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Contents of Two Families

Two Families

Structural theories: Top down, macro, system-focused, functionalist, conflict. Social Action theories: Critical, critical feminist, interactionist, bottom up micro, agent-focused.

Structuralist and Social-Action Theories

Lecture Notes

You'll remember from Lecture 3.2 that the sociological theories we are discussing this week can be broken into two families: structuralist theories and social action theories. Social action theories are very different from the two structuralist theories we examined last time. Social action theories look at society from a micro-perspective: in other words, they focus on the individuals within a society. These social action theories tend to take a bottom-up approach: they assume that a society's norms and rules are dynamic and are formed by the interactions that happen between people. Today, we'll focus on the two social action theories: critical and critical feminist theories.