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CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL VIEW CHAPTER OUTLINE WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY WHAT IS THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD The Sociological Imagination Defining the Problem Sociology and the Social Sciences Reviewing the Literature Sociology and Common Sense Formulating the Hypothesis WHAT IS SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY Collecting and Analyzing Data THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIOLOGY Developing the Conclusion Early Thinkers MAJOR RESEARCH DESIGNS Emile Durkheim Surveys Max Weber Observation Karl Marx Experiments Modern Developments Using Existing Sources MAJOR THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ETHICS OF RESEARCH Functionalist Perspective APPLIED AND CLINICAL SOCIOLOGY Conflict Perspective Interactionist Perspective Feminist Perspective
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LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Define sociology as a social science. 2. Describe the differences between sociology and common sense. 3. Discuss the development of sociological theory. 4. Identify the major sociological perspectives. 5. Compare and contrast functionalism, conflict theory, interactionism and feminism. 6. Define the scientific method. 7. Describe the processes of collecting and analyzing research data. 8. Describe the various research designs used in conducting social research. 9. Discuss the code of ethics adopted by the American Sociological Association. 10. Differentiate between applied and clinical sociology. CHAPTER SUMMARY Sociology is the systematic study of social behavior and human groups. In attempting to understand social behavior, sociologists rely on a type of creative thinking referred to as the sociological imagination . The key element of the sociological imagination is the ability to view one’s own society as an outsider would. Sociologists employ theories to examine the relationships between observations or data that may seem completely unrelated at first glance. Effective theory may have both explanatory and predictive powers. Early European theorists made pioneering contributions to the development of sociological theory. Auguste Comte (1798-1857) coined the term sociology to apply to the science of human behavior. Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) gave special attention to social class distinctions, such as gender and race. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) drawing on the work of Charles Darwin, applied the evolutionary view to development of societies. Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) focused on understanding behavior within a larger social context, not just individualistic terms. Additionally, Durkheim suggested that religion reinforces group solidarity. Max Weber (1864-1920) advocated the use of verstehen as a means to understand human behavior. Karl Marx (1818-1883) suggested society is divided between class struggles over the pursuit of their own interests. Sociologists from the United States have helped advance sociological theory and research.
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