What Sociology is NOT…
Sociology is not designed to help people.
Work is objective, if it ends up helping people, great. o
Getting the number is the easy part, done by the computer.
We want to know what to do with the number
This is where Sociology comes in.
One might spend time studying a successful marriage; however a Sociologist is not interested in hearing about a specific marriage’s problems. •
Sociologists do not help people have good marriages; they study what makes a marriage good. •
What Sociology IS…
Sociology is a discipline (language) given to systematically understanding society.
All academic programs are languages.
You learn a slightly different way of thinking
Words may mean different things than they do in English.
Systematically means that this is not just made up, there are specific patterns that sociologists are interested in.
Society is the key word here, Sociologists study society o
A society is a population organized to carry out the major functions of life.
For example, reproduction is a major factor in the continuance of life.
We organize reproduction in our society through marriage, although this is currently falling apart.
Nourishment is another factor in the continuance of life, and this is organized by the workers who provide the food that is necessary for life. •
A few takes on what it is…Weltenschaung
Way of interpreting your life’s experiences.
A framework that makes sense of what has happened to you and the things you’ve seen.
The worldview is so ingrained in you that you don’t even question it most of the time. •
Sociology is going to question it.
C. Wright Mills (Know Mills and his specific terms for exam)
Public Issues and Personal Troubles
The distinction between these is similar to the distinction between history and biography. •
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