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1. What is Sociology?

Intro to Sociology. Based on openstax Introduction to Sociology 2e

Steph Ebert

on 23 January 2017

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Transcript of 1. What is Sociology?

What is Sociology?
What is the difference between sociology, psychology, and history?
Plot, story: What happened? Who was involved? What were the motivations and factors leading up to this event? What were the repercussions of this event?
How do sociologists study the social world?
What is Sociology?
Individual thinking and behavior: How do individuals feel about things? How do they think about things? What is this individual's behavior?
Sociology: The systematic study of society & social interaction.
Social world: How does society shape and influence human behavior? How do larger social structures and forces shape human behavior? Looks at culture, external forces, big picture.
Asking questions like a sociologist:
How is that behavior a picture of larger social norms?
What are larger societal factors that are shaping this behavior (culture, economy, hiring practices, gender, ethnicity)?
Example: Intimate partner violence. Rather than- why didn't she leave? Questions like:
What is it about our society that makes partner violence so common?
Do lack of structural supports (like income, education, family) contribute to staying in absive situations?
Are there social stigmas to "coming out" and leaving?
The Scientific Method
Background research
Hypothesis (your hunch)
Design & conduct study
Draw conclusions
Report results
If someone else did the same thing, would they get the same results you did?
Is your studying measuring what you want to measure?
Operational Definition
Define what you're studying and how you're going to measure it.
Independent Variable
Cause of the change
Dependent Variable
Thing that changes
Eg: How does GENDER
Can be counted. Good when you want to know how far-reaching something is.
Eg: In-depth interviews, field research, participant observation, ethnography, experiments.
Eg: Surveys, experiments
use statistics to analyse
Good for depth, when you know very little.
Analyse using things like thematic, content, or rhetorical analysis
What is Society?
A group of people who live in a definable community and share the same culture.
people and institutions around us, shared beliefs, culture, government
TYPES OF Societies
(domesticated animals,
herding, nomadic)
(growing crops, good rainfall, permanent settlements)
(tools, farming for profit, commerce, social classes more divisive)
(9C. Hierarchical system based on land-ownership, passed through families).
Steam power, massive mechanization 18C "Industrial Revolution", urban centers:
sociology born
Post Industrial
Information societies
education needed to succeed
Sociological Imagination:
Coined by C. Wright Mills
"the awareness of relationships
between experience & wider
Ability to pull back and see the larger
social forces & structures at work
is an attitude of attending systematically to the context of knowledge construction, especially to the effect of the researcher, at every step of the research process.
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