Soc 200 First Exam Study Guide

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What is sociology?
(1) The scientific study of social behavior.
(2) The systematic study of social behaviors and social organization [organization of groups]. The Sociological Imagination
C. Wright Mills (wrote about sociological perspectives)
- History
- Biography: the events that occur in our life are affected by our history. Sociology & Social Science
- Social Groups
- Social Facts: (Durkheim) something external to an individual & coercive (forced) upon an individual. > (1) Material – object
> (2) Non-material – norms, laws, morals, language, religion History of Sociology
- 1600-1789: The Enlightenment (the age of reason)
- Father of sociology: August Comte [wanted to created “social physics”] - Early 1900’s - University of Chicago: “Chicago School” > 1st sociology school
- 1930’s-1960’s
> Harvard University
> Talbott Parsons: functionalism
- 1960’s-1980’s: sociologists were more critical
- 1980’s-Present:
> center of sociology has become more scientific
> “sociology should be more about humanities”
Theories
1. Structural Functionalism (1930’s-1960’s)
- Society is like the human body:
> The body has different functions to make the body work (ex. heart, kidney, brain…) > Society has different parts to help it work too (ex. school, politics, economics…) > balance/equilibrium

2. Conflict Theory
- At the heart of all societies lays conflicts between groups. - Marxists: If you want to understand a society you need to understand the conflicts. 3. Symbolic Interactionism
- George Herbert Mead (Philosophy, Chicago)
- Dominant micro (individual social interactions) approach
- the SOCIAL, the SYMBOL, the SELF
- We’re social before we’re an individual
- We use symbols: language
- The self is a symbol
- We’re motivated to find ourselves through social interaction. Methods
- Quantitative vs. Qualitative Methods
> Quantitative: numeric (ex. # statistics)
> Qualitative: non-numeric (ex. open ended interview)
- Scientific Method
> used by quantitative sociologists
(1) choose a topic to investigate; develop a question
(2) reviewing the literature (doing research on past history) (3) forming a hypothesis/educated guess
(4) choosing a research design (how should you study this? Interview, poll…) (5) conduct a study, collect the data
(6) analyze data
(7) communicate the results
- Methodology Terms
> Variable: Something that changes.
>> Independent Variable: Cause of change
>> Dependent Variable: Effect/thing that changes
> Correlation: When 2 things happen at the same time.
> Causation: When one thing causes another thing to happen. - Types of Methods
> Surveys: ask about values or behaviors; have low response rates >> Sampling: Taking a segment/portion of a population and surveying them, then making a generalization of that population. >> Random Sample: Trying to make it close to the population as possible. > Experiments

>> Natural: most commonly used; more observed
>> Contrived: can control the experiment; manipulated
> Interviews:
>> Questionnaires:
>>> Structured – specific goals, questions
>>> Unstructured – just asking random questions
> Participant Observation & Ethnography
>> Qualitative study; try to participate in the community of which you want to observe. >> Ethnographies don’t make generalizations.
>> “Going native”: losing perspective; losing objectivity; becoming a member (ex. Avatar) > Existing Sources
>> Historical – Archives: readings, museums…
>> Comparative – Comparing one community to another
>> Public Records – ex. census, criminal backgrounds… > Participatory Action Research
>> Unlike other methods, this one DOESN’T embrace objectivity. >> Controversial
>> Ex. POVERTY: instead of trying to figure out why poverty occurs, they try to help. Ethics
- Ethics Board, “Human...
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