Sociology and Social Phenomena

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LECTURE NOTES
For Health Science Students

Introduction to Sociology

Zerihun Doda, M.A. Debub University
In collaboration with the Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, The Carter Center, the Ethiopia Ministry of Health, and the Ethiopia Ministry of Education

June 2005

Funded under USAID Cooperative Agreement No. 663-A-00-00-0358-00. Produced in collaboration with the Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, The Carter Center, the Ethiopia Ministry of Health, and the Ethiopia Ministry of Education.

Important Guidelines for Printing and Photocopying Limited permission is granted free of charge to print or photocopy all pages of this publication for educational, not-for-profit use by health care workers, students or faculty. All copies must retain all author credits and copyright notices included in the original document. Under no circumstances is it permissible to sell or distribute on a commercial basis, or to claim authorship of, copies of material reproduced from this publication. ©2005 by Zerihun Doda All rights reserved. Except as expressly provided above, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the author or authors.

This material is intended for educational use only by practicing health care workers or students and faculty in a health care field.

PREFACE
Sociology is a is discipline called that belongs to what The

conventionally

the

social

science.

discipline plays a leading role in the social sciences. The term sociology literally means the science of society; for the term itself in its direct sense denotes that. Sociology as an academic discipline arose in the first half of 19th century (in 1837, to mention the exact year) as a special science dedicated to unravel the fundamental laws governing the societal phenomena and human social relationship with primary interest in analyzing the problems and societies of the modern, western world. It has, thus, conventionally been accepted to associate sociology with the study of the modern, industrialized societies of western world. Health science students learning this discipline have a great advantage of gaining fresh insights and practical benefits in their personal lives and professional practices. Sociology along with other sisterly disciplines such as anthropology, economics, social psychology, human/ cultural geography, history and political

sciences has now become an essential component of

i

the health and medical sciences curricula in universities and other training institutions abroad. Following this example, similar institutions in Ethiopia have also included this course in their curricula. These lecture notes on introductory sociology are prepared for the health and medical sciences students in institutions of higher learning in Ethiopia. Its purpose is to provide the students with basic ideas and knowledge in the science of sociology. By learning the materials presented in this lecture notes, it is believed that students will be able to understand and appreciate the basic issues, principles and approaches of

sociology. Students may also gain an indirect benefit of appreciating the social, cultural, and behavioral

dimensions of health and disease. Specifically, the main learning objective of introduction to sociology is to familiarize the students with the basic ideas, issues, concepts and principles of sociology. Students will be able to describe the meaning, scope, methods, history and importance of sociology, and its relations to other disciplines. The students will also be able to appreciate the relevance of sociology in their

ii

personal and future professional practice. A brief discussion of the survey of social problems in

contemporary Ethiopian society will also help them understand their...
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