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Chapter 1 1. What is sociology? 2. What type of things do sociologist study? 3. Why is it important to study sociology? 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 1 1. What is sociology? 2. What type of things do sociologist study? 3. Why is it important to study sociology? 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 1 1. What is sociology? 2. What type of things do sociologist study? 3. Why is it important to study sociology? 1

2 Chapter 1 Define sociology - science that studies human society and social behavior. Sociologists are mainly interested in social interaction how people relate to one another and influence each other’s behavior. Sociologists tend to focus on groups rather than individual by examining a social phenomena - an observable fact or event. Sociology grew out of the social unrest caused by the rapid social, political, and scientific changes that took place during the 17 and 18th centuries. The roots of these changes was the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. (urban population growth, housing shortage, unemployment, crime, pollution) 2

3 Chapter 1 Sociological perspective enables us to look below the surface of social life and examine the factors that shape our behavior our attitudes and our beliefs in a scientific manner. Rather than rely on common sense which often times is incorrect. CAREERS IN SOCIOLOGY Why is sociology important? Sociology is important b/c help us gain a new view at looking at ourselves and the world; look beyond commonly held beliefs to the hidden meanings behind human actions; look at the world more objectively, being able to see the world through others’ eyes besides our own; see the connection between the larger world and our personal lives = SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION. EXAMPLES 3

4 Chapter 1 Sociological imagination - 1. help us to realize that the causes of behavior may be different from what they appear to be on the surface. 2. help make us more aware of the fact that our own behavior is the result of social influences - learned our behavior from others 3. help us look at ourselves and the world around us more objectively 4. help us see beyond our own day to day lives by viewing the world through the eyes of others 5. help us find a balance between our own personal desires and demands and those of our environment Sociology interested in group behavior of complex societies v. anthropology focuses on past cultures and present simple societies. Economists - sociologists study the effects of economic factors on the lives of different groups in society Political science - SS study voting behavior, concentration of political power Historians - SS similar study past events to explain contemporary social behaviors and attitudes. 4

5 Chapter 1 Views of Society Functionalist Comte - introduces issues of order and change Spencer - uses biological model and describes society as “survival of the fittest” Durkheim -seeing society as INTERDEPENDENT PARTS and believed SHARED BELIEFS and values held society together Today - view society as set INTERDEPENDENT PARTS that work together to produce a stable social system Topics of Study Functionalist -functions that family and education serve in society -dysfunctional -manifest and latent functions 5

6 Chapter 1 Views of Society Conflict Marx - society as 2 classes Bourgeoisie - capitalist who owned everything Proletariat - workers who owned nothing class struggle for power between classes lead to a classless society Today - see competition over scarce resources as a basis for social conflict leads to change Topics of Study Conflict -forces that promote competition and change -who possesses power and exercises it over those with less -decision making in family -relationships among racial groups -worker-employer disputes 6

7 Chapter 1 Views of Society Interactionist Weber-focus on individual rather than on society as whole try to understand individual and actions deduce essential characteristics of features of society Topics of Study Interactionist -how individuals interact with each other in society -meanings individual attach to their actions -role symbols play in daily life -child development -relationships within groups -mate selection 7

8 Chapter 1 Auguste Comte (Cont) (1798-1857)- French philosopher, founder of sociology, first to use the term sociology -studied social order and changes -Finding solutions to chaos created by French Revolution -influenced by scientific method of natural sciences -2 BASIC PROBLEMS: 1.SOCIAL ORDER = SOCIAL STATICS = society remains stable or unchanged over time. 2.SOCIAL CHANGE = SOCIAL DYNAMICS = elements within society change in systematic fashion allow for social development Cerebral Hygiene = keep mind pure and ignore other’s work 8

9 Chapter 1 Herbert Spencer - (1820-1903) English, contemporary to Comte, civil engineer -Influenced by Charles Darwin -Adopted biological model of society -Society is a set of interdependent parts that work together to maintain the system over time. -Viewed society and social change and unrest = natural occurrences in a society’s evolution toward stability and perfection -Believed No steps should be taken to correct social ills- “Survival of the Fittest”=SOCIAL DARWINISM -Best aspects of society would survive over time 9

10 Chapter 1 Emile Durkheim -(1858 - 1917) French -First to use the scientific method -Concerned with social order and viewed parts of society as FUNCTIONS FUNCTION = positive consequence that an element of society has for the maintenance of the social system -Believed should study only aspects that are OBSERVABLE; DID NOT consider thoughts/feelings of people. -First to test theories through statistical analysis -Shared belief and values as glue that hold society together (ex. function of religion on social order) -Studied suicide rates 10

11 Chapter 1 Karl Marx - (1818-1883) German, writer and editor of radical newspaper was closed down by gov’t -Believed overall structure of society is heavily influenced by how the economy is organized. -Believed that open conflict between the ill-treated workers and their capitalist employers was necessary in order to change society in a positive way. -SOCIETY DIVIDED 1.Bourgeoisie (upper middle class) Those who own means of production = control society 2.Proletariat (workers) Those who own their own labor -Eventually would be an imbalance of power; workers would unite and overthrow bourgeoisie and build a classless society -each worker would contribute where able receive accordingly CONFLICT was the cause of social change 11

12 Chapter 1 Max Weber (Vayber) - ( 1864-1920) Germany -Interested in group within society -focus on the Effects that society has on individual; deal with feelings and thought -Used VERSTEHEN (Fersayhen) method = empathetic understanding of the meanings others attach to their actions; see situations through that person’s eyes. -IDEAL TYPE - essential characteristic of some aspect of society -Constructed by examining many different examples of same thing and describing essential features. EXAMPLE: Ideal type -School - may not be perfect representation of your school but you would recognize it as a general description of institution. 12

13 Chapter 1 CURRENT PERSPECTIVES Theory - systematic explanation of the relationship among phenomena Scientists develop theories to guide their work, interpret findings Theoretical Perspective -General set of assumptions about the nature of phenomena. -Sociology outlines certain assumptions about the nature of social life 3 THEORIES 1.Functionalist 2.Conflict 3.Interactionist 13

14 Chapter 1 1. FUNCTIONALIST = POSITIVE (Herbert Spencer & Emile Durkheim) Key terms are STRUCTURE & FUNCTION. Biological analogy....one looks at the human body which has numerous functions and must be performed. ex. breathing Society needs to perform certain functions to maintain existence. Such as : populate themselves, care for the sick, goods and services must be distributed (positive consequences) Structures develop to perform functions: 1. Family system - control reproduction 2. Educational system - to train the young Structure and function are closely linked and that they are crucial factors in understanding and explaining sociology. Functional Analysis emphasizes the social equilibrium, stability, integration of the elements of society 14

15 Chapter 1 DYSFUNCTION = NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCE Consequence an element has for the stability of the social system. EXAMPLE: crime - disrupts society rather than stabilizing it FUNCTIONS CAN BE: A. MANIFEST - intended and recognized consequence of some element of society Example: car - provide speedy transportation from one location to another B. LATENT - unintended and unrecognized consequence of an element of society Example: car - to gain social standing through the display of wealth. 15

16 Chapter 1 EXAMPLE: Sociology Class Why is there such a class? Function: to pass knowledge, viewpoints, and information Structure: teacher, # of students, set of rules to transmit knowledge Functions: provide teacher job, some need to find out how well knowledge reaching students: TESTS/GRADES FUNCTIONAL = attending class; DYSFUNCTIONAL = cutting class Manifest - teacher assigns work; student listen, obey, memorize, give back test Latent - train students take orders - become good bureaucrats in large organization join in the future. 16

17 Chapter 1 CONFLICT THEORY Focus on forces in society that promote competition and change. Theorists interested :How those who possess power in society exercise control over those with less power. ex. men/women; different ages; racial; decision making in family; relationship among racial groups; labor disputes between employer/worker Competition of scarce resource (wealth, status, power, authority) is basis of social conflict because people must compete for them. Once particular groups gain control of resources they tend to establish rules to protect their interests at the expense of the other groups (ex. tax laws; black vs. white) THEREFORE, conflict results as those with less power and wealth attempt to gain access and those with it attempt to keep it. Conflict leads to social change 17

18 Chapter 1 EXAMPLE: Sociology Class Conflict----TESTING/GRADING; creates a system of domination for TEACHER Subordinates are STUDENT Change of sudden mood after first test Competition - scarce resources (A’s), leads to predictable types of behavior Cheating to get good grades Memorization - short term - forgotten Rivalries between students 18

19 Chapter 1 INTERACTIONIST THEORY (Max Weber) (known as SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIST) Focus on how individuals interact with one another SYMBOLS - anything that stands for something Members in society must agree on the meaning that is attached to it. Example: flag, bald eagle SYMBOLIC INTERACTION - interaction between people through the use of symbols, gestures and how people communicate through them View social life as a PROCESS 19

20 Chapter 1 EXAMPLE: Sociology Class Type of interaction: Teacher//student -Verbal /Nonverbal bit of communication; pass back and forth -Explaining something difficult; instructor attempts to evaluate how well the class is getting the point and adjusts the lecture to his interpretations of students’ responses. -Back corner, student totally disgusted with this teacher and yet class participation is required. -Notice how student balances competing values: hostility, deference, desire for an A In his gestures: tone of voice, body language, asides to other students -Instructor may be informal and innovative OR self-confident and secure in knowledge that he is best teacher in the Western World -Imagine a student who sees herself as an A student and gets a C on a test. Change in mood after this test INTERACTIONIST : would be interested in how the students’ express it and how the teacher reacts. INTERACTIONIST: the interaction is a 2 way process would be interested not only in changes in the students behavior but also in how the instructor’s behavior changes as a consequence of his interaction with the class. 20

21 Chapter 1 SYMBOLIC INTERACTION – interaction between people through the use of symbols, gestures, and how people communicate through them. 21


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