SOC101 Chapter Notes -Frantz Fanon, Talcott Parsons, George Padmore

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29 Jan 2013

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Soc 101 Week One Readings-Chapter 1 & 2
Chapter One: Understanding Social Imagination
-Sociology: systematic study of human groups and their interactions
-Sociological Perspective: unique way sociologists see our world and dissect the dynamic
relationships between individuals and the larger social networks which we all live
-small choices = rich social significance
C.W. Mills:
People who do not/cannot recognize the social origins and character of their problems
may be unable to respond to these problems effectively
Individual and social link (cannot understand one without the other)
-Social Issues: caused by larger social factor that requires collective solutions
-Personal Troubles: personal challenges requiring individual solutions
-Personal troubles never becomes social issues because people rarely equate what is
happening to them to the larger social world
-Quality of Mind: ability to view personal circumstances within a social context
-Sociological Imagination: ability to perceive how dynamic social forces influence individual
-Cheerful Robots: people who are unwilling to see the social world which they exist
Peter Berger
Seeing the general in the particular is the ability to look at seemingly unique events and
then recognize the larger features involved
Tune their social perspective by thinking about what is familiar and seeing what is
Cornerstone of sociological thinking
-Agency: assumption that individuals have the ability to alter their socially constructed lives
-Structure: network of relatively stable opportunities and constraints influencing individual
-How does being considered minority impact the way in which that a person sees themselves
-Gender: Canada, particularly, ruled by men
-Socioeconomic Status: income level, level of education, occupation and area of residence
-Ascribed Status: attributes assigned at birth
-Achieved Status: attributes developed through life as a result of effort and skill
-Family Structure: regardless of a child‟s age, higher income better physical, social,
emotional, cognitive and behaviour well-being
-Urban and Rural Differences: structural differences
K‟ung Fu_Tzu (Confucius): elaborate discussions. How individual fits in society
Three Revolutions Rise of Sociology: To understand and manage social change
1. Scientific Revolution
Great thinkers challenging The Church
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Auguste Comete (1798-1857)
o Techniques used in science to explain social world
o Law of Three Stages
Theological Stage (up until 13th century): God is responsible for all
Metaphysical Stage: questions everything and challenges the church.
People can understand the universe themselves
Positive Stage: through a scientific lens
o There exists an object and knowable reality
o Since all scientists explore the same singular reality over time all sciences will
become more alike
o No room in science for values and judgments
o Hard science can explain physical world, the social world cannot be understood
solely through numbers and formulas
o All sciences will not merge over time and no single methodological approach can
reach a complete understanding of our world
o Science cannot be separated from our values
-Quantitative: measurable behaviors
-Qualitative: cannot be counted
2. Political Revolution
Machiallelli: „The Prince‟ – Humans are motivated by self-interest and desire for material
Descartes: „Cogito ergo sum‟ – I think therefore I am
Hobbes: Fear of death and desire for power are humans main motivations
Locke: ideas are not innate and all knowledge is a result of experience (people are born a
blank slate)
Rousseau: „Natural State‟ – Individual desires are solitarily and self-centered, idea of the
„Social Contract‟
3. Industrial Revolution
Change in family structures, how people make a living, peoples thoughts, dreams and
Rural to Urban migration: brought issues of child labour, poverty, malnutrition and
higher crime rates
-Macrosociology: big picture
-Microsociology: individual/small groups
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