I. The Sociological Perspective.
A.Sociology is the systematic study of human society.
B.The sociological perspective (Berger, 1963) helps us to see general social patterns in the behavior of particular individuals (the general in the particular). C.It also encourages us to realize that society guides our thoughts and deeds — to see the strange in the familiar (Berger, 1963). D. Sociology also encourages us to see personal choice in social context.
1.For example, Emile Durkheim’s (1858-1917) research showed that the suicide rate was strongly influenced by the extent to which people were socially integrated with others. 2.WINDOW ON THE WORLD—Global Map 1–1 (p. 4): Women’s Childbearing in Global Perspective. A look around the world shows that childbearing is not a personal choice. Women living in poor countries have many more children than women living in high-income nations.
II. The Importance of a Global Perspective.
A.Sociologists also strive to see issues in global perspective, defined as the study of the larger world and our society’s place in it.
1.Seeing Sociology in Everyday Life—The Sociological Imagination: Turning Personal Problems into Public Issues (Mills, 1959). Mills argued that society, not people’s personal failings, is the cause of poverty and other social problems. The power of the sociological perspective lies not just in changing individual lives but in transforming society.
B.There are three different types of nations in the world. 1.The world’s high-income countries are industrialized nations which have the highest overall standard of living (60 nations). 2.The world’s middle-income countries have limited industrialization and moderate personal income (76 nations). 3.The world’s low-income countries have little industrialization and most people are poor (57 nations).
III. Applying the Sociological Perspective.
A.Applying the sociological perspective is useful...