Chapter 1-3 What is Sociology?

Topics: Sociology, Karl Marx, Scientific method Pages: 5 (684 words) Published: October 23, 2013
Introduction

Introduction to Sociology
Daron R. Simpson
What is Sociology?

Sociology looks at a broad range of institutions (structures in our society, like education, economics, politics) to better understand social relationships.

Thinking like a sociologist

Sociology: the SCIENTIFIC study of human social life, groups, and societies the Sociological perspective:
(1) the sociological imagination
(2) a scientific approach
(3) debunking conventional wisdom
(4) diversity
Sociology or Common Sense/Conventional Wisdom?

The earnings of US women are about 78% of US men’s earnings. Most people on welfare are white and would prefer to work.
Violence is lower now than a decade ago.
When talking, women maintain more eye contact than men.
The number of places to purchase alcohol does not increase alcohol related injuries and fatalities on US highways. Couples who do not live together before they marry usually report higher satisfaction with their marriages than couples who cohabitate. Why Study Sociology?

Gain a better understanding of ourselves and our social world. Helps us see how behavior is shaped by the society in which we live. Helps us look beyond personal experiences and gain insight into the larger world order. Levels of Analysis

Sociologists can use different levels of analysis to explore social relationships: Microsociology:
Macrosociology:
The Macro-Micro Continuum (Figure 1.3)
The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology, 2nd Edition
Copyright © 2010 W.W. Norton & Company
Auguste Comte

The “father of sociology”
Argued for the empirical study of society
Analyzed social statics and dynamics
Emile Durkheim,1858-1917

Durkheim:
Social facts: we can study aspects of social life in a scientific manner (ex. Hoarders)
Suicide (1897)
Anomie
Karl Marx,1818-83

Class conflict
Economic Determinism
False consciousness
Class consciousness
Alienation
Max Weber (“Vaber”), 1864-1920

Agreed that the economy is important, but not the only major force for social change Culture and values also shape social change (indeed, they shape the kind of economy we have) Described the development of bureaucracy and the rationalization of modern life Functionalism

Society is a complex system of interdependent parts that work together to ensure a society’s survival. Functions are purposes and activities to meet different needs that contribute to a society’s stability. Functionalism

Society is a complex system of interdependent parts that work together to ensure a society’s survival. Functions are purposes and activities to meet different needs that contribute to a society’s stability. Functionalism

Manifest functions are intended and recognized.
Latent functions are unintended and unrecognized.
Dysfunctions have negative impacts.
Application

A school dress code
What are the manifest functions?
What are the latent functions?
What are the dysfunctions?
A fast food restaurant
What are the manifest functions?
What are the latent functions?
What are the dysfunctions?
Application

Public Schools
What are the manifest functions?
What are the latent functions?
What are the dysfunctions?
Conflict Theory

Conflict theory examines the ways in which groups disagree, struggle over power, and compete for scarce resources. Karl Marx predicted that conflict would result from widespread economic inequality. Auguste Comte

The “father of sociology”
Argued for the empirical study of society
Analyzed social statics and dynamics
Conflict Theory

The “haves” dominate in social, political and economic activities over the “have-nots”

Auguste Comte

The “father of sociology”
Argued for the empirical study of society
Analyzed social statics and dynamics
Conflict Theory

The “haves” dominate in social, political and economic activities over the “have-nots”

Symbolic Interactionism

Symbolic interactionism looks at individuals’ everyday behavior and communication through...
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