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University of Waterloo
SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

SOC #1 [Type text] Wednesday September 12, 2012 Sociology: systematic study of human groups and their interactions Sociological perspective: unique way which sociologists see our world and can dissect the dynamic relationships between individuals and the larger social network we live in Charles Wright Mills The sociological imagination - sociologists have their own perspective of situations - developing an appreciation of how individual challenges are influenced by larger social forces Personal troubles - result from individual struggles that change/shape us Social issues - caused by larger social factors The ‘trick’ is to understand how personal troubles may be due to larger social issues Quality of mind - one’s ability to look beyond personal circumstances and into social context Peter Berger Seeing the general in the particular is the ability to look at seemingly unique events (particular) and then recognizing the larger (general) features involved Ex. Homeless person Normal person: I feel pity. Sociologist: Why is he there? Mental hospital funding cut back, factories closed down Think about what is familiar and see it as strange What makes you, you? Agency refers to the idea that each of us has, to some extent, the ability to alter our socially constructed lives. Structure is the network of relatively stable opportunities and constraints influencing our individual behaviors. Frames what behaviors are acceptable due to structure of society. Engaging your Sociological Imagination Our perception of ourselves and others are the products of many factors: 1. Minority Status 2. Gender – frames possibilities/opportunities 3. Socioeconomic status (working, middle class) 4. Family Structure 5. Urban-Rural Differences Quantitative vs Qualitative Sociology Quantitative Sociology - work with numbers - measurable behavior - positivist in nature: if you develop an understanding of a problem in society you have the ability to understand variables that there will be an actual truth, we just have to discover the truth - study huge problems in society ex. Crime rates overtime - surveys Qualitative Sociology - a
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