About This Chapter
Social Theories & Perspectives - Chapter Summary
This collection of comprehensive sociology lessons outlines major perspectives related to the study of human societies. You'll define the four theoretical perspectives of sociology (structural-functional, social conflict, feminism and symbolic interactionism) and examine several social power theories, including pluralist, power-elite and Marxist models. You'll also review and analyze the theories of Karl Marx's and Auguste Comte. After completing the lessons in this chapter, you should be able to:
- Summarize sociology's four theoretical perspectives
- Outline social power theories
- Assess Karl Marx's beliefs regarding religion's effects on social inequality
- Analyze Comte's three stages of society and his positivism theory
Taught by subject-matter experts, these sociology lessons outline social theory fundamentals in an easy-to-understand and simple manner. This way, you can be sure you're studying the most important information as efficiently as possible. You're encouraged to take the accompanying lesson quizzes to see how well you remember the information. You can jump to specific topics using your course Dashboard and interactive video timelines. Study the chapter material whenever you have free time and feel free to reach out to our instructors if you have any questions. To make your studying experience effective and convenient, we've made these lessons available at any time that fits your schedule.
1. Sociology's Four Theoretical Perspectives: Structural-Functional, Social Conflict, Feminism & Symbolic Interactionism
Theories are an essential part of the framework used to organize specific social phenomena within the social sciences. This lesson introduces the four major theoretical perspectives in sociology, including structural-functional, social conflict, feminism, and symbolic interactionism.
2. Social Power Theories: Pluralist, Power-Elite & Marxist Models
This lesson will explain and differentiate three major theories of power in society: The pluralist model, the power-elite model and the Marxist model.
3. 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.
4. Comte's 3 Stages of Society & Theory of Positivism
This lesson focuses on the theories of Auguste Comte. Specifically, Comte suggested that global society has gone through three stages, called the theological stage, the metaphysical stage, and the scientific stage. It also covers Comte's theory of 'positivism' and how science and society interact.
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