sociological perspective

sociological perspective - QuentonKeatts 5/7/09...

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Quenton Keatts 5/7/09 Sociology 1004, Summer 2009 Unit 1 - Introduction: What Is Sociology? Lecture 1 Note: Adapted from textbook— Ballantine, Jeanne H. and Keith A. Roberts. 2009. Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology, 2 ND Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. What is sociology? In short, it is the scientific study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior (p. 5). It is about understanding how and why people do what they do. Sociology mainly focuses on group dynamics, with emphasis being placed on human behavior within the group or because of the group. Sociology is a very broad discipline of study. It is so broad because every area of human life (particularly where interactions with other humans occur) is sociological in scope. Sociology is everywhere. Social relationships (willing and unwilling, conscious and unconscious) compose the scientific research of sociologists. Think about is this way: studying the atmosphere and the interactions at a fraternity or sorority party is just as “sociological” as studying the effects of how an unstable economy effects marriages. The idea is that sociology is about understanding how people move in the every day world. Sociology and psychology are akin in some instances, but very different in others. For example, the premises and the methodological approaches of the two are different. A psychologist may try to understand the mind of an individual, why that person thinks and behaves a certain way, etc. A sociologist, on the other hand, might examine what factors (i.e. family, friends, education, income, etc.) have led to the person behaving that way or the effects that the person’s behavior has on any group(s). Consider now the basic assumptions of sociology (pp. 6, 7)— 1) People are social by nature. Humans desire contact and interaction with other humans. Humans need groups to survive. Think about adults who have become socially isolated. Where do they get the food that they eat? Do they grow it? Do they buy it? Steal it? Where do they live? Where do they work?
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This note was uploaded on 06/04/2009 for the course SOC 1004 taught by Professor Mdhughes during the Summer '07 term at Virginia Tech.

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sociological perspective - QuentonKeatts 5/7/09...

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