Lecture Notes - Lecture Notes Lecture 1 Sociology Science...

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Lecture NotesLecture 1Sociology: Science of SociologySociology: An academic discipline that uses science to understand society3 main components: discipline, science, and society oDisciplineAcademic discipline: area of study and research led by credentialed experts at formaleducational institutionsoScienceScience: system of acquiring knowledge thru empirical observation and experimentationScientific method: 4 main components(1)Question: Why is X the way it is?(2)Observation: collect info using senses(3)Analysis: use our intellect to interpret data(4)Testing: apply initial findings to additional situation to see if it holdsScientific AssumptionsScience is based on several assumptions(1)We live in an external, objective worldIt’s not the matrix or someone’s dream(2)It is possible to gather accurate info about this worldOur senses allow us to gather info(3) There’s order and regularity in world—everything isn’t random, thereare causesoSocietySociety: distinct group of humans with mutual interests and shared institutions and cultureUsually used to designate country-level groups (Canada, US, France, etc.)Contested concept What is a group?Boundaries between societies are very blurryMost sociologists avoid using the termThus, one might change the definition to: a discipline that uses science to understand socialrelationsSocial RelationsA great variety of them o Sex, gender, crime,health, education, etc. Several other disciplines also analyze social relations using empirical analysis oAnthropology, economics, geography, etc.Sociology is different in 2 ways: breadth and focus oBreadthBroad view: other disciplines take a limited view, but sociology analyzes all types andaspects of social relationsEconomics, political science, an anthropology are subsumed by sociology
Benefits: gives diff perspective, able to see how all types of social relations are interrelatedand influentialDisadvantages: not able to go into the same depth as other social scientific disciplines oFocus: Individual and structureSociology focuses more on relationship between individuals and social structures thanother social sciencesSocial structure: enduring patterns of social relationsExamples: family structure, economic structure How are individuals shaped bythese structures?Social relations: what links us to structuresBasic idea: we can’t understand individuals or social structures without looking at bothScientific AssumptionsScience is based on several assumptions(3)We live in an external, objective worldIt’s not the matrix or someone’s dream(4)It is possible to gather accurate info about this worldOur senses allow us to gather infoIs Sociology Really a Science?

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