(sociology) The Real World - 1st Ed.

(sociology) The Real World - 1st Ed. - C hapter 1:...

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Chapter 1: Sociology and the Real World What Does Society Look Like? While the idea of society is familiar, describing it can be difficult. Ultimately society is made up of many different components, such as culture, race, family, education, social class, and people’s interactions. People actively and collectively shape their own lives, organizing their social interactions and relationships into a meaningful world. Sociologists study this social behavior by seeking out its patterns. Society is a group of people who shape their lives in aggregated and patterned ways that distinguish their group from other groups. Asking the Big Questions People have long sought out an understanding of the meaning of life, their place in society, and their social world. While early explanations were based on tradition, superstition, and myth, the emergence of the social sciences during the nineteenth century began to allow a more complete understanding of the social world. Social Sciences are the disciplines that use the scientific method to examine the social world, in contrast to the natural sciences, which examine the physical world. Examples of social sciences include economics, psychology, geography, communication studies, anthropology, history, and political science. What is Sociology? Sociology is the systematic or scientific study of human society and social behavior, from large-scale institutions and mass culture to small groups and individual interactions. Howard Becker defined sociology as the study of people “doing things together.” This reminds us that society and the individual are inherently connected, and each depends on the other. Sociologists study this link: how society affects the individual and how the individual affects society.
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Levels of Analysis Microsociology is the level of analysis that studies face-to-face and small- group interactions in order to understand how they affect the larger patterns and institutions of society. Microsociology focuses on small-scale issues. Macrosociology is the level of analysis that studies large-scale social structures in order to determine how they affect the lives of groups and individuals. Macrosociology focuses on large-scale issues. Pam Fishman took a micro-level approach to studying issues of power in male–female relationships. She found that in conversation, women ask nearly three times as many questions as men do, perhaps because a speaker is much more likely to ask a question if he or she does not expect to get a response by simply making a statement. Christine Williams took a macro-level approach to studying women in male- dominated occupations and men in female-dominated occupations. She found that women in male-dominated positions faced limits on their advancement (the glass ceiling ), while men in female-dominated positions experienced rapid rates of advancement (the glass escalator ). When conducting research,
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This note was uploaded on 05/21/2010 for the course SOCIEAL SC Social Sci taught by Professor Mc-grawhill during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..

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(sociology) The Real World - 1st Ed. - C hapter 1:...

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