Posted at 10.15.2018
This article will examine the importance of sociology and the value of your good knowledge of the society in which we live. This essay will also provide an understanding of what sociology is, and an insight into each point of view with regards to a particular idea plus some of the communal problems bordering it. It will identify how a knowledge of sociology pays to in helping public workers understand, assess and resolve the potential problems confronted by their customer groups, and will assess the importance of sociology in public work practice.
Sociology differs to psychology, in up to psychology studies the average person and this individual's reactions and involvement within society. Sociology concentrates its procedure on a much wider level, considering the larger picture. Giddens (1989:18) records that the analysis of sociology supplies the individual an opportunity to detach oneself from preconceived ideas about communal life, however it does cause specific problems, mainly because of the complex problems involved with subjecting our very own behaviour to review. It is hard to be target that you are directly involved in, and later on in the essay, it is visible how it has affected, and biased some perspectives.
Sociology developed as a technology in the late 1700s. It had been initially a means of attempting to understand the fantastic changes occurring in industry and population around that time, following a period of social and industrial revolutions throughout England and the changeover from feudal England, into a far more capitalist and industrialised population.
Although there are numerous meanings of sociology, there is absolutely no clear cut classification as to what it encompasses.
Macionis and Plummer (1997:4) say that this is of sociology is the "systematic study of human modern culture", whilst "The analysis of human social behaviour, especially the analysis of the roots, organization, organizations, and development of real human society"
- is this is taken from http://dictionary. reference. com/search?q=sociology
We can therefore deduce that sociology is a study of taking a look at things from a wider viewpoint. So, what psychologists may view as an individual tragedy to one person, when viewed from the wider position, provides an insight into imbalances in the equilibrium of contemporary society. For instance, C Wright Mills (extracted from Macionis and Plummer) had written famously about the "Sociological Imagination", which enables the individual to reflect upon the societal impact of what can be evidently individual situations, such as divorce, and unemployment. Whilst divorce is an individual tragedy for the average person, the impact than it nationally becomes a sociable problem, given that Britain statistically has one of the highest divorce rates in European countries. So, sociology is about learning how to look at things with an increase of than simply knowledge or common sense, it is approximately being able to flip situations around and take a look at the effect on both the person and the surrounding society.
To do that however, one must be able to identify what population actually is. What does it encompass? How many people would it take to make a world? Even though we assume that a world is, for example, a group of men and women with self perpetuating guidelines, living within a particular framework of public relationships, we still have to question to who's rules are they are adhering, and to what degree is the framework of social romance to be extended?
Classical sociologists had no problems in figuring out what constitutes a contemporary society, as they assumed that modern culture was something that might be investigated or analysed in a lab, such as with any other science. Classical sociology was in effect the "scientific" research of contemporary society. Whilst more modernist techniques such as Cree (as quoted in Cree:1997:276), have determined that today's world is a more mosaic and fragmented world, and realises that "much as most of us have more than one personal information, so we live and move in a variety of, and sometimes competing, societies".
To allow them to study this, sociologists have determined numerous perspectives on different sociological principles.
A concept can be an issue that is immediately related to sociology or society, and as such includes issues including the family, crime and deviance, the community, class, position, poverty, competition and youth. Each one of these concepts have a direct impact on society and so sociologists are considering learning them. Each strategy is often intrinsically linked to the staying ones.
If we take as a simplistic example, a black boy who have been found stealing, he is from an impoverished history and is being brought up by his one parent mother. In this solo example, a sociologist could choose to check out this case study from any or all the above principles. The family device has broken down, leading the junior to commit works of criminal offenses and deviance, possibly because the family's standard of living has deteriorated, resulting in a bringing down in class and status, which in turn could have resulted in prejudice and isolation from the surrounding community.
A perspective however, is the real viewpoint and theory which surrounds the explanation used to judge and identify modern culture and communal problems. For instance, traditional perspectives include Marxism, Interactionism, and Functionalism.
In the very simplest of meanings a Marxist perspective would examine an idea with its relativity to social class, and category issue. Interactionists would be analyzing the meanings and interpretations of the analysis matter, and would give attention to the individual. A Functionalist perspective, however, would verify the reason and needs of the social structure surrounding the concept, and would be looking at the communal system and sub systems.
These traditional perspectives originated mainly from American, heterosexual, middle income men, and point out one of the numerous problems sociologists face, that is certainly distancing oneself from the problem which has been examined. The viewpoints of the traditional sociologists seem to be from white, heterosexual men, FOR white, heterosexual men. These early classical attempts to review a world which is in itself a constantly changing and nebulous mass, has supposed that new sociologists experienced to emerge, taking with them new, broader perspectives, and they are called modern sociologists.
Contemporary sociologists include views of culture from perspectives such as Feminism, Anti Racism, Disablism, and the Homosexual Protection under the law lobby, and the perspectives from which they write are reasonably self explanatory, but Feminism will be mentioned in more detail further on.
When analyzing one concept in detail, including the family, and observing it from each different point of view, we are provided with an understanding on not only the historical track record of the point of view from which it was written (eg - Marxism and Feminism were set up in very different historical episodes), but it also allows us to place this across different facets of working practice in interpersonal work.
Therefore in order to operate in the communal work profession efficiently, one needs to be able to go through the bigger picture, and put aside our own values and opinions of the family - i. e. all the differing family types etc, as it is hard to be objective about something with that you've direct connection with. Just about everyone has had experience of family, and so our prospects of the family life of the client groupings will ultimately be inspired by this, much in the same way as sociologists will be inspired by the society in which these are part of,
To identify the family from differing perspectives, one must first reach an agreed definition in regards to what the family is in sociological conditions, broadly speaking because if there is no agreed definitive answer in regards to what the family consists of, then each perspective may be creating theories in what could fundamentally be completely different social communities.
As a culture we have stereo-typical ideas and ideologies of just what a family "should" consist of and they are perpetuated through the press and advertising with images of the ideal family (i. e. partner, partner, 2 children, dog), and through humour, with television set programs such as 2. 4 Children, MY CHILDREN etc.
Macionis and Plummer (1997:438) claim that the family "has been seen as a social establishment that unites individuals into co-operative teams that oversee the bearing and bringing up of children. " Cree however, (2000:26) defines the family as an organization of people destined together by blood vessels and matrimony ties, however, not necessarily found in one geographical place.
When providing a definition, it has to adequately dwelling address the changing mother nature of family life in Britain throughout the last century. For example, using information from Giddens (1989: 181) over 20 % of dependent children now live in lone parent homes. As well as the surge in lone parent or guardian households, there have also been a significant increase in the introduction of differing family compositions. .
It is simple to see that family composition and structure has evolved greatly over the last century, which could be due to the way that society adapts to accommodate social problems, for example, an increased volume of lone parents, gay couples and sexual relationships outside of marriage etc. They were social problems during the 1900's and preceding, and were immoral, which in the local communities in those days, could have been punishable by law, but today's society has started to adapt and agree to these changes, making something which was originally perceived as deviant into a public "norm", which will lead eventually into this behavior becoming part of the social mores of your society. Hence, it is safe to say, that for culture to be retained it has to agree to the changing hazards to ideals and adapt around the communal problems it encounters.
Using information from Giddens (1989:176) we can easily see that the number of couples with based mostly children has fell significantly from 38% in 1961 to only 23% in 1998, whilst this indicates a decline in the quantity of young maried people having children, it also highlights the fact our contemporary society is also now increasing in time. This shows that the current populace is likely to be comprised of parents without dependent children. Furthermore, the number of lone parents has increased drastically from 2% in 1961 to 7% in 1998. Using information from Macionis and Plummer (1997:447) which state that, "the statistics in adoption have sharply fallen. 6, 000 in Great britain in Wales in 1994, compared with 21, 000 in 1971", we can easily see how culture has accommodated the problem of unmarried mothers. The number of one person homes has also risen from 11% in 1961 to 28% in 1998, which is probably because of the go up in divorcees needing to find alternate accommodation following the breakdown of a relationship.
So, whilst we have identified just what a family is, and a good example of the communal problems surrounding it, it is useful now to check out how each perspective views the family and its own purpose and effectiveness in contemporary society.
Looking at the functionalist perspective, who provide the most positive view of family life, it is vital to comprehend that functionalists view the family as the "basic cultural product and the main institution of world" (Jorgensen et al:1997:72)
The functionalists see one of the integral familial efforts as social integration. They view the family's main function as teaching the family how to belong within the group (ie: culture) around them. This function of the family is due to the fact that functionalists consider the family exists as the primary institution in any society, for the original socialisation of children. In this esteem any institution recharged with this responsibility will play a big part in producing and preserving ethnic norms and principles.
In addition to the socialisation function, they also believe that the family takes on a component in stabilising society. They believe that the family reinforces prices such as psychological and sexual stability, economical co-dependence etc. These rules are a fundamental element of the society where we live, you need to include moral limitations, for example, such as incest. This is a purely real human concept, and we will be the only species which impose laws on sexual discussion between members of the family. Our own contemporary society forbids the work of sexual relationships between family, but limits it to close family members, such as those included in our extended family. In a few societies however, it is permissible for siblings to marry. A couple of biological explanations why incest is not encouraged, however, the principal concerns are societal. Macionis and Plummer (1997) suggest that the reasons for this taboo are to minimise sexual competition within the family, it also pushes visitors to marry outside of the family encouraging wider alliances to form, looked after defends kinship from dropping into chaos. They suggest that as kinship identifies people's rights and responsibilities towards each other, forbidding reproduction between close family members shields the family.
Another relevant example of the functionalist point of view is in the "institution" of matrimony. For instance, when a person chooses to marry, they do so within the predetermined constraints with their individual population. In Britain for example, marriage companions are chosen at will, and relationship is dependant on personal choice and love. But in other societies, such as the Hindu religion, the couple have often not fulfilled before the matrimony, that will have been organized by the two families included and is considered to be a "suitable union".
So in this esteem, the family is itself an establishment in charge of maintaining the sociable equilibrium.
Talcott Parsons called both of these features of the family Most important socialization and Personality stabilization. As quoted in Giddens (2000:175) "Parsons regarded as the nuclear family as the unit best equipped to handle the demands of industrial modern culture. Within the "conventional family" one adult could work outside the home, as the second adult cares for the house and children. "
This has designed that Parsons' view of the family is currently seen as obsolete, and critics have implied that the functionalist perspective reinforces the division of labour between women and men. Giddens (2000) however said this obviously sexist view could be described mostly given the historical framework in which Parsons was writing. He was writing rigtht after the next World War, which saw an instantaneous come back of women with their traditional functions in family members, and men returning to their roles as exclusive breadwinners. However, I would dispute this, as upon reflection of Parson's quote, he doesn't actually specify gender, in his estimate, he just reflects that one adult can work beyond your home, therefore whilst he is outdated in his view that we now have two parents, maybe it's perceived as in front thinking for being non gender specific. .
The Functionalist point of view also negates the impact of other communal institutions such as schools, the government etc and their important roles in the socialisation of children.
This perspective does not take into account the break down of the traditional model of the family, and the actual fact that more children are now raised outside of this. There is absolutely no real mention either of the incidents of maltreatment and violence, of which there is strong information to claim that the family is actually a very dysfunctional place where to raise children, which could be due to the fact that the sociologists writing on this perspective at the time were white, middle class me rather than looking beyond the society they are simply a part of.
Moving on to the contemporary perspectives, the Feminists bring this to the forefront in their methods to the family. The feminists think that unequal power relationships exist within young families. Not least importantly then, will be the issues of domestic assault, marital rape, incest and erotic mistreatment. The feminist perspective does not understand the family as a haven for love and support, but that issues such as incest and home violence give a further chance of men to dominate and oppress women.
Feminism became important in the 1970s and 1980's and has continuing to develop in durability and followers even today. Before feminism, sociologists have been criticised for the male bias in their studies of society as a whole. From a feminist's sociological viewpoint, women had previously always been considered appendages to men. Feminism has been concerned with the evaluation of male/female relationships in conditions of the comparative significance of intimacy, category and patriarchy - ie; Male headed dominance
There are several different views within the feminist point of view, with as Lena Dominelli writes "a plurality of views, - liberal, radical, socialist, anti-racist and post-modernist - which can be organised by both dark-colored and white feminists; for example, white radical feminism, black socialist feminism" (1997:97)
Neil Thompson (1993:53) creates that whilst there is absolutely no such thing as uniformed and steady feminism, there are common themes and things of argument, they "all show a concentrate on the critique of patriarchy and the necessity to set up a fairer society in which women are no longer marginalised, alienated and pushed into secondary jobs". In addition, it does not account for the fact that when women come out of the home, and enter the employment world they are still being discriminated against, with low pay, maternity issues etc, which is perpetuating sociable problems.
Marxist feminism portrays the woman's role in the family environment to that of the Proletariat, or exploited school, and the man's role as that of the Bourgeoisie or exploiter. Seen from the Marxist feminist viewpoint, the woman is the loser in the inequal matrimony partnership.
Marxist feminists assume that relationship is perpetuating the capitalist industry by prostituting the local services of the woman in return for financial security. What this signifies essentially is the fact that by staying at home and looking after the children within an unpaid capacity, the girl isn't only helping the man to work in the capitalist industry, but providing heirs to perpetuate the category department further. Thus, patriarchy is not simply a matter of biological difference, but is straight related to the economical bottom and the emphasis on comparing the woman's role in the family to the exploitation of the capitalist school within the working class. Matching to Thompson(1993:56) this is one of the key weaknesses in the theory, as it does not describe how there continues to be continuation of male dominance in the non-capitalist societies
Liberal feminism has been evident since the early on eighteenth century, and its own main aim was to make it against the law to discriminate against, or use unequal treatment for ladies, and it was largely predicated on notions of free choice, empowering women to manage their own lives. Liberal feminism is generally concerned with issues of overt discrimination against ladies in all areas of cultural life, specifically, work education and the portrayal of ladies in the media, as well as arguing for legal safety and social protection under the law. It argues that women are not inferior compared to men and should be allowed to compete equally in all respects of life, especially education and work. It's been successful up to now in which consists of main weapon (the legal system) in outlawing discriminatory behaviour towards women, and in creating legislation to safeguard female workers in the united kingdom and USA, such as similar pay etc. The main criticism of this perspective is the fact that the women involved in the writing were middle income women, therefore the changes put in place were benefiting middle income women.
I recognize that sociology can help the public work practitioner in evaluating situations from the wider picture and pulling on relevant perspectives in their own merit to help your client group involved with reaching the right resolution.
I therefore assume that an understanding of sociology can help social workers to develop a attitude which will supply the foundations for the commencement of good practice skills. I feel that contemporary society modifies itself to accommodate social problems and that sociology itself has modified to recognize these, therefore, as sociology helps us to identify what the sociable problems are, it can benefit social staff to help the society in which they work.