Sociological Theories of SPED

¡ Sociology (from Latin socious”companion and suffix –logy “the study of from Greek logos “knowledge )is scientific or systematic study of society including patterns of social relationships, interaction and culture. Areas studied in sociology can range from analysis of brief contact s between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social interaction, numerous fields within the discipline concentrated on how and why people are organized in society either as individuals or as members of associations, groups and institutions.

¡ Sociological Theories

¡ Sociological theories are complex theoretical frameworks that sociologist use to explain and analyze variously how social action. Social processes and social structures work. Sociological theories are sometimes called social theories though the later term generally refers to interdisciplinary theory .In seeking to understand society, sociologist use both sociological theory and interdisciplinary social theories to organize social research.

¡ . Structural Functionalism

¡ Structural functionalist believe that society leans toward equilibrium and social order. They see society like a human body, in which institutions such as education are like important organs that keep the society /body healthy and well. Social health means the same social order and is guaranteed when nearly everyone accepts the general moral values of their society. Hence structural functionalist believe the aim of key institutions, such as education is to socialize children and teenagers. Socialisation is the process by which the new generation learns the knowledge, attitudes and values that they will need as productive citizens. Although this aim is stated in formal curriculum it is mainly achieved through he hidden curriculum, a subtler, but nonetheless powerful, indocrination of the norms and values of the wider society. Students learn these values because their behavior at school is regulated until they gradually internalize and accept them. Education must however perform another function .as various jobs become vacant. They must be filled with the appropriate people. Therefore the other purpose of education is to sort and ranks individuals for placement in the labor market. Those with high achievement will be trained for the most important jobs and in reward, be given the highest incomes. Those who achieved the least, will be given the least demanding jobs, and hence the least income.

¡ According to Sennet and Cobb however,”to believe that ability alone decides who is rewarded is to be deceived “megham agrees sating that large numbers of capable students from the working class backgrounds fail to achieve satisfactory standards in school and therefore e fail to obtain the status they deserve, Jacob believes this is because the middle class cultural experiences that are provided at school may be contrary to the experiences working-class children receive at home .In other words, working class children are not adequately prepared to cope at school. They are therefore “cooled out” from school with the least qualifications, hence they get the least desirable jobs and so remain working class. Argent confirms this cycle, arguing that schooling supports continuity, which in turn support social order. Talcott Parsons believe d that this process, whereby some students were identified and labeled educational failures “was a necessary activity which one part of the social system ,education ,performed for the whole yet the structural functionalist perspective maintains that this social order ,this continuity is what most people desire. The weakness of this perspective thus becomes evident .Why would the working class wish to stay working class? Such an inconsistency demonstrates that another perspective may be useful.

¡ Conflict Theory

¡ The conflict theory contrary to their her structural functionalist perspective. Believes that society is full of vying social groups with different aspirations, different access to life chances and gains different social rewards. Relation in society, in this view is mainly based on exploitation, oppression, domination and subordination. This is a more cynical picture of society than the previous idea that most people accept continuing inequality. Some conflict theorist believe education is controlled by the state which is controlled by the powerful and its purpose is to reproduce existing inequalities, as well as legitimize “acceptable ideas which actually work to reinforce the privileged position of the dominant group. Education achieves its purpose by maintaining the status quo.where lower-class children becomes lower class adults and middle class children become middle and upper –class adults. This cycle occurs because the dominant group has, overtime closely aligned education with middle class values and aims, thus alienating people of the other classes. Many teachers assume that students will have particular middle class experiences at home, and for some children this assumption isn’t necessarily true. Some children are expected to help their parents after school and carry considerable domestic responsibilities in their often –single parent home. The demands of this domestic labor often make it difficult for them to find time to do all their homework and thus affect their academic performance.

¡ Ethno methodology:


¡ Examines how people make sense out of social life in the process of living it as if each was as researcher engaged in enquiry.

¡ Feminist theory


¡ Focuses on how male dominance of society has shaped social life.

¡ Interpretative sociology


¡ This theoretical perspective, based in the work of Max Weber, proposes social, economic and historical research can never be fully empirical or descriptive, as one must always approach it wit conceptual apparatus.

¡ Social phenomenology


¡ The social phenomenology of Alfred Schultz influenced the development of the social constructivism and ethnomethology.

¡ Social positivism


¡ Social positivist believes that social process es should be studied in terms of cause and effect using scientific method.

¡ Symbolic interactionism


¡ Examines how shared meanings and social patterns are developed in the course of social interactions.

¡ Dramaturgical perspective

¡ A specialized symbolic interactionism paradigm developed by Irving Goff man seeing life as a performance

¡ Rational choice theory –Models social behavior as the interaction of utility maximizing individuals..

Posted byDoc Junhel at 6:57 PM  


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