Functionalist perspective emphasizes the way in which the parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability. Functionalists believe that everything and everyone have a place and purpose in society. If an aspect of social life does not contribute to a society’s survival, the aspect will not be passed from one generation to the next. Sometimes the function may be considered manifest (obvious) and other times it may be considered latent, or less obvious. A manifest function of prison is to protect society from dangerous individuals. A latent function of prison would be to provide jobs to people in rural areas, who otherwise might be unemployed. ...view middle of the document...
Interactionism is a social framework in which human beings are viewed as living in a world of meaningful objects. These symbols share social meanings that are understood by all members of a society. For example, Every time we speak to someone, look at them, or even think to ourselves, we are dealing with symbolic interaction. You reading this right now is symbolic interaction. My letters are my symbols that I write, and you interpret them. By writing them, I expect you to get a certain meaning from them. To give you this certain meaning, I select my words for the way I believe you will interpret them.
Macrosociology is the social investigation that concentrates on large scale phenomena or entire civilizations. On the other hand, microsociology refers to sociological investigation that stresses the study of small groups.
The scientific method is a systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity and consistency in researching a problem. The process of scientific method consists of:
1. Defining the problem, the first step in any research project is to state as clearly as possible what you hope to investigate.
2. Reviewing the literature, by reviewing the literature researches refine the problem under study, clarify possible techniques to be used in collecting data, and eliminate or reduce avoidable mistakes.
3. Formulating the hypothesis, after reviewing earlier research and drawing on the contributions of sociological theorists, the researchers may then formulate the hypothesis. The hypothesis is a speculative statement between two or more factors known as variables.
4. Designing the research. To determine if a hypothesis is supported or refuted, researchers need to test their hypothesis with one of the research designs. A research design is a detailed plan or method used to obtain date scientifically.
5. Developing a conclusion. Scientific studies do not aim to answer all the questions that can be raised about a particular subject. Therefore, the conclusion of a research study represents both and end and a beginning. Although it terminates a specific phase of the investigation, it should also generate ideas for future study.
The term Ethnocentrism refers to the tendency to assume that one’s own culture and way of life represent the norm or are superior to all others.
Cultural relativism means viewing people’s behavior from the perspective of their own culture.
Miner’s illustrates these two terms in his discussion of the Nacirema by changing American culture to a remote tribe which gives us a feeling of ethnocentrism when reading it the first time, since every ritual is criticize and compared to our own media...