-The scientific study of human social life, groups, and societies, giving particular emphasis to analysis of the industrialized world.
-A wide range of studies: from the social connections with one another in interactions, to the investigation of global social processes.
-The application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions.
-Someone using the this must "take himself away" from the familiar routines of daily life and look at them anew.
C. Wright Mills
Invented the phrase known as the "sociological imagination"
Society is shaped by our individual actions, and in return our individual actions are shaped by society.
What 2 historical events were the backdrop for the development of sociology?
The French Revolution of 1789 and the Industrial Revolution in Europe.
-"Father of Sociology"
-Coined the term "Sociology"
-Believed that a knowledge of sociology could be provided scientifically
-Said sociology should contribute to the welfare of humanity by using science to understand, predict, and control human behavior.
-Sociology must study "social facts:" aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals, such as the economy or religion
-Analogy of human body: society was made up of interdependent parts that worked to make up a whole
-studied suicide and anomie
-Social unity that results from the various parts of a society functioning as an integrated whole
-Interdependent social parts work together for social harmony
-The influence/restrictions on our individual behavior that is presented by society
-A situation in which social norma lose their hold over an individual's behavior
-German philosopher; ideas sharply contrasted Durkheim and Comte.
-Materialist conception of history: economic roles have a prime part in determining historical social change--not values, culture, or ideas.
-Conflict between social classes provide motivation for historical development
-Said by Karl Marx to be the reason behind historical development
-An economic system based on the private ownership of wealth, which is invested and reinvested in order to produce profit
-A class system in which conflict between classes is a common occurrence
-Sought to understand social change
-Disagreed with Marx: said ideas, culture, and values did play a part in social change, as well as economic factors
-Said religion in the West influenced the rise of capitalism, not just the economy
A large organization that is divided into jobs based on specific functions and staffed by officials ranked according to a hierarchy. (industrial firms, government organizations, hospitals, schools)
Argued that one studying sociology must focus on ALL of its aspects: political, religious, social institutions.
-an analysis of a society must include the understanding of women's lives
-analyzed ignored subjects such as marriage, children, domestic and religious life
W.E.B Du Bois
"Double Consciousness:" A way of talking about identity through the lends of the particular experiences of African Americans
-Argued that American society only lets African Americans see themselves only through the eyes of others
Symbolic Interaction Theory
-George Herbert Mead
-Study of language
-The idea that all interactions between individuals involve in exchange of symbols
-Symbolic thought frees us from being limited in our experience to what we actually see, hear, or feel.
-Comte and Durkheim
-social events can best be explained in terms of the functions they perform
-analogy of human body: each part of the body relates and works with another, and contributes to the body as a whole
-Focuses on the function of each aspect in society, and how they relate to eachother: religion, ideas, values, economy, etc
-Order and balance: the normal state of a society
When most people in a society share the same value
-part of the Functionalist Approach theory
Marxism and Class Conflict Theory
-Theory derived from the writings of Karl Marx:
-Emphasis on class divisions, power, and ideology
-Key element of the Marxism theory
- the ability of individuals or the members of a group to achieve aims or further interests they hold
-a pervasive element in all human relationships
-Key element in the Marxism theory
-Shared ideas or beliefs that serve to justify the interests of dominant groups
-found in all societies in which there are systematic and ingrained inequalities between groups
-Idealogical systems serve to legitimize the power that groups hold
Feminism and Feminist Theory
-One of the most prominent areas of contemporary sociology
-women's lives and experiences are central to the study of sociology
-gender relations and gender inequality are important determinants of social life: both in terms of social interaction and institutions
-focus on institutions such as: family, workplace, educational system
-gender differences are natural, but also socially constructed
-The believe that society is no longer governed by history or progress
-Highly pluralistic and diverse: no "grand-narrative" guiding its development
-The world is dominated by the new media, which "takes us out" of our past.
-French philosopher Jean Buadrillard: said electronic media has destroyed our past and created a chaotic, empty world
The study of human behavior in contexts of face-to-face interactions
The study of large-scale groups, organizations, or social systems
The use of systematic methods of empirical investigation, the analysis of data, and the logical assessment of arguments to develop a body of knowledge about a particular subject matter.
Factual inquiry carried our in any area of sociological study
What 4 kinds of questions do sociologists ask?
Questions that raise issues concerning matters of fact, rather than theoretical or moral issues. Collecting data: "What happened?"
Relating one social context to another, within one society or between different societies: "Did this happen everywhere?"
Comparing society's past and present: "Has this happened over time?"
Interpreting what the facts mean. Seeking to explain a particular range of observed events. "What underlays this phenomenon?"
The 7 steps of the research process
1. Define the research problem
2. Review the evidence
3. Form a hypothesis
4. Select a research design
5. Carry out the research
6. Interpret results
7. Report the research findings
The 3 main research methods used by sociologists:
The firsthand study of people using participant observation or viewing
Rules of conduct that specify appropriate behavior in a given range of social situations.
-Prescribes behavior or forbids it
ideas held by individuals or by groups about what is desirable, good, or bad. Strongly influenced by the culture in which they happen to live.
the physical objects that a society creates; these influence the ways in which people live.