the systematic study of human society
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)
One of sociology's first pioneers, showed that social forces are at work even in such an intensely personal action as suicide
Seeing Sociologically Marginality and Crisis
A person that doesn't belong to a dominant group--everyday experience
The study of the larger world and our society's place in it
Social Change and Sociology
A New Industrial Economy, The Growth of Cities,Political Change
Science and Sociology
b. Theological stage: when people took the religious view that society expressed God's will
c. Metaphysical stage: which people saw society as a natural rather than supernatural phenomenon
d. Positivism: a scientific approach to knowledge based on "positive" facts as opposed to mere speculation
coined the term sociology in 1838
a statement of how and why specific facts are related
Is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability
a) Any relatively stable pattern of social behavior
2) Is dysfunctional, but it is a result of a structure that is also functional
3) Laws are formal structures
4) Structure + Function, ultimately the thing to look for
The consequences of a social pattern for the operation of society as a whole
The recognized and intended consequences of any social pattern
The unrecognized and unintended consequences of any social pattern
Any social pattern that may disrupt the operation of society
The Social Conflict Approach
a. Is a framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change
b. Benefits people in position of power
c. Pattern exists as a tool in competition or as the result of an effort to achieve self-interest or establish power
d. Self-interest + Power, ultimately the thing to look for
broad focus on social structures that shape as a whole
A close-up focus on social interaction in specific situations
Symbolic -interaction approach
1) A framework for building theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals
2) People share some common perception of reality and shared value system that they obtain either through agreement, learning or common experience
The study of society based on scientific observation of social behavior
Information we can verify with our senses
A mental construct that represents some aspect of the world in a simplified form
Actually measuring exactly what you intend to measure
The study of society that focuses on discovering the meanings people attach to their social world
The importance of Meaning
1 Positivist sociology focuses on action, what we can observe directly
2 Positivist sociology claims that objective reality exists "out there"
3 Positivists sociology tends to favor quantitative data-numerical measurements of outward behavior
Weber's concept of Verstehen
Word means in German "understanding"
1 The study of society that focuses on the need for social change
2 Is an activist approach that ties knowledge to action and seeks not just to understand the world as it exists by also to improve it
Research Orientations and Theory
1)The positivists orientation is linked to the structural-functional approach
2)The interpretive orientation to the symbolic-interaction approach
Means approaching an issue from a male perspective
Seeing the world from a female's perspective
Is a problem when sociologist gather data only from men but use that information to draw a conclusion about all people
Researchers must be careful not to judge men and women by different standards
Failing to consider gender at all
Ten Steps in Sociological Research
What is your topic?
What have others already learned?
What, exactly, are your questions?
What will you need to carry out research?
v. Are there ethical concerns?
vi. What method will you use?
vii. How will you record the data?
viii. What do the data tell you?
ix. What are you conclusions?
x. How can you share what you have learned?
Goals and objectives of sociology
Defining patterns,To create understanding, To empower
Basic types of social patterns
Social interaction,Social structure, Social agreement,
Compared sociology to the human body
any social pattern that may disrupt operation of society
macro level orientation
broad focus on social structures that shape society as a whole
micro level orientation
close up focus on social interaction in specific situations
symbolic interaction approach- based on agreeing on reality and perception
a procedure for determining the value of a variable in a specific case
the study of society that focuses on discovering the meanings people attach to their social world
the study of society that focuses on the need for social change