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Learning sociology analysis

  • 07 Pages
  • Published On: 17-11-2023


The present assignment is an essay including four major learning outcomes. The first one would discuss about the distinguishing features between the sociological and the common sense understanding. According to the second learning outcome, it would be analyzed how sociological and psychological approach defines a social behavior and in what manner the social illustration is differing from the other social sciences in terms of explaining social behavior. The third learning outcome would discuss the similarities and contrast between two chosen sociological perspectives Funtionalism and Feminism. The last learning outcome would discuss about the different social perspectives provides an explanation to one of the chosen social institution, education.

The term “sociological understanding” defines the methodology and the characteristic of sociology that helps to address the social issues or questions (Nelken, 2017). It specifically stresses upon the environmental and cultural factors rather than the psychological or individual categorizations. The concept of sociology assists in comprehending the actions of humans and how their level of consciousness gets influenced by the neighboring social and cultural parameters (Nelken, 2017). Therefore, it is considered that the sociological approach is far beyond the concept of common sense comprehension. The approach tries to comprehend the social world with the aid of social events by the assortment and analyses of the empirical findings (Kembhavi, 2010). It is widely established that in sociology there are three essential paradigms namely - the functionalist, symbolic interactionist, and the conflict paradigms (Nelken, 2017). On the other hand, the common sense understanding is considered to be a solid practical situation-based decision-making process within our everyday life (Kembhavi, 2010). It should be noted that the basic ability to observe, comprehend, and to make the judgment on the basis of the practicality of the situation is possessed by every human being (Kembhavi, 2010). According to the beliefs of Aristotle's theory of common sense, it is considered to be a “higher-order perception” that is possessed exclusively by human beings and it acts as guidance to the individuals in their routine lives (Marmodoro, 2011). There is a marked difference between the sociological and common sense understanding. It is widely known that common sense depends on the wide range of personal encounters whereas sociological understanding refers to the overall society but not upon the individual experiences or understanding (Clegg, 2013). However, authors also argue that sociology and common sense interacts well with one another. There are four positions in association to the sociology and the common sense such as: 1) sociology should break the common sense; 2) sociology should be dependent on the concept of common sense; 3) the understanding of sociology and common sense is considered to be unparalleled; and 4) sociology and common sense are indistinguishable (Zou, 2009).


The sociological understanding is based on the concept of “sociological imagination” (Garoutte, 2018). There are several individuals who encounter certain personal or social problems in their day to day life. The problems may include unemployment, worsening conditions of health, varied kinds of family-based problems, and the development of certain risky behaviors such as addiction to alcohol or drugs and commitment to crimes (Garoutte, 2018). It is observed that when people hear about certain problems they blame the entire situation on the individual or the other people who are also encountering the same problems as a whole. However, the sociological approach is considered to be different as it vividly states the problems faced by any individuals have their origin rooted deeply within the society itself (Lynch, 2012). This key understanding educated C. Wright Mills' (1959) (Mills, 1959) exemplary perception between personal inconveniences and public matters. Individual inconveniences allude to an issue influencing people that the influenced individual, just as the different citizenry, normally fault on the person's moral ethics and conduct (Scanlan, 2009). These issues incorporate varied situations such as dietary issues, separation, and joblessness. On the contrary public issues, whose origin lies in the social structure and culture of general public, allude to social issues influencing numerous people. Issues in the public eye consequently help to represent issues that people insight. According to the opinion of C. Wright Mill there are numerous issues conventionally viewed as private inconveniences are best perceived as open or public issues, and he referred to the term “sociological imagination” to allude to the capacity to value the basic reason for an individual’s issues (Scanlan, 2009).

“Social behavior” is defined by the interactions that occur among each other and it is of four different kinds such as mutualistic, aggressive, cooperative, parental, and altruistic (Tinbergen, 2012). For instance, the behavior among the individuals during a gathering or a party is also considered to be social behavior (Tinbergen, 2012). The scientific background of social psychology denotes that the emotions, thoughts, and the conduct of any individual get influenced by the imaginary, actual, or by the implied presence of others (Fiske, 2010). According to the opinions of social psychologists, the typical conduct of human beings can be illustrated based on the varied interactions among the human mind or mental status and the immediate neighboring social situations such as during the party as mentioned above (Pervin, 2015). The research on the field of social psychology lets the psychologist comprehend comparatively better about the root causes of certain conduct that human beings develop in response to the social situations (Fiske, 2010). Psychologists conduct empirical investigations or research on the social conduct of human beings with the aid of varied scientific methods on several topics on social psychology (Pervin, 2015). The branch of anthropology is the scientific study branch on human conduct, biology, and overall society (Kottak, 2015). Therefore, social anthropologists studies on the patterns of conduct, and this is also referred to as “cultural anthropology” (Kottak, 2015). It helps to illustrate how human beings become culturally shaped when they grow up within a particular society and that gets represented within their behavior socially (Kottak, 2015). On the contrary to the traditional economic theory, which is based upon the assumptions that individuals do not possess any free determination, the book “Economics as a social science” written by an author, Andrew M. Kamarck (2002) illustrated that economics is based on the realistic information that human beings can opt for (Kamarck, 2009). He also stated that human beings are complex individuals who get affected by varied emotions, habits, traditions, and reasoning. Their behavior also gets affected by the surrounding situations and the temporary phase of time. Within this particular book, the author amalgamated the findings based on historical science, psychology, and social science to give a powerful insight into the conduct of human beings (Kamarck, 2009). The author, Kamarck also highlighted that the market functions inappropriately and as a result it demands proper institutions to function comparatively better. He also mentioned that self-interest is not well correlated with the general interest of the public and therefore it does not serve properly (Kamarck, 2009). Political sociology is thought to be a distinctive border in between political science and sociology (Patros, 2015). The key element in this field is the marked distinction in between the political and the social, and also in between the state and the society. The branch of political sociology focuses on the methodical procedure of changes within the society, i.e., the changes within the political order and in turn within the society (Patros, 2015).

For the present assignment, the branch of the social science chosen is social psychology. As discussed earlier this particular field differs markedly from the others as the psychologist comprehends comparatively better about the root causes of certain conduct that human beings develop in response to the social situations. Psychologists conduct empirical investigations or research on the social conduct of human beings with the aid of varied scientific methods on several topics on social psychology (Fiske, 2010; Pervin, 2015).

While addressing the third learning outcome, the two selected social perspectives for the assignment are Funtionalism and Feminism. The concept of the social perspective Funtionalism is based on combined ethics, moral values accord, social order, learning, relations, offense, deviance, and the media (Smith, 2010). A sociologist with the Functionalist perspective such as Durkheim and Parsons were also thoughtful with regard to the functions within the institutions of the society (Smith, 2010). The key messages of this hypothesis that all the important aspects of the society, for instance, the institutions, roles, and the standards or regulations have a purpose for the society, and therefore, all these are necessitated for the long term survival of the society (Kingsbury, 2009). There are five basic principles of this particular theory –

1. there is a usual interdependence within the parts of the system; 2) the normal state of affairs within the system that results in equilibrium state; 3) the process via which all the parts of the system tries to revert to the state of normal during the events of disruptions; 4) the moral values or the ethics to maintain the state of equilibrium; and 5) the Functionalist sociologist believes in the values and the standard regulations (Kingsbury, 2009).

Another sociological perspective chosen is Feminism. The key point of this theory is equality among both genders. Feminist sociologist pays respect to the individual, their informed choices, and their beliefs and opinions and there should not be any hypocrisy with regard to judging a particular person. The movement raised by the Feminist sociologist is also referred to as the “women movement” and it includes a wide range of political reforms such as issues on domestic violence, equal pay, sexual annoyance and violence, maternity leaves and rights, etc (Sjoberg, 2010).

Social institutions are the mechanisms or the order to justify the needs of the overall society such as healthcare, economy, education, family, and also a religion (Heise, 2010). Through the social institutions, the members of society learn the process of becoming good and productive members. Therefore, via these institutions, the members get educated about the skills, standards and moral values of the society (Heise, 2010). The functional theory focuses on the capacities that knowledge and education serve in satisfying the general public's different needs. The second function of knowledge is a social combination. For a Functionalist to perform, individuals must opt for the typical allowance of faith-based expectations and qualities. A functionalist will put an accentuation on the positive aspects of schooling, for example, socialization; the aptitudes of learning, and mentalities in school (Gewirtz, 2009). Training and learning keep up society by mingling youngsters into estimations of accomplishment, rivalry, and equity of chances. Structural-Functionalists consider instruction to be adding to the smooth working of society and the overall positive progress of society. On the contrary, women's activists likewise accept that society depends on the struggle between the genders (Gewirtz, 2009). They accept that ladies have truly been distraught in the public arena and that men verifiably have had more force than ladies. Women's activists accept that education and training is an operator of optional socialization that assists with authorizing male-centric society. They take a gander at society on a MACRO scale. They need to sum up their thoughts regarding the males and females of the entire society. Thus education serves the root cause of distinction between the two genders and it would also help to eradicate the gap in between (Gewirtz, 2009).

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Thus, in the present assignment, the five learning outcomes have been discussed widely. The distinguishing features in between the sociological and the common sense understanding have been critically analyzed. According to the second learning outcome how sociological and psychological approaches define a social behavior and in what manner the social illustration is differing from the other social sciences in terms of explaining social behavior have also been discussed. The two widely known theories known as Functionalism and Feminism have been contrasted based on their key points and with regard to the social institution education.


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  4. Clegg, S., 2013. Power, Rule and Domination (RLE: Organizations): A Critical and Empirical Understanding of Power in Sociological Theory and Organizational Life. Routledge.
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  11. Pervin, L.A. ed., 2015. Goal concepts in personality and social psychology. Psychology Press.
  12. Kottak, C.P., 2015. Cultural anthropology: Appreciating cultural diversity. McGraw-Hill Education.
  13. Kamarck, A.M., 2009. Economics as a social science: An approach to nonautistic theory. University of Michigan Press.
  14. Patros, T. and Stepan-Norris, J., 2015. Political Sociology.
  15. Smith, A.D., 2010. The Concept of Social Change (Routledge Revivals): A Critique of the Functionalist Theory of Social Change. Routledge.
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  17. Sjoberg, L. and Via, S., 2010. Gender, war, and militarism: feminist perspectives. ABC-CLIO.
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  19. Gewirtz, S. and Cribb, A., 2009. Understanding education: A sociological perspective. Polity.

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