SOC 302 116
WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY?
Definition: Sociology is the scientific study of patterns of human interaction that occurs
in the context of groups, aggregates, organizations, as well as entire societies.
• Sociology is a science
o Use scientific methods
o Formulate theories to derive hypothesis
• Sociology is trying to understand human interaction
• *Not interested in random isolated behavior, but rather patterns of groups.
o Groups could be
o Aggregates: Bigger collection of people
Ex) football game
*Crowd behavior is an example of aggregates
o Entire societies
We behave differently in 2014 than we do in 1814
Sociology can also be thought of as the art of looking deeply
• Sociologist look at things and ask: Why is it that way.
o Don’t say: well that’s just the way it is
TYPES OF SOCIOLOGY
Microsociology: Focuses on patterns of interaction between small groups
• Ex) how husband and wife interact.
• Ex) interaction in a small start up company
Macrosociology: Focuses on how groups, aggregates interact with one another
• Ex) conflicting ethnic group in a society.
• A macro sociologist might be interested in a society’s economic development and
the stratification in the society.
• Global or national level samples
*these are more degrees, not necessarily classified as one or another DEVELOPING A SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
1. Peter Berger – “Seeing the General in the Specific”
a. Means to see a specific event as an example of a general phenomenon
i. Sociologist not interested in the events of 911. He is interested in
911 as a more general phenomenon (terrorism)
1. What did 911 have in common with other terror attacks
ii. Sociologist is not interested in divorce, sociologist is interested in
parents divorce in that it is part of the more gen