22 terms

Sociology Part 1

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Sociology
The scientific study of social interaction. The social construction of life, groups, and societies.
-Sociology demonstrates the need for a much broader view of our nature and our actions. It teaches us that what we regard as "natural" in our lives is strongly influenced by historical and social forces.
Personal troubles
difficulties that are located in individual biographies and their immediate milieu, a seemingly private experience.
Public Issues
Difficulties or problems that are linked to the institutional and historical possibilities of social structure.
Sociological Imagination
The application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions. "thinks himself away" from the familiar routines of daily life.
Structuration
The two-way process by which we shape our social world through our individual actions and by which we are reshaped by society.
sociological imagination 2
It enables us to see the interaction of history(public issues) and biography in life.
sociological imagination 3
requires us to "think ourselves away" from our daily routines & look at them anew,
-take yourself out of it
-shift perspective
-allows us to see the interaction of history
C. Wright Mills (1959)
Observed that social sciences enable ppl to "translate private troubles into public issues"
Social scientists recognize these seemingly "personal" troubles, if occurring in patterned ways, to large numbers of individuals, reflect important "public issues" or consequences of social structure.
The sociology of Coffee
-A ritual= cup of coffee in morning- daily routine
-Use as a drug
-Symbolic value: social interactions and the enactment of rituals
-Interdependence among regions: coffee is grown in Latin America, Hawaii, India, and south East Asia.
Early theorists
Sought to understand social change
1. Auguste Comte
2. Emile Durkeim
3.Karl Marx
4. Max Weber
5. Harriet Martineau (Neglected)
6.W.E.B. Du Bois
Auguste Comte
"Coined the term sociology"
-originally used "social physics"
-could produce a knowledge of society based on scientific evidence
-Social laws=natural laws
Emile Durkheim
-"All human history thus far is the history of class struggles"
-More lasting effect on modern sociology than Comte.
-Believed sociology must study Social Facts
-saw society as a set of independent parts, each of which could be studied separately.
-Organic solidarity
-society exerts social constraint over the actions of its members
-Anomie
-suicide analysis
Social Facts
Aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals, such as the state of the economy or the influence of religion.
Organic Solidarity
The social cohesion that results from the various parts of a society functioning as a whole.
Social Constraint
The conditioning influence on our behavior by the groups and societies of which we are members.
-one of the distinctive properties of social facts.
Anomie
A concept referring to a situation in which social norms lose their hold over individual behavior.
-suicide: may appear to be a purely personal act, however, social factors exert a fundamental influence on suicidal behavior- anomie
Karl Marx
-ideas conflict with Comte and Durkheim
-Materialist conception of history
-economic inequality leads to social changes
-sees world in terms of social class
-capitalism creates classes & inevitably causes conflicts
"All human history thus far is the history of class struggles"
-2 classes: Bourgeoisie (owners) and proletariat (workers)
-the working class (Proletariat) rises to eliminate exploitation
-desired a classless system
Materialist conceptions of history
it is not the ideas or values human beings hold that are the main sources of social change. rather, social change is primarily by material or economic influences.
-conflicts between classes (rich and poor) provide motivation for historical development.
Capitalism
An economic system based on the private ownership of wealth, which is invested and reinvested in order to produce a profit.
Max Weber
-rejected the materialistic concept of history and saw class conflict as less significant than marx did.
-culture leads to social change
-culural ideas and values shape society
-protestant work ethic: have to work to please God
-values and ideas, like religion and science, can shape a society.
-value free: separation of belief from research
-rationalization, bureaucracy
-NO BIAS! SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION
Harriet Martineau
Significant bc:
1. she argued that when one studies a society, one must focus on all its aspects, including key political, religion, and social institutions
2. she insisted that an analysis of a society must include an understanding of women's lives.]3. she was the first to turn a sociological eye on previously ignored issues such as marriage, children, domestic and religious life, and race relations.
- was active proponent of women's rights and the emancipation of slaves
W.E.B. Du Boise
-first african american to earn a doctorate at Harvard University.
Many contributions:
Most important= concept of "double consciousness" which is a way of talking about identity through the lens of the particular experiences of African Americans.
- argued that American society lets African Americans see themselves only through the eyes of others.
- claim that one's sense of self and one's identity are greatly influenced by historical experiences and social circumstances. (slavery and, after emancipation, segregation and prejudice)