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Chapter Final

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SOC 1100
Dan Meegan

Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective Sociology The systematic study of human society At the heart of sociology is a special point of view called the sociological perspectiveThis The sociological perspective is described as seeing the general in the particularmeans sociologists identify general patterns in the behaviour of particular individualsWhile acknowledging that each individual is unique sociologists recognize that society acts differently on various categories of people children compared to adults women versus men the rich as opposed to the poor At first the sociological perspective is seeing the strange in the familiar Durkheim found that some categories of people were more likely than others to take their own lives Men Protestants wealthy people and the unmarried had much higher suicide rates than did women Catholics and Jews the poor and married people Durkheim explained the differences in terms of social integration categories of people with strong social ties had low suicide rates and more individualistic categories of people had high suicide rates Following Durkheims argument we might conclude that the higher suicide rate among men is a result of their greater affluence and autonomy in Canadian society Interestingly male suicide rates are highest 30 per 100 000 in Quebec and the Northwest Territories where marriage rates are the lowest as well as in the Yukon where divorce rates are the highest Comtes approach is called positivism a way of understanding based on science As a positivist Comte believed that society operates according to its own laws much as the physical world operates according the gravity and other laws of nature Canadian Sociology Distinctive TouchesAs a discipline that reflects a country with two major cultures and linguistic communities Canadian sociology includes a unique francophone componentThe StructuralFunctional ApproachIs a framework for building theory that see society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability Points to social structure any relatively stable pattern of social behaviour Social structure gives our lives shapein familes workplace classroom communities Also looks for a structures social functions the consequences of any social pattern for the operation of society as a whole Just as structural parts of the human bodythe skeleton muscles and various internal organsfunction interdependently to help the entire organism survive social structures work together to preserve society Manifest fucntions the recognized and intended consequences of any social patternLatent functions the unrecognized and unintended consequences of any social pattern A social dysfunction is any social pattern that may disrupt to operation of societyThe SocialConflict Approach Sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change Investigate how factors such as social class race ethnicity gender sexual orientation age are linked to a societies unequal distribution of money power education and social prestige Reject the idea that social structure promotes the operation of society as a whole focusing instead on the fact that social patterns may benefit some people while hurting others Sociologists using the socialconflict approach look at ongoing conflict between dominant and disadvantaged categories of peoplethe rich in relation to the poor Feminism and the GenderConflict ApproachGender conflict focuses on inequality and conflict between women and men closely linked to feminism the advocacy of social equality for women and men Harriet Martineau Regarded as first woman sociologist Concerned about the position of women in society and fought for changes in education policy so that women could look forward to more in life than marriage and raising children SymbolicInteraction ApproachThe structural functional and socialconflict approaches sharea macrolevel orientation a broad focus on social structures that shape society as a whole Take a look at the big pictureSymbolic interactionism takes a microlevel orientation a close up focus on social interaction in specific situations Sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals That is human beings live in a world of symbols attaching meaning to everything from the worlds on this page to the wink of an eyeReality therefore is simply how we define our surroundings obligations towards others and even our own identities Postmodern ApproachCritical of modernism with a mistrust of grand theories and ideologies Seek to observe other societies without applying the conceptual baggage of their own They observe with the goal of achieving understanding and a vision rather than data collection Through deconstruction taking apart of existing text poster modernists can demystify the assumptions hierarchies of knowledge and ideological motivation of the social sciences Chapter 2 Sociological Investigation Scientific knowledge rests on empirical evidence meaning information we can verify with our senses Scientific SociologyThe study of society based on systematic observations of social behaviour The scientific orientation of positivism assumes that an objective reality exists out there
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