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Socio-Into notes

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Mc Kinon

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Chapter 1
“ A Sociological Compass”
2.3 From Personal Troubles to
Social Structures
*society also lives in you
*social solidarity
*social structures-stable patterns
of social relations
*sociologist main task: explain
connection between people’s
personal troubles & social
*3 Levels of Social Structure:
i. Microstructures
>>patterns of intimate social
>>face-to-face interactions
>>e.g. families, friendship circles
& work associations
>>”strength of weak ties
-better ask some1 whom you aren’t
that close, knows other people
unlike close people who actually
know same people as you do
ii. Macrostructures
>>patterns of social relations that
lie outside & above your circle of
intimates & acquaintances(kakilala)
>>e.g. class relations,
bureaucracies & patriarchy (W=+
+household than M, unequal
division of work in the household)
>>patriarchy major source
dissatisfaction within
marriages(when share domestic
responsibilities equally =
iii. Global Structures
>>intl org,patterns of worldwide
travel & communication, &
economic relations w countries
>>the global structure of int’l
relations created & helps maintain
global inequality suggests new
policies priorities for helping the
world’s poor
*personal problems are connected
to social structures at the micro,
macro & global levels
2.4 The Sociological
*social imagination
>>ability to see the connection
between personal troubles & social
>>what they need is a quality of
mind that will help them to [see]
what is going on in the world &
what may be happening w/in
themselves.(C. Wright Mills)
*Philosophers: God & nature
controlled society. (relied on
speculations rather than on
BOX 1.2 “ANDERTON” movie
*not everything is
predetermined(flaw from “Pre-
*people false beliefs:
i. they are perfectly free to do
whatever they want(social
structure influences our behaviour,
we are not really free)
ii. the society is so big & powerful
they are unable to do anything to
change it(we can do something
about it)
2.5 Origins of the Sociological
*3 modern Revolutions:
i. Scientific Revolution
>>began about 1550
>>conclusions must be based on
solid evidence not just speculation
>>a science of society was
ii. Democratic Revolution
>>began about 1750
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>>people are responsible for
organizing society & that human
intervention can therefore solve
social problems
>>people could intervene to
improve society
iii. Industrial Revolution
>>began about 1780
>>presented social thinkers w/ a
host of pressing social problems
crying out of solution
>>eg. Reacted to the filth &
III. Theory, Research & Values
i.Auguste Comte
>>coined the term sociology in
>>tried to place the study of
society on scientific foundations
>>conservative thinker
ii. Herbert Spencer
>>strongly influenced by Charles
>>thought societies comprised
interdependent parts (just as
biological organisms did)
-parts: families, govts, economy
>>societies evolve in the same
way as bio species do: individuals
struggle to survive & the fittest
succeed in this struggle
>>societies evolve from barbaric
to civilized
>>inequality exist(but this should
be to evolve)
*3 Giants in the Early History of
i. Karl Marx
ii. Emile Durkheim
iii. Max Weber
>>industrial capitalism as a way of
improving people’s lives
3.1 Theory
*Theories=tentative explanations
of some aspects of social life
>>state how & why certain facts
are related
e.g. Durkheim related facts about
suicides rate to facts about social
3.2 Research
>>process of carefully observing
social reality, often to test a theory
or assess its validity
e.g. collecting Stats
3.3 Values
>>are ideas about what is right &
>>must make certain judgements:
w/c problems are worth studying
IV. Sociological Theory &
4.1 Functionalism
*by Durkheim
*4 Features:
i. human behaviour are stable
patterns of
social relations/social structures
>>most are macrostructures
e.g. sucide rates influenced by
pattern of
social solidarity
ii. social structures
social stability
e.g.growth of industries=---social
solidarity=+++suicide rates
iii.social structures are based
mainly on
shared values/preferences
e.g.SS=moral cement that binds
people together
iv. re-establishing equi’m can best
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