New kids on the block.
What’s science: the sociology of the social world is obtained from research: Scientific method.
The scientific approach cannot answer all questions… science cannot handle ultimate questions:
Is it possible to lead a meaningful life?? SCIENCE HAS NO ANSWER.
Is there an unmoved mover? a first cause
What happens to us when we die?
Why is there something instead of nothing?
Do we have a soul and is that soul immortal?
Science deals with factual questions: imperical questions EVIDENCE obtained from used scientific
Science & experience:
what appears to be the first cause
13.7 million years ago big bang
Traces of the big bang
Steven Hawkings: prior to the big bang nothing existed.
“ something comes from nothing”
Religion: a first cause was God.
What came before the big bang? you have to imply RELIGION
Experience shapes are perceptions how we see reality … EXPERIENCE (culture)
Your values help what problems you investigate: like.. inequality
The techniques will also filter the way you see the world.
^lack of objectivity, presence of bias
2 types of sociological studies:
Descriptive: divide into 2 parts
- Static (specific point & time)(e.g photoraph)
Static examples: infant mortality at4.92/ thousand births (Canada’s infant mortality rate
in 2011) (murders in Toronto in 2009: 62) (population in Scarborough in 2010: 593)
*WEALTH is the reason for infant mortality rate.. middle class people & wealthier people have
lower infant mortality rates.*
- Trend analysis (what takes place over a period of time)
Trend examples: (1952-2002 -> divorce rate increasing)
Explanatory : try to explain why things happen
Explain variables -> example: how can we explain the university attendance?? (parent’s income)
People who live in cities are more likely to commit suicide than people in small towns..
When the economy improves, crime rates reduce. It is a consistent cause of crime.
The death penalty was demolished in Canada b/c death penalty does not prevent murder.
Clifford Olsen > killed 12 children
Social policy: jobs that work with the gov’t
Rational policy: evidence based policy
Social accounting: can often be found in the census form
An aging society- people 65 and over has become a larger proportion WHY?
- People live longer
- Live expectancy is increasing
- Baby boom -> demographers
- Boomers: 1945-1955 birth rate started to decline produced a population bulge.
- Pensions are growing in Europe
- No longer mandatory retirement age at 65
- You can ONLY collect gov’t pensions at the age of 67
The building blocks of sociological research:
- Sociologists use tools;
Concept: used to identify similar processes and things. (album called Wall: songs like:
momma’s gonna put all her fears into you, mama’s gonna make your life come true)
concept: mother, none.. PINK FLOYD: Alienation: powerlessness, meaninglessness, self-
estrangement (a concept that stands for something has sub concept).. social class:
occupation + education + , roles, norms.
- variable is a concept
ALL SCIENCES HAVE THEIR OWN CONCEPTS
Variable & concepts are interchangeable
Hypothesis: explanatory of 2 variables or