lecture_012510 - Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology Professor Deborah Carr ( [email protected] ) Monday January 25, 2010: What is Sociology? /Sociological Theory I. What is Sociology? A. Basic Definition 1. It is the systematic study of human social life, groups, and societies and the social context in which behaviors occur . 2. Sociologists study human behavior in a systematic and methodologically sound way. Rigorous scientific analysis, rather than individual anecdotes, is used to support claims about social behavior. a. Causation is very difficult to establish; it is often possible to two factors are mutually influential (e.g., depression and socioeconomic status). B. Sociology is a way of thinking 1. Being a sociologist often means thinking and observing the world with a “sociological imagination.” The “sociological imagination” is a phrase coined by the mid-20 th century sociologist C. Wright Mills. Mills urges people to move away from viewing individuals as isolated persons who are responsible for their own fate, and to recognize that all human behavior exists within a given social and structural context. Sociologists certainly believe that individuals play a role in making choices and molding their life experiences, yet also emphasize the importance of social structural forces. The “sociological imagination” emphasizes three important points. C. Components of the “sociological imagination” 1. It is necessary to understand the social and historical context to understand individuals’ experiences. a. Mills observes that human lives are the intersection of biography and history. b. Individual choices and actions are both enhanced and constrained by current historical and economic forces. 2. The second important point of the “sociological imagination” concept is that personal troubles are distinct from social or public issues . a. Many events that seem to concern only the individual may reflect a larger issue,
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/20/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 920:101 taught by Professor Carr during the Spring '10 term at Rutgers.

Page1 / 3

lecture_012510 - Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online