SOC 001 Exam 1

SOC 001 Exam 1 - CHAPTER 1 The Sociological Perspective...

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CHAPTER 1 – The Sociological Perspective Tradition Versus Science Sociology grew out of social upheaval. Ancient civilizations were based on superstition and myth. Following the American Revolution and the industrial age, people needed answers for questions tradition could no longer provide. Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism Spencer believed that nothing should intervene with the natural evolution of society. Spencer’s ideas mirror those of Charles Darwin that society evolves from lower to higher forms. Over time, the most capable and intelligent members of society survive. By helping the lower classes, survival of the fittest would be disrupted. Karl Marx and Class Conflict Marx believed the engine of human history is class conflict. The bourgeoisie are locked in conflict with the proletariat. This struggle can only end when the workers unite in revolution resulting in a classless society Max Weber and the Protestant Ethic Weber theorized that religion is the central force in social change and not economics. By comparing the Roman Catholic system with Protestant beliefs, he concluded that religion was the driving force in people’s behavior. Emile Durkheim and Social Integration Durkheim’s goal was to get sociology recognized as a legitimate academic discipline. To show how social forces affect people’s behavior, he compared suicide rates of different countries. He concluded that social factors underlie suicide and this is what keeps different social group’s suicide rates constant. Social integration is the degree to which people are tied to their social group. Durkheim concluded that people with weaker social ties are more likely to commit suicide. W.E.B. Du Bois and Race Relations Du Bois, an African American, researched relations between whites and blacks. His insights into race relations were heightened by personal experiences. Talcott Parsons and C. Wright Mills: Theory Versus Reform The emphasis on social reform shifted to social theory during the 1940s. Parsons developed abstract models of society, but did little to stimulate social activism. Mills fought for a return to social reform. He warned of the power elite as an imminent threat to freedom. The Continuing Tension and Rise of Applied Sociology Some sociologists believe in basic or pure sociology, limited to studying and analyzing society and publishing their findings. Others believe sociologists have an obligation to use their expertise to improve society. In between these two aims is applied sociology, which uses sociology to solve problems. Symbolic Interactionism Society is viewed as composed of symbols that people use to establish meaning to develop their views of the world and communicate with one another. Symbols tell us how we are related to whom and differentiate relationships with people. Behaviors depend on the ways we define both ourselves and others. Micro level. Ex: Divorce - Marriage was once considered a sacred and lifelong commitment. Divorce was seen as an immoral and harmful
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SOC 001 Exam 1 - CHAPTER 1 The Sociological Perspective...

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