CHAPTER 1 TOPICS What is sociology? The sociological imagination The significance of diversity Development Theoretical frameworks DEFINITION Oversimplified def. = ?scientific study of groups? (plus the assumption that ?the groups? are the key to understanding human behavior. BERGER QUOTES: ?Sociology is the sudden illumination of new and unsuspected facets of human existence in society. ?People who like to avoid shocking discoveries should stay away from sociology? DEBUNKING Studying patterns and processes that shape behavior. Questioning actions and ideas that are usually taken for granted Acting as an ?outsider within? C. WRIGHT MILLS Sociology studies the intersection of biography and history (trouble/issues) to provide insight into both, especially how these social structures over which people have no control influence their lives. (Biography refers to person and history to the larger outside world) ALAN JOHNSON Metaphor of the forest and the trees Sociology?s core view of reality we are always participating in something larger than ourselves, and if we want to understand social life and what happens to people, we have to understand what it is that were participating in and how we participate in it. TROUBLE/ISSUES (My own definition) Trouble refers to what the individual is going through and issue refers to the problem that society is going through. For example, unemployment is trouble for the person who is unemployed, but unemployment is also an issue that for some reason, is embedded in society. FACTORS THAT LED TO EMERGENCE OF SOCIOLOGY INTELLECTUAL The Enlightenment (18th century) ?Age of Reason? The idea that science should control the truth not the church (Gallileo, Newton) All aspects of life subject to same critical examination as nature (positivism) The individual is capable of understanding and making decisions The world progresses Positivism: was showing just human behavior (i.e. sex) as scientific like we would look at cells. So if sociology is the study of groups, the emphasis on science comes from the enlightenment. But?The counter-enlightenment Religion transcends science government must prevail (contrast to individualism can?t give too much power to the people). Individualism would be in chaos. The individual needs protection. So if sociology is the study of groups, the emphasis on groups (structure) comes from the counter enlightenment---( George Ritzer So emphasis on science comes from the enlightenment and that of groups/structure is from the counter enlightenment. ECONOMIC Expansion of commerce and markets Industrialization SOCIAL (As a result of economic change) Urbanization (because that?s where the jobs were-in the cities) Decline of local communities POLITICAL Rise of bureaucratic nation states Decline in power of church RESULT Sociology emerged as a systematic attempt to explain the social ?chaos??the rapid social change of the 18th and 19th centuries. SOCIOLOGY IN EUROPE (Comte and Martineau) COMTE French philosopher Coined the term sociology Believed sociology could discover laws of human social behavior and help solve society?s problems. posivist Thought society was ?queen of all sciences? ?Every society has 3 mental eras? a primary with gods etc. then second is philosophical and third is scientific He is one nominee for first sociologist MARTINEAU British citizen that toured US in 1834. Wrote Society in America, an analysis of social customs she observed Wrote first sociological methods book on participant observation CLASSICAL SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY (Marx, Weber, Durkheim) MARX Work devoted to explaining how capitalism shaped society Considered economic organization of society most important influence on what humans think and how they behave. ?Historical materialism:? = history progresses due to conflict between classes (about money) WEBER Debated with the ghost of Marx Theorized that society had three dimensions economic, political and cultural. Believed that to understand social behavior one had to understand the meaning that a behavior had for social actors ?anti-positivist? DURKHEIM Believed that social realities shaped individual behavior and not the other way around. Viewed society as an entity larger than the sum of its part Conceptualized social facts as social patterns external to individuals Used suicide rates to prove his point (if suicide is? then rates should be the same everywhere, but they differ by country, religion, etc. so there must be something the group is doing) *power of the group over the individual SOCIOLOGY IN AMERICA U of M?s Charles Horton Cooley pioneered in understanding the relationship of the individual to society. The Chicago School- (Especially George Herbert Mead) challenged and extended Cooley?s work SOCIOLOGY IN AMERICA: UNDERVALUED PERSPECTIVES (women + colored) W.E.B. DuBois: The ?double consciousness? of the African American (they have to think like an American and as a black person) Charlotte Perkins Gilman- the women?s perspective Jane Addams- social action: beyond understanding to change 3 SOCIOLOGICAL SCHOOLS OF APPROACHES (these are not the only 3 but are representative) Functionalism Conflict Theory Symbolic Interaction Look over chart 1.1 on page 21 SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH Sociological research is the collection and interpretation of info to answer questions about groups. Method of research used depends on the question you ask Sociological research derives from the scientific method: it always depends on an empirical foundation (observable facts) Sociological research does not necessarily proceed in a single way or in a sequence of rigid steps (because behavior evolves or changes). RESEARCH PROCESS Develop research question Create a research design Gather data Analyze data Reach conclusions and report results QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH Qualitative Quantitative Examines aspects of a group that are better described in non-numeric terms. (Storylike) Examines aspects of a group that can be measured numerically (statistical) Examples: participant observer, historical Examples: survey, experiment Better for studying small groups in detail Better for studying broad trends in large groups Better when you don?t know what questions to ask Better when you have specific questions to ask Better when you want a more personal perspective on your subjects (subjective approach) Better when you want to view your subjects from a distance (objective approach)
Want to see the other 5 page(s) in Lecture 1 What is sociology??JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!