Using Sociological Theory

  1. In order to understand the three main sociological theories, begin by watching the 57 minute film entitled "Making Sense of Sociological Theory "  [Duration 57:12] in its entirety.

    You will want to make some notes as you will be using this information for future assignments and exams. Here are some things you will want to look for and make note of in the film:

    • Models of Society
    • Social structures
    • Emile Durkheim's concept of social order, collective conscience. What binds people together?
    • Talcott Parson's structural functional theory
    • Marxist theory: capitalism, conflict, social class
    • Symbolic Interaction theory and George Herbert Mead
    • Case study on medicalization. Understand how the same social issue can be explained three different ways.
  2.  Now that you have viewed the film on "Making Sense of Sociological Theory," you are familiar with the three main sociological theories; structural-functionalism, conflict, and symbolic-interaction. You will want to also make sure you have done the assigned reading on sociological theory before attempting this discussion board. The film showed you three different ways to explain the medicalization of our society. Now, I would like for you to choose a social issue or problem and explain why it exists by using one of these three theories. For example, you may choose the rising rate of obesity among children and use the conflict perspective to explain it. Now that I used that example, you must choose another topic!

    For ideas about social problems or issues, look at news headlines, magazines, media to get some ideas of socially relevant topics.
    Post your original post in the discussion forum titled Using Sociological Theory as a new thread. I would like to see the following in your original post:

    • That you understand the theory you are using and can explain it. You may use knowledge gained from the film and the reading to support your discussion.
    • You have given adequate explanation of how the theory fits the social issue you have chosen.

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