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Sociology Ch 1 Notes

By AshleyNicole0627 Jul 24, 2014 896 Words


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

Theoretical Perspectives 
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
Conflict Theory
Symbolic Interactionism
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)  

Conflict Theorists:
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 
Historical Materialism 
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  

Emerging Paradigms
Feminist Theory
Gendered and interdisciplinary
Exchange Theory
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  
Environmental Theory
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.  

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