Section 1 - Introduction - Historical Origins etc

Section 1 - Introduction - Historical Origins etc -...

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Unformatted text preview: SOCIOLOGY SOCI 1002 What is Sociology? Sociology is a social science--it uses the scientific method of research to study social phenomena (general definition) scientific study of social behavior and human society Sociologists study groups, populations, social structures, and their social behavior Historical Origins of Sociology i) Renaissance (14th to 16th C) - great revival of lit., art, and knowledge human knowledge was no longer used only to glorify GOD; it could be used to better the lot of humankind ii) Enlightenment (science, rationalism) human reason as opposed to theological truths as preeminent humanity placed at the centre of the universe human beings were seen as capable of reasoning societies developed according to natural laws *these two provide immediate impetus iii) French Revolution (1789) political and social system were transformed according to the universal dictates of liberty, equality and fraternity Page 1 of 12 SOCIOLOGY SOCI 1002 iv) Industrial Revolution began in the 18th C in England, spread throughout Western Europe and North America in the 19th C production of goods was revolutionized by machine-driven means before this time people worked for themselves in small rural establishments large-scale urbanization and a host of associated problems emerged Founders of Sociology i) Auguste Comte father of sociology (b. 1798) concerned with political disorder, spiritual disunity, corruption, sociology could solve these problems by finding out what holds society together and makes it change envisioned sociologists as new priests applied methods of traditional science to study society ii) Herbert Spencer (b.1820) compared society to human organism (as a structure that functioned interdependently to maintain existence) believed that social change is the result of evolutionary laws. Social Darwinism (conflict is inevitable and productive) his role for sociologists was to discover laws of human evolution to prevent interference with those laws e.g. justified laissez-faire capitalism by arguing against the intervention of sociologists into natural laws iii) Emile Durkheim (b.1858) Influenced by Comte; also wanted to do something about political chaos and bureaucratic ineptitude. Invented Social Fact - some aspect of reality that cannot be reduced to biological, psychological, chemical, or physical attributes or properties and which controls human behavior Mechanical Solidarity (automatic) - everyone acts in the same way; laws are repressive and designed to punish Page 2 of 12 SOCIOLOGY SOCI 1002...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.

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Section 1 - Introduction - Historical Origins etc -...

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