Sociology Chapter 1
Terms in this set (64)
scientific study of human activity in society
anything human-created that influence, pressure, or push people to interact, behave, or think in specific ways (ex. the mobile phone)
- Racial Classification
- Symbolic Meanings
Why Study Sociology?
- Sociology offers a framework to help us understand how human activity is organized.
- Sociology offers a perspective that prompts us to identify social forces shaping any human activity and to ask questions about that activity's consequences
- helps us gain a better understanding of ourselves and our social world
- helps us see how behavior is shaped by the groups to which we belong and our society
- helps us look beyond personal experiences and gain insight into the larger world order.
Why Do Sociologists Study Societies and Social Interactions?
- how human behavior is shaped by group life
- how group life is affected by individuals
- Developed by Sociologist C. Wright MIlls (1963)
- A perspective that allows us to consider how outside forces shape our life story or biography.
- The ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society
individual problems, or difficulties, that are attributed to personal shortcomings related to motivation, attitude, ability, character, or bad judgement
a societal matter that affects many people and that can only be explained by larger social forces that transcend the individuals affected
Sociology emerged out of....
- Their effort to understand the effects of the Industrial Revolution (1760-1850) on society.
- 19th Century industrialization and urbanization
- New Social Problems: (inadequate housing, crowding, unsanitary conditions, poverty, pollution, and crime)
Auguste Comte (1798-1857)
- Gave sociology its name in 1839
- Founder of Sociology
- Father of positivism
holds that valid knowledge about the world can be derived only from using the scientific method
Early Sociologists Gave Us Frameworks
- to examine how the division of labor, means of production, and solidarity connect us to others in our community and beyond
- to think about the reasons we pursue goals, the means we use to achieve them, and their consequences
- that acts as a technique for learning
The Beginnings of Sociology in the US
The Chicago School
Belief of people such as Herbert Spencer and others who argued that "surival of the fittest" justifies the competition of laissez-faire capitalism and imperialist policies.
The "Big Three" of Classical Sociology
- Emile Durkheim
- Max Weber
- Karl Marx
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
- Believed the sociologist's task is to analyze and explain conflict, the major voice that drives social change.
- Saw class conflict as the vehicle that propelled society from one historical epoch to another.
Emile Durkheim (1858-1918)
- Focused on the division of labor and solidarity
- Was interested in how the division of labor affected solidarity
- observed that industrialization changed the division of labor and, by extension, the nature of solidarity from mechanical to organic
the system of social ties that acts as a cement bonding people to one another and to the wider society
- Present in preindustrial societies
- A system of social ties based on uniform thinking and behavior
- A simple division of labor where everyone performs the same tasks needed to maintain their livelihood
- Developed from the Industrial Revolution
- A system of social ties such that for the most part people relate to others in terms of their specialized roles in the division of labor and as customers
Max Weber (1864-1920)
- Analyze and explain how the Industrial Revolution affected social action with emphasis on the forces that motivate people to act.
- Believed that social action is motivated on one of four ways
actions people take in response to others
understanding social behavior by putting yourself in the place of others
Four Ways of Accomplishing Social Action
4. Instrumental Rational
A goal is pursued because it was pursued in the past
A goal is pursued in response to an emotion such as revenge, love, or loyalty
A desired goal is pursued with awareness that there are no shortcuts but are guided by a set of standards or codes of conduct
- A valued goal is pursued by the most efficient means irrespective of the consequences.
- Could lead to disenchantment
A great spiritual void accompanied by a crisis of meaning in which the natural world becomes less mysterious and revered and becomes the object of human control and manipulation.
Contemporary Theoretical Perspectives (Sociological Perspective)
- a conceptual framework for thinking about and explaining how human activities are organized and/or how people relate to one another and respond to their surroundings
Three Sociological Perspective
1. Functionalist Perspectives
2. Conflict Perspectives
3. Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives
Functionalist Perspective (macro-level)
- Believe that social order is possible because all parts of society contribute to order.
- See society as a system of interdependent parts
- Argue that all parts of society contribute in some way to maintaining order and stability in the larger society.
- Answers: How is an existing social order in society maintained?
- Structural functionalism
- Addressed the types of functions that social structure might fulfill (adaptation to the environment, socialization of children, realization of goals, social cohesion, maintenence of cultural patterns)
- Introduced the concept of dysfunction to focus attention on a part's disruptive effects to an existing social order.
- Also recognized that both functions and dysfunction's can be manifest or latent
are a part's anticipated, recognized, or intended effects on maintaining some social order
are a part's unanticipated, unrecognized, and unintended effects on an existing social order
Conflict Perspective (macro-level)
- See conflict over scarce and valued resources as an inevitable fact of life.
- Seek to identify groups that benefit and the strategies employed to maintain their advantage and which groups are at a disadvantage
- Strength: it forces us to consider how advantaged groups benefit from the way human activity is organized and how they control access to scarce and valued resources.
- Weakness: it simplistically portrays the advantaged group as all-powerful and the disadvantage as victims incapable of changing their circumstances.
- Answers: Who benefits from a particular social arrangement and at whose expense?
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective (microlevel)
- Focus on social interaction, everyday encounters in which people communicate, interpret, and respond to each other's words and actions.
- Strength: it views people as active agents rather than as passive participants shaped by outside forces.
- Weakness: may overestimate that power.
- How do people involved in interaction and other human activity "take account of what each other is doing or is about to do" and then direct their own conduct accordingly?
Symbolic Interactionist Focus On....
2. Shared Symbols
3. Negotiated Order (Social Structure)
Occurs when a person is able to observe and evaluate the self from another's viewpoint
Any kind of object or idea to which people assign a name, meaning, or value.
Negotiated Order (Social Structure)
the sum of existing expectations and newly negotiated ones
the various techniques that sociologists and other investigators use to formulate and answer meaningful questions and to collect, analyze, and interpret data
A carefully planned research process with the goal of generating observations and data that can be verified by others. The research process involves at least six interdependent steps
Six Steps of the Scientific Method
1. Determining the topic or research question
2. Reviewing the literature
3. Choosing a research design
4. Identifying variables and specifying hypotheses
5. Collecting and analyzing the data
6. Drawing conclusions
- the researcher begins with a theory and uses research to test the theory
- "top-down" approach
- The researcher collects information or data and then generates theories from the analysis of that data
- "bottom-up" approach
3. Tentative hypothesis
any behavior or characteristic that consists of more than one category (ex. age or grade point average)
behavior to be explained or predicted
The variable that explains or predicts the dependent variable
- A prediction about the relationship between the independent and dependent variables
When one variable determines the presence or change in another variable
A relationship in which one variable decreases when another variable increases
The extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to.
The extent to which a test yields consistent results
a poll in which the researcher gathers facts or attempts to determine the relationships among facts
a data collection encounter in which an interviewer asks the respondent questions and records the answer
- study of social life in its natural setting
- generates observations that are best described verbally rather than numerically
Collecting observations while part of the activities of the group being studied
Detailed study of the life and activities of a group of people over a period of years
Secondary sources (archival data)
- researchers use existing material and analyze data that were originally collected by others
- also called unobtrusive research
when sociologist identify themes, sometimes counting the number of times something occurs or specifying categories in which to place observations.
used to describe the approach of combining multiple methods in a given study
ASA Code of Ethics
- Maintain objectivity and integrity in research
- Safeguard the participants' rights to privacy and dignity, while protecting them from harm
- Protect confidential information provided by participants
- Researchers must acknowledge collaboration and disclose all sources of financial support