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Study Guide

[SOC 103] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (29 pages long!)


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 103
Professor
Sal Guzzo
Study Guide
Midterm

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Ryerson
SOC 103
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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SOC103 Lecture 1
What is Sociology?
Sociology: the systematic study of human society and social interaction
Sociology, like other human sciences (psychology, anthropology, economics, etc.), attempts to help us
understand and explain human behaviour
Sociology is a human science; it is the study of human social relationships and institutions
It differs from the other human sciences also called a social sciences
It attempts to explain human behaviour by focusing on how society is structured or organized
Social Groups
Sociologists focus on the groups people belong to and how these groups affect behaviour
Examples of Groups
o What social class you belong to:
Upper class, middle class, working class
o What educational group you belong to:
Degree, High school, elementary school
o Upper income, middle income, lower income
o Single, married, divorced
o Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Anglican, Atheist
o Union member, non-union member
o Full-time, part-time, unemployed, retired
o Male, female, man or woman
Different Theoretical Perspectives
Sociologists view human behaviour from different theoretical perspectives; The theoretical
perspective affects how one interprets behaviour
Is the behaviour driven by Macro-level factors?
o This idea suggests that society causes people to behave in a particular way; they are influenced by
society, and are not entirely in control of themselves
Is the behaviour driven by Micro-level factors?
o This idea suggests that individuals create their own realities
Origin of Sociology
Sociology originates from the Enlightenment (17th & 18th century) which occurs during the
Renaissance (14th to 17th century)
The Renaissance
o The Renaissance (rebirth of society) occurred after the Dark Ages, which arose after the fall of the
Roman Empire
Dark Ages
o During the dark ages, we lost our scientific knowledge
o Religion ruled
We discovered our scientific roots during the Renaissance
Birth of Sociology
o During the Enlightenment, social thinkers applied scientific methods to the study of human
behaviour
Auguste Comte: Father of Sociology
o Comte viewed the study of human behaviour as social physics
o He proposed we use scientific methods to study people; He coined the term sociology
o Positivism: a belief that the world can best be understood through scientific inquiry
Other Founders of Sociology
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o Marx
o Weber
o Durkheim
First Examples of Human Behaviour: Divorce
What explains why couples divorce?
o Financial problems
o Infidelity
o Grow apart
o Poor sex life
Sociologist view this human behaviour from the approach of group behaviour
Explaining Divorce
o Hypothesis: Originate from parents who divorce is likely to increase the divorce chances for their
offspring
Evidence
o According to Statistics Canada in the year 2003 alone, 38.3% of marriages ended up in divorce,
and the estimated number of dependent children involved in a parental divorce was
approximately 36,252 children
o Children of divorce are more likely to experience their marital dissolution by 57%, compared to
children coming from intact families by 11%, according to Statistics Canada 2002
Second Example: Educational Attainment
Can the school system educate any child?
Can everyone get a university degree?
Are some children more likely to get an education than other children?
Why?
Hard work?
IQ?
Do their homework?
Explaining Educational Attainment
o (ypothesis: A parent’s educational attainment affects how much education their offspring will
attain
Our Definition of Sociology
Sociology is the study of the social world. It involves studying human beings and their patterns of
behaviour. In order to do this, we focus on the way people form relationships and how these
relationships, considered in their totality, are represented by the concept of a society. )n this
respect, the focus of the sociologist’s attention is on group behaviour… That is, the effect that the
groups people join or are born into e.g. family, work, education, etc., have upon people’s social
behaviour
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