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chapter 1 - I Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective II III...

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2-11-03 Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective I) Sociological Perspective – examines how social contexts influence people’s lives a. Society – a group of people who share culture and territory b. Social Location – what groups (i.e. – gender, education level, etc…) one belongs to within a society I) Origins of Sociology c. The industrial revolution brought everyone to the cities to face terrible working conditions. The success of the American and French revolutions made people rethink their social lives. Many traditional monarchies gave way to democratic forms of government. d. With the way of tradition answering questions ending, science took over in explaining problems, thus the birth of sociology II) Why the Social Connection e. Societies of the world are increasingly interconnected f. Human problems in the US are far more serious elsewhere g. Thinking globally is a good way to learn more about ourselves III) People at the Start of Sociology h. Auguste Comte – created positivism – applying the scientific method to the social world i. Thought that sociology was the first step towards social reform i. Herbert Spencer – second founder of sociology i. Didn’t believe that sociology should mess with social reform ii. Believed that society naturally evolves from barbarity of civility through survival of the fittest in society (“Social Darwinism ”) and that trying to reform it would set off the balance and inhibit or backtrack future evolution j. Karl Marx (was the basis for Marxism) – believed that the drive in human history is “class conflict ”, that the struggle between the bourgeoisie (rich and powerful) and the proletariat (poor worker) would last until the workers rise up, revolt and form a classless society k. Emile Durkheim – wanted to see sociology as a separate academic discipline (at the time it was viewed as part of history and economics). i. Achieved this when he received academic appointment in sociology at University of Bordeaux. ii. Also wanted to show that social forces affect people’s behavior, so he conducted research(?). iii. “Social Integration ” – degree to which people are tied to their social groups l. Max Weber – said that religion was central force behind societal change i. Believed that protestants broke from tradition so they did not believe that merely attending services got them to heaven, so they took wealth as a sign of being blessed by God. Because of this they became frugal and invested to make more which was the birth of capitalism.
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