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Chapter1Sociology - Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective The Sociological Perspective Key points of perspective Opens a window onto unfamiliar worlds The whole purpose is to provide a fresh perspective. (i.e. “new eyes”) Seeing the Broader Social Context Sociological Perspective Stresses the social contexts in which people live Examines group influences and SOCIETY Seeing a Broader Social Context What is Society? A group of people who share a culture and territory Examples? Suburbs vs. City Urban vs. Rural *** To understand what motivates and shapes people’s actions, sociologists examine social location: where a person or group of people is located in a particular society and at a particular point in history. Social location helps people define themselves, as well as helps other people define them. – Variables Include: – Race, class, gender, generation, nationality, occupation, and education. Examples!!! (p. 4) How children are raised, and in what language. Others? That “something” inside us – What we fine desirable, tacky, tasteful, disgusting. – Peter Berger (1963) “That ‘something’ is society within us.” **“We often think and talk about people’s behavior as though it were caused by their sex, race, or some other factor transmitted by their genes. Sociological Perspective helps us escape that cramped personal view by exposing the broader social context.” (p.5) “The Perspective” The sociological perspective enables sociologists to look beyond community and national boundaries and envision the social world as a global village. With the nations of the world becoming more technologically, politically, socially, and economically interconnected and interdependent, the sociological perspective incorporates cultural and cross-cultural worldviews. Sociology and Other Sciences Science: – The application of systematic methods to obtain knowledge and the knowledge obtained by those methods. Sociology – The scientific study of society and human behavior. The Natural Sciences Natural Sciences – The intellectual and academic disciplines designed to comprehend, explain, and predict events in our natural environment. Groups: Biology, geology, chemistry, and physics The Social Sciences Social Sciences – Designed to understand the social world objectively by means of controlled and repeated observations. – Examines human relationships Groups Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology The Social Sciences (cont.) Anthropology – Involves the study of culture. – Includes examining a group’s artifacts, structures, belief systems, and forms of communication, especially language. – Known as the sister discipline of sociology. Anthropologists examine private, or tribal societies, while sociologists analyze more contemporary societies. The Social Sciences (cont.) Economics – Explores the production, distribution, and allocation of material goods and services in different societies. – Analyze what is being produced in a society and at what cost, as well as examine the various factors that determine a society’s levels of production and consumption. – Concentrates on a single social institution. The Social Sciences (Cont.) Political Science – Focuses on politics and government – Examine how people govern themselves and how their forms of government are related to other social institutions in their society – Study how leaders attain their leadership positions and exert their authority The Social Sciences (Cont.) Psychology – Examines human behavior in the context of the individual and/or small groups (including the family). – Examine the mental and the emotional processes of an individuals personality – Psychologists: apply their studies in counseling and/or therapeutic settings The Social Sciences (Cont.) Sociology – Encompasses many of the interests and concerns of the other social science disciplines. – Focus is on external social factors that influence human behavior. Examples: Relationships, divisions, belief systems, organizations, etc… The Goals of Science Goals – Explain why something occurs, to make generalizations about those occurrences, and to predict those occurrences. The Origins of Sociology Sociology grew out of the social, political, economic, and technological revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These revolutions resulted in sweeping changes that eroded old traditions These changes required new ways of perceiving and examining the social world = Four Factors The Origins Of Sociology (The Four Factors) Industrial Revolution = mass migration of people from villages to cities in search of work American and French Revolutions = were successful, and encouraged people to rethink old traditions, and embrace new democratic principles and ways of life. Imperialism = dealt with questions of cultural variation as well as the cultural complications that accompanied colonialism. Natural Sciences = successful, provided scientific method, which examined social changes, and consequences for those changes. Key People of Sociology Auguste Comte – Coined term “sociology.” However, he never conducted any systematic studies of society, but still is considered the founder, because he developed the idea, and coined the term. Key People Herbert Spencer – Thought that societies evolve from lower, to higher forms. – Coined term “Survival of the Fittest.” As generations pass, the most capable and intelligent members of society will survive, and the less capable will die out. – Views became known as Social Darwinism Eventually social Darwinism was discredited. Key People Karl Marx – Believed that people should take active steps to change society. – Class Conflict: Bourgeoisie = controlling group of capitalists who owned the means of production Proletariat = the exploited workers who do not own the means of production. (locked in conflict) Key People (Karl Marx cont.) Marx’s ideology– The end result of the conflict was inevitable. – The workers (proletariats) would develop a class-consciousness, unite in revolution, and topple the capitalists. – Final stage of human history would be a classless society permanently free of exploitation and oppression. – The Communist Manifesto Key People Emile Durkheim – Got sociology to be recognized as a separate academic discipline. – First sociologist to directly demonstrate how social forces affect people’s behaviors. – One of the first sociologists to advocate practical applications of social research. Discovering social facts through scientific research Key People Max Weber – Contended that religion, not class struggle, was the true motivating factor in the rise of capitalism. – Believes that sociological research should be value free, demanding total neutrality and objectivity. Checking for “value basis” = replication Values in Sociological Research Whether or not sociology should be value free is a major controversy among sociologists. Many sociologists believe a sociologist’s values, personal beliefs about what is good or worthwhile in life and the way the world ought to be, should not affect research. Sociologists do agree that no one should distort data to make it fit preconceived ideas or personal values. Verstehen and Social Facts Verstehen – a German word used by Weber , which is understood as “to have insight into someone’s situation. – “grasp by insight” – Contemporary sociologists often employ both approaches to examine and understand the social contexts that underlie human behavior. – Both forms can complement and inform each other. Sociology in North America First departments in U.S. = Univ. of Kansas (1890), Atlanta Univ. (1897), and Univ. of Chicago (1892). – Chicago dominated North American sociology. – Albion Small, founder of dept. at U of C; also estab. the American Journal of Sociology. Sociology in North America Women and African-Americans encountered significant barriers to success throughout much of the 20th century. Many became social activists, working directly with the poor, and were often regarded as social workers. – Jane Addams Co-founded Hull-House in Chicago Awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 – the first sociologists to ever be so honored. Sociology in North America W.E.B. Dubois – First African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard, conducted extensive research on race relations in the U.S. between 1896 and 1914. – Compiled nearly 2,000 writings, including two highly influential books about race in America. The Philadelphia Negro The Souls of Black Folk Sociology in North America W.E.B. DuBois (cont.) – Along with Jane Addams, DuBois co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – Took up journalism, and embraced revolutionary Marxism. – Despite his major contributions, he was often overlooked. Only recently, are the works of DuBois being read, recognized, and appreciated on college campuses. Sociology in North America During the 1940’s – Sociologists became more concerned with establishing sociology as an academic discipline. – Sociology shifted from social reform to social theory. – Established legitimacy, and made schools money, but did little to critique, reform or help to change social injustices in society Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology Theory – a general statement about how parts of the world fit together, relate to one another, and affect each other. – Three Major Sociological Theories Symbolic Interactionism Functional Analysis Conflict Theory Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology Symbolic Interactionism – Analyzes how people use symbols to develop and share their views of the world – Focuses on the micro level, studying the different ways that individuals and small groups create, disseminate, and interpret “reality” through their everyday, face-to-face interactions Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology Symbolic Interactionism – Example: – A symbolic interactionist studying divorce might focus on how the changing symbols, perceptions, meanings, and roles associated with marriage, family, and work have contributed to increasing divorce rates in the United States Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology Functional Analysis – Examines how the various parts of society work together to fulfill their respective functions, and consequently, create a harmonious society. – Focuses on the macro level – Looks at how parts of society occasionally, dysfunction, negatively affecting other parts of society and, consequently, contributing to a more unstable society. Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology Functional Analysis – Example – A functionalists studying divorce might look at how structural changes associated with industrialization and urbanization have undermined the traditional functions of the family and how this, in turn, has made families more fragile and higher divorce rates inevitable. Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology Conflict Theory – Views the social world in terms of competing groups struggling over scarce resources. – Focuses on the macro level – Using sociological analysis, it examines how people with wealth or power maintain, and how people without wealth and power work to acquire. Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology Conflict Theory – Example – A conflict theorist studying divorce might consider the shifting balance of power within the family; as women have gained more rights and economic independence, they no longer have to, nor do, tolerate intolerable marital relationships. Trends Shaping the Future of Sociology Three Phases of U.S. sociology – Phase 1: primary concern of sociologists was making the world a better place. – Phase 2: seeking to establish legitimacy; emphasize basic, or pure, sociology. – Phase 3: (current phase) attempt to merge sociological knowledge and practical work with the development of applied sociology. *As the world becomes globally connected we might enter a 4th phase, which will expand, and encompass global issues. ...
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