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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

Module 1: Ch 1 & 2 (Week 1) Ch 1: Sociological Perspective  sociology is the study of human groups and their interactions  sociological perspective a distinct/unique view of sociologists see the world and see the relationships between individuals and larger networks that we live in  looks at human behaviour - in all perspectives (social significance)  American Sociologist: Peter Berger builds on how the sociologists see the world; seeing it in the general way (particular way) and strange (familiar way) o Particular Way - seeing the general in the particular way; looking at unique circumstances/event and seeing the general/larger picture. ex. seeing one homeless person, but you know there are so many more out there o Familiar Way - Seeing things that look familiar, but are they strange? Charles Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination  personal troubles are personal challenges that require individual solutions  social issues are challenges caused by larger social factors that require collective solutions  quality of mind is the term for the ability to view personal circumstance within social context  Ex. failing the midterm; is a personal trouble, however if the whole class fails it is a social issue. The quality of mind refers to the individuals speaking up and addressing the issue of failing if everyone failed so it is recognized as a social issue opposed to a personal trouble only  social imagination was discovered to improve the quality of the mind, to understand the relationship between individual lives and the larger society better; looking in different perspectives to enhance the beauty in life, being more appreciative and more informed about social forces thus your quality of mind improves What Makes You, You? Engaging the Sociological Imagination  agency: the ability to alter their socially constructed lives (everyone has this to some extent)  Five Social Factors: which one influences us the most to define us as a person o Minority Status - being a part of a visible minority group with physical disability, mental disability, lesbian/gay/heterosexual/bisexual; your applying your sociological imagination when you think how you would react when you see such a person o Gender - male or female, Canada and many other countries are patriarchal (rule by the father), men controlling the political and economy. Men still make more than female if you look at records from 97 - 06 o Socio-economic Status - based on income, occupation, education, and area of residence, influences opportunity  ascribed status: attributes (advantages/disadvantages) assigned through birth, i.e. sex, being born in a wealthy/poor family (been given wealth)  achieved status: attributes developed throughout life as a result of effort and skill, i.e. grades, achieving greatness like oprah (Working for your wealth through hardwork) They say people born poor stay poor o Family Structure - influences a child's development of better physical, social/emotional, cognitive, and behavioural wellbeing, require loving parents and adequate income. Don't need very high incomes, that may influence in a negative manner because you need to spend time with the family for their well-being o Urban-Rural Differences - growing up in the city oppose to rural, looking at the world at different perspectives. More factors, access to health, diversity in entertainment, cultural events. As a sociologist, you want view the world via sociological perspective, to understand biases and understand using the general, particular, strange, and familiar ways to determine forces that influence the identity The Origins of Sociology  Chinese Philospher: K'ung fu-tzu (known as Confucius 551-479 BCE)  Sophists (Ancient Greeks) 400 BCE  Socrates (469-399 BCE), his student Plato (427-347 BCE)  Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180)  Muslim Philosopher Al Farabi (870-950)  Italian theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274)  British Play Writer William Shakespeare (1564-1616)  English Philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) *However it was Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) recognized as the first philosopher using the sociology perspective In 1838, August Comte established the term Sociology, now known as the father of sociology. Three Revolutions: The Rise of Sociology (origins of sociology)  Scientific Revolution - sciences should be applied to how the social world works, Comte came up with 3 different stages to show the advances of the mind created different type of societies: o Theological Stage: longest period of thinking for humans and ended during the middle ages (1300) uses religious ways to explain things in life using god as the cause and science view would be god's intentions, and explanations through spiritual and supernatural stuff. Ex. sun rising in the morning and moon at night, moon and sun = gods to lighten the day and tell them when to sleep and wake for hunting. o Metaphysical Stage: "Beyond Physics", a field of philosophy that questioned the teachings of the church, understanding the truth, explaining things through insight and emotion; poets, musicians - understanding the human condition via different ways, i.e. beauty, smells, images from childhood and such. o Physical Stage: During Comte's lifetime, using the science of society is sociology to be great leaders It is hard having only three stages to explain humans, and the last one is more self-serving since it is in his time.  Positivism: theoretical approach that considers all understanding to be based on science via three assumptions:  VERY ANALYTICAL AND QUATITATIVE  physical and social be understood through observation, logic, and experiments; suggests reality is objective and beyond someone's interpretations (objective - knowing facts it's a chair, subjective - adding emotion and by making it a favourite chair) Importantly, these answers are based on science and are objective, there should be no subjective  one day all sciences will be the same, because they are looking at the same thing (reality), there will be no longer be different science divisions  there is no good or bad science, we are just trying to understand the world better  Anti-positivism: theoretical approach that knowledge and understanding cause human subjectivity  VERY QUALITATIVE AND SOCIAL  The social world cannot be understood with numbers and formulas unless they have some significance, how you feel about a mark  all science will not merge, it helps with the physical world but to understand the human condition, we need to look at emotions/feelings  science cannot be separated from values (something right, moral)  Quantitative and Qualitative Sociology: Quantitative looks at behaviour that can be measured (# of divorces, crime rate etc), Qualitative is the behaviour that cannot be counted but teaches us a great deal about ourselves (the emotional effects of divorce, losing a friend etc)  Political Revolution - new view of the world separate from the teachings of the church, society o Machieavelli: The Prince (1513) human behaviour is motivated by self-interest and greedy for material gain, anyone could be a prince and noble, birth shouldn't affect it o Rene Descartes: "Cogito ergo sum," or I think, therefore I am. We are masters of our own destiny was inherently revolutionary o Thomas Hobbes: People driven by 2 primary passions: fear of death and the desire for power. Infamous, said our lives were solitary, poor, nasty, the true nature of humankind is self-preservation and life can be prolonged by collaborating to join powers o John Locke: famous, ideas were based on experience, and people are born as empty canvases (one of their defining characteristics of the sociological perspective) To understand the world better and increase our knowledge, we need more info via science and experiments o Jean-Jacques Rousseau: an individual's desire is solitary and self-centered, but they realized by working together they could achieve more even though they lost some independence All this promoted individual rights and social responsibility, equality, ideology of democracy, these ideas did challenge others perspectives/ideas causing the American and French revolution, but it restructured our societies today allowing the establishment of sociology  Industrial Revolution - changed aspects of life: family structure, how people made a living, people's dreams/thoughts/aspirations (technological advancements). Did cause some social problems such as child labour, poverty, malnourishment, crime rates, shows how humans live their lives. Many people moved from rural to urban cities. Macro and Micro Approaches to Sociology  Macro sociology looks at the big picture, the society as a whole and addresses them  Micro sociology looks at individuals and certain small groups to look at the social relevance Early European Macro theorists:  Karl Marx (1818-1883) - philosopher, economist, political scientist, historian, sociologist; like Hobbes, people have unlimited wants but unequal ability to achieve them so human relationships have imbalances.  Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) - believed people wanted to work together for benefits, thus when the industrial revolution came around it caused many issues because there was no social integration and regulation. Focused on the decline in moral society and on the institutions of religion and education (he thought he could lessen it)  Max Weber (1864-1920) - social world becoming more rationalized, doing things to an extent that benefits them, Doing readings that are assigned only for tests, not anything extra. Work analysis on bureaucracy and religion. Early American Micro theorists:  George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) - individual mind and self via communication, becomes ourselves through social interactions. Symbolic Interactionism: focused on the individual oppose to status, and social interactions  Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929) - people define themselves by how other people view them, we shape ourselves to how we think others view us to be  Herbert Blumer (1900-1987) - how people create their sense of self within the larger social world, also continued what Mead stared at U of Chicago Sociology in Canada  started at McGill in 1924  four defining features that distinguish it from American Sociology Canada's Geography and Regionalism  the geography has influenced Canada's sociology to survive over time, maintaining development/maintenance through cold winters, and outside pressures (i.e. U.S)  Regionalism: development of the country, and unique cultural influence (French & English) Focus on Political Economy  interactions of politics, government, and governing and the social and cultural constitution of markets, institutions, and actors  First discovered by Harold A. Innis through the fur trades and cod fisheries sending raw materials to the European countries and then getting processed goods (furniture) Canadianization Movement  influenced by American s
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