About This Chapter
Influential Sociological Theorists- Chapter Summary
We will make sure you understand the important information about sociological theorists by providing you with many different resources. Short, informative lessons will help you examine the theories of these professionals and their contributions to the sociology field. By the end of this chapter, you will accomplish the following:
- Learn more about Charles Horton Cooley, Herbert Spencer, and Gerhard Lenski
- Examine the contributions of Karl Marx and his different theories
- Explore who Emile Durkheim is and her different theories
- Analyze the theories of W.E.B. Du Bois, Harriet Martineau, C. Wright Mills, Robert K. Merton and Erving Goffman
You will benefit from these lessons and the different resources available. Engaging video lessons are complete with video tags that let you quickly find specific points, and the transcripts are filled with terms and phrases in bold print. Our self-assessment quizzes will allow you to see where your strengths and weaknesses are so you can focus on areas that you still need to work on.
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.
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.
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.
4. Karl Marx: Theory of Class Consciousness and False Consciousness
In this lesson, you will learn what Karl Marx meant by a society having a class consciousness and a false consciousness. This lesson will also discuss how, according to Marx, these two elements can either help or hinder working-class members of a society.
5. Karl Marx on Religion: How Religion Affects Social Inequality
This lesson will discuss Karl Marx's view of how religion is an 'opiate for the people' and perpetuates social inequality. It will discuss how Karl Marx believed that religion was a way for the poor to accept their poverty and for the wealthy to control the poor.
6. Karl Marx's Theories: Class Differentiation and Revolution, Socialism & Capitalism
In this lesson, we will discuss the difference between socialism and capitalism, how Karl Marx believed that social class dictated one's social life and who were the bourgeoisie and proletariat.
7. 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.
8. Emile Durkheim: Society, Integration Level & Suicide Study
In this lesson, we will focus on the research conducted by Emile Durkheim regarding the rate of suicide and social factors that may contribute to suicide.
9. Emile Durkheim's Theories: Functionalism, Anomie and Division of Labor
How does a society function? This lesson will help answer this question through an exploration of Emile Durkheim's theories of functionalism, anomie, and division of labor.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
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Other chapters within the Praxis Sociology (5952): Practice & Study Guide course
- Introduction to Sociology
- Sociological Research Methods
- Culture, Socialization & Social Interaction
- Human Development Theories in Sociology
- Social Groups & Interactions
- Understanding Diversity through Sociology
- Sex and Gender Roles
- Race & Ethnicity in Society
- Understanding Aging through Sociology
- Studying Social Institutions
- Social Changes & Behaviors
- Political & Economic Systems
- Praxis Sociology Flashcards