21 Feb 2014

Need to Know Approaches to Sociology


Micro-Macro Integration:


In micro-sociology, the sociologist focuses on the nature of everyday human life and its social interactions. So when they are conducting research at work, the researcher will use interpretive analysis instead of statistics or empirical observation, as the roots of this approach are symbolic interactionism and ethnography.

Examples of what micro-sociologists might look at would be stereotypical roles of women in a workplace or a race issue in a high school.

Macrosociology, on the other hand, looks at social structures such as social systems or large-scale populations. Researchers who use this approach study the patterns of broad societal trends, which, once calculated and documented, can be used to understand smaller features of a society.

An example would be socioeconomic stratification and its effect on the middle class.

Agency-Structure Integration:


Agency is an individual's (or agent's) ability to act separately from the structure and ability to make free choices. Structure is the interactions that influence and limit the choices for the individual (socialization).

An example would be a new college grad (agent) who decides to work at a financial management firm as her first job instead of starting an acting career on YouTube because, at a young age, her community (structure) conditioned her to not do so. The community accomplished this by constantly telling her that acting is not a secure career choice while being a financial advisor is.

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