The main focus of sociology is the GROUP

The main focus of sociology is the GROUP

The main focus Of sociology is the GROUP, not the individual. Sociology tries to move beyond personalized, common-sense approach to understanding society. Stop looking at the world from a perspective based solely on your own individual experience Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills (1959) Described the different levels on which social events can be perceived and interpreted Mills used the term Sociological Imagination, which means a relationship between individual experiences and forces in the larger society that shape our actions. Process of looking at different human behaviors and engine unseen connections between them.

Is Sociology Common Sense? Common Sense: what people develop through everyday life experiences. Or, another words, it is the set of expectations about society and people’s behavior guides our own behavior. Cannot rely on Common Sense Common Sense is often vague, oversimplified and contradictory; whereas Sociology as a science tries to be specific, to qualify its statements and to prove its assertions. Proverbial words of wisdom are often illogical Common Sense might be helpful, but it does NOT help us understand why and under what conditions these interacts are taking place.

Sociology and Science Science Body of a systematically arranged knowledge that shows the operation of general laws Scientific Method A process by which a body Of scientific knowledge is built through observation, experimentation, generalization and verification. Empiricism The view that generalizations are valid only if they rely on evidence that can be observed directly or verified through our senses Sociology as a Social Science Social Sciences – consist of all those disciplines that apply scientific methods to the study of human behavior. Cultural Anthropology Main difference:

Anthropologists tend to focus on the culture of small, preinstall societies because they are less complex and more manage bled, whereas Sociology tend to study groups within large, modern, industrial societies with research methods to enable rather quickly to gather specific information about large numbers of people. Psychology -? the study of individual behavior and mental processes Both fields overlap in Social Psychology – the study of how human behavior is influenced and shaped by various social situations. Main difference: Psychologists study the individual, while Sociologists study groups Of individuals and society institutions.

Economics The study of creation, distribution and consumption of goods and services Economists study prices and availability factors, whereas Sociologists are interested in the social factors that influence person’s economic decisions. History Involves looking at the past to learn what happened, when it happened and why it happened Main difference: Historians provide a narrative of the sequence of certain events during a certain period (focus on the past), whereas Sociologists examine historical events to see how they influenced later social situations (focus on the resent).

Political Science The study of 3 major areas: political theory / operation of government/ political behavior. Main difference: Political Science devotes more attention to the forces that shape political systems, whereas Sociology focuses on how the political system affects other institutions in society. Social Work Social Work’s main goal is to help people solve their problems, whereas Sociology aims to understand WHY the problems exist. Work of journalists is NOT same as Sociologists. The Development of Sociology Augusta Comet (1798 – 1857) (Frenchman)

Converted from being an advocate of liberty and equality to be an elitist supporter of conception of society. Rejected the lack of empiricism. Turned to natural sciences Collaborated with Henry Saint-Simon, but later broke off that relationship He coined the term Sociology – as the greatest of all sciences. Wanted to develop “a science of man” that would reveal the underlying principles of society. Much less concerned with defining sociology matter, than with showing HOW it would improve our society. Wrote “Scours De Philosophies Positive” – the work which he eventually coined as Sociology.

Harriet Martinets (1 802 – 1876) (British lady) Published “Theory and Practice of Society in America” in which she analyzed the customs and lifestyle present in the 19th century U. S. The book helped to map out what sociologists dealt with by examine ins issues like immigration, family, politics, religion, race, and gender issues. Her work demonstrated the level of objectivity Outspoken critic of women treatment in the U. S. (thought women were treated like slaves) Proponent of expanding education of women Her 2nd important contribution to Sociology was translating Comet’s “Positive

Philosophy’, which introduced the field of Sociology to England and influenced other sociologists like Spencer. Herbert Spencer (1 820 – 1903) (British) Wanted to demonstrate how the idea of evolution applied to sociology, biology, psychology and morality. Became the most famous philosopher of his time Believed that society is similar to a living organism, where every part of a society serves a specialized function necessary to ensure society’s survival as a whole (segments of a society are interdependent). Became a proponent of a doctrine known as Social Darwinism

Notion applied to society where species of animals who are best adapted to the environment survived, whereas those poorly adapted died out. Social Darwinism became a justification for the repression and neglect of African Americans Karl Marx (1818- 1883) Revolutionary proponent of the political and social system known as Communism Believed that capitalist societies produced conflict because of the deep divide between the social classes The conflict between the Bourgeoisie (rich capitalists) vs.. Proletariat (poor workers) Contributed to the development Of Conflict Theory

Mile Druthers (1858 – 191 7) Produced the first true sociological study Published “Rules of the Sociological Method”, in which he described what sociology was and how research should be done. Founded the 1st European Department of Sociology at the university of Bordeaux. Studied suicide. Believed that individuals were the product of their social environment and that society shapes people in every way (social cohesion in society). Divided suicide into 3 categories: Egoistic – low group cohesion, underinvestment with others.

Altruistic – high level of group cohesion, over involvement with others. Anomic -? sense of feeling disconnected from today’s society values. His study was important because it was one of the first examples of a scientifically conducted sociological study that proved that the most personal of all acts (suicide) is a product of social forces. Max Weber (1864 – 1920) Thought of Sociology as the study of social action His work contrasted the works of Marx, showed that economic control does NOT necessarily result in prestige and power.

Believed bureaucracy would characterize both socialist and capitalist societies. The development of Sociology in the U. S. The first graduate department of Sociology was founded in 1890 in the U. S at the University of Chicago. Jane Adams – championed the rights of immigrants and fighter for child labor laws, developed a reputation as a peacemaker. W. E. B. Du Bois – became the first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard for his dissertation “The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the U.

S. ” Country’s leading African American sociologist Argued for the acceptance Of African American into all areas Of society Tailcoat Parsons – was the sociologist most responsible for developing theories of tutorial functionalism in the U. S. Elaborated on Deuterium’s perspective, portrayed socialism as a stable system of well-ordered, interrelated parts. Robert Morton – influential proponent of Functionalist theory. Distinguished between 2 forms of social functions: Manifest vs..

Latent functions Social Functions Those social processes that contribute to the ongoing operation or maintenance of society. Manifest functions Intended and recognized consequences of those processes (aka go to college to obtain a degree) Latent functions Unintended (or not readily recognized) consequences of those actions college can offer opportunity of finding friends) Theoretical Perspectives Paradigms -? models or frameworks for questions that generate and guide research (I. E.

Good will triumph over evil) Functionalism (or Structural Functionalism) Views society as a system of highly interrelated structures or parts that function/operate together harmoniously Example: The education system serves as a gatekeeper to rewards from society to those who follow the rules Rooted in the work of Spencer and Druthers Society is stable and self-regulating in the state of balance Limitation: Assumption that society is normally in balanced (harmony) makes it difficult to account for social change.

Conflict Theory proposes that each individual or group struggles to attain the maximum benefit. This causes society to change constantly in response to social inequality and social conflict. Opposite of Functionalism, but share some similarities Rooted in the works of Marx Social change is pushed forward by social conflict imitation: Too concerned with concentrating too much on conflict/change and too little on what produces stability in society Too ideologically based and using little in he way of research (or objective statistical evidence).

The Interactions Perspective Focuses on how individuals make sense of – or interpret – the social world in which they participate. Concerned with human behavior on a person-to- person level. George Mead devised a Symbolic Interactions approach – that focused on signs, gestures, shared rules and written/spoken language. Concerned with the meaning that people place on their own and one another’s behavior. Criticism: pays too little attention to the larger elements of society. Harold Garfield used Ethnomusicology – to show how people create and share their understanding of social life.

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