Introduction to Sociology

Systematic study of social life and behavior, especially in relation to social systems—how they work, how they change, the consequences they produce, and their complex relation to people’s lives. socius (lt.) –companion, associate, partner or mate; logos (gk.) – to study Social systems – set of interrelated elements which can be as large and complex as a society or as small and relatively simple as a married couple. (i.e., marriage is composed of husband and wife, an army’s elements range from the positions soldiers occupy with their different ranks and duties to collections of soldiers such

as platoons and battalions. SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES

1. Structural-Functional Paradigm – framework
for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. a. Stability – chief evaluative criterion for any social pattern is whether it contributes to the maintenance of the society. b. Harmony – as the parts of the whole work together for the good of the whole, so the parts of society are also characterized by harmony. c. Change occurs through evaluation – social structures adapt to new needs and demands thus, eliminating unnecessary and outmoded structures.

social dysfunctions – the undesirable consequences of any social pattern for the operation of society.

2. Social Conflict Paradigm – framework for building
theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change. The structure of society is determined by economic organization, and ownership of property, in which personal beliefs, cultural values religious dogmas, institutional organizations, and class hierarchy were reflected.

3. Symbolic Interaction Paradigm – framework for
building theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals. How society affects the individuals and vice versa is the core of the theory. Images of Society A system of interrelated parts that is relatively stable because of widespread agreement on what is morally desirable, each part has particular function in society as a whole. A system based on social inequality; each part of society benefits some categories of people more than others; social inequality leads to conflict, which, in turn, leads to social change. An ongoing process of social interaction in specific settings based on symbolic communications; individual perceptions of reality are variable and changing.

Theoretical Paradigm Structural-Functional

Orientation Macro-level



Symbolic Interaction


The Sociology of Sport

function of sport sports & conflict

: provides recreation and physical conditioning; fosters relationship and generates jobs : tennis, swimming and golf are highly expensive, thus, participation is largely limited; sports have been oriented mainly toward males.

sports as interaction

: each player understands each game differently, some thrive in setting off a stiff competition while others play mainly for the “love of the game” and not on winning.