Sociology = A science. The 'social' matters and our lives are affected by our place in the social world.
3 Characteristics of Sociology
A science NOT common sense
Systematic – Uses the systematic scientific method
Interested in group behavior and trends – On a larger scale than the individual
2 Categories of Research
Micro – Focuses upon the interaction of individuals in groups Macro – Focuses upon institutions in society and the global – Looks for patterns
Are a Result of the collection and analysis of data from a variety of sources such as: Interviews
They are models that allow us to generalize and make predictions
Students Need To Be Objective When Studying Sociology
Do not be subjective
We all have a belief system that can be a problem when studying sociology Remove the "I"
Social Control = the social mechanisms that regulate people's actions - Studied through 3 paradigms: Functionalism
A paradigm is a theoretical framework through which scientists study the world.
Founders of the Discipline of Sociology
Auguste Comte (1798-1859) - Wanted to build better societies Recognized 2 equal yet opposing forces in society: Social Statics (Tries to keep things the same) & Social Dynamics (force for change & conflict) Founders Continued:-
Herbert Spencer-Social Darwinism
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)
First social researcher to carry out an investigation using a large scale collection of data & wanted sociology to be more scientific Ideas and values are the driving force of change in society (Comte also shared this view) Structural effects = The social structure could influence human behavior Social Solidarity = The bonds that unite society - Shared beliefs These are important for society to operate harmoniously
Collective Conscience = A group's common values, goals, outlook, interpretation of events & identical ways of thinking in smaller societies Solidarity = how connected people feel to others in the environment Mechanical Solidarity = Pre-Industrial
Organic Solidarity = Social ties based upon a functional interdependence of the members of society (we are all dependent upon other, people we do not even know, for our everyday necessities) This is less personal than with mechanical solidarity when everyone knew each other, what to do, how to behave, and their place in the scheme of things. A lack of solidarity can lead to Egoistic Suicide -few social connections and isolation Alruistic Suicide - Exceptionally high level of solidarity places the goup's interests as superior to the individual's. Fatalistic = Too much social control and Anomic = rapid change, usually economic. Division of Labor = A unifying force
Talcott Parsons - One of the most influential Functionalists Robert Merton - - Manifest Consequences = the intended consequences of an action, Latent Consequence = unintended consequence of an action, & Dysfunctional Consequence = when an action weakens social bonds (a negative societal effect)
Karl Marx (1818-1883) - Extereme influence on world politics Focused upon discord and exploitation in society
Social change, social institutions and social values are dictated by economic forces Bourgeoisie- Owners of the means of production
Proletariat - Sold their labor
Capitalism- Bourgeoisie seek to maximize profits & exploit workers Alienation - Workers removed from creativity and achievement, leads to despair False Consciousness
Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) - Little recognized – Focused upon Industrialization & Capitalism, class, race & gender inequalities W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1063) – First African American to receive Ph. D. from Harvard. Studied dual heritage & advocated the eradication of prejudice and discrimination Jane Adams (1860-1935) - Hull House - Poverty results from ignorance and structural barriers, not from failings in the morality of a person. John Bellamy Foster - The negative effects of capitalism on society and the planet as a whole. C. Wright Mills - Social Conflict (Marxist)
'Sociological Imagination" = A way of thinking that gives you an understanding of the societal forces that shape your life- how society influences the outcome
George Herbert Mead (186 –1931)- Founder of Symbolic Interactionalism, interested in socialization George Simmel (1858-1918)
Interaction amongst people is influenced by size of group
Herbert Blumer - Human beings behave toward things on the basis of the meanings they ascribe to those things - Contagion = a rapid, irrational mode in which people dont think rationally or clearly = in a group setting. People 'lose their heads' and react emotionally. Erving Goffman - Dramaturgy - a theory of interaction in which all life is like acting Howard Becker - Labeling Theory - Human action is related to the labels attached to it. A label is attached to a certain behavior when a group with powerful social status labels it deviant. deviance is rooted in the reactions and responses of others to an individual's acts.
Max Weber (1864-1920)
Began as Karl Marx, social class influences our outcomes, but thought that Marx's two class system was too simple. Wealth is important, but so are political power and social status. Discussed the emerging Bureaucracies and Rationality .
The Protestant Ethic led to or influenced the rise in Capitalism. The accumulation of wealth is a sign of God's favor. Stressed that the study of sociology should be value free with no personal bias
Gendered and interdisciplinary
Our social experiences consist of a series of rewards and costs. People want to maximize their rewards and minimize their costs which leads to their choise of social action
How do societies adjust to ecological changes (Beasts of The Southern Wild movie). Humans are just one type of organism sharing the ecological space with animals.