Sociology- September 18th 2012
- Sociology can be broken down into three categories.
- 1. A way of thinking about the world, it’s a study of social life.
- 2. The concepts the theories the idea, the ways in which we talk about and study sociology.
Ex) norms, socializations, different methods for sociology- stats, interviews etc.
- 3. The results of the systematic study, what do we know about society, inequality etc.
- Sociology is a perspective
- 1. General patterns- finding out what’s happening in patterns. How des this pattern
of behaviours look like when we look at the general population, by observation,
asking and watching. We are interested in more than one person and what they are
- 2. See the strange in the familiar. We don’t take things as they are. Ex) what is most
important thing in life that we cant live without?? Food. Who makes food? Farmers-
very important job, avg. farm makes just over 100,000/year. PER FAMILY. We value
these people very little and we don’t give them the right worth. Kim Kardashian is
worth 45 million. What does this say??
- 3. Seeing the personal choice in social context. Ex) Guys don’t wear skirts because it
is a cultural norm that just girls wear them. We can choose what we want to wear
but we are constrained to the social norms in many cases. Personal decisions are
made in the context of social norms.
- 4.Marginality and Crisis. People being identified as different; non-white,
homosexual. Crisis refers to transforming society.
- We are going to look at groups not an individual, families, societies, organizations,
and people coming together because we cannot understand human actions from a
personal or individual level.
- How do we as individuals fit into societies?
- Social structure; the way we organize ourselves, the social categories we find
ourselves in; racial, class, sexual categories. The things that live below the surface,
how we organize society. They affect us in huge ways.
- We have the ability to change these circumstances and structures, but we have to do
- Sociology goals: sociology wants to improve society but there are no easy solutions.
Sociology is very good at trying to figure out how to change these unequal
structures. To figure out possible ways of dealing with problems.
- The ways we organize society are not natural conditions. They are decisions that
humans have made over time and are changeable. IMPORTANT
- Critical thinking is the ability and willingness to ask hard and uncomfortable
- Sometimes the things that we believe are going to get in the way of how we think
and our belief on our worldviews.
- We are “trying to expose the man behind the curtain” sometimes we don’t want to
believe what is behind the curtain.
- It’s different than the traditional ways of thinking.
- C Wright Mills wrote a book called the sociological imagination in 1959
- This is one of the starting points in sociology
- Grasping the connection between history and biography
- Allows us to know our place in the world. Opens up the world to us in a different