Principals of Sociology SYG2000

Principals of Sociology SYG2000 - P rincipals of Sociology...

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Principals of Sociology SYG2000 Sociology is a science o The study of a society o The study of human behavior in society o It is not common sense o It is different from other social sciences although some of it overlaps Sociologists o Question what people take for granted o Try to make the familiar strange o Do not accept simple explanations to social events o They avoid “either/or” types of reasoning o They pay attention to the context in which behaviors occur What sociologists do o They try to understand how social institutions, norms, values, identities and social interaction affect people’s behavior o Examine how individuals and groups interact o Make comparisons across cases To try and find different patters and also contrasts o They study macro, micro and mid range events o They analyze social events rather than describe them They ask questions about society Create hypotheses about how society works Test hypotheses to find answers o Describing social events is important too, but not enough. As a sociologist you need to try and explain
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Important concepts o Social identity: How individuals define themselves in relation to others: group they are part of, or groups they choose not to be part of. o Social institution: A group of social positions, connected by social relations, that perform a social role The sociological imagination o Concept introduced by C. Wright Mills in 1959 Having a sociological imagination means paying attention to the context in which individual behavior takes place. It means “connecting biography to history” o Understanding how out personal lives are shaped by the historical contest in which we live< and by the social aspects of out society (the norms, institutions and culture that surround us) It helps us think critically about the world around us It helps us see the connections between people’s personal experiences and the larger societal forces around them. The beginnings of Sociology o Auguste Comte: 1798-1857 French theorist Founder of positivism Coined the term “sociology” 1838 Sociology = the scientific study of society Had an evolutionary view of society
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Argued that societies pass threw 3 stages of development The theological stage (or religious stage) o Supernatural forces are understood to control the world The metaphysical stage o Abstract forces and fate are perceived to be the prime movers of history The scientific or “positive” stage o Events are explained through the scientific method of observation, experimentation and analytic comparison He believed that a concern for moral progress should be the central focus of all human sciences o Harriet Martineau: 1802-1876 First to translate Comte into English Wrote some important work of her own: “Theory and practice of society in America” “How to observe morals and manners” o Karl Marx: 1818-1883 Developed the theory of “Historical Materialism”
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This note was uploaded on 09/12/2010 for the course SYG 2000 taught by Professor Joos during the Fall '08 term at University of Florida.

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Principals of Sociology SYG2000 - P rincipals of Sociology...

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