SOC103H1 - 1
: everything in society serves a purpose
: conflict between groups.
: interactions between people.
complex social forms
that reproduce themselves as government, family,
language, universities, hospitals, corporation etc.
Typically institutions are in place to meet society’s most important needs; order support and
Institutions cannot exist with
: a socially recognized pattern of inter-related acts
(conversations, dating rituals etc.).
Social institutions ARE
; they control, change, and are capable of both resisting and
producing social change.
is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society (Oxford
is the division of science concerned with human beings (
is the study of predictable and recurring relations among human beings, and the social
institutions and the societies people create through such relations (contemporary definition).
Two social crises were especially important for the early development of sociology:
The Industrial Revolution
: forced individuals into new economic relationships.
The French Revolution
: forced individuals into new political relationships.
Sociology today incorporates multiple narratives and perspectives that often conflict.
There are three aims of sociology:
(i) To find and explain patterns in people’s social relations.
(ii) To question “common sense” and the received wisdom about the way society works.
(iii) To solve social problems and find better ways of living together.
Features of sociology:
(i) It is applicable
(ii) It is oriented towards studying and solving peoples
(iii) It is
; concerned about contemporary issues.
(iv) It is
in research and credible findings.
(v) It is
(vi) It is
; uses data and standard measures to test hypotheses.
(vii) It is
; it contributes to a body of knowledge.
(viii) It is
; there are always unanswered questions.
(ix) It is
to other disciplines – psychology, political science, history, geography
envisioned the perfect society in the Republic; vaguely sociological.