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Introductory Concepts and Historical Developments of
Sociology and Anthropology
From very early ages men have been interested in social problems, questions of
government and economics, of the relations between different classes in the same
communities, or between communities organized in different ways. But the existence
and recognition of such problems did not necessarily involve their solution, or the
possibility of their scientific treatment, any more than the strong interest of mankind
in the maintenance of health and the cure of disease led in early times to biology or to
the application of science to the medical art. For the study of the more complex
sciences there is needed both the development of the scientific spirit and the
establishment of those scientific laws in the simpler sciences on which the more
complex rest.( Small,1924;1)
In reality, however, investigations undertaken solely with immediate practical
ends are hardly more favorable to the building up of abstract science when the
purpose is construction, than when it is destruction. Kepler in astronomy, Galileo in
mechanics, were not thinking of particular improvements in navigation or machinery,
still less did they limit and control their work by reference to those practical needs.
Darwin took many of his illustrations from the practice of stock-breeders, but his
great discovery was no outcome of a crusade to improve the breed of cattle. The three
great sociologists of the nineteenth century, Comte, Spencer, and Le Play, though they
were all deeply interested in the human future, and valued social studies chiefly as a
basis for the wise ordering of social life, desiring in Comte's words, to know, in order to
foresee, and so provide; yet recognized that for the first purpose, discovering laws of
social structure and progress, a disinterested study of all relevant facts was necessary-a study similar in spirit to that of the great physicists, chemists and biologists.
Possible applications of social sequences would not help in their discovery, however
useful they might be when once discovered to direct and control social action. (
It has been asserted by some sociologists of repute, and it has been clearly
implied in the writings of others who have not made the express assertion, that the
fundamental objective of social science, including sociology, is to explain the facts of
social change. The proposition can be defended at least to this extent and in this
sense: In a society in which little change is going on or has gone on for some time,
there is little or no interest in social science or in any other kind of science, for that
matter. In a very stable society, custom and tradition comprise the only kind of
knowledge that is needed, and they are, consequently, about the only kind of
knowledge that exists. When the things we have to deal with undergo change, we are
led to think about them reflectively and critically.
One can explain in this way, in part, the fact that social science, strictly socalled, appears to be something that has come into existence, almost de novo, within
the period of western history usually referred to as "modern times." Culture and social
organization, which are the objects of study in the social sciences, have changed more
rapidly in modern times--since about 1500--than in any other period in the history of
the Western world, with possibly one exception.(House, 1936:3)
The period that we call the Middle Ages was one in which very little
development of the social sciences took place; indeed, it was a period in which
practically no attention was paid to questions of social science. But it can be described
also as an era in which little social change was going on, other than the consolidation
and extension of a social order the foundations of which were laid down at the
beginning of the period. ( House 1936:1)
From this standpoint, it was inevitable that the development of science in the
Western world, which joined a program of abstract conceptualization to systematic
experimentalism and which proved capable of extending man's mastery of nature into
one area after another, should eventually be turned on society. When traditional
institutions that opposed such extension were systematically weakened and when,
simultaneously, new problems arose that eluded the stereotyped wisdom of the past,
the rise of the social sciences occurred. This condition appeared in the nations of
Western Europe in recent times. ( Moham,1975)
The rise of the social sciences accompanied the revolutionary reconstruction of
the enlightened monarchies of the eighteenth century into the nation states of the
nineteenth century. The social sciences were conceptual orientations and technologies
of middle-class strata newly thrust into positions of power by revolution and facing the
problem of understanding and consolidating the society that had come into their
hands. ( Moham,1975)
The Scottish, English, French, and German Enlightenments played a basic role
in the eventual rise of sociology: (1) by habituating thinking men to the notion that
society, like features of the physical world, obeyed natural laws; (2) by popularizing the
idea that intelligence was the most effective instrument for the mastery of nature and
social reform; and (3) by establishing the conviction that under the guidance of reason
social development faced an endless vista of progress. The Rationalists, in short,
"naturalized" the social world, making it accessible later as an object of genuine
scientific study. They also helped destroy the legitimacy of traditional institutions,
assisting the new consolidations of power by the monarchies. ( Mohan,1975:3)
Sociology was a discipline responsive to the problems of nation-states. The state
is the system of political institutions that exercises a monopoly over the use of power
in a given territory. The nation is a peculiar type of community, a system of
institutions constituting a more or less complete way of life for a population; the
nation is a community of sufficient integrity to possess a state of its own. In the nature
of the case, the development of the nation and the state have rarely been completely
simultaneous or parallel. However, in the long run, stability has depended on the
degree to which they are mutually enhancing. If there was a general task that faced
sociology at the time of its origin, it was to carry out the adaptation of the nation to
the state. As nation-state formation diffused in areas where the development of the
nation outran the formation of a contemporary type of state, this task was reversed. (
Sociology as one of the nation-state's distinctive intellectual enterprises has
become a worldwide discipline with the diffusion of the nation-state. In the course of
this diffusion, sociology has been characterized by tendencies toward the
universalization of its methods, but a particularization of its problems and substantive
concerns as its resources have been brought to bear on the problems peculiar to the
given nation-state. ( Moham,1975)
The term “sociology” was coined by August Comte in the nineteenth century
from the Latin word “socios” (companion with others) and the Greek word “logos”
(study of reason) to describe the new science of social life. For purposes of scientific
investigation, sociology as a discipline is divided into several areas. These are:
(1) Social Organization which refers to social institutions, social groups, social
inequality, social mobility, religious groups, and bureaucracy; (2) Social Psychology
which refers to human nature and its focus on social processes as they affect the
individual; (3) Social Change studies ecological changes, population, migration,
technological change, new production techniques, culture change, political processes,
social transformation, modernization, mass communication, and the impact of natural
disaster; (4) Population studies size, growth, demographic characteristics, as well as
corruption, migration, changes vis-à-vis economic, political and social systems;
(5) Applied Sociology which concerned with resolving social problems through
sociological research; and (6) Sociological Theory and Research this is a set of
statements that seeks to explain problems, actions or behavior; or the discovery and
development of research that tests the validity, applicability and usefulness of the
results of the investigation for the improvement of life.
A scientific discussion of man’s relationship with his fellowmen becomes the
major concern of all disciplines in social sciences- sociology, psychology, anthropology,
history, economics, political science, and even religion. ( Garcia,1984)
1. Anthropology. There are two divisions in the study of anthropology: physical
and cultural ( social) anthropology.
a) Physical anthropology studies the physical traits, artifacts and
genetic mutations of man.
b) Cultural anthropology studies social institutions, patterns of
organization, and other aspects of society
The anthropologist tackles the non-literate or the minority groups while
sociologist studies the developed societies to mountains and jungles to study
social and cultural lives of our Filipino brothers like the Aetas, the Timaguas,
Tasadays, and the Monobos.However, a Filipino sociologit studies the same in
Tagalog,Ilocano, Bicolano, and Visayan regions.
2. History. It provides a chronological record of important past events, people
and places. Sociology uses data and information that are provided by history. As
pointed out by Garcia (1984) that historian may discuss different Filipino
uprisings against the Spaniards as entirely distinct events as there were different
people, places and time involved . Each uprising is considered a unique event by
itself. But the sociologist looks at all these as a whole, not in complete isolation.
He examines the common patterns that they exhibit. In other words, the
historian is analytical while the sociologist is synthesizing, forming certain
generalizations about various social processes resulting from the interaction and
association of men
3. Economics. A great deal of human behavior is economically motivated. For
economics is mainly concerned with the allocation of the scarce resources to
satisfy the infinite material needs of man. It specifically deals with the
production, marketing, and consumption of goods and services. While sociology
deals intensively with human relationships within a social system, economics
expounds deeply about the basic processes needed in meeting the material needs
of people within that social system.
4. Political Science. It studies the political behavior of human beings that
focuses on the various aspects of government, political institutions, political
processes and political parties. Sociologists are likewise interested in power
distribution, source of political beliefs and the role of women and ethnic
communities in political events, social background of political personalities,
among others. ( Omas-as,2003)
Psychology. Psychology is the study of human behavior. It follows that
behavior of a person. This social science focuses primarily on individual
behavior, particularly the mental process and examination of the mind. Other
concerns of psychologist include the human personality and its development.
In sociology, we take consideration the behavior of people and how they relate
to others in a group. ( Omas-as,2003)
6. Geography.
It is concerned with the physical environment and the
distribution of plants and animals, including humans. Sociology is interested
in how the distribution of people in a particular region influences social
7. Humanities. A society evolves, man expresses himself in various ways
particularly in the areas of humanities ( arts, architecture, dance and
theater).Humanities emphasizes human subjectivity and dramatizes
individual experiences. The science that contains records of man’s
experiences, high values, sentiments, ideals and goals it is ultimately the
expression of man’s feelings and thoughts.
Forerunners in the Development of Sociology
Simultaneous during the period when Western society was experiencing
sweeping and historionic changes, sociology was also growing in the early part of the
18th century.This was the era of Enlightenment, the death of the old order and the
stage for liberalism and reliance on the scientific method. Throughout its relatively
short history, sociology has frequently been referred to as” the science of society”.
Society, in this case, refers to the behavior of any group of organisms living a common
interdependent life, through interaction and interrelationship. Thus, it came to
develop that the broadly-stated subject matter of sociology focused on human social
behavior with emphasis on an individual’s behavior in relation to others or human
interaction.( Omas-as,2003)
August Comte (1798 – 1857)
Auguste Comte, the founder of sociology, is known for his Positive Philosophy
(1855) in which he organized the social and scientific achievements of his time. This
he did amidst the chaotic 19th century the unsettling time for France’ intellectual. The
revolution of 1789 deposed the French monarchy and Napoleon Bonaparte failed in
his efforts to conquer Europe. Amidst these turbulent times. Comte considered how
society can be improved. He developed the first complete approach to the scientific
studies, the nature of human behavior was viewed through various systems of social
philosophy, some of which later evolved as specific social sciences. In Comte’s
hierarchy of sciences, sociology was considered as the “queen of the sciences” and its
practioners “ scientist-priests”. Comte used the method of positivism, emphasizing the
techniques of observation, comprehension and experimentation in the development of
knowledge concerning the nature of society and human action. Comte was responsible
for the development of a new approach in the study of total or whole societies. He was
also interested in two major social concerns: (1) the law of dynamics which is the
study of social change; and (2) the law of states statics which is the study of social
Comte's aim was to create a naturalistic science of society, which would both
explain the past development of mankind and predict its future course. In addition to
building a science capable of explaining the laws of motion that govern humanity over
time, Comte attempted to formulate the conditions that account for social stability at
any given historical moment. The study of social dynamics and social statics--of
progress and order, of change and stability--are the twin pillars of his systems.
The society of man, Comte taught, must be studied in the same scientific
manner as the world of nature. It is subject to basic laws just as is the rest of the
cosmos, even though it presents added complexities. Natural science, Comte ar0gued,
had succeeded in establishing the lawfulness of natural phenomena. It discovered that
these phenomena, from the falling of stones to the movement of planets, followed
ordered sequences of development. In the world of nature, science had succeeded in
progressively contracting the realm of the apparently nonordered, the fortuitous and
the accidental. The stage was now set for a similar endeavor in the study of society.
Natural scientists, since the days of Newton and his immediate predecessors,
had developed explanatory schemes in which the previous vain quest for first and final
causes had been abandoned and had been replaced by the study of laws, that is, of
"invariable relations of succession and resemblance." Instead of relying on the
authority of tradition, the new science relied on "reasoning and observation, duly
combined" as the only legitimate means of attaining knowledge. Every scientific theory
must be based on observed facts, but it is equally true that "facts cannot be observed
without the guidance of some theory."
The new social sciences that Comte sought to establish he first called "social
physics;" later, when he thought that the term had been "stolen" from him by the
Belgian social statistician, Adolphe Quetelet, he coined the word "sociology," a hybrid
term compounded of Latin and Greek parts. It was to be patterned after the natural
sciences, not only in its empirical methods and epistemological underpinnings, but
also in the functions it would serve for mankind. Far from being of theoretical interest
alone, the social sciences, like the natural sciences, must ultimately be of concrete
benefit to man and play a major part in the amelioration of the human condition.
In order for man to transform his nonhuman environment to his advantage, he
must know the laws that govern the natural world, "For it is only by knowing the laws
of phenomena, and thus being able to foresee them, that we can . . . set them to
modify one another for our advantage. . . . Whenever we effect anything great it is
through a knowledge of natural laws. . . From Science comes Prevision; from Prevision
comes Action." (Savoir pour prevoir et prevoir pour pouvoir.) In a like manner, social
action beneficial to mankind will become possible once the laws of motion of human
evolution are established, and the basis for social order and civic concord is identified.
As long as men believed that social events "were always exposed to disturbance
by the accidental intervention of the legislator, human or divine, no scientific
previsions of them would be possible." As long as they believe that social actions
followed no law and were, in fact, arbitrary and fortuitous, they could take no
concerted action to ameliorate their lot. Under these circumstances men naturally
clashed with one another in the pursuit of their differing individual interests. When
this was the case, a Hobbesian model of society, in which only power and the willing
acceptance of power permit a semblance of order, seemed appropriate and plausible.
But things are different once sociology can teach men to recognize the invariable laws
of development and order in human affairs. At that time men will learn to utilize these
laws for their own collective purposes. "We shall find that there is no chance of order
and agreement but in subjecting social phenomena, like all others, to invariable
natural laws, which shall, as a whole, prescribe for each period, with entire certainty,
the limits and character of social action."
The discovery of the basic laws will cure men of overweening ambition; they will
learn that at any historical moment the margin of societal action is limited by the
exigencies of the proper functioning of the social organism. But at the same time, men
will also be enabled to act deliberately within given limits by curbing the operation of
societal laws to their own purposes. In the realm of the social, as elsewhere, "the office
of science is not to govern, but to modify phenomena; and to do this it is necessary to
understand their laws." Above all, once the new scientific dispensation comes into its
own, men will no longer think in absolute terms, but in terms relative to a particular
state of affairs in society. It is impossible, for example, to talk about political aims
without considering the social and historical context of political action. By recognizing
and acknowledging the constraint that any social order imposes on action, men will at
the same time be enabled freely to order their society within the bounds imposed by
The new positive science dethroned the authority of perennial tradition. Comte's
oft- repeated insistence that nothing is absolute but the relative lies at the very core of
his teaching. Instead of accepting canonical truths as everlastingly valid, he insisted
on the continued progress of human understanding and the self-corrective character
of the scientific enterprise. "All investigation into the nature of beings, and their first
and final causes, must always be absolute; whereas the study of the laws of
phenomena must be relative, since it supposes a continuous progress of speculation
subject to the gradual improvement of observation, without the precise reality ever
being fully disclosed. . . . The relative character of scientific conceptions is inseparable
from the true idea of natural laws.
By no means did Comte reject all authority. Once men recognize the overriding
authority of science in the guidance of human affairs, they will also abandon the
illusory quest for an unfettered "right of free inquiry, or the dogma of unbounded
liberty of conscience." Only those willing to submit themselves to the rigorous
constraints of scientific methodology and to the canons of scientific evidence can
presume to have a say in the guidance of human affairs. Freedom of personal opinion
makes no sense in astronomy or physics, and in the future such freedom will be
similarly inappropriate in the social sciences. It is an insufferable conceit on the part
of ordinary men to presume that they should hold opinions about matters of scientific
The intellectual reorganization now dawning in the social sciences "requires the
renunciation by the greater number of their right of individual inquiry on subjects
above their qualifications." Just as is the case in the natural sciences today, so in the
sociology of the future, "the right of free inquiry will abide within its natural and
permanent limits; that is, men will discuss, under appropriate intellectual conditions,
the real connections of various consequences with fundamental rules universally
respected." The exigent requirements of scientific discourse will set firm limits on vain
speculation and unbridled utopianism.( Coser, 1977:3-5)
Ten Great Figures in Sociology
One approach to sociological theory looks at the writings of the great figures of the
discipline. There are about two dozen figures with whom any sociologist is familiar -or at least acquainted. The towering classic figures are Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim,
and Max Weber. They established the principal paradigms of the discipline. In the
mid-twentieth century, Parsons' development of Durkheimian functionalism and Mill's
development of marxian conflict theory established the main lines of theory important
today. While there would, no doubt, be more debate about the status of living
sociologists, most practicing sociologists are acquainted with the works of
Stinchcombe, Wilson and Habermas.
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Emile Durkheim (1858-1916)
Max Weber (1864-1920)
Hebert Spencer (1820-1903)
George Herbert Mead (1863-1931)
Talcott Parsons (1902-1979)
C. Wright Mills (1916-1961)
Arthur Stinchcombe (1935-
Organization Theory
Social Darwinism
Symbolic Interactionism
Structural Functionalism
Power Elite Conflict Theory
Theory Construction Movement
9. William Julius Wilson (194010. Joe Feagin
Contemporary Conflict Theory
Institutional Racism and Sexism
1. Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) : Socialism
Most of Karl Marx’s life was spent in exile although he was born and educated
in Germany. He went to France after his paper was rejected in Germany. He went to
France after his paper was rejected in Germany. It was in Paris where he met Friedrich
Engels who became his longtime friend.Marx and Engels attended the Communist
League ( a coalition of labor) in 1847. The following year, they wrote the Communist
Manifesto which urged the masses ( protetariat) to unite and overthrow capitalist
societies ( bourgeoisie). Marx attempted to return to Germany but was once more
deterred. He proceeded to England where he wrote a number of essays and books.
Karl Marx was one of the earliest and most important proponents of the conflict
theory. But his landmark in sociology was his research on group identification which
influences an individual ‘s place in society. This later became the focus of
contemporary sociology. Marx had an evolutionary model of societies undergo fixed
number of stages-ancient, feudal and capitalist. For AMrx, the history of civilization is
the history of class struggle and conflict is the main source of social change. Classes,
according to him, are always arise between those who own and control the means of
production that those who do not. In each period of history, Marx contends that the
exploited and unpropertied class recognizes being exploited and thus revolts against
those in power. Thus , in a capitalist productive system, the laboring class (
proletariat) revolts to overthrow the owners of production ( bourgeosie). Therefore , this
revolt signals the outset of a classless society.
The Conflict Theory
Karl Marx was the founder of conflict theory, which argues that the
competition of individuals and groups for wealth and power is the fundamental
process shaping social structure. For conflict theories, basic questions about a social
structure are "Who gets what and why?" Marx was born just after the monarchical
restorations that concluded the Napoleonic wars. He studied philosophy at Berlin and
then edited a radical newspaper, which argued that the privileges of privileged groups
blocks progress. This brought him into conflict with the authorities, and he had to flee
from Germany to France and then to England. There, he lived in poverty (most of his
children died from lack of food and medicine), wrote, and together with Fredrick
Engels, organized the First International Workingmen's Association.
Marx believed that “History is the history of class struggle. All that is solid melts
into air. Men's ideas change with changes in the conditions of their material
existence”, over the long run, the conflict of groups produces a progressive
development of greater equality, democracy, autonomy and individuality, as different
forms of privilege are abolished. He believed that this progress only occurs when the
rule of privileged groups (slaveholders, aristocrats) is overthrown, leading to a more
inclusive society. First the relationships of personal subordination, characteristic of
slavery and feudalism are replaced by relationships in the market. But in a capitalist
society, Marx believed, the fact that owners (capitalists, the Bourgeoisie) can
accumulate vast resources and can control the livelihood of others (workers, the
Proletariat), allows them to dominate the society by political corruption, the whip of
hunger, etc. He believed that the abolition of monarchy and of aristocratic class
abolished one kind of privilege, but produces "wage slavery," which can only be ended
by the abolition of private ownership of means of production.
In the 1960's, the rise of conflict theories, stressing the importance of stratification,
class, conflict and material interests led to increased interest in Marx. Many conflict
theorists are not Marxists, and there are many different varieties of Marxism, but
virtually all conflict theorists recognize that Marx's theories raise fundamental
questions about inequality, social structure and social dynamics. We shall approach
Marxian theory in terms of the dynamics of positive feedback and Monopoly. In some
ways, the most natural entry is in terms of the last four presidents of the American
Sociological Association: Feagen, Massey, Reskin and Burawoy. (One World pp. 3-51:
Marx addressed his writings to the inequities between producers of wealth
(labor) and the owners of its production (management). He believed that a social
scientist, should not only observe but also to work to change the inequalities between
different social classes.
2. Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1917) : Functionalism
Emile Durkheim established sociology as a quantitative, academic social science,
and established the functionalist paradigm in sociology. His analysis of suicide was
the model for the scientific analysis of social rates as Asocial [email protected] which have to be
explained causally rather than interpreted psychologically or judged morally. His first
work, The Division of labor in Society is partly a critique of Spencer=s individualism.
While Marx saw the division of labor as a competition of individuals and groups,
Durkheim saw it as a cooperative, functional specialization, regulated by the
normative system. In a functional system, the different people, performing different
tasks, are rewarded according to the functional importance of their contribution.
Durkheim argued that social development can be explained by the increased
differentiation of functions (the division of labor) and the moral transformation which
is necessary to integrate a heterogeneous, differentiated society.
He was devoted to his family and trained his son to follow in his footsteps. When
that son was killed in World War I, Durkheim went into a decline from which he never
His analyses of phenomena such as suicide, religion, crime, education, and the
professions established functionalist sociological theory. However, within American
sociology Durkheim’s work was largely ignored through the first half of the 20 th
century. He was regarded as a theory of the A group mind because he believed that
social structure and social dynamic should be understood aside from individual
actions and individual motives. It was only after Parsons emphasized the importance
of norms, values, functional systems and solidary groups that Durkheim became
recognized as a classic figure.(One World pp. 52-77)
The Work of Durkheims
The main thrust of Durkheim's overall doctrine is his insistence that the study
of society must eschew reductionism and consider social phenomena sui generis.
Rejecting biologistic or psychologistic interpretations, Durkheim focused attention on
the social-structural determinants of mankind's social problems.
Durkheim presented a definitive critique of reductionist explanations of social
behavior. Social phenomena are "social facts" and these are the subject matter of
sociology. They have, according to Durkheim, distinctive social characteristics and
determinants, which are not amenable to explanations on the biological or
psychological level. They are external to any particular individual considered as a
biological entity. They endure over time while particular individuals die and are
replaced by others. Moreover, they are not only external to the individual, but they are
"endowed with coercive power, by . . . which they impose themselves upon him,
independent of his individual will."1Constraints, whether in the form of laws or
customs, come into play whenever social demands are being violated. These sanctions
are imposed on individuals and channel and direct their desires and propensities. A
social fact can hence be defined as"every way of acting, fixed or not, capable of
exercising on the individual an external constraint."2
Although in his early work Durkheim defined social facts byt heir exteriority
and constraint, focusing his main concern on the operation of the legal system, he was
later moved to change his views significantly. The mature Durkheim stressed that
social facts, and more particularly moral rules, become effective guide sand controls of
conduct only to the extent that they become internalized in the consciousness of
individuals, while continuing to exist independently of individuals. According to this
formulation, constraint is no longer a simple imposition of outside controls on
individual will, but rather a moral obligation to obey a rule. In this sense society is"
something beyond us and something in ourselves."3Durkheim now endeavored to
study social facts not only as phenomena "out there" in the world of objects, but as
facts that the actor and the social scientist come to know.4
Social phenomena arise, Durkheim argued, when interacting individuals
constitute a reality that can no longer be accounted for in terms of the properties of
individual actors. "The determining cause of a social fact should be sought among the
social facts preceding it and not among the states of the individual consciousness."5 A
political party, for example, though composed of individual members, cannot be
explained in terms of its constitutive elements; rather, a party is a structural whole
that must be accounted for by the social and historical forces that bring it into being
and allow it to operate. Any social formation, though not necessarily superior to its
individual parts, is different from them and demands an explanation on the level
peculiar to it.
Durkheim was concerned with the characteristics of groups and structures
rather than with individual attributes. He focused on such problems as the cohesion
or lack of cohesion of specific religious groups, not on the individual traits of religious
believers. He showed that such group properties are independent of individual traits
and must therefore be studied in their own right. He examined different rates of
behavior in specified populations and characteristics of particular groups or changes
of such characteristics. For example, a significant increase of suicide rates in a
particular group indicates that the social cohesion in that group has been weakened
and its members are no longer sufficiently protected against existential crises.
In order to explain regular differential rates of suicide in various religious or
occupational groupings, Durkheim studied the character of these groups, their
characteristic ways of bringing about cohesion and solidarity among their members.
He did not concern himself with the psychological traits or motives of the component
individuals, for these vary. In contrast, the structures that have high suicide rates all
have in common a relative lack of cohesion, or a condition of relative normlessness.
Concern with the rates of occurrence of specific phenomena rather than with
incidence had an additional advantage in that it allowed Durkheim to engage in
comparative analysis of various structures. By comparing the rates of suicides in
various groups, he was able to avoid ad hoc explanations in the context of a particular
group and instead arrive at an overall generalization. By this procedure he came to the
conclusion that the general notion of cohesion or integration could account for a
number of differing specific rates of suicide in a variety of group contexts. Groups
differ in the degree of their integration. That is, certain groups may have a firm hold
on their individual members and integrate them fully within their boundaries; others
may leave component individuals a great deal of leeway of action. Durkheim
demonstrated that suicide varies inversely with the degree of integration. "When
society is strongly integrated, it holds individuals under its control."6 People who are
well integrated into a group are cushioned to a significant extent from the impact of
frustrations and tragedies that afflict the human lot; hence, they are less likely to
resort to extreme behavior such as suicide.
For Durkheim, one of the major elements of integration is the extent to which
various members interact with one another. Participation in rituals, for example, is
likely to draw members of religious groups into common activities that bind them
together. Or, on another level, work activities that depend on differentiated yet
complementary tasks bind workers to the workgroup. Related to the frequency of
patterned interaction is a measure of value integration, that is the sharing by the
members of values and beliefs. In collectivities where a high degree of consensus
exists, there is less behavioral deviance than in groups in which consensus is
attenuated. The stronger the credo of a religious group, the more unified it is likely to
be, and therefore better able to provide an environment that will effectively insulate its
members from perturbing and frustrating experiences. Yet Durkheim was also careful
to point out that there are special cases, of which Protestantism is the most salient, in
which the credo of the group stresses a shared belief in individualism and free inquiry.
Protestantism "concedes a greater freedom to individual thought than Catholicism . . .
it has fewer common beliefs and practices." In this case, higher rates of such deviant
behavior as suicide cannot be explained as a lack of consensus, but as a response to
thegroup-enjoined autonomy of its members.
The difference between value consensus and structural integration can now be
more formally approximated in terms of Durkheim's own terminology. He
distinguished between mechanical and organic solidarity. The first prevails to the
extent that "ideas and tendencies common to all members of the society are greater in
number and intensity than those which pertain personally to each member. This
solidarity can grow only in inverse ration to personality."8 In other words, mechanical
solidarity prevails where individual differences are minimized and the members of
society are much alike in their devotion to the common weal. "Solidarity which comes
from likeness is at its maximum when the collective conscience completely envelops
our whole conscience and coincides in all points with it."9 Organic solidarity ,in
contrast, develops out of differences, rather than likenesses, between individuals. It is
a product of the division of labor. With increasing differentiation of functions in a
society come increasing differences between its members.
Each element in a differentiated society is less strongly tied to common
collective routines, even though it may be bound with equal rigor to the differentiated
and specialized tasks and roles that characterize systems of organic solidarity. While
the individual elements of such a system have less in common, they are nevertheless
much more interdependent than under mechanical solidarity. Precisely because they
now engage in differentiated ways of life and in specialized activities, the members are
largely dependent upon one another and networks of solidarity can develop between
them. In such systems, there can be some release from external controls, but such
release is in tune with, not in conflict with, the high degree of dependence of
individuals on their fellows.
In his earlier work, Durkheim stated that strong systems of common belief
characterize mechanical solidarity in primitive types of society, and that organic
solidarity, resulting from the progressive increase in the division of labor and hence
increased mutual dependence, needed fewer common beliefs to tie members to this
society. He later revised this view and stressed that even those systems with a highly
developed organic solidarity still needed a common faith, a common conscience
collective, if they were not to disintegrate into a heap of mutually antagonistic and
self-seeking individuals.
The mature Durkheim realized that only if all members of a society were
anchored to common sets of symbolic representations, to common assumptions about
the world around them, could moral unity be assured. Without them, Durkheim
argued, any society, whether primitive or modern, was bound to degenerate and decay.
3. Max Weber (1864 – 1920) : Social Organization
Max Weber became a professor of sociology at Heidelberg in Germany. His personal
life was a mass of contradictions, which mirrored fundamental contradictions of
European social thought and the emergent discipline of sociology. Some of the
tensions in his analysis may have reflected the opposed world views of a devout,
idealistic, socially concerned mother and his father, a hard nosed, materialistic
German nationalist. These contradictions led to Weber=s complete breakdown before
World War I. Central to these was the question, often posed in terms of the opposition
between Durkheim and Marx, whether human action should be understood in terms
of human ideals and motives or in terms of interests, constraints and power. Weber=s
theory of action tried to consolidate analysis of both ideal and material motives.
His own life and marriage appears to have been marked by value conflicts. He
suffered repeated episodes of nervous collapse and was able to actively function within
his university post for only short periods of time.
He consolidated the method of the interpretive understanding of people=s subjective
motives, the method of A Verstehen. He consolidated and developed a rich mass of
interpretive theory of religion in his volumes on Judaism, Christianity, the Protestant
Ethic, Confucianism, Hinduism and Islam. At the same time, Weber consolidated
institutional analysis of stratification, power, economic structure and bureaucratic
organization. His analysis of A rationalization, or the development of rational
capitalism, rational bureaucracy and the rational state attempted to describe the basic
differences between modern and traditional institutions. On the one hand, he believed
that the modern growth of rationality (science, education, bureaucratic structures,
governments of law, etc.) was inevitable because modern bureaucratic structures are
more effective than traditional structures. But on the other hand, he believed that
this development leads to an iron cage: the disenchantment of the world, the
restriction of human spontaneity and the erosion of human values.(One World pp. 78109)
4. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903): Social Darwinism
Herbert Spencer is both an early sociologist and also the father of social Darwinism,
against which most early sociology was directed. He was the first English speaking
theorist to call himself a sociologist, and through the first decade of the 20th century,
his works were the most popular works of sociology. His social Darwinist doctrines of
“A survival of the fittest”, “A laissez faire” and the "night watchman state" became the
conventional wisdom of most English speaking social theory from 1890 to 1920,
celebrated by sociologists such as W. G. Sumner and by robber barons such as
Andrew Carnagie.
Spencer saw individualism and competition as the key to social progress, and he
argued that government programs are ineffective and lead to dependency. The
individualism and the biological reductionism of Social Darwinism was in conflict with
the basic insight that human behavior is socially shaped by culture, families, religion,
class, gender, schools, organizations and other groups. After the Great Depression, the
Holocaust and World War II, Social Darwinist theory was eclipsed. From the 1950's to
the 1980's, it hardly appears in sociology texts and is largely rejected by sociologists.
However, since 1990, as many people criticized the welfare state and affirmative
action, works such as The Bell Curve, The g Factor, and The New American Dilemma
have represented a resurgence of these doctrines within psychology, political thought
and economics, driven by the new conservatism.
Those who oppose the welfare state [progressive income tax, public education,
minimum wage, welfare, public health, etc.] stemming from the New Deal have often
recalled Spencer's theories, which were deeply antagonistic to the welfare state. The
Assault on Equality is a criticism of The Bell Curve's use of genetic arguments about
IQ to account for racial and individual differences in life chances and for such social
problems as crime, poverty, unemployment, family breakdown and academic failure.(
One World 144-149; 156; 169-172)
The "Fittest" and the "Unfit"
Herbert Spencer based his concept of social evolution, popularly known as
"Social Darwinism," on individual competition. Spencer believed that competition was
"the law of life" and resulted in the "survival of the fittest." "Society advances," Spencer
wrote, "where its fittest members are allowed to assert their fitness with the least
hindrance." He went on to argue that the unfit should "not be prevented from dying
out." Unlike Darwin, Spencer believed that individuals could genetically pass on their
learned characteristics to their children. This was a common, but erroneous belief in
the 19th century. To Spencer, the fittest persons inherited such qualities as
industriousness, frugality, the desire to own property, and the ability to accumulate
wealth. The unfit inherited laziness, stupidity, and immorality.
According to Spencer, the population of unfit people would slowly decline. They
would eventually become extinct because of their failure to compete. The government,
in his view, should not take any actions to prevent this from happening, since this
would go against the evolution of civilization. Spencer believed his own England and
other advanced nations were naturally evolving into peaceful "industrial" societies. To
help this evolutionary process, he argued that government should get out of the way of
the fittest individuals. They should have the freedom to do whatever they pleased in
competing with others as long as they did not infringe on the equal rights of other
competitors. Spencer criticized the English Parliament for "over-legislation." He defined
this as passing laws that helped the workers, the poor, and the weak. In his opinion,
such laws needlessly delayed the extinction of the unfit. (
5. George Herbert Mead: Symbolic Interaction
The Chicago school of sociology at the University of Chicago was the center of the
growth of sociology in the United States. George Herbert Mead was the center, or at
least one center, of that Department.He is regarded as the founding theorist of
symbolic interaction -- the view that human actions are governed by the meanings
that actors give to their situations, and that these meanings are established in
interactions. This idea provided a general framework for the analysis of individual
socialization and education, for the analysis of class, race and ethnic groups in
Chicago, and for the analysis of groups and neighborhoods in Chicago -- gangs,
prostitutes, slums, etc. For Mead, the center of one's socialization was the
development of a "generalized other" and thus of the ability to take the standpoint of
the other members of the society. The formation of a "generalized other" allows one to
communicate with others and to interact with them.
A revival of symbolic interaction today is driven partly by skepticism about there
being "one true story" about anything. Symbolic interaction has always stressed that
there are many different viewpoints a ways of looking at the world (definitions of the
situation) associated with different structures of interaction. This means that
symbolic interaction is often skeptical of the possibility of any objective or predictive
social science. Interactionists believe that different actions would follow from different
meaning systems and since interaction can lead to development of many different
meaning systems, human action cannot be predicted. Most sociologists regard this as
a council of despair. The rise of identity theories and of multiculturalism (feminism,
Afrocentric theory, Queer theory, Third-worldism etc.) have often been formulated in
ways close to symbolic interaction.
Although Mead wrote a number of articles, he could never get around to publishing
a systematic and definitive account of his own theory. His reputation is largely based
on Mind Self and Society, which is essentially the lecture notes to his popular lecture
course. But besides the fact that a lecture is often informal and inexact, the lectures
changed from year to year, and so after Mead's death there were several competing
claims to articulate the essence of social psychology and "symbolic interaction."
Mead's own analysis did not ignore the macro-social issues of social class, power,
social integration, and social institutions, but they are ambiguous.
He made clear
that he regarded property and class as variable social institutions, rather than part of
man's biological nature, and he argued against "caste" sentiment. But it is unclear
whether he regarded as "caste," any large difference in life chances, or whether the
caste sentiment he opposed was only the kind of aristocratic and racial subordination
which had already been abolished.
6.Talcott Parsons (1902- 1978), Voluntarism, Structural-functionalism.
Ideas: "Who now read [email protected] Structural-functionalism. Society as a selfregulating system, regulated by the norms which are guided by the value system
Talcott Parsons studied at Heidelberg, shortly after Weber died. Parsons then
taught at Harvard form some 50 years, where he trained the bulk of sociologists who
became important in the second half of the twentieth century, including the recent
president of the American Sociological Association, Neil Smelser. Parsons translated
many of the works of Weber, and he popularized the works of Weber and Durkheim
within American sociology.
His early works developed the voluntaristic theory of action C the idea that human
action can only be understood as being aimed at some end, determined by values,
within a structure of norms. The opening question to “ The Structure of Social Action”,
who now read Spencer refers both to the decline of Spencer’s individualist laissez fair
politics and to the decline in interest in large-scale theories of historical development.
During Parson’s middle period, this led to his developing a view that social,
economic, political and legal structures (as well as psychological and cultural
structures) should be understood as functionally integrated systems. Ultimate values,
socially enshrined in the religious system, play a key role in holding together all of
these systems together. And in his later work, this generated a complex system of
double interchanges of generalized media.( One World : 188-215)
7. C. Wright Mills (1916- 1962), Conflict Theory.
C. Wright Mills is usually regarded as the founder of modern conflict theory. He died
at age 45, but in the 12 years from 1950 to 1962, he published nearly a dozen books
which became a focus of opposition to Parsons within American sociology and of the
revival of conflict theory in the 1960's. The Sociological Imagination argued that the
key task of a sociologist is to see social structures and personal actions in their
interrelations. Social structures don't just happen; they are the outcome of struggles
and negotiations between people with different interests and different resources. And
those people and resources, in turn are shaped by the larger structures and by the
unequal distribution of power and resources in the society.
Thus Mills defines the sociological imagination as the ability to see the micro-level
of individual action and the macro-level of social structure in relation to each other.
For example, Mills distinguishes personal troubles (being unemployed; having one's
marriage break up) from social issues (having a substantial fraction of the work force
unemployed; having a substantial fraction of marriages break up.) An individual may
be unemployed fall all kinds of personal reasons, such as poor work habits, but to
explain a high rate of unemployment by such factors (supposing a sudden magical
change in people's work habits during the Great Depression) is merely an evasion and
a failure to deal with the real dynamics and stresses in the economy.
The Power Elite (1956) argued that at the upper levels of American society, a power
elite, or military industrial complex had emerged from the fusion of the corporate elite,
the Pentagon, and the executive branch of government. He argued that the interests of
this elite were often opposed to those of the mass of the population and that their
policies were headed toward increased escalation of conflict, production of weapons of
mass destruction, and possibly the annihilation of the human race. ( One World : 228246)
8. Arthur Stinchcombe : The Theory Construction Movement
Stinchcombe was one of the founding figures of what came to be known as the
"theory construction movement." While many people had criticized Parsons for
proposing "grand theories" rather than theories of the "middle range," it remained very
difficult to formulate empirical tests of the big ideas from functionalist sociology or
from conflict theory.
Specifically, Constructing Social Theories argued that while the theories of Marx
and Durkheim are complex and operate on a number of different levels, their dynamic
core can be represented by some simple systems models.
9. William Julius Wilson : Contemporary Conflict Theory
William Julius Wilson, president of the American Sociological Association in 1997,
is a good example of a contemporary conflict theorist. He is most closely associated
with the analysis of the "underclass" first in The Truly Disadvantaged and most
recently in When Work Disappears.
His early books, Power Racism and Privilege and The Declining Significance of
Race argued that racism and racial inequality must be understood in terms of the
larger structures of class and power in the United States today. Although some people
have taken him to say that racism no longer exists, he insists that the point is that the
structures of racial privilege and racial inequality have changed. rather than a set of
legal restrictions of direct personal discrimination, what is central today is the
structures of jobs, personal networks, and residences, leading to social isolation and
lack of access to jobs.
Thus, the Truly Disadvantaged along with his 1997 presidential address, argued
that some 10,000,000 industrial, minimum wage or more jobs have disappeared from
the "rust belt" and this led to the development of the subculture of the underclass,
(One World :11-12 )
10. Jurgen Habermas : Neofunctionalism, Neomarxism and Communications
Habermas is probably the most important social theorist writing in Europe today.
He is heir to the rich tradition of "critical theory" associated with a group of German
theorists (particularly Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse) who fled Germany during the
Nazi era. Habermas was Adorno's assistant in the 1950's and 1960's and has written
about 30 books since then. Many of those concentrate on the philosophical issues of
post-modernism. Against postmodernists such as Foucault, Lyotard or Derrida (or, in
sociology, Seidman and Lemert) Habermas defends the notion that there is a real
progress from pre-modern to modern societies.
The concept of the "ideal speech situation" is the idea that there are certain kinds of
consensus that would emerge if it was really possible to fully discuss the merits of all
positions, without coercion or manipulation. In science, we often believe that the
ideas which would win out in the long run, in the absence of coercion, are the ideas
which are true. Habermas believes that something similar is also true in normative
realm of morals and in the aesthetic realm of the arts. In practice, we do not live in
the "ideal speech situation," and it is possible for dictators, privileged groups, or
special interests to fool at least some of the people at least some of the time. But it is
still useful for us to think of the true, the good or the beautiful as what would be
agreed upon in an ideal speech situation.
In the last decade, his books on history, philosophy, politics and culture have been
one of the main "modernist" positions, arguing that it is possible and desirable to
specify the characteristics of a rational and just society, and that there is a real
movement in that direction. He thus stands opposed to those who believe that social
theory ought not to be concerned with such things and to those who believe that one
person's rationality and justice is another person's insanity and oppression.
Sociological Inquiry
Sociological inquiry is based upon the presumption that people behave
differently in groups than they do as individuals. That group norms (i.e., rules for
behavior) affect our everyday actions. That abstract concepts, such as family, religion,
social class, are "real" in their consequences on attitudes and behavior.
The basic goal of sociological research is to understand the observable social
world. Its main function is to test or verify a hypothesis. Merton describes social
research as initiating, reformulating, reflecting and classifying theory. This involves
having scientific and theoretical perspective about the aspect of the social world the
sociologists are studying.
Methods of Sociological Inquiry
Sociologists use many types of social research methods, including:
1. Archival Research - Facts or factual evidences from a variety of records are
2. Content Analysis - The contents of books and mass media are analyzed to
study how people communicate and the messages people talk or write about.
3. Historical Method - This involves a continuous and systematic search for the
information and knowledge about past events related to the life of a person, a
group, society, or the world.
Experimental Research - The researcher isolates a single social process or
social phenomena and uses the data to either confirm or construct social
theory. The experiment is the best method for testing theory due to its
extremely high internal validity. Participants, or subjects, are randomly
assigned to various conditions or 'treatments', and then analyses are made
between groups. Randomization allows the researcher to be sure that the
treatment is having the effect on group differences and not some other
extraneous factor.
Survey Research - The researcher obtains data from interviews,
questionnaires, or similar feedback from a set of persons chosen (including
random selection) to represent a particular population of interest. Survey items
may be open-ended or closed-ended.
Life History - This is the study of the personal life trajectories. Through a
series of interviews, the researcher can probe into the decisive moments in
0their life or the various influences on their life.
Longitudinal Study - This is an extensive examination of a specific group over
a long period of time.
Observation - Using data from the senses, one records information about social
phenomenon or behavior. Qualitative research relies heavily on observation,
although it is in a highly disciplined form.
Participant Observation - As the name implies, the researcher goes to the field
(usually a community), lives with the people for some time, and participates in
their activities in order to know and feel their culture.
The Scientific Method and Social Research in Sociology
Science is not only a collection of statistics or facts. It is also a means for
collecting and verifying information. This procedure is known as the “scientific
method”. Since sociology is a science, we will take at look how the scientific method
operates, as well as review, briefly, some of the specific research techniques that are
most commonly used. (Hunt,1987)
1. Define the problem. A problem is needed and is worthy of being studied and
undertaken through the methods of science.( Garcia,1984) In social research, the
research problem provides the focus of a study. It guides a researcher as to what
questions to raise, hypotheses to pursue, and variables to include. It also anticipates
the type of analysis that would be observed or followed. In essence it gives direction to
and control of activities that would be carried out in an experiment or observation one
intends to undertake. This is to be distinguished from a problem one encounters in
society like lack of food, pollution, over-population, AIDS,STDS and the like. The latter
are called social problems. A research problem seeks to study the whys, hows, and
whats of a social problem. For the formulation of a research problem involves four
major steps (Maquiso,1997):a) Choosing a researchable topic; and b) Defining the
research problem.
All researches start with a question. Among students and researches of society,
these questions could be derived from either of the following sources: a theory, a
practical concern or simply a special personal interest (Maquizo ,1997):
1. Research Problem Based on a Social Theory. A social theory is set of
assumption that explain a social phenomenon.
Examples are the various theories on socialization.
Suicide – Homan theory which states that “small groups significantly
affect human behavior,” may be tested by a research problem that
establishes the relationship between an individual’s study habits and
peer or group pressure.This research problem may have a practical
significance but its basis for being conducted is the verification or
validation of a theory.
Divorce Rate and Suicide Rate – Durkheim’s theory of social
integration as a determinant of alienation and suicide served as a
basis for numerous studies establishing suicide rates between
population exhibiting high degree of integration on one hand and low
degree of integration on the other. Another example “ new nurse
migrant are less integrated than the old nurse migrants” and
marriage of nurse serves as a stabilizing element of integration.
2. Research Problem Based on a Practical Concern. A research problem could
also be formulated in responses to a persistent social problem.
There is a intensified concern for rising incidence of teenage
pregnancies and premarital sex. How early does this happen and
who are likely to try it? What factors tend to encourage or discourage
boys and girls to have sexual contacts prematurely?”
The spread of HIV/AIDS to the general population.Considering the
youth’s sexual behavior these days, are they properly informed about
the nuances of the disease? What are their perceptions on the
disease? What factors contribute to a proper understanding of the
From these series of questions and possible answers a research topic and
problem could already be derived. On the first concern as well be premarital sex
among the youth, on the second, the youth knowledge about HIV/AIDS.From these
topics a research problem could then be respectively generated :
1) A study on the incidence of premarital sex among the youth in Ilocos Sur
and the factors that tend to encourage or discourage it.
2) A study on the knowledge on HIV/AIDS among the youth in Region I.
2.Review the related literature. Time is very important factor in conducting as
scientific inquiry. It would be a waste time to investigate a certain problem which has
already been undertaken. A survey of whatever research has done on this particular
problem can save the researcher time, effort and money. ( Garcia,1984)
3.Formulate a hypothesis. The hypothesis is an account defining a particular
relationship between two or more variables. A hypothesis is a supposition or
preparation tentatively accepted to explain certain facts to provide a basis for further
investigation. Example of a working hypothesis is Nursing students who are members
of fraternity receive lower grades than non-members (Garcia, 1984) Hypothesis can be
proven true or false by facts. Among the sources of hypothesis are common sense,
ideas, folk knowledge, personal and social experiences, values and theories.
4. Develop a research design. A research design is a plan that must be carefully
developed in order to prove the hypothesis. It is an outline of what should be
undertaken, what the data will be sought, where and how they will be collected,
processed, and systematically analyzed. In the example, we should decide how to
select and match the samples of fraternity members and non-member, where to secure
data on grades, and what mechanical and statistical procedures to use in analyzing
these data and in arriving at conclusions. ( Garcia,1984)
5. Collect the data. The data to be collected should be in line with the research
design (Garcia,1984) In order to meet the fundamental aim for sociological inquiry, a
more immediate goal is to provide a simulation or a model that can be shown to
correspond to certain principles, a sample of the total population to represent the
whole as accurately as possible. The researcher also chooses the techniques to identify
and record the data to be studied. Data can be classified as primary sources and
secondary sources:
Primary Sources are eyewitness accounts. They may be documents,
remains or relics or oral testimonies.
Secondary sources are the reports of the individual who relates the
testimony or data provided by an actual participant or witness to an
In social science the following techniques may be used: ( Maquizo,1997)
1) Survey Method Using the Questionnaire
The survey is the common technique in the social sciences. it can be
used alone or in combination with other techniques. The survey requires the
preparation of a questionnaire beforehand and its administration to the
2) Interview Technique
The interview technique requires a face-to-face interaction with the
respondent using a predesigned interview guide which the interviewer uses as
he/she talks with the respondents. For the identified problem on the incidence
of AIDS, the questionnaire and the interview technique may suffice.
3) Field Study Methods
It entails observation of human interaction in the natural flow of social
life is not disturbed. The field study method comprises any of the following
technique ( Maquizo,1997)
a) Participant Observation- Participant observation was introduced by
anthropologist in studying culture. It is widely used by social scientists in
getting insights into such aspects as human interaction, culture and etc. It
requires the participation of the researcher in whatever his subjects are doing of
his immersion in the community being studied. His/her presence however
should in no way disrupt the flow of the social processes in the community he
is observing least of all intimidate the people he is relating with. This means
that in the course of the study the researcher has to gain the confidence of the
community and its acceptance of he role he plays and the mission he
undertakes. In this way the people do not get conscious of his presence and
they continue with their normal routine and despite his ubiquitous presence.
The researcher could then record life situations accurately and appreciate the
people’s world views in their most pristine and realistic dimensions.
The field study utilizes field notes to gather data. It involves either of the
following procedures: (1) Observing directly activities and proceedings and
recording them as they happen or as people render their opinions are being
recorded; (2) Another way is an indirect way of deriving information. The
researcher goes around the area chatting with residents but subtly finding
means to bridge gaps in the information or data previously gathered.
The following tips for a field researcher may have to observe to facilitate
data gathering are as follows ( Volante, 1984 as cited by Maquizo,1997)
1. “ Cultivate the habit of asking questions. Never be satisfied with one
answer,” Volante suggest pursuing the six W’s of a beat reporter: who
what, when, why , where and how. Questions of course have to be
related to the research topic. As much as possible important terms
should be recorded as spoken in the local dialect to avoid distortion in
meaning or injecting one’s own interpretation in the process of
2. “Adapt to the local verbal and nonverbal communication”: their idiom
and body language. Also determine whether they are serious or
3. “ Engage in small talk or discussion with your subject population but
always inject research-related questions”, For example, you may
agree with their judgment as: “ Yes, his daughter is indeed pretty, but
speaking of something else, is it true that he is convening a meeting
of the barangay population on Sunday”?
4. Record observations in detail. For example, “cleaning the yard” is
vague. How was it cleaned? Were grasses cut or was the yard merely
swept of litter? Were the debris piled or were they composed? In
recording, categorize the questions and information into 6 WS:
a) Nature of the activity (what)
A short description is necessary. For example, “ yard cleaning”
has to be more specific such as sweeping of dried leaves, mowing
of grass, dumping in compost,etc.
b) Place of activity( where)
Again specific location have to be identified :e.g. the junction
of Raminad and Wag-wag streets in CLSU.
c) Performers/participants (who)
The following variables may have to be noted in describing the
participants: sex, age, status in community, relation to key
informant, etc.
d) Date, time and duration of activity ( when)
Questions as to when and at what time the activity was
conducted should be noted.
e) Purpose of the activity ( why)]
A statement and elaboration on the purpose of the activity
should likewise be specified.
Conduct/action in the activity (how)
The following questions would help: Did the participants come
on time? Did problems cop up? What were they? Was it a
bayanihan activity or was a cabecilla resorted to? How were the
jobs allocated?
5. Filed notes have to be reviewed at the end of each day for editing and
structuring, specially if done in short hand.
6. The use of short hand would greatly help data gathering for a field
b) Case Study Method
The case study method involves extensive examination of a specific group over a
long period of time. It is an intensive investigation which makes use of all types of
research, making use of tests, checklists, score cards, interview and observation.
Careful recording of significant events and the consequent evaluation of these against
the original set of hypothesis are necessary. Case studies are rich resources of fresh
and deep insights for further researches although they do not necessarily lead to
conclusive generalizations.
6. Analyze the data. After collating the data, we classify, synthesize, tabulate, and
compare the data, making whatever tests and computations are necessary to help find
the result. ( Garcia,1984)
7.Draw conclusion. The conclusion will reflect back to the hypothesis and, on the
basis of the conclusions, we either accept or reject the hypothesis. Were the results
inclusive? What has this research added to our knowledge? What implication does it
have for sociological theory? What new questions and suggestions for further research
have arisen from this investigation?
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