Download e-book for iPad: Sociology: The Core by Michael Hughes

By Michael Hughes

ISBN-10: 0073528196

ISBN-13: 9780073528199

Hugely revered for its scholarship and easy strategy, Sociology: The center covers middle sociological recommendations with a short and available presentation at an inexpensive expense. within the 10th variation, Sociology once more comes alive as an essential and interesting box to narrate sociological rules to real-world situations. "What Can Sociology Do For You?" sections introduce power careers and supply academic innovations for college kids that choose to pursue a level in Sociology.

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Extra resources for Sociology: The Core

Sample text

In his description of society as an organism, Spencer focused on its structures and the functional contributions these structures make to its survival. This image of society is in line with what sociologists now call structuralfunctional theory. Spencer viewed static social institutions as the organs of society, but he had an even greater interest in social dynamics. He proposed an evolutionary theory of historical development, one that depicted the world as growing progressively better. Intrigued by the Darwinian view of natural selection, Spencer applied the concept of survival of the fittest to the social world, an approach termed social Darwinism.

However, such an approach does not provide us with the entire story of social life. The functionalist approach has difficulty dealing with history and processes of social change. In the real world, societies are constantly changing, but functionalism has done a poor job of accounting for the never-ending flow of interaction among people. Moreover, the functionalist perspective tends to exaggerate consensus, integration, and stability while disregarding conflict, dissent, and instability. The problems that structural-functional theory has in dealing with change, history, and conflict have led critics to charge that it has a conservative bias and that it tends to support existing social arrangements.

Although class conflict was the core of Marx’s theory, many contemporary sociologists view conflict as occurring among many groups and interests—religion versus religion, race versus race, consumers versus producers, taxpayers versus welfare recipients, sunbelt versus snowbelt states, central-city residents versus suburbanites, the young versus the elderly, and so on. Sources of Conflict The main source of conflict in human societies is scarcity of social and material resources.

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Sociology: The Core by Michael Hughes

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