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The first two topics of my notes are essential and you have to study them well so as to

provide a good understanding of the chapters to come.


Themes to pay special attention to in the first 2 chapters:
Some basic understanding of the background to the birth of sociology and the ways
different founders consider society is important. For example, you would have to get
yourselves familiar with:
i. arx!s view of society and the capitalist order marked by exploitation, alienation at
work, false class consciousness, conflicts and struggles between the working class and
the capitalist class
ii. "urkheim!s consensual view about society # the analogy of society with a biological
mechanism, the importance of functional pre$re%uites and the interdependence of social
institutions in modern societies, mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity, suicide,
anomie
iii. &eber # the way modern society can be understood in term of the growth of rationality
'rational behaviour( with bureaucrati)ation and the development of capitalism as
demonstrations of such a change as well as his view about the importance of values and
ideas in shaping the development of societies. *ie pessimistic view of the +iron cage! of
bureaucracy in modern society.
,asic understanding of:
i. "efinitions of basic sociological terms such as culture, society, norms, sociali)ation,
values, roles, statuses-.. 'see topic on +&hat is sociology about.(
ii. functionalist perspective: how it understand the nature of society, its emphasis on
stability and order of society making the study of how social institutions relate to each
other important
iii. conflict perspective: how it perceives the nature of society and its focus on tensions and
conflicts between social groups. /xamples include arxism and feminism. 0ay
attention to the basic arguments in arxism and feminism about the nature of society
iv. &hat are the pros and cons for the functionalist and conflict perspectives in
understanding different sociological issues
v. Some knowledge of other sociological perspectives: social action perspective, the
feminist approach, post$modernist perspective
Important themes for culture and family
*ow do different sociological perspectives, especially the functionalist and arxist understand
and study essential topics in sociology such as culture and family. 1n what way a sociological
study can help us gain some insights about our own society.
&hat is the conventional definition of family. &hat is the problem with such a definition with
diversities in family forms in modern society2 the validity of the functionalist argument of the
change in family form and family relations in modern society undergoing
industriali)ation---..