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Introduction to Sociology

Lecture for Friday 1/9/15

Elizabeth East

on 29 August 2017

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Transcript of Introduction to Sociology

Sociological Imagination
C. Wright Mills developed the concept "
sociological imagination
" to explain how individuals could become more aware of:
their social surroundings
their social location in relation to others
the long historical conditions that influence a person's biography (life chances/circumstances)
Social Problems Theory
Early sociologists - the pathologists:
Applied a medical model to the study of society
Social problems were "bad' things committed by "bad" people
Disrupted the social order
Examples: alcoholism, murder, theft, suicide
What is Sociology?
Specialty and Research Areas
Overview of Today
What is Sociology?
What are Social Problems?
What is the Sociological Perspective/Imagination?
Introduction of Social History Project: due Sunday, Sept. 10th
Introduction to Sociology
What is Sociology?
Lisa's Specialty Areas
Collective Behavior & Social Movements
Economic Sociology
Environment and Technology
Comparative and Historical Sociology

E. East 8/29/17
the study of society
a social science involving the study of the social lives of people, groups, and societies
some description, some critique of current social structure, some emphasis on how and what to change in society
Aging and the Life Course
Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco
Altruism, Morality and Social Solidarity
Animals and Society
Asia and Asian America
Body and Embodiment
Children and Youth
Collective Behavior & Social Movements
Communication and Information Technologies
Community and Urban Sociology
Comparative and Historical Sociology
Consumers and Consumption
Crime, Law, and Deviance
Disability and Society
Economic Sociology
Environment and Technology
Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
Evolution, Biology and Society
Global and Transnational Sociology
History of Sociology
Human Rights
International Migration
Inequality, Poverty and Mobility
Labor and Labor Movements
Latino/a Sociology
Marxist Sociology
Mathematical Sociology
Medical Sociology
Mental Health
Organizations, Occupations, and Work
Peace, War, and Social Conflict
Political Economy of the World-System
Political Sociology
Race, Gender, and Class
Racial and Ethnic Minorities
Rationality and Society
Science, Knowledge, and Technology
Sex and Gender
Social Psychology
Sociological Practice and Public Sociology
Teaching and Learning
Political Economy of the World-System
Political Sociology
Sociological Practice and Public Sociology
Teaching and Learning
American Sociological Association. 2014. "The American Sociological Association's Fifty-Two Sections." Available: http://www.asanet.org/sections/list.cfm
American Sociological Association. 2014. "What is Sociology?" Available: http://www.asanet.org/about/sociology.cfm
Social Structure Analysis
Issues with early perspectives:
Did not question the framing of "bad" and "good"
Did not acknowledge the complexity or roots of social problems
What if social order itself is the problem?

Social Problems
Theory Today
Social History Project
Examines the

that contribute to social problems
System-blame emphasis
Not person-blame for social problems
System-solution emphasis
Changing individual behaviors is not enough
Objective Components
Conditions that induce real and widespread material and psychological suffering
Conditions revealed through social research
Subjective Components
Social problems differ by society, audience, and time
Dependent on institutions and social groups
social problems
Social Problems
Theory Today
Critical of the current social structure
Maybe social structure or institutions are the problem?
Ex. States (countries) and Immigration
Ex. The Economy and Environmental Problems and Solutions
Ex. Racism and institutional discrimination based on white supremacy
Critical of
who defines
social problems
Listen to less powerful people and "others" in a society to garner bigger, inclusive picture
Ex. Environmental Justice - Extractive Communities
Person-blame v.
Does not deny there are other factors contributing to social problems
Ex: Biological factors contributing to addiction
Ex. Mental health factors contributing to suicide
Ex. Mental health factors leading to abuse
Sociology elevates the
social factors
more in analysis and understanding social problems
Ex. Neighborhood and poverty conditions correlated to addiction
Ex. Poor social support (friends and family) or stigma correlated to higher levels of suicide
Ex. Patriarchy and social context of intimate partner violence
Quinn's Social Background
: Middle Class, with periods of economic difficulty; dates a barista and a mechanic
: Mixed race (Jewish and Black), non-Protestant upbringing
: Cis-gendered female, identifies as a woman, uses female pronouns; hyper aware of gender/race through work/school environments
Sexuality/Relationship Preference
: Pansexual; non-monogamist with primary partner
Political Identities
: Environmentalist, Anti-Racist, Feminist, (mostly) vegetarian
Asking you to engage with your social history:
What social factors contributed to your upbringing?
Were you aware of your class, race, gender, etc. growing up?
How has your social world shaped the person you are?
To do this, you will be completing a paper due Sunday, Sept 10th
All information now on Canvas
the study of our behavior as social beings
, covering everything from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes
Introduction to Sociology Section Continued...
Thursday 8/31
: Reading Discussion
Prepare 3-5 questions per reading; turn-in on Canvas Discussion Board
Tuesday 9/5
: Introduction to Sociology Quiz (5% of your final grade!
Jamie's Social Background
: Middle/upper class; dating a social media manager
: White, Irish-Catholic upbringing; Community/schools "not very diverse"
: Cis-gendered male, identifies as a man, uses male pronouns; partner exposes him to gender issues; learning and listening
Sexuality/Relationship Preference
: "Straight" (Heterosexual); serial monogamist
Political Identities
: Environmentalist, Moderate Libertarian/Republican
Full transcript