Outline the core principles of THREE of the main approaches in sociological theory: Conflict Sociology; Structural Functionalism (including in its social integrationist version); and Symbolic Interactionism. (Notice: NOT Rational Choice Theory.) What did a leading figure in the development of this approach study, and what did they find in these studies?
Then, consider ONE of these two sets of phenomena: the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it; or the Black Lives Matter movement and the response to it. Describe the pandemic or movement and response to it, drawing on material in the textbook (in the case of Black Lives Movement), data/discussion in class, other reading, and any personal observation or experience.
How might a Conflict Sociologist, Structural-Functionalist, and Symbolic Interactionist analyze the pandemic, or the movement, and the response to it? If Marx or Weber or Adrienne Rich was studying these phenomena, how might he or she interpret it? If Durkheim was studying the phenomena, what might he find? If Mead or Howard Becker were studying it, what might he say?
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Which of these possible interpretations seems most promising, most plausible, and most powerful to you, and why/how so? Might practitioners of this approach to sociological theory have to adjust their theory at all to account for the pandemic, or movement, and response to it? What additional insight into the pandemic, or movement, and response to it might we gain from looking it through the lens of this approach?