SOC 001 - Exam 1 Notes.docx

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Pennsylvania State University
SOC 001
Julie Guistwite

SOC 001 – Exam 1 Notes What is sociology? - Scientific study of human behavior, social relationships, social institutions, and society - How do groups influence individual human behavior? - What are the causes and consequences of a particular system of social order? Social Science - Applies scientific method to studying human behavior Sociological Imagination - Experience guides perception - Understanding relation between history and biography Social Perspective - Questioning the obvious (thinking outside the box) Macrosociology vs. Microsociology Nature and Development of Sociology Development of sociology th - European Sociology – 18 century - Rise of Industrialization - Using scientific approach to study society Factors that lead to the rise in America: - Industrialization - Urbanization - Immigration *Chicago School Founders - Auguste Comte “Father of sociology” Society can be studied using the same methods as natural science Law of Human Progress- Society has gone through 3 stages: 1. Theological 2. Metaphysical 3. Scientific - Herbert Spencer Notion human society evolutionary Coined phrase “survival of the fittest” Human society evolved according to natural laws with increased complexity No interference with the rest of society (take care of self) - Karl Marx Capitalism dominate factor in shaping society (struggle = social change) “Society is unequal” Economic inequality = class struggles Bourgeoisie vs. Proletariat “Class Consciousness” - Emile Durkheim Founded sociology as an academic discipline Individuals more products than creators of society (you are a product of what you’ve grown up in) Society external to individual (effect of environment on person) Social phenomena are social facts “Suicide” work - Max Weber Society should be studied value-free (empathy) Goal of “Verstehen” (think about what others are thinking) Sociologists need to study social actions and subjective meanings of people Types of Sociological Research - Exploratory Used typically to explore new social phenomena Investigator examines new program, group, etc. (easy bias) Difficult to conduct - Descriptive Describes social reality/provides facts about social world Goal: providing data on social facts Answers: who, what, where, when, how often/many - Explanatory Explains why things do/do not happen Investigator interested in determining what drives causation Wouldn’t only report what, but why it did so - Evaluative Measures how well program/project works in relation to its goals 4 steps: 1. Specification 2. Measurement 3. Analysis 4. Recommendation Outcome evaluations Field experiments Summary of Major Perspectives in Sociology Major Sociological Theories: - Structural Functionism Society is made up of interdependent structures Dependent on family, religion, education, economy, and government performing required duties Manifest vs. Latent functions Functional vs. Dysfunctional Major Premise: Harmony - Conflict Theory Conflict = permanent feature in social life Society in state of constant change Social conflict, constraint Economic inequality Power struggles Resolved by recognizing conflicts exist - Symbolic Interactionism Study the individual Human beings actions r/t meaning they attach Interaction between people is negotiated through shared symbols, language, gestures, etc. Examines self and the self in relationships with others Interpretation of patterns and processes - Exchange Theory We interact with the express purpose of receiving some award Life is a series of exchanges involving costs and rewards Subjective Bargaining/negotiation Trust and mutual interest - Evolutionary Theory Society progresses through stages Not all change is necessarily for the better Major premise: social systems tend to become more complex over time Additional Important Theories: - Humanist: focus should be on social change/social justice and equality - Feminist: differentiates between the perceptions of men and women Summary of Major Perspectives in Sociology Theory: Functionalism Level of Analysis: Macro View of Society: Society consists of interdependent parts, each fulfilling certain functions Major Concepts: Structure, function, manifest and latent function, dysfunctions Pros: examines structures within society; examines “big picture”, emphasizes the impact that structures in relation to consequences for society Cons: doesn’t emphasize the interactions between individuals Theory: Conflict Lev
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