Introduction to Sociology

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Published on 2 Jul 2011
Topic 1 t Introduction (Week 1 lecture + NS Chp1 + SIQ1,2,3)
Sociology: the systematic study of human behavior in social context.
Origin: the concept is coined by Auguste Comete [French] (1838)
z Comparison with similar subjects:
Psychology oÁ]Z]v]À]µo[internal emotion while sociology deals with observable social orders
and interactions between social group;
History deals with accounts of events and description while sociology deals with analysis and
explanations of certain events;
Sociology deals border questions than in Political Science;
Social Work is practices of social life while sociology is the scientific study of it;
z The Issues of Suicide
Social Solidarity (Emile Durkheim [French]):
-- P}µ[oÀo}(}ial solidarity is determined by the frequency and intensity which the group
interact and the degree to which they share beliefs, values and morals.
-- Groups with higher social solidarity have lower egoistic and anomic suicide rates.
Facts: -- Men are four times more likely than women to commit suicides;
-- Jews commit the fewest suicides;
-- Suicide rates of Canada today*
z Social structures: relatively stable patterns of social relations;
3 levels: Microstructures (e.g. intimate social relations; ^ZvPZ}(Ál]_ t Granovetter);
Macrostructures (e.g. class relations and patriarchy);
Á]ZZ]u]Pvoo]loÇ}}_t Hochschild & Machung
understanding patriarchy and do something to change this
Global structures (e.g. international relations ;)
(Solving Poverty t ^upaigning for the cancellation of foreign debt in
Sociological imagination (U.S. C. Wright Mills)
The ability to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures;
Three pillars of Sociological imagination:
Scientific Revolution (1550): use of evidence suggests that a science of society is possible
Democratic revolution (1750): people can intervene to improve society;
Industrial revolution (1780): it gives sociologists their subject matter;
z Interaction: face to face communication among people who act and react with each other;
z Interaction Order: a system of face to face relations organized by status;
z Status: a recognized position in a social interaction; (e.g. students & Professors);
e.g. The general distribution of laughter
-- In all situations, women tend to laugh more frequently than men do. Especially for conversations in
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