Sociology 101 Rogers and Yan
What makes you, you?
What is sociology?
1. The study of human society
2. Examines the relationship between history and biography
3. Uses the scientific method
4. Looks at social structures, patterns, and meaning
Original Founders of Sociology
Augste Compte 1798-1857
One of the first people to try to understand society and morality using science rather than theology He thought there could be a kind of “social physics” used to understand the social world in the same way physics understand the physical world Harriet Martineu
Wrote how to observe morals and manners
Said this is the best way to observe society
Term coined by C Wright Mills
It allows us to see connection between our personal experiences and the larger forces of history
Where you live, background, opportunities do not determine who you will become It just effects the degree of difficulty that you must face
Where you live, country? City? Community?
Economic system, conditions?
Who are you? Man/woman, rich/poor, social class, etc.
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Theory of what drives history, historical materialism, primarily the conflicts between classes that drove social change throughout history Max Weber (1864-1920)
Wrote “The Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism.” Looked at political, religious, and other cultural factors as important to social developments—not just economic class
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)
Focused on how societies hold together. Studied suicide and showed how individuals acts are conditioned by social forces, known as the term Anomie— a sense of normalness after great social change
Max Weber and Durkheim, though later than Comte and Martineau, are often considered the founders of sociology.
Theories of the Self
Charles Horton Cooley
Argued that the “looking glass self” comes from social interaction You define yourself by what you think others think you are
George Herbert Meade
The “Self” as developed over the course of childhood as the individual learns to take the point of view of specific others in specific context
A social institution is a complex group of interdependent position that perform a social role and reproduce themselves overtime.
Informal stories told of an institution are important. The sum of the stories about a person/organization is known as the grand narrative. Grand narratives are shaped informally, ex: what you say about someone will shape their grand narratives.
Randall Collin’s “Book About College” says that anyone can get a degree, but people only go to college for the credentials.
Modern Sociological Theories
Functionalism: society is like a living organism. To understand it we must identify different roles and aspects that play in keeping society working
Conflict Theory: to understand society, identify the power relationship that create different aspects in/ of society
Symbolic Interactionism: focuses on how face-to-face interactions create the social world
Review: what is sociology?
The sociological Imagination
C Wright Mills
History and biography
Historical development of sociology is traced through major theorists including: Auguste Comte
Functionalism- society works as a whole, each part contributing something important (Macro) Conflict Theory- society is the aggregate of political struggles among different groups (Macro) Symbolic Interactionism- by looking at everyday interactions you can discover larger social structures (Micro) Facts cannot be observed without guidance of some theory
Quantitative Methods: statistical analysis to examine data about the social world already in, or that can be converted into numerical form
Ex: surveys, or coded interviews
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