SOC 001 Notes Chapter 1

SOC 001 Notes Chapter 1 - CHAPTER 1 The Sociological...

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CHAPTER 1 – The Sociological Perspective Seeing the Broader Social Context Sociological perspective examines how social contexts influence people’s lives and how groups influence people. Social location is the groups people are in because of their place in society. Society shapes who we are. Tradition Versus Science Sociology grew out of social upheaval. Following the American Revolution and the industrial age, people needed answers for things tradition could no longer provide (poor standard of living, individual rights, etc.) August Comte and Positivism Positivism is the application of the scientific method to the social world. Comte was influenced by the French Revolution concluding that the right way to analyze society is to apply the scientific method. Sociology was born not only to discover social principles but also apply them to social reform to improve society. Comte is credited as the founder of sociology because he developed the idea and coined the term. Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism Spencer disagreed with Comte that sociology should guide social reform, instead convinced 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, the natural process is 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 in which people work according to their abilities and receive according to their needs. 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
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SOC 001 Notes Chapter 1 - CHAPTER 1 The Sociological...

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