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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 was a sociologist who wanted to better understand society and human behavior. He believed that the influence of groups within a society had a strong impact on human behavior. In this lesson, we will discuss primary groups, the theory of the looking-glass self and the concept that one's self and society are distinctly one unit, not two.

Herbert Spencer: Theory & Social Darwinism

2. Herbert Spencer: Theory & Social Darwinism

Herbert Spencer was one of the leading sociologists of his time and was an influencer of the structural-functionalist perspective. Learn more about the man who coined the phrase 'survival of the fittest' and understand the positive and negative aspects of social Darwinism.

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

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

In this lesson, you will learn how Gerhard Lenski studied the amount of technology a society had and how such technology could allow a society to evolve and change. This lesson will also describe the various types of societies and their level of technology.

The Sociological Theories of Karl Marx

4. The Sociological Theories of Karl Marx

In this lesson, you will explore the theories of Karl Marx and discover how he contributed to the field of sociology. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Bureaucracy: Max Weber's Theory of Impersonal Management

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

At a time when organizations were run like families, Max Weber looked for ways to bring a more formalized structure to organizations. Weber created the idea of bureaucratic management where organizations are more authoritative, rigid and structured. This lesson will describe the development of bureaucracy and common characteristics of bureaucratic organizations.

The Sociological Theories of Emile Durkheim

6. The Sociological Theories of Emile Durkheim

In this lesson, you will explore the theories of Emile Durkheim, a major figure in the creation of sociology as a social science. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

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

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

W.E.B. Du Bois was an important figure in American civil rights history, and his idea of the double consciousness delved into what it felt like to live as a black person in a white people's world. Learn more about his life and works in this lesson.

Harriet Martineau: Theories and Contributions to Sociology

8. Harriet Martineau: Theories and Contributions to Sociology

In this lesson, we will look at the contributions to sociology made by Harriet Martineau. She is considered the first woman sociologist and studied many social problems of her time.

C. Wright Mills: Sociological Imagination and the Power Elite

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

This lesson discusses the sociologist C. Wright Mills and his view on the power elite and the sociological imagination. In this lesson, you will also discover what the term sociological imagination means and how it relates to social issues.

Robert K. Merton: Theories and Functionalism

10. Robert K. Merton: Theories and Functionalism

This lesson will discuss Robert Merton's functionalist view of society. Merton distinguished between the types of functions within each social structure - manifest functions and latent functions. This lesson also discusses how not all functions serve a society positively.

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

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

This lesson introduces the work of Erving Goffman, a sociologist who helped to explain society through the everyday interactions of people. You will learn what he meant by saying that people are all actors playing a part - and that our behavior is dictated by symbols and whether we are in public or private.

Social Control: Definition, Theory & Examples

12. Social Control: Definition, Theory & Examples

In this lesson, we'll review the definition of social control, analyze social control theory and go over some relevant examples which will help us gain a thorough understanding of the theory as it relates to criminology.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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