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Commit Sociology - Introducing Sociology.docx

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Christian O.Caron

- Sociology = the systematic study of human behavior in a social context (7) - Durkheim examined the rates of suicide and compared that to the rates of psychological disorder in certain groups (8) - But Durkheim learned that there were slightly more men than women in asylums, but four times as many men than women committed suicide (8) - Suicide rates and psychological disorders seemed not to correlate (8) - Durkheim said that difference between suicide rates in different groups was because of different levels of social solidarity (8) - If people share beliefs and values and interacts frequently and intensely, they have strong social solidarity, and this social solidarity leads people to be firmly anchored in their world, so that even when tragedy strikes, they don’t commit suicide (8) - For example, married people are less likely to commit suicide than unmarried people, even when their spouse has died, because they have high levels of social solidarity (8) - Altruistic suicide = norms tightly govern behavior so people commit suicide to protect the group – high levels of social solidarity, ex. suicide bombers or soldiers (9) - Egoistic and anomic suicide = low levels of social solidarity (9) - Anomic suicide = norms governing behavior (ex. what is moral and what isn’t) are vaguely defined (9) - Egoistic suicide = weak social ties to others (9) - Unlike in Durkheim’s France in the 1960s, young and working age people are more likely to commit suicide than people between the ages of 60 and 89, although the greatest suicide risk is people over 89 and this has remained constant (9) - Younger people commit suicide more often now than in the 60s because there are fewer shared moral principles and social ties (9) - This is largely due to the lack of religious ties, rising unemployment, high divorce rates, births out of wedlock, and high rates of suicide of LGBT youth (10) - Social structures = relatively stable patterns of social relations (10) - Microstructures = patterns of intimate social relations formed through face-to-face encounters, ex. family, friends, colleagues (10) - Macrostructures = patterns of social relations that lie outside and above your circle of friends and acquaintances, ex. class relations, the patriarchy, etc. (11) - Global structures = international organizations, economic relations between countries, etc. (11) - Sociological imagination = the quality of mind that enables a person to see the connection between personal troubles and societal structures (12) - The sociological imagination was created from the Scientific Revolution, which encouraged people to think about the world based on solid evidence instead of speculating, the Democratic Revolution, which suggested that people are responsible for organizing society and that humans can solve social problems, and the Industrial Revolution, which created a whole bunch of new problems for people to solve (12) - Historically, people thought that God ordained the social order, but the Democratic Revolution led them to realize that people control and can change society (13) - The term sociology was coined byAugust Comte in 1838 (14) - Values = ideas about right and wrong that cause sociologists to form and favour certain theories over others (16) - Functionalism - Ex. Durkheim's theory of suicide (17) - Human behaviour is governed by relatively stable social structures, ex. Suicide rates being influenced by social solidarity (17) - Social structures maintain or undermine social stability, ex. Growth of industry low
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