Sociology1 - What is Sociology? Module 1A How is Society...

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What is Sociology? – Module 1A How is Society Structured? I. What is Sociology? A. Sociology is the study of social structures and how social structures influence human behavior and social outcomes (such as divorce, crime, poverty). B. Sociology is also a set of methods for determining whether or not explanations are valid II. There are two ways to think about social structure. A. Social structure refers to the way societies are organized to meet the needs of their members i. Sociologists argue that human behavior, social phenomena are shaped by social structures ii. Social structures dramatically affect people’s behavior B. Social Structures can also be thought of as all the statuses and roles that exist in society, as well as their relationships to each other i. Status is your position in society. Everybody occupies a number of statuses -- positions such as student, carpenter, daughter, old person, and senator. ii. A role is a set of expected behaviors attached to specific statuses in society. For example, we expect mothers to act in specific ways. Different roles (and statuses) are associated with different goals, interests, emotions, and levels of deference. For instance, mothers, policemen, lawyers, and students have different goals, interests, etc. iii. Social Status - Statuses can be ranked in terms of how desirable they are or how much prestige they have. Roles that are more desirable and prestigious have greater social status.
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III. Meeting society’s needs A. What do all societies need to do to survive? B. How does our society meet its needs? C. How do other societies meet their needs? D. How would our behavior change if we lived in a different society? E. Major points we can draw from the preceding discussion
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This note was uploaded on 04/26/2009 for the course SOCY 1001 taught by Professor Walden,gle during the Fall '07 term at Colorado.

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Sociology1 - What is Sociology? Module 1A How is Society...

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