Socio 1 - Ch 1 Eitzen Notes.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 1
Professor
Chuck O' Connell
Semester
Winter

Description
Ch 1 - The Sociological Perspective Sociology - the scholarly discipline concerned with the systematic study of social organizations attempts to understand the social forces that shape our lives, interests and personalities Personal level - causes and consequences of love, violence, identity, conformity, deviance… Societal level - poverty, racism, sexism, crime, etc. Global level - inequality, war, conflict resolution, immigration, etc. Individuals are by nature social beings Individuals are socially determined (products of their social environment) During infancy and childhood, shaped by parents Identity is socially bestowed - personalities shaped by how people receive us We are like puppets - dependent on and manipulated by social forces. Social determinism - the assumption that human behaviour is explained exclusively by social factors But the puppet metaphor doesn’t go that far. Society isn’t static and rigid; there are nonconformists and deviants Human beings shapeAND are shaped by society Groups are human-made. Implications: 1. Social forms created defy change 2. Social organizations are imperfect - there are winners and losers 3. Individuals can change society’s structure through collective action 4. Individuals are not passive; actively shape social life by adapting/negotiating/changing social structures (Human agency) Sociological imagination - the view that individual troubles are inextricably linked to social forces View social world from others’perspective Moving away from thinking in terms of individual; focusing on social/economic/historical circumstances (recognize societal patterns) Detachment from taken-for-granted assumptions, establishing critical distance Problems with the Sociological perspective Sociology is an uncomfortable discipline. Because why?
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