Ch 3: Major Theorists in Sociology

About This Chapter

The fun video lessons in this Major Theorists in Sociology chapter will allow you to explore the accomplishments and beliefs of famous sociologists. In part, you'll learn about the 'double-consciousness' theory of W.E.B. Du Bois and the key theories of Erving Goffman. Take the multiple-choice quizzes at the end of the lessons to test your understanding of these subjects.

CLEP Social Sciences and History: Major Theorists in Sociology - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The video lessons in the Major Theorists in Sociology chapter cover topics that include class consciousness and false consciousness as well as socialism and capitalism. While watching the lessons, you can also explore the societal views of Emile Durkheim and discover Herbert Spencer's theories on societal change. The video lessons can help you to understand:

  • Functionalism and the division of labor according to Durkheim
  • The beliefs expressed in Karl Marx's 'The Communist Manifesto'
  • Gerhard Lenski's theory of social stratification

Video Objective
Charles Horton Cooley: Looking Glass Self and the Effect of Primary Groups Understand Cooley's theories on the effects of small groups of friends and family on the larger society.
Herbert Spencer: Theory and Social Darwinism Discover Herbert Spencer's beliefs about the natural evolution of society.
Gerhard Lenski's Theories of Sociocultural Evolution, Social Stratification and Technology Learn about different types of societies.
The Sociological Theories of Karl Marx Discuss Marx's theories about inequalities among social classes.
Bureaucracy: Max Weber's Theory of Impersonal Management Describe Weber's views on ideal bureaucracy.
The Sociological Theories of Emile Durkheim Examine Durkheim's views on suicide as well as organic and mechanical solidarity.
W.E.B. Du Bois: Theories, Accomplishments and Double Consciousness Learn about Du Bois' theories on racial conflict.
Harriet Martineau: Theories and Contributions to Sociology Describe Martineau's ideas about making positive changes to society.
C. Wright Mills: Sociological Imagination and the Power Elite Examine Mills' theory on the sociological imagination.
Robert K. Merton: Theories and Functionalism Explore Merton's views on manifest functions, dysfunctions and latent functions.
Erving Goffman's Theories: Impression Management, Dramaturgy and Symbolic Interaction Explain Goffman's theories of symbolic interaction, dramaturgy and impression management.

12 Lessons in Chapter 3: Major Theorists in Sociology
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Charles Horton Cooley: Looking Glass Self and the Effect of Primary Groups

1. Charles Horton Cooley: Looking Glass Self and the Effect of Primary Groups

Charles Horton Cooley's theory of interactionist perspective describes that people get to know themselves through the looking glass self. Discover Cooley's career and how it affected his study of social behaviors, specifically those affected by the view of self and primary groups.

Herbert Spencer: Theory & Social Darwinism

2. Herbert Spencer: Theory & Social Darwinism

Darwin's Theory of Evolution inspired Herbert Spencer's perception of society and, as a result, influenced the theory of Social Darwinism. Discover the key elements of Spencer's theory, his coined phrase, survival of the fittest, and his influence on structural-functionalist theory.

Gerhard Lenski's Theories of Sociocultural Evolution, Social Stratification & Technology

3. Gerhard Lenski's Theories of Sociocultural Evolution, Social Stratification & Technology

Gerhard Lenski was a macrosociologist who considered technology critical for a society's survival and argued that how much societies advance depends on their levels of information and technology. Explore Lenski's theories of sociocultural evolution, social stratification, and technology, and learn about the types and levels of societies in Lenski's theories.

The Sociological Theories of Karl Marx

4. The Sociological Theories of Karl Marx

The sociological theories of Karl Marx helped form the field of sociology, as he investigated the relationship between the proletariat and bourgeoisie. Learn more about his perspectives on class conflict, conflict theory, and critical theory.

Bureaucracy: Max Weber's Theory of Impersonal Management

5. Bureaucracy: Max Weber's Theory of Impersonal Management

Max Weber's Theory of Impersonal Management introduced rigid, bureaucratic management as a new and less familial way of running an organization in the 19th century. Learn how bureaucracy developed and take a closer look at how bureaucratic organizations share common characteristics.

The Sociological Theories of Emile Durkheim

6. The Sociological Theories of Emile Durkheim

French philosopher Emile Durkheim contributed to the awareness of the impacts of society on the physical world. Learn how Durkheim's theories helped to create the field of sociology, including her theory about the shared beliefs, ideas, and values of the majority of people, which she dubbed the collective conscious.

W.E.B. Du Bois: Theories, Accomplishments & Double Consciousness

7. W.E.B. Du Bois: Theories, Accomplishments & Double Consciousness

Double consciousness is a term coined by W.E.B. Du Bois. It describes the condition by which African Americans live after the Civil War: still constrained and discriminated. Explore and get to know Du Bois' background, the start of his fight for equal rights, and his participation in the NAACP.

Harriet Martineau: Theories and Contributions to Sociology

8. Harriet Martineau: Theories and Contributions to Sociology

Harriet Martineau was the first renowned female sociologist. Learn about Martineau and explore her theories and contributions to the field of sociology. Examine her writing career and review some of her more prominent works.

C. Wright Mills: Sociological Imagination and the Power Elite

9. C. Wright Mills: Sociological Imagination and the Power Elite

Sociologist C. Wright Mills conducted seminal research on social power. Learn about Mills and his classic work, ''The Power Elite,'' and develop a better understanding of Mills' theories of the power structure in the United States, power, how personal troubles are linked to public issues, and the meaning of sociological imagination.

Robert K. Merton: Theories and Functionalism

10. Robert K. Merton: Theories and Functionalism

Robert K. Merton was a functionalist sociologist who helped develop the functional perspective of society. Learn about Merton and explore his theories, including functionalism. Understand manifest and latent functions, as well as dysfunctions in society.

Erving Goffman's Theories: Impression Management, Dramaturgy & Symbolic Interaction

11. Erving Goffman's Theories: Impression Management, Dramaturgy & Symbolic Interaction

Erving Goffman was a Canadian-American sociologist who analyzed everyday human interactions to develop theories of human behavior and society. Learn about Goffman's theories, including impression management, dramaturgy, and symbolic interaction. Understand the importance of symbols and the presentation of self in Goffman's theories.

Social Control: Definition, Theory & Examples

12. Social Control: Definition, Theory & Examples

Created by Travis Hirschi in 1969, social control theory states that individuals with beliefs, relationships, and connections to their community often have more self-control over their actions, and therefore refrain from breaking the law. Explore social control theory, also called social bond theory, learn how it is defined, and study some examples of how it can be put into practice.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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