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Social Science/Sociology and it's academic nature.

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Introduction

Introduction to Sociology Social Science/Sociology and it's academic nature Social Science is an umbrella term for the Science of society from individuals to groups. Sociology is one of the Social Sciences; it is related to and uses methods similar to other Social Sciences, which include Psychology, Anthropology, Politics, and Economics. Sociology studies society as a whole, and the parts within it, which consist of various groups and individuals, and the structures or pillars of modern society. Sociology tries to explain why people behave the way they do and it looks for patterns of behaviour in groups. Sociologists look at social characteristics in key groups and the differences between them. Sociology also looks at the institutions (i.e. education, work, family, welfare, law, religion, politics and media) and their structures and how they contribute to the functioning of society, how they interact with each other, and also how that interacts with the individuals and groups that form that society. One group of sociologists called 'action theorists' say that people have free will and can choose how they behave while another group, 'structuralists', say that people's behaviour is mainly shaped by the forces and pressures of other people around us. As an academic discipline sociology uses a methodological approach to reach its conclusions; it is possible to identify two broad traditions within sociology. ...read more.

Middle

According to Plomin (1994) it is in the latter that this debate 'properly' takes place. The two viewpoints are represented by the nativists who see the knowledge of the world as largely innate, whilst empiricists stress the role of learning and experience. The extremes of these viewpoints are reflected in early psychological theories, such Gesell's Maturation and Watson's Behaviourism. Research has been carried out on identical twins separated at birth, with the aim of discovering the role of genetics and environment in intelligence development. Correlations have been found in intelligence between the twins that can only be explained in genetic inheritance terms. Equally differences have been found that can only be explained in environmental terms. In practice it would seem impossible to divide the world into matters of natural or nurture, the interactions are so complete that we need to think in ways that are not tied to their purified categories. It can seem that there are no definite answers to the questions raised by the nature-nurture debate, however, it is important to accept that human growth and development is a very complex area. One can only hope that as the two camps of researchers develop and refine their understanding of growth and development processes, they eventually work together and do as Plomin (2000) ...read more.

Conclusion

Like Marxists they tend to see society as characterised by exploitation, unlike Marxist, they see the exploitation of women by men as the most important source of exploitation rather than that of the working class by the ruling class. However, if there was so much conflict within society as stated by the conflict views, surely wouldn't society be changed by revolution. Or have the ruling classes using manipulation through the superstructure of society, clouded the minds and thinking of society's members so much so, that they are content to be pacified with token women boardroom directors and token black trade union leaders. So instead of a revolution we have an evolution of society with relatively slow and almost patronising changes. There are other conflict theories most of them are either from the schools of Marxism or Feminism, and of course there is the influential theory of Max Weber (cannot expound because of word limits) . Although the views of functionalist and conflict theories seems so very different they actually have a number of characteristics in common. Firstly they offer a general explanation of society as a whole, and as a result of this are sometimes known as macro-theories. Secondly, they regard society as a system, and therefore referred to sometimes as system theories. Thirdly, they tend to see human behaviour as shaped by the system, rather than humans shaping the society in which they live. ...read more.

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