Friday, January 24, 2014 7:44 PM
I. What is sociology?
a. Definition: The scientific study of social behavior and human groups.
i. Investigates how societies are organized, work, vary, and how they
ii. In influence people's behavior.
b. C. Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination
i. C. Wright Mills: Sociological imagination is to connect person troubles to
1) It is an awareness of the relationship between an individual and the
wider society, both today and in the past.
2) The key element is the ability to view one's own society as an
outsider would, rather than only from the perspective of personal
experiences and cultural biases.
ii. Sociological imagination is the ability "to see the strange in the familiar"
and "to see the general in the particular".
1) Detaching yourself from individualistic interpretations of human
behavior and accepting the initially "strange" notion that human
behaviors are a product of social forces.
2) Age, gender, race, sexuality, and class etc. all impact behaviors and
c. Comparing and Contrasting Sociology with Other Social Sciences
i. Sociology vs. Anthropology
Study of modern civilized and Concerns with an uncivilized or
complex societies. primitive and non-literate societies.
Study the institutions marriage, Study human primitive and non-
family or processes such as change, literate societies.
Study small and large societies. Concentrate on small societies.
Makes use of observation, Directly go and live in the
interview, social survey, and communities they study. They make
questionnaires etc. in its use of direct observations and
ii. Sociology vs. Economy
Study all kind of social Deals with only those social
relationships. relationships which are economic in
General social science. Special science.
A science of recent emergence. Has attained an advanced degree of
iii. Sociology vs. History
Study of present with all their Deals with the past events of man. It
complexity. is silent regarding the present. complexity. is silent regarding the present.
Is relatively young social science. It Is an age-old social science. It has a
has very short history of its own. long story of 2000 years or even
An analytic science. A descriptive science.
A generalizing science. An individualizing science.
iv. Sociology vs. Political Science
A science of society. A science of state and government.
Studies all kind of societies Studies only the politically
organized and unorganized. organized societies.
Has a wider scope. Has a narrower field.
Studies man as fundamentally a Studies man as a political animal.
The approach of sociology is A special social science because it
sociological. It follows its own concentrates only on the human
methods in addition to the scientific relationships which are political in
methods in its investigations. character.
Sociology is quite young, it's not Political science is an older science
even two centuries old. comparatively. It has centuries of
v. Sociology vs. Psychology
Studies society and social groups. Studies behavior of individual in
society. Its focus of interest is
individual and not the society.
Analyzes social processes. Concerned with behavior of
Studies society form sociological Studies the individual's behavior
point of view. from the view point of
psychological factors involved.
d. Sociology as an Extremely Diverse and Divided Field
e. Sociology as an Open Ended Debate
II. Macro vs. Micro Sociology
a. Macro Sociology: Focuses on large-scales social processes, such as social
stability and change.
i. Allows observation of large-scale patterns and trends, but runs the risk of
seeing these trends as abstract entities that exist outside of the individuals
who enact them on the ground.
b. Micro Sociology: Focuses on small-scale interactions between individuals, such
as conversation or group dynamics.
i. Allows for this on-the-ground analysis, but can fail to consider the larger
forces that influence individual behavior.
III. A Brief History of Sociology: How it All Begins