Topics: Sociology, Social class, Poverty Pages: 24 (9300 words) Published: November 2, 2014

Sociological Perspective
What is sociology?
The systematic study of human society and social interaction by applying theoretical perspectives and research methods In order to develop theories of how human behaviour is shaped by group life and how, in turn, group life is affected by individuals. Why study sociology?

To gain a better understanding of ourselves and our social word; To see that our behavior is largely shaped by the groups to which we belong Person/ society/ world
Global interdependence > society/nation > myself
We as individuals are embedded in the complex relations and structures within the society A large social grouping that shares a geographical territory, is subject to the same political authority, and shares and is subject to the same dominant cultural expectations A relationship in which the lives of all people and any one nation’s problems are part of a larger global problem Personal level

Commonsense knowledge: a form of knowing that guides our ordinary conduct in everyday life Myths: a popular but false notion that may be used to perpetuate certain beliefs or theories, even against a conclusive evidence to the contrary Peter Berger:

Social inquiry helps us to see that things are not what they seem to be/appear Sociology as a science
Sociologists strive to use scientific standards, not popular myths, in studying society and social interaction. They use systematic research techniques and are accountable to the scientific community. The goal is objectivity in searching for patterns of behavior C. Wright Mills:

People in the XX century are possessed by a sense the trap – they cannot overcome their troubles, overwhelmed by world history What they need to escape from this trap is not only information, abundant in this Age of Fact, and the skills of reason. What they need, and what they feel they need, is a quality of mind that will help them to use information and to develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world and of what may be happening within themselves. It this quality…that journalists and scholars, artists and publics, scientists and editors are coming to expect of what may be called the sociological imagination. Sociological imagination:

Author: C. Wright Mills (1916-1962)
The ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society. Enables us to understand the link between our personal experiences and the social contexts in which they occur/distinguish between personal troubles and social (public) issues Global sociological imagination:

High income countries :
Highly inindustrialized economy;
technologically advanced industrial, administrative and service occupations; relatively high level of national and personal income
middle-income countries:
Industrializing economies, particularly in urban areas;
Moderate levels of national and personal income
low income countries:
Little industrialization
- Primarily agrarian
- Low levels of national and personal income
Historical context:
Enlightenment: belief in progress and equal opportunity
Revolutions in America and Europe
Early thinkers: a concern with social order and stability:
Natural scientists had been using reason, or rational thinking, to discover the laws of physics and the movement of the planets. Social thinkers began to believe that by applying the methods developed by the natural sciences, they might discover the laws of human behaviour and apply these laws to solve social problems Some of the early social thinkers (early to middle 19th century) such as Auguste Comte, Harriet Martineau, Herbert Spencer, and Emile Durkheim, were interested in analyzing social order and stability Auguste comte (1798 – 1857)

Coined the term “sociology”
Theory of social statics and social dynamics
Three stages of human thinking and knowledge (the law of three stages): theological, metaphysical, scientific (positive) Harriet...
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