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Sociology 2211 Test 1 Study Guide

12 Pages

Course Code
SOCL 2211

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Sociology 2211 Test 1 Study GuideMills Sociological imagination The sociological imagination is a perspective on human action that attempts to understand it as the result of the intersection among the history of a society its social structure and the biography of the human actorThe Debate The StructureAgency debate concerns differences of opinion among scholars about the relative influence that the social structure plays in influencing human behaviorStructure proponents claim that the individuals locations in the social structure such as class gender raceethnicity sexual orientation age etc exercise a much stronger influence on herhis attitudes beliefs behaviors opportunities and eventual outcomes than hisher natural abilities and motivations liberal scholars prefer this perspective Agency proponents claim that the individuals natural abilities and motivations exercise amuch stronger influence on hisher attitudes beliefs behaviors opportunities and eventual outcomes than herhis locations in the social structure conservative scholars prefer this perspectiveMills Contribution to the DebateC Wright Mills in his reaction to his perception that sociologists in his day placed too much emphasis on human agencys influence on human attitudes beliefs behaviors opportunities and eventual outcomes argued for a greater role for social structure He coined the phrase sociological imagination to describe his perspective His viewpoint continues to be popular within the disciplineHuman Agency and its Social ContextHuman agency is peoples ability to act individually or collectively as agents of change in their own lives to further the goals that matter to themThe ability to exercise autonomous choice depends on the decisions we make as well as the circumstances into which we are born and raised and the institutions that govern our livesAgency is critical we bear responsibility for our actions and absent determination ambition and hard work valuable choices and opportunities are closed to us Yet individuals are seldom entirely to blame for their failuresor deserving of all the credit for their successes Capabilities are expanded or restricted by the circumstances in which we are born and raised by the conditions in our communities and workplaces by the decisions and actions of others and by politics and policiesDefinitions of SociologyThe social science that attempts to understand social forcesthe forces outside us that shape our lives interests personalities and actions Eitzen and Zinn 2001Sociology explores the determinants of individual and collective behavior that are not given in our psychic or biological makeup but fashioned in the broader arena of social interaction Walton 1990Sociology is the scientific study of social behavior It focuses on social relationships how those relationships influence peoples behavior and how societies the sum total of those relationships develop and change Schafer 2008Definitions of Psychology and Social PsychologyPsychology the scientific study of the behavior of individuals and their mental processesSocial psychology The branch of psychology that studies the effect of social variables on individual behavior attitudes perceptions and motives also studies group and intergroup phenomenaThe Scientific MethodDefinition A A systematic approach to solving a problem by discovering knowledge investigating a phenomenon verifying and integrating previous knowledgeDefinition B An objective logical and systematic method of analysis of phenomena devised to permit the accumulation of reliable knowledge Definition C A way of conducting empirical research following rules that specify objectivity logic and communication among a community of knowledge seekers and the connection between research and theoryKuhns Notion of Paradigm
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