Chapter 1, First meeting - Chapter 1 I Putting Social Life...

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Chapter 1 I Putting Social Life into Perspective: - A systematic study of human society and social interaction. Theoretical perspectives to examinations of social behavior Research methods (or orderly approaches) " " - How human behavior is shaped by group life and group life is affected by individuals. A. Why study sociology? - We study sociology to better understand how behavior is shaped by large groups to which we belong and live. Examples: environment, economy, agriculture, etc. Society (a large group that shares the same geographical territory and subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations) World Order ( ) Global Interdependence (a relationship in which the lives of all people are intertwined closely and any one nation's problems are part of a larger global problem) - Sociology allows us to gain new insights into ourselves and develop greater awareness of the connection between our own "world" and that of other people. Things are not what they seem: Peter Berger (1963: 23) - Sociology promotes understanding and tolerance by enabling each of us to look beyond intuition, common sense, and our personal experiences. Commonsense knowledge Myth (a popular but false notion that may be used to perpetuate certain beliefs or "theories". 1
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- Sociologists seek to find the cause and effects of social issues and analyze the impact on people. Note: Sociologists use systematic research techniques and methods that should be completely value free and free from distorting subjective (personal or emotional) bias. B. Social Imagination: Described by sociologist C. Wright Mills (1959b) as Social Reasoning (the ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society) - Social Imagination helps us distinguish between personal troubles and social (or public) issues. Personal troubles (private problems that affect individuals and the networks of people who they associate with) Public issues (problems that affect large numbers of people and often require solutions at the societal level) - Suicide as a Personal Trouble - We do not define personal experiences as determined by society as a whole, but as the result of a person's personal problems, such as suicide. - Suicide as a Public Issue - Early sociologist Emile Durkheim used scientific research methods to relate suicide to the issue of cohesiveness (lack of cohesiveness) in society instead of viewing suicide as an isolated act that could be understood only by studying individual personalities. Durkheim contended that a high suicide rate was a symptom of large-scale societal problems. C. Global Sociological Imagination: In the twenty-first century there must be a global approach to studying sociology. High-income, middle-income, and low-income countries need to be studied. -High-income countries
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 101 taught by Professor Hall during the Spring '08 term at Mt. San Jacinto College.

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Chapter 1, First meeting - Chapter 1 I Putting Social Life...

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