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SOC100H5 (495)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Suzanne Casimiro

Chapter One: The Sociological Perspective The Sociological Perspective: Sociology is the systematic study of human society; point of view called sociological perspective Seeing the General in the Particular Peter Berger- sociological perspective- seeing the general in the particular He meant that sociologists find general patterns in behavior of particular individuals Even though each person is unique, sociologists recognize that society acts differently on different categories of people Ex. Kids vs. adults women vs. men rich vs. poor According to sociology, the category we fall into shapes our life experiences We begin to think sociologically when we realize that our individual life experiences are shaped by the society in which we live, and by the general categories in which we fall Seeing the Strange in the Familiar Idea that society shapes what we think and do Sociological perspective provides additional insights that may not be readily apparent Seeing Personal Choice in Social Context Idea that society reflects our personal choices Example 1: number of children women have- factors affecting this decision could include: poor country, less schooling, few economic opportunities and use of contraception Example 2: suicide rates- according to Emile Durkheim, some categories of people are more likely to commit suicide- men, protestants, rich people, and unmarried people Explained this in terms of social integration: categories of people with strong social ties had lower suicide rates compared to more individualistic categories of people that had high suicide rates (p.5) Seeing Sociologically: Marginality and Crisis Situations that help people use the sociological perspective: living on the margins of society and living through a social crisis being an outsider(not part of the dominant group) the greater peoples social marginality, the better able they are to use the sociological perspective examples of people at the margins of society- women, gaylesbian, people with disabilities and old The importance of a global perspective Global Perspective: study of the larger world and our societys place in it www.notesolution.com
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