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Dr. Francisco P. Panopio Jr.
Laguna State Polytechnic University Los Banos Campus
Class hours: Saturday, 8:00-6:00PM

Course Orientation


Sociology is a course that studies human society and social behavior. Positive human relationships are an essential part of a civilized society and
how we interact with each other is important so that we can find answers to questions and solve problems in our world. “Sociology teaches us to
look at life in a scientific, systematic way.” The way that we view the world comes from what we learn in our everyday activities. “The values,
beliefs, lifestyles of those around us, as well as historic events help to mold us into unique individuals who have varied outlooks on social reality.”
This course deals with the social atmosphere that helps to make us who we are and how we behave. Sociology will cover topics such as culture,
violence, deviance, social control, socialization and personality, group behavior, social class, and social institutions. The key component of this
course is to study ourselves and the society that influences our behavior.

Grading System: Laguna State Polytechnic University Standard

A. Participation is required (note: a large portion of your grade will be determined on your willingness to carry and at times lead class
B. Assignments, Written Papers, Case study analysis, and Individual / Group research presentations
C. Weekly critical discourse in sociology
D. Final exam

References: (All available in the library)

Colon, Salvacion M. (2005) General Sociology: A Simplified ApproachMandaluyong City, Philippines National Book Store. ISBN 971-08-6290-1

Kendall, Dianna (2004) Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials, (4th Ed.) 10 Davis Drive Belmont CA 94002-3098 USA Thompson Learning Inc.

Omas-as, Roberta L. (2003) General Sociology, Society, Culture, Population Dynamics and Gender Development. Meycauayan, Bulacan
Philippines Trinitas Publishing Inc. ISBN 971-42-0406-2
Panopio, Isabel S. &Adelisa A. Raymundo (2004) Sociology Focus on the Philippines (4th Ed.) Quezon City, Philippines KEN Inc. ISBN 971-8558-45-4

Tuibeo, Amable G. (2012) A Critical Discourse in Sociology. Pateros, Metro Manila Grand Books Publishing, Inc. ISBN 971-725-013-8

Classroom rules:

A. Treat others as you would like to be treated (dignity, respect, common courtesy)

B. Be on time

C. Meet deadlines (Do not let group members down! Be responsible!)

D. Don’t interrupt while others are speaking. Respect other opinions.

Note: You are choosing to study it. It will require you to do more work than what you might be accustomed to doing compared to other social
science subjects. Please be prepared to be challenged and to take an active role in your learning.

Course goals and objectives:

A. To understand human behavior of different groups and their impact on society.

B. To understand the nature of change and its effect on people and society.

C. To use essential skills to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate ideas and arguments.

D. To develop high level discussions of issues.

E. To use a scientific, systematic approach to understand ourselves as social beings

F. To have fun and to take a more active and meaningful role in society.

Chapter I. Introduction to Sociology

Essential Question -Why is developing sociological imagination important in the study of sociology?

A. Define Sociology /Sociological Imagination -Develop a working definition of sociology that has personal application.
B. Development of Sociology - (Comte, Durkheim, Spencer,Weber, Mills, and Marx) -Examine changing points of view of social issues, such as
poverty, crime, and discrimination

C. Sociological Perspectives -Conflict, Functionalist, Symbolic interactionist.

D. Application of Sociology (research) -Evaluate various sociological research methods. -Distinguish fact from opinion in data sources to analyze
various points of view about a social issue.

Chapter II. Culture

Essential Question - What effects does culture have on human’s behavior and interactions?

A. Meaning of culture / components of culture -Define the key components of a culture, such as knowledge, language, and communication,
customs, values, norms, and physical objects.

-Recognize the influences of genetic inheritance and culture on human behavior. Compare social norms among various subcultures.

B. Cultural variation / Variation in society -Explain the differences between a culture and a society. Give example of subcultures and describe
what makes them unique.

C. Cultural Conformity and Adaptation -Identify the factors that promote cultural diversity within the Philippines. (Economics; Civics and
government; Geography; History.)

D. Filipino Value System -Demonstrate democratic approaches to managing disagreements and resolving conflicts. Compare and contrast ideas
about citizenship and cultural participation from the past with those of the present community.

E. Social Control / formal & informal sanctions -Compare and contrast different types of societies, such as hunting and gathering, agrarian,
industrial, and postindustrial. Work independently and cooperatively in class and the school and provide leadership in age- appropriate activities.

F. Social Change / impact -Explain how various practices of the culture create differences within group behavior.

Chapter III. Socialization

Essential question - How do rules and norms affect the forming of roles and groups?

A. Personality development (nature v nurture) - Discuss social norms. What happens when rules are broken? Explain how roles and role
expectations can lead to role conflict.

B. Social self-theories(Locke, Cooley, Mead)

C. Agents of Socialization (family, peer groups, school, media) -Describe how individuals are affected by different social groups to which they
belong. Discuss how humans interact in a variety of social settings. Determine the cultural patterns of the behavior within such social groups as
rural/urban or rich/poor.

Chapter 4. Society, Social Structure, & Interaction & Groups and Organizations

Essential Question - How does social structure affect how we interact with each other?

A. Building blocks = status /role ascribed, achieved, master etc. -Explain how roles and role expectation can lead to role conflict.

B. Group Structures and Societies -Examine and analyze various points of view relating to historical and current events.

C. Types of social interaction -Describe how social status affects social order. Example” Upper class/middle-class/lower class; professional/blue
collar/unemployed. Describe how and why societies change over time. Describe how collective behavior can influence and change society.

D. Structure of formal organizations -Determine a cause and effect relationship among historical events, themes, and concepts in the Philippine
history as they relate to sociology. Examine various social influences that can lead to immediate and long-term changes.

Chapter V. Deviance, Social Control and Social Stratification

Essential Question - What defines deviance and why is it functional for society?

A. Social functions of deviance -Discuss the concept of deviance and how society discourages deviant behavior using social control.

B. Theoretical explanations and examples of deviant behaviors

C. Define and explain social inequality and stratification

D. Poverty – Discuss government responses

Chapter VI. Families & Intimate Relationships

Essential Question - Why are many family related concerns - such as divorce and child care - viewed primarily as personal problems rather than
social concerns requiring macro level solutions?

A. Family in Cross Cultural perspective -Identify basic social institutions and how they contribute to the transition of society’s values. (Familial,
religious, educational, economic, and political institutions.

B. Marriage -Discuss how societies recognize rites of passage. (Marriage, Baptism or other religious ceremonies.)
C. FilipinoFamily (violence, divorce, trends) -Discuss the impact of major social institution on individuals, groups, and organizations within

Chapter VII Education, Religion and Collective Behavior

Essential Question - How does education and religion affect our culture and interactions?

A. Sociology of Education

B. The Sociology of Religion

C. Collective Behavior (Why do people act differently in groups?)

D. Social movements (types) (Why do they occur? /Resistance) -Describe how and why societies change over time. Examine various social
influences that can lead to immediate and long-term changes.
Sociologists analyze social phenomena at different levels and from different perspectives. From concrete interpretations to sweeping
generalizations of society and social behavior, sociologists study everything from specific events (the micro level of analysis of small
social patterns) to the “big picture” (the macro level of analysis of large social patterns).

The pioneering European sociologists, however, also offered a broad conceptualization of the fundamentals of society and its
workings. Their views form the basis for today's theoretical perspectives, or paradigms, which provide sociologists with an orienting
framework—a philosophical position—for asking certain kinds of questions about society and its people.

Sociologists today employ three primary theoretical perspectives: the symbolic interactionist perspective, the functionalist
perspective, and the conflict perspective. These perspectives offer sociologists theoretical paradigms for explaining how society
influences people, and vice versa. Each perspective uniquely conceptualizes society, social forces, and human behavior (see Table 1).

The symbolic interactionist perspective

The symbolic interactionist perspective, also known as symbolic interactionism, directs sociologists to consider the symbols and
details of everyday life, what these symbols mean, and how people interact with each other. Although symbolic interactionism traces
its origins to Max Weber's assertion that individuals act according to their interpretation of the meaning of their world, the American
philosopher George H. Mead (1863–1931) introduced this perspective to American sociology in the 1920s.
According to the symbolic interactionist perspective, people attach meanings to symbols, and then they act according to their
subjective interpretation of these symbols. Verbal conversations, in which spoken words serve as the predominant symbols, make
this subjective interpretation especially evident. The words have a certain meaning for the “sender,” and, during effective
communication, they hopefully have the same meaning for the “receiver.” In other terms, words are not static “things”; they require
intention and interpretation. Conversation is an interaction of symbols between individuals who constantly interpret the world
around them. Of course, anything can serve as a symbol as long as it refers to something beyond itself. Written music serves as an
example. The black dots and lines become more than mere marks on the page; they refer to notes organized in such a way as to
make musical sense. Thus, symbolic interactionists give serious thought to how people act, and then seek to determine what
meanings individuals assign to their own actions and symbols, as well as to those of others.

Consider applying symbolic interactionism to the American institution of marriage. Symbols may include wedding bands, vows of life-
long commitment, a white bridal dress, a wedding cake, a Church ceremony, and flowers and music. American society attaches
general meanings to these symbols, but individuals also maintain their own perceptions of what these and other symbols mean. For
example, one of the spouses may see their circular wedding rings as symbolizing “never ending love,” while the other may see them
as a mere financial expense. Much faulty communication can result from differences in the perception of the same events and

Critics claim that symbolic interactionism neglects the macro level of social interpretation—the “big picture.” In other words,
symbolic interactionists may miss the larger issues of society by focusing too closely on the “trees” (for example, the size of the
diamond in the wedding ring) rather than the “forest” (for example, the quality of the marriage). The perspective also receives
criticism for slighting the influence of social forces and institutions on individual interactions.

The functionalist perspective

According to the functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, each aspect of society is interdependent and contributes to
society's functioning as a whole. The government, or state, provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes
on which the state depends to keep itself running. That is, the family is dependent upon the school to help children grow up to have
good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. In the process, the children become law-abiding, taxpaying citizens,
who in turn support the state. If all goes well, the parts of society produce order, stability, and productivity. If all does not go well, the
parts of society then must adapt to recapture a new order, stability, and productivity. For example, during a financial recession with
its high rates of unemployment and inflation, social programs are trimmed or cut. Schools offer fewer programs. Families tighten
their budgets. And a new social order, stability, and productivity occur.
Functionalists believe that society is held together by social consensus, or cohesion, in which members of the society agree upon,
and work together to achieve, what is best for society as a whole. Emile Durkheim suggested that social consensus takes one of two

Mechanical solidarity is a form of social cohesion that arises when people in a society maintain similar values and beliefs and engage
in similar types of work. Mechanical solidarity most commonly occurs in traditional, simple societies such as those in which everyone
herds cattle or farms. Amish society exemplifies mechanical solidarity.

In contrast, organic solidarity is a form of social cohesion that arises when the people in a society are interdependent, but hold to
varying values and beliefs and engage in varying types of work. Organic solidarity most commonly occurs in industrialized, complex
societies such those in large American cities like New York in the 2000s.
The functionalist perspective achieved its greatest popularity among American sociologists in the 1940s and 1950s. While European
functionalists originally focused on explaining the inner workings of social order, American functionalists focused on discovering the
functions of human behavior. Among these American functionalist sociologists is Robert Merton (b. 1910), who divides human
functions into two types: manifest functions are intentional and obvious, while latent functions are unintentional and not obvious.
The manifest function of attending a church or synagogue, for instance, is to worship as part of a religious community, but its latent
function may be to help members learn to discern personal from institutional values. With common sense, manifest functions
become easily apparent. Yet this is not necessarily the case for latent functions, which often demand a sociological approach to be
revealed. A sociological approach in functionalism is the consideration of the relationship between the functions of smaller parts and
the functions of the whole.

Functionalism has received criticism for neglecting the negative functions of an event such as divorce. Critics also claim that the
perspective justifies the status quo and complacency on the part of society's members. Functionalism does not encourage people to
take an active role in changing their social environment, even when such change may benefit them. Instead, functionalism sees
active social change as undesirable because the various parts of society will compensate naturally for any problems that may arise.

The conflict perspective

The conflict perspective, which originated primarily out of Karl Marx's writings on class struggles, presents society in a different light
than do the functionalist and symbolic interactionist perspectives. While these latter perspectives focus on the positive aspects of
society that contribute to its stability, the conflict perspective focuses on the negative, conflicted, and ever-changing nature of
society. Unlike functionalists who defend the status quo, avoid social change, and believe people cooperate to effect social order,
conflict theorists challenge the status quo, encourage social change (even when this means social revolution), and believe rich and
powerful people force social order on the poor and the weak. Conflict theorists, for example, may interpret an “elite” board of
regents raising tuition to pay for esoteric new programs that raise the prestige of a local college as self-serving rather than as
beneficial for students.
Whereas American sociologists in the 1940s and 1950s generally ignored the conflict perspective in favor of the functionalist, the
tumultuous 1960s saw American sociologists gain considerable interest in conflict theory. They also expanded Marx's idea that the
key conflict in society was strictly economic. Today, conflict theorists find social conflict between any groups in which the potential
for inequality exists: racial, gender, religious, political, economic, and so on. Conflict theorists note that unequal groups usually have
conflicting values and agendas, causing them to compete against one another. This constant competition between groups forms the
basis for the ever-changing nature of society.

Critics of the conflict perspective point to its overly negative view of society. The theory ultimately attributes humanitarian efforts,
altruism, democracy, civil rights, and other positive aspects of society to capitalistic designs to control the masses, not to inherent
interests in preserving society and social order.

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Chapter Outline

 Human beings, the subject of anthropology, are one of the world’s most adaptable animals.

 All humans share basic biological and behavioral characteristics that make such extraordinary adaptability possible.

 Yet, as a species, we exhibit tremendous variation in environmental adaptations, physical appearance, language, beliefs,
and social organization.

 Earlier generations of people had myriad explanations for this variation. They often imposed value judgments on human
differences, usually with their own ways of living deemed best.

 Sometimes the resulting cultural misunderstandings created hostility or conflict. Most of the time, however, people have
found ways to get along. Trade and alliances, for example, made cooperation more desirable. In the latter case, a
practical understanding of human variation became essential.

 Some of history’s great explorers, philosophers, and historians took the first steps toward this understanding—for
example, the Venetian explorer Marco Polo (1254–1324), the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BCE), and the
Greek historian Herodotus (484–425 BCE).
 These historical figures were pioneers in the study of human variation. But they were not anthropologists, and the
discipline of anthropology did not emerge until the nineteenth century.

 This chapter focuses on the question, What is anthropology, and how is it relevant in today’s world? To address this focal
question, the chapter is organized around the following problems:

o How did anthropology begin?

o What are the four subfields of anthropology, and what do they share in common?

o How do anthropologists know what they know?

o How is anthropology put to work in the world?

o What ethical issues does anthropology raise?

 Anthropology offers a powerful framework for posing questions about humanity and grasping the complexity of the
human experience. It also provides important knowledge to help address many social problems.

How Did Anthropology Begin?

 During the nineteenth century, anthropology emerged as an academic discipline devoted to the observation and analysis
of human variation.
 Building on natural sciences developed during the Enlightenment or Age of Reason in the 1700s, scholars began to apply
similar methods to understanding human cultural variation in the 1800s.

 Three key concerns shaped the foundation of professional anthropology in the 1850s:

o Disruptions caused by industrialization in Europe and America

o The rise of theories of evolution

o The spread of European colonialism

 Industrialization disrupted American and European societies by bringing large numbers of rural people into towns and
cities to work in factories.

 Asking about how European villages and cities were structured and how they perpetuated their cultures ultimately led to
questions about how all sorts of non-Western societies worked as well.

 A second key influence on the development of anthropology was the rise of evolutionary theory to explain biological
variation among and within species.
o Evolution refers to the adaptive changes organisms make across generations.

 Contrary to popular perception, Charles Darwin did not “discover” evolution. He contributed the mechanism of natural
selection to explain evolutionary changes.

o Natural selection shapes populations because individuals with locally advantageous traits tend to have more
offspring. Those offspring carry the genes of their parents and, over time, genes that code for “well-adapted”
traits increase within the population.

 Natural selection has been called Darwin’s “dangerous idea” because when he published On the Origin of Species in 1859
it challenged religious beliefs about the age of the earth and the assumption that all animal species (including humans)
had been created in their present form.

 Evolution by natural selection remains politically and religiously controversial to the present day in some parts of the
world. But it is no longer scientifically controversial, and nearly all anthropologists and biologists accept evolution as a
factual explanation of the diversification of plant and animal life and the origin of modern humans.

 Evolutionary models allowed early anthropologists to rank societies on a tiered scale, on which technologically
“advanced” societies had passed through more “primitive” stages with simpler technologies. Today, anthropologists
agree that such models of unilineal cultural evolution do not fit the observed facts.
 A third driving force behind anthropology was colonialism, the historical practice of more powerful countries claiming
possession of less powerful ones. To understand how to govern the poorly understood indigenous peoples of their
colonies, Europeans and Americans began developing methods for studying those societies.

 Well into the 1920s, anthropologists pursued an approach known as the salvage paradigm, which held that it was
important to observe indigenous ways of life before knowledge of traditional languages and customs disappeared.

 By the end of the nineteenth century, anthropology was already an international discipline, whose practitioners were
mainly based in western Europe and the United States. Today, anthropology is a truly global discipline, with practitioners
in countries around the world.

What Are the Four Subfields of Anthropology, and What Do They Share in Common?

 Anthropology has traditionally been divided into four subfields: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological
anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.

 Cultural anthropology focuses on the social lives of living communities. Prior to the 1970s, most cultural anthropologists
conducted fieldwork in non-Western communities. In the twenty-first century, anthropologists still study non-Western
societies but are apt to study the ethnic groups, occupations, institutions, advertising, or technology of their own
cultures as well.

 Archaeology studies past cultures, by excavating sites where people lived. Some archaeologists study prehistory (the
time period before written records). Two themes have been traditional concerns of prehistoric archaeology:
o The transition from foraging to farming

o The rise of complex cities and states

 Another branch of archaeology is historical archaeology, in which archaeologists excavate sites occupied during historical
times. Such excavations explore perspectives not recorded in historical documents.

 Biological anthropology focuses on the physical aspects of the human species. Biological anthropologists explore human
evolution, health and disease, and the behavior of nonhuman primates. They also work in the relevant areas of human
genetics, diet and nutrition, and the impact of social stress on the body.

 Linguistic anthropology studies one of the most fundamental human traits: language. It traditionally seeks to understand
the linguistic categories used by study populations and how they order their natural and cultural environments.

 Anthropology is by nature an interdisciplinary field. Its subfields are intertwined with many other social and natural
sciences. One reason that anthropology remains a broad, four-field discipline, rather than splitting up, is that all
anthropologists recognize the importance of the following concepts: culture, cultural relativism, diversity,change,
and holism.

 In anthropology, culture refers to these taken-for-granted notions, rules, moralities, and behaviors within a social group
that feel natural and the way things should be.
 The idea of culture has been an integral part of anthropology since the beginning. The term was first applied in the
1870s by British anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor.

o See “Classic Contributions: E.B. Tylor and the Culture Concept”

 Like all people, anthropologists are subject to ethnocentrism: assuming our way of doing things is correct, while simply
dismissing other people’s worldviews as inferior or misguided. But anthropologists must be especially mindful of these
assumptions because they can provoke intolerance and make cross-cultural understanding impossible.

 To avoid such misunderstandings, anthropologists emphasize cultural relativism, the moral and intellectual principle that
one should withhold judgment about seemingly strange or exotic beliefs and practices.

 Another of anthropology’s major contributions to knowledge has been to describe and explain human diversity, the sheer
variety of ways of being human around the world.

 The anthropological meaning of diversity is somewhat different from its popular usage. In anthropology it refers to
multiplicity and variety, which is not the same as difference. Within multiplicity and variety, there is both difference and

 Anthropologists in each of the four subfields are specialists in studying human change. Anthropology also reflects our
changing world. As new topics, issues, and problems emerge, anthropologists shift toward studying these new concerns.
 As with many academic disciplines, the public face of anthropology has changed in recent years. European and American
men dominated the field since its inception. Now anthropology is increasingly practiced by everyone, including members
of many minority groups and women.

 By uniting the study of human prehistory, social life, language, and biology in one broad discipline, anthropology
provides powerful tools for understanding the whole human experience in context. Holism is the effort to synthesize
these approaches into a single comprehensive explanation.

o See “Doing Fieldwork: Conducting Holistic Research with Stanley Ulijaszek”

How Do Anthropologists Know What They Know?

 Anthropology employs a wide variety of methodologies, or systematic strategies for collecting and analyzing data,
including the scientific method. The goal of this established method is to develop, test, and disprove hypotheses.

o Answering philosophical questions—like “What is the meaning of life?” or “Why do bad things happen to good
people?”—is not the purpose of science.

 In science, theories are tested and repeatedly supported hypotheses, not “guesses” as the word is popularly used.
Theories are key elements of the scientific method. They not only explain things but also help guide research by focusing
the researchers’ questions and creating a constructive framework for their results.

 Anthropologists use a range of techniques for gathering and processing data. Some of these techniques use quantitative
methods, which classify features of a phenomenon, count or measure them and construct mathematical and statistical
models to explain what is observed.
 Anthropologists also employ qualitative methods, in which the aim is to produce an in-depth and detailed description of
social behaviors and beliefs.

o The ethnographic method, which involves prolonged and intensive observation of and participation in the life of a
community, is a qualitative methodology and a hallmark of cultural anthropology.

 The comparative method allows anthropologists to derive insights from careful comparisons of two or more cultures or
societies. It is a general approach, which holds that any particular detail of human behavior or particular social condition
should not be seen in isolation but should be considered against the backdrop of the full range of behaviors and
conditions in their individual social settings.

 Some anthropologists see limits to the application of science in anthropology. In 1961, E. E. Evans-Pritchard (1902–
1973) argued that human culture and social behavior are too complex for the completely objective analysis of science.

 Anthropologists aim to see things from multiple perspectives, but they are, ultimately, humans themselves. Thus, their
interpretations of cultural practices remain partial and situated in important respects.

How Is Anthropology Put to Work in the World?

 Anthropological research suggests practical solutions to many real-world social problems. Some emphasize the
importance of this research by calling it “anthropology’s fifth subfield,” These include applied anthropology:
anthropological research commissioned to serve an organization’s needs; and practicing anthropology, the broadest
category of anthropological work, in which the anthropologist not only performs research but also gets involved in the
design, implementation, and management of some organization, process, or product.

What Ethical Issues Does Anthropology Raise?

 Ethics in anthropology—the moral principles that guide anthropological conduct— are organically connected to what it
means to be a good anthropologist. As in medicine, “Do no harm” is a foundational principle of the American
Anthropological Association’s Code of Ethics (see associated web link).

 Many modern anthropologists believe “Do no harm” is setting the bar too low. They assert that anthropologists are
ethically obligated to aim higher and actually “do good,” especially when they work with marginalized or powerless

o See “Thinking Like an Anthropologist: Anthropological Responsibilities to Informants and People in Authority”


 Anthropologists have been asking questions about human societies and how they have changed and developed since the
mid-nineteenth century. Their expertise is on culture, diversity, how and why social change happens, the dynamics of
human biology, and the ways people communicate with one another.

 The four subfields of anthropology include cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistic
anthropology. These four subfields have developed specialized methodological tools for understanding the different
aspects of humanity and how it has changed and developed.

 Political economy is the study of production and trade and their links with custom, government and
law. It is the study and use of how economic theory and methods influence and develop different
social and economic systems, such as capitalism, socialism and communism; it also analyzes how
public policy is created and implemented. Since various individuals and groups have different interests
in how a country or economy is to develop, political economy as a discipline is a complex field,
covering a broad array of potentially competing interests.
Read more: Political Economy Definition |
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