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SOcial Science Prespective
Transcript of SOcial Science Prespective
by: majd alsalhani
Anthropology is the study of humanity and all human cultures and how each culture contributes to humanity.
This study includes the study of human beings in relation to origin, classification, distribution, and relationship of races, physical character, and culture
It is different from other social sciences as it focuses on cultural relativity, and cross culture comparasions.
Anthropology exists to explore a variety of social phenomena, like continuation of poverty, racism, violence, and social inequality around the world.
functionalism (Robert K. Merton)
Robert K. Meriton interpreted society using the functionalist prespective.
Merton is famous for phrases such as "self-fulfilling prophecy" and"role model"
Functionalism is a method for understanding how social institutions fill social needs.
It is believed that every custom or practice provides stability in a system/society, and social institutions provide for the physical and psychological needs for the members of the society.
Researchers must understand the function of social institutions and their respective contributions to the stability of their society, as not all institutions contribute positively to society. Some institutions can increase instability, as there is a difference in power which creates tention.
Other important functionalist researchers include Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, and Bronislaw Malinowski.
Structuralism (Claude Levi-Strauss, Mary Douglas)
Structuralism is the methodology that elements of human culture must be understood in terms of their relationship to a larger, overarching system or structure. It works to uncover the structures that underlie all the things that humans do, think, perceive, and feel.
Ex. North American society values the concept of romantic love and close friendship. This social idea is reinforced through media and national celebrations (Valentine's day)
Love is reinforced on this day as chocolates and cards are exchanged. . The norm of loving is accepted as a normal practice because of the reinforcements such as this.
However, in countries such as Japan, the woman gives man gifts rather than in Western culture where it is the opposite. This proves that different societies’ institutions reinforce different values.
Structuralists believe that meaning is produced and reproduced within a culture through activities and various practices that show their significance. An example of this is that for one dish, there could be many different methods to cook it depending on the culture or beliefs. Another example is how stories are told or how games are played, they vary from society to society, from culture to culture, and from country to country.
Cultural Materialism (Carlo Ember, Stephen Sanderson, Marvin Harris)
Human existence is a response to the diverse and complex problems that exist in society. That is, human reproductions (procreation) and production (of goods and services) are intertwined with elements in our environment.
According to Marvin Harris, a change in a technology or practice may cause a shift in the cultural beliefs held by a society.
In order for people to survive and thrive in new environments, the social beliefs must be compatible with existing structures and the society must adapt to these changes.
Sociology is a social science that will address the core behaviours of the individuals involved in the interactions within a society.
Socology studies the actions of members within a specific society. A sociologist examines the way in which people organize themselves within groups, institutions, and associations.
These studies can be used to inform policy, or to facilitate in the engineering of social change within a society.
Sociology encompasses a cluster of sub-fields that examine different dimensions of society such as emography, criminology, gender studies, and social stratification.
Karl Marx (Marxism)
For Marx, production is essential for the advancement of society. Associated with the creation of goods there will be, eventually, a few individuals that will control the majority of the resources and their means of production.
The division of social class marks the place for conflict in Marx’s theory. Owning the means of production elevates a person’s class status while all other workers are forced to find a way to make money using their skills, and are lower class.
Marx’s Labour Theory of Value states that productive power will be used to exploit workers and make profit. This means that the workers are being underpaid for their hard jobs and when wages for hard jobs are minimized, profit is maximized, which makes the rich even richer.
Marxism also focuses on the negative nature of changing a society. Marx argues businesses are potential exploiters and he fails to recognize the positive nature of the bourgeois. A modern example is when automotive companies hire workers in other countries that will accept the low wages, making production value the same while lowering wagers, which increases profit.
Talcott Parsons (Structural Functionalism)
Talcott Parsons, a structural functionalist, believed that society will create structures within itself that will assist with its fundamental functioning requirements. That is, our society will work to achieve a homeostasis where equilibrium will be maintained.
Every aspect of society contributes to the successful function of another aspect, and if one aspect were to malfunction, other aspects must help in either replacing the malfunctioning part of the system or recreate it.
Structural functionalism deals with the maintenance of a society, rather than look at social change. It looks how the system will maintain equlibrium and seek a way to return to its normal functioning state.
The Feminist ideology offers another unique interpretation of society. There are many different branches of feminism.
Liberal Feminism: Focuses on increasing women’s influence on society.
Radical Feminism: Focus on the exploitation of women. Seek to change the patriarchal social structures to give women equal rights.
Marxist Feminism: Focuses on woman's work, and how they are underpaid for doing the same jobs as men. This creats an issue as women cannot rise in social class
Social Feminism: Focuses on overthrowing of the capitalist system of economics ,believe that this system is the root of the problem between male and female power struggles.
Psychology is the study of human behaviour. It scientifically examens specific actions, responses, and the factors under a specific set of conditions and helps us understand why a person might react/behave the way they do.
Psychology is the science of exploring the mental processes of a group or an individual.
Within the field of psychology there are many subfields of research. Areas of research include: developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, social psychology, organizational psychology, cognitive psychology, personality, environmental psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, forensic psychology, sports psychology, and neuroscience
Sigmund Freud is credited with the creation of psychoanalysis.
He believed that human behaviour is driven by desires and the suppression of these same desires.
Freud described the mind as having three areas: the conscious mind, the pre- conscious mind and the unconscious mind.
He believed that the only true way to access feelings is hypnosis.
He also believed that each person's personality is motivated by drives.
ld is a drive that is part of the unconscious mind and continuously seeks pleasure without considering consequences.
Superego is a desire to be socially conscious of all decisions and actions that a person makes
Ego is the middle between ld and superego, meaning to seek pleasure but considering consequences.
He believed the constant struggle between the Id and Superego must be kept in balance, as if the ld is too strong then life will be meaning less and very loose, and if the superego is too strong then a person will be too uptight and worried. Either way, imbalance is not healthy for developement of an individual.
Freud's views on human developement
Freud views human development as progressing through stages of development where the main conflict deals with the sexual part of the body.
According to him, human development is best understood in terms of changing focuses of sexual desire. These desires are suppressed to the unconscious where they may be preserved. Conflicts arise when desires want to become actions. This can be treated through therapy sessions.
B.F SKINNER'S view on human action/motivation
In contrast to Sigmund Freud, B. F. Skinner was interested in outward behaviour, not unconscious drives.
Skinner believed that our personality responds and develops because of external events and stimuli.
To prove his point, he conducted an experiment with rats that had them rewarded with food for pulling a lever. This was an example of positive reinforcement.
Skinner believed that humans develop their behaviours due to a set of rewards that promote activities being repeated and reinforced. An example is when a child says please and is rewarded with what he wanted and a smile.
Skinner believes that to change an individual's behavior, Operant Conditioning is an effective tool to do so. This included behavior modification programs and computer instructions.
Ivan Pavlov's Conditioning
Ivan Pavlov created classical conditioning. He wanted to see how the mind could be conditioned to make the body respond to the possibility of an event happening.
He did this by conducting an experiment that involved a dog and meat powder.
The meat powder (unconditioned stimulus) produced an unconditioned response (salivation). The ringing of a bell was used as the conditioning stimulus. Before conditioning, the bell did not produce any salivation reaction in the dog. During the conditioning, the conditioned stimulus (the bell) was followed by the presentation of the meat powder, causing the dog to salivate. After repeating this process a few times, the bell was rung and the dog began to salivate.
Erikson believes that at certain stages in an individual’s life there are tasks that must be met in order to have a healthy development.
Unlike Freud, Erikson believed that a person may pass through a stage and not get “stuck” at a certain level of psychological development.
For example, in Erikson’s first stage, the infant either trusts his caregivers and others or he does not. If the infant doesn't, he will still move on to the next stage of developement but will