Presentation on theme: "THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE HOW is the sociological perspective a new and exciting way of seeing the world?"— Presentation transcript:
THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE HOW is the sociological perspective a new and exciting way of seeing the world?
Why study Sociology? To assess the truth of "common sense" To see opportunities & constraints in our lives To be active participants in our society To help us live in a diverse world... To secure a job after college
–PETER BERGER (1963) A. “Seeing the general in the particular.” I. Sociological Perspective: looking for general patterns in the behavior of particular people.
B. SEEING THE STRANGE IN THE FAMILIAR How does social class background shape the kind of job you expect to have after graduation? What effect will your background have on your decision to go to college? "THE CORNERS OF LIFE WE OCCUPY IN SOCIETY" SOCIAL LOCATION EXAMPLES: JOB, INCOME, EDUCATION, GENDER, RACE-ETHNICITY
C. SEEING PERSONAL CHOICE IN SOCIAL CONTEXT Is the size of a family really a matter of personal choice?
EMILE DURKHEIM Research on suicide showed rate strongly influenced by social integration (social ties) Increased suicide risk: Protestant Male Unmarried Wealthy Conclusion: greater wealth & freedom weakens social ties PRIVATE CHOICES ARE SHAPED BY SOCIETY
SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION Seeing the connection between society and your individual life Ex. Great Depression Those out of work blamed the economy for the high unemployment THUS...Sociological thinking can bring about social change! C. WRIGHT MILLS (1963)
A. RAPID SOCIAL CHANGE GIVES WAY TO SOCIOLOGY 1.Rise of industrial economy Traditions weakened as workers become part of large & anonymous labor force 2.Growth of cities Rapid urbanization leads to new Msocial problems (ex. crime, homelessness, unemployment) 3.Political change American & French Revolutions encouraged people to rethink social life New ideas introduced (ex. Inalienable rights)
4. Imperialism Exposure to radically different cultures and ways of life Began to ask, "why do cultures differ?" 5. Success of natural sciences Use of the scientific method - objective, test theories Secrets revealed - logical step since tradition no longer gives answers
B. EARLY SOCIOLOGISTS 1.Auguste Comte (1838) Named sociology Goal: to understand how society really works Positivism: a way of understanding based on science 2.Herbert Spencer Societies evolve through social unrest = natural No one should intervene in evolution of society = no social reform (Darwin's "survival of the fittest")
3. Karl Marx Class conflict will bring about social change Sociology's purpose is to make society better 4. Emile Durkheim Used scientific method to study of society Study only observable aspects Identified social facts (ex. patterns of behavior that characterize a group - ex. More births on Tuesday) Research should lead to solutions for social problems
5. Max Weber Research should be value-free & objective Research should be replicated Sociologists should practice "Verstehen" - see through the eyes of others (subjective meanings) & go beyond social facts