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What is Sociology.pdf

8 Pages

Course Code
SOCI 100
Chris Mac Kenzie

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Part 1What is SociologyMonday September 15 2014208 PMSocial location consider how growing up identified as a member of a group called females or a group called males affects ourideas of what we should attain in lifeInfluences how we feel about ourselves and how we relate to others in dating and establishing households and workSociologists who use the approach of Macrosociology focuses on the broad features of societyexample if sociologists were to study student debt they would stress that students come from different classes in the social systemStudents from low status families will experience greater difficulties in finding good jobs than students coming from the middle and upper class partly due to lack of cultural capital Conflict theory functionalism and feminism focus on the broader picture examples of the macrosociological approach goal of these theories to examine and interpret large scale social forces that influence peoples conduct in public and private spaces and our reactions to their behavioursMicrosociologists are likely to focus on how groups of university students who come from different social class backgrounds handle the resourches they have relationships family friends where they spend time what they do there language pecking order what people do when they are in the presence of each others companyNatural sciences attempt to understand the world of nature social sciences attempt to understand the social world world of nature contains ordered or lawful relationships that are not obvious but msut be discovered through theoretical advances and controlled observation the ordered relationships of the human or social world are not obvious and requre studyHumans create and recreate their second nature their particular societySeveral theoretical perspectives that help us understand ourselves our society and the countries and nations around usThe social sciences are divided into political science economics anthropology psychology and sociologyPolitical ScienceFocuses on how people govern themselves the various forms of government structures and their relationships to other institutions in societyPolitical scientists may analyze things like voting behaviourEconomics Social science that deals with theory and management of the production distribution and consumption of goodsAnthropology Exceptionphysical anthropology which studies anatomy and biologyExamines the origins of human migration and the development of tools techniques kinships value systems and social relationshipsPsychologyProcesses that occur within the individual primarily concerned with mental processes intelligence emotion perception memorySociologyDisciplined study of human social behaviour investigation of origins classifications institutions and development of human society on a global levelSociology ranges from understanding passing encounters between individuals on the street to understanding global social processesUnlike political sciences and economists sociologists do not concentrate on a single social institutionUnliked psychologists sociologists stress factors external to the individual to determine what influences people The downtoearth sociology box below revisits an old fable about how members of different disciplines perceive the same subject matterAugust Comte 17981857Founder of French postivisim Posivitism theory of knowledge based on experience alone and not on metaphysical speculation or ungrounded philosophical conceptsKnowledge must also be situated in its proper historical contextHuman understanding of the world was initially religious defined by the significance of supernatural forcesAdvanced to a metaphysical stage of abstract principles proceeded to positive or scientific knowledge based on a n empiricalgrasp of the relations between observable phenomenaComte often credited as being the founder of the discipline because he called this new science sociologyGreek logosstudy of socious being with othersKarl Marx 18181883Influenced sociology believed that the engine of human history is class conflict and that capitalism is the highest stage ofhuman development Bourgeoisie controlling class of capitalists or those who own the means to produce wealth capital land factories lockedin conflict with proletariat the epxloited class mass of workers who do not own means of production According to marx struggle can only end when members of the working class unite in revolution and throw off their chains of bondage with classless societyIntroduced one of the major perspectives in sociologyconflict theorymile Durkheim 18581917Identified social integration or the degree to which people are tied to their social group as a key factor in suicidePeople with weaker social ties are more likely to commit suicideExplained why unmarried Protestant males have higher suicide ratesMales are more independent than females unmarried people lack the ties and responsibilites of marriageFreedom comes at a cost loss of social anchors inhibiting the individual from taking hisher lifeEgoistic suicide prevalent in industrial societies dominated by large cities and ideas such as reason science and individualismAltruistic suicide strong social bond actually encouraging suicide can happen when someone kills themselves following the death of a loved one own feelings are so integrated with those of their mate they choose death rather than life without that personAnomic suicide characteristic of industrial capitalist societies when aspirations of wealth become unfulfilled such as economic depressionConcluded that the new individualism or selfishness emerging during the nineteenth century was a characterisitic of capitalism and not pathologicalExpected outcome of a changing society Social facts the patterns of behaviour that characterize a social group community or nationMax Weber 190419051958German sociologist one of the most influential sociologistsRise of captitalism why did some countries adopt it with enthusiasm while others lagged behindReligion may be the key to work only enough to maintain ones usual way of lifeTheorized that all religions except Protestantism encouraged this way of life Calvinism encouraged people to embrace changeProtestantism pushed people to work hard save money investProtestant Ethic spirit of capitalism term used for the readiness to invest capital to make more money Protestantism included the set of ideas that were sufficient to jumpstart capitalismSociology should be valuefree sociologists valuespersonal beliefs about what is good or worthwhile in life and about the way the world ought to be should not affect his or her research Weber wanted objectivity to be the hallmark of sociological workReplication repeating a study to compare secondary results with initial findingsValues have unwittingly influenced research findingsVerstehen by emphasizing we must pay attention to what are called subjective meanings ways in which people interpret theirown behaviourGain a better understanding of other peoples behaviourSymbolic interactionism studies specific behaviours of interacting individuals caught in identifiable facetoface social settings or encountersSymbolic interactionists view symbols things we attach meaning as the basis of social life without symbols no mechanism for perceiving others in terms of relationships Explain order and personal stability using symbols we share with others in our community and define change in terms of the changing symbols associated with particular institutions such as family economy universities Functional AnalysisKnown as functionalism and structural functionalism macrosociological theory that views society as a unit made up of interrelated parts that work togetherWhen all parts of a society fulfill their functions that society is in a normal state If they do not fulfill their functions the society is in an abnormal or pathological stateWe must look at both structure how parts of a society fit together as a whole and function what each part does and how it contributes to societyIf action is intended to help some part of a system manifest function ex tutition doubled to raise faculty salaries better staffLatent positive functions or unintended consequences that help a system adapt ex tuition doubled work of staff and quality of the faculty iproved significantly and increased the universitys postion in top university rankings school flooded with new applicants and expanded its programs on campusLatent dysfunction ex tuition backfired half the student body couldnt afford the increase had to reduce salaries and lostranking in the national rankingValues beliefs of what is right and wrongBourgeoisie proletariats
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