SOC 103 CH 1 NOTES
Sociology: the systematic study of human groups and their interactions.
Sociological Perspective: the unique way in which sociologists see our world and
can dissect the dynamic relationship between individuals and the larger social
network in which we all live.
Personal Troubles result from individual challenges
Social Issues are caused by larger social factors
EX: sociology mid term can be considered a personal trouble b/c you have to write it.
Your final grade is up to you and would be considered a personal trouble.
Quality of Mind: not seeing a failure as partially, or entirely the result of social
forces is to lack the quality of mind. It is the ability to look beyond personal
circumstances and into social context.
students lack the quality of mind because they did not try to understand their
individual circumstance from within the larger social context: how did everyone else
do? What could I have done better? How could I have studied more effectively?
Sociological imagination: the ability to understand the dynamic relationship
between individual lives and the larger society. (looking at yourself from a new
According to Berger, seeing the general in the particular is the ability to look at
seemingly unique events or circumstances and then recognize the larger features
- Sociologists need to tune their perspective by thinking about what is familiar and
seeing it as a strange
- Sociology is less about remembering details and specifies than about seeing the
social world from a unique position – allows us to understand social context and
appreciate the position of others.
Ascribed Status: advantages and disadvantages assigned at birth (Gender)
Achieved Status: Attributes developed throughout life as a result of effort and skill
(Grades) Three Revolutions: The Rise of Sociology
1. Scientific Revolution
Comte believed that if the world was interpreted through a scientific lens then
society could be guided by observation, experimentation and logic. This approach is
referred to as Positivism.
Positivism: a theoretical approach that considers all understanding to be based on
2. Political Revolution
Hobbes at this time influenced thinkers that humans were driven by two passions:
fear of death and desire for power.
3. Industrial Revolution
- The move from rural to an urban environment led to a new series of social
problems including: child labour factories, crushing poverty, malnourishment and
exploding crime rates
Europe/ North America: Development of Society
- Early European Sociology could be categorized as macrosociology (study of society
as a whole.)
- Early US = Microsociology (focuses on individuals and/or small groups and how
they behave in particular face-to-face social networks.
5 DEFINING FEATURES HELP DISTINGUISH CANDIAN SOCIOLOGY FROM AMERICAN TRADITION :
1. Geography: Canada’s size, climate, and proximity.
2. Francophone Sociology: Focus on political, religious, and social injustices in
Quebec and its relationship with Canada.
4. Political Economy: Wallace Clement believes that a defining element of Canadian
sociology is its interest in the political economy. Political Economy is seen as the
interactions of politics, government, and governing, and the social and cultural
constitution of markets, institutions and actors.
5. Radical Approach: Simultaneous emergence of the Canadianization movement
and the women’s movement led to politics of knowledge that