sociology questions

What is sociology of education?

Sociology of education can be defined
as a study of the relations between education and society. It is an analysis of
the sociological process involved in education.
            To
Ottaway (1962), it is a social study and in so far as its methods is
scientific, it is a branch of social science. It is concerned with educational
aims, methods, institutions, administration and curricula in relation to the
economic, political, religious, social and cultural forces of the society in
which they function.
Sociology of education emphasizes
social aspects of educational phenomena and institutions. The content of
sociology of education therefore included such general concepts as the society
itself, accommodation, assimilations, cultural lag, sub-culture, status etc.

What is perspectives?

Perspective can be defined as meighan
(1986) did as a frame of reference, a series of working rules by which a person
is able to make sense of complex and puzzling phenomena. It is the position from
which the thinker approached the study of social life.
Perspective has to do with how people
think or view society and social life. For example, the interpretation adopted
by the three groups of thinkers identified differed fundamentally as a result of
the different views they had of man, of society and of interaction between the
two. The position that each group of thinkers adopted from which they viewed
society determine how they interpreted it and what they regarded as the most
important aspect of social life.   This
position from which thinkers approached the study of social life is what is
called perspective.
What are the benefits of
functionalist theory to the study of social order?
Basic to the functional approach is a
concern for maintenance, legitimate transmission and internalization of the
“collective consciousness” that, in the functionalists view is so central to
the society’s integration and survival.
Functionalist analysis aims to
uncover the “deep structures” operating in the consciousness of the whole by
focusing on what can be regarded as the cardinal functions of its various parts
on which the entire social structure rests. Functionalists theory has attempted
to answer questions about the process by which order is achieved in social life,
including both the way interpersonal relations are regulated and how individual
affairs are constrained using a social system.
Functionalist view would influence
interpretations of three key areas of schooling, namely: the curriculum, the
roles of teachers and pupils and interpersonal relations.


 What are the difference between
the action theorist and consensus theorist?

Consensus theory
Action theory
It
places primacy of the society or the whole over the individual
It
emphasizes on the role of individual and how he interpret reality as an
entity not really governed by group
It
claims objectivity in its methods whereby issues are more or less static and
predetermined in ways essential to the individual.
Its
objectivity is to cover how the actions of men help to produce society rather
than how the society regulates and constrains their affairs.
It
Views the society as the product of man
It
focuses on small scale interpretation rather than society as a whole
It
is concerned with the maintenance of continuation of social order in society
It
goes from smaller unit of social action to the more comprehensive, focusing
on small scale interactions rather than society as a whole.
Consensus
theory holds that a particular political or economic system is a fair system
and that social change within the social institutions provided by it
It
shows how the action of man help to produce society rather than how society
regulates and constrains their affairs.



What are the advantages of subjective reality as sociological analysis?

1.     They help to unify the group by the
fact that it’s members are willing to make the actions and the subjective
interpretations of real people their main concern.
2.     They have good conception and
attitude to what constitute acceptable sociological knowledge.
3.     The interpretation of human reality
when controlled by a subjective methodology assumes a whole new dimension
focusing attention on both the knowledge that people have their world and the
meaning they give to objects which constitute it.

What are the main arguments of conflict theorist?

The failure of both
consensus and action perspectives to provide satisfactory answers to the
question of inequitable distribution of resources or the exploitative
relationships prevalent in the society gave rise over the years to an alternate
theory of how societies hold together developed as a way of demonstrating how
order and coherence in society are founded on conflict and the domination of
some over others.
For the Marx, the basic
aspect of social order is achieved through a continual process of disputed
interaction between men, of sectional struggles and of the imposition of order
by those in power.
             Meighan, (1986) using this marxin
binary models the conflict theorist demonstrated that although the ‘have-nots’
or the owners of the means of production and the forces of production are
binary opposites,  the notion of power
mediates between each pair of opposites.
      This meditation operates at two levels. First it empowers
certain individuals within a group to shape, direct and define the rules
governing the conduct of other members of the group as a way of managing intra-group
conflict and maintaining order. At the second level, it enables one group of
people to successfully overcome opposition from other groups or even individuals.
In this way, all social arrangement governing the interrelationships between individual
action and the structure of society and all interactional situations are thus
subjected to pervasive Hagelian dialectical analysis.
      Conflict theorists at least with reference to their emphasis on
the existence of competing groups and interests in society, would agree that
conflict is in some way central to the maintenance of social order.
Briefly discuss the arguments of the following:

1.     Economic determinism:-

 Economic
determinism based their argument on max’s insistence on the paramount
importance of the economic system in exerting the primary influence on other aspects
of society. To the such as religion, politics, value system and education,
Marxism is interpreted in terms of economic determinism, economic determinism
assumed prominence in the period 1889 – 1914 at a time when market capitalism had
its booms and busts, which led to predictions about its imminent collapse
(Ritzer, 1996). Adherents to this interpretation spear headed by Engels,
kantsky and Bernstein argued that the collapse of capitalism was inevitable
because of the contradictions that interplay within its economic structures. 

2.     Hegelian Marxism:- 

prominent thinkers
in this group are George Lukacs and Antonio Gramsci. This Hegelian Marxists
concern is to restore the dialectic between the subjective and objective
aspects of social life (Ritzer 1996).

It
argues that the application of the concept should be extended beyond the
economic institutions to cover all society including the state, the legal and
the economic sector since the same dynamic applies in all sectors of capitalist
society structure assume a life of fear own independent of man (Ritzer, 1996).
Lukacs
refuses to see the individual as simply being constrained and regulated by
forces external to him, but rather as the architect of his own fate.                                                              Thus he would
argue that as the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat
intensifies, the later would move from being a class in itself” to being a
“class for itself” poised and capable of taking necessary action that could
overthrow capitalism.

3.     Critical theory:-

 It concerns itself
almost exclusively with subjective factors. Critical theory consist largely of
criticism of various aspects of social and intellectual life ranging from the
economic determinism of Marxian theory from which it draws its inspiration,
scientism of the discipline of sociology, the cultural repression of the
individual in modern society, to the absolution of the positivist methodology
(Ritzer, 1996).

      The main contribution of this theory is in this effort to steer
Marxian theory in a sub sective direction at both individual and cultural
levels. At the cultural levels, the critical theory argue that the economic
determinists have over emphasized the prominence of economic structures at the
expense of other aspects social reality such as the culture.
      At the individual levels the critical theorists are concerned
with actions and their consciousness as well as what happens in the modern
would (Ritzer, 1996).
      A second aspect of the critical theorist main contribution lies
in their dialectical approach which stresses the importance of social totality.
      The view also has methodological implications. Basic to the
critical theorists method is a concern for both diachronic and synchronic
approaches.    

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