Textbook Notes (363,693)
Canada (158,533)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA01H3 (480)
Chapter 1


3 Pages
Unlock Document

Ivanka Knezevic

HSW CHAPTER 1 SOCIOLOGY AND THE STUDY OF SOCIETY Individuals create society, but society, in turn, creates them. In every society there are accepted distances for social conversation. Sociologists focus on general patterns, or regularities, in the suicide behavior.--- Durkheim revealed some fascinating patterns for suicide. Sociology is particularly challenging since it forces us to re-examine ourselves, our strongly held beliefs and values, and the social institutions to which we belong. ***what is society? --society as structure One key goal of sociology is to systematically study and analyze the various elements that constitute a society’s structure and the relationships among these elements. The terms society, social structure, and culture are often used interchangeably within the social sciences; some anthropologists try to combine the concepts by using the term sociocultural system --relations of power Power is largely a result of the control individuals or groups have of a society’s resources, including its “human resources.” It exists within personal relationships— which we might term proximal relations of power--and at a more abstract level in society as a whole—which we might term distal relations of power. We live in a society that teaches us to look inward to our own individual failings or to nearby proximal relations of power when we experience the negative consequences of distal relations of power, rather than outward to the broader social system. Wright Mills: the sociological imagination is the ability to go beyond the personal issues we all experience and connect them to broader social structures. The sociological imagination is the ability to link distal relations of power to our immediate life situations ---society as process At the same moment that societies display repetitive patterns, they are also being altered. Sociologists explain the ordered patterns but also analyze the changes. ***where does the individual fit in? Expected patterns=norms Humans are social and act in patterned ways, but there is no requirement that we act in those ways. Even when the price is incredibly high, some people under certain conditions choose to go against established expectations. These nonconforming behaviors can become the basis for broader social change. ---society and individual freedom The constraints of society that limit what we can do also limit what others can do. The assumption that most people will act as they should reduces our level of insecurity and allows us to get on with our lives. In the real world, the rights, beliefs, and values of various groups and individuals are always coming into conflict and must be resolved either informally or formally. ***sociology and science The roots of modern sociology lie in nineteenth-century Europe and are linked to the growth of science in the preceding few centuries First, knowledge must be based on empirical observation, that is, on data that can be observed through the senses; second, information must be analyzed through logic and rational thought. One of the earliest social theorists to try to apply scientific principles to social analysis was Frenchman Auguste Comte. North American sociology of the twentieth century became much more focused on quantitative analysis and proximal social relations while European sociology remained cl
More Less

Related notes for SOCA01H3

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.