SY101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Wilfrid Laurier University, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, C. Wright Mills

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16 Oct 2011
SY 101B
September 13th 2010
Dr. Lucy Luccisano or x2866
Office hours: Monday 1-2pm
DAWB 5-136
Available to us
Study Skills center:
Power point slides are being posted on "my learning space"
5 extra readings; in the library
Guidelines for essay writing. 2002. Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Wilfrid laurier
Summary of the Grading Breakdown
Wednesday Oct. 6th - TEST 25%
Wednesday November 3rd- TEST 30%
Tutorial 5% Tutorial
Wednesday October 20th Assignment #1 5% Due in tutorials
Wednesday November 24 Assignment #2 5% Due in tutorials
Final exam 30% TBA
Exam includes: Lectures, readings, films, tutorial materials
Tutorials: written short essays need to be handed in to TA's
Tutorials are during class time on Wednesdays
Check my learning space on September 27th to find out what tutorial you're in
Page 4 of syllabus for tutorial leader, room and building number
Jennifer Boyd Thursday 7-9pm -S.I
Study skills, note taking skills etc.
Office hours 6-7pm 1C14
Info being posted on "my learning space"
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What is Sociology?? Chapter one
11:43 AM
Sociology: the study of society and human behaviour
Examination of how society is created,. Maintained and changed
Research challenges common sense knowledge and helps us to understand that many "natural"
things are socially constructed and organized
Provides opportunities to think critically about taken-for-granted assumptions
Helps to explain how personal experiences are shaped by social processes and social institutions
Scientific study of society and human behaviour
Interested on the affects that people have on one another
o What are people doing with each other
o What are people's relationships with each other
o Why do people react certain ways with each other
Social Location (income, education, gender, age and ethnicity)- why people do what they do based
on where people are located in a particular society (text page 2)
Different social locations will have a different effect on how you react and how you behave
around other people/ locations (ex of location: teacher)
Natural Science
o Intellectual and academic disciplines designed to comprehend, explain and predict event
in our natural environment
Social Sciences (text page 5)
o Examines human relationships
o Attempt to understand the social world and just as the world of nature contains order (or
lawful) relationships that are not obvious but must be discovered through theoretical
advances and controlled observation, the ordered relationships of the human or social
world are not obvious
Political science: focuses on how people govern themselves
Economics: is the social science that deals with the theory and management of the
production, distributio0n, and consumption of goods
Anthropology: examines the origins of human migration and the development of
tools, techniques, kinships, value systems and social relationships
Psychology: processes that occur within the individual
Sociology: disciplined study of human social behaviour
Origins of Sociology (text page 8)
o Three factors combined to lead to it's development
o Industrial revolution:
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) and John Locke (1632-1704)
Pointed out that human growth and development can only happen when tradition gives
away to reason
Reason and science in turn contribute to the ability of people to comprehend, change and
perhaps control not only their society but also the world as a whole
o Imperialism:
New european empires stretching from Asia through Africa to North America exposed them
radically different cultures.
Europeans began asking why cultures differed
Sociology took on the task of understanding the social changes
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Success of natural sciences
Used the scientific method- objective procedures used to acquire knowledge on evidence-
uncovered truths about the physical world that had been concealed in nature
Peter Berger
o That "something" is "society within us" -> culture
o That something inside of us dictates how we behave in society based on our culture
o When and where we grow up influences our sociological understanding of behaviour
o Everybody has something different with in them based on where they live and their location
o Social construction vs. Instinct
o Focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups
participate in the creation of their perceived reality
o Things that appear obvious and natural are in fact not (ex. Men in skirts)
o Cultural normalities and societal normalities are very different (ex men taking leaves to stay
with their children over the women)
o 1963 "Invitation to sociology" Berger -> what seems natural and normal is not
o Believed that Individuals who like rules and take advantage of life rules should avoid
C Wright Mills (1916-1962) he believes sociology is:
o "Sociological Imagination" 1959: sociological vision- a way of looking at the world that
allows links between the apparently private problems of the individual and important social
o Difference between "personal troubles" and "public issues" of social structure
o 6 to 10 workers are unable to live past pay checks (pay check living)
o Believes we don't do things because of our inheritance, rather we do stuff based on
society's influence
A social (rather than a natural) science
What makes sociology a science???
o Human life is complicated and constantly changing
o Sociology is a commitment to an approach
o Has a method and a scientific approach
o Defined by a sceptical perspective
o A negativistic logic: doesn't believe in the solutions of today but rather the ones of
o Communalism: method of producing results
o A systematic approach to enquiry: guided by logic (decisions)
Development of Sociology (3 factors)
Sociology coincides with the French revolution
Really concerned about industrialisation
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