Sociology Notes Chapters 1-8

Sociology Notes Chapters 1-8 - CHAPTER 1 Sociology - the...

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CHAPTER 1 Sociology - the study of human society "Thinking like a sociologist" means applying analytical tools to something you have always done without much conscious thought. - "making the familiar strange" Another way to think about the sociological imagination is to ask ourselves what we take to be natural that actually isn't. "Sociological imagination" a term coined by C. Wright Mills. Used to see connections between our personal experience and the larger forces of history. - The ability to connect the most basic intimate aspects of an individual' life to seemingly impersonal and remote historical forces Social institution : a group of social positions, connected by social relations, performing a social role; also defined in a narrow sense as any institution in a society that works to socialize the groups or people within it. - A narrative, a story, or rather a set of stories embedded within a social network about the standard ways society meets its needs. - Forms of social institutions: legal system, education system, wage labor market, language. Social identity : how individuals define themselves in relationship to groups with which they affiliate or disassociate from. - The grand narrative that constitutes social identity is nothing more than the sum of individual stories told between pairs of individuals. The sum total of stories about a certain person is the grand narrative of who she is. Auguste Comte and the Creation of Sociology According to Comte, positivism arose out of a need to make moral sense of the social order in a time of declining religious authority. He claimed that a secular basis for morality did indeed exist -- that is, we could determine a right and wrong without reference to higher powers. Human society had undergone three historical, epistemological stages. - Theological stage: society the result of divine will - Metaphysical stage: enlightenment thinkers saw humankind's behavior governed by natural, biological instincts. - Scientific stage: Comte believed we would develop a social physics of sorts in order to identify the scientific laws that govern human behavior. He believed that all human behavior whether on an individual or group level can be ascertained based on their equations or underlying logic.
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Harriet Martineau (1802-76) was the first to translate Comte into English. She should be considered one of the earliest feminist social scientists writing in the English language. The Founding Fathers of Sociology Karl Marx (1818-83) Marx as a young man edited newspaper suppressed by the Prussian government for its radicalism. Forced into exile, he settled in London where he wrote his most important works. - Historical Materialism : he believed that it was primarily the conflicts between classes that drove social change throughout history. He saw history as an account of man's struggle to gain control and later dominate his natural environment. Max Weber
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This note was uploaded on 10/21/2010 for the course SOC SOC1 taught by Professor Winnant during the Fall '10 term at UCSB.

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Sociology Notes Chapters 1-8 - CHAPTER 1 Sociology - the...

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