Lecture 1 Thursday 9.6.07

Lecture 1 Thursday 9.6.07 - What is sociology?-The...

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Unformatted text preview: What is sociology?-The scientific study of social structure and social interaction and of the factors making for change in social structure and social interaction.-social structures: institutions (education, religious, family, business, communities, government, marriage)-social interaction: This 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. -gender is a learned behavior The 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. i.e. death, birth, love, advancement Origins of Sociology i. Auguste Comte (1798-1857); regarded as the founder or Father of sociology. He believed that sociology was a science, and referred to it as a positive philosophy. ii. Argued that sociology as a science should study the two fundamental aspects of society 1. Why it changes 2. Why it does not change iii. According to Comte The goal of sociology was to re-create a unified spiritual order that would help to institutionalize a new era of political and social stability. Sociology was the science that would replace the anarchy of post-revolutionary political, religious, ideological, and class disputes by the discovery of natural laws of social order and change. iv. 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 (seeking something out), Egyptian (believed everything had its own god, reincarnation, the afterlife was much more important than the current life), Greek (had a god for everything), and Roman (Christianity started). The human mind is searching for the essential nature o things, particularly their origin (where do they come from?) and their purpose (why do they particularly their origin (where do they come from?...
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course SOC 001 taught by Professor Minnich during the Fall '07 term at GWU.

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Lecture 1 Thursday 9.6.07 - What is sociology?-The...

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