Lecture 1: Introduction
What is Sociology?
It is a Science that constructs theories about social relationships making up a society.
Sociology is the study of social facts.
What are Characteristics of Sociology?
Sociological imagination (historical, anthropological, critical)
Using observations, experimentations, using findings to make predictions
Principle founders: Carl Marx, Durkheim
Try to be gender neutral in sociology
People who are suicidal are less attached in the community/society and less involved.
Suicide is directly related to the social involvement
Conclusion from experiments: The lower integration the more suicidal.
Too much integration increases suicides
In sociology, these can bias results in research:
Humans makes mistakes
We study ourselves, we have feelings and ideas which affect the research
Our selection of research methods might be incorrect
We have to be value-free
Tentative explanation of social reality
Three characteristics of social facts
o They are external to individuals
o Everyone act differently towards different people/situations
o Social facts must be studied as a thing; have to be value-free (sociology must be
treated as an object)
Social workers are interested in practice; sociology is interested in building knowledge
using evidence from experiments
We have social focus, distinguishes sociology from psychology (C. Wright Mills)
Coined by C. Wright Mills
The ability to see the connection between personal problems and the social structure
Sociological imagination A quality of mind which enables individual to look at society as
an outsider, to look at social focus which affect individual behaviour.
o Historical sensitivities history must be established to have what we have now
(our past explains many today's problems)
o Anthropological allows us to look at the diversity of our society; to compare
us to the society
Critical combine both, to find alternative explanations
Social Structure o Microstructures patterns of intimate social relations formed during face-to-face
interaction (ex. families, friends, work)
Macrostructures patterns of social relations that lie outside your circle of
intimates (ex. power system, government)
o Global structures patters of social relations that lie outside the national level (ex.
international organizations, economy between countries)
What is Sociological Activity
Study of socially relevant phenomenon