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SA 150 (89)
Chapter 1

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Simon Fraser University
Sociology and Anthropology
SA 150
Ann Travers

Chapter 1 Notes THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Sociology – the systematic study of human society. SEEING THE GENERAL IN THE PARTICULAR Sociological perspective – seeing the general in the particular. The sociological perspective reveals the power to society to shape individuals lives.  What we commonly think of as personal choice – whether or not it go to university or college, how many children we will have, even the decision to end our own life 0 is affected by social forces.  Peter Berger described the sociological perspective as “seeing the general in the particular”  C. Wright Mills called this point of view the “sociological imagination”, claiming it transforms personal troubles into public issues.  The experience of being an outsider or of living through a social crisis can encourage people to use the sociological perspective. THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOVAL PERSPECTIVE Global perspective – the study of the larger world and our society’s place in it. High-income countries – nations with the highest overall standards of living. Example: Canada Middle-income countries – nations with a standard of living about average for the world as a whole. Example: Brazil Low-income countries – nations with a low standard of living which most people are poor. Example: Mali Societies throughout the world are increasingly interconnected.  New technology allows people around the world to share popular trends.  Immigration from around the world increase the racial and ethnic diversity of Canada.  Trade across national boundaries has created a global economy. Many social problems that we face in Canada are far more serious in other countries. Learning about life in other societies help us learn more about ourselves. APPLYING THE SOCIALOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Research by sociologists play an important role in shaping public policy. On a personal level, using the sociological perspective helps us see the opportunities and limits in our lives and empowers us to be active citizens. THE ORIGINS OF SOCIOLOGY th th Rapid social change in the 18 and 19 centuries made people more aware of their surroundings and help trigger the development of sociology.  The rise of an industrial economy moved work from homes to factories, weakening the traditions that had guided community life for centuries.  The explosive growth of cities created many social
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