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SOCI 201
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Study Guide for Sociology 201 lecture 01 Test 1October 12 2012Chapter1 The Sociological PerspectiveScience and SociologyThe Sociological PerspectiveSociology is defined as the systematic study of human society Sociology as a discipline is guided by a distinctive perspective The qualities of this perspective are outlined with illustrations for each being presentedSeeing the General in the ParticularSociologist Peter Berger refers to the fact that sociologists see general social patterns in the behaviour of particular individuals In fact each chapter in the text will illustrate how social forces shape our lives Age gender and social class for example are seen to have a remarkable impact upon behaviour and life chances While not erasing our uniqueness as individuals social forces touch our lives in many unseen yet significant ways such as the behaviour of Canadian peacekeepers in Somalia who responded to cultural imperatives in the commission of atrocitiesSeeing the Strange in the FamiliarThis is the process of detaching oneself from familiar individualistic interpretations of human behaviour and the acceptance of the initially strange notion that behaviour is a product of social forcesStudents will typically respond to a question about their own attendance at a university in a personal way while in social reality factors such as family income age and race influence the choiceSeeing Personal Choice in Social ContextIn a society that emphasizes individuality we are often reluctant to admit that our lives are predictable and patterned The Window on the World Global Map11 p 4 titled Womens Childbearing in Global Perspective indicates that the decision to bear children is clearly shaped by social conditions Even suicide a seemingly very personal act can be seen to be affected by social forces The research by Emile Durkheim on suicide clearly shows how impersonal social forces affect personal behaviour Records of suicide in central Europe during the last part of the nineteenth century were found by Durkheim to show certain social categories as having higher suicide rates than others It was found that the degree of social integration or how strongly a person is bound to others by social ties had a significant influence on the patterns of suicide rates Figure 11 p 5 provides rates of suicide over time in Canada for males and females and Figure 12 p 5 demonstrates that the rates of suicide also vary by age in CanadaSeeing Sociologically Marginality and CrisisSocial marginality or being an outsider enhances sociological thinking Women gay people visible minorities and the very old are aware of social patterns others rarely think about As well social crisis can lead to a sociological imagination C Wright Mills shows how people experiencing the Great Depression in the 1930s came to understand their loss of job as less a personal problem than a public issue The Thinking Critically Box p 7 explores his thinkingApplying the Approaches The Sociology of SportsApplying the Perspectives The Sociology of SportsSports in North America are discussed as a large and important part of social life The question becomes what insights can the sociological perspective provide us concerning sportsThe Functions of SportsThe structuralfunctional approach reveals many functional and dysfunctional consequences that sports have for society Sports for example promote the pursuit of success but university student athletes are often primarily athletes and secondarily studentsSports and ConflictThe socialconflict approach provides an analysis of sports focusing upon the social inequalities within sports at all levels of competition Male and female inequalities are addressed as well as racial inequalities in professional sports Figure 13 p 22 reveals that professional football players are allocated positions based on race It is observed however that more and more minority athletes are achieving immense successSports as Interaction
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