Sociology 001 1st Semester

Sociology 001 1st Semester - What is Sociology? Sociology...

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What is Sociology? Sociology is the scientific study of social structure and social interaction and the factors making for change in social structure and social interaction. The systematic and scientific study of human social behavior Sociologists focus on how individual behavior is shaped by factors such as the influence of the groups to which we belong ( such as our families), the social categories in which we are located (such as race, gender, age, or social class), and how we are taught to behave by those with whom we interact. Definition of sociology contains 4 key concepts. 1 Science: which refers to the body of knowledge produced by answering logical questions. In conducting research, sociologists follow the scientific method: an objective approach to empirical evidence. Looking for an explanation as to how and why things happen. 2 Social Structure: are permanent components of our social environment; i.e. our government. 3 Social Interaction: acts and responses between you and another person. In most circumstances people will respond to your actions. 4 Social change: life changes (maybe dramatically) but things in life change, they will usually not stay the same. Origins of Sociology Auguste Comte: (1798-1857); regarded as the founder of "Father" of sociology. He believed that sociology was a science, and referred to it as a positive philosophy. Comte argued that sociology as a science Law of Three Stages Stage 1: Theological stage: (understanding based on ascription of events to wills of supernatural agencies) examples of phases are: pre- star worship, star worship, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman. The human mind is searching for the essential nature of things, particularly their origin (where do they come from?) and their purpose (why do they exist?). The search for absolute knowledge. Stage 2: Metaphysical Stage : (understanding based on assumption of essences, first causes and predisposition). It is a transitional stage between the theological stage and the positivistic stage. Abstract forces replace supernatural beings as the explanation for the original causes and purposes of things in the world. Mysterious forces such as "nature" are invoked to explain why things are the way they are (it was an act of nature). Stage 3: The Positivist Stage: (understanding based on observation of relationships between events). People give up their vain search for
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original causes or purposes. All we can know are the phenomena and the relations among them, not their essential nature or their ultimate causes. according to Comte, the human mind, by its nature, employs in its progress three methods of philosophizing. Comte theorized that what would emerge in the positive stage of society, was an international spiritual body organized along positivistic thought. Comte would start the "Positivistic Church" and there would be the
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This test prep was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course SOC 001 taught by Professor Minnich during the Spring '07 term at GWU.

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Sociology 001 1st Semester - What is Sociology? Sociology...

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