- Oct 1987 Margaret Thatcher said there is no such thing as society. There are individual
men and women and there are families.
- do you agree? no. does not go into depth about community and
communications between other individuals
What is Sociology
the systematic study of human society
- but what is society?
What is Society?
Society is the largest scale human group that shares a common geographic territory and
culture, which is based on common institutions and social interaction.
Society exists on a collective, abstract level
- you cannot directly see it but you feel its power and influence
How do we understand the relationship between individuals and society?
- example:suicide rates
- suicide is an individual act and decision
- traditionally studied from a psychological perspective (depression, personality,
BUT rates of suicide differ across countries and are very different for men and women
- societies have higher (or lower) rates of suicide because of certain features of the
society as a whole
- individuals might have propensities to commit suicide, but only do so in certain
- level of integration: level of regulation
- Individuals need to be integrated into society
- understand interests beyond own personal needs
- not integrated: egoistic suicide - Protestants vs. catholics (catholics are more integrated in society)
catholics less likely to commit society because more integrated
- married vs. unmarried (unmarried more likely, live long and apart by
themselves, you are not part of the norm)
- educated vs. uneducated (when your educated your more open to a
wider range of ideologies)