week 1 summary - intro

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University of Toronto St. George
Sheldon Ungar

Reading Notes 15-09-10 Sociology as a life or death issue: - Determinism: the belief that everything happens the way it does because it was destined to happen in just that way - ^J L[ Z}}ZZ}}o] Z} Zo2ZLZ }L}oo]_ - Voluntarism: the belief that we alone control our destiny, allows us to overcome forces larger than us and thereby make whatever we want out of our lives - Higher education: every year of education increases your annual income for the rest of your life. The economic value of education increases year after year - The sociological approach : our relations to other people create opportunities for us to think and act but also sets limits on our thoughts and actions. - Suicide: - ,Lo]][Z}L}L-social, antisocial and deep psychological distress - Durkheim proposed that suicide is influenced by the social relations in which you are embedded (frequency of interaction with others and degree to which beliefs, values and morals are shared) = social solidarity - The probability of your state of mind leading you to suicide is affected by your social relationships - E.G - Married couples: half likely to commit suicide (marriage creates social ties, moral cement that bounds individuals to society) - Women less likely than men to commit suicide (more involved in family, social relations) - Jews less likely than Christians to commit suicide (tightly knit societies as a result of history of prosecutions) - Elderly more likely to commit suicide (lack of a job, friends, loss of spouse) - Social ties are in general weakening today because people share fewer beliefs, values and moral standards than they used to - Low solidarity:societies that share few beliefs, values and morals and therefore experience higher levels of suicide Lack of emotional support and cultural guidelines - Intermediate solidarity: if we want suicide rates to decrease, we must strengthen the social ties and shared culture. By raising the level of social solidarity, suicide levels would drop - E.G: universal day-care J more children receiving quality supervision, and exposed to more socialising, more parents able to work, be paid, and establish more social ties with workmates (thus raising social solidarity) - High solidarity when members of social groups perceive that the group is threatened, they are likely to be willing to sacrifice their lives to protect them If we want less suicide bombings we must make sure they feel less threatened. Sociologists try to identify3 tasks of sociologists: -a type of behaviour they regard as important - the specifically social forces that influence that behaviour - the larger changes that might improve human welfare by researching these 3, sociologists help people understand what they are and what they can become in social and historical context www.notesolution.com
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