2What is Sociology?Sociology: Scientific study of social behavior in human groupsFocus on:How relationships influence people’s attitudes and behaviorHow societies develop and change
3The Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills describes sociological imagination asAn awareness of the relationship between an individual and the wider society, and…the ability to view one’s society as an outsider would, without one’s limited experiences and cultural biases
4The Sociological Imagination Looks beyond a limited understanding of human behaviorView the world and its people in a new waySee through a broader lens
5Sociology and ScienceScience: body of knowledge obtained by methods based on systematic observationNatural Science: study of physical features of nature and the ways they interact and changeSocial Science: study of social features of humans and the ways they interact and change
6Sociology and ScienceStudy the influence that society has on people’s attitudes and behaviorSeek to understand ways in which people interact and shape societyExamine social relationships with others scientifically
7Sociology and Common Sense Sociologists do not accept something as fact because “everyone knows it”Each piece of information must be tested, recorded, and analyzedWomen tend to be chattyMilitary marriages more likely to end in separation or divorce
8What Is Sociological Theory? Set of statements that seeks to explain problems, actions, or behaviorEffective theories have explanatory and predictive powerTheories are never a final statement about human behavior
9The Development of Sociology Philosophers/religious authorities of ancient and medieval societies made observations of human behaviorEuropean theorists in the 19th century made pioneering contributions to the development of the science of human behavior
10August Comte (19th Century 1798-1857). French Sociologist Auguste Comte Compte coined the term “sociology”Systematic investigation of behavior needed to improve societybecame interested in the twin problems of social order and social change
11Herbert Spencer English sociologist (1820-1903) sometimes called the second founder of sociology.Studied “evolutionary” change in societyused 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
12As generations pass, he said, the most capable and intelligent (“the fittest”) members of the society survivebelieved 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.
13Emile Durkheim French Sociologist (1858-1917) 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 countryDurkheim insisted that behavior cannot be fully understood in individualistic terms, instead it must be understood within a larger social context.
14Durkheim 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 integrationAnomie: Refers to a loss of direction that is felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective.
15It occurs when people have lost their sense of purpose or direction, often during a time of profound social changeAltruistic: Somebody that feels a deep sense of moral obligation and is willing to sacrifice for the group's well being
16Max Weber German Sociologist (1864-1920) One of Weber’s most important contributions to sociology was his study of the rise of capitalismWeber 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
17Weber 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"
18Karl Marx German Sociologist (1818-1883) Marx believed that the key to human history is class conflictDivided in two social classes 1. bourgeoisie 2. proletariatThe bourgeoisie rely on the exploitation of the proletariat.
19Marx 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 workersMarx argued that the working class needed to overthrow the existing class system
20W.E.B. Du BoisFirst Black person to receive doctorate from Harvard UniversityContributed with studies of urban life, among both Whites and BlacksBelieved in granting of full political rights to Blacks.Challenged the status quoHelped to found the NAACP
21Sociological Perspectives The different sociological perspective tend to focus on one of two different levels.Theories of society (macro theories)social psychological theories (micro theories)
23Functionalist Perspective Emphasizes that parts of a society are structured to maintain its stabilityTalcott Parsons (1902 – 1972) key contributorViewed society as vast network of connected parts, each of which helps to maintain the system as a whole
24Functionalist Perspective Manifest Functions: institutions are open, stated, conscious functions that involve intended, recognized, consequences of an aspect of societyLatent Functions: unconscious or unintended functions that may reflect hidden purposes of an institutionDysfunctions: element or process of a society that may actually disrupt the social system or disrupt its stability
25CONFLICT 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
26SYMBOLIC-INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVES George Herbert Mead American Sociologist ( ) is regarded as the founder of the interactionist perspectiveSymbolic 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.
27According 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 itselfThis understanding of the of the conditions in which we find ourselves, known as the definition of the situation
28Interactionist Perspective George Herbert Mead (1863—1931)Erving Goffman (1922—1982)Dramaturgical approach: people seen as theatrical performers
29Major Theoretical Perspectives Table 1-1 Comparing Major Theoretical PerspectivesTable to be continued on next slide
30The Sociological Approach Gain broadest understanding of society by drawing on all major perspectives, noting where they overlap or where they divergeEach perspective offers unique insights into the same issueA researcher’s work always will be guided by his or her theoretical viewpoint
32Applied and Clinical Sociology Applied Sociology: use of the discipline of sociology with the intent of yielding practical applications for human behavior and organizationsClinical Sociology: facilitating change by altering social relationships or restructuring social institutions
33Developing a Sociological Imagination Theory in PracticeResearch in ActionThinking GloballyGlobalization: worldwide integration of government policies, cultures, social movements, and financial markets through trade and the exchange of ideas
34Developing a Sociological Imagination The Significance of Social InequalitySocial inequality: condition in which members of society have differing amounts of wealth, prestige, or powerSpeaking Across Race, Gender, and Religious BoundariesSocial Policy Throughout the World
35Careers in SociologyNumber of students graduating with a degree in sociology has risen steadilyProvides strong liberal arts background for entry-level positionsBusinessSocial servicesFoundationsCommunity organizationsLaw enforcementGovernment
36Figure 1-4: Sociology Degrees Conferred in the United States by Gender Source: American Sociological Association 2005c.