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Lecture 5

SOC231H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Double Consciousness, Anomie, Neo-Feudalism


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC231H5
Professor
Zaheer Baber
Lecture
5

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Emile Durkheim 1858-1917
Unlike Marx, Weber and Dubois: a regular life
Like Marx, Weber and Dubois: concern with conditions for viable societies, social
inequality and social justice
1. The Rules of Sociological Method
Main aim: establish the object of study for sociology: distinct from psychology or
philosophy
Empirical study of social facts
Social Facts:
External constraint
General, not individual
Social Facts: society, a reality sui generis (unique) that cannot be reduced to
individuals
whole is MORE than simply a sum of its parts (salt; water; social structure)
Social facts have their own independent reality, like things, external to
individuals
Example: Language as a social fact
a) external to individuals: no particular individual or group of individuals created it
b) constrains individual speech: through rules of grammar, syntax
c) general, not private: meanings of words, sentences, must be generally, not privately
understood; words have NO intrinsic meaning
Language: unique social quality not reducible to individual users of it
Sociology seeks to explain the existence of social facts by reference to other social
facts, not individual psychology
Example: Suicide (John Alan Lee clip)
The most private, individual, anti-social act influenced by social factors
Variations in the rates of suicide (social fact) can be explained by reference to other
social facts ie. integration or lack of integration of the individual to a social group
(social relationships)
Clear delineation of dependent and independent variables
Dependent Variable: rates of suicide
Independent Variable: Integration and Regulation (Low/High)
Four types of suicide:
Egoistic: low integration
Protestants rather than Catholics
Single males rather than married males
Rates lower in times of national crises such as wars, revolutions
Altruistic: high integration
Social integration is too strong
Reverend Jim Jones in Guyana
Japan: university admissions time
martyrdom: hope of greater good
Anomic: low regulation
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