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Chapter 1

Sociology Chapter One.docx

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Gregory Bird

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Sociology Chapter One Sociology: The systematic study of human behavior in social context This Chapters Goals: 1. To reveal the truth about the operation of the social world; the sociological perspective 2. Sociological research is motivated by a desire to improve the social world 3. Analyze the methods of collecting sociological data and assess their strengths and weaknesses to increase their validity. 4. Sociologists try to understand social phenomena to find ways of improving society making sociology relevant to me. The Sociological Perspective Suicide seems to be an anti-social act society condemns it, it is committed in private, and it is rare. Sociology strives to view the social aspects of this seemingly nonsocial act of selfishness. The Sociological Explanation of Suicide Emile Durkheim: demonstrated that suicide is more than just an individual act of desperation that results from psychological disorder, as was commonly believed showed that suicide rates are strongly influenced by social forces Society thinks that psychological disorder causes suicide More women than men are in nut houses but 4 male suicides occur for ever female suicide o Jews highest rate of psychological disorder but lowest suicide rate. o Psych Disorders occur most when people reach maturity but suicide increases with advancing age Therefore, suicide rates and psychological disorder does not vary directly, but rather inversely o Vary due to social solidarity more social solidarity in a group, more anchored individuals are to social world, less likely take own lives high solidarity groups lower suicide rates than low solidarity groups Married adults half as likely as unmarried adults Women less likely than man more involved in social relations Jews less likely than Christians prosecution turn into group more defensive and tightly knit Seniors more likely than young live alone, lost spouse, lack job, no friends Social Solidarity: the degree to which group members share beliefs and values and the intensity and frequency of their interaction. Altruistic Suicide: occurs in settings that exhibit very high levels of social solidarity results from norm very tightly governing behavior; soldiers knowingly protecting comrades Egoistic Suicide: results from the poor integration of people into society because of weak social ties to others; someone who is unemployed and not married Anomic Suicide: occurs in settings that exhibit low levels of social solidarity results from vague norms governing behavior; people living in society lacking shared code of morality Suicide in Canada Today Suicide rates are high in Canada shared moral principles and strong social ties have eroded for Canadas youth since early 1960s social solidarity is lower Church attendance is lacking Unemployment rates are high, especially for youth Divorce rates has increased, and births before marriage are common; children brought up in single parent homes; enjoy less frequent and intimate social interaction with parents and less adult supervision The Sociological Imagination Social Structures: Relatively stable patterns of social relations We live in a society, and society also lives within us Sociological Imagination: The quality of mind that enables one to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures developed by C. Wright Mills Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both Mills argued that there are three levels of social structure surrounding and permeating us: 1. Microstructure: patterns of intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interaction; friendship, families, work associations 2. Macrostructures: patterns of social relations that lie outside and above your circle of intimates and acquaintances. One macrostructure is patriarchy which is the traditional system of economic and political inequality between women and men in most societies 3. Global Structures: patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level; international organizations, patterns of worldwide travel and communication, economic relations among countries inexpensive travel and communication allow all parts of the world to become interconnected culturally, economically, and politically O RIGINS OF THESOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION Philosophers first believed that God and nature controlled society they sketched blueprints of an ideal society and urged people to follow them rely on speculation not evidence to reach conclusions about how the world worked The Scientific Revolution 1550 Sound conclusions about how society works must be based on evidence, not just speculation Mid 17 century philosophers were calling for a science for society 19 century sociology emerged as a distinct discipline firm pillar for SI The Democratic Revolution 1750 People are responsible for organizing society and that human intervention can therefore solve social problems change from God ordaining social order o Society can change in a short period o People could replace unsatisfactory rulers + people can control and change society through human action The Industrial Revolution 1775 The rapid economic transformation that began in Britain around 1775 involving the large-scale application of science and technology to industrial processes, the creation of factories, and the formation of a working class Growth of industry: people move from country to city. Scientific revolution suggests that a science of society was possible Democratic revolution suggest people could intervene to improve society. Industrial revolution present social thinkers with a host of pressing social problems crying out for solution create SI Auguste Comte and the Tension between Science and Values Made the term sociology in 1838 eager to adopt scientific method in sociology study Want to understand social world as it was, not as one imagined it should be Urge slow change and preservation of tradition in social life opposed French and Industrial Revolution; conservative thinker, motivated by strong opposition to rapid change in French society SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY AND T HEORISTS Functionalism Emile Durkheim 1. Human behavior is governed by stable patterns of social relations, or social structures 2. Shows how social structures maintain or undermine social stability 3. Emphasize that social structures are based mainly on shared values 4. Suggests that re-establishing equilibrium can best solve more social problems Conflict Theory 1. Generally focuses on large, macro level structures, such as the relations among classes 2. Shows how major patterns of inequality in society pr
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