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SOC100 LEC1.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga

Canadian Sociology Distinctive Touches th  Sociology began in the early 20 century  Teaching and research began The Sociological Perspective Lecture What is Sociology? Benefits of the Sociological Perspective How did Sociology develop? Why is Sociology an important tool for the future Definition of Sociology  Sociology is the systematic study of human society  It focuses primarily on the influence of social relationships on people’s attitudes and behaviours and on how societies are established and changed  At the heart of sociology is a special point of view called the sociological perspective  Free Will – isn’t free will that we choose, but social forces around us that we face in our life, ex: aboriginal individual , unemployed, not free will to be unemployed, but due to social forces and constraints (high unemployment rate, discrimination) social forces. The Sociological Perspective *Seeing the general in the particular (Peter Berger)  Sociologists identify general social patterns in the behaviour of particular individuals. Social forces affect us *seeing the strage in the familiar  Giving up the idea that human behaviour is simply a matter of what people decide to do  Understanding that society shapes our lives *seeing personal choice in social context  The power of society to shape even our most private choises  Step out and look at it from third person (diff perspective)  Ex: Durkheim on Suicide o Male, sociology pioneer o Looked at suicide, showed that strong evidence how social evidence rounds people/ integrates or lack of influences their decision to commit suicide. He found that categories with strong social ties, family ties, religious ties, involved people have much lower levels of committing suicide then do people who are much more introverted, individualistic in nature, much more aren’t so involved or integrated into social networks, much more sucicide rates  Women’s child-bearing o Women’s choice in North America o In many parts of the world it isn’t choice, it is the social forces. Lack of education, lack of contraception etc, this is how different societies affect it o Eating and walking isn’t a big deal in NA, but in Tokyo it is weird for people to eat while walking o Going beyond cultural biases and seeing the world as a bigger place *Seeing Sociologically: Marginality and Crisis  People at the margins of social life are aware of social patterns that others rarely think about  We as Americans think we are doing the things the ‘right way’, but the rest of the world does it differently, we need to learn how they do it, why they do it and learn to accept it  Going further than the squar
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