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Introduction to Sociology

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Deann Williams

on 18 January 2019

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Transcript of Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to Sociology
Social Factors in Everyday Life
Region raised
Economic Class
The media
Marital status
Status in general
Physical shape/looks

What do we do with this knowledge?

Our mission, our goal is to make personal problems, public issues.
So why is
important to you?
What is Sociology?
The systematic study of social interaction at a variety of levels

The scientific study of society and human behavior.

Sociological Perspective: Understanding human behavior by packing it within its broader social context.

Emile Durkheim
French Sociologist late 1800s and early 1900s.
Was pessimistic about the direction of the world.
Saw sociology as a way of making the world a better place.

Central Question:
"How people can be individuals while being integrated in society?"
Conflict Theory/ Critical Perspective
Disagreements and its consequences are inevitable and natural
Society consists of many diverse groups.
Each group has its own characteristic set of values, beliefs, and interests.
Each group holds to different definitions of right and wrong.
The more powerful groups are able to enforce their own morality as norms.
Society is set-up as a series of relationships of those in power taking advantage of others in order to gain and maintain a higher rank in society
( social inequality)

The Discipline of Sociology
Coined by Auguste Comte in 1838.

His concern was society must be

We needed to study society using methods similar to the natural sciences:
information should be based on observations, experiments or experiences rather than ideology, religion, or intuition

"From science comes prediction, from prediction comes action."

C. Wright Mills said:
“Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.”

Classical Theories/Theorist
A general statement about how some parts of the world fit together and how they work.

It’s an explanation of how facts or phenomena are related to each other.

What Theory Does
Theory provides a framework, and tells us what to look for, and how to approach it.

It also keeps us from looking at alternative possibilities.

Society is a complex system of interdependent parts that work together to ensure society's survival

Ideas come from Emile Durkheim, Auguste Comte, and Herbert Spencer

Looks at society like our vital organs

When one fails, another society/structure/institution is created
Karl Marx (1818-1883)

German Social Philosopher
Explains the changes in society during the Industrial Revolution
Believed that economic issues produce divisions rather than social solidarity
Conflict is based off of
who has power
He believed that capitalism creates

George Herbert Mead (1863-1931)
believes the self is created through a process of social communication.
Play stage, "Me" and "I", Generalized Other

Herbert Blumer (1937)
coined the term Symbolic Interaction
(1) individuals create and give things meaning; (2) the meaning comes out of the interaction one has with others in society; and (3) the individuals then modify the meanings through an interpretive process.

Erving Goffman (1922-1982)
presenting the self through frontstage and backstage
Influence of Society
Topics of Study
Critical Thinking
Harriet Martineau

She emphasized the importance of systematic data collection, and published the first methodology text for Sociology

She was the first to formulate a feminist sociological persepective
women's admission into medical school
women in the workforce
elderly rights

Feminist Theories
The idea that men and women should be politically, economically, and socially equal.

Liberal Feminism
emphasizes social and legal reform to create equal opportunities for women

Radical Feminism
blames the males for women's inequality

Global Feminism
focuses on the intersectionality of gender with race, social class, education on the exploitation of women in developing world

Symbolic Interaction
Believe that society is
socially constructed
through human meaning
Symbols--words, gestures, pictures, items, etc.
Human action and interaction are shaped by the definitions of the situation/interaction. These interpretations are based on shared meanings developed by others
We are social beings more than individuals
Our thinking and motivation are largely shaped by our life experiences as we interact with others
We exist within social structures which refers to patterns of social interaction and social relationships
Social structures influence who we are as individuals
Subject areas in sociology vary
Study small social relationships involving a few people (micro)
Larger social collectives (macro)

Concerns with issues revolving:
social class, poverty, race and ethnicity, immigration, disability, education, religion, social mobility, gender and sex, globalization
Sociology is concerned about
Explores the forces that influence people and help shape their lives
History and structures provide well-established guidelines for
individuals conduct their lives
You become skeptical over commonly accepted conceptions of human affairs
There is a willingness to ask questions, no matter how difficult
Sociologist call attention to the fundamental social questions we face daily

Benokraitis, Nijole V. 2012. SOC. 2nd Ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. eBOOK
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