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Study Guide

[SOC101Y1] - Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (108 pages long!)


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101Y1
Professor
Sheldon Ungar
Study Guide
Final

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UTSG
SOC101Y1
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Step 11th Lecture 1 Introduction to Sociology
Introductions
What is Sociology
The Compass, the Lenses and the Snowflake
Course Description
Evaluation Structure
Next class
Introductions
Welcome
SOC101Y Introduction to Sociology (no prerequisites, but no soc102 or soc103)
Christian Caron (co-teaching)
Sociology
Sociology is the systematic study of human action in social context. It is based on the idea that
our relations with other people create opportunities for us to think and act but also set limits on
our thoughts and action.
Sociology and Other Fields
Sociology is an elastic discipline that shares some elements in common with many other
fields
History
Philosophy
Psychology
Others
Philosophical Foundations
Underlying Sociology is Philosophy and its concepts of :
Ontology: What is real?
Epistemology: How do we know what we know?
Early social philosophers contributed to classical sociology theory through these fundamental
tenets:
Thomas Hobbes’s assertion that government’s appropriate role lies in preserving peace while
allowing individuals to pursue their self-interests
John Locke’s belief in individual freedom and autonomy
Charles de Montesquieu’s comparative methodology and his appreciation for cultural
diversity
Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s analysis of the social contract and his belief in individual
autonomy
Birth of Sociology
The scientific revolution (16th c.) encouraged the use of evidence to substantiate theories.
The democratic revolution (18th c.) encouraged the view that human action can change
society.
The industrial revolution (19th c.) gave sociologists their subject matter.
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Sociology Asking a set of questions
How do you see the world?
How do you form your opinions and accumulate information?
What is culture and what role does it play in your life?
How did you become the person you are today?
How do you relate and interact with your family, friends and strangers around you?
What are the effects of your class position on how you live your life?
What racial and ethnic groups do you identity yourself with?
How do you feel your gender shapes who you are?
What impact have changes around the world had on your life?
Sociological Perspective
At the heart of sociology is a special point of view called the socio-logical perspective.
Sociological perspective as seeing the general in the particular. By this we mean that
sociologists identify general patterns in the behaviors of particular individuals.
While acknowledging that each individual is unique, sociologists recognize that society acts
differently on various categories of people (say, children compared to adults, women versus
men, the rich as opposed to the poor).
We think sociologically when we realize how the general categories into which we happen
to fall shape our particular life experiences.
Sociological perspective illustrated through considering causes of suicide
Suicide often regarded as a supremely antisocial and non-social act
Yet there are hidden social causes of suicide
Sociological Explanation of Suicide: Durkheim’s Contribution
Émile Durkheim -> At end of 19th century, demonstrated suicide rates were strongly
influenced by social forces
Examined association between rates of suicide and rates of psychological disorder for
different groups
Found suicide rates and rates of psychological disorder did not vary directly, and often
appeared to vary inversely
Durkheim argued suicide rates varied as result of differences in degree of social solidarity in
different categories of the population
Social solidarity refers to:
- The degree to which group members share beliefs and values; and
- The intensity and frequency of their interaction
Mechanical vs Organic forms of social solidarity
Durkheim’s Theory of Suicide
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