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A brief
Philipe Ojp Ombugu
CUEA 2014
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
I. The disciline of sociology
1.1. !efinition of sociology
The term sociology etymologically has diversified backgrounds that were
originated back to the history of mid 18
and 19
c. in France. Among essay
writers, Immanuel ose!h had !ronounced the word "ociology in one of his
essay writings for the first time. #owever, "ociology was again coined in
refined way by Auguste $omte at the mid of 19
c. "o, Auguste $omte was
French "ocial !hiloso!her and "ociologist who derived sociology from two
different language origins. These were %"ocius& and %'ogos&, 'atin and
(reek res!ectively. These words had their own meanings. %"ocius& meant
$om!anion or Friendshi!, while %'ogos& meant knowledge or word or reason.
"ome times later, these two words were merged together to mean %The )ew
"ocial life&. Today, "ociology attains com!rehensive definitions in many
literatures with identical conce!ts. #ence, %"ociology is the systematic study
of social behavior and human grou!s that !rimarily focuses on the influences
of social relationshi!s on !eo!le*s attitudes and behavior& +"chaefer,
"ociology is the study of human society including social actions and social
institutions. It is a science of society that is e1tremely broad in its sco!e
which investigates social life in line with the wide variety of settings which
offers us not only information about society, but also a distinctive ways of
looking at the world and our !lace in it.
"ociology e1amines not only at how social behavior is influenced by others
but also at how ma2or social institutions like family, religion, education,
government and economy affect us.
Among other conce!ts in sociology, social structures, social actions,
functional integration, !restige, !ower and culture are basic conce!ts in
sociology +Functionalism0.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa

1.2. Sub"ect #atter and Scoe
The sub2ect matter and the sco!e of sociology ranges from micro3level of
face3to3face social interactions to the macro level of whole !olitical
institutions, economic order or even world systems. "ociology studies the
sum total of individuals* actions, social behaviors and interactions.
#istorically, "ociology !ays s!ecial em!hasis on modern and industriali4ed
societies. In studying its sub2ect matter, "ociology mainly uses careful
observation, ob2ective measurements and com!arison methods.
In sum, "ociology is a systematic and scientific disci!line seeking knowledge
of man as social animal, his societies, sub3societies as well as ad2ustment to
them, his cultures, customs, institutions, the !atterns of stability and change
that they develo!.
"ociology has distinctive characteristics which can be traced as it e1amines
ethnic grou!s, social class divisions, various religious organi4ations such as
5cclesia, $hurch, 6enominations, "ects and $ults, world of !overty, deviant
behavior, variations in life and chances for the young. It also sees e7uality
or social ine7uality in a society. In sociology, the most distinctive field of
study is grou! life.
"ociology does its studies mainly in modern industrial societies rather than in
!reliterate societies. "ociology also looks develo!ment trends in urban as
well as in rural areas.
1.$. Sociology and %ther Social Sciences
"ocial sciences seek greater understandings of man and society, although
their a!!roaches are a bit different. "ociology and Anthro!ology are both
e1tremely broad in their !ers!ectives. 8oth are trying to study societies in
their entirety, not 2ust as !olitical, economic or systems of beliefs and values.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Sociology and Allied fields of study
In general consensus, anthro!ology has focused on studying !reliterate or
traditional societies, where as sociology studies contem!orary or modern
9sychology studies mental and emotional side of man, where as economics
studies the systems of !roduction and distribution of goods as well as
9olitical science studies the systems by which "ocial !ower and authority are
institutionali4ed, e1ercised and regulated, where as history records the !ast,
which are im!ortant evidences for all social sciences.
Therefore, all social science disci!lines are interrelated and interde!endent.
"o, sociology doesn*t ignore any of them.
"ociology and other social science disci!lines have many things in
common such as.3



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2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
"hared theories, fields of in7uire, and "ub2ect matters.
"ociology always res!onds com!le1 relationshi!s between nature and
nurtures. It is also widely used in management science, es!. in the field of
organi4ational behavior as well as in social work.
1.( Sociological I#agination
"ociological imagination is a sociological term that was coined by the
American sociologist called $. =right :ills in 19>9. =right :ill described the
!rocess of linking individual e1!eriences with social institutions as well as
one*s !lace in history.
"ociological imagination is a new way of looking the world that recogni4ed
links between wides!read societal issues and the !rivate !roblem of the
individual. It was also taken as a means to solve the !roblems of the current
sociological discourse.
$. =right :ill characteri4ed that men*s !rivate lives are tra!!ed into series
!redicaments. They are tra!!ed due to the fact that, there are uncontrollable
and continuous changes to society such as unem!loyment, war, marriage,
life in cities, tensions between !rivate trouble and !ublic issues.
$hallenges in the life of women e.g. home makers, social change, reactions
to being unem!loyed, interactions between the individual lives and society,
as well as the inter !lay of a man and society.
For e1am!le, when society is industriali4ed, a !easant becomes a factory
worker? a feudal lord is li7uidated or becomes a businessman. =hen classes
rise or fall, a !erson is em!loyed or unem!loyed, when the rate of
investment goes u! or down, a !erson takes new heart or goes broke.
=hen war takes !lace, an insurance sales man may become a rocket
launcher, a store clerk, may become a radar o!erator, a wife or a husband
may live alone, a child may grow u! without a !arent.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
)either the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be
understood without under standing both.
(1) "ociological imagination is an ins!ired thinking to understand social
behavior as well as an awareness of the relationshi! between an
individual and society.
+,0"ociological imagination can be shown across race, gender, social class
and national boundaries.
(3) "ociological imagination can enhance our understandings about
current social issues. It is also an awareness of the relationshi!
between individual and the wider society that may become also an
ability to view our own environment.
II. %rigin and de*elo#ent of Sociology
2.1. 'arly origin and de*elo#ent:
To under stand better about modern develo!ment of sociology, it is
necessary to scrutini4e briefly the history of sociology in the !ast. In this
regard, one can e1!lore all about tradition !eriods in terms of
understandings about society.
A. The eriod of tradition:
"ince the downward of recorded history, man kind has sought greater
knowledge about his s!ecies. #ow did he come to be a man@ =hat was;is
the relationshi! between moral order and his !lace in the universe etc@
The ancient #ebrew writers, $onfucius, $hinese early !hiloso!her,
(reek thinkers such as "o!hists, 9ioneers of !hiloso!hy like 9lato and
Aristotle reflected their own views about man and the wider grou!,
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
The $hinese early thinkers focused on man*s relationshi! to man in
!er!etuating the social system.
(reek thought had centered on the !olitical and legalistic as!ects of
society. 9lato and Aristotle investigated and classified the !atterns of
government that men create for themselves.
In sum, tradition !eriod was strongly dominated by long3established values,
norms and thoughts about society and its social settings.
B+ The eriod of Theology:
5arly $hristian ideas were reflected about society in the work of "t.
Augustine +/>A3A/- A.6.0. "t. Augustine described the institutions of a
society as being either good or bad according to whether they ins!ire
man to wards salvation or not.
The theories of "t. Augustine and the later those of Thomas A7uinas
sufficiently dominated 5uro!ean 9hiloso!hy until the 1B
and 18
)evertheless, contem!orary !hiloso!hers like ohn 'ocke in 5ngland, ean
ac7ues Cousseau in France began to develo! different theories which
were em!hasi4ing on social factors and !ractically eliminate theological
views as the foundation of social institutions in a society.
)ew trends towards modern social thought were rising gradually.
These modern thoughts were born in a s!irit of revolution against the
in2ustice of the old social order.
$ontinuous arguments have been conceded out among many
disagreeing !hiloso!hers that led to the reali4ation of the need for more
e1act knowledge of society.
5arly 19
c. the idea of an actual "cience of society was cultivating in
the mind of "aint3"imon, who was a French noble man that hel!ed
=ashington*s cause in America. #e also !artici!ated in much less
successful French Cevolution. "aint3"imon was a lecturer at 5cole
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
!olytechni7ue institution where he e1erted a !owerful influence on his
students. <ne of his students was Auguste $omte. $omte became not
only his student, but also "imon*s friend and collaborator. Auguste $omet
later became adversary of his former teacher. "o, their !artnershi! was
,+ The eriod of Social &hilosohy:
"ociology emerged after the great transformations in 5uro!ean
societies, which took !lace during 1B
and 18
$. In this res!ect, three
basic interrelated changes fostered the emergence of the sociological
!ers!ectives. These include.3
Industrial technology
The growth of cities, and
9olitical changes.
"ociology is a science of society, social institutions, and social
relationshi!s, s!ecifically the systematic study of the develo!ment,
structure, interaction and collective behavior of organi4ed human grou!s.
"ociology emerged at the end of the 19
c. through the work of
Auguste $omte, 5mile 6urkheim, :a1 =eber, (eorge "immel, Cobert 5.
9ark, Albion =. "mell, Darl :ar1 etc.
"ociologists use observational techni7ues, surveys, interviews,
statistical analysis, controlled e1!eriments and other methods to study
sub2ects such as family, ethnic relations, schooling, social status social
class, bureaucracy, religious movements, deviance, elderly and social
2.2. Ma"or founders of sociology:-
.i+ Auguste ,o#te .1/01-112/+:
Auguste $omte was a French 9hiloso!her, a founder of the disci!line of
sociology and the doctrine of !ositivism. #e was regarded as the first
!hiloso!her of science in the modern brains of the term. $omte develo!ed
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
sociology in an attem!t to thera!y the social de!ression left by the French
The disci!line was later formally and academically established by 5mile
6urkheim. Auguste $omte attem!ted to introduce a consistent %Celigion of
#umanity& which, though largely unsuccessful, was influential in the
develo!ment of various worldly humanist organi4ations in the 19
c. $omte
also created and defined the term %altruism&. August $omte*s fields of
studies were 9ositivism, "ociology, 'aw of three stages and encyclo!edic
.ii+ '#ile !ur3hei# .1121-101/+:
Though, Auguste $omte was generally considered as the %Father of
sociology&, the academic sub2ect was formally established by 5mile
6urkheim. #e develo!ed !ositivism in great detail. 6urkheim set u! the first
5uro!ean de!artment of sociology at the Eniversity of 8ordeau1 in 189>. #e
!ublished %Cules of the "ociological method&. In 189F, he also established
the 2ournal of %'*Annee "ociologi7ue&. 6urkheim*s influential monogra!h,
suicide +189B0, a case study of suicide rates amongst $atholic and !rotestant
!o!ulations that distinguished sociological analysis from !sychology or
!hiloso!hy. It was also marked a ma2or contribution to the theoretical
conce!t of structural functionalism. 5mile 6urkheim was also re!resented by
%"ocial facts&, mechanical and organic solidarity, origin of religion, as well as
moral unity.
.iii+ Herbert Sencer .1120-100$+
#erbert "!encer was an 5nglish !hiloso!her, who was !rominent as classical
liberal !olitical theorist, and sociological theorist.
"!encer develo!ed an all3embracing conce!tion of evolution as the
!rogressive develo!ment of the !hysical world, biological organisms, the
human mind, and human culture and societies. As a !olymath, he
contributed to a wide range of sub2ects, including ethics, religion,
anthro!ology, economics, !olitical theory, !hiloso!hy, biology, sociology and
!sychology. 6uring his life time, he achieved tremendous authority, mainly
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
in 5nglish3s!eaking academia. In 19-,, he was nominated for the )oble !ri4e
in literature.
#e was best known for the coining the conce!t %survival of the fittest&, which
he did in !rinci!les of 8iology +18FA0, after reading $harles 6arwin*s on the
origin of s!ecies?. This term strongly suggests natural selection, yet as
"!encer e1tended evolution into realms of sociology and ethics, he made use
of 'amarckism rather than natural selection. #erbert "!encer was in the
school of evolutionism, !ositivism, and classical liberalism. #is main interests
were evolution, !ositivism and utilitarianism "!encer*s notable ideas were
"ocial 6arwinism, %survival of the fittest&.
.i*+ Ma4 5eber .116( 7 1020+
:a1 =eber was a (erman sociologist and !olitical economist, who
!rofoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the remit of
sociology itself. =eber*s ma2or works dealt with the rationali4ation and the
so3called %disenchantment& which he associated with the rise of ca!italism
and modernity. =eber was along with his associate (eorge "immel, a central
figure in the establishment of methodological anti3!ositivism !resenting
sociology as a non3em!irical field, which must study social action through
stubbornly sub2ective means. #e is ty!ically cited with 5mile 6urkheim and
Darl :ar1, as one of the three !rinci!al architects of modern social science
and has variously been described as the most im!ortant classic thinkers in
the social sciences.
:a1 =eber was most famous for his thesis in economic sociology, the&
!rotestant 5thic and the s!irit of ca!italism.& 6issimilar to :ar1, =eber did
not consider the develo!ment of ca!italism in !urely material terms? he
instead, em!hasi4ed religious influences embedded into culture. The
!rotestant 5thic formed the earliest work in =eber*s broader !ro2ect in the
sociology of religion? he would go to e1amine the religion of $hina, India and
ancient udaism, with !articular regard to the a!!arent non3develo!ment of
ca!italism and to differing forms of social stratification.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
In another ma2or work, !olitics as a career, =eber defined the state as an
entity which claims a %mono!oly on the legitimate use of violence&. A
definition that became !ivotal to the study of modern western !olitical
science. #is analysis of bureaucracy in his economy and society is still
central to the modern study of organi4ations. =eber was the first to
recogni4e several diverse as!ects of social authority, which he res!ectively
categori4ed according to their charismatic, traditional and legal forms. #is
analysis of bureaucracy, thus, noted that modern state institutions are based
on a form of rational3legal authority. =eber*s thought regarding to the
rationali4ing and seculari4ing tendencies of modern =estern society would
come to facilitate critical theory, !articularly in the work of thinkers.
8. 9arl Mar4 .1111-111$+
Darl :ar1 was a (erman !hiloso!her, !olitical economist, historian, and
!olitical theorist, sociologist, communist and revolutionary, whose ideas are
credited as the foundation of modern communism. :ar1 summari4ed his
a!!roach in the first line of cha!ter one of the communist manifestos
!ublished in 18A8. %The history of all hitherto e1isting society is the history
of class struggle&.
:ar1 argued that ca!italism like !revious socio3 economic systems would
inevitably !roduce internal tensions which would lead to destruction. ust as
ca!italism re!laced feudalism, he believed socialism would in its turn re!lace
ca!italism. This would be stateless society called !ure communism.
Darl :ar1 argued that for a systemic understanding of socio3economic
change. #e argued that the structural contradictions within ca!italism
im!ose its end, giving away to socialism.
%The develo!ment of modern industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the
very foundation on which the bourgeoisie !roduces and a!!ro!riates
!roducts. =hat the bourgeoisie, therefore, !roduces, above all, are its own
grave3diggers. Its fall and the victory of the !roletariat are e7ually
inevitable& +The communist :anifesto0. :ar1 is ty!ically cited with 5mile
6urkheim and :a1 =eber, as one of the three !rinci!al architects of modern
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
social science. Darl :ar1*s main contributions were in the areas of !olitics,
economics and !hiloso!hy. #is interests were sociology, history and class
)otable contributions were sur!lus value, alienation and e1!loitation of the
workers, the communist manifesto, 6as Da!ital and materialist conce!tion of
history. Darl :ar1 is considered to be the first theorist to form series of
conce!ts within the break between modern and !re3modern theories.
Darl :ar1 had lot contributions for the theory of conflict !ers!ective. #e
believed in social change through class struggle. #e is considered to be the
father of conflict theory.
I8. %thers: Ibn 9haldun .1$$2 7 1(06+:
Ibn Dhaldun was born in )orth Africa, in !resent day, Tunisia. #e was
astronomer, economist, historian, Islamic theologian, and also he was
considered a fore runner of several social scientific disci!lines such as
demogra!hy, cultural history, historiogra!hy, the !hiloso!hy of history and
sociology. Dhaldun was also considered as one of the forerunners of modern
economics ne1t to the earlier Indian scholar $hana1ya. Ibn Dhaldun was
considered by many to be the father of a number of these disci!lines
$enturies before they were founded in the =est. #is school of thought was
:alikimadhab, Islamic economic uris!rudence. #is main interests were
social sciences, sociology, history, cultural history demogra!hy etc. #e
develo!ed theories of %Asabiyyah& and the rise and fall of $ivili4ations.
Asabiyyah: :social cohesion;< grou solidarity or tribalis#;
$oncerning the disci!line of sociology, he conceived a theory of social
conflict. #e develo!ed the dichotomy of sedentary life versus nomadic life as
well as the conce!t of a %generation& and the inevitable loss of !ower that
occurs when desert warriors con7uer a city.
=Harriet Martineau .1102 7 11/6+
#arriet :artineau was born in 5ngland. "he wrote more than >- books and
were significant to sociologists, today because of her argument that %when
one studies a society, one must focus on all its as!ects, including key
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Catholic University of Eastern Africa
!olitical, religious and social institutions&. "he also believed an analysis of a
society should be re7uired to have an understanding of women*s lives.
#arriet changed sociological o!inions on issues that were ignored such as
marriage, children, domestic and religious life, and race relations. "he
believed that sociologists should not 2ust sim!ly observe, they should do
things to benefit society. #arriet was known as the first women sociologist.
=A#erican sociologists .10
Lester Frank Ward: "ocial liberalist
#e was an American sociologist. #e served as the first !resident of the
American sociology Association.
L.F. Ward (1841 1913): :a2or works
)eo36arwinism, neo3'amarckism
The !sychic factors of civili4ation
$ontem!orary sociology ,etc
W. Graham Sumner +18A- G 191-0.
"ocial 6arwinist,
The causes of the farmers* discontent of ,18B/
:onetary develo!ment
9olitics in America
"ocialism, 18B8 and "ociological fallacies, 188A and
5vils of the Tariff system.
III. Ma"or theoretical ersecti*es:
/.1. Functionalist !ers!ectives
/.,. $onflict !ers!ectives
/./. Interactionist !ers!ectives
In addition to the above stated theories, the followings can be included.
9ost3 modernism
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Cational choice and e1change theory
5thno3 methodology
"ocial construction theory
/.A. An overview of "ociological research methods.
+A0 "ome grou! of sociologists view the world basically as a stable and on
going entity. "o that, they are im!ressed with the endurance of the
family, religion and other social institutions.
+80 Another grou! of sociologists also view society as com!osed of many
grou!s who are in conflict for scarce resources.
+$0 The third grou! of sociologists also view society as routine interactions
among individuals. Therefore, in general.3
These different views of sociologists can be classified as.3
+i0 Functionalist !ers!ective,
+ii0 $onflict !ers!ective, and
+iii0 Interactionist !ers!ective
.i+ >unctionalist ersecti*e:-
Functionalist !ers!ective is a sociological a!!roach that focuses on the way
that different !arts of a society are structured to hold its stability and social
order. 'et us think of a society as living organism in which each !art of the
organism contributes to its survival. This sort of sociological view is called
functionalist !ers!ective. Functionalism attem!ted to e1!lain social
institutions as a collective means to fill individual3biological needs earlier
time. )evertheless, gradually, it came to focus on that social institutions fill
social needs, es!. social stability.
Functionalism is most often associated with structures and workings of
society. "o, functionalists see society as made u! of inter3de!endent
sections which they work together to fulfill the functions necessary for the
survival of society as a whole.
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Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Functionalists believe that behavior in a society is structural, which relates
with arious institutions and social ages of a society.
The origins of functionalist !ers!ectives can be traced to the work of #erbert
"!encer, 5mile 6urkheim and recently Talcott 9arsons. These leading
functionalists see society as having a structure, with key institutions
!erforming vital functions and roles directing !eo!le in how to behave. They
identify the functions of each !art of the structure. 5.g. the family sociali4es
the young and !roduces a shared culture. <ther institutions are there to
meet the basic needs of society e.g. !roducing food and shelter for !eo!le.
<ther institutions hel! society to run smoothly and integrate the different
=hen all !arts of a society work together, balance is maintained and the
overall order of the system is achieved. #ence, social structures in a society
!romote integration, stability, consensus and balance.
&ro#inent functionalists:
+i0 #erbert "!encer sees the social system as an organic, even as su!er
organic body. Indeed, this is followed by a fluctuating state of e7uilibrium
and dise7uilibrium or a state of ad2ustment and ada!tation and finally, a
stage of disintegration or dissolution. "!encer concluded that society was
constantly facing !ressure internal;e1ternal. #e also recogni4ed that the
degree of centrali4ed and consolidated authority in a given !olity could
make or break the ability to ada!t. #e also saw the effects of
centrali4ation of !ower as leading to stagnation and ultimately, !ressure
to decentrali4ation.
#."!encer recogni4ed functional needs such as G Cegulation, <!eration and
6istribution. All societies need to solve !roblem of control and coordination
of !roduction of goods, services and ideas. "!encer was known by coining
the term %survival of the fittest&.
ii+ Talcott arsons
9arsons wanted to develo! a grand theory of society. #ence, he began to
e1amine the individuals and their actions. #e stated that %The social system
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Catholic University of Eastern Africa
is made u! of the actions of individuals&. 9arsons also develo!ed the idea of
%role& in to collectivities of roles that com!lemented each other in fulfilling
functions for society.
"ome of the roles are bound u! in institutions and social structures, such as
economic, educational, legal and even gender structures.
9arsons viewed e7uilibrium to be maintained, when sociali4ation and social
control are essentially !racticed.
"ociali4ation is im!ortant, because, it is a means for transferring the
acce!ted norms and values of a society to the individuals within the
9refect sociali4ation may occur when these norms and values are com!letely
internali4ed, i.e. when they become !art of the individuals* !ersonality.
.iii+ ?obert Merton:-
C. :erton agreed with !arson*s theory. #owever, he tended to em!hasis
middle3range theory rather than a grand theory. Cobert :erton differentiated
between manifest and latent functions. In this as!ect, he believed that there
is no functional unity. All modern and com!le1 societies do not work for the
functional unity of a society.
"ome structures and institutions may have other functions, while even be
generally dysfunctional or be functional. #ence, all structures may not be
functional for society as a whole. C. :erton introduced the conce!ts of !ower
and coercion into functionalism and identifies the sites of tensions which
may lead to struggle or conflict. :erton*s theory of deviance is derived from
6urkheim*s idea of anomie.
According to :erton, anomie means a discontinuity between cultural goals
and acce!ted methods available for reaching them. In this regard, :erton
believed that there are five situations facing an actor. These are.3
+A0 $onformity +80 Innovation +$0 Citualism +60 Cetreatism 50 Cebellion
Therefore, change can occur internally in a society through either innovation
or rebellion. It is true that society will attem!t to control these individuals
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Catholic University of Eastern Africa
and negate the changes. #owever, innovation or rebellion builds momentum,
so, society will eventually ada!t or face dissolution.
:erton had contributed to differentiate between manifest and latent
+i0 !ani"est "unction: # This is intended and recogni4ed conse7uences of
social actions u!on other social actors or institutions +conscious intentions of
+ii0 Latent "unction: # This is unintended and unrecogni4ed
conse7uences of social action u!on other social actors or institutions. These
conse7uences can be either beneficial or not. Furthermore,
:anifest function is o!en, stated and conscious functions that involve
into the intended, recogni4ed conse7uences of an as!ect of a society such
as the university*s role in certifying an academic com!etence and
8y contrast?
'atent functions are unconscious or unintended functions and may reflect
hidden !ur!oses of an institution. 8oth manifest and latent functions are to
be considered as !ositive.
51am!les for manifest functions.3
The manifest function of a school is to teach,
The manifest function of military institution is to defend,
The manifest function of economic institution is to !roduce and
distribute goods.
51am!les for latent function.3
$ollege students during their stay in the college may make good
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Catholic University of Eastern Africa
6uring staying abroad for education, may !urchase a new car and
house hold furniture*s for home. 6uring business interaction, if the two
individuals make love affairs and get married.
(iii) $%s"unctions: Those elements or !rocesses of a society that may
disru!t a social system or lead to decrease in stability. =hen social order
breaks down in many cases, negative conse7uences may reveal. For
e1am!le, over !o!ulation and !ollution etc.
)ote:Famous functionalists include.3
+A0 #erbert "!encer +$0 Talcott 9arsons
+80 5mile 6urkheim +60 8ronislaw :alinowski
+F0 Cobert D. :erton +50 A.C. Cadcliff G 8rown
.ii+ ,onflict ersecti*e:-
$onflict !ers!ective is a sociological a!!roach which assumes that
social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between
com!eting grou!s. $onflict theory strives to e1!lain social facts interms of
different grou!s com!eting for controlling resources or advantages. This
!rocess occurs on macro level. It is e1!ressed interms of the conflict
between class grou!s. In sociology, conflict theory states that the society
or organi4ation functions so as each individual !artici!ates and its grou!s
struggle to ma1imi4e their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social
change such as changes in !olitics and revolutions. This theory is mostly
a!!lied to e1!lain conflict between social classes in ideology such as
socialism and communism.
The disci!line of sociology acce!ts conflict theory as one valid way to
gain insight into a society.
Darl :ar1 is regarded as the father of conflict theory and the idea of
human society. In this regard, key figures are D. :ar1 and F. 5ngles in
which das ka!ital and the communist manifesto are included in their
work. 8esides,
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
:achiavelli, Thomas #obbes, Darl :ar1 and :a1 =eber had
contributed im!ortant !arts to conflict theory.
In brief, :ar1 stated about sociological conflict theory as follows.3 +10 classes
are formed through !ro!erty divisions such as slaves and slave3owners, serfs
and lords, ca!italists and workers are the o!!osing agents in the struggle for
!olitical !ower in the line of under!inning their means of livelihood.
+,0 :aterial contributions determine the e1tent to which social classes can
organi4e effectively to fight for their interests. This condition of mobili4ation
is a set of intervening variables between class and !olitical !ower.
1. Cace and ethnicity conflict
,. $onflict of religion
/. (ender conflict
A. Cegions conflict
>. $lass conflict
+/0 The :ar1ist conflict a!!roach em!hasi4es a materialist
inter!retation of history, a dialectical method of analysis, a critical stance
towards e1isting social arrangements and a !olitical !rogram of revolution or
at least, reform.
D. :ar1 divided human history into several stages based on
economic structure of a society. The most im!ortant stages for :ar1*s
argument were Feudalism and $a!italism.
For :ar1*, the central institution of ca!italist society is !rivate
!ro!erty, the system by which ca!ital +money, machine, tools, factories
and other material ob2ects used in !roduction0 is controlled by small
minority of the !o!ulation. This arrangement leads to two o!!osed
classes, the owners of ca!ital which :ar1 called them %bourgeoisie&, and
the workers which he called them %!roletariat&, whose only !ro!erty is
their only labor time, which they have to sell to the ca!italists.
<wners of means of !roduction are seen as making !rofits by
!aying workers less than their work is worth and thus, e1!loiting them.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
$ontradictions do mean inherent conflict and instability that lead
to class struggle. As :ar1 said this class struggle will eventually culminate
in a socialist revolution.
.iii+ Interactionist ersecti*e:
Interactionism concerns itself with social interaction in micro level settings,
unlike conflict theory and functionalism assumes that !erson*s social
behavior occurs only in the conte1t of the sub2ective meanings that one may
attach to social !osition.
Interactionism has long history. "ince, :a1 =eber and (eorge #erbert
:ead !ut em!hasi4es on the sub2ective meaning of human behavior, the
social !rocess and !ragmatism. #erbert 8lumer was res!onsible for
coining the term %symbolic interactionism&.
Interactionists focus on the sub2ective as!ects of social life, rather than an
ob2ective, macro3structural as!ects of social system. <ne reason for their
focus is that interactionists* base their theoretical !ers!ective on their
image of humans, rather than on their image of society.
For interactionists, humans are !ragmatic actors who continually must
ad2ust their behavior to the actions of other actors. =e can ad2ust to these
actions only because we are able to inter!ret them, i.e. to denote them
symbolically and treat the actions and those who !erform them as
symbolic ob2ects. This !rocess of ad2ustment is aided by our ability to
imaginatively rehearse alternative lines of action before we act.
Interactionism sees humans as active, creative !artici!ant, who
construct their social world, not as !assive, that conforming ob2ects of
"ociety consists of organi4ed and !atterned interactions among
individuals. For interactionists, negotiation among members of a society
creates tem!orary, socially constructed relations which remain in
constant flu1, des!ite relative stability in the basic framework governing
those relations.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
?ole-ta3ing: It is a key mechanism of interaction which !ermits us to take
the other*s !ers!ective to see what our actions might mean to the other
actors with whom we interact.
?ole-#a3ing: It is a key mechanism of interaction for all situations and
roles are inherently ambiguous. Thus, re7uiring us to create those situations
and roles to some e1tent before we can act.
Interactionists tend to study social interaction through !artici!ant
observation, rather than surveys and interviews.
Interactionists view in general.3
+I0 Interactionism is a sociological framework for viewing human beings
as living in a world of meaningful ob2ects. The %ob2ects& may include
material things, actions, other !eo!le, relationshi!s, and even symbols.
(II) (eorge #erbert :ead. is widely regarded as the founder of the
interactionist !ers!ectives. #e focused on human interactions within one
to one situations and small grou!s. :ead was interested in observing
the most minute forms of communications such as smiles, frowns, nod
dings etc.
Frown H to show anger,
)odding H to say %yes& or to show agreeness
(III) Interactionist !ers!ective is sometimes referred to as the symbolic
interactionist !ers!ective. 8ecause, interactionists see symbols as an
es!ecially im!ortant !art of human communication. In general symbolic
form of communication is labeled as %non3verbal communication& which
includes many other gestures, facial e1!ressions, and !ostures.
>acial e4ressions: Sy#bolic co##unication:
"miling, 6istress ob2ects? artifacts,
'aughing, etc. "ounds,
$rying, images, and
"hame , tools, ornaments
5motions clothing*s, institution etc.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Su##ary *ie@s:
& ,
1. "ociety view.
F. 51am!le.
B. 9ro!onents.

"table, well
Tension and
struggle b;n grou!s
Active and affecting
everyday social
:acro :acro "mall grou!
9eo!le are
sociali4ed to
!erform social
9eo!le are sha!ed by
!ower and authority
create their
social worlds.
$hange takes !lace
all the time and
may have !ositive

with others

Ceflected in
Ceinforce the
'aws reinforce
the !ositions of
those in !ower
9eo!le res!ect
laws or disobey
them based on
their own !ast e1!.
5. 6urkheim,
Talcott !arsons,
D. :ar1,
=.5.8. 6ubois,
$.#. $oole
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa

:anifest F.
'atent F.
>. Iiew of social change.
A. Individual view.
/. Dey conce!ts.
,. 'evel of analysis.

verbal com.
A brief introduction to Sociology; prepared & compiled by: Lule Belay
!iscussion Auestions:
10 6raw significant distinctions between functionalist and interactionist
,0 =hat are the main roles of institutions in social system@
/0 =hat is the role of social structures in the society@
A0 =hen #. "!encer coined the !hrase %survival of the fittest&, what did
he want to indicate@
>0 #ow do societies maintain social %e7uilibrium&@ In the light of
functionalist !oint of view, identify the main conce!tual discre!ancies
interms of society between Talcott !arsons and Cobert :erton.
F0 =hat is the difference between manifest and latent functions@
B0 =hat is 6ysfunctions@ (ive e1am!les
80 6oes conflict theory have always !ositive value to society@ Jes or no
with reasons;2ustifications
90 =hat is symbolic interactionist !ers!ective@
1-0 'ist the most !ro!onents of functionalist theory.
110 'ist a few !ersonalities of interactionist theory.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
?eco##ended references for further readings:
8lumer,#. +19F90. "ymbolic Interactionism. !ers!ective and method.
5nglewood $liffs, ). 9rentice3#all.
$oser, '. +19BB0. :asters of "ociological Thought. Ideas in #istorical
and "ocial $onte1t, ,
5d., Fort =orth. #arcourt 8race ovanovich, Inc.,
!!. 1A-31A/, accessed.
$raib, I. +199,0. :odern "ocial Theory. From 9arsons to #abermas,
#arvester =heatsheaf, 'ondon
$uff, 5. L 9ayne, (., +eds0 +198A0. 9ers!ectives in "ociology, Allen L
Enwin, 'ondon
6avis, D. +19>90. %The :yth of Functional Analysis as a "!ecial :ethod
in "ociology and Anthro!ology&, American "ociological Ceview, ,A+F0,
5lster, .,:odgil, $. L :odgil, "., +eds0 Cobert :erton. $onsensus and
$ontroversy, Falmer 9ress, 'ondon, !!. 1,93/>
(ingrich, 9., +19990 %Functionalism and 9arsons& in "ociology ,>-
"ub2ect )otes, Eniversity of Cegina, accessed, ,A;>;-F,
#olmwood, . +,-->0 %Functionalism and its $ritics& in #arrington, A.,
+ed0 :odern "ocial Theory. an introduction, <1ford Eniversity 9ress,
<1ford, !!. 8B31-9.
#umans, (. +19F,0. "entiments and Activities. )ew Jork. The Free
9ress of (lencoe.
#oult, T. +19F90. 6ictionary of :odern "ociology.
'enski, (. +19FF0. %9ower and 9rivilege. A Theory of "ocial
"tratification. %)ew Jork. :c(raw3#ill.
'enski, (. +,-->0. %5volutionary35cological Theory.& 8oulder, $<.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
An o*er*ie@ of Sociological research #ethods:
Sociolo&ical research is systematic which gathers data,
organi4es and analysis*s that informed by theory and it reaches to
conclusions. 5ffective sociological research can be 7uite thought
!rovoking. It may suggest many new 7uestions about social interactions
that re7uire further study. In some cases, rather than raising additional
7uestions, a study will sim!ly confirm !revious beliefs and findings.
=hat is scientific research method@
"cientific method is a systematic and organi4ed series of
ste!s that ensures ma1imum ob2ectivity and consistency in
researching a !roblem.
The scientific method re7uires !recise !re!arations in
develo!ing useful research. <ther wise, the research data collected
may !rove to be unacce!table for !ur!oses of sociological study. As it
is noted that there are five basic ste!s in the scientific research
method which sociologists and other researchers follow.3
Stes in ?esearch rocess:
1. Identification of the research !roblem;selecting a to!ic.
,. Ceviewing the literature;evidence.
/. :aking the research !roblem !recise;formulate the hy!othesis
4. =orkings out the research design;choosing the research method.
>. $arrying out the research;collecting and analy4ing the data.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
3 "urvey 3 Focus (rou! 6iscussion
3 51!eriment 3 In de!th3 interview
3 Field research 3 6ocumentary research
F. Inter!reting the results.
7. "haring;Ce!orting the findings
!efining the &roble#:-
Cesearcher must state clearly what it needs to be investigated@
=hat is the interest of the researcher in e1aming@
)eeds to identify clearly the core !roblem of the study.
?e*ie@ing literature:-
After defining the !roblem, the ne1t essential ste! is to go
through relevant literature so as to lay down fundamental conte1tual
conce!ts for further investigation of the !roblem.
>or#ulating hyothesisB?esearch Cuestions:
It is a s!eculative statement about the relationshi! between two
or more factors, known as variables.
Inde!endent variable.3 To cause or influence another
6e!endent variable. 3 =hen its action is de!ending on
Formulating hy!othesis can also be written as research 7uestions
or guide 7uestions.
?esearch design and collecting data:-
This !art focuses on how to collect data and formulate essential
data collection techni7ues.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
This is the research !lan section which indicates research
techni7ues, discussions and others. It is the ma2or !art of the research.
!e*eloing su##ary< conclusions and reco##endations
After collecting and analy4ing data, the researchers have to
come to the final ste!s in the scientific method. This final ste! is
(.2. ?esearch designs and #ethods:-
Cesearch design is a detailed !lan or method for obtaining data
scientifically. "election of a research design is a critical ste! for
sociologists and re7uires creativity and ingenuity. This choice will directly
influence both the cost of the !ro2ect and the amount of time needed to
collect the results of the research.
Cesearchers +sociologists0 usually im!lement the following ma2or
ste!s in research !rocess.
Su##ary ,hart

"cientific :ethod
6efining the !roblem
Ceview the literature
Formulate the hy!othesis
"elect research design
$ollect and analy4e data
6evelo! the conclusion
Inter!ret your results Ce!ort the research findings
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
.1+ Sur*eys:
A survey is a study, generally in the form of an interview or
7uestionnaire that !rovides sociologists with information concerning how
!eo!le think and act. A survey must be based on !recise, re!resentative
sam!ling if it is to reflect genuinely abroad range of the !o!ulation.
A re!resentative sam!le is a selection from a larger !o!ulation that is
statistically ty!ical of that !o!ulation. There are many kinds of sam!les,
but the one social scientists most fre7uently use is the rando# sa#le:
In random sam!le, every member of an entire !o!ulation being studied
has the same chance of being selected.
The advantage of using s!eciali4ed sam!ling techni7ues is that
sociologists do not need to 7uestion everyone in a !o!ulation.
An effective survey 7uestion must be sim!le and clear enough for
!eo!le to understand it. It must also be s!ecific enough so that there are
no !roblems in inter!reting the results.
There are two main forms of surveys. These are interview and
7uestionnaire. 5ach of these has its own advantages.
"killful interviewer can go beyond written 7uestions and %!robe& for a
sub2ect*s underlying feelings and reasons. <n the other hand,
7uestionnaires have the advantage of being chea!er, es!ecially when
large sam!les are used.
.2+ %bser*ation:-
Investigators who collect information through direct !artici!ation in
and;or observation of a grou!, tribe, or community under study are
engaged in observation. This method allows sociologists to e1amine
certain behaviors and communities that could not be investigated through
other research techni7ues. In some cases, the sociologists actually %2oin&
a grou! for a !eriod of time to gain an accurate sense of how it o!erates.
This is called !artici!ant observation.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
The methodology of !artici!ant observation !roved usefulness in
solving !ractical !roblems.
To study a cause and effect relationshi!, one may conduct an
e1!eriment. In the other hand, an e1!eriment is an artificially created
situation that allows the researcher to mani!ulate variables.
In classic method of conducting an e1!eriment, two grou!s of !eo!le
are selected and matched for similar characteristics such as age or
education. The researchers then assign the sub2ects to one of two grou!s,
the e1!erimental or the control grou!.
The e1!erimental grou! is e1!osed to an inde!endent variable, the
control grou! is not. Thus, it scientists were testing a new ty!e of
antibiotic drug? they would administer that drug to an e1!erimental grou!
but not to control grou!.
Dse of e4isting sources:-
"ociologists do not necessarily have to collect new data in
order to conduct research and test hy!otheses.
The term secondary analysis refers to a variety of research
techni7ues that make use of !ublicly accessible information and data.
(enerally, in conducting secondary analysis, researchers utili4e data in
ways an intended by the initial collectors of information.
"ociologists consider secondary analysis to be noncreative,
since it does not influence !eo!le*s behavior.
For e1am!le, 5mile 6urkheim*s statistical analysis of suicide neither
increased nor decreased human self3destruction.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
(.$ 'thics of ?esearch:
Cesearchers in general, sociologists in !articular must
abide by a certain s!ecific standards in conducting research code of
ethics. American sociologist*s associations !ut forth the following basic
!rinci!les +199B0.
1. :aintain ob2ectivity and integrity in research.
,. Ces!ect the sub2ect*s right to !rivacy and dignity.
/. 9rotect sub2ects from !ersonal harm.
A. 9reserve confidentiality.
>. "eek informed consent when data are collected from research
!artici!ants or when behavior occurs in a !rivate conte1t. +Ioluntary
F. Acknowledge research collaboration and assistance.
B. 6isclose all sources of financial su!!ort.
&A, E &ri*acy< Anony#ity and ,onfidentiality
:ost sociological research uses !eo!le as sources of
information G as res!ondents to survey 7uestions, sub2ects of observation,
or !artici!ants in e1!eriments. In all cases, sociologists need to be certain
that they are not invading the !rivacy of their sub2ects. This is by assuring
guaranteeing that !ersonal information disclosed will remain confidential.
The scientific method or methodology !rovides a
systematic, organi4ed series of ste!s that insure ma1imum ob2ectivity and
consistency in researching a !roblem. It !rovides a shared basis for
discussion and analysis, and hel!s to !romote reliability and validity
+$onsistency and Accuracy0. Theory directs research and research informs
theory +Cefle1ivity0.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
8. ,ulture:
>.1. 6efinition of $ulture
>.,. $om!onents of $ulture
>./. Traits of $ulture
>.A. 5thnocentrism Is $ultural Celativism
>.>. "ociali4ation and its agents
2.1 !efinition of ,ulture
The conce!t of culture has been defined, investigated and e1!lained by
different scholars with various time frames and stages of develo!ment
starting down to the records of history. The definitions of culture are raised
to the e1tent of beyond 1F-, to be more s!ecific 1FA definitions of culture
are recorded in different written materials. )evertheless, the definition of
culture was e1amined coherently and !resented by 8ritish anthro!ologist
5dward Teylor. #e !ro!osed that cultures, systems of human behavior and
thought, obey natural laws and therefore can be studied scientifically.
Teylor*s definition of culture is more com!rehensive and is widely 7uoted.
TylorFs definition of culture:
%N$ulture is that com!le1 whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts,
morals, law, custom and any other ca!abilities and habits ac7uired by man
as a member of society& +18B1;19>8 !. 10
$ulture can also be broadly defined as the learned norms,
values, artifacts, language and symbols that are constantly
communicated among !eo!le who share a common ways of life. $ulture
includes beliefs about what is im!ortant in life, and it sha!es
inter!retations of what events mean.
$ulture refers to the cumulative de!osit of knowledge,
e1!erience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion,
notions of time, roles, s!atial relations, conce!ts of the universe, and
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
material ob2ects and !ossessions ac7uired by a grou! of !eo!le in the
course of generations through individuals and grou!s striving for.
$ulture is the system of knowledge shared by relatively
large grou!s of !eo!le. The sociology of culture shows that our ho!es and
fears, our likes and dislikes, our beliefs and habits are very much social
creations, strongly influenced by the time and !lace in which we live. This
does not mean that culture dictates thoughts and behavior. It leaves room
for actions. $ulture is something, !eo!le develo! and use. <n the other
hand, in the !rocess, there is also room for resha!ing culture, for ada!ting
it to meet new demands and situations. As a result culture is never static.
It is constantly in the !rocess of change.
The !articular content of culture varies from !lace to !lace,
but all human cultures have the same basic elements. These include
knowledge, language, and symbols of all kinds, values, norms, and
artifacts +the !hysical ob2ects that !eo!le make0. 9eo!le use these as
cultural %tool kit& both to maintain and to change their ways of life.
$ulture is the sum total of the learned behavior of a grou!
of !eo!le that are generally considered to be the tradition of that !eo!le
and are transmitted from generation to generation. $ulture is a collective
!rogramming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one grou! or
category of !eo!le from another.
$ulture can be two as!ects. :aterial culture and )on3
material culture.
:aterial culture consists of all the !hysical ob2ects or
artifacts that !eo!le make and attach meanings to them. 5.g. 8ooks,
"chools, :issiles, $lothes, and $hurches, etc.
)atural ob2ects are not !art of material culture, but how
!eo!le see and use them is sha!ed by culture.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
)on3material culture consists of human creations that are
not embodied in !hysical ob2ects such as values, norms, knowledge,
systems of government, language, we s!eak and so on.
2.2 ,o#onents of ,ultureG
$ulture, as the whole way of life of the !eo!le is com!osed of widely
four essential com!onents. These are language, symbols, values, and
(i) Language: It is a system of verbal symbols and in many cases
written with rules about how those symbols can be strung together to
convey more com!le1 meanings,. 'anguage is e1tremely im!ortant in
the develo!ment, elaboration, and transmission of culture. 'anguage
often offers many clues to the meanings of social interactions.
'anguage enables !eo!le to store meanings and e1!eriences
and to !ass on this heritage to new generations. Through language, we
are able to learn about and from the e1!eriences of others. 'anguage
enables us to transcend the here and now, !reserving the !ast and
imagining the future. It also makes !ossible the formulation of com!le1
!lans and ideas.
'anguage has a role in social action, focusing on how !eo!le use language to
coordinate their activities, to create and confirm social understandings.
'anguage is culturally universal, striking differences in the use of language
are evident around the world. For e1am!le. %I will ring you u!&, this means %I
will call on the tele!hone&. "imilarly, the meanings of non3verbal gestures
vary from one culture to another. 'anguage does more than sim!ly describe
reality? it also serves to sha!e the reality of a culture. The 5nglish language
distinguishes between yellow and orange, but some other languages do not.
'anguage can also transmit stereo ty!es related to race. 51am!le %black& in
E.". dictionary which it means dismal, gloomy, for binding, destitute of moral
etc. 'anguage can be seen in the form of non3verbal communication such as
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
gestures and facial e1!ressions to communicate such as, smiling, laughing,
crying, shaming, emotions, and distress etc. 'ike any other form of language,
non verbal communication is not the same in all cultures. Functionalists
em!hasi4e the im!ortant role of language in unifying members of a society.
In contrast, conflict
theorists focus on the use of language to !er!etuate divisions between grou!
and societies i.e. gender and racism e1!ressed in communication.
Interactionists study how !eo!le rely on shared definitions of !hrases and
e1!ressions in both formal s!eech and everyday conversations. 'anguage
can sha!e how we see, taste, smell, fell and hear.
It also influences the way we think about the !eo!le, ideas, and ob2ects
around us. $ulture*s most im!ortant norms, values, and sanctions are
communicated to !eo!le through language.
(ii) Sy#bols: "omething, verbal or non verbal that arbitrarily and by
convention stands for something else, with which it has no necessary
or natural connection.
"ymbolic thought is uni7ue and crucial to humans and to cultural
learning. "ymbols are ob2ects, gestures, sounds or images that re!resent
something other than themselves. 6e!ending u!on symbols culture
consists of tools, im!lements, utensils, clothes, ornaments, customs,
institutions, beliefs, rituals, games, works of art, language etc.
A symbol is something verbal or non3verbal within a !articular language
or culture that comes to stand for something else. There is no obvious,
natural or necessary connection between the symbols and what it
symboli4es. "ymbols are usually linguistic. 8ut there are also non3verbal
symbols such as flags, cross, holy water, etc.
For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have shared the abilities on
which culture rests. These abilities are to learn, to think symbolically, to
mani!ulate language and to use tools and other cultural !roducts in
organi4ing their lives and co!ing with their environments. 5very
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
contem!orary human !o!ulation has the ability to use symbols and thus
to create and maintain culture.
(iii) 8alues: These are general ideas that !eo!le share about what is
good or bad, desirable or undesirable. "ociety ty!ically share a
number of values, among them, achievement and success,
!racticality, !rogress, material comfort,
democracy, and individuality, etc. =hen values are in conflict, !eo!le
tend to a!!ly them selectively.
Ialues indicate what !eo!le in culture !refer as well as what they find
im!ortant and morally right or wrong. Ialues may be s!ecific such as
honoring one*s !arents and owning a home or they may be more general
such as health, love, and democracy.
Ialues influence !eo!le*s behavior and serve as criteria for evaluating the
actions of others. There is often a direct relationshi! among the values,
norms and sanctions of a culture.
The value of a culture may change, but most remain relatively stable
during any one !erson*s life time. "ocially shared, intensely felt values are
fundamentally !art of our lives.
"ociologist Cobin =illiams +19B-0 has attem!ted to offer a list of these
basic values. These are. 3 Achievements, 3 :aterial comfort,
3 5fficiency, 3 )ationalism,
3 57uality, 3 "u!remacy of science etc
"anctions are !enalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social
norm. )ot that the conce!t of reward is included in this definition.
$onformity to a norm can lead to !ositive sanctions such as a !ay raise, a
medal, a word of gratitude, or a !at on the back.
)egative sanctions include fines, threats, im!risonment and stores of
"anctions can be seen as !ositive such as salary, bonus, testimonial
dinner, granting medal and 6i!loma. These are formal norms of
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
communications. "anctions also can be e1ercised in negative norms such
as demotion, firing from a 2ob, 2ail sentence and e1!ulsion. These are
mainly formal communications. There are also informal sanctions such as
smile, com!liment, and cheers as !ositive ones. Frown, humiliation,
belittling as informal negative sanctions.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
"ummary note.

2.$. Traits of ,ulture:
,ulture can be acAuiredG one can easily ac7uire or learn a culture where
he;she raised. If you are conceived in one culture but born and raised in
another i.e. culture is transferred at birth. In this regard, you ac7uired the
culture of the second, not the first one.
.I+ ,ulture and ersonalitiesF *ie@s:
,ulture: %A learned meaning system that consists of !atterns of
traditions, beliefs, values, norms, meanings and symbols that are
!assed on from one generation to the ne1t and are shared to
varying degrees by interacting members of a community&. +(ing3
Toomey and $hung0
9ay raise
(rant medal
=ord of gratitude,
"alary bonus,
Testimonial dinner,
6i!loma, medal+s0
Fines, threats,
"tores of contem!t
Firing from a 2ob,
51clusion etc.
9at on the
8elittling, and
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
,ulture: %A de!osit of knowledge, e1!erience, beliefs, values,
actions, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of
time, roles, s!atial relations, conce!ts of the universe, and
artifacts ac7uired by a grou! of !eo!le in the course of
generations through individual and grou! striving&. +"amovar
and 9orter0
,ulture: %An integrated systems of learned behavior !atterns that are
characteristic of the members of any given society& +<sterwal0
,ulture: %A learned set of shared !erce!tions about beliefs, values, norms
which affect the behaviors of a relatively large grou! of !eo!le&
+'usting and Doester0
,ulture: =hat gives !eo!le %a sense of whom they are, of belonging, of
how they should behave, and of what they should be doing@&
+:oran, #arris and :oran0
.II+ Traits: Se*en Ma"or Traits of ,ulture
2.1. Learned:
)ote innate but something ac7uired because of where one is raised. If you
are conceived in one culture but born and raised in another +i.e.
transferred at birth0 G you ac7uired the culture of the second, not the first
one. 'earned through interaction, observation, and imitation
$onscious G being told, reading Enconscious G most culture is learned
unconsciously G i.e. through language for e1am!le. 'earned from a variety
of sources such as. 9roverbs ,Folk tales and folklore
#igh $ulture. !oetry, art, music
:ass media +es!ecially TI +
2.2. Trans#itted:
5ach generation +older0 !asses it on to the younger G and constantly
reinforces it. If not transmitted, a culture dies.
2.$. Based on Sy#bols:
'anguage +verbal and nonverbal0 is key element; but also from images,
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
2.(. ,hangeable:
)o culture is static. The culture of your grand!arents or !arents is not
identical with our own +a ma2or cause of the so3called generation ga!0.
$hanges occur from.
Innovation +discovery0 e.g. television, com!uter, women*s
movement 6iffusion +borrowing0 e.g. :c6onalds worldwide,
Acculturation 3 long3term contact with another culture.
2.2. Integrated:
<ne dimension affects other dimensions. $onsider how the civil rights
movement in the E" +initially concerned with voting rights0 s!read to
encom!ass multi!le !arts of the E"A.
2.6. 'thnocentric:
A trait found in every culture G the belief that one*s culture is su!erior
and more worthy than another. =hile it is im!ortant to have a !ositive
view of one*s self, ethnocentrism can be a ma2or hindrance to
intercultural communication G can shut others out, lead to derogatory
view !oints.
2./. Adati*e:
In order to survive, culture must ada!t. 51am!le G roles of women in
E"A after ==II.
$ulture is the total way of life of the !eo!le of a society including their
customs, institutions, beliefs and values. $ulture functions as a binding force,
holding !eo!le together by common attitudes, beliefs and traditions. $ulture
is learned behavior, transmitted through communications, largely in the form
of language. $ulture is a vehicle for man*s survival, it is also a tra! of habit
and custom from which he cannot fully esca!e. $ulture develo!s values,
traditions and heroes.
2.(. 'thnocentris# 8s ,ultural ?elati*is#:
5hat is ethnocentris#H
o The tendency to view one*s own culture as best and to 2udge the
behavior and beliefs of culturally different !eo!le by one*s own standards.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
5hat is cultural relati*is#H
The !osition that the values and standards of
cultures differ and deserve res!ect. 51treme relativism argues that
cultures should be 2udged solely by their own standards.
'thnocentris# is the tendency to view one*s own culture as su!erior and
to a!!ly one*s own cultural values in 2udging the behavior and beliefs of
!eo!le raised in other cultures. 5thno centrism is a culturally universal. It
contributes to social solidarity, a sense of value and community, among
!eo!le who share a cultural tradition. 9eo!le everywhere think that their
familiar e1!lanations, o!inions, and customs are true, right, !ro!er, and
moral. They regard different behavior as strange, immoral or savage. The
tribal names that a!!ear in anthro!ology books often come from the native
word for !eo!le.
<!!osing ethnocentrism is cultural relativism, the argument that behavior in
one culture should not be 2udged by the standards of another culture. At its
most e1treme, cultural relativism argues that there is no su!erior,
international, or universal morality, that the moral and ethical rules of all
cultures deserve e7ual res!ect. In the e1treme relativism view, )a4i
(ermany would be evaluated as non 2udgmentally as Athenian (reece.
In today*s world, human rights advocate challenges of many of the tenets of
cultural relativism. For e1am!le, several cultures in Africa and the :iddle
5ast have traditions of female genital modification. This tradition is !racticed
in several societies. Female genital mutilation has been o!!osed by human
rights* grou! of women.
2.2. SocialiIation and its Agents:
SocialiIation is the !rocess of instilling fundamental elements of
culture in a society*s members. It is one of the basic forces that sha!e
human social behavior.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
SocialiIation is !articularly im!ortant during early childhood. =ithout
it in the first few years of life, !eo!le would not become social beings.
#owever, sociali4ation is certainly not confined to childhood. It continues
throughout life and is es!ecially im!ortant during ma2or life transitions,
such as starting a new 2ob or getting divorced.
SocialiIation is the !rocess by which !eo!le ac7uire the beliefs,
attitudes, values and customs of their culture.
+A0 Agents of socialiIation: - !uring ,hildhood,
+i0 Family,
+ii0 9eers,
+iii0 The mass media, and
+iv0 "chools
+80 Agents of socialiIation: - !uring Adulthood
+i0 $olleges; Eniversities, and
+ii0 All Tertiary levels of learning institutions.
6uring the stage of sociali4ation !rocess, desocialiIation and
resocialiIation would take !lace.
!esocialiIation: - The !rocess of shedding one*s self image
and values usually followed by resociali4ation to a different set of
values and view of one self.
?esocialiIation: 3 The internali4ation of a new set of norms and
values that are very different from those held in the !ast.
%ccuational socialiIation: 3 The !rocess of aligning the
norms, values, and beliefs of a new worker with those of the
organi4ation or occu!ation in which he or she is em!loyed.
SocialiIation to a "ob: - This means s!ecific 2ob3related skills,
set of values, and ethics that a!!ly to a !erson*s work, the unofficial
rules of the work !lace that the !erson is entering. For e1am!le, in
an army cam!, large sales training !rogramme etc.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
&eer relations and informal grou! norms become very
im!ortant for making;creating sociali4ation.
&eole try to reare themselves for sociali4ation to new work
role. For e1am!le, )ew Eniversity graduate may start to talk and
ask e1!erience and other related matters at the work !lace.
All these changes are collectively called antici!atory sociali4ation. This
means, the !rocess of starting to ad2ust one*s belief, norms, and values
in antici!ation of new sociali4ation one is about to undergo.
!esocialiIation and resocialiIation occur in organi4ations
that deliberately close themselves from the outside world. These
organi4ations are called total institutions.
Total institutions: - organi4ations that deliberately close
themselves off from the outside world and lead a highly insular life
that is formally organi4ed and tightly controlled.
'.g. 9risons, mental hos!itals, and military cam!s.
SocialiIation may take !lace mainly through language,
interaction and affection.
Ialues and views can be conveyed through language.
Interaction can be revealed through social, emotional sense,
!artici!ation in a society.
Affection can be seen through coo!eration*s, love affairs etc.

)ote .Su##ary+:
(1) SocialiIation is the !rocess through which you learn a culture and it
continues through out life.
(2) &ri#ary socialiIation is the first !hase, often taking !lace in the
(3) Secondary socialiIation takes !lace in the !eer grou!s +similar age
and status0, educational systems and occu!ational !laces.
(4) SocialiIation is essential for !artici!ation in human society.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
!iscussion Cuestions:
10 =hat is %5thnocentric& in culture@
,0 =hat is %$ultural relativism&@
/0 $an you identify any s!ecific difference+s0 between %cultural
relativism& and %5thical relativism&@
A0 #ow do we !resence values and assets of culture for future
>0 =hat is social role@ 51!lain diffusionism and acculturation@
Ceferences for further readings
ary, 6avid, ary, ulia +19910. The #ar!ert $ollins 6ictionary of
"ociology, )ew Jork, #ar!er $ollins, I"8) --FAF1-/F>
9oore, ". <ver view of social control theories. The #ewett "chool.
Cetrieved +,--B0.
OOOOOOOOOOOOO ,--B, culture and identity, 'ivesay, $hris.
8.. 8iddle +198F0. Cecent develo!ment in role theory. Iol. 1, !! FB3
(oldhegen, 6aniel onah, #itler*s willing e1ecutioners. ordinary
(ermans and the #olocaust vintage books, )ew Jork +199F0.
)agle, 8rendan 6. PThe ancient world*. A social and cultural history F
ed. 9earson 9rentice #all. E!!er "addle Civer, )ew ersey +,--F0.
:erton, Cobert D. 8ritish ournal of "ociology 5ighth 5dition +19>B0.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
8I. Social Structure and Interactions:
F.1. (rou!s, Institutions and "ociety
F.,. "ocial Ialues, )orms and "ocial $ontrol
F./. "tatuses and "ocial Coles
F.A. "ocial Interaction in 5veryday 'ife
F.1. (rou!s, Institutions and "ociety.
.A+ ,rou
8efore we !roceed to the discussions of grou!s, social institutions and
society, let us have brief insights about social structure and interactions. 3
=hat is social structure@ =hat are the com!onents@
The term social structure refers to the way in which a society is
organi4ed into !redictable relationshi!s.
The conce!ts of social interaction and social structure, which are
closely linked to each other, are central to sociological study. "ociologists
observe !atterns of behaviour closely to understand and accurately
describe the social interactions of a community or society and the social
structure in which they take !lace.
There are five basic elements or com!onents of social structure.
These are (rou!s, institutions, social roles and statuses, social net
Social net@or3s
K Social structure Institutions
Social roles
5hat isBare grou .s+H
9redictable social relationshi!s in terms of five elements such as
statuses, social roles, grou!s, social networks, and social institutions.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
In sociological terms, a grou! is any number of !eo!le with similar
norms, values, and e1!ectations who regularly and consciously interact
each other.
5very society is com!osed of many grou!s in which daily social
interaction takes !lace. =e seek out grou!s to establish friendshi!s, to
accom!lish certain goals, and to fulfill social roles that we have ac7uired.
(rou!s !lay a vital !art in a society*s social structure. :uch of our
social interaction takes !lace within grou!s and is influenced by their
norms and sanctions of a grou!.
The study of grou!s has become an im!ortant !art of sociological
investigation, because they !lay such as a key role in the transmission of
culture. As we interact with others, we !ass on our ways of thinking and
acting from language and values to ways of dressing and leisure
Tyes of grous:
"ociologists have made a number of useful distinctions between
ty!es of grou!s. !rimary and secondary grou!s, in3grou!s and out3grou!s
and reference grou!s.
&ri#ary and Secondary grous:
$harles #orton $ooley coined the term !rimary grou! that
refers to small grou!s characteri4ed by intimate, face3to3face association
and coo!eration. "ome e1am!les for these definitions are street gang,
members of family, sister in a college.
9rimary grou!s !lay a !ivotal role both in the
sociali4ation !rocess, develo!ment of roles, and statuses.
Indeed, !rimary grou!s can be instrumentals in a !erson*s day3to3day
"econdary grou! refers to a formal, im!ersonal
grou! in which there is little social intimacy or mutual understanding. The
difference between !rimary and secondary grou!s is not always clear cut.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
"ome social clubs may become so large and im!ersonal that they no
longer function as !rimary grou!s.
"econdary grou! often emerge in the work
!lace among those who share s!ecial understandings about their
There is a new understanding of secondary
grou!. These are.
An in-grou can be defined as any grou! of category to
which !eo!le feel they belong. "im!ly, everyone who is regarded as %we&
or %us&. The in3grou! may be as narrow as one*s family or as broad as an
entire society. The very e1istence of an in3grou! im!lies that there is an
out3grou! viewed as %they& or %them& more formally.
An out-grou is a grou! or category to which !eo!le
feel they do not belong.
?eference grou. 3 set and enforce standards of
conduct and !erform a com!arison function for !eo!le*s evaluations of
themselves and others.
S#all grou. There are distinct and !redictable
!rocesses at work in the functioning of small grou!s. The sim!lest grou!
is a dyad, com!osed of two members.
Triads and larger grou!s increase ways of interacting
and allow for conditions to form.
.B+ Social institutions:
Institutions are organi4ed !atterns of beliefs and
behavior centered on basic social needs, such as re!lacing !ersonnel +the
family0 and !reserving order +the government0.
=hen we study institutions, then we may have good
insights to the structure of society.
The #ain functions of social institutions: -
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
"ocial institutions have the following brief essential
functions. These are. 3
>a#ily relacing ersonnel<
'ducation teaching ne@ recruits<
'cono#y roducing and distributing goods and
&olitics reser*ing order< and
?eligion ro*iding and #aintaining a sense of
?elacing ersonnel .>a#ily+
Any grou! or society must re!lace !ersonnel when they die,
leave or became inca!acitated. This is accom!lished through such means
as immigration, anne1ation of neighboring grou!s of !eo!le*s ac7uisition
of slaves or normal se1ual re!roduction of members.
Teaching ne@ recruits .'ducation+
)o grou! can survive if many of its members re2ect the
established behavior and res!onsibilities of the grou!. Thus, finding or
!roducing new members is not sufficient. The grou! must encourage
recruits to learn and acce!t its values and customs. This learning can take
!lace formally within schools or informally through interaction and
negotiation in !eer grou!s.
&roducing and distributing goods and ser*ices .'cono#y+
Any relatively !ermanent grou! or society must !rovide and
distribute desired goods and services for its members. 5ach society
establishes a set of rules for the allocation of financial and other
resources. The grou! must satisfy the needs of most members at least to
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
some e1tent or it will risk the !ossibility of discontent and ultimately
&reser*ing order .&olitical Sociology+
$ritical function of every grou! or society !reserving order and
!rotecting itself from attack.
&ro*iding and #aintaining a sense of urose .?eligion+
9eo!le must feel and motivated to continue as members of a
society in order to fulfill the !revious four re7uirements. The behavior of
Enited "tates !risoners of war, while in confinement during the war in
Iietnam is a testament to the im!ortance of maintaining a sense of
.,+ Society
"ociety is an organi4ed grou! of individuals living together in a territory for
long !eriod of time. "ociety must hold the following essential elements.
+10living together for long !eriod of time,
+,0!ossessing common values and interests,
+/0"haring common cultures, traditions and !sychological makeu!.
&re- industrial societies are:
a) Hunting and gathering society< Horticultural society and
Agrarian society.
Hunting and gathering society is the first ty!e of human
society in which the !eo!le rely on whatever foods and fibers are readily
available. Technology in such societies is minimal. 9eo!le are organi4ed in
grou!s and are constantly on the move in search of food. There is little
division of labour in to s!eciali4ed tasks.
#unting and gathering societies are com!osed of small, widely dis!ersed
grou!s. 5ach grou! consists almost entirely of !eo!le related to one another.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
As the result, kinshi! ties are the source of authority and influence and the
social institution of the family takes on a !articularly im!ortant role.
'orticultural societ%: It is !eo!le who !lant seeds and cro!s rather
than subsist merely on available foods, emerged about 1-,--- to 1,,---
years ago.
:embers of horticultural society are much less nomadic than
hunters and gatherers. They !lace greater em!hasis on the !roduction of
tools and household ob2ects. Jet technology within horticultural societies
remains limited. They cultivate cro!s with the aid of digging sticks or
(&rarian societ%: This is the last stage of !re3industrial
stage of society, which emerged about >--- years ago. :embers of
agrarian society !rimarily engaged in the !roduction of food. #owever,
the introduction of new technological innovations such as the !low allows
farmers to dramatically increase their cro! yield. They can cultivate the
same fields over generations, thereby allowing the emergence of still
larger settlements.
The social structure of the agrarian society continues to rely on the !hysical
!ower of humans and animals. )evertheless, the social structure has more
carefully defined roles than in horticultural societies. Individuals focus on
s!eciali4ed tasks, such as re!air of fishing nets or work as a block smith. As
human settlements become more established and stable, social institutions
become more elaborate and !ro!erty rights take on greater im!ortance. The
com!arative !ermanence and greater sur!luses of agrarian society make it
more feasible to create artifacts such as statues, !ublic monuments, and art
ob2ects and to !ass them on from one generation to the ne1t one.
As the industrial revolution !roceeded in 5uro!e, a new form of social
structure emerged. This new form of society is called industrial
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Industrial society is a society that de!ends on mechani4ation to !roduce
its goods and services. Industrial societies relied on new inventions that
facilitated agricultural and industrial !roduction and on new sources of
energy such as steam.
The !rocess of industriali4ation had distinctive social
conse7uences. Families and communities could not continue to faction as
self3sufficient units. Individuals, villages, and regions began to e1change
goods and services and become interde!endent. As !eo!le came to rely
on the labour of members of other communities, the family lost its uni7ue
!osition as the source of !ower and authority.
The need for s!eciali4ed knowledge led to more formali4ed education, and
education emerged as a social institution distinct from the family.
)ost industrial societ% as society whose economic system is engaged
!rimarily in the !rocessing and control of information. The main out!ut of
!ost industrial society is services rather than manufactured goods. 'arge
numbers of !eo!le become involved in occu!ations devoted to the teaching,
generations or dissemination of ideas.
:ore recently, sociologists have gone beyond discussions of !ost industrial
societies to the ideal ty!e of %!ost modern society&.
A !ostmodern society is a technologically so!histicated society that is
!re occu!ied with consumer goods and media images. "uch societies,
consume goods and information on mass scale.
6.2. )or#s and Social ,ontrol
.A+ )or#s
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
A brief introduction to Sociology; prepared & compiled by: Lule Belay
All societies have ways of encouraging and enforcing what they view
as a!!ro!riate behavior while discouraging and !unishing what they
consider to be im!ro!er behavior.
)orms are established standards of behavior maintained by a society.
In order for a norm to become significant, it must be widely shared and
"ociologists distinguish between norms into two ways. These norms
are classified as either formal or informal.
Formal norm: This is generally has been written down and s!ecify strict
rules for !unishment of violators. In some countries, they often formali4e
norms into laws, which must be very !recise in defining !ro!er and im!ro!er
'aws are one e1am!le of formal norms, although not the only
8y contrast, informal norms generally are understood but are not
!recisely recorded. "tandards of !ro!er dress are a common e1am!le of
informal norms. "ociety has no s!ecific !unishment or sanction for a
!erson who comes to school, say, wearing %a monkey suit&.
)orms are also classified by their relative im!ortance to society.
=hen classified in this way, they are known as Pmores* and Pfolkways*.
:ores are norms deemed highly necessary to the welfare of a
society, often because they embody the most cherished !rinci!les of a
!eo!le. 5ach society demands obedience to its mores violation can lead
to severe !enalties. Thus, the E.".A has strong mores against murder,
treason, and child abuse that have been institutionali4ed into formal
Folkways are norms governing everyday behavior.
Folkways !lay an im!ortant role in sha!ing the daily behavior of
members of a culture.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
"ociety is less likely to formali4e folkways than mores and
their violation raises com!aratively little concern.
In many societies around the world, folkways serve to
reinforce !atterns of male dominance +!!. >B0
Iarious folkways reveal men*s hierarchical !osition above women within
the traditional areas of "outh 5ast Asia.
9eo!le do not follow norms, whether mores or folkways in all
situations. 51am!le, teenagers are illegal to drink alcoholic
beverages, yet drinking by minors is common through out
the nation. +In fact, %teenage alcoholism& is one of our
country*s most serious social !roblems0.
)orms are violated in some instances because one norm conflicts with
another e.g. beating wife or undesirable behavior in your neighbor.
Acce!tance of norms is sub2ect to change as the !olitical, economic and
social conditions of a culture are transformed. For e1am!le? under traditional
norms, woman is e1!ected to marry, rear children and remain home, if
husband su!!ort the family sufficiently. These norms are now changed due
to many reasons and circumstances.
.B+ Social ,ontrol:
#ow does a society bring about acce!tance of basic norms@ The term social
control refers to the techni7ues and strategies for !reventing deviant human
behavior in any society. "ocial control occurs on all levels of society. In the
family, we are sociali4ed to obey our !arents sim!ly because they are our
!arents. 9eer grou!s introduce us to informal norms such as dress codes?
that govern the behavior of members. $olleges establish standards they
e1!ect of their students. In bureaucratic organi4ations, workers encounter a
formal system of rules and regulations. Finally, the government of every
society legislates and enforces social norms including norms regarding
%!ro!er& and %im!ro!er& e1!ressions of se1ual intimacy.
:ost of us res!ect and acce!t basic social norms and assume that others will
do the same.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
=e are all aware that individuals, grou!s and institutions e1!ect us to act
%!ro!erly&. If we fail to do so, we may face !unishment through informal
sanctions such as fear and ridicule or formal sanctions such 2ail sentences or
There are many techni7ues and strategies to control social and legal values.
These are some of the ma2or ones. $onformity and <bedience
a) *on"ormit%: (oing along with one*s !eers,
individuals of a !erson*s own status, who have no s!ecial right to direct
that !erson*s behavior.
b) +,edience: $om!liance with higher authorities in a
hierarchical structure.
Infor#al and for#al social control:
The sanctions used to encourage conformity
and obedience and to discourage violation of social norms are carried out
through informal and formal social control. As the term im!lies, !eo!le
use informal social control casually to enforce norms. 51am!les of
informal social control include similes, laughter, raising of an eyebrow,
and ridicule.
There are also controversial e1am!les of
informal social control is !arental use of cor!oral !unishment. Adults
often view s!anking, sla!!ing or kicking children as a !ro!er and
necessary means of maintaining authority. $hild develo!ment s!ecialists
counter that cor!oral !unishment is in a!!ro!riate because it teaches
children to solve !roblems through violence, they warn that sla!!ing and
s!anking can escalate into more serious forms of abuse.
"ometimes informal methods of social control are not ade7uate to enforce
conforming or obedient behavior. In those cases, formal social control is
carried out by authori4ed agents such as !olice officers, !hysicians, schools
administrators, em!loyers, military officers, and managers. It can serve as a
last resort when sociali4ation and informal sanctions do not bring about
desired behavior.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
As increasingly significant means of formal social control is to 2ail !eo!le.
"ocieties vary in deciding which behaviors will be sub2ected to formal social
control and how severe the sanctions will be. Another controversial e1am!le
of formal social control is the use of surveillance techni7ues.
6.$. Statuses and ?oles
"ocial structure contains at least five elements. These are statuses, social
roles, grou!s, social networks and social institutions. These elements make
u! social structure as a foundation.
=e normally think of a !erson*s %status& as having to do with influence,
wealth, and fame. #owever, sociologists use status to refer to any of the full
range of socially defined !ositions within a large grou! or society G form the
lowest to the highest !osition. A !erson may hold more than one status
simultaneously. Qat a time0
According to sociologists* view, statuses are divided into two main !arts.
These are ascribed and achieved.
Ascribed status
It is a status which is %assigned& to a !erson by society without regard for
the !erson*s uni7ue talents or characteristics. (enerally, this assignment
takes !lace at birth, thus a !erson*s racial background, gender, and age are
all considered ascribed statuses. These characteristics a re biological in
origin but are significant mainly because of the social meanings they have in
An ascribed status does not have necessarily the same social meaning in
every society. 5.g. %<ld man& in some societies :Ces!ect; in some
Achie*ed status: -
Achieved status comes to us largely through our own efforts. 51am!le, 8ank
!resident, !rison guard etc.
<ne must do something to ac7uire an achieved status.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
<ne must go to school, learn a skill, establish a friendshi! or invent a
new !roduct.
Achieved status usually is heavily influenced by our ascribed status.
A master status. 3 It is a status that dominates others and thereby
determines a !erson*s general !osition within society. <ur society gives
such im!ortance to race and gender that they often dominate our lives.
Indeed, such ascribed statuses often influence achieved status. In the
Enited "tates, ascribed statuses of race and &ender can function as
master statuses that have an im!ortant im!act on one*s !otential to
achieve a desired !rofessional and social status.
Social ?oles:
Throughout our lives, we are ac7uiring what sociologists call social roles.
A social role is a set of e1!ectations for !eo!le who occu!y a given
social !osition or status. The actual !erformance varies from individual to
individual. <ne secretary may assume e1tensive administrative
res!onsibilities, while another may focus on clerical duties.
Coles are a significant com!onent of social structure. It is viewed from
a functionalist !ers!ective.
Coles contribute to a society*s stability by enabling members to antici!ate
the behavior of others and to !attern their own actions accordingly. Jet
social roles can also be dysfunctional by restricting !eo!le*s interactions and
relationshi!s. If we view a !erson only as a %!olice officer& or as %su!ervisor&
it will be difficult to elate to this !erson as a friend or neighbor.
Cole can be divided or seen in different forms. These are. 3Cole
conflict< ?ole e4it and ?ole strain.
1. 5hat is role conflictH
It occurs when incom!atible e1!ectations arise from two or more social
!ositions held by the same !erson. Fulfillment of the roles associated with
one status may directly violate the roles linked to a second status. In the
e1am!le above, the newly !romoted su!ervisor will e1!erience a serious
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
conflict between certain social and occu!ational roles. Cole conflicts call for
im!ortant ethical choices.
2. 5hat is role strainH
It is to describe difficulties that result from the differing demands and
e1!ectations associated with same social !osition.
$. 5hat is role e4itH
It is to describe the !rocess of disengagement from a role that is central to
one*s self3identity and reestablishment of an identity in a new role.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
8II. Social IneAuality and Social &rocesses:
/.1. Social Stratification
/.2. Social Mobility
/.$. Social Mo*e#ents and ,hange
/.1. Syste#s of Stratification: -
There are three systems of stratification. These are slavery, castes and
social classes.
Any stratification system may include elements of more than one ty!e.
.A+ Sla*ery:
The most e1treme form of legali4ed social ine7uality for individuals or grou!s
is slavery. =hat distinguishes this o!!ressive system of stratification is that
enslaved individuals are owned by other !eo!le. They treat these human
beings as !ro!erty, 2ust as if they were household !ets or a!!liances.
"lavery, an ascribed status, has varied in the way it has been !racticed. In
ancient (reece, the main source of slaves consisted of ca!tives of war and
!iracy. A !erson*s status might change de!ending on which city3state
ha!!ened to trium!h in a military conflict.
.B+ ,astes:
$aste are hereditary systems of rank, usually religiously dictated that tend to
be fi1ed and immobile. The caste system is generally associated with
#induism in India and other countries. For e1am!le, in India, there are four
ma2or castes called varnas. A fifth category of out castes referred to as
untouchables is considered to be slowly and un clean as to have no !lace
within this system of stratification.
There are also many minor castes. $aste membershi! is an ascribed status.
5ach caste is 7uite shar!ly defined, and members are e1!ected to marry
within that caste.
$aste membershi! generally determines one*s occu!ation or role as a
religious functionary. An e1am!le of lower caste in India is the 6ons, whose
main work is the undesirable 2ob of cremating bodies. The caste system
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Catholic University of Eastern Africa
!romotes a remarkable degree of differentiation. Thus, the single caste of
chauffeurs has been s!lit into two se!arate sub3castes. drivers of lu1ury cars
have a higher status than drivers of economy cars.
.,+ Social ,lasses:-
A class system is a social ranking based !rimarily on economic !osition in
which achieved characteristics can influence mobility. In contrast to slavery
and caste systems, the boundaries between classes are im!recisely defined,
and one can move from one stratum, or level, of society to another. Jet class
systems maintain stable stratification hierarchies and !atterns of class
divisions, and they too are marked by une7ual distribution of wealth and
Income ine7uality is a basic characteristic of a class system.
"ociologist 6aniel Cossides +199B0 has conce!tuali4ed the class system of
the Enited "ates using a five class model. The u!!er class, the u!!er3middle
class, the lower middle class, the working3class and the lower class.
"andwiched between the u!!er and lower classes in Cossides*s model are
the u!!er3middle class, the lower3middle class, and the working class.
In many cases, the u!!er middle class is com!osed of !rofessionals such as
doctors, lawyers, and architects. They !artici!ate e1tensively in !olitics and
e1ercise leadershi! roles in voluntary associations.
The lower3middle class, which accounts for a!!ro1imately /- to /> !ercent
of the !o!ulation, includes less affluent !rofessionals such as elementary
school teachers, and nurses, owners of small business, and si4able number
of clerical workers.
/.2 Social Mobility:-
The term social mobility refers to movement of individuals or grou!s from
one !osition of a society*s stratification system to another. 8ut how
significant, how fre7uent, how dramatic, is mobility in a class society.
There are two ways or systems of social mobility. These are o!en and closed
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
%en syste#: - It im!lies that the !osition of each individual is
influenced by the !erson*s achieved status. An o!en class system
encourages com!etition between members of society.
,losed syste#: - It is little or no !ossibility of moving u!. The slavery
and caste systems of stratification are e1am!les of closed systems. In
such societies, social !lacement is based on ascribed statuses, such as
race or family background, which can not be changed.
Tyes of Social Mobility:-
There are different ty!es of social mobility. These are.
+10 #ori4ontal mobility?
+,0 Iertical mobility?
+/0 Intergenerational mobility?
+A0 Intragenerational mobility?
+10#ori4ontal mobility. 3 The movement of an individual from one social
!osition to another of the same rank.
+,0Iertical mobility. 3 The movement of a !erson from one social !osition
to another of different rank.
+/0Intragenerational mobility. 3 $hanges in !erson*s social !osition within
his or her adult life.
+A0Intergenerational mobility. 3 changes in the social system;!osition of
children relative to their !arents.
There are different factors that have significant im!acts on social mobility.
These are occu!ational structure, education, gender, etc.
/.$ Social ,hange: -
"ocial change is significant alteration over time in behavior !atterns and
culture, including norms and values. 8efore, it needs to discuss about social
change, !referably essential to go through about social movements. "o,
what are social movements@
/.( Social Mo*e#ents:
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
Factors such as !hysical environment, !o!ulation, technology and social
ine7uality serve as sources of change, but it is the collective effort of
individuals organi4ed in social movements that ultimately leads to social
"ociologists use the term %social movements& to refer to organi4ed collective
activities to bring about or resist fundamental change in an e1isting grou! or
society. #erbert 8lumer recogni4ed the s!ecial im!ortance of social
movements when he defined them as collective enter!rises to establish a
new order of life.
In many nations, including the big countries, social movements have had a
dramatic im!act on the course of history and the evaluation of social
"ocial movements im!ly the e1istence of conflict, but we can also analyse
their activities from a functionalist !ers!ectives. 5ven when unsuccessful,
social movements contribute to the formation of !ublic o!inion. Initially, the
ideas of :argaret "anger and other early advocators of birth control wee
viewed as %radical&, yet contrace!tives are now widely available in the E.".
moreover, functionalists view social movements as training grounds for
leaders of the !olitical establishment.
Ho@ and @hy do social #o*e#ents e#ergeH
9eo!le are often discontented with the way things are. In this regard
sociologists identified the main causes of social movements from two main
a!!roaches. 3
.A+ ?elati*e-!eri*ation: -
The term relative3de!rivation is defined as the conscious feeling of a
negative discre!ancy between legitimate e1!ectations and !resent
actualities +. =ilson, 19B/0. In other words, things are not as good as you
ho!ed they would be such a state may be characteri4ed by scarcity rather
than com!lete lack of necessities. A relatively de!rived !erson is dissatisfied
because he or she feels down trodden relative to some a!!ro!riate reference
grou!. Thus, blue3collar workers who live in two3family houses with little lawn
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
s!ace G though hardly at the bottom of the economic ladder G may
nevertheless feel de!rived in com!arison with cor!orate managers and
!rofessionals who live in lavish and e1clusive suburbs.
.B+ ?esource MobiliIation: -
The term resource mobili4ation refers to the ways in which a social
movement utili4es such resources. The success of a movement for change
will de!end in good !art on how effectively it mobili4es its resources.
"ociologists argued that to sustain social !rotest or resistance, there must be
an %organi4ational base and continuity of leadershi!&. As !eo!le become
!art of a social movement, norms develo! to guide their behavior. :embers
of the movement may be e1!ected to attend regular meetings of
organi4ations, !ay dues, recruit new adherents, and boy cott %enemy&
!roducts or s!eakers. The emergence of a new social movement can be
evident from the rise of s!ecial language or new words for familiar terms.
"ocial movements have been res!onsible for such new terms of self3
reference as 8lacks and African Americans, senior citi4ens and !eo!le with
/.( Social ,hange:
"ocial change is significant alternation overtime in behavior !atterns and
culture including norms and values. To have better understandings about
social charge, one needs to review three theoretical a!!roaches to change.
These are. 3
o '*olutionary
o >unctionalist
o ,onflict Theory
.I+ Social ,hange and '*olutionary Theory: -
$harles 6arwin*s +18-9 G 188,0 !ioneering work in biological evolution
contributed to 19
c. theories of social change. According to his a!!roach,
there has been a continuing !rogression of successive life forms. For
e1am!le, since human beings came at a later stage of evolution than
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
re!tiles, we re!resent a %higher& form of life. Thus, evolutionary theory views
society as moving in a definite direction. It was agreed that society was
inevitably !rogressing to a higher state.
5arly evolutionary theorists concluded in ethno3centric fashion that their own
behavior and culture were more advanced than those of earlier civili4ations.
In this regard, let us trace some of the ideas of early sociologists such as
Auguste $omte, 5mile 6urkheim and #erbert "!encer.
1. (u&uste *omte (1-98 18.-) was an
evolutionary theorist of change. #e saw human societies as moving
forward in their thinking from my theology to the scientific method.
2. /mile $urkheim (19330 1893) in his edition
maintained that society !rogressed from sim!le to more com!le1 forms
of social organi4ation.
The ideas and writings of the above stated theorists are e1am!les of
unilinear evolutionary theory. This a!!roach contends that all societies !ass
through the same successive stages of evolution and inevitably reach the
same end.
'ater on also 5nglish sociologist, #erbert "!encer +18,- G 19-/0 discussed
that society is moving forward with inter related !arts to common destiny.
The most contem!orary evolutionary theorist views social change with the
relation of multilinear !ers!ectives.3
:ultilineary evolutionary theory holds that change can occur in several
ways and that it does not inevitably lead in the same direction.
:ultilinear theorists recogni4e that human culture has evolved along a
number of lines. 5.g. demogra!hic change, cultural changes etc.
.II+ Social ,hange and >unctionalist Theory
Functionalist sociologists focus on what maintains a system, not on what
changes it. Talcott 9arsons +19-, G 19B90 viewed society as naturally being
in a state of e7uilibrium. 8y %e7uilibrium&, he meant that society tends
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
toward a state of stability or balance. 9arsons would view even !rolonged
labor strikes or civilian riots as tem!orary disru!tions in the status 7uo rather
than a significant alternation in social structure. Therefore, according to his
e7uilibrium model, as changes occur in one !art of society, there must be
ad2ustments in other !arts. If this does not take !lace, the society*s
e7uilibrium will be threatened and strains will occur.
Ceflecting an evolutionary a!!roach, !arsons +19FF0 maintained that four
!rocesses of social change are inevitable. There are. differentiation,
ada!tive, inclusion and value generali4ation.
!ifferentiation: refers to the increasing com!le1ity of social
Adati*e ugrading: refers to whereby social institutions
become more s!eciali4ed in their !ur!oses.
Inclusion: to include grou!s into society those were
!reviously e1cluded because of such factors as gender, race, and social
8alue generaliIation: the develo!ment of new values that
tolerate and legitimate a greater range of activities.
.III+ Social ,hange and ,onflict Theory:
The functionalist !ers!ective minimi4es change. It sees change as a means
of maintaining the e7uilibrium or balance of a society. 8y contrast, conflict
theorists contend that social institutions and !ractices continue because
!owerful grou!s have the ability to maintain the status 7uo. $hange has
crucial significance, since it is needed to correct social in2ustices and in
Darl :ar1 acce!ted the evolutionary argument that societies develo! along a
!articular !ath. #owever, unlike $omte and "!encer, he did not view each
successive stage as an inevitable im!rovement over the !revious one.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
According to :ar1*s views? Ancient society e1!loited slaves, the estate
system of feudalism e1!loited serfs, modern ca!italist society e1!loits the
working class. :ar1 further said that ultimately, through a socialist
revolution led by the !roletariat, human society will move toward the final
stage of develo!ment, a classless communist society or community of free
individuals +6as Da!ital. 18FB? ,>-0
The :ar1ist view of social change is a!!ealing because it does
not restrict !eo!le to a !assive role in res!onding to inevitable cycles or
changes in material culture.
:ar1ist theory offers a tool for those who wish to sei4e control of
the historical !rocess and gain their freedom from in2ustice. :ar1 argues
that conflict is a normal and desirable as!ect of social change. Indeed,
change must be encouraged as a means of dominating social ine7uality
<ne conflict sociologist, Calf 6ahrendorf has noted that the
contrast between the functionalist !ers!ective*s focus on stability, where
as conflict !ers!ective em!hasis on change reflects the contradictory
nature of society.
#uman societies are stable and long3lasting, yet they also
e1!erience serious conflict. Indeed !arsons s!oke of new functions that
result from social change, and :ar1 recogni4ed the need for change so
that societies could function more e7uitably. Functionalist and conflict
a!!roaches are ultimately com!atible des!ite their many areas of
!iscussion Cuestions I:
10 =orkout a research design
,0 #ow do you define research !roblem@
/0 :ention some of the techni7ues of conventional method.
4) =hat is %Triangulation %in a research work@
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Catholic University of Eastern Africa
>0 9lease, state the correct ste!s of research work. $onventional
F0 =hat does documentary research mean@
!iscussion Cuestions II:
10 6iscuss the im!acts of global social change in terms of social
movements and changes.
,0 =hat are the main resistances to social change@
/0 6raw significant distinctions between functionalist !erce!tions to social
change and conflict one.
A0 6iscuss in details about the main !rocess of social change of Talcott
>0 Identify the main causes of social movements.
F0 =hat are the social and economic factors for stratification in the
society@ 51!lain either in line of functionalism or conflict theory.
B0 6oes social ine7uality inevitable societal !henomenon@ If yes;no, why@
51!lain in terms of relevant theories.
!iscussion Auestions III:
10 =hat is Pvalue* within the conte1t of culture@
,0 =hy does society need to have social control@
/0 "ate some of the main techni7ues of social control
A0 6escribe and identify formal and informal techni7ues of social control
>0 =hat are the main elements of social structure@
F0 =hat is %status& in sociology@ 51!lain the two main !arts of Pstatus*
B0 =hat is social role@ 51!lain different forms of role
80 =hat are the ma2or models of role theory@
?eferences for further readings:-
(iddens, Anthony, +19890. "ociology. 9olity 9ress, $ambridge !!.
F>9 G 89
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa
8ernard, #. Cussell +199A0. Cesearch :ethods in Anthro!ology.
Rualitative and Ruantitative A!!roaches, "econd 5dition, "A(5
9ublications, 'ondon.
:ikkelsen, 8ritha +199>0. :ethods for 6evelo!ment =ork and
Cesearch. A (uide for 9ractioners, "A(5 9ublications, )ew 6elhi.
6urkin, 6iane 8ennett, 198B? =riting in the 6isci!lines, Candom
#ouse, )ew Jork. +$ha!ter ,, A and 90
Cichard T. "chaefer +,---0. "ociology, A brief Introduction /
E.".A. :c(raw3#ill $om!anies.
2014 Lectures - Philipe Ojp
Catholic University of Eastern Africa