Sociology Final Study Guide
Sociology is defined as the systematic study of human society. 2.
Sociology was the result of powerful social forces. Changes in Europe were very influential on the growth of sociology. b.
3 key changes that lead to the development of sociology
New industrial economy : Rise of factory based industrial economy 1.
People started inventing new ways to farm which lead to people working far away from home for strangers. This change in the system of production took people out of their homes weakening the traditions that had guided community life for centuries. ii.
Growth of cities
Fencing off larger areas of land to create property lands and for animals to graze -> led to less land -> people headed to the cities to work. 2.
Cities grew larger -> social problems increased
Political Change: New ideas about democracy and political rights 1.
In the middle ages, society was viewed through religion
What happened as cities grew?
Shift in focus from moral obligations and God to the pursuit of self and self-interests b.
Society versus Self
Every person has “certain unalienable rights” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” 4.
The more individualistic we become -> the more we think about society as a whole 2.
Sociology and Science
Coined the term sociology in 1838
“A new way to look at society”
The Goal of sociology was to figure out how society operates so improvements could be made. ii.
3 stages of historical development in sociology
Theological stage -> religious view of society
Metaphysical stage -> society seen as a natural system rather than a supernatural 3.
Scientific stage -> positivism a way of understanding based on science 3.
The Sociological Perspective
Seeing the General in the Particular
Sociologist Peter Berger refers to the fact that sociologists see general social patterns in the behaviour of particular individuals. In fact, each chapter in the text will illustrate how social forces shape our lives. Age, gender, and social class, for example, are seen to have a remarkable impact upon behaviour and life chances. While not erasing our uniqueness as individuals, social forces touch our lives in many unseen, yet significant ways, such as the behaviour of Canadian “peacekeepers” in Somalia who responded to cultural imperatives in the commission of atrocities. b.
Seeing the Strange in the Familiar
This is the process of detaching oneself from “familiar” individualistic interpretations of human behaviour and the acceptance of the initially “strange” notion that behaviour is a product of social forces. Students will typically respond to a question about their own attendance at a university in a personal way while, in social reality, factors such as family income, age, and race influence the choice. c.
l choice in social context
In a society that emphasizes individuality we are often reluctant to admit that our lives are predictable and patterned. The Window on the World Global Map1-1 (p. 4) titled “Women’s Childbearing in Global Perspective,” indicates that the decision to bear children is clearly shaped by social conditions. Even suicide, a seemingly very personal act, can be seen to be affected by social forces. The research by Emile Durkheim on suicide clearly shows how impersonal social forces affect personal behaviour. Records of suicide in central Europe during the last part of the nineteenth century were found by Durkheim to show certain social categories as having higher suicide rates than others. It was found that the degree of social integration, or how strongly a person is bound to others by social ties, had a significant influence on the patterns of suicide rates. Figure 1-1 (p. 5) provides rates of suicide over time in Canada for males and females, and Figure 1-2 (p. 5)...
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