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Intro to SociologyTheory and Methods
Chapter 1 – PART ISociology: Theory and Method
What is sociology?
What Is Sociology?Sociology is the scientific study of human social life, groups, and societies.Sociology shows us that aspects of life we consider natural or take for granted are influenced by social and historical forces.Sociology is a discipline that insists on studying people within their social context. 4
What Is Sociology? •emerged as an attempt to understand social changes in human societies over the past 2-3 centuries•a focus on modern & industrialized systems
Scope of SociologyRomantic love, marriage & sexuality
Scope of SociologyHealth & illness, racial & ethnic conflicts, poverty, education, immigration, gender, class, crime & punishment, elections, environment , family, economic development, and population development
Most of us experience society in only a limited wayWe know our families, we are familiar with some politics (mostly those that affect us or our families in some way),We know the culture in which we were raised,We are familiar with the idea that there are people and customs that exist in our society and internationally that differ from our own.Sociology challenges us to leave the familiar behind and to delve into the inner workings of our society
Demonstrates that we need to take a broader look at why we are as we areAnd why we act as we do.It teaches us that what we often take for granted in societyi.e. what is natural, good, or even inevitableIs strongly influenced by historical and social forces.In the words of Giddens, Duneier, Applebaum, and Carr “understanding the subtle yet complex ways in which our individual lives reflect the contents of our social experienceSociology
A personal trouble, which clearly affects the individualalso a societal issue, because in the United States, over half of all marriages end in divorce.Thus, even though we are all influenced by our own social contexts,None of us are determined by those contexts in our own behaviorInstead, we create our own individuality.Divorce
C. Wright MillsAllows us to see that many events that seem to concern only individuals actually also reflect global concerns.Mills further defines the sociological imagination by breaking it into two categories:Personal troublesSocietal issuesThe sociological imagination