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Sociology Final Exam Complete Notes

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Bishop's University
SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

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 structured 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 larger. 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 Anti-Positivism: 1. rejects each of the positivist assumptions Quantitative vs. Qualitative Sociology Quantitative o positivist in nature o measurable behaviour o e.g. crime rates over time Qualitative 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 Machiavelli Descartes Lock Rousseau 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 Functionalism Symbolic Interactionism Conflict Theory is a statement that tries to explain how facts or events are related. It is a guide in how we go about studying what we wish to study. It allows us to develop skills to see the world from alternate perspectives. o Each theorist offers unique insights into our social world o Objective vs. subjective reality. Epistemology, ways of knowing Thomas Hobbes John Locke Charles Montesquieu (people did not exist without society) Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract) September 22, 2010 Classical Sociological Theories Functionalism Believe institutions we have created work and do what they were made to do. Social world is a dynamic system of interrelated and interdependent parts. Social structures exist to help people fulfill their wants and desires. Human society is similar to an organism, when it fails to work together the system will fail. Society must meet the needs of the majority. Dominant theoretical paradigm between the late 1920s and the early 1960s. Functionalist Theorists Herbert Spencer Survival of the fittest justifies why only the strong should survive Social Darwinism (the belief that the future will only get better) draws upon Darwins idea of natural selection; Laissez-faire approach (opposes regulation of or interference with natural processes) Emile Durkheim* (founder of modern sociology) Human action originates in the collective rather than in the individual Behaviour is driven by the collective conscience (understanding of how our society should work) Social Facts are general social features that exist on their own and are independent of individual manifestations Anomie is a state of normlessness that results from the lack of clear goals and creates feelings of confusions that may ultimately result in higher suicide rates. Compared
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