Chapter 03 - Social Theories Making Sense of Abstract Theories Sociological theories are the core and underlying strength of the discipline.
A vast majority of scholarship dealing with gender inequality focuses on women and the ways that they are structurally and systematically subordinated to men and disadvantaged. Scholars of inequality note, however, that there are two sides to inequality: Masculinities scholars study the various ways that men are—as a group—privileged, as well as focusing on the costs of those privileges and the ways in which not all men are granted equal access to them.
The term masculinity stresses gender, unlike male, which stresses biological sex. Thus studies of masculinities need not be confined to biological males. Masculinity studies is a feminist-inspired, interdisciplinary field that emerged in the last few decades of the 20th century as a topic of study.
It deals with the diversity of identities, behaviors, and meanings that occupy the label masculine and does not assume that they are universal.
Thus scholars of masculinity often refer to masculinities in the plural to highlight the diversity of meanings, roles, and behaviors consumed in the term.
Despite the fact that gender is often experienced as intensely personal—an internal facet of our identity—masculinities are produced and reproduced through the course of our daily interactions as well as within the larger institutions of society.
General Overview Scholars of masculinity discuss men and masculinity as socially constructed. Rather than focusing on biological universals, social and behavioral scientists investigate the different meanings that masculinity and femininity have in different contexts.
This variation allows scholars to argue that masculinity is socially constructed. Scholars of masculinity come from diverse disciplines, and these various backgrounds illustrate the multiple levels of variation in masculinity.
First, masculinity varies historically—what is thought of as masculine changes over time.
Second, masculinity varies cross-culturally—conceptualizations of masculinity are culturally specific. Finally, masculinity varies contextually—even within a given society and time period, masculinity can mean different things to different people. Simply put, not all American or Nigerian or Chinese or Australian men are the same.
Studies of men and masculinities takes its lead from feminist studies of women and gender and seeks to both identify the social construction of gender as well as illuminate the ways that men play a role in gender and sexual inequality.
Thus studies of masculinity seek to highlight both the collective privileges from which men as a group benefit as well as the disadvantages that certain groups of men face. Whitehead and Edwards are excellent overviews of the field of study. Both are interdisciplinary and clearly address the origins and trajectory of the field.
Kimmel and Messner is suitable for classroom adoption with chapters summarizing important research in the field. This would be an ideal place to begin research on a topic or broadly introduce a specific topic to a course.
Drawing on material from throughout the social and behavioral sciences as well as the humanities, the broad scope makes it an excellent tour of the field of study. It publishes work from leading scholars in the field, organized in such a way that it provides an overview of the important theoretical and empirical findings from noteworthy books and articles.
Jeff Hearn, and R. It is both interdisciplinary and international in focus, providing readers with summaries of scholarship on particular topics in the field e.
Each chapter is a summary of work on a particular topic, and the contributors are among the best scholars in the field.
Key themes and new directions.This 5-week MA module focuses on ‘sociology-in-the-making’, examining the processes of social research rather than its products. It follows the ‘empirical cycle’, providing an overview of key formative moments of sociological research, from formulating research questions, to producing and analysing data, to the public presentation of results.
An overview of the theories of society proposed by the three originators of sociology unravels the degree to which this discipline can be called "science.". Classic sociological theories are still considered important and current, but new sociological theories build upon the work of their predecessors and add to them (Calhoun ).
In sociology, a few theories provide broad perspectives that help explain many different aspects of social life, and these are called paradigms. Positivism is a philosophical theory stating that certain ("positive") knowledge is based on natural phenomena and their properties and relations.
Thus, information derived from sensory experience, interpreted through reason and logic, forms the exclusive source of all certain knowledge. Positivism holds that valid knowledge (certitude or truth) is found only in this a posteriori knowledge.
The three theories of sociology are symbolic interaction theory, conflict theory and functionalist theory. Sociologists analyze social phenomena at different levels and from different perspectives.
Symbolic interaction theory is a major framework of sociological theory. This theory relies on the. Much of what we know about societies, relationships, and social behavior has emerged thanks to various sociology theories. Sociology students typically spend a great deal of time studying these different theories.