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Canada (161,962)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA01H3 (480)
Chapter 1

Sociology Chapter 1

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Sheldon Ungar

The Social Imagination is the quality of mind that enables a person to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures Origins of the sociological Imagination 1 Scientific Revolution began about 1550 It encouraged the view that sound conclusions about the workings of society must be based on solid evidence not on speculationScience is less a collection of ideas than a method of inquiry The scientific method involves using evidence to make a case a particular point of view Descartes in France and Hobbes in England were calling for a science of society2 Democratic Revolution began about 1780 It suggested that people are responsible for organizing society and that human intervention can therefore solve problems Most people believed that God obtained the social order The American Revolution and the French Revolution helped to undermine that idea These democratic political upheavals showed that society could experience massive change in a short period They proved that people could replicate unsatisfactory rulers and that people control society A new science for society could help people find ways of overcoming social problems improving the welfare of citizens and efficiently reaching given goalsy The Industrial Revolution regarded as the most important event in world history since the development of agriculture of cities refers to the rapid economic transformation that began in Britain in the 1780s It involved the large scale application of science and technology to industrial processes the creation of factories and the formation of a working class As a result of the growth of industry masses of people moved from countryto cityworked agonizingly long hours in crowded and dangerous mines and factories lost faith in their religions confronted faceless bureaucracies and reacted to the filth and poverty of their existence by means of strikes crimerevolutions and warsy Scientific revolution suggested that a science of society was possible y Democratic revolution suggested that people could intervene to improve society y Industrial revolution presented social thinkers with a host of pressing social problems crying out for a solutiony Auguste Compte coined the term sociology in the year 1838 He tried to place the study of society on scientific foundations He said he wanted to understand the social world as it was not as he or anyone else imagined it should beHe found that rapid social change was destroying much of what he valued especially the respect for traditional authorityy He praised scientific methods but Compte never conducted any research Neither did the founder of sociology British social theorist Herbert Spencery Spencer believed that he had discovered scientific laws governing the operation of societyHe was influenced by Charles Darwins theory of evolution and he thought societies comprised of independent parts just as biological organisms did These parts included families governments and the economy y Individuals struggle to survive and the fittest succeed in this struggle the least fit die before they can bear offspring This allows societies to evolve from barbaric to civilized Deep social inequalities exist in societybut that is just as it should be if societies are to evolve y Social Darwinism a doctrine that justified social inequality and trumpeted the superiority of the wealthy and powerful Societies are not like biological systems We know that people can take things into their own hands and change their social environment in ways that no other species can
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