Textbook Notes (369,141)
Canada (162,412)
Sociology (561)
SOC 104 (72)

(1) Week 1 Lec

6 Pages

Course Code
SOC 104
Mustafa Koc

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WEEK 1 Sociology: Systematic study of human society and social interaction The difference between sociology and common sense: common sense is not systematic, based on individual experience, one sided, tends to reflect prejudiced and mistaken interpretations Society: A large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Structure versus agency: Structures refer to pre-existing arrangements that influence our behaviour, agency refers to choices individuals make. Sociological Imagination and C. Wright Mills: The ability to see the relationships between individual experience and larger society. It enables us to distinguish between personal troubles & public issues Peter Berger talks about sociological perspective. It helps us to see: • see the general in particular • see the strange in the familiar Sociological questions tend to be: • factual: what happened? • comparative: did this happen everywhere? • historical: how this happened overtime? • theoretical: what underlies this phenomenon Why? What factors would explain this change? • Sociological Perspectives There are multiple sociological perspectives that provide different focus on various aspects of social reality and different main premises. Paradigms/ perspectives: general frameworks, fundamental assumptions about society that guides sociological thinking Theories: a set of logically interrelated statements that attempts to describe, explain, and (occasionally) predict social events. What are general characteristics of multivariate theory, interpretive theory, historical-comparative theory? (p.7) Sociology emerged as a modern discipline in the 19 Century in response to the intellectual efforts trying to understand the impacts of social changes taking place during this era. These included: • Economic Changes: Emergence of the capitalist economy, rise of industrialization • Social Changes: Decline of rural life and communities, urbanization, emergence of new social classes • Political Changes: Decline of absolute monarchies- emergence of democracy; liberalism and individualism; rise of ideas such as liberty, equality, and fraternity; separation of state and church, secularism; emphasis on reason and rationality; emergence of nation state and nationalism Early Sociologists: August Comte: • The person who first used the term sociology • Defended a perspective called positivism a belief that the world can best be understood through scientific inquiry • sociology as the science of society • He observed that societies remain stable (order) yet change over time (progress). Emile Durkheim (multivariate theory, p. 8-9): • People are products of their social environment. • Emphasizes the role of consensus in values in maintaining order • Points out to changes in division of labour - from simple to complex; from mechanic solidarity (based on sameness) to organic (based on interdependence); Social facts: patterned ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that are external and constraining upon the individual -exert social control over Anomie: a condition of normlessness in which social control becomes ineffective as a result of the loss of shared values and of a sense of purpose in society Durkheim's study of suicide: relationship between level of social integration and suicide Karl Marx (historical comparative tradition p. 12-13): • Emphasizes the role of class conflict in bringing social change. • Marx focused on factors that led to the emergence of capitalist society and forms of inequality and exploitation unique to capitalist societies. • Marx explains the difference between price and value. He believed that value is created through labour. For him exploitation meant appropriation of the unpaid labour (surplus) by those who owned the means of production alienation: a feeling of powerlessness and estrangement from other people and from oneself. He argued that in capitalist societies workers are alienated from: • the means of production • from the work process • from the products of their labour • from each other W.E. B. Du Bois – Colour Line theory Most of early sociology does not pay enough attention to concerns and issues of women, racialized groups and ethnic minorities. Du Bois was one of the pioneers in race relations and looking at the significance of race in stratification, discrimination and internalization of oppression by the subjects. Max Weber (interpretive tradition p. 9-11) • He believed that rationality was the most important change in modern societies. • He argued that modern societies were also characterized by legal-rational authority, unlike earlier societies where traditional and charismatic authority prevailed. • Weber believed that capitalism was an unintended consequence of the Protestant Reformation. Religious values were the cause of capitalism in Europe. • Modern capitalism created a new middle class of professionals, technicians, and office employees who were paid higher salaries and given more autonomy at work. • Weber’s focus on class, status, and power suggested that a mu
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