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Midterm

Sociology 2240E Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Organicism, Persian Letters, Radical Change


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2240E
Professor
Charles Levine
Study Guide
Midterm

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3 Big Issues all Sociologists Suggest
1. EPISTEMOLOGY (Nominal vs Realism)
- nominalism: way of thinking that is sensitive to the unique
- radicalsim: thinking that is sensitive to the average
1. Levine Template: 6 questions (with contrasts) that all sociologists must use for a
theory
1. what is society?
- ppl internalize norms and values —> create culture built on social system
ORGANICISM: (human body - working parts)
- society as a system of institutions (orgz that perpetuate certain values)
- we are just “players of roles” within these institutions (social
solidarity)
- society is group of interdependent institutions
- society source of morals
ATOMISM:
- same idea as organicism
- but person metaphorically can step outside the system to critique it
(reflexivity)
- allows you the ability to make moral commitments to things (ie a job)
- you have a voice (choice)
2. What is Human Nature? Instincts?
- instincts must be universal and immutable (unchangeable)
- things like eating are believed instincts, but societal forced change this
instinct (ie eating disorders) NO UNIVERSAL INSTINCTS
NATURE
- we are instinctively wired to act a certain way (genetics)
- Compte: idea women are inferior humans
NURTURE
- environment changes the certain way we act
3. How are societal relationships understood?
REACTORS:
- sponges —> all we do is what we've had internalized we should do
- playing our role
ACTORS:
- still sponges —> but we have the ability to make some choices
4. What epistemologies are we?
- epistemology: study of how we think
- REALIST: explain events with reference to general (whole)
- (don’t study human interaction, why the general does something)
- compatible with science
**macro-level**
- NOMINALIST: explain events with reference to the intentions of the
individual
**micro-level**
5. Does social Theory deal with Facts or Values?
FACTS:
- state of a thing (unable to be objective facts)
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VALUE:
- your personal estimate (unable to think in pure fact without some value)
- place value on things through communication and ppl responses
- must be consensus on form of communication (language)
- we should come up with a universally valued theory about what values humans
ought to agree to
6. How do social theorists account for social order and change?
EVOLUTION
- realist would say were constantly adapting to our environment
- if environment becomes constant, evolution stops
DEVELOPMENT
- nominalists image of what humans ought to be (theres an end goal)
- telelogical: goal directed
7. Conservative vs Radical Thinking
CONSERVATIVE:
- all about maintaining social stability (status quo)
- ought to be conserved
**descriptive & prescriptive realist (the system)**
RADICAL:
- overthrowing what is, to better the development of people
**both discriptive & prescriptive realists (system) and nominalsits (indv)**
Conservative
Radical (need all these
ones but can use some of
the other column
Organicist
Atomist
Nature
Nuture
Reactor
Actor
Realsim
Nominalist
Facts
Value
Evolution
Development
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!3
Comparing Sociology to other disciplines
3. Scientific Method
-uses observations, hypothesis, theories to form a law (empirical generalization)
-hypothesis: prediction about relationship between 2 variables (MUST be measurable)
-observations
-empirical generalizations (law): hypothesis that has been observed as fact
-theory: explains whats been observed & make predictions and explain based on these
observations
-science is a process never ends
-since truths are partial; we can start at any point
-Deductive: start with theory
-Inductive: start with observations
-OPERATIONALIZATION: the act of placing terms of a hypothesis into a measurable form
(MUST be able to be replicated)
-agreement must be derived democratically, and based on mutual respect
Example: Durkheim and religion
- jews commit less suicide than christians who commit less suicide than protestants
- observed jews much more integrated into community
- therefore if the amount of communication goes down the level of deviant (suicidal)
behaviour goes up
- explanation used as a generalization for other deviant behaviours & other
situations where integration was limited
Common Scene
Religion
Philosophy
History
-do without thinking
-circular (often the
same thing)
-non-rigourous
(doesn’t require
proof)
-illogical as
explanation
-can’t be tested
-looks for 1st and final
cause (God)
- coherence (logic
convincing
something as true)
Idiographic: study
the specific
-reflective (we think
about our response)
-rigorous testing
-more interested in
logically what is and
what causes it
- synthetic
(connect it to
evidence)
Nomothetic:
interested in the
general (natural
laws)
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