Chapter 1 - Chapter1:thesociologicalperspective Chapter...

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Chapter 1: the sociological perspective Chapter Objectives : After reading and class discussion of the chapter students should be able to define sociology, understand the sociological perspective, tell the difference between sociology and other social sciences, and be familiar with the historical development of sociology and main founders of sociology. Topic outline: 1. the sociological perspective 2. major areas of sociological inquiry 3. the scientific approach 4. differences of sociology from other social science disciplines 5. the development of sociology 6. important names and their contribution to sociology Summary of the Basics: 1.the sociological perspective: Sociology is the scientific study of human organizations, human social interaction, and social institutions. It investigates how people’s social experience underlies their behavior. Sociologist Wright Mills uses the term sociological imagination (looking at human behavior as related to the larger social context to see how social institutional arrangement and social change influence individual people) to describe the sociological perspective. The perspective that looks inside individual people and that explains success and failure of people by personal/individual attributes such as personality and intelligence is called by sociologists as psychological reductionism . 1. major areas of sociological inquiry: Different from psychology and biology that examine human being by looking at inside individual persons, sociology is a large- scale study, focusing on group behavior, social structure (the ordered relationship and patterned expectations that regulate human behavior) , and social institutions (Social organizations, arrangement and practices that are considered essential to human survival. e.g. school, government, family etc), and
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i nstitutionalized behavior pattern( generally accepted practice and organizations as essential to human survival). Social characteristics such as gender, age, race, ethnicity and social class are major variables in sociology. Gender is defined in sociology as a social term, referring to social definition and cultural expectation such as femininity and masculinity. Age is considered a social product too. Sociology concerns the social construction of age: how social conditions affect aging process and how different societies and culture define age categories. For example, in preindustrial societies, there were no separate age categories like adolescence and childhood. Race is generally believed based on physical attributes such as skin color, facial features etc. Sociology points out that race is actually a social fabrication, it is social differences such as economic status, political power and cultural domination make race a significant social factor. Ethnicity
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Chapter 1 - Chapter1:thesociologicalperspective Chapter...

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