Study Guide for


Chapter 1

What does Ritzer mean by classical theory? What three countries produced most of the classical theorists? Give reasons why Ritzer discusses the works of classical theorists? What criteria must be met before a classical theory is considered as important? Why have many classical women theorists' ideas not stood up to the test of time? Describe the social forces that influenced the emergence of sociological theorizing. Describe how the Enlightenment influenced the emergence of sociology. Which theoretician was positively influenced by the Enlightenment? Outline ten ways in which the reaction to Enlightenment thinking framed the science of sociology. What is positivisim? What was the radical side of Saint-Simon? Who was the first to use the term "sociology?" Why did Comte not urge revolutionary change? Describe the law of the three stages. Why did Comte believe that sociology is the queen of the sciences? What activist role did he see for himself and sociology? When are where did Durkheim live? How did Durkheim view social disorders? What are social facts? What is the social bond that holds people together in modern societies for Durkheim? Define totemism. Outline the three stages of French sociology. Who strongly influenced Karl Marx? Describe what idealism and the dialectic means. How did Marx separate himself from Hegel and Feuerbach? Why is the theory of surplus value central to Marx? Why did the majority of other sociologists not accept Marx? Why did Marx find so wrong with capitalism? How would socialism end alienation? How did Weber differ from Marx? On what dimensions does Weber discuss social stratification? In essence, what was the focus of Weber? Why did formal bureaucracies only develop in countries with a formal rational legal system? Why was Weber more widely accepted than Marx? Why did Simmel influence symbolic interactionism? How does culture come to dominate the individual according to Simmel? What are political economy and ameliorism? Would the early British sociologists agree with the rehabilitation programs of our current welfare reform? What is social Darwinism? According to Spencer, why do societies become more differentiated? Did Pareto have fascist tendencies? What contributions did the Hegelian Marxists make? Will the collapse of socialist countries finally bury Marx?

Chapter 3 Auguste Comte

Discuss Comte's version of positivism. What science is the queen of all sciences and why? Discuss Comte's methods for sociology. Describe each stage of Comte's law of the three stages. What are the differences between inductive and deductive reasoning? What was the cause of the "intellectual anarchy" that existed after the French revolution? Why was Comte preoccupied with "order" and "progress" and how will positivism pull us out of this quagmire? What are social statistics? Why is Comte seen as the forerunner of structural functionalism? What is macrosociology? Develop Comte's sociology of the individual. Which institution is the most basic and pivotal? Why? Which institution is the most important? Why? What are the two functions of religion? What function does language play in stabilizing societies? What force can constrain state power? What is the goal of Comte's study of social dynamics? What effect do people have on the direction of social change? Why did Comte limit his study to Europe and the "white" race? Why did the Enlightenment threaten Comte? Why did Comte not support any doctrine that condoned individual rights? How does the doctrine of positivism create social order? What did Comte want to accomplish? Which socioeconomic group did Comte believe would support his desire to put his theory of positivism into action? What role did women have in his analysis? How did Comte fit into his model the communist movement? How does positivism differ from communism? Was Comte a sexist? What is the positivist's motto? Why is the study of morality more important than the science of sociology? What role do women have in Comte theory of evolution? Why is the wedding of positivism to morality essential? Who is the "Great Being?" Why do some people believe that Comte went off the deep end toward the end of his career? Who is the founder of sociology? Outline Comte's positive contributions. Outline his basic weaknesses according to Ritzer.

Chapter 4 Herbert Spencer

When did Spencer live? Where did Spencer live? What is Spencer's ideal society and how does it differ from Comte's version? Outline Spencer's general theory of evolution. What are his reasons for the occurrence of evolution? What is the end result of evolution for humans? What is Spencer's definition of sociology? For Comte and Spencer what is the most complex science? What does Spencer ultimately want to discover by using the scientific method? Why can't lay-people understand sociology? How did the science of biology influence Spencer's theories? What is a major weakness in Spencer's sociological theory? Why is the study of social phenomena more difficult than the study of physical phenomena? Discuss his different emotional biases? What is his general formula of social evolution? Does he argue for a unilinear theory of evolution? What is a society? Draw the analogies between biological organisms and societies. What forms of organization hold societies together? Explain the following statement. "Evolution brings functional progress along with structural progress." Identify Spencer's four types of societies. Differentiate between militant and industrial societies. What are some of the functions of warfare? Is the US an ideal industrial society? Why do some societies evolve differently than others? Describe the different functions of domestic institutions. Describe the different stages of family evolution. Which form of society increases the status of women? When will healthy parents finally exist? Why are the functions of ceremonial institutions? How does the role of ceremonies evolve? What is the sole source of political power in early societies? What are the functions and dysfunctions of political institutions? What causes our taxes to increase? Describe Spencer's ideal form of government. Is religion innate? What causes the decline in the power of the priestly class? What are the functions of religion? What is the function of professional institutions and why was Spencer so interested in them? What is the division of labor? What causes the division of labor? Why do we have paper money? What concerns does Spencer have about statism? Why is society evolving toward perfection and happiness? What role should the state have in industrial societies? Was Spencer concerned about poverty? How would he feel about forced sterilizations of retarded women--welfare? How did Spencer feel about socialism? Why will socialism fail?

Chapter 6 Emile Durkheim

What are social facts? When did Durkheim live and where? What are the differences between sociology and philosophy and psychology? What does this phrase mean--"social facts are to be treated as things?" Differentiate between material and nonmaterial social facts. What was Durkheim interested in studying? Differentiate between mechanical and organic solidarity. What caused the transition from mechanical to organic solidarity? What are the differences between restitutive and repressive law and what form of solidarity underlies each? What did Durkheim fear? What is anomie? What causes anomic suicide? How does the division of labor create solidarity but at the same time create the potential for anomie? What is the collective conscience? Differentiate the collective conscience as it appears in mechanical and organic forms of solidarity. What are collective representations? What are social currents? Why did Durkheim decide to study suicide? On what basis did Durkheim reject race as a causal factor associated with suicide? Why are social currents important in the explanation of suicide? What are integration and regulation? What agencies discourage egoistic suicide? Why did the suicide of "Heaven's Gate occur? How can economic constrictions and expansions influence the suicide rate? Which form of suicide occurs when people are oppressed? Is Durkheim's concept of the collective conscience consistent with the concept of a "group mind?" Why did Durkheim study religion in preliterate societies? What causes the emergence of religion? What is the simplest form of religion? What is the collective effervescence? How would occupational associations solve the problem of intense egoism? What is the cult of the individual? What are his assumptions about human nature? Define freedom. What does he mean when he says that we are made up of two parts? What is his fear about contemporary society? What are the important aspects of moral education? Does he believe in rigid conformity? What are the different emotional states that are associated with each form of suicide? How did he leave unexamined the social-psychological assumptions of his theories? What does Durkheim's theories need to make them more complete?