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1. Intro to Sociology.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Shelly Ungar

Week one Pg. 1-16  Sociology is the systematic study of human behaviour in social context  Emile Durkheim believed that suicide rates varied because of the difference in the degree of social solidarity (Refers to 1. the degree to which group members share beliefs and values 2. the intensity and frequency of their interaction)  Emile Durkheim believed that a low degree of social solidarity causes Egoistic and Anomic suicide while high degree of social solidarity causes Altruistic Suicide and having a balanced social solidarity prevents suicide. Emile Durkheim is the first sociology professor  Egoistic Suicide – results in poor integration (mixing with) of people in society  Anomic Suicide - an individual not feeling as if he/she fits into the society anymore  Altruistic Suicide – is suicide in order to benefit others  Social Structures – are relatively stable patterns of social relations (What is considered the norm in society) (There are three levels of Social Structure)  Microstructures – are the patterns of relatively intimate (close) social relations formed during face-to-face interaction. Families, friendship circle, and associations are all examples of microstructures. Understanding the operations of microstructure can help you manipulate with the peers around you and using them most efficiently and when most dependent  Macrostructures – are overarching (main) patterns of social relations that lie outside and above your circle of intimates and acquaintances Ex. someone of the same class or bureaucracies (organizations). To understand and maintain social structure in this group you have to do something that is outside the norm towards changing it to make people happy. Ex. Men doing more house work help leads to happier lives  Global structures – are patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level. They include international organizations, patterns of worldwide travel and communication, and the economic relations between countries. Ex. Charity work  The ability to see the connection between personal trouble and social structure. This quality of mind is called Sociological Imagination  Ex. Personal problems of finding a job connected to the public issue of economic meltdown  The sociological imagination to different people connects to three variables  1. History - Depending on when you are born you have different sociological imagination  2. Social Structure - Where are you born? What Class? Rich or Poor? R
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