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SOC100 Book Notes.doc

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BOOK NOTES (Soc+) The Sociological Imagination (pg 3-11) 19/09/2012 20:03:00 ♦ The Sociological Explanation of Suicide ⇒ Suicide is strongly influenced by social forces ⇒ Social Solidarity: Degree to which group members share beliefs and values; intensity and frequency of their interaction ⇒ Values: ideas about what is good/bad ⇒ Theory: Explanation of an aspect of social life that states how/why certain facts are related ⇒ Altruistic Suicide: Occurs in settings that exhibit HIGH levels of social solidarity (very tightly governing behavior) ⇒ Egoistic Suicide: Results from poor integration of people into society ⇒ Anomic Suicide: Occurs in settings exhibiting low levels of social solidarity ⇒ Durkheim’s theory of suicide: • The suicide rate declines, then rises as social solidarity increases ♦ Sociological Imagination ⇒ Social Structures: Stable patterns of social relations ⇒ SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION: The quality of mind that enables one to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures • (C. Wright Mills (1959) called it this) ♦ ♦ Origins of the Sociological Imagination a. The Scientific Revolution – brought about the use of evidence, not just speculation to make a case for a particular point of view b. The Democratic Revolution – brought about the fact that people are responsible for organizing society and that human intervention can solve sociological issues c. The Industrial Revolution – presented social thinkers with a host of pressing social problems that need a solution Functionalism + Conflict Theory (pg 12-14) 19/09/2012 20:03:00 ♦ Auguste Comte and the Tension between Science & Values ⇒ A.C. wanted to understand the social world in an objective way (he came up with the term sociology in 1838) ⇒ A.C. respected traditional authority (was a conservative thinker),so he urged slow change and the preservation of the traditional aspects of social life. Sociological Theory and Theorists ♦ Functionalism (i.e. Emile Durkheim was a functionalist) a. Stress that human behaviour is governed by relatively stable socia
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