Introduction to Sociology and Sociological Perspectives

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Introduction to Sociology and Sociological Perspectives

By | November 2011
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1.What is sociology? What are the aims, uses and concerns of sociology? (Criteria 1.1, Level 2 and level 3) Sociology is the systematic study of patterns of human behavior between different societies and how they are transmitted through generations. It is concerned with the study of various social institutions within society and how they function and affect each other. For example, the influence the family might possibly have on whether a child is religious or not. Sociology is also the study of patterns of inequality, deprivation and conflict in society. Although sociology is concerned with the study of many things that most people know a bit about and is seen to be ‘common sense’, sociological research has disproved many of these widely mistaken ideas with precise evidence, while striving to maintain objectivity and value freedom in their work. 2.Define norms, values and culture, include a reference. (criteria 1.2, Level 2 and Level3) Norms are present in all societies; they are general guidelines for socialisation that define correct and satisfactory behavior e.g. the norms for dress. Customs are norms, which have been present for a long period of time and have become part of a society’s tradition. Although norms are usually informally enforced, they can also be formalised as laws. Positive and negative sanctions are used within society as a means of social control to prevent deviance from the social norms. These sanctions will depend on the seriousness of the norm for example negative sanctions may vary from being seen as eccentric to being imprisoned. Values provide general guidelines that are expressed as a series of norms. They are important beliefs about what is right and wrong. Ken Brown mentions,”In Britain, values include beliefs about respect for human life, privacy and private property, about the importance of marriage and the importance of money and success.” Shared values and beliefs are the key to maintaining a stable society and are also part...
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