201.02 Developing a Sociological Perspective and Imagination

201.02 Developing a Sociological Perspective and...

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© 2010 Alan S. Berger 1 Sociology : The systematic study of the relationship between the individual and society and of the consequences of different types of relationships. What Is Sociology?
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© 2006 Alan S. Berger 2 What Is Sociology? Sociology Focuses on: How social relationships influence people’s attitudes and behavior How major social institutions affect us How we affect other individuals, groups, and organizations
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© 2010 Alan S. Berger 3 The Sociological Perspective o The sociological perspective helps us to see general social patterns in the behavior of particular individuals. o It allows or forces us to look beyond the outer appearances of our social world and discover new levels of reality o It also encourages us to realize that society guides our thoughts and deeds — to see the strange in the familiar o Sociology also encourages us to see individuality in social context .
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© 2010 Alan S. Berger The sociological imagination provides the ability to see our private experiences and personal difficulties as entwined with the structural arrangements of our society and the times in which we live. Understand social marginality, the state of being excluded from social activity as an “outsider.” People at the margins of social life are aware of social patterns that others rarely think about C. Wright Mills described sociological imagination as “An awareness of the relationship between an individual and the wider society, and …the ability to view our society as an outsider might, rather than relying only on our individual perspective, which is shaped by our cultural biases” The Sociological Imagination 4
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© 2010 Alan S. Berger 5 Benefits of the sociological perspective The sociological perspective helps us assess the truth of “common sense.” The sociological perspective helps us assess both opportunities and constraints in our lives. The sociological perspective empowers us to be active participants in our society. The sociological perspective helps us to live in a diverse world. It also encourages us to realize that society guides our thoughts and deeds — to see the strange in the familiar
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© 2010 Alan S. Berger 6 The Origins of Sociology Three major social changes during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are important to the development of sociology. The rise of a factory-based industrial economy. The emergence of great cities in Europe. Political changes, including a rising concern with individual liberty and rights. The French Revolution symbolized this dramatic break with political and social tradition.
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Founders of Sociology Aguste Comte System of Positive Polity, or Treatise on Sociology, Instituting the Religion of Humanity . Emile Durkheim
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201.02 Developing a Sociological Perspective and...

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