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What is Sociology? Part One: Intro to Sociology and Development of the Sociological Imagination Agenda Objective: 1. To develop a preliminary understanding.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Sociology? Part One: Intro to Sociology and Development of the Sociological Imagination Agenda Objective: 1. To develop a preliminary understanding."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Sociology? Part One: Intro to Sociology and Development of the Sociological Imagination Agenda Objective: 1. To develop a preliminary understanding of what sociology is and what sociologists do Schedule: 1.Discussion of articles & what is sociology 2.Discussion of what sociologists do 3.Body Ritual article and discussion Homework 1.None!

2 What is Sociology? What were some of the articles you brought in? What made them sociological? What common trends do you notice across the articles? What is sociology?

3 Defining Sociology Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the culture and social structure of groups, organizations, and societies in order to better understand how people interact with and within these contexts.

4 Defining Sociology Sociology sheds a new light and understanding on the social world in which we already live. Sociology looks beyond the taken-for-granted views of reality to provide a deeper, more illuminating and challenging understanding of social life.

5 Defining Sociology In short…Sociologists study the relationship between the individual and society. –What is an individual? –What is society? Think about the SATs… how is your performance shaped by you as an individual and how is your performance shaped by your place in society?

6 What Do Sociologists Study? The subject matter of sociology is diverse… –Family –Religion –Race –Class –Gender –Crime –Education –Work/Occupations –Sport

7 How Do We Do Sociology? Sociologists Conduct Research! Sociology is a social science. As such sociologists apply scientific reasoning and methods to studying the social world. To study the social world, sociologists use a variety of research methods including: –Interviews –Surveys –Participant Observation –Analysis of Census Data Just as medical scientists use science to help cure diseases like cancer, sociologists use science to help study and alleviate social problems.

8 What is Social Theory? Sociology relies on social theory to guide social research. Social theories are ideas about society, social functioning, and social change. These theories are used to design research and then are tested based on data analysis.

9 Example Sociological Questions Why is the divorce rate ten times higher in the United States than it is in Italy? Why is it that half of the families living in poverty in the United States have at least one family member who works 40 hours every week? Why is it that young girls are encouraged to play with dolls and young boys are encouraged to play with trucks? Why are African American males incarcerated at a higher rate than White males?

10 Sociology IS NOT… The study of the mind, the personality, or the individual in isolation (Psychology) The study of people, ideas, institutions, and social movements in the past (History) The study of government and government structures (Political Science) The study of artifacts, group structure, values, and language of pre-industrial groups (Anthropology)

11 Sociology As… A Passport –Sociology is an invitation to look behind the scenes of the social world--a passport, as it were, to a different way of viewing life. A Look Under the Mask –Sociology peers behind the masks that individuals and organizations wear revealing a reality that is often quite unlike the one that is so carefully devised and put forward for public consumption. Once you have peered behind the scenes and viewed life in a new light, it is nearly impossible to revert to complacent assumptions. X-Ray Vision –Sociology allows you to see through social contexts and social forces to understand what motivates human actions and interactions.

12 Understanding Sociology Read Body Ritual Among the Nacirema by Horace Miner Answer the following question with a partner: –How would you describe the main values and beliefs of these people? Write 2-3 sentences that present your interpretation (thesis/argument) or the Nacirema. Whole Class Discussion

13 Understanding Sociology Scene from Pulp Fiction Take this scene along with the Body Ritual:What is Sociology?


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