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SOC Lecture – September 18th.docx

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Christian O.Caron

SOC Lecture – September 18 th Sociological knowledge and science Sociology can help us find out where we fit into society as individuals and how we can make society fit us. Babbie: sociology is the study of our rules for living together, what they are, how they arise, and how they change. - Recursive quality to human life that makes anything we know tentative. (Things are not static so you have to keep doing things to stay current. Things are always dynamic). - More pressing need for sociological insights today than any other time in history. Human inquiry -Uses casual and probabilistic reasoning -Tradition & authority – provide us with starting points, but should not be the end. Errors in inquiry: -Inaccurate observations -Overgeneralization -Selective observation -Illogical reasoning Science is about meticulously controlling for these errors and goes beyond tradition and authority. Sociology and common sense -In the first place sociology, unlike common sense makes an effort to subordinate itself to the rigorous rules of responsible speech. -Second, there is a size of the field from which the material for sociological thinking is drawn. -Third, sociology and common sense differ in the way that each makes sense of human reality in terms of how they understand and explain events and circumstance. (Intentions- us vs. not). -Finally, the power of common sense depends on its self-evident character: that is, not to question its precepts and to be self-confirming in practice. Characteristics of a critical thinker Independence of mind - A commitment and disposition favorable to autonomous thinking i.e. thinking for oneself Intellectual curiosity - The disposition to wonder about the world Intellectual courage - The willingness to evaluate all ideas, beliefs, or viewpoints fairly, and the courage to take a position. Intellectual humility - Awareness of the limit of one’s knowledge Intellectual empathy - Being conscious of the need to put oneself in the place of others in order to understand them. Intellectual perseverance - The willingness to pursue intellectual insight and truths in spite of difficulties, obstacles, and frustrations. Reflexive disposition - Awareness that one’s own approach is fallible. Sociological research is undertaken with the objective of: - Describing - Understanding - Influencing or improving the social world in which we live Foundation of social science Science is about 1) logical (theory) and 2) observation (methods) Study of Social Regularities – social research aims to find patterns of regularity in social life Study of Aggregates Language of Att
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