(1) Sociology Perspective Theory and Method

(1) Sociology Perspective Theory and Method - Sociology:...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style Sociology: Perspective, Theory and Method (1) M Spencer
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l Take a moment to write down some traits that you are looking for in a potential life partner. l Did you include any of the following characteristics? Age Religion SES Race Physical appearance?
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l We make many decisions in life – but we do so in the larger arena known as society l What is society? Family, local community, a nation, the entire world l Our social worlds guide our actions and life choices
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The Sociological perspective
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What is sociology? n Sociology is the systematic study of human society. n Sociology helps us to: See the general in the particular See the strange in the familiar See individuality in social context
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Seeing the General in the l Berger – characterized the sociological perspective as “Seeing the general in the particular: What does this mean? l See general patterns in the behavior of particular people l Thinking sociologically means realizing how the general categories into which we fall shape our particular life experiences
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Seeing the Strange in the l Looking at life sociologically means giving up the familiar idea that human bx is the result of what we decide to do l Instead we must accept the strange notion that we are creatures of society
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Seeing Individuality in Social l Most compelling evidence of how society affects individual bx comes from Emile Durkheim’s study of suicide (based on public records) l Durkheim believed that even the most individual act (suicide) was influenced by society l Some categories of ppl were more likely to commit suicide than others Widowed, divorced and single people have higher rates than those who are married Protestants have higher rates than Catholics
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l Key to the pattern was social integration Categories of ppl with strong social ties had low suicide rates whereas more individualistic ppl had higher rates l Catholics have stronger social control, are more socially integrated and have stronger family ties than protestants l In male dominated societies men have more freedom than women more freedom contributes to social isolation AND higher suicide rates
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l Those ppl in society who routinely are excluded as outsiders are able to quickly sense the power of society AA are more aware of the role race plays than whites Whites often do not see how race benefits them l Periods of crisis also spark sociological thinking Great Depression – 1/3 of workers were unemployed Easier to see larger societal forces at work
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Benefits of the Sociological How does this benefit us?? 1.
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2008 for the course SOCI 102 taught by Professor Spencer during the Spring '08 term at Bridgewater State University.

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(1) Sociology Perspective Theory and Method - Sociology:...

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