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Chapter 1 Sociology 101. █ Sociology: Scientific study of social behavior in human groups What is Sociology? Focus on:  How relationships influence people’s.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1 Sociology 101. █ Sociology: Scientific study of social behavior in human groups What is Sociology? Focus on:  How relationships influence people’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 1 Sociology 101

2 █ Sociology: Scientific study of social behavior in human groups What is Sociology? Focus on:  How relationships influence people’s attitudes and behavior  How societies develop and change

3 the ability to view one’s society as an outsider would, without one’s limited experiences and cultural biases An awareness of the relationship between an individual and the wider society, and… The Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills describes sociological imagination as

4 The Sociological Imagination █ Looks beyond a limited understanding of human behavior  View the world and its people in a new way  See through a broader lens

5 Sociology and Science █ Science: body of knowledge obtained by methods based on systematic observation  Natural Science: study of physical features of nature and the ways they interact and change  Social Science: study of social features of humans and the ways they interact and change

6 Sociology and Science █ Study the influence that society has on people’s attitudes and behavior █ Seek to understand ways in which people interact and shape society █ Examine social relationships with others scientifically

7 Women tend to be chatty Military marriages more likely to end in separation or divorce Sociology and Common Sense █ Sociologists do not accept something as fact because “everyone knows it” –Each piece of information must be tested, recorded, and analyzed

8 What Is Sociological Theory? Theory  Set of statements that seeks to explain problems, actions, or behavior  Effective theories have explanatory and predictive power  Theories are never a final statement about human behavior

9 Philosophers/religious authorities of ancient and medieval societies made observations of human behavior The Development of Sociology █ European theorists in the 19 th century made pioneering contributions to the development of the science of human behavior

10 August Comte (19th Century ). French Sociologist Auguste Comte Compte coined the term “sociology” Systematic investigation of behavior needed to improve society became interested in the twin problems of social order and social change

11 Herbert Spencer English sociologist ( ) sometimes called the second founder of sociology. –Studied “evolutionary” change in society used an organic analogy that compared society to a living organism made up of interdependent parts. Spencer was convinced that societies evolve from lower (“barbarian”) to higher (“civilized”) forms

12 As generations pass, he said, the most capable and intelligent (“the fittest”) members of the society survive believed that if left alone, social problems will work themselves out through the process of natural selection called “survival of the fittest” this implies that the “fittest” (rich and powerful) deserve to enjoy their wealth or success because they have been “selected” by nature to be what they are.

13 Emile Durkheim French Sociologist ( ) Durkheim’s major goals was to study how individual behavior is shaped by social forces. Was interested in the rates of suicide and how they varied form country to country Durkheim insisted that behavior cannot be fully understood in individualistic terms, instead it must be understood within a larger social context.

14 Durkheim found that Protestants, males, and the unmarried killed themselves at a higher rate than did Catholics, Jews, females, and the married. The force that he found to have a great impact on suicide was social integration Anomie: Refers to a loss of direction that is felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective.

15 It occurs when people have lost their sense of purpose or direction, often during a time of profound social change Altruistic: Somebody that feels a deep sense of moral obligation and is willing to sacrifice for the group's well being

16 Max Weber German Sociologist ( ) One of Weber’s most important contributions to sociology was his study of the rise of capitalism Weber theorized that the Roman Catholic belief system encouraged Catholics to cling to this traditional way of life, while the Protestant belief system, especially Calvinism, encouraged people to embrace change

17 Weber also stressed that one cannot understand human behavior simply by looking at statistics Weber said "To fully comprehend behavior, we must learn the subjective meanings people attach to their actions- how they themselves view and explain their behavior” In other words people should use Verstehen the German word for "understanding"

18 Karl Marx German Sociologist ( ) Marx believed that the key to human history is class conflict Divided in two social classes 1. bourgeoisie 2. proletariat The bourgeoisie rely on the exploitation of the proletariat.

19 Marx believed that an entire system of economic, social, and political relationships had been established to maintain the power and dominance of the owners over the workers Marx argued that the working class needed to overthrow the existing class system

20 W.E.B. Du Bois First Black person to receive doctorate from Harvard University Contributed with studies of urban life, among both Whites and Blacks Believed in granting of full political rights to Blacks. Challenged the status quo Helped to found the NAACP

21 Sociological Perspectives The different sociological perspective tend to focus on one of two different levels. 1. Theories of society (macro theories) 2. social psychological theories (micro theories)

22 Structural Functionalism Macro Theories Conflict Theory Micro Theories Symbolic Interaction

23 █ Emphasizes that parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability Functionalist Perspective –Talcott Parsons (1902 – 1972) key contributor –Viewed society as vast network of connected parts, each of which helps to maintain the system as a whole

24 –Manifest Functions: institutions are open, stated, conscious functions that involve intended, recognized, consequences of an aspect of society Functionalist Perspective –Latent Functions: unconscious or unintended functions that may reflect hidden purposes of an institution –Dysfunctions: element or process of a society that may actually disrupt the social system or disrupt its stability

25 CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE  Influenced by Karl Marx’s work.  Conflict perspective assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension among competing groups.  Sociologists use the conflict model not only on economic conflicts but also on conflicts that have no clear economic basis, conflicts over values, ethics, and behavior.  Conflict theorists are interested in the kind of changes that conflict can bring about

26 SYMBOLIC-INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVES George Herbert Mead American Sociologist ( ) is regarded as the founder of the interactionist perspective  Symbolic interactionists view symbols- things that we attach meaning- as the basis of social life. A symbol is something representing something else:  symbols range from words and language to nonverbal gestures and signs.

27  According to symbolic interaction, people attach meanings to each other’s words and actions  Their actions and attitudes, are not determined by some action in and of itself  This understanding of the of the conditions in which we find ourselves, known as the definition of the situation

28 █ George Herbert Mead (1863—1931) Interactionist Perspective █ Erving Goffman (1922—1982) –Dramaturgical approach: people seen as theatrical performers

29 Major Theoretical Perspectives Table 1-1 Comparing Major Theoretical Perspectives Table to be continued on next slide

30 █ Gain broadest understanding of society by drawing on all major perspectives, noting where they overlap or where they diverge The Sociological Approach █ Each perspective offers unique insights into the same issue █ A researcher’s work always will be guided by his or her theoretical viewpoint

31 Table 1-2: Sociological Major Perspectives

32 █ Applied Sociology: use of the discipline of sociology with the intent of yielding practical applications for human behavior and organizations Applied and Clinical Sociology █ Clinical Sociology: facilitating change by altering social relationships or restructuring social institutions

33 █ Theory in Practice Developing a Sociological Imagination █ Research in Action █ Thinking Globally –Globalization: worldwide integration of government policies, cultures, social movements, and financial markets through trade and the exchange of ideas

34 █ The Significance of Social Inequality Developing a Sociological Imagination –Social inequality: condition in which members of society have differing amounts of wealth, prestige, or power █ Speaking Across Race, Gender, and Religious Boundaries █ Social Policy Throughout the World

35 █ Number of students graduating with a degree in sociology has risen steadily Careers in Sociology –Provides strong liberal arts background for entry-level positions Business Social services Foundations Community organizations Law enforcement Government

36 Figure 1-4: Sociology Degrees Conferred in the United States by Gender Source : American Sociological Association 2005c.

37 Figure 1-5: Occupational Fields of Sociology BA/MA Graduates Source : Schaefer 1998b.


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