how can extremism turn into social norms

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State your argument. (1 sentences)

  • Conflict theory. Ex. I have often heard that children of single parents have a lesser chance to be well adapted to society, yet I believe that this is a wrong and harmful perception.
  • Structural functionalism. Ex. I have often heard that children of single parents have a lesser chance to be well adapted to society, and I wish to understand what are the social structures that allow this to happen.
  • Symbolic interactionism. Ex. I have often heard that children of single parents have a lesser chance to be well adapted to society, and I wish to understand how people respond to this argument.
  • Conflict theory. Ex. In this paper I will talk about my own experience as a child of a single parent and will contrast my struggle with this oppressing notion with the stereotypes noted by two school peers.
  • Structural functionalism. Ex. In this paper I will talk about my own experience as a child of a single parent and will contrast the ways in which my parent coped with the circumstances with examples provided by two school peers.
  • Symbolic interactionism. Ex. In this paper I will talk about my own experience as a child of a single parent and will contrast the ways I respond to this common notion with the ways in which two school peers responded to it.
  • Conflict theory. Ex. I will do this observation from a conflict theory perspective because I believe people are manipulated into thinking this by mass media.
  • Structural functionalism. Ex. I will do this observation from a functionalist perspective because I wish to understand how people balance complex circumstances.
  • Symbolic interactionism. Ex. I will do this observation from a symbolic interactionist perspective because I wish to observe how people give meanings to unfamiliar family structures.

Name the data and method you are using. (2 sentences max.)

Name the sociological perspective you chose and say who it is best. (2 sentences max.)


  • Explain if the argument of the articles you chose is similar to your argument.
  • Explain how they studied the issue (the data and method that they used) and how that is similar or different from the way you are studying the issue.


  • Explain how you gathered your date (the personal examples or example from the media and the survey responses.


For my topic, I choose to include a picture of one of a historical figure. Princess Fatima alzamil. Princess Fatima ruled for three years in Hail, which is in the center of saudi Arabia. Now this area is the most religious are of saudi Arabia, and where women have limited freedom compared to other part of the country. Nevertheless princess Fatima ruled over Hail from 1911 to 1914, she ran her affairs from a lavish palace which she had full authority . She received foreign guests such as politicians like Gertude bell who was a close friend to Lawrence of Arabia, she allowed her visitor to photograph her, showing long breaded hair with her face uncovered not wearing a Abaya more like a dress. Which is still now a taboo thing to do in saudi arabia. The story of princess Fatima shows how women in the gulf had more freedom and power.

  • Use either a personal example or an example from the media (newspapers, TV, film, web, social media) that explains your argument about the issue.
  • Observe if you find confirmation or disconfirmation of your argument in the answers you got from your survey in class. Transcribe these answers verbatim in your paper.
  • Explain what are the symbols (words that express a particular meaning, image, idea) from your own example and from the transcription of your survey answers that confirm or disconfirm your argumentFor

DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS OR CONCLUSIONS. Consider these questions to write your conclusions and read carefully about your specific chosen perspective in the textbook (p.38 – 41)[1]:

For conflict theory – Who has the power? And what effect does that have on those who do not have power? For structural functionalism – What are the mechanism by which people contribute or disrupt social structure, social solidarity or social order? For symbolic interactionism – How do people enact, respond to and perpetuate social norms, what do these norms mean to them?

Sociological theory: A theory is a statement that describes how and why particular facts are related are related to each other. Sociological perspectives are complex theoretical and methodological frameworks that are used to analyze and explain objects of social study, and facilitate organizing sociological knowledge.


Notes about conflict theory and the analysis of institutions:

Conflict theory sees modern society as being constituted by power relations, where people’s lives are governed by conditions of conflict and inequality. For conflict theorists, social institutions do treat all people equally; institutions are instead instruments that help inequalities to prevail. Conflict theorists may search for evidence of how ethnic minorities, women, or people with lower income have less privileges and benefits. Institutions can manipulate some people to alienate others; they may do this to attain their goals by legitimating power relations.

Notes about symbolic interactionism and the analysis of institutions:

Institutions are important because they are the environments that help people follow routines. Institution can facilitate these routines, making adaptation easier for people. If the role expectations are fulfilled, and routines are well designed and respected people can feel trust, and they can solve daily problems. It is believed that families give you love and safety, so when you see interaction among family members, you may expect signs of of these qualities, you may observe what these signs are. Among friends, people are expected to express kinship, how is this kinship represented. If you are observing interaction in social media, for instance, and your argument is that it is changing social relations, you may provide examples (symbols, such as words, gestures) of the “new” forms of relations among friends in social media apps, how they react to each other and the meaning they give to things (a smile, a word, an emoticon). The institution you are looking at the micro level may be peer groups, who may use symbols common in mass media, for instance. You may see how the portrayal of social emotions (symbols such as profanity, violence or devotion) in mass media is similar to symbols you see in your data when people respond to one another or present themselves n public.

Notes about structural functionalism and the analysis of institutions:

Functionalism emphasizes how important social institutions are for the maintenance of social order and social systems. Quality institutions promote social integration. Institutions reinforce, regulate and maintain role expectations, rewards and punishment, power relations (hierarchies) and the values within social systems to maintain social equilibrium.

Social institutions:

Social institutions systems of behavioral and relationship patterns that are interrelated and endure over time across all of society. They regulate and structure people’s behavior in fundamental areas of society by transmitting and imposing social norms. Institutions have core (yet not exclusive, they may have more then one) functions.

Some institutions: a) regulate relations among people, b) transmit knowledge, c) establish social values and symbolic meanings, and d) the maintain order.

Examples of institutions whose core function is to regulate relations among people are:

The family: The family is a key social institution for socialization.

Peer groups: Peer groups develop as people grow older and increasingly participate in activities outside the family, they are important in a person’s development of a sense of identity of social acceptance. These are groups that often share social status, interests, beliefs or backgrounds, and people are often close in age. They can play a significant part in shaping personality, simply meeting someone we regard highly may change the direction of our lives.

Communities: These are groups of people that share occupations, neighborhoods, ethnicity, political views, cultural groups. They may or may not be formally organized (ethnic groups, LGBTQ community,senior living communities, professional communities, retirement communities, etc.) and can emerge when social change threatens to destroy traditionalism, and social solidarity

Examples of institutions whose core function is to transmit knowledge are:

The educational system (schools, colleges): Education is a key social institution that transmits and teaches skills and knowledge to individuals. Schooling, however, is a broader experience than learning what textbooks say. While students learn facts and skills, they also learn about participation in institutional life, so the institutional quality of a school matters because it can have great impact in our lives. The acceptance and assurance we may have from our family is not always present in schools because these are not intimate places. We need important social adjustments to successfully participate in institutional living.

Examples of institutions whose core function is to maintain order:

The government: Governments are a key social institutions composed by a ruling group of people entrusted to organize (executive power), produce (legislative power) and enforce (judicial system) the social rules of a society. They also regulate relations with other societies.

The economic and labor system: These institutions provide for the production and distribution of goods and services.

The medical system: These institutions address public health and the maintenance and provision of services to prevent disruptions in social order due to diseases and epidemics.

Examples of institutions whose core function is to establish social values and symbolic meanings:

Mass media: Mass media reproduces circulating symbolic codes and collective ideas in the form of opinions and representations of social actions.

Religion: Religion provides the normative standards of moral behavior by establishing which are the objects, beings and actions that must be considered sacred so they can be respected and protected.


. Deffuant, Guillaume, Amblard, Frederic and Weisbuch, Gérard, (2002), How Can Extremism Prevail? a Study Based on the Relative Agreement Interaction Model

Özev, Muharrem Hilmi1. “Saudi Society and the State: Ideational and Material Basis.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 4, Fall2017, pp. 996-1017. EBSCOhost

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