While waiting for students to join the lesson, read the following information:
Sociology can be emotional (etctoday’s lesson is about suicide)
Sociology as an academic discipline examines all parts of society – to be clear,
sociology is the study of how society/social groups affect the individuals within them.
This makes discipline a very relevant topic. Students will find a sociological study on almost any topic that interests them. However, some topics in everyday life can be emotional. Just watching the evening news reveals many topics of daily life that can evoke a visceral response: murder, pollution, racism, sexual assault and sexism, to name a few. It’s all an emotional part of everyday American society. Sociology as a discipline examines all these areas. Scholars studying these topics do not wish to criticize our society in a morbid or grotesque way. Instead, they want to shine a light on aspects of society that we might not want to talk about; With proper academic attention, we can better understand these emotional events and perhaps even improve our society. I know that talking about suicide, racism or sexual abuse can be an emotionally charged experience. But ultimately, sociology will help us all better and hopefully understand these and other social ills, help strengthen society against them, so that we all live in a more peaceful and fulfilling society and stay true to ourselves.
1. Do you think you will be good at discussing these difficult topics?
Yesterday’s introduction explained that sociology is the scientific study of how individuals are influenced by those with whom they interact (their society). Three scientists greatly influenced the study of industrial society in the 1800s. Each scientist developed a paradigm that became the foundation of the discipline of sociology.
Emile Durkheim and the structural-functional paradigm
The first paradigm we will consider is called Structural-functional. Created this paradigm Emile Durkheim. Durkheim studied suicide and found that in industrialized Europe the suicide rate varied from country to country, but it also remained stable within each country. So something that seemed like an individual choice, like suicide, was actually a product of the country in which the person lived. A person living in Great Britain commits suicide at a much higher rate than in Italy. In other words, something was going on in British society that was causing problems for the people living there. Suicide was not an individual but a social problem. Durkheim called these social problems dysfunctions.
Durkheim argued that the structure of society is made up of different systems that maintain order in society. Just as an organism has different systems, such as the respiratory, circulatory, digestive and nervous systems, so do societies systems How family, education, economy, religion and government etc… These systems perform the function of maintaining social order by creating a structure of stability and continuity. Therefore, Durkheim’s paradigm becomes known as structural-functional. Durkheim says that when structures help ensure a healthy human life, structures are so functionalwhereas for individuals unhealthy structures are called dysfunctional.
In summary, institutions/structures provide individuals with stability and continuity, such as helping individuals to survive and thrive. Structures help us understand what is expected of us and give us identity and purpose. It is functional.
Dysfunctions exist when these institutions fail to meet those needs, and institutions harm individuals.
2. Do you still have questions about the beginnings of sociology and Durkheim and his structural-functional paradigm?
Applying structural-functional to your life
3. How do they give stability or structure to your life?
4. What is the function of structures—in other words, what purpose do they serve in your life?
5. In what ways do these structures interact or depend on each other?
Names as an example of Durkheim’s structural-functional paradigm
As an example of the structural-functional paradigm, names, like people, appear to be individual and unique. For example, when someone calls your name, you probably automatically look up and assume they’re talking about you. And in fact, for many of us, we are the only person we know by our exact name. I don’t know anyone named Christopher Joseph Salituro other than myself.
But names are not an exclusive property of ourselves. Instead, names are our first connection to the community. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, “The individual is impossible. We exist because a community of people has come together. That community of people gives you a name and makes sure you survive. We would not be alive if not for their influence and upbringing. Thus, names are a great way to explore how sociologists view the world. Many aspects of our lives that appear to be individual choices or individual traits are actually determined by social forces that are greater than us. Our families, schools, religions, governments, and other social institutions influence who we are, including in ways we can’t even imagine. A sociological perspective examines these influences from different perspectives.
7. List the ways your name:
- connects with family
- connects with religion
- represents morals or values
- transmits cultural attitudes and popular ideas
8. Do you see how your name reflects influences coming from families, schools/peers, religions, popular culture?
And do you realize that when people are given a name, it can convey values or traditions that tie you to family, religion, or other social structures?
If you don’t understand any of these things, please tell me what is confusing.
9. The structural-functional paradigm is one of the perspectives used by sociologists. Can you explain that? Can you use it to explore your life?
Karl Marx’s Paradigm of Conflict
The second paradigm, which emerged from a scholar studying the changes of the Industrial Revolution, is called conflict paradigm which developed from influence Karl Marx. He explored the inequality of industrial Europe and how this inequality affected individuals. For example, Marx found that a working-class person lived an average of 25 years less than a rich person. Like Durkheim, Marx concluded that his conclusions were not simply the result of individual choices. Instead, people were forced to work in unhealthy conditions and forced to submit to the demands of wealthy factory owners.
Marx’s focus led sociologists to examine who has power in society and who does not. A natural extension of this became the effects of power on groups of individuals and how those in power acquired and maintained that power. Marx initially focused on social class, especially in Europe, but early American sociologists applied Marx’s paradigm to other inequalities in the United States:
Alice Paul applied this to gender equality in the U.S. After earning a degree in sociology, she fought for women’s voting rights and worked for women and poor immigrants at the Jane Addams Hull House.
Often, the study of inequality and the struggle for equal rights led to overlapping movements, such as social class and gender, led by Chicago’s Jane Addams. Addams was an influential leader in Chicago who used her sociology degree to improve the lives of Chicago women, the poor, and immigrants.
Ida B. Wells
University of Chicago
You may have noticed the recurrence of Chicagoans in the early stages of sociology’s establishment. In the late 19th/early 20th century, Chicago was the fastest growing city in the United States. The city was an incredible combination of industrial growth, urbanization and emigration. Thus, the University of Chicago had the first sociology department in North America (1892), and Chicago was a leader in sociology for the next 50 years, leading to what became known as the “Chicago School of Sociology.”
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola soon fell behind the U of C in sociology. The School of Sociology was one of LUC’s first divisions, established in 1914. It was a 2-year program that allowed women to earn a degree at a time when they were still not allowed to study in other areas of the university, such as the College of Arts and Sciences. . The Jesuit Frederik Siedenburg was influenced by the role of sociology in the progress of society and not only founded a school of sociology but also became
“One of Chicago’s most significant civic leaders during the next two decades…and in his dealings he constantly transcended denominational, ethnic and racial lines and never wavered from his conviction that religion could be a progressive force in the life of the city.” In 1915, the Chicago Tribune commented on Siedenburg’s his role in the American Peace Federation, his appearance with Rabbi Emil Hirsch at Temple Sinai, and his visit to the Tuskegee Institute as a guest of the philanthropist Julius Rosenwald along with Jane Addams of Hull-House and the Reverend Jenkin Lloyd Jones, a Unitarian minister… He also found time to publish pioneering articles in the American Journal of Sociology, including The Recreational Value of Religion (1922), The Religious Value of Social Work (1922), and War and the Catholic Church (1925).
Ellen Skerrett (2008). Born in Chicago. Loyola Press, Chicago
When using a demographic survey, answer personally:
1. What are some of your answers (especially from part 2) that might lead you to be treated differently?
2. How can that treatment be different? Can you be limited or face obstacles because of your identity?
Discuss in a small group:
Are there similarities in your group in terms of how some of you may be limited by your identity?
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