May 14 , 2013
SOC102H1F LECTURE TWO
Basic discipline of Sociology;
PartA: Basic discipline of Sociology.
1. August Comte: (mid 1800s)
1) Father of Sociology:
Auguste Comte was the first to develop the concept of "sociology."
2) Came up with the idea “Sociology is a natural science of society.”
2. Two revolutions
1) The scientific revolution (16th c.)
Encouraged the use of evidence and systematic method to substantiate theories;
Rationality and observation replaced religious faith;
All theory based on observation;
2)The industrial revolution (19th c.)
Gave sociologists their subject matter;
This was the period when people started to concern about society:
E.g During the period of French revolution, the society tended to become urbanization and
manufactures. However, social problems appeared at the same time, such as illness, crimes,
intensive work and poor working conditions. These series problems caused people interested in
3. Sociological Imagination
1) Defined: The quality of mind that enables a person to seen the connection between personal
troubles (biography) and social structures (society).
Came up by Wright Mills (1959)
How to connect elements of “self” and broader “society”;
Find ways to connect two elements;
2) Examples of Suicide
Not individual staff; social phenomenon
4. Social Solidarity (社社社社社 1) Definition:
Social solidarity refers to networks of social relationships that involve mutual dependencies,
responsibilities, and entitlements within a group of people or a community.
This idea was the work of EMILE DURKHEIM.
2) A group’s level of social solidarity is determined by the frequency with which its members
interact and the degree to which they share beliefs, values and morals;
3) Suicide rates and Social Solidarity:
Groups with low social solidarity tend to have higher rates of suicide than groups with high social
Analysis: The society with lower social solidarity--> people do not share, engage or join the
society too often--> they feel depressed and seemed like outsiders-->kill selves. The rate of
suicide shows how social impacts influence people’s behaviors.
Part B: Social Interaction 1. Interaction
1) Definition: interaction is face-to-face communication among people who act and react in
relation to one another.
2) It is the key and basic unit of analysis of sociology.
2. Interaction Order
1) Definition of interaction order: An interaction order is a system of face-to-face relations
organized by status.
a) Definition of status: A status is a recognized position in a social interaction.
E.g: Different status including Professors and students; employees and employers...
b) Status or the recognized position is always attached to power and influence.
E.g: Parents have more power than children; Presidents have more power then professors.
3) Status hierarchy:
a) Definition: A status hierarchy exists when power is unequally distributed across interactants.
b) Examples of status hierarchy:
Formal status hierarchy:
In university; President is more powerful than Vice-President.
Informal status hierarchy:
In sport team, senior and junior students; Or in school, popular kids have more power than
c) Interaction order shapes the status hierarchy. Status confirms different degrees of power
across individual. Thus, the status hierarchy come up with certain formal or informal rules that
different interactants should follow and act.
4) Example: Why women tend to laugh more than men in conversations.
a) Example description:
12 conversations, how many times people laugh are recorded;
Female speaker and Male listener: Women laugh 2 times more than men;
Male speaker and Female listener: Men get more laugh based on what they said than women;
--> Question: Why women tend to laugh more than men in conversations?
Status difference in society: Women trained to be more kinder and deferential than men because
they have less power in society than men have.
The status hierarchy causes this informal culture in society: Women are supposed to show
appreciation in conversation while men do not think they have to do so. 5) Emotional interaction (Emotional management)
Related to interaction order and status.
a) Definition: Emotion management involves people responding appropriately to the situations
in which they find themselve