MAX WEBBER

The intellectual influences on Max Webber helped shape his subjective perspective of sociology and human society. He used Marxism, Historicism, and Positivism to create his own methodological approaches to studying society, and believed that “sociology should be seen as the study of subjectively meaningful social actions” (Simmons, 2013, p. 203). Webber argued that the study of society “must be viewed from the perspective of an actor re-experiencing the same interactions of events” (Simmons, 2013, pp. 199-203); in order to accurately interpret facts of the events (such as observations, and external perspectives). This type of sociological experience Webber explains as “Verstehen (a technique for interpreting and understanding the meaning of a social action from the subjective perspective of an actor)” (Simmons, 2013, p. 199). His “methods of comparing cross-cultural and social historical analysis (known as the Ideal Type)  uses a number of typical abstract of real cases” (Simmons, 2013, p. 205) to form conclusions and identify distinctions of the real world. Webber supported that scientists must re-observe, and re-experience abstract social events in order to obtain a more accurate perspective.

REFERENCES

Simmons, T. (2013). Revitalizing the Classics: What Past Social theorists Can Teach Us Today. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Fernwood Publishings.

KARL MARX’S BASE AND SUPERSTRUCTURE MODEL OF SOCIETY

Karl Marx believed that economics was the driving force of society because it “drove productions for means of substance” (Simmons, 2013, p. 175); meaning that human must consume in order to survive, and so we create a set of rules or relations under which guide our exchange of production and consumption. Marx argues that the “mode of production that drives society is the real material economic base for society; which can be broken into two parts: 1) the forces/tools of production, and 2) the relations/class of production” (Simmons, 2013, p. 175). Marx classified “all other non-economic institutions, practices and beliefs as part of a ‘Superstructure of Society’; which refers to social relations and social consciousness involved in political, law, ideology, religion, art, science, culture and other non-economic activities” (Simmons, 2013, p. 176). These are the norms, and rules constructed by that society. Marx claims that “the mode of production determines the superstructure of non-economic activities” (Simmons, 2013, p. 176).  It is the tools used for consumption and the class-hierarchy in which we obtain those items that help shape the social relations within a society. Social actions of behaviour are controlled by social structures within a given society.

REFERENCES

Simmons, T. (2013). Revitalizing the Classics: What Past Social theorists Can Teach Us Today. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Fernwood Publishings.

IBN KHALDUN

Ibn Khaldun is a “classical social theorist from the late 1300 and early 1400`s, who studied Arab and Muslim cultures; as well as Arab scriptures and text” (Simmons, 2013, p. 13). Ibn believed that past Arab historical events had been explained through a very narrow and inaccurate scope (such as one would assume if wearing goggles), where explanation of Arab cultures was not accurately reflected within its “Western colonial imagination of Eastern cultures; which created racist generalization and stereotypes (also known as Orientationalism)” (Simmons, 2013, p. 12). Ibn feels that western societies have had an un-reflective disposition in their ability to re-examine observations, and seek deeper truths regarding the Arab historical events; and that past social theories regarding Arab cultures failed to help societies in really understanding traditions that are foreign to them. Where Ibn succeeded as a social theorist, where others have failed before him; was in his ability to “broaden the view or scope of social science through the inclusion of other cultures” (Simmons, 2013).

REFERENCES

Simmons, T. (2013). Revitalizing the Classics: What Past Social theorists Can Teach Us Today. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Fernwood Publishings.

Introductory Presentation

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Introductory Presentation

My name is Teresa Van Betuw; the last name being my married name, which is much more complicated to pronounce than my previous last name. For years I have dreamt of one day working in the Human Resources (HR) Field, where I would hopefully have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the people I encounter and their working lives.

Why HR?

During all my past employment, I had always enjoyed jobs that involved interactions with people, and I thrive in environments with challenges and freedom. I often find that I play the role of a councillor in my personal and career life, so I came to realize that I wanted a career where I can continue to help people grow. HR allows me to do all these things, and I believe that it will be a very rewarding career; with many challenges and complexities – which is exactly what I am looking for.

Currently I am in my fourth year Human Resources Management degree, and I decided to enroll in my second Sociology course because it focuses on the behaviours of humans, and tries to find rationalisations for certain behaviours; to create a better understand of social constructs. I feel would be an asset to HR, as it helps create a broader view or perspective of employee behaviour, and forces me to consider and evaluate all possibilities when individualizing specific employee behaviour. At the moment I have only had the pleasure of taking Introduction to Sociology, but I really enjoyed the exploration of human behaviour, as it has always been an interest of mine. Although this course is only an elective course for me, I do feel that I can gain a much broader understanding and perspective of human behaviour with this course; which I hope will help me in becoming an efficient HR manager in the future.

My previous background is in Hospitality, where in 2001 I obtained my Diploma in Tourism Hospitality Management. I then proceeded to work in the Hotel industry for several years, where I fairly quickly worked my way into Front Office Management; before deciding to take up a simple office job and start a family, because hotel work schedules are not very supportive of family life. After this I decided I need more of a challenge than a simple office job, and decided to explore my career options; where I came to the conclusion that HR is for me.

My position on media is that I feel it often poses a one-sided theory of citations and views, and often does not allow for a full spectrum or perspective on any other possible standpoint. I feel this may be due to the fact that many news broadcasting firms are run and controlled by people of power and authority; often dictating what can and cannot be shared with the general public. I believe that this power has helped blossom the profound use of social media, to allow others of lessor position the opportunity to share their opposing views, and what they have learned; but that too can be one sided, so there is strong concern that one must continually try to seek the truth with evidence.