale interactions)


Society doesn't shape our behaviour, our behaviour shapes society


We are individuals with agency

What are the key strengths of Social Action Theory?

Good at explaining small scale interactions


Good at recognising the role of the individual; we can think for ourselves

What are key weaknesses of Social Action Theory?

Overlooks the role of whole society in shaping behaviour


Tends to focus on the present only & overlooks what has happened in the past