Presentation on theme: "What is sociology? The systematic study of human society"— Presentation transcript:
1 What is sociology? The systematic study of human society (Macionis 2008:2)The study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior.American Sociological Association
2 Seeing the General in the Particular Sociologists look for general patterns of behavior in particular people.(Macionis 2008:2)Recognizing how the general categories into which we fall, impact the experiences of our daily lives.
3 Seeing the Strange in the Familiar Giving up the idea that everything that occurs in our life is a matter of what we decide and accepting the idea that social forces and experiences impact the decisions we make.Why are you at Oakton? Why do some people go to Northwestern and others don’t?
4 The Sociological Imagination The ability to see the impact of society on our everyday lifeThose who are marginalized are generally better able to use it.Sometimes develops as a result of crisis
5 Global Perspective Allows us to see our society’s place in the world High income countries – industrialized; most people live in material abundance Middle income countries – limited industrialization and moderate income Low income countries – little industrialization; severe poverty is the rule.
6 The Beginnings of Sociology Social ContextNew industrial economyThe growth of citiesPolitical change
7 Growth of Scientific Study Positivisma means of understanding the world through sciencePositivist thought had become an important aspect in the study of the physical world, so it made sense to apply it to the social world.
8 Auguste ComteAmong the earliest theorists to use science to exam the social world.Created the term “sociology” to describe the scientific study of society in 1838
9 Macrosociology – looks at the world on the large (global) scale Levels of AnalysisMacrosociology – looks at the world on the large (global) scaleMicrosociology – looks at the world on a smaller scale; of from an individual perspective.
11 The Functionalist Paradigm a framework that sees society as a complex system whose various parts work together to allow society to functionbelieves our lives are guided by social structure – stable patterns of social behaviorstructures are understood through their social functions and consequences for the operation of society
12 Emile DurkhiemStressed the use of social facts – aspects of social life that shape our actions as individualsOrganic Solidarity (society as human body)Mechanical Solidarity (no differentiation)Anomie
13 Herbert Spencer Studied sociobiology Coined the term “survival of the fittest”
14 Robert K. MertonDeveloped the concepts of manifest and latent functionsManifest – the recognized and expected consequences of social patternsLatent – unexpected and often unrecognized consequences
15 Criticisms of the Functionalist Paradigm Structural-Functionalism glosses over issues of inequalityits focus on stability often ignores conflict and change
16 Social Conflict Paradigm sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and changefocuses on divisions through inequalityexamines the unequal distribution of money, power, education, and social prestigeargues that social structure benefits some people while depriving others
17 Karl Marx Economics the most important defining factor of society Materialist conception of history (how we produce material goods shapes our experience)Bourgeoisie and Proletariat
18 Race Conflict Paradigm Focal point of social research had been whitesAddresses inequality and conflict between people of different races and ethnicitiesPoints out contributions made by people of color
19 W. E. B. DuBois First African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard Founding member of the NAACPResearch addressed issues of race and conflict
20 Feminist Paradigm (Gender Conflict Approach) As with all other sciences, the focal point of social research had been menfocus is on the intersection of gender, race, and classStresses advocacy for political and social activities
21 Harriet Martineau First woman sociologist Argued that when studying any society, one must look at all aspects of itSaid women’s lives must be studiedFirst to study issues such as marriage, children, race relations, and religious and domestic life
22 Jane Addams Founded Hull House to assist immigrants Brought various groups of people (from poor immigrants to wealthy businessmen) together to discuss social issues.Worked for women’s suffrageHelped found the NAACPHelped found the ACLUWon the Nobel Peace Prize
23 Criticism of Conflict Paradigm Doesn’t address shared values or interdependence that leads to unity
24 Microsociology Symbolic Interactionist Paradigm Focuses on social interaction in specific situationsSees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individualsShared reality – we construct our reality as we interact with one anotherDefinition of reality differs from one person to the next
25 Max Weber understand setting through point of view of those in it Studied bureaucracy
26 George Herbert MeadWe build our personalities through our social experiences
27 Criticism of Symbolic Interactionism Tends to overlook social structures and the widespread effects of culture.
28 Other Important Paradigms Rational ChoiceIf there could be only one explanation for the actions we take, it would be self-interest.
29 Other Important Paradigms PostmodernThere is no longer an historical context for our social developmentModern society is pluralistic and diverse