socl - chapter1 18:46 Whatissociology...

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chapter 1  18:46 What is sociology Systematic study of human societies Society Culture Cultural patterns are diverse in the U.S. but one widely shared value is the importance  of individualism  Individual circumstance are of their own behavior—we try and look beyond that  Sociologist study Human interaction  Social institutions Social structures Social outcomes Sociologist are interested in how social structure and human agency interact to create  social outcomes (human behavior and social structure)  Sociological imagination A point of view that highlights how society affects the experiences we have and the  choices we make  Questioning the familiar and see the world in a new way Personal vs. social forces People experience social problems in very personal ways C Wright Mills used the sociological imagination to show that our  personal troubles are  really social issues that affect many people—ourselves included  How do sociologists study social problems Surveys
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Interviews Field research  Experiments—not as popular  Secondary analysis—statistical work mostly collected this way  What are social problems—who decides Conditions that undermine the wellbeing of some or all the members of a society and is  usually a matter of public controversy   Determining social problems can be controversial Subjective and objective realities may actually end up being quite different  (1900’s)--men and different abilities than women did—men work, women took care of  children  NOW—women are closer to being looked as a equal  What people identify as the most serious social problems varies over time ‘social problems’ are rarely harmful to everyone  the social constructionists approach social problems arise as people define conditions:  as undesirable in need of change claims making (public officials—convincing them that a issue is a social problem) social problems subjective “social locations” matter social location who you are—where you are located in a multiplicity of social hierarchies, social  categories, social roles 
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race gender class geography age  education POLITICIAL AFFILIATION Analyzing social problems: the role of theory Theory A statement of how and why specific facts are related How 2 things are related  Theoretical approach A basic image of society that guided thinking and research  Background knowledge that you have  Sociological theory structural-functionalist approach Durkheim, social integration, and “function” Problems as social pathology Problems as disorganization Problems as dysfunctions 
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1/26/11 responding to social problems: social policy the evaluation of social policy: how is success defined 
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socl - chapter1 18:46 Whatissociology...

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