SOC 1100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Social Constructionism, Social Darwinism, Queer Theory
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Chapter 1: Introduction
Social Solidarity: The degree to which group members share beliefs and values, and the intensity and
frequency of their interactions.
The higher social solidarity the lower suicide rates and the lower social solidarity the higher suicide
Suicide varies with the degree of integration of the social groups of which the individual forms a part.
Social Structures: Relatively stable patterns of social relations.
Microstructures: Patterns of intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interactions.
Such as; families, friendship circles and work associations.
Macrostructures: Patterns of social relations that lie outside and above your circle of intimates
and acquaintances. Such as; class relations, bureaucracies, and power systems.
Patriarchy: Traditional system of economic and political inequality between men and
Global Structures: Patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level. Such
as; international organizations, patterns of worldwide travel and communication and economic
relations between countries.
Sociological Imagination: The quality of mind that enables a person to see the connection between
personal troubles and social structures.
Sociological Imagination was created by C. Wright Mills and is a key feature of the sociological
Paradigm: A set of assumptions about how society works, broader than a theory.
Emilie Durkheim: Created the theory of suicide.
Thomas’ Theorem: That which people perceive as real becomes real in its consequences.
Villa Flammable: A Argentinian town that is located next to a petrochemical compound. Most of the
inhabitants of the town are sick but do not take action. This is because of the mass of contradictory
facts told to them by lawyers, doctors and the superiors of the compound.
Origins of Sociological Imagination:
Scientific Revolution: Began in 1550. Conclusions about the workings of society must be based
on solid evidence, not just on speculation.
Democratic Revolution: Began in 1750. Suggests that people are responsible for organizing
society and that human intervention can therefore solve social problems.
Industrial Revolution: Began in 1780. Involved the large-scale application of technology to
industrial processes, creation of factories, and the formation of a working class.
Auguste Comte: Coined the term Sociology in 1838 and praised the values of scientific methods.
Herbert Spencer: Second founder of sociology who discovered scientific laws governing the operation
of society called “Social Darwinism”.
Theories: Tentative explanations of some aspect of social life that state how and why certain facts are
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