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Chapter 1

Soc 101 Chapter 1

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University of Toronto St. George

Week 1 September-11-13 12:01 PM Sociology  It is the systematic study of human action in social context o How people interact with each other as they link in particular situations, institutions etc.  It is based on the idea of our relations with other people to create opportunities for us to think and act but also set limits on our thoughts and action Sociology and Other Fields  Sociology is an elastic discipline that shares some elements in common with many other fields o History, Philosophy, Psychology etc. Philosophical Foundations  Underlying Sociology is Philosophy and its concepts: o Ontology: what is real o Epistemology: How we know what we know Birth of Sociology:  The scientific revolution (16th c.) encouraged the use of evidence to substantiate theories  The democratic revolution (18th c.) encouraged the view that human action can change society  The industrial revolution (19th c.) gave sociologists their subject matter  These revolutions lead to the knowledge of what does it mean to live with other people in society ( a smooth way to live) Sociology- Asking a set of Questions  How to see the world  How do you form your opinions and accumulate info  What is culture and what role does it play in your life  How did you become the person you are today  How do you relate and interact with your family, friends and strangers around you - what are the origins of these differences and the social interaction process  How you live your life and what are the effects of your class position  What racial and ethic group do you identity yourself with  How do you feel your gender shapes who you are  What impact have changes around the world had on your life Sociological Perspective  Heart of sociology is a special point of view called socio-logical perspective  Sociological perspective as seeing the general in the particular. By this we mean that sociologists identify general patterns in the behaviour of particular individuals  While acknowledging that each individual is unique, sociologists recognize that society acts differently on various categories of people (children compared to adults, women vs. men, rich vs, poor)  We think sociologically when we realize how these general challenges (LOOK AT PP) Example  Sociological Perspective illustrated through considering cause of suicide  Suicide often regarded as a supreme
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