Introduction to sociology Chapter 1 Sociological perspective (Cont’)
The origin of sociology Sociology emerged as a separate discipline in the nineteenth century It was born in a response to 3 big changes: 1. A new industrial economy (end of 18 th century) 2. The growth of big cities 3. The new spirit of individualism (individual liberty and rights
Auguste Comte (1798-1857) Responsible for coining the term “sociology” (1938) Set out to develop the “science of man” that would be based on empirical observation (=positivist) Focused on two aspects of society: • Social Statics— forces which produce order and stability • Social Dynamics— forces which contribute to social change
A three-stage historical development of sociology 1. Theological stage: Society expressed God’s will (from beginning of human history to Middle ages) 2. Metaphysical stage: Society as a natural rather than supernatural system (15-17 th centuries) 3. Scientific stage: Comte applies the scientific approach (used to study physical world by Galileo, Newton…) to study society: Society is understood based on scientific evidence
Theory A statement of how and why facts are related Correctly predicts future events Makes the facts of social life comprehensible and understandable
Role of sociological theory The job of sociological theory is to explain social behavior in the real world. Theories guide researchers in their quest to explain complex facts Example: the study of suicide by Durkheim
DURKHEIM’S STUDY OF SUICIDE MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT MALE PROTESTANTS WHO WERE WEALTHY AND UNMARRIED HAD HIGHER SUICIDE RATES PROTESTANTISM AND INDIVDUALISM LESS LIKELY TO COMMIT MALE JEWS AND CATHOLICS WHO WERE POOR AND MARRIED BEING CATHOLIC AND GROUP-ORIENTATION ONE OF THE BASIC FINDINGS: WHY? THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE GROUPS HAD TO DO WITH “SOCIAL INTEGRATION” THOSE WITH STRONG SOCIAL TIES HAD LESS OF A CHANCE OF COMMITING SUICIDE
Theoretical approach In building theories, researchers rely on one or more of three theoretical approaches as road maps: A theoretical approach is a basic image of society that guides thinking and research
Major Sociological Theoretical Approaches Structural- Functional Approach Social-Conflict Approach Symbolic-Interaction Approach
Structural -Functional Approach A theoretical approach in which
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- Fall '13
- Sociology, Auguste Comte