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Sociology – Yesterday and Today
Sociological Questions – 2 Characteristics
1. They raise the level of enquiry from the particular (individual) events to a more
abstract (general) level, where we can look for recurring patterns of behaviour.
(What is the average male or female doing in society?)
2. Each sociological question focuses on an issue that involves the individual person
in group life. (Looks at race, age, occupation etc. to determine group or average)
Sociology: The scientific study of social behaviour and interaction in human groups
(Between groups and in groups)
Macro Sociology: study of large-scale phenomenon and big organizations (OC Transpo
Micro Sociology: study of interactions within and between small groups (Two single
parent families coming together)
The First Sociological Questions
Changes in Social Context of First Sociologists:
1. Industrial Revolution – moved to a more urban industrial society,
impacting moving of population
2. Movement of Population – if a job was needed it was necessary to travel
to the urban areas and change your lifestyle.
3. Scientific break-through – brought about a notion that nature can
somehow be understood and controlled.
Forefathers of Modern Sociology:
Auguste Conte (1798-1857)
- Wanted to see if we could apple scientific tool to study society
- How can we maintain society as a stable, harmonious whole?
- Social Statics: the nature and interplay of mechanism that contribute
to stability in society:
1. Common language to communicate what is acceptable.
2. Shared religion/beliefs to hold society together.
3. Division of labour to create interdependence (forcing one another
to depend on each other and create stability).
- Social Dynamics: what contributes to the evolution and progress of
societies over time:
1. Theological Stage: everything is explained through religion
2. Metaphysical Stage: Abstract speculation is used to for explanation
3. Positive Stage: A more scientific approach using analysis for