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Lecture 1

SOCI 350 Lecture 1: SOCI 350B-Lecture Notes

19 Pages
151 Views
Winter 2015

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCI 350
Professor
Erica Mc Collum
Lecture
1

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SOCI 350B
September 11th 2015
Overview
Sociological Theory
Background/theoretical perspectives of Durkheim
Rules of the sociological method & social facts
Sociological Theory
WHAT
Accounts of the world
Sets of propositions & generalizations that interpret & explain reality
Working explanations
Relation between observation & speculation
Lenses
WHY
Based in systematic observations and thought
Explanations subject to critique, falsification, & modification
Embedded in larger conversations & projects of knowledge constructing
Multiple understandings of what sociological theory entails
Durkheim
One of the founders of sociology
France (1858-1917)
Theoretical Perspective
Collective>Individual
Action guided by collective or cultural constraints
Positivism
Moral purpose of sociology , prescriptions for society
Influential in functionalism, position, & cultural society
1
View of Society
Society is Sui Generis  more than the sum of its parts
Exists prior to the individual instead of being created by autonomous actors
Social facts
Collective consciousness
Collective representations
Rules of the Sociological Method
1)What is Durkheim saying in this first paragraph?
Need to be objective in order to understand society
Can be thought through/investigated
2) what kind of vision for sociology is Durkheim pointing to?
Social Facts
“Manners of acting, thinking, & feeling that are external to the individual which are
invested with a coercive power by virtue of which they exercise control over them”
Ex. habits of action (givern to us by society)
Independent & external existence (not independent on the individual)
Coercive power constraints that assert themselves when people try to resist them
September 14th 2015
Durkheim
Overview
Review of Social facts
Social facts and the methods of sociology
Division of Labour in Society
Types of social solidarity
Measuring social solidarity
Mechanical social solidarity
“It is a condition of the geroup repeated in individuals because it imposes itself upon them. It is
in each part because is in the whole, but far from being in the whole because it is in the parts…
An outburst of collective emotion in a gathering does not merely express the sum total of what
individual feelings share in common, but is something of a very different order.. if all hearts beat
in unison, that is not
oSocial facts act on the individual not so much the other way around… (p. 208)
oSocial facts-refracted through individuals in different ways
oValues and norms that people are enacting
2
Social facts
Resistant to purposive change
oExistence beyond any individual
oThe will of many or this slow process over time
Degrees of consolidation
oMany of the social facts are soiclaized into us and become second nature within
our habits, in terms of fashion or housing styles-crystallized social facts
How is this a social fact?
Money –as a social fact exists besides from our actions
Marriage- norm of society, at a certain age, that you are supposed to do. Social facts can
change by a confluence of factors, value commitments in society and social action,
cohabitation would be the change in this social fact
Vancouver Canuck Riot- social current- mob mentality that grabbed people, even though
this had a short existence, imposes on the individuals that didn’t want to riot, it imposes
itself on the individual whether they wanted to act that way or not.
Sociology and social facts
Helps to define sociology as its own science
“Since they consist of representations and actions, trhey cannot be confused with
organic phenomena nor with psychical phenomena, which have no existence ave in and
through individual consciousness. Thu s they constitute a new species and to them must
be exclusively assigned the term social” (p. 205)
Objectivity and ascendancy over the individual
Observing social facts
Social facts as things
Define subject matter by common external characteristics and include all phenomena which
corresponds to this definition
Observe social facts in a form isolated from the individual manifestations
oDurkheim suggests that we use statistics-the differences will cancel each other
out
Explanation of social facts
Study the cause that produces the social fact and the function that it fulfills separately
“the determining cause of a social fact must be sought among antecedent social facts
and not among the states of the individual consciousness…
[Additionally]
3

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Description
SOCI 350B th September 11 2015 Overview Sociological Theory Backgroundtheoretical perspectives of Durkheim Rules of the sociological method social facts Sociological Theory WHAT Accounts of the world Sets of propositions generalizations that interpret explain reality Working explanations Relation between observation speculation Lenses WHY Based in systematic observations and thought Explanations subject to critique, falsification, modification Embedded in larger conversations projects of knowledge constructing Multiple understandings of what sociological theory entails Durkheim One of the founders of sociology France (18581917) Theoretical Perspective Collective>Individual Action guided by collective or cultural constraints Positivism Moral purpose of sociology , prescriptions for society Influential in functionalism, position, cultural society 1View of Society Society is Sui Generis more than the sum of its parts Exists prior to the individual instead of being created by autonomous actors Social facts Collective consciousness Collective representations Rules of the Sociological Method 1)What is Durkheim saying in this first paragraph? Need to be objective in order to understand society Can be thought throughinvestigated 2) what kind of vision for sociology is Durkheim pointing to? Social Facts Manners of acting, thinking, feeling that are external to the individual which are invested with a coercive power by virtue of which they exercise control over them Ex. habits of action (givern to us by society) Independent external existence (not independent on the individual) Coercive power constraints that assert themselves when people try to resist them th September 14 2015 Durkheim Overview Review of Social facts Social facts and the methods of sociology Division of Labour in Society Types of social solidarity Measuring social solidarity Mechanical social solidarity It is a condition of the geroup repeated in individuals because it imposes itself upon them. It is in each part because is in the whole, but far from being in the whole because it is in the parts An outburst of collective emotion in a gathering does not merely express the sum total of what individual feelings share in common, but is something of a very different order.. if all hearts beat in unison, that is not oSocial facts act on the individual not so much the other way around (p. 208) oSocial factsrefracted through individuals in different ways oValues and norms that people are enacting 2
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