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Sociology Midterm One Study Guide Study guide for midterm one - covers lectures and readings

Course Code
SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey
Study Guide

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Sociology Notes Exam One
Sociologists see society a different way than other people do.
Sociologists study behavior, going beyond the surface to try and understand
what people are all about and WHY they do the things they do.
Sociology: it is the study of everything that people do - the systematic study of human
groups and their interactions.
Major Areas of Social Inquiry
- sociological theory
- culture
- socialization
- groups and organization
- crime and deviance
- social stratification and class
- race and ethnic relations
- sex and gender
- religion
- mass media
Sociological Perspective: the unique way in which sociologists see our world and can
dissect the dynamic relationships between individuals and the larger social network in
which we all live
Sociological Location
The Sociological Imagination: developing an appreciation of how individual
challenges are influenced by larger social forces
- constraints of society
Failing to appreciate how individual challenges are influenced by larger social forces
diminishes a persons ability to understand and resolve them
Much private uneasiness goes unformulated; much public malaise and many decisions
of enormous structural relevance never become public issues
Personal Troubles: individual challenges
Social Issues: social factors beyond an individual quality of mind; ability to look beyond
personal circumstance and into social context
Sociologists toolbox (Classical Social Theories):
Functionalism: institution that we have created are working the way we designed
them to - failure is not the ‘systems’ fault; belief that the institutions we have created
work. The social world is a dynamic system of interrelated and interdependent parts,
society works the way we designed it. Social structures exist to help people fulfill their
wants and desires. Human society is similar to an organism - depends on all of its parts
Society is one large system, each part is dependent on each other
Conflict Approach: functionalists are wrong, society isn’t working
Those who are well off do well, the rich get richer
(reproduction: social classes reproduce themselves) Critical of social institutions
Symbolic Interactionist: interested in small groups (micro)
Feminists: advantages and disadvantages are gender based
Seeing the general in the particular - go beyond the surface of an issue, much deeper
at the broader implications, larger picture
Think about what is familiar and see it as strange
Ability to view the world from two distinct yet complementary perspectives; ability to look
at seemingly unique events or circumstances and then recognize the larger (or general)
features involved
Appreciate individual circumstance and broaden your perspective to the larger social
patterns that create and perpetuate events
The ability to move from the particular to the general and back again is one of the
hallmarks of the sociological perspective
Sociological Imagination: the ability to understand the dynamic relationship between
individual lives and the larger society - stepping outside your own condition and looking
at yourself from a new perspective; become more informed about the social forces that
have come together to make us who we are
Our perception of ourselves and others are the products of many factors: family
structure, socioeconomic status (combination of variables to position or score people on
criteria such as income level, lever of education achieved, occupation and area of
residence. Ascribed status: a person assigned advantage or disadvantage through birth,
Achieved status: status a person has been able to gain through personal attributes and
qualities), gender, minority status, urban vs rural environment
The Scientific Revolution
Auguste Comte: the father of sociology; hard science should be applied to the
social world
Law of Three Stages
- Theological: religious outlook - the world is an expression of God
- Metaphysical: a period of questioning and challenging
- Positive: rules of observation, experimentation and logic
Positivism: there exists an objective, knowable reality; singular explanation; value free;
fact based; one explanation; objective truth - there exists an objective, knowable reality,
since all science explores the same, singular reality, over time all sciences will become