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Sociology test#1 notes.docx

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University of Waterloo
SOC 101
Sara Cumming

Sociology: The systematic study of human groups and their interactions. The unique way in which sociologists see the social world is the Sociological Perspective: A view based on the dynamic relationships between individuals and the larger social network in which we all live in. Charles Wright Mills suggested that people who fail to see the social origin and character of their problems fail to resolve them, and in effect, an inability to recognize that an individual’s problems are influenced by larger social forces diminishes that individual’s ability to solve their problems. Personal Troubles: personal challenges that require individual solutions. Social Issues: Challenges caused by larger social factors that require collective solutions. Many personal troubles never become social issues because people fail to equate their own issues with those of the larger social world. Quality of Mind: Ability to see personal circumstance in a social context Sociological imagination: ability to see how dynamic social forces influence individual lives. To employ the sociological imagination is to see yourself as a product of family, gender race, etc. and asl yourself, who am I and why do I think the way I do? Sociological Imagination improves Quality of Mind Cheerful Robots: Individuals who fail to see the social world for what it truly is. Sociological Peter Berger defines sociological perspective as: Seeing the general in that particular, and the strange in the familiar. General in the particular: Taking an individual incident and seeing the general or larger features involved. For example, seeing one homeless person and then recognizing there are many others too, Strange in the particular: Taking mundane everyday events and seeing the uniqueness of the situations around them. Agency: the assumption that individuals have the ability to alter their socially constructed lives. Structure: the network of relatively stable opportunities and constraints influencing individual behavior. Patriarchy: A system where men control political and economic resources of society. Socio-Economic Status: combination of income, education, occupation, and area of residence used to rank people into a hierarchal structure. Ascribed status: Attributes gained at birth Achieved status: Attributes gained throughout one’s life through effort and skill. 5 main sociological factors that affect us are minority status, gender, socio-economic status, family structure
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