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SOC 1101 (800)
Lecture 1

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 1101
Professor
Sam Alvaro
Lecture
1

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C Wright mills
Micro& Macro
-personal troubles and the public issues.
Rosa Parks: Not be able to sit in the front of the bus (personal trouble)-----> civil rights
movement./racist (public issues)
Chapter 1 Understanding the sociological imagination
The sociological perspective
Sociology is the systematic study of human groups and their interactions
The sociological perspective is the unique way in which sociologists see
our world and can dissect 详详详详 the dynamic relationships between
individuals and the larger social network in which we all live.
Charles Wright Mills and the sociological imagination
C. W. Mills suggested that people who do not or cannot recognize the
social origins and character of their problems may be unable to respond to
these problems effectively.
Personal troubles: personal challenges that require individual solutions
Social issues: challenges caused by larger social factors that require
collective solutions
Quality of mind: Mill's term for the ability to view personal circumstance
within a social context
Social imagination: Mill's term for the ability to perceive 详 详 how dynamic
social forces influence individual lives.
Cheerful robots: people who are unwilling or unable to see the social
world as it truly exists.
Peter Berger: the sociological perspective is the ability to view the world
from two distinct yet complementary perspective: seeing the general in the
particular and seeing the strange in the familiar.
Engaging the sociological imagination
Agency: the assumption that individuals have the ability to alter their
socially constructed lives
Structure: the network of relatively stable opportunities and constraints 详 详
influencing individual behaviours
Five factors to determine who you are
1. Minority status
2. Gender
3. Socio-economic status (A combination of variables [e.g. income, education,
occupation, etc. ]used to rank people into a hierarchical 详详详详详 structure )
4. Family structure
A. Ascribed status 详 详 详 详 : attributes (advantages and disadvantages)
assigned at birth (e.g. sex) / being born to a wealthy family has nothing to do
with an infant's individual qualities, and being born rich usually means a

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person will have opportunities for a post-secondary education and material
pleasures.
B. Achieved status: attributes developed throughout life as a result of
effort and skill (e.g. course grades)
5. Urban-rural differences
The Origins of Sociology
--Confucius, Sophists, Socrates, Plato...
--Auguste Comte coined Sociology.
Three revolutions: the rise of sociology
--The scientific revolution: Auguste Comte considered himself a scientist and
believed that the techniques used in the hard sciences to explain the physical
world should be applied to the social world as well.
--Auguste Comte: Law of Three Stages
1. Theological Stage. During this stage, people would explain what they
could see through the actions of spiritual or supernatural beings.
2. Metaphysical Stage: [is a field of philosophy dedicated to an
understanding of truth and the relationship between mind and matter] was a
period during which people began to question everything and to challenge the
power and teachings of the Church.
3. Positive Stage: The world would be interpreted through a scientific
lens---that society would be guided by the rules of observation,
experimentation, and logic.
Positivism: A theoretical approach that considers all understanding to be
based on science.
1. There exists an objective and knowable reality
2. Since all sciences explore the same, singular reality, over time all
sciences will become more alike.
3. There is no room in science for value judgments.
Anti-Positivism: A theoretical approach that considers knowledge and
understanding to be the result of human subjectivity 详详详.
1. While hard science may be useful for exploring the physical world, the
social world cannot be understood solely through numbers and formulas.
2. All sciences will not merge over time and no single methodological
approach (i.e. science) can reach a complete understanding of our world.
3. Science cannot be separated from our values (cultural assessments
评 评
that identify something as right, desirable, and moral)
Quantitative and Qualitative Sociology
--Quantitative sociology: the study of behaviours that can be measured (e.g.
income levels)
--Qualitative sociology: the study of non-measurable, subjective behaviours

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(e.g. the effects of divorce)
The political revolution (Renaissance and Enlightenment 详详详详详详详详详
)
--Rene Descartes "I think, therefore I am."/ Thomas Hobbes "people were
driven by two primary passions: fear of death and the desire for power"
--John Locke "People are born like blank slates/ the only way to increase our
knowledge is to gather more information about the material world through
science and experimentation"/ Jean-Jacques Rousseau "prior to organized
society, human beings existed in a natural state whereby an individual's desire
was solitary and self-centred"
The industrial revolution
Macro- and Microsociology
--Early European macrotheorists: Marx, Durkheim, Weber: they are more
interested in looking at system-wide phenomena than they are in exploring
how individuals related to the larger social system.
--Marx: all human relationships in capitalist economies have power
imbalances
--Durkheim: people wanted to work together for collective benefit.
--Webber: the social world is becoming increasingly rationalized over time;
people are becoming more focused on selecting the most efficient means to
accomplish any particular end
--Early American Microtheorists: Mead. Cooley, Blumer
--Mead: symbolic interactionism: a perspective asserting that people and
societies are defined and created through the interactions of individuals
--Cooley: people define themselves at least in part by how others view them
--Blumer: people create their sense of self within the larger social world
Sociology in Canada
Geography and Regionalism
Focus on Political Economy
Canadianization Movement
Radical Nature
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