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SOCIOLOGY Chapter 1: The Sociological Point of View

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1 SOCIOLOGY Chapter 1: The Sociological Point of View
Section 1: Examining Social Life

2 Chapter Objectives Examine the nature of sociological inquiry or research Understand the research done during the early years of sociology List and explain the current theoretical perspectives of Sociology

3 Background We live in a complex social environment
Our view of the world is shaped by our daily lives Values Beliefs Life styles Historic events Our friends Our families All these factors help to mold us into the individuals we are today… we are different from one another, but many of us share the same perceptions and characteristics

4 What is Sociology It is the science that studies human society and social behavior Sociologist are mainly interested in social interaction: how people relate to one another and influence one another’s behavior Always focusing on the group rather than on the individual They examine the social phenomenon which is the observable fact of event


6 The Sociological Perspective
Sociologists look at everyday events in different ways to look beyond common held beliefs to the hidden messages behind human actions Our behavior is the result of social factors and that we have learned our behavior from others

7 By adopting a sociological perspective, we can
Increase our sense of what is possible See beyond our day to day world Think and act in different ways Help us find an acceptable balance between our personal desires and demands of our social environment

8 How Sociology helps us We can gain insight into how our social environment shapes us and we can in turn shape our environment The ability to see the connection between the larger world and our personal lives is what is known as sociological imagination this was termed by C. Wright Mills

9 Sociological Imagination
“ The sociological imagination, I remind you, in considerable part consists of the capacity to shift from one perspective to another, and in the process to built up an adequate view of a total society and of its components. It is this imagination, of course, that sets off the social scientist from the mere technician.” C. Wright Mills

10 What it does! It enables the sociologist to see the broad social issues behind individual problems while appreciating that those broad social issues affect the lives of individuals Social issues Individual lives

11 For example! Scenario: Bob, middle-aged man, unemployed for the last year Sociological imagination moves the sociologist beyond their concern for Bob’s unemployed status to see the social phenomenon of unemployment that affects way more than just Bob!

12 It gives people the ability to see the connections between the larger world and their personal problems. SITUATION A: A 15 year old high school student becomes pregnant by her 16 year old boyfriend.

13 Describe some of the social consequences for the following people or groups:
The pregnant student The girl’s boyfriend The parents of the girl The parents of the boy School officials Society as a whole

14 SITUATION B: A 17 year old high school student is caught under the influence of drugs at school.

15 Describe some of the social consequences for the following people or groups:
The student using drugs The student’s classmates The parents of the student on drugs School officials Society as a whole

16 Sociology’s Place in the Social Sciences
All related disciplines that study various aspects of human social behavior are called the social sciences They include:

17 #1 Anthropology Comparative study of various aspects of past and present cultures and is the closest to sociology

18 #2 Psychology Study that deals with the behavior and thinking of organisms Focuses on individual behavior rather than on group behavior Areas of interest are: personality, perception, motivation, learning

19 #3 Social Psychology Study of how an individual’s behavior and psychology are affected by the social environment

20 #4 Economics Study of the choices people make in an effort to satisfy wants and needs Examine: Process by which goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed Effects of government policies on economic growth and stability

21 #5 Political Science Examines the organization and operation of governments Areas of mutual interest with sociology include: Voting patterns, concentration of political power, formation of politically based groups

22 #6 History Study of past events
Sociologists are interested in past events in an effort to explain current social behaviors and attitudes

23 Social Sciences Merge Over time, the divisions between the social sciences have become less distinct and borrow freely from one another in order to better understand the social forces that shape our lives

24 How Sociology Affects You!
Think about how your life is influenced by the values, beliefs, lifestyles, historic events, and experiences of those around you Ex: impact of technology on your life is sociological Ex: impact of Internet on your life is sociological Ex: impact of crime on your life is sociological

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