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Soci 210: a.What is sociology? b. socio perspectivesDefinition:Scientific study of social relations-Scientific because there is a systematic approach when looking at any social scientific question -No speculation – reliance on previous research -Want theoretical background to our study -> this makes it scientificsocial relations:society> a group of people whose members interact, reside in a definablearea, and share a culture-need to define what kind of group we are talking about -using this term- lots of disagreement -if we assume Quebec is a distinct society: would have to define the boundaries of that society-if you are a recent immigrant, are you right away apart of Quebec society?Society in itself is a problematic conceptPrefer to discuss social relations -Certain people have certain specific experiences when they approach social institutes -Patterns in our society that are permanent -Socio examines these social patternsSocial relations:-A great variety of social relations-Socio looks at them all Several other disciplines also analyze social relations using empirical analysis-Poli sci, psych, economics Sociology is different in 2 ways:1.Breadth2.FocusSocio lots of interconnection with other disciplinesThe breadth: Broad view other disciplines take a limited viewFocus: individual and structureEg. Sociology wants to understand the social or socio-economic impact of economic polices-Sociologists - one step further than economistsPolitical scientists more concerned about voting etc-Socio looks at social interaction of it PRIMARYGOAL: to look at all kinds of social patterns-Want to understand and provide an empirical perspective on the indv and social institution.
-Place individuals in a larger social context (not just the indv) Socialinst.:stable patterns in societyi.e. marriage, the welfare state, educational system in Canada, treatment of aboriginal youth socialstructures: enduring patterns of social relations-Marriage- relatively stable but changing, economic structure (we live in a certain economic env. /input/output, we all need shelter and food, generate an income) – all in order to sustain ourselves. -More people cohabiting in qc rather than marriages-Major alternatives emerging but idea is that we have a notion of what marriage is. Socialrelations:link us to structures-When you put your own experience in larger context and contrast group experiences- you see patterns and can group and analyze them and see the effects. Basic idea: wecantunderstandindividualsorsocialstructureswithoutlookingatsocialrelations. Textbook; People that can rely on close ties (can discuss important matters with, family members) when in trouble less likely to commit suicide – -Money does not equal emotional happiness -Men in north America more likely to commit- they have less close social ties-Any kind of union provides support.