SOC 885 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Human Science, The Sociological Imagination, Ob River
Course CodeSOC 885
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Chapter 1: What is sociology?
Sociology is the study of the social world.
It involves studying human beings and their patterns of behaviour.
o 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”.
o In 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 (family, work, education and so forth)
have upon people’s social behaviour.
Sociology: systematic study of human society and social interaction (looks at human interactions and human
behaviour within a society)
- Sociologists uses both theoretical perspectives and research methods to examine social behaviors
- Sociology, like other human sciences (psychology, anthropology, economics, etc), attempts help
understand and explain human behaviour.
Sociology is a human science
it differs form the other human sciences also called a social sciences
- Sociology attempts to explain human behaviour by focusing on how society is structured or
you look at how a society is structured by looking at social classes
social classes determines what we do in our pass time, how we behave/ interact to others
how it is structured also determines how people behave
- Sociology enables us to see how behaviour is largely shaped by the groups to which we belong
and the society in which we live
to study human behaviour, we look at diff groups/ social classes
- Sociologists attempt to discover patterns or commonalities in human behaviour
for example, when they study suicide, they look for patterns of behaviour even though
individuals usually commit suicide and other individuals suffer as a result of these actions
Therefore they also seek out multiple causes and effects of suicide and other social problems
Society: a large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and has the same political authority
and dominant cultural expectations
Global interdependence: a relationship in which the lives of all people are closely intertwined and any one
nation’s problems are part of a larger global problem
- everyone living in a society is interconnected and their actions and behaviors affects one another and
contributes to the performance of the society as a whole
Commonsense knowledge: guides ordinary behaviour in everyday life ( common behaviour people in a
society will do)
- common sense: “what everybody knows” when we rely on intuition or common sense gained form
personal experience to help us understand dialy lives and other people’s behaviour
- the media is source of commonsense knowledge
Television talk show hosts and news anchors, journalists for magazines and newspapers,
authors of the many books in print, bloggers—even Facebook and Twitter—all provide us with
information about family life, sexual assault, homelessness, AIDS, violence, and thousands of
related sociological topics.
- sociologists tend to avoid commonsense knowledge bc they are not reliable and we cant det what other
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