Sociology Notes

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Sociology Chapter 1 notes

Define –
Sociology: is the systematic study of human society and social interaction.

Society: is a large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.

Sociological imagination: the ability to see the relationship between the individual experiences and the larger society.

Industrialization: the process by which societies are transformed from dependence on agriculture and handmade products to an emphasis on manufacturing and related industries.

Urbanization: the process by which an increasing portion of the population lives in cities rather than areas.

High income country: nations with highly industrialized economies; technologically advanced industrial, administrative, and service occupations; and relatively high levels of national and personal income.

Middle: nations with industrializing economies, particularly in urban areas, and moderate levels of national and personal income.

Low: primarily agrarian nations with little industrialization and low levels of national and personal income.

Suicide – as a personal issue, many consider it a personal failure. This is seen as a problem must be solved by individuals within their immediate social setting.

As a public issue – not viewed as an isolated act and may be a inherited tendency. When viewed as a public issue suicide is possibly a result of large spread issues.

Importance of the global sociological imagination.
-your future is intertwined with the future of other nations and it's people.

-understanding diversity and developing tolerance is important for social, personal and economic well being.

Race -physical characteristics
Ethnicity – Country of origin.
Class – based on wealth, power and prestige.

Sex and gender

Sex – refers to the biological and anatomical differences.

Gender – sex that you identify with.


The process by which societies are transformed from dependence on agriculture to dependence on manufactured goods.

First occurred in Britain in 1760- 1850.

Resulted in massive economic, tech and social changes.

People were force to leave the rural areas and move to metro areas.


the process by which a population moves to cities rather than rural area.

Factory system lead to rapid increase in city size.

People from diverse backgrounds began working together and living together.

Led to development of new social problems: inadequate housing, crowding, poor sanitation, poverty, pollution and crime.


August Comte

Considered the founder of sociology

Positivism – a belief that the world can best be understood through scientific inquiry.

Comte believed that objective, bias free knowledge was attainable only through the use of science rather than religion.

Two dimensions of positivism

Methodological: the application of scientific knowledge to both physical and social phenomena.

Social and political: The use of such knowledge to predict the likely results of different policies so the best one can be chosen.

Harriet Martineau

Believed that society would improve when:

Women and men were treated equally.
Enlightened reform occurred
Cooperation existed among all social classes.

Herbert Spencer

He contributed to an evolutionary perspective on social order and social change.

Social Darwinism – the belief that those species of animals, including human beings, best adapted to their environment survive and prosper, whereas those poorly adapted die out.

Emile Durkheim

He believed in stressed the people were the product of their social environment and behavior could not be understood fully in terms of individual biological and physiological traits.

He believed that the limits of human potential are socially based, not...
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