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Ashlien Valdez

BS EE T_3-1

1. What is Sociology in the Philippines?


Early Philippine sociology emerged out of a not too thorough mix of
Spanish theoretical neo-thomism and early American methodological
concerns with neo-positivism. Throughout most of this century it has been
directed and dominated by American funding both in the colonial and post-
colonial period. Consequently on both its achievements and limitation,
Philippine sociology displays most of the characteristics of American
sociology in exaggerated form. Weak in theoretical orientation, Philippine
sociology has made spectacular achievements in quantitative research and
sophistication of methodology. Similar to the situation in many other
developing nations, the social sciences in the Philippines display many of
the features of premature technocratization. After more that decade of the
New society, Philippine Sociology has not yet freed itself of American
neo-colonial intellectual restrictions.

2. What is special about the way sociologists approach topics?


The subject matter of sociology is quite often invisible or not directly
observable. However sociologists can observe the consequences of such
social characteristics as group pressure, authority, prestige and culture. They
then form images of these concepts using what C Wright Mills has called the
sociological imagination taking into account the influence in order to view
their own society as an outsider might.

3. What sort of questions do sociologists address?


Sociologists want to understand:
(a) what goes on in and between groups of people ;
(b) what are the social differences we observe;
(c) what is happening in social institutions;
(d) why and how social change is occurring.

4. What are the theories, concepts and propositions and how are they used?
A sociological issue as a question we seek to answer with a theory or
general explanation of a social phenomenon. A concept is a category of
behaviour, events or characteristics that are considered similar for the sake
of theory construction. A proposition is a statement that explains one concept
by means of another. If we seek to discover why racial groups sometimes
live in harmony and sometimes so not, we may use the concept of racial
harmony to describe the differing ways of relating. The behavior is defined
as indicating harmony exists. We would then state our theory in propositions
for example different racial groups will live in harmony in situations where
enough work exists for all groups to earn a decent living.

5. How did the discipline of sociology develop?


Sociology developed in the midst of the social and intellectual
upheaval surrounding the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. Three
branches of sociology grew from roots in three interest groups: social
activists a new breed of scientists dedicated to applying the scientific
approach to society and philosophers interested in humanity's social nature.

6. What is the place of Marx, Comte, Spencer, Durkheim, Mead and Weber in
the development of sociology?
Karl Marx was the first major proponent of the conflict perspective.
He believed that inequality between classes causes conflict between groups
of people and that society must change in order to fulfill the needs of all the
people.Auguste Comte was the French scientist who gave sociology its
name and promoted the scientific study of society. Herbert Spencer extended
his work developing the idea that society was an organic whole that could be
studied much like the human body- the beginnings of structural-
functionalism.Emile Durkheim also promoted sociology as a science and
strucutural -functionalism as a perspective with his emphasis on social facts
explaining other social facts -for example in his classic study ,Suicide.
George Herbert Mead focused on how we use symbols, including language
and how our use of symbols influences our social dev elopement and social
life.Max Weber's analysis of the major dynamics of society and social
change provides the foundations for much of the sociological theory and
research of our time. His study 'The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of
Capitalism' was an important study of the roots of the industrial Revolution
which was sweeping the world in his day.

7. What are the basic concepts of structural-functionalism, the conflict


approach and symbolic Interactionism?
Structural-functionalism assumes that order is dominant in society and
that social arrangements arise and persist because they serve society and its
members well. The conflict approach assumes the dominant process in
society is conflict and that society divides into two groups the masses and
small elite who exploit them. The symbolic - interaction perspective assumes
that the important action in society takes place around the use of symbols
that channel our thoughts and thereby define what is socially
comprehensible and incomprehensible. Practitioners of this approach often
focus on interaction among individuals in contrast to the other perspective
which tend to look more at social institutions.

8. What are the contributions of Mills, Collins, Parsons, Davis, Thomas and
Goffman to the development of these theories?
C Wright Mills effectively promoted a general conflict perspective in
the US focusing on social class differences and introducing the concept of
power elite, a tiny minority of government, military and business figures
believed to control the US. Randal Collins is one of the most articulate
voices today from that perspective and he developed a formal theory of
conflict applicable to all levels o society, especially analyzing the
inequalities in the American educational system.Talcott Parsons extended
Durkheim's tradition into the 20th century developing the idea that society
could be viewed as a system that must adapt to changes in its environment,
pursue its goals, integrate itself with other systems and maintain order within
itself much like a biological organism.Kingsley Davis is a major
contemporary proponent of this structural-functionalism perspective and he
analyses wealth and poverty from this viewpoint.W.I.Thomas extended
Mead's ideas, theorizing that people define or construct their own social
reality and that their definitions become real because they are real in their
consequences.Erving Goffman has served as a major contemporary
spokesperson for the symbolic interaction perspective and he describes how
people present themselves in everyday life in order to manage the
impression they give to others.

9. What is the scientific method and how can it be applied to the study of
sociology?
The scientific method involves eight basic steps:
a) Observation of an event that stimulates thinking.
b) Defining or classifying the terms or events being considered.
c) Formulating the research issue or hypothesis.
d) Generating a theory or proposition - a general statement that serves as a
potential answer to the research question.
e) Creating a research design in order to test whether the theory or
proposition is valid.
f) Collecting data-working through the research design to make
observations.
g) Analyzing the data
h) Making conclusions and evaluating the theory.

10.What are the advantage and disadvantages of the survey method, analysis of
existing sources, observational study and experimental research in the study
of sociology?
A survey is a research method in which a representative sample of a
population is asked to respond to questions. In principle every member of
the population has an equal chance of being selected so the survey should
give an accurate representation of the views of a population. However
people may try to answer questions as they think the survey interviewer
wants them to biasing the results of the research. Analysis of existing
sources is a research technique in which the researcher uses existing
documents that were created for some other purpose. This research generally
costs much less than the survey allows access to otherwise unavailable
subjects and to date over long periods of time and involves data that is not
influenced by the interviewer. Documents used however may be biased
toward their original purpose and thus distort the true picture the researcher
is trying to find. In an observational study the researcher actually witness
social behavior in its natural setting either as a participant or an unobtrusive
observer. The advantage of this study is that research is accomplished by
directly observing subjects' behavior thus permitting access to nonverbal a
well as verbal behaviour.Obervation also allows for study over a time rather
than at one point. An experiment is a research design in which the researcher
exposes a group of subjects to a treatment and observes its effect usually in
comparison to a similar control group that did not receive the treatment.
Experiments can demonstrate clearly that a variable has a particular effect on
the subject group because the researcher retains maximum control over the
circumstances of the research. However experiments are very expensive.
Sometimes an aspect of the experiment other than the treatment is the real
cause of the experiment's outcome but this goes unnoticed and the
artificiality of many experimental settings makes generalizing to natural
settings risky.

11.What are some of the challenges and ethical issues in the study of
sociology?
Sociology faces the challenge of working with human beings and their
social groupings because people have rights that limit what we can do with
them while we are studying them. Sociological subjects can give us
important information but their information can be distorted. Sociologists
must decide whether their own views will influence their research and theory
development, either believing that knowledge is neutral or that value
neutrality is either nave or a rationalization for the fact that one is working
for the elite because most sociological research is funded by and
disproportionately available to powerful elites.