Macro and Micro sociology


*health care institutions
deals with matters like war, or poverty, heath care institutions and international topics


Emile Durkheim
social theory that comes from the macro-perspective; looks at society as a whole and how the institutions that make up society adapt to keep the society stable and functioning

society is heading towards equilibrium

structures that meet the needs of society
social facts
ways of thinking and acting formed by society – existing outside of the individual – have coerce effect over individual (moral regulations, the law)
conflict theory
macroperspective; the idea that societies are made up of institutions that benefit the powerful and create inequalities. Large groups of ppl are at odds until the conflict is resolved and a new social order is created with equally distributed power.

*doctor-patient interactions
small scale, everyday face-to-face social interactions between individuals and small groups; families and schools. Look at small group and extrapolate how interactions would affect the larger patterns of society

symbolic interactionaism

George Herbert Mead
social theory in the microperspective that focuses on the individual and the significance or meaning they give to objects, events and symbols.

development of the individual is a social process
1. act based on meaning we give something
2. different ppl assign diff meanings to things
3. meaning we give something is not permanent

social constructionism

society gives value to everything
weak: social constructs are dependent on brute facts (subatomic particles a laws of nature), while institutional facts are created by social conventions and rely on other facts (paper money that we have given value)

strong: the whole of reality is based on language and social habits. All knowledge is a social construct (we have created the idea of subatomic particles etc.) and there are no facts that exist outside of our construct

Feminist theory
contemporary approach from the macroperspective – exams women’s social roles and experience.

socially constructed gender differences
gender inequality
gender oppression
structural oppression

Rational Choice theory
Exchange theory

based on economics
Rational choice: everything ppl do is fundamentally rational (a property of a series of choices) – motivated by self-interest:
1. completeness (every action can be ranked)
2. transitivity
3. independent of irrelevant alternatives

Exchange theory: an application of Rational Choice theory to social interactions; looks at society as a series of interactions between individuals; often used to study family & work relationships, partner selection, parenting – determined by weighing the rewards and punishments of each interaction (social approval v. disapproval)

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