THE I (EYE) OF THE BEHOLDER
How we see society
by Phil Bartle, PhD
Society is in the eye (I) of the beholder
The sociological perspective is firstly a perspective.
It is a "way of looking at things," which we might see in a different way in day-to-day or non sociological life.
The sociological perspective is in the eye of the sociologist, sociology student, or of whomever is looking at (beholding) society.
Maggie Thatcher had a very atomistic perspective, just the opposite of a sociological perspective, when she said, "There is no such thing as society, just individuals." (That would be like saying there are no atoms in chemistry, just the solid surface, or no solar system in astronomy, just stars. If we do not see them (atoms, society, solar system), so they do not exist).
In order to see and understand society, the observer must know what to look for.
As well as this sociological perspective, which contrasts with an atomistic perspective, within sociology there are three very different classical perspectives, conflict perspective, functionalist perpective and symbolic interactionist perspective.
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