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Sociology 100 Notes.docx

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Kenneth Caine

Sociologists notice social patterns o Personal experiences are affected by our class, ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation o Research enables us to discuss social issues in an informed and critical manner o Difference between sociology and journalism: strong research component as opposed to just commenting on what we see or what people tell us Sociology is a social science o Shares common interests with other social sciences such as psychology, anthropology, and political science (Table 1.1) o Distinguished itself from other disciplines through its history, vocabulary and tools What is sociology? o Social science that studies the development, structure, and functioning of human society o Involves looking for and looking at social patterns in social variable, social institutions and social interactions. Why study sociology? o Achieve a greater understanding of The social world Ones self Others *Dr* Lupe Fiasco is a sociologist socially conscious rap o Ghetto Story Social issues Surroundings affect on a person and their future Structural factors that lead to certain outcomes (African American males) Challenging the ideas of control over us with the fact that you can make change The sociological imagination o C. Wright Mills Connection between how society works and how it works in terms of our personal loves Connect societal issues to personal troubles Larger issues and history shape the context within out troubles arise Consequences of lack of sociological imagination o Henry Giroux Social issues become viewed as private problems unconnected to the larger forces Suffering of individuals becomes personalized ones own fault of just another persons doing Apathy, sense of failure, loss of language to express concerns The first sociologists o Confucius, Chinese philosopher (551-479) Role modeling in leadership o Ibn Khaldun, Arab Scholar (1332-1406) An introduction to history (Muqaddimah) Societies and their histories, cultures, economies The development of modern Western sociology o Germany, France, and England during the 1800s Developed as a response to dramatic social changes as a consequence of industrialization E.g. urbanization, population increases, changing economies and politics French revolution protest/power Industrial revolution economic Early Sociologists o Auguste Comte French philosopher (1798-1857) Came up with the term Sociology Founder of sociology / first sociologist Sociology could discover laws of human social behavior and help solve societys problems o Harriet Martineau (1802-1876, British) Elements: Used Comtes work true science of human nature Studied religion, politics, childrearing, slavery, immigration in categories of race, class and gender Call for equality of women / womens rights movement Wrote Society in American, an analysis of social customs she observed while travelling in USA in 1834 Wrote first soc methods book on participant observation o Karl Marx (1818-1883, German) Marx, long with Friedrich Engels, founded modern communism Conflict was all about social class Conflict between the bourgeoisie (the capitalists) and the proletariat (the workers) The economic organization of society is the most important influence on what humans think and how they behave (political economy) o Herbert Spencer (1820-1903, British) Influenced by biologist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and his theory of evolution Most people believe that Darwin coined the term survival of the fittest but Spencer actually used the term to justify social inequalities Essentially it was his belief that those with wealth and power deserved it, because they were the fittest members of society o Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German) o Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929, American) o Emile Durkheim (1858-1917, French) Created the term social fact Viewed society as an entity larger than the sum of its parts structural functionalism Social facts are patterned ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that exist outside or anyone individual but exert social control over people Three characteristics of every social fact: o Developed prior to and separate from you as an individual o Seen as a characteristic of a particular group o Involves a constraining or coercing force that pushes individuals into acting in a particular way o E.G. behaviors Suicide In the book Suicide (1897), Durkheim treated suicide as a social fact o Certain groups were more likely to commit suicide: officers, Protestant, single people, and rich people o Social forces leading to suicide Suicide explained as egoism, altruism, anomie, fatalism Low solidarity: egoistic and anomic suicide (anomie = lack of social norms, normalness) ex Inuit people who are nor longer speaking their language, hunting, etc. things that connect them to their culture High solidarity: altruistic and fatalistic suicide Brym, Chapter 1 o Georg Simmel (1858-1918, French) o Max Weber (1864-1920, German) Described how Protestantism and the religions values towards hard work, accumulation of capital, and frugality led to the development of modern capitalism Increasing rationalization of society (bureaucracy) Study social action though the means people attach to their actions Verstehen understandinterpretive sociology o George Herbert Mead (1863-1931, American) Mead examinied socialization, the development of the self, and social roles (social psychology) Herbert Blumer (1900-1987) symbolic interaction Canadian Irving Goffman (1922-1982) o Concept of Total Institutions (One flew over the cuckoos nest movie) o Robert Park (1864-1944, American) o W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963, American) o Robert K. Merton (1910-2003) Enhanced the functionalist perspective: 3 different types of functions that any structure can produce: Manifest functions: intended and easily recognized o Ex: post secondary education: this provides students with the skills an knowledge needed to find a profitable career in order to become productive, self-sufficient citizens Latent functions: unintended and not easily seen o This provides a social network that will make the search for employment and a marriage partner easier Latent dysfunctions: unintended and produce socially negative consequences o From a typical left-wing perspective, this reinforces class distinctions Ex: Elite Junior Hockey o Manifest function: produces NHL players o Latent function: teaches teamwork skills at a high level, strong sense of family o Latent Dysfunctions: Injuries, aggressiveness, violence and sexual assault, drug abuse o TABLE 1.2 o Sociology by Approach Structural functionalism Uses an organic or biological analogy for society Identifies the various structures of society (the family) Describes the functions the structure performs to maintain the entire social system Social cohesion Conflicts dont work well with structural functionalism The conflict perspective Conflict: exists in all large societies Class: has existed in every society Contestation: functions can be contested by asking, who benefits from this function? Change: society either will or should change Symbolic Interactionism Looks at the meaning (the symbolic part) of the daily social interaction of individuals o Micro-sociology Focuses on an examination of an individual or small groups o Macro-sociology Involves an examination of society as a whole and its institutions o Sociology by Audience o Professional sociology: highly specific, aim of applying it to a particular problem of intellectual question o Critical sociology: is considered to be the conscience of professional sociology pointed questions. Michel Poucault (
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