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The Sociology Post

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and social networks

17th March 2020

Covid-19, the Coronavirus, has rightly concerned us all, and governments worldwide have been forced to listen to the medical and scientific experts. What has not been recognised, however, is how much of the argument depends on sociological ideas, and on ideas from social network analysis in particular.

Functionalism Reconsidered

26th September 2019

Functionalism has had a bad press. It is routinely criticised for its conservative implications and for its misunderstanding of social processes. However, criticism is often based on a lack of understanding about what functionalism really is. Few critics actually read the key writings on the subject. Perhaps it is time to reassess functionalism and to consider whether it might have a lot to tell us about how societies operate.

Structures, Subjectivity, and Virtual Reality

30th March 2018

In an earlier posting I discussed the idea of the 'social mind' and the way in which such a collective consciousness' must be understood as dispersed to and contained in the minds of the individual members of a society. This provides us with a way of understanding social structures, seen by Durkheim as external and constraining factors in social life. In my work on social structure I showed that the institutions and relations that comprise a social structure must be seen as 'embodied structures', but I did not properly specify how such individual phenomena relate to collective structures.