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Lecture 1

SOC 305 Lecture 1: First Half of Semester Lecture Notes

31 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 305
Professor
Krippner Greta

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Description
1.11 1112017 4:05:00 PM Reading: Hollis, Problems of Structure and Agency, pp. 122 What is theory? Allows us to generalize; rather than stating facts, youre generalizing from particulars of many facts you know; moving from particulars to general context If all college courses and much of our everyday communication deals in theory, why are we taking a course on theory? Because we are focused on a specific set of theories that define sociology Sociological thinks first to develop general language for conceptualizing society or the social Before there was society, Medieval thought of the collective but it was understood as the Church rather than individuals Thomas Hobbes introduces the modern concept of the individual Key intuition of sociology while individuals are necessary to understand the social world, the social world is so much more than just the individual; cannot be reduced (thanks Hobbes, but were going to build on this) Explanation vs. interpretation: Explanation: why do people believe in god? Why does water form ice when cold? These are questions, looking for an explanation o Positivism JS Mills position that there are regularities in human behavior that can be traced to human nature, information that is readily available and empirical data (ex. we know that one pool ball hits and makes the other move, because weve seen it enough times to know it is true; the info is easily visible) (ex. we know this person will vote Republican because his race, SES, age, etc.) o Realism causal explanations are not directly observable; there are hidden realities (ex. you can stare at a watch for hours but not know how it really works, you have to open it up and see the cogs; you see the pattern of regularity, but it doesnt matter) Marx there are hidden forces in the economy, so we need a theory to tell us how they work because we cant see them
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