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SOC 101 Study Guide - Final Guide: The Sociological Imagination, Qualitative Sociology, Sociological Inquiry

Course Code
SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey
Study Guide

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September 15, 2010
Sociology 101
2 small written assignments, 3 online tests (50 minutes 40 questions), discussions, final exam.
Sociology - the study of everything that people do.
What do sociologists do?
o conduct research, study what society
What is your “sociological imagination”?
o sociologists see society differently
o interested in what people do / their behaviours (in different settings)
o details of what people are all about and what people do
Major areas of sociological inquiry
o sociological theory
o culture
o Socialization
o groups and organizations
o crime and deviance
o social stratification and class
o global stratification
o race and ethnic relations
o sex and gender
o religion (how it works in society, its influences)
o mass media
Sociologists Perspectives
Symbolic Interactionism: study small groups of people / people work together to creature stuff
(institutions, meanings, ways of doing things) interested in the small micro picture
Functionalist: institutions (health care, education, religion, the government) see society as one
larger complicated functioning system
The Conflict Approach: argues functionalists are wrong, say that institutions are not working,
reproduction in a sense that social classes reproduce themselves (middle class makes services
for the middle class, therefore they thrive)
Feminists: advantages and disadvantages are gendered this is the way our society is

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Charles Wright Mills
o The sociological imagination: developing an appreciation of how individual challenges
are influenced by larger social forces. We are all part of society with opportunities and
constraints, none are free to do whatever we want to do we are part of something
Peter Berger
o seeing the general in the particular; try to dig deeper, looking at the broader implications
and apply to the larger picture of society
o think about what is familiar and see it as strange
Engaging Your Sociological Imagination
Our perception of ourselves and others are the products of many factors, for examples:
1. Minority status
2. Gender
3. Socioeconomic Status
4. Family Structure
5. Urban Rural Differences
Historical Development of Sociology
The Scientific Revolution: 1650 1800 (people began to think about the social world)
o Auguste Comte (considered by many the father of sociology)
o hard science should be applied to the social world
Law of 3 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 and Anti-Positivism
Positivism: (can study, identify and measure, then analyse trends)
1. There exists an objective knowable reality
2. Singular explanation (there is only one explanation)
3. Value-free
1. rejects each of the positivist assumptions
Quantitative vs. Qualitative Sociology

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o positivist in nature
o measurable behaviour
o e.g. crime rates over time
o anti-positivists in nature
o non-measurable subjective behaviours
o e.g. experiences of living in poverty (you must go out and talk to them to truly find out)
The Political Revolution: Renaissance to the enlightenment
These people led to the promotion of individual rights and social responsibility, equality
of opportunity and the political ideology of democracy
The Industrial Revolution: around 1750
o awareness of those who are exploited and those who do the exploiting
o people began selling their labour for money
o often associated with technological advancement
o caused profound social change engaging attention of social scientist
o resulted in new social problems
Macro and Micro approaches
Macrosociology refers to attempting to understand society as a whole
- Marx and Durkheim: interested in the big picture of society
- quantitative sociologists fit into this group
Microsociology refers to attempting to understand individual or small group dynamics
Classical Social Theories
Symbolic Interactionism
Theory is a statement that tries to explain how facts or events are related. It is a guide in how
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