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Macrosociology vs microsociology

Video transcript

macro sociology and microsociology are two different levels of analysis and sociology to study societies you need a place to start when you're looking at a society otherwise it can feel rather overwhelming because not only do you have the individual people making up the population you're studying you also have the different groups that also make up your population and the communities and the cultures and subcultures and you have your population as a whole that you can look at so if you can at least figure out what perspective you want to start with it'll help you find a good foothold to proceed okay macro sociology is a large-scale perspective you're looking at big phenomena that affect your whole population or at least a big portion of it you're looking at social structures and institutions you're looking at whole civilizations or societies or populations and what are you looking for well you're looking for patterns you're trying to find the effects that the whole big picture have on the lives of small groups and individuals you're analyzing large collectives like cities for broad social trends and you can get a lot of statistical data from these big populations but be careful how you analyze it don't ask a question when you already have an answer in mind because you might interpret the data to prove your point but that won't actually tell you anything about the population you're studying don't find the one statistical test that makes the data fit your story let the data tell the story macro sociology deals with matters like war or poverty or the health care institution or international stuff like the world economy functionalism is a social theory that comes from the macro perspective basically functionalism looks at a society as a whole and how the institutions that make up the society adapt to keep the society stable and functioning conflict theory is also a macro perspective real quick conflict theory is the idea that societies are made up of institutions that benefit the powerful and create inequalities and large groups of people are at odds with each other until the conflict as a result and a new social order is created with equally distributed power okay so that's the big picture perspective let's go to the other extreme and check out microsociology kind of sounds like microscope right with a microscope you can look at individual cells or really tiny things well in micro sociology you're looking at the small-scale everyday face-to-face social interactions between individuals or maybe small groups you're looking at families in schools and other small social interactions unlike macro sociology in micro sociology you don't have the same large test group so micro sociology is more of an interpretive analysis of the society you look at a sample of your society and interpret how those individual interactions would affect the larger patterns of a society like institutions and social structures you can look at how the expectations of a teacher will affect a student's grades or you can look at doctor/patient interactions or how family dynamics affect the expression of prejudiced attitudes so you can get an idea of microsociology and practice you can look at symbolic interactionism which is a social theory that is a micro perspective symbolic interactionism focuses on the individual and the significance or meaning they give to objects events symbols and other things in their life cool so you have macro sociology starting from the big picture and seeing how it affects the individual and you have Micro sociology going the other way looking at the individual interactions and seeing how they affect the big picture