Textbook Notes (280,000)
CA (160,000)
UTSC (20,000)
Sociology (1,000)
SOCA01H3 (400)
Chapter 1

SOCA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Solidarity, Scientific Revolution, Scientific Method

Course Code
Sheldon Ungar

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Brym: Chapter 1- Pages 1 to 17 Reading Week 1
Chapter Outline
Define Sociology
Identify the social relations that surround you, permeate you, and influence your behavior
Desrie ho soiologial researh seeks to iproe people’s lies ad test ideas using
specific methods
Summarize the main schools of sociological theory
Appreciate how sociology emerged out of the scientific , democratic and industrial
Understand the main challenges facing society today
Goals of this Chapter
1. Illustrate the power of sociology to dispel foggy assumptions and help us see the operation
of the social world more clearly. To that end, we examine a phenomenon that at first glance
appears to be solely the outcome of breakdowns in individual functioning suicide. We show
that , in fact, social relations powerfully influence suicide rates. This exercise introduces you
to unique qualities of the sociological perspective
2. Chapters second goal is to show that, from its origins, sociological research has been
motivated by a desire to improve the social world. Thus, sociology is not a dry academic
exercise but a means of charting a better course for society. At the same time sociologists
use scientific methods to test their ideas, thus increasing the validity of the results. We
illustrate these points by briefly analyzing the work of the funders of the discipline
3. Suggest That Sociology can help you come to grips with the century, just as it helped the
founders of sociology deal with theirs. Today we are witnessing massive and disorienting
social changes. As was the case 100 or 150 years ago, sociologists now try to understand
social phenomena and suggest credible ways of improving society.
The Sociological Perspective
At the End of the 19 century Emile Durkheim demonstrated that suicide is more than just an
individual act of desperation that results from a psychological disorder, as was commonly
believed at the time. Social forces he showed, strongly influence suicide rates
Durkheim made his case by examining the association between rates of suicide and the
rates of psychological disorder causes suicide is supported.
Psychological disorder causes suicide but only is suicide rate tends to be high when where
rates of psychological disorder are low.
Analysis of European government statistics, hospital records and other sources reveled
nothing of the kind. He discovered that insane asylums housed slightly more women than
men, but there were four male suicides for every female.
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Among the major religious groups in France , Jews had the highest rate of psychological
disorder, but also the lowest suicide rate
Durkehim also found that psychological disorders occurred most frequently when a person
reached adulthood, but suicide rates increased steadily with age
Durkheim held that suicide rates varied because of differences in the degree of social
solidary in various categories of the population
Durkeim specified the greater the degree to which group members share beliefs and values
and more frequently and intensely they interact, the more social solidarity a group exhibits
Durkehim expected high solidarity groups to have lower suicide rates than low- solidarity
groups did at least up to a point
Durkheim showed that married adults are half as likely as unmarried adults are to commit
suicide because marriage creates social ties and kind of moral cement that bind the invidual
to society
He argued that women are less likely to commit suicide than men are because women are
more involved in the intimate social relations of family life. Jews Durkheim wrote, are less
likely to commit suicide than Christians are because, after centuries of persecution, they
have become a group that is more defensive and tightly knit.
Jews are less likely to commit suicide than Christians are because after centuries because
they are a group that is more defensive and more closer
Older adults are more prone than the young and the middle- aged are to take their own
lives in the face of misfortune because they are most likely to live alone, to have a lost a
spouse or partner and lack a job and a wide network of friends
Generally, Durkheim said the suicide varies with the degree of integration of the social
groups of which the individual forms a part.
Suicide in Canada Today
Suicide is more common within youths today than before
Suicide is more common
His theory of social solidarity tells us why suicide is more common
In brief he shared moral principles and strong social ties have eroded since the early 1960’s
especially for Canadian Youth
Level of social solidarity is now lower than just a few decades ago, especially for young
Not being able to share moral standards young people in Canada today are more likely than
they were half a century ago to take their own lives if they happen to find themselves in a
deep personal crisis
From Personal Troubles to Social Structures
Social Structures
- Stable patterns of social relations
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