SOC 103 Lecture Notes - Postcolonialism, Structural Functionalism, Biological Determinism
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SOC103 – Lecture#1 – Sociology and the Study of Society
June 20, 2012
1. What is sociology?
- Social structures
o Formal (Social norms) – we get regulated into these, we are taught to conform. We
participate in social regulation, and reinforcing them, they are not just forced upon
us. We can’t help but reproduce the social norms, and we do it by social regulation.
Criminal justice system
- Social organization
- Social relations of ruling
- Social regulation
2. What is society?
Notes same as above.
3. Origins of social theory
- Scientific inquiry – Plato etc. were the first ones to explore society. Until then there was a
religious explanation to why society was the way it was. These guys challenged that idea,
and asked for proof. This is how scientific inquiry was developed 5000 years ago.
- When the ancient Greek empire died, so did scientific inquiry. It then reappeared in the 9th
century to the 12th century – called the Golden Ages of Spain or the Arab Enlightenment
- Around this time Spain was under the Islamic influence. New ideas were born through
discourses and discussions – algebra etc. were born.
- When the Islamic empire declined in the 1300s, so did scientific inquiry.
- In Europe, there was no scientific inquiry till the 17th century – called the “Enlightenment”.
Before this, the church dominated and didn’t allow for any scientific inquiry.
- We see a shift from monarchy to capitalism in the 1600s – why don’t we have a democratic
government? Why don’t we create our own government?
- In order to get rid of the monarchy, they had to get rid of the church. The power that the
monarchs had was all through religion, their power and position was “god-given”. So they
had to challenge all of that.
- The 17th century is also referred to as the “Age of reason” or the “Age of progress” – looked
at man as a rational being.
- Late 1800s – progression of medicine. They looked at how we can progress the body and
the health. Until then you went to the priest/imam/rabbi for “healing”.
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