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Introduction to SOC 101 notes pt 1

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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

Introduction to SOC 101 Ravelli, Bruce and Michelle Webber (2009) Exploring Sociology, Pearson Canada, Toronto Sociology study of everything that people do as part of a group Major areas of sociological inquiry - sociological theory - culture - socialization -> become the person that you are - groups and organizations ->leaders - crime and deviance -> who is a criminal - social stratification and class - global stratification - race and ethnic relations - sex and gender - religion -> how religion works in society Charles Wright Mills Sociologists think about: (1) Symbolic interactions Small interactions, what guys doing, what girls doing, going into a prison and interviewing them, not interested in big things (2) Functionalist makes sure institutions are working, education, jail, systems, society is functioning basically how it should (3) Conflict approach Those who are well off do well and those who are disadvantaged dont do very well, middle class have good resources do well, middle class families tend to produce middle class kids, disadvantage families tend to produce disadvantaged kids, questions healthcare, education, etc (4) Feminists Disadvantage or advantage due to gender The Sociological Imagination -Developing an appreciation of how individual challenges are influenced by larger social forces We all have opportunities and constraints put upon us by the larger society, we are part of the larger society (way of thinking) Peter Berger Seeing the general in the particular - when we see a social phenomena, we try to dig deeper ex/ homeless because they cant get a job, mentally ill, problem, no medication Think about what is familiar and see it as strange Ex/ what happens in a coffee shop -> whats really going on? Business meetings, etc Engaging Your Sociological Imagination -Our perception of ourselves and other are the products of many factors, for ex/ 1. Minority Status 2. Gender 3. Socioeconomic Status 4. Family Structure 5. Urban-Rural Differences How have factors such as these affected the person your have become today The Historical Development of Sociology The Scientific Revolution: 1650-1800 Auguste Comte (the father of sociology) Hard science should be applied to the social world Law of 3 Stages Theological religious outlook, the world is an expression of God Metaphysical a period of questioning and challenging Positive rules of observation, experimentation and logic Positivism and Anti-Positivism Positivism 1. There exists an objective knowable reality 2. Singular explanation 3. Value-free Anti-Positivism - Rejects each of the positivists assumptions Quantitative versus Qualitative Sociology Quantitative Sociology - Tends to be positivist in nature - Measurable behaviour - Eg. Crime rates over time Qualitative Sociology - Anti-positivist in nature - Non-Measurable subjective behaviours - Eg. Experiences of living in poverty The Political Revolution: Renaissance to the Enlightenment -Machiavelli -Descartes -Lock -Rousseau Promotion of individual rights and social responsibility, equality of opportunity and the political ideology of democracy -The Industrial Revolution: around 1750 -Often associated with technological advancement -Profound social changes -Resulted in new social problems -Macrosociology refers to attempting to understand society as a whole -Marx and Durkhein (quantitative sociologist) -Microsociology refers to attempting to understand individual or small group dynamics Seeing the World Theoretically -Theory is a statement that tries to explain how facts or events are related -Develop skills necessary to see the world from alternative perspectives -Each theorist offers unique insights into our social world -Objective (what we decide) vs. Subjective reality (how people understand their own world/how does their community work = subjective) -Epistemology, ways of knowing Classical Sociological Theory (1600-1750) -Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) -people are responsible for creating their social worlds -Natural state: how humans existed ..look this up in slideshow -John Locke (1632-1794) -God was responsible for the emergence of society and government -Tabula rasa: people are born as blank slates -Right to self-preservation and to private property -Individual autonomy and freedom -Charles Montesquieu (1689-1755) -People never existed outside, or without society -Humans created and defined by society -Laws define the spirit of the people; the Republic, the Monarchy, and Despotism -Appreciation for cultural diversity .look this up in slideshow -Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) -The Social Contract.look this up The Birth of Sociology -society exists on its own -Society produces the individual -Individuals simply fill positions -Smallest unit of social analysis is the family -Parts of society are interrelated and interdependent -Change is a threat -Social institutions are beneficial -Modern social changes create fear and anxiety -Emphasis on seemingly irrational factors -Return to social hierarchies and healthy competition Classical social theories Functionalism Symbolic interactionism Conflict Feminist theory Classical sociological theory Functionalism- social world is a dynamic system of interrelated and interdependent parts - They all work together to construct a while structured society - social structures exist to help people fulfill their wants and desires - human society is similar to an organism, when it fails to work together the System will fail - society must meet the needs of the majority - Dominant theoretical paradigm between the late 1920s and the early 1960s Herbert Spencer - survival of the fittest justifies why only the strong should survive - Social Darwinism draws upon Darwins idea of natural selection; Laissez-faire approach( opposes regulation of or interference with natural processes) Emile Durkheim******* Founder of modern sociology - Human action originates in the collective rather than the individual - Behaviour is driven by the collective conscience - Social Facts are general social features that exist on their own and their and are independent of individual manifestations - Anomie is a state of normlessness that results from the lack of clear goals and creates feelings of confusion that may ultimately result in higher suicide rates - Mechanic solidarity describes early societies based on similarities and independence - Organic Solidarity describes later societies organized around interdependence and the increasing division of labour Talcott Parsons
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