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Sociology Then & Now

Chapter on the origins of sociology and modern sociological perspectives for a high school sociology class.

Jared Wagenknecht

on 19 August 2016

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Transcript of Sociology Then & Now

Where did it come from?
What is it?
A social science that studies society and human social behavior.
Using observations and data to form and study hypotheses.
How people relate to one another and influence each other’s behavior.
Sociological Perspective
Looking beyond common sense beliefs to the hidden meanings behind human actions.
Connecting ideas about society and the larger world to one’s personal life.
Industrial Revolution (1700s-1800s)
Society's a-changin'! Why?
1. People move to cities & want to understand urban problems
(poverty, crime, etc)
2. People begin to live in closer contact with others.
3. Large changes in society encourage people to reject old "common sense" ways to thinking about the world
“Father Sociology”
Applied "positivism" to society- everything follows a set of rules or principles that we can discover.
Social Statics- Processes that allow societies to stay the same.
Social Dynamics- Processes that allow society to change.
Influenced by Charles Darwin.
“Social Darwinism” or “survival of the fittest”- the best elements of society would remain.
Concerned with social order.
Society is a set of parts that keep it running smoothly.
Function- the purpose each of society’s parts play in keeping the order.
Society has two classes always in conflict with each other.
Proletariat- working class
Bourgeoisie- owners
Workers would eventually overthrow owners and spread property and money equally
Interested in separate groups rather that society as a whole.
Verstehen- understand meaning of individuals’ actions.
Symbolic Interaction Perspective
Society is defined by that individuals and groups use to interact.

Society is defined by the way people and things works together to keep social order and help society run smoothly.
Conflict Perspective
Society is defined by struggle between people who have power and those who don’t.
Socially Constructed Symbols
Groups create their own hidden meanings for things based on certain social situations.
Began studying sociology earlier than Comte.
Translated Comte to English
Studied women's issues, family, race
Believed sociologists should work to solve social problems
Du Bois
1st African American PhD @ Harvard
Empirical (ie #) community studies
Studied African American life in America
Challenged ideas about race relations and treatment of African Americans.
Founded "Hull House" in Chicago
Studied problems of the poor.
Worked for reforms to help the poor.
C. Wright Mills
The scientific study of social behavior...
1. Define a problem or question.
2. Review existing studies.
3. Form a hypothesis.
4. Design how to study hypothesis
5. Collect data.
6. Analyze data.
7. Present conclusions.
Do they confirm or reject existing theories?
Quantitative or Qualitative
Using statistics to analyze numbers.
Analyzing observations or words.
What variables will you study?
characteristics that change
Independent variable
Dependent variable
Changes in these characteristics or qualities lead to changes in the dependent variable.
Changes in these characteristics or qualities are related to changes in the independent variable.
Which of the 3 perspectives will you use?
What has already been found? How can you add to/change this?
What relationship between variables do you expect?
content analysis
case studies
field research
Phillipe Bourgois: Ethnic Habitus among heroin users
Full transcript