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soc231 test 3.docx

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Zaheer Baber

TOPIC 1Social FactsjulianaolivierimailutorontocaDurkhiem empirical study of social facts social facts exercise external constrains on individualsthey are general and non specific not particular to individuals they are shared by all individualssui generis means of its own kind or uniquesocial facts are the values norms and structures external to the individual but can constrain the individualconcept of emergence the whole is grater than the sum of its partsExample Salt or WaterMarathon example work out better when in a group perform betterWhat is meant by this concept is that social facts are external and general External meaning they have their own independent reality beyond individuals Suicide is an example that reveals the great influence of social facts General is that the meaning is shared among all individuals not only invested in particular group of individuals An example given in class is language Language is a social fact because it is external to individuals no particular individual or group of individuals created it Secondly it constrains individual speech through rules of grammar and syntax Lastly it is general not private the meaning of words phrases and sentences must be generally not privately understood Words have no intrinsic meaning For example the word dog does not intrinsically mean fourlegged animal that barks it is a convention that all speakers of the English language agreed uponDurkheims main aim was to establish the object of study for sociologysocial facts are social and rooted in group sentiments and values He distinguishes the study of social facts from philosophy by noting that the real effects of social facts are manifested in external indicators of sentiments such as religious doctrines laws moral codes He then initiated the study of social facts empirical experimental studiesSocial facts apply to general circumstances not individual Such as a society or reality sui generis unique case that cannot be reduced to individualsSocial facts are independent of individual motives and intentionssocial facts seen as significant because it promises to make it possible to study the behaviour of entire societies rather than just of particular individualsAs individuals who are born and raised in a society these social facts are learned through socialization and generally accepted but the individual has nothing to do with establishing theseEx Language as a social fact oexternal to individuals no particular individual or group of individuals created it o constrains individual speech through rules of grammar syntax o general not private meanings of words sentences must be generally not privately understood words have NO intrinsic meaning o unique quality not reducible to individual users of itMethodological Rule The determining cause of a social fact must be sought among antecedent social facts and not among the states of individual consciousnessSociology seeks to explain the existence of social facts by reference to other social facts not individual psychology social facts look at social factors that influence people not the influence individual psychology Ex Suicide as a social facto Durkheim studied suicide rates using social facts o The study of suicide is a private individual antisocial act influence by social factors o Variations in the rates of suicide social fact can be explained by reference to other social facts ie integration or lack of integration of the individual to a social group o Social fact include empirical studies where there is a dependent and independent variable in the case of suicides the independent variable is integration and regulation within social groups the dependent variable is the rates of suicide Topic 2 EGOISTIC VS ALTRUISTIC SUICIDEsamreenashraffmailutorontoca EGOISTIC SUICIDE Egoistic suicide occurs in a society where there is excessive individualism that is low integration into society Egoistic suicide is committed by people who are not strongly supported by membership in a cohesive social group Detachment from society results in detachment from life because society gives meaning to life In a society with high integration high value is given to human existence resulting in low suicide rates In a society with low integration low value is given to human existence resulting in high suicide rates Egoistic suicide occurs when an individual has a low level of integration into society while fatalistic suicide occurs in a highly regulated social environment where the individual sees no possible way to improve his or her life According to Durkheim the self of the person who commits egoistic suicide is characterized by deep meditation and selfexamination while the self of the person committing anomie suicide is marked with keen desire and sensuality Durkheim viewed egoistic suicide as a consequence of the deterioration of social and familial bonds and linked anomic suicide to disillusionment and disappointment Durkheim distinguished between egoistic anomic altruistic and fatalistic suicide broad classifications that reflect thenprevailing theories of human behaviour Durkheim dismissed altruistic and fatalistic suicide as unimportant The egoist is unhappy because he sees nothing real in the world besides the individual the egoist sees no goal to which he might commit himself and thus feels useless and without purpose The melancholy of the egoist is one of incurable weariness and sad depression ALTRUISTIC SUICIDEThe term altruism was used by Emile Durkheim 18581917 to describe a suicide committed for the benefit of others or for the community This would include selfsacrifice for military objectives in wartime Altruistic suicides reflect a courageous indifference to the loss of ones life Altruism is a social behaviour and value orientation in which the individual gives primary consideration to the interests and welfare of other individuals members of groups or the community as a whole In altruistic regard for others is the principle of action Sociologists argue that altruistic behaviour has its roots in selfinterest the unconscious desire to protect ones genetic heritage Critics of sociology respond that altruism is evident between individuals and in social situations where people are completely unrelated genetically and claim that human conduct and motivations cannot be explained without reference to the values and norms of culture The altruist looks to a goal beyond this world and believes this world to be an obstacle and burden to him The altruistic suicide springs from hope and faith Contemporary sociologists have used this analysis to explain Kamikaze pilots the cult of the suicide bomber people who saw the social world as meaningless and would sacrifice themselves for a greater ideal The altruist who commits suicide based on altruism dies because they believe that their death can bring about a benefit to the society In other words when an individual is too heavily integrated into the society they
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