Lecture 1 - chapter 1 First part of Chapter 1 lecture notes.

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
What is Sociology?
1. Understanding Sociology
Text, Chapter 1
A. Definition
o The systematic study of human society to the discipline study of social
interaction. Systematic studies are aimed and focused. Not a movement to
reform society, but to understand it. Intellectual discipline attempting to
make sense of what is going on. Always action because society is always
evolving and changing.
B. The aim of Sociology
o To study society, not necessarily change it. Though, change may come over
time based on the results of the observations.
C. The subject matter of Sociology
o The interaction and the results of the interaction. Interaction leads to
habitual forms of relating to each other. Common interactions include
norms, habits, rules, laws. Once interaction decreases, the norms weaken or
change or possibly disappear.
D. Generalizations about the subject matter
1) Social interaction patterns what and how?
o Regular patterns which are followed by social interactions. E.g. Each
Friday your friend group attends a movie. Allows us to experience
security in our social norms. We develop norms with reoccurring
interaction. Craving to belong in a group will lead to conforming in
order to gain acceptance.
2) The social context of interaction
o Behave in a way that will likely draw favorable reactions and opinions
of peers. People may act slightly different around their entire social
circle than they would on their own. The context changes based on
the social situation.
3) The social consequences of interaction
o Out of the norms, rather extensive rules are developed. It allows
society to be functional by having laws and rules to abide by.
E. The development of Sociology
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