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Sociology 1021E
Daphne Heywood

CHAPTER 1-WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY Introduction: - major concerns of sociology is to explain why members of other groups behave diff - eg. USA and Canada (whole societies) - small groups that share same status(unionists, doctors) - individuals who may not see themselves as forming groups (having children, being 6ft, living in same province) - sociologists adopt a viewpoint developed over a century ago by Emile Durkhiem - suicide investigation - argued that social factors- factors pertaining to either group structure or to relationships among individuals in groups- also effect suicide - socialfacts:point to social sources or group-level explanation of behavior such as ethnicity, gender, place of residence, and marital status - study revealed greater frequency of suicide among men, protestants, the older, and the unmarried (social isolation) - social links acts as a buffer against suicide egotisticsuicide: suicide that occurs because of the lack of social ties altruisticsuicide: suicide that occurs because of strong social ties (suicide bombers) anomicsuicides: are found in societies due to social change fatalistic suicides: occurs in societies having too many rules and too few options. Individuals may feel trapped, with suicide the only way out - Durkhiem demonstrated how social conditions affect human behavior - sociologists are concerned with rates of behavior - for example: suicides among men and not the suicide of any one man- and with group differences, comparing, for example, the suicide rates of married versus single adults Sociology: Its Modern Origins and Varieties - French and Industrial Revolutions kindled its modern development (sociology) - French Revolution expanded the potential for democracy - Industrial Revolution led to a new economy, the further growth of trade and cities, and a radically new organization of work - one result of these two upheavals was that relatively small, simple, rural societies - Religious people saw sociology as both science and religion Functionalism - borrowed three major concepts from biology and medicine: function, equilibrium, and development - function means that social arrangements exist because they somehow benefits society, and its points to the importance to each part of society for the functioning and health of the whole. - functionalists can argue that female prostitution is beneficial and functional for society - general position is that if something persists in society as in the case of prostitution in spite of widespread disapproval then it must serve a function - if it served to function it would disappear equilibrium: stability based on a balance among parts and consensus is seen as the natural state of society - society will return to equilibrium after it adapts to the inevitable occasional temporary and minor problems called dysfunctions - also means that a change in any one part of society will be felt in other parts of society - social change is seen as gradual and usually in the direction of both greater differentiation the development of new
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