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Me and Myself

By vsage20 Dec 19, 2012 1571 Words

1. What is sociology?
2. The sociological perspective
3. History of sociology as a science and its forerunners 4. How sociology started in the Philippines
5. How is Sociology similar and different from the other social and behavioral sciences?


1. What is sociology?

- It is the study of the science of society, social institutions and social relationships - It is the systematic study of the development, structure, interactionism and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings. - It is the scientific study of human society

- It is interested in describing and explaining human behavior, especially as it occurs within a social context; less interested in the individual than in the group of withc they are a part, social influences affect our individual lives. - Social forces [social factors] influence the behavior of individuals

Sociology is the systematic study of how human societies shape the lives of people who live in them. People make lots of decisions in the course of living every day. But we make these decisions within the context of "society;" our family, school, nation and the larger world. The essential wisdom of sociology is; the social world guides our life choices just as the seasons influence our selection of activities and clothing.

2. The sociological perspective

- The point of view that each one of us take as we witness and observe social events

Two (2) aspects of the sociological perspective (by Peter Berger)

a. Sociology enables us to see the general in the particular – This means finding general patterns in particular events.

Example: Emile Durkheim’s pioneering study on suicide revealed that there are categories of people who are more likely to commit suicide. The suicide rate was higher for the males, Protestants, wealthy and the unmarried compared to the females, Catholics and Jews, the poor and the married. In general the more socially integrated people (formed by ties of affection and obligation) are less likely to end their lives. His study examined the recorded instances of suicide in France and Central Europe in the late 19th century.

b. Sociology enables us to see the strange in the familiar – This means detaching ourselves from common explanations by taking a new look at society. Human behavior is not simply a matter of what people decide to do; society shapes our thoughts and deeds.

Example: In the Philippines, a fresh graduate from college most likely will find it hard to find a job, especially one that fits his qualification/college degree. Should he be blamed for not finding employment when in the Philippines, the unemployment rate (13.7 %) and underemployment rate (18.5%) as of April 2004 are so high?

3. History of sociology as a science and its forerunners
Auguste Comte: the Father of Sociology
What sort of person would “invent” sociology?
Comte (1798-1857) grew up in the wake of the French Revolution, which brought a sweeping transformation to his country. And if that was not sufficient, another revolution was under way as factories were sprouting up across continental Europe, transforming the lives of the entire population. The establishment of industrial economy, the growth of cities, and emergence of different political ideas transformed social life. Problems such as unemployment, increasing crime rate, malnutrition etc. emerged. Comte proposed that to understand society, it should be analyzed as it really was unlike the early philosophers and theologians who looked at society in its ideal state. Comte further favored positivism, an approach to understanding the world based on science. He believed that society operates according to certain laws, just as the physical world operates according to gravity and other laws of nature.

2. Karl Marx – forerunner of the conflict theory
Marx (1818 – 1883), a native of Germany, wrote the Communist Manifesto with Friedrich Engels in 1847. This book focused on the misery of the lower classes caused by the existing social order. Marx reiterated that political revolution was vitally significant in the evolutionary process of society, the only means to achieve improvement of social conditions. He felt that conflict, revolution, and the overthrow of capitalism were inevitable. He predicted that the bourgeoisie would be overthrown by the proletariat because they could no longer contain their frustration and discontentment over the treatment that the former inflict on them. Although his predictions did not come true, sociologist still study his insights regarding class conflict, economic determinism, social stratification and social change.

3. Herbert Spencer
Spencer (1820 – 1903) likened society to an organism with a life and vitality of its own. He first used the term survival of the fittest when he proposed the policy of noninterference in human affairs and society, believing that doing something to help the weak, poor and needy would interfere with the natural selection process in his native England.

4. Emile Durkheim –first French sociologist
Durkheim (1858-1917) put forward the idea that individuals are more the products rather than the creators of society; the society itself is external to the individual. He wrote the books The Division of labor in society, The Rules of Sociological Method, Suicide and Elementary Forms of Religious Life.

5. Max Weber
Weber (1864 – 1920) believed that a “sympathetic understanding, verstehen, of the mind of others” was essential to understanding the behavior of others. The qualitative, subjective methods as well as objective, quantitative methods should be used in the study of social actions. His works “The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism, The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism, Theory of Social and Economic Organization” among others dwelt on the significance of subjective meanings people give to their interactions with others.

4. How sociology started in the Philippines

3 stages:
1. Sociology was viewed as social philosophy
o This orientation started with the inclusion of sociology in college and university offerings and taught as social philosophy o It was introduced by Fr. Valentin Marin when he initiated a course on criminology at UST o There was little emphasis on the scientific nature of sociology

2. Sociology was viewed as a problem or welfare oriented discipline o This view was put forward by Serafin Macaraig, the first Filipino to acquire a doctorate in sociology and the first to write a sociology textbook, An Introduction to Sociology in 1938. o Very little social research was done

3. Sociology takes the scientific orientation
o This started with the increased number of educational exchange program grantees, the establishment of social science research centers and councils, the growing frequency of conferences and the publication of professional journals. o Public and private agencies became increasingly aware of the significance of social facts in the decision-making process. o The data collected by pioneer Filipino sociologist Benicio Catapusan on rural Philippines for the government became the benchmark for the distribution of economic aid to the different regions.

5. How is Sociology similar and different from the other social and behavioral sciences?

1. History
Sociology is like history in that sociologist also attempts to establish the social contexts that influence people. However, unlike historians, sociologist is primarily concerned with events in the present 2. Political science

Sociology is also similar to political science in that sociologists too, study how people govern one another, especially the consequence for people’s lives of various forms of government. Unlike political scientist and economist sociologist do not concentrate on only a single social institution 3. Economics

Sociology is like economics in that sociologist also are highly interested in what happens to the goods and service of a society, especially the social consequence of production and distribution. 4. Anthropology

Sociology is similar with anthropology in that sociologist also study culture and are particularly interested in the social consequences of material goods, group structure, and belief system, as well as how people communicate with one another. Unlike anthropologist, sociologist primarily focuses on industrialized societies. 5. Psychology

Sociology is like psychology in that sociologist are primarily concerned with how people adjust to the various contingence they confront in life. Unlike psychologist, to determine what influences people, sociologists stress variables external to the individual.


I. MATCHING TYPE. Match column A with B. Write the letter only. (10 pts)

|1.Auguste Conte |a. “verstehen” | |2.Karl Marx |b. Invitation of Sociology | |3.Herbert Spencer |c. Father of Sociology | |4.Emile Durkheim |d. Father of Modern Sociology | |5.Max Weber |e. pioneer study on suicide | |6.Fr. Valentin Marin |f. Communist manifesto | |7.Serafin Macaraig |g. co-writer of Marx | |8.Benecio Catapusan |h. survival of the fittest | |9.Friedrich Engels |i. first Filipino to write a sociology textbook | |10.Peter Berger |j. sociological perspective |

II. FILL IN THE BLANKS. Supply the blanks with the correct word/phrase. (10 pts)

1. ____________ is like Sociology because it also attempts to establish the social contexts that influence people. 2. ____________ is like sociology because it also studies how people’s lives are affected by various forms government. 3. Like sociology, __________ also studies the social consequences of production and distribution. 4. Like sociology, __________ also studies culture.

5. In the Philippines, sociology started as __________.
6. At present, sociology takes the __________ orientation. 7. As a science, sociology started in __________.
8. The _________ world guides our life choices.
9. Some examples of social forces are ________.
10. One Filipino Sociologist is _______________.

III. ESSAY. Answer substantially. (5 pts)

How would a sociologist view suicide? What information would a sociologist seek to construct a sociological explanation of suicide? Why?

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