Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Oss0212
  • Sociology
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    Major theoretical perspectives of sociology


    OER Text Materials

    Sociology and the Sociological Perspective, Section 1.3 (Theoretical Perspectives within Sociology)

    1. Distinguish macro approaches in sociology from micro approaches.
    2. Summarize the most important beliefs and assumptions of functionalism and conflict theory.
    3. Summarize the most important beliefs and assumptions of symbolic interactionism and exchange theory. 

    Assignment Options

    Written Essay Assignment: Select three of the following quotes and discuss the significance of the
    content as it relates to the Origins of Sociology – Two-page paper required:

    • “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” (C.W. Mills)
    • “Our individual lives cannot, generally, be works of art unless the social order is also.” (Charles Horton Cooley)
    • “The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” (W.E.B. Du Bois)
    • “It is not true that good can follow only from good and evil only from evil.” (Max Weber)
    • “Social reforms are never carried out by the weakness of the strong; but always by the strength of the weak.” (Karl Marx)
    • “The law is the survival of the fittest.... The law is not the survival of the “better” or the “stronger”.... (Herbert Spencer)
    • “Man is a moral being, only because he lives in society. Let all social life disappear and morality will disappear with it.” (Emile Durkheim)
    • “Choose your self-presentations carefully, for what starts out as a mask may become your face.” (Erving Goffman)
    • “Theory not only formulates what we know but also tells us what we want to know, that is, the questions to which an answer is needed.” (Talcott Parsons)