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SOCI 2040 (27)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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York University
SOCI 2040
Barbara Henson

Chapter 1 Sociology is the scientific study of social interaction and social organization.  New Levels of Reality. The sociological perspective encourages us to examine aspects of our social environment in ways that delve beneath the surface. As we look beyond the outer appearances of our social world, we encounter new levels of reality.  The Sociological Imagination. The essence of the sociological imagination is the ability to see our private experiences and personal difficulties as entwined with the structural arrangements of our society and the times in which we live.  Microsociology and Macrosociology. Microsociology is the detailed study of what people say, do, and think moment by moment as they go about their daily lives. Macrosociology focuses upon large-scale and long-term social processes of organizations, institutions, and broad social patterns. The Development of Sociology  Auguste Comte: The Founder of Sociology. Auguste Comte is commonly credited as being the founder of sociology. He emphasized that the study of society must be scientific, and he urged sociologists to employ systematic observation, experimentation, and comparative historical analysis as their methods. He divided the study of society into social statics and social dynamics.  Harriet Martineau: Feminist and Methodologist. Harriet Martineau wrote the first book on social research methods and was among the first to do systematic, scientifically based, social research. Her comparative analysis of slavery and the position of women in the Western world paved the way for feminist scholarship and the further pursuit of gender equality.  Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism. Herbert Spencer depicted society as a system, a whole made up of interrelated parts. He also set forth an evolutionary theory of historical development. Social Darwinism is Spencer's application of evolutionary notions and the concept of survival of the fittest to the social world.  Karl Marx: The Role of Class Conflict. Karl Marx focused his search for the basic principles of history on the economic environments in which societies develop. He believed that society is divided into those who own the means of producing wealth and those who do not, giving rise to class conflict. Dialectical materialism is Marx's theory that development depends on the clash of contradictions and the creation of new, more advanced structures out of these clashes.  Émile Durkheim: Social Integration and Social Facts. Émile Durkheim was especially concerned with social solidarity, distinguishing between mechanical and organic solidarity. He contended that the distinctive subject matter of sociology should be the study of social facts.  Max Weber: Subjectivity and Social Organization. Max Weber said that a critical aspect of the sociological enterprise is the study of the intentions, values, beliefs, and attitudes that underlie people's behavior. He used the word Verstehen in describing his approach and contributed his notions of the ideal type and a value-free sociology.  American Sociology. In the United States, sociology and the modern university system arose together. The first department of sociology was established at the University of Chic
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