SOCA01 – Intro to Sociology 1 September 13, 2012
What is Sociology?
- Tepperman, Albanese, Curtis:
1. Sociology is a study of social behavior in human societies.
- Focuses more on individual behaviour
- Emphasis on agency, current in sociology of the 2000s
- Social cause neo-liberalism and rational-choice theory
1. Economic policy – a doctrine that believes that markets should be left free and that
government should not regulate or if they do, should be regulated with the corporations
1. Sociology is a study of social relations, created in an interaction of agency, social
structure and culture.
- Instead of focusing on each team member individually, focusing on social relations and how the
team works together.
1. Purposeful human action.
- Social structure:
1. A relatively stable network of social relations that enable and constrain individual
1. Ideas (understanding, values, norms) about society.
Do we really need Sociology?
- Common-sensical explanations of social life are usually:
o Untested (their own experience applies to everyone in society, i.e. People from abusive
families believe this is “normal”)
o Marred by voluntaristic bias (People with good idea, attitudes, and values have good
o These are usually not accurate and require research to prove (sociology)
- Sociological knowledge is:
o Systematically tested in research, and
o Aware that events are shaped not onl