Chp 1

What is sociology?
the study of human society and social interactions; main focus is group NOT the individual
What are the 3 main things to understand about sociology?
society, individual interactions, and how do social events occur
What is sociological imagination?
the relationship between individual experiences and forces in the larger society that shape our actions; look at all types of human behavior; have to step outside of yourself and what you know and look at things in a different way; also be more objective than subjective
What are examples of things sociological imagination study?
behavior of crowds at sports events, shifts in styles of dress, why tuition increases, or how jury make-up affects the outcome of the case
What is scientific method?
process by which a body of scientific knowledge is built through observation, experimentation, generalization, and verification
What is empiricism?
the view that generalizations are valid only if they rely on evidence that can be observed directly or verified through our senses (science follows this term)
What is theory construction?
to have any meaning, facts must be ordered in some way, analyzed, generalized, and related to other facts
What is social science?
all those disciplines that apply scientific methods to the study of human behavior (ex: criminology, or economics)
What is anthropology?
(most related to sociology) tend to focus on the culture of small societies because they are less complex and more manageable
What is the difference between sociology and anthropology?
sociologists study groups and institutions within larger modern societies using research methods that enable them to gather specific information about large numbers of people but anthropologists involve themselves in another society for a long period of time, trying to learn as much as possible about that society and the relationships among its people
What is psychology?
study of individual behavior and mental processes; uses laboratory experiments; is concerned with issues such as mental disorders and personality
What is social psychology?
study of how human behavior is influenced and shaped by various social situations
What is economics?
develop techniques for measuring things such as prices, supply and demand, money supply, rates of inflation, and employment; known as the study of creation, distribution, and consumption of goods and services
What is the difference between economics and sociology?
sociologists are interested in the social factors that influence a persons economic decisions (does peer pressure result in buying a large car?)
What is history?
involves looking at the past to learn what happened, when it happened, and why it happened
What is the difference between sociology and history?
sociologists examine historical events to see how they influenced later social situations; sociology focuses on the present while history focuses on the past
What is political science?
the study of political theory, actual operation of government and political behavior
What is the difference between political science and sociology?
socio. focuses om how the political system affects other institutions in society, while political science focuses more on the forces that shape political systems and the theories for understanding these forces
What is social work?
focuses on application and problem solving
What is the difference between social work and sociology?
social works main goal is to help people solve their problems while sociology is to understand why the problem exist
Who is August Comte?
gave us the term sociology; wanted to know why man acted the way they did; created the social science; wanted to show how sociology improved society; rejected empiricism; and turned to the methods and intellectual framework of the natural sciences for inspiration
Who is Harriet Martineau?
wrote a book on theory about sociology; crated social activisim (getting involved); traveled throughout the U.S. and observed day to day life in mental hospitals, prisons, and family gatherings; thought scholars shouldnt just offer observation but should use their research to benefit society
Who is Herbert Spencer?
believed in survival of the fittest and darwinism; gave the idea the inequality does exist; said society is similar to a living organism in that each part of society was a specialized function necessary to ensure societys survival as a whole
Who is Karl Marx?
father of the conflict theory/class conflict; wanted to understand why society produced such inequalities (unfairness) and looked for a way to improve human condition
Who is Emily Durkeim?
father of sociology; believed that society shaped people; was all about social control and argued that people want to work together; studied suicide to show that its patterned by social factors rather than exclusively by individual disturbances; said in western societies suicide was because of the anonymity (being unknown) and isolation from families but in urban societies it was from trying to aspire goals that were to hard to attain
What were the three types of suicide Emily Durkeim discovered?
egotistic suicide (have no involvement with others), altruisitic suicide (too much involvement with others, the person is so tied to a certain set of goals that they are willing to die for the sake of their community; ex: people who flew planes into twin towers); and anomic suicide (feeling disconnected from society values)
Who is Max Weber?
primary focus was on the individual meanings people attach to the world around them; looked at social actions; said Marx was wrong b/c he attempted to understand human behavior while Marx tried to understand society; believed that bureaucracy would characterize both socialists and capitalist societies; was an economist
What are manifest functions?
the intended and recognized consequences of those processes (ex: one of the manifest functions of going to college is to obtain knowledge, training, and a degree in a specific area)
What are latent functions?
the unintended and recognized consequences of such processes
What are paradigms?
models or frameworks for questions that generate and guide research
What is the functionalism theory?
started by Durkheim and rooted by him and Spencer; views society as a system of highly interrelated structures or parts that function or operate together harmoniously; analyze society by asking what each different part contributes to the smooth functioning of the whole; is criticized because it says society is stable and conflicts between variables disrupts balance of society
What is the Conflict Theory?
says we have conflict in society and thats the norm and calm periods are temporary stops along the road; each group struggles to attain the max benefit which causes society to chnage constantly in response to social inequality and conflict; weath, power, and prestige are focus of conflict; criticized because theres too much emphasis on conflict and change and too little on what produces stability in society
What is the interactionist perspective?
focus on how individuals make sense of the social world in which they participate; includes the interactionist approach that focuses on signs, gestures, shared rules, and written and spoken language
What is symbolic interactionism?
focuses on how indiviudals interpret the world; concerned with the meanings that people place on their own and one anothers behavior; how we place meanings on to things; Max Weber agreed with this
What is ethnomethodology?
shows how people create and share their understanding of social life
What is dramaturgical?
approach in which he saw how social life as a form of theatre
What is contemporary sociology?
a synthesis of theory and research; seeks broad understanding of and attention to social problems via: empirical study, interpretation of data gathered, and activist application
What are middle range theories?
concerned with explaining specific issues or aspects of society instead of trying to explain how all of society operates (ex: explain why crime rates are related to residential patterns)
Who is Jane Adams?
known internationally as pacifist (doesnt believe in wars or violence/ wants peace); received pleas for intervention around the world to help alleviate hunger, poverty, and oppression; and known for championing the rights of immigrants and fighting for child laws
Who is W.E.B Du Bois?
1st black to receive phd from Harvard; was countries leading african american sociologist; believed doctrines and theories had powerful effect on social conditions; believed it wasnt the responsibilty of blacks to alter their collective place in american society but that it was primarily the responsibilities of whites, who held the power to effect such a change; was torn between being a black man and being an american
What are social functions?
those social processes that contribute to the ongoing operation or maintenance of society