Sociology Midterm Exam

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Latif Oksuz Kate McClellan Midterm exam October 6, 2015 Compare and contrast Durkheim’s, Weber’s, and Kroeber’s thoughts on the relationship between the individual and culture/society. Which viewpoint makes the most sense to you, and why? Emile Durkheim was sociologist that was one of the first to develop extensive theories on culture. Influenced by positivist philosopher Comte, as well as Spencer, both of these scholars believed that human society followed laws, just like the natural laws of physics or biology that could be discovered by empirical observation and testing (p:74). Sociology would have no subject matter exclusively its own, and its domain would be confused with that of biology and psychology (Durkheim: 78). Durkheim tried…show more content…
Kroeber split from Boas over two critical issues. Kroeber rejected Baos' idea that anthropology was ultimately a discipline devoted to the study of human kind's origins. Another disagreement between two is that Boas believed that individuals take an important part of the culture's development and change. Kroeber did not accept this idea and he states that culture came from and is carried by human beings, it cannot be reduced to the act of human minds, working either separatley or as a group (Kroeber: 126). Alfred Kroeber was a historical particularist, who claimed that each society has its own unique historical development. He was especially known for the idea of “superorganic” in cultural anthropology. Kroeber defined superorganic as certain cultural aspects that do not directly originate from individuals within the society.With this thought, he was very close to Durkheim. While promoting Boas’ emphasis on the use of fieldwork in anthropological studies, he completely sides with Durkheim on the topic of the value of the individual in society. Like Durkheim, Kroeber was a strong adherent to the concept that culture is superorganic. This idea is very similar to Durkheim's ''collective conscience''. Kroeber sees individuals not as significant actors in the grand scheme of history, but only as illustrations of larger cultural trends. Kroeber acknowledges that every human…show more content…
A further virtue of this account of social forms of cognition, emotion and behavior is that it seems to cover pretty much what both Durkheim and Weber had in mind when they attempted to delineate the fundamental dimensions of the social, despite the fact that Durkheim and Kroeber are usually represented as a paradigm "holist" and Weber as a paradigm "individualist". Weber maintained that the subject matter of sociological science is "social action". Durkheim and Kroeber think that individual do not affect civilization, but Weber says that individual is very important in societies also some of them have charismatic feature and with this feature they can impress a whole society like prophets. Durkheim and Kroeber have definitions which are social facts and superorganic, to explain societies and their cultures. Weber advised that all people have economic, political, and cultural conflicts that are related to their relative social position. I can say that individual should take important part of societies, so Weber viewpoint makes the most sense to me because his main subject was individual and tried to constitute societies's culture with individual. I can say that every individual has a different culture, so if we go from individual to society to explain a culture we can outcome a framework. I should say that individuals consist of the culture and this culture affects all people. In

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