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Lecture

Topic 1: Introduction to Sociology Introduction to Sociology


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC103H1
Professor
Adam Green

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Topic 1 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)
Comparison with similar subjects:
Psychology deals with individual’s 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;
The Issues of Suicide
Social Solidarity (Emile Durkheim [French]):
-- A group’s level of social 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*
Social structures: relatively stable patterns of social relations;
3 levels: Microstructures (e.g. intimate social relations; “the strength of weak ties” Granovetter);
Macrostructures (e.g. class relations and patriarchy);
( “when spouses share domestic responsibilities equally, they are happier
with their marriages and less likely to divorce” Hochschild & Machung
understanding patriarchy and do something to change this
macrostructure;)
Global structures (e.g. international relations ;)
(Solving Poverty campaigning for the cancellation of foreign debt in
compensation for past injustices” rather than charity and foreign aid.)
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;
Interaction: face to face communication among people who act and react with each other;
Interaction Order: a system of face to face relations organized by status;
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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