(SLG) Sociology & You

(SLG) Sociology & You - Chapter 1: An Invitation to...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chapter 1: An Invitation to Sociology The Sociological Perspective Sociology is the scientific study of social structure, examining human social behavior from a group, rather than an individual, perspective. Sociologists focus on the patterns of behavior shared by members of a group or society. The sociological perspective enables us to develop a sociological imagination—the ability to see the relationship between events in our personal lives and events in society. Using our sociological imagination helps us to make our own decisions rather than merely conform, and to question common interpretations of human social behavior. The Origins of Sociology Sociology is a relatively young science, beginning in late nineteenth- century Europe during a time of great social upheaval. Intellectuals such as Auguste Comte, Harriet Martineau, Emile Durkheim, and others began to explore ideas for regaining a sense of community and restoring order. After World War II, however, the greatest development of sociology has taken place in the United States. Two early contributors were activists Jane Addams and W.E.B. DuBois, who helped focus people's attention on social issues. Theoretical Perspectives Sociology includes three major theoretical perspectives. Functionalism focuses on the contributions of each part of society; the conflict perspective looks at conflict, competition, change, and constraint within a society; and symbolic interactionism considers the actual interaction among people. Each of these perspectives provides a different slant on human social behavior, so by considering all three perspectives together we can see most of the important dimensions of human social behavior. Chapter 2: Sociologists Doing Research Research Methods Like all scientists, sociologists gain their knowledge by doing research; their methods, however, differ from most other scientists. These methods are classified as either quantitative—using numerical data, or qualitative—relying on narrative and descriptive data. Quantitative research is usually conducted through the use of surveys and precollected data, while field research is the method most commonly used in qualitative research. Causation in Science Scientists assume that an event occurs for a reason, a concept known as causation, and that all events have causes. When they conduct studies, scientists identify variables to investigate, and look for correlations of how things relate to one another. Three standards are used to determine causal relationships: two variables must be correlated, all other possible factors must be taken into account, and a change in the independent variable must occur before a change in the dependent variable can occur. Procedures and Ethics in Research
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 11

(SLG) Sociology & You - Chapter 1: An Invitation to...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online