1. How did sociology develop? What is positivism?
Sociology is the study of human behavior in society, and the sociological imagination is the ability to see societal patterns that influence individual and group life. Sociology is an empirical discipline, relying on careful observations as the basis for its knowledge. Positivism: is a system of though in which accurate observation and description is considered the highest form of knowledge, as opposed to religious dogma or poetic inspiration. Theories:
-Interprets each part of society as contributing to the stability of the whole the frame work for the theory emphasizes consensus and order in society, focusing on social stability and shared public values. Disorganization leads to change because of societal components must adjust to achieve stability. A key part: when one part of society is not working (dysfunctional), it affects all the other parts and creates social problems. Conflict Theory
– Emphasizes the role of coercion and power, which is the ability of a person or group to exercise influence and control over others. Pictures society as fragmented groups that compete for social and economic resources. Social order is maintained by domination, not consensus, with power in the hands of those with the greatest political, economic and social resources. Coercion and social control, not shared values and conformity, bind people to society. All families are situated within larger systems of power and inequality systems that affect family life. Symbolic Interaction Theory
Differences between micro and macro levels of analysis
Macrosociology are theories that strive to understand society as a whole. Conflict theory
Microsociology center on face-to-face social interaction
Symbolic Interaction Theory
Is sociology "value free"?
Durkheim (1858 - 1917)
Social Solidarity: social bonds link members of a group
People in society are glued together by belief systems. He helped explain social deviance. Deviant behavior: actions that others perceive as violating the customary ways of doing things Thought that deviance, like public rituals, sustains moral cohesion in society He described this as society suigeneris (meaning “a thing in itself”). Society as an integrated whole, each part contributing to the overall stability of the system. Basis for functionalism. Functionalism: interprets each part of society as contributing to the stability of the whole. The different parts are primarily the institutions of society, each organized to fill different needs, and each with particular consequences for the form of society. Social facts: as those social patterns that are external to individuals. Weber (1864 - 1920)
Theorized that society had three (3) basic dimensions:
Developed multidimensional analysis of society that goes beyond Marx’s one-dimensional focus on economics Did not believe that a value-free sociology could exist, because values would always influence what sociologists studied. Verstehen (meaning, “understanding”): understanding social behavior from the point of view of those engaged in it. Social action: as a behavior to which people give meaning; people do things in a context and use their interpretive abilities to understand and give meaning to their action. Marx (1818 - 1883)
Work was devoted to explaining how capitalism shaped society. Used class analysis to explain capitalism Capitalism: is an economic system based on the pursuit of profit and the sanctity of private property. The capitalist class owns the means of production, the system by which goods are produced and distributed; they not only own the property but also the system by which wealth is accumulated. The capitalist system is inherently unfair because it rests on workers getting less than they give. Marx considered society to be fundamentally shaped by economic forces. Laws family structures, schools, and other institutions all develop to suit economic needs under capitalism. Comte (1798 - 1857)
Coined the term sociology, believed that that sociology could discover the laws of human social behavior. Founder of modern day sociology
He asserted positivism as the basis for sociological research Sociology is the most complex out of the sciences because it involved the study of society, which is complex and changing system. Thought it would become the “Queen of Sciences.” Cooley(1864 - 1929)
Theorized that individual identity developed through peoples understanding of how they are perceived by others. Saw that individual and society as interdependent.
Individuals developed through the relationships they established with others. Society the ever-changing web of social relationships existed because it was imagined in the minds of individuals. Goffman(1959, 1963a)
Dramaturgical model: a perspective that sees society like a stage (that is, a drama) wherein social actors are “on stage,” projecting and portraying social roles to others. Merton (1910 – 2003)
Elaborated a point in functionalist theory: Social practices have consequences for society that are not always immediate apparent, and they are not always immediately apparent, an they are not necessarily the same as the stated purpose of a given practice. Manifest Functions: are the stated and open goals of social behavior Latent functions: the unintended consequences of behavior
Key Concepts for Chapter 2
What is the scientific method? What are empirical studies?
Scientific Method: involves several steps in a research process, including: Observation, hypothesis testing, analysis of data, and generalization Empirical Studies: based on careful and systematic observations, and many other forms of analysis, but always they depend on an empirical foundation.
Qualitative versus Quantitative research
Qualitative Research: is somewhat less structures, yet focused on a question being asked. Does not make extensive use of statistical methods and allow for more interpretation and nuance in what people say and do; thus it can provide a very in depth look at a particular social behavior Qualitative data: data that cannot be easily reduced to numbers Quantitative Research: uses statistical methods. Provides data from which one can calculate average incomes, the percent employed and so forth. Quantitative data: data that is numerical and can be analyzed using statistical techniques.
Issues of reliability and validity
Reliability: is whether the same results would be found by another researcher using the same measurement Validity: refers to whether something accurately measures what it is supposed to measure, namely, the concept being studied.
The major research designs such as surveys, participant observation, experiments
Surveys: Typically solicits data about the respondent, such as income, occupation, educational level, age, race, and gender, coupled with additional questions that throw light upon a particular research subject. Closed ended questions: people must reply from a list of possible answers. The answers are typically analyzed quantitatively
Open-ended questions: the respondent is allowed to elaborate on her or his answer. The answers are typically analyzed qualitatively
Participant observation: (field research) typically goes to the places where research subjects are found and, to some degree, adopt their ways. Combines subjective knowledge gained though personal involvement and objective knowledge acquired by disciplines recording of what one has seen Two role types are played at the same time: subjective participant and objective observer Experiments: Are highly focused ways of collecting data and are especially useful for determining a pattern of cause and effect. Two groups are created:
Experimental group: is exposed to the causal factor one is examining Control group: is not exposed to the casual factor
The use and misuse of statistics
Key Concepts for Chapter 3
Development and elements of culture
Material and non-material culture
Cultural variations and cultural universals
Ethnocentrism and cultural relativism
Language and culture
Norms and values
Key Concepts for Chapter 4
The "self" and the socialization process
The "looking glass self"
Agents of socialization
How does gender affect / influence the socialization process?
The "life course" perspective of socialization
Mores and Folkways
Key Concepts for Chapter 5
Status and Roles
achieved status / ascribed status / master status
Organic / Mechanical solidarity
Macro / Micro analysis
social institutions and social structures
Key Concepts for Chapter 6
Primary and Secondary groups / In-groups and out-groups
Formal Organizations, types of and their characteristics
Group size effect