Soc 100 Chapter 1

What is sociology, and what do we mean by “making the familiar strange”?
-The study of human societies and its social structures and dynamics

-Question norms and thinking critically about world around you. Question what seems normal but really isn’t

What is the sociological imagination, and what does C. Wright Mills mean by the intersection of biography and history?
-ability to see the connections between our personal experience and the larger forces of history

-enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society

Troubles
have to do with an individual’s character are felt by him to be threatened; more personal
Issues
a public matter when some value cherished by the public is felt to be threatened; more public
Social Institution
networks of society that work to socialize the groups of people within them. (legal system, education system, military, family, etc)
Social Identity
the way individuals define themselves in relationship to groups they are a part of or choose not to be a part of
Who are the big 3 founders of Sociology?
Marx, Weber and Durkheim
Marx
-class conflict as the primary cause of social change throughout all societies in history.

-Is a social theorist

Weber
-verstehen: to understand why people act the way they do, a sociologist must understand the meaning people attach to their actions

-Advocated sociological analysis–> influences of culture, economics, and politics.

Durkheim
-division of labor helps determine how social cohesion is maintained or not maintained in a society.

Hunter-gatherer society, farmer society, etc where everyone does the same job or a specialized jobs society like the US

Structural Functionalism
(how they view society, individuals, and major critiques)
-Society: cultural consensus exists. society is in balance and harmony. Society’s institutions socialize individuals.

-Individuals: need society and its institutions.

-Criticism: maintenance of status quo/consensus and does not deal with issues of power and conflict

Conflict Theory (how they view society, individuals, and major critiques)
-Society: power struggles over scarce resources. these inequalities result in conflict. Social change is inevitable.

-Individuals: good but corrupted by society. “order” is just an illusion. Natural state of society is in imbalance.

-Criticism: Utopian model and Marxist states have failed. It denies the existence of cooperation and equitable exchange

Symbolic Interactionism
(how they view society, individuals, and major critiques)
-Society: network of interlocking roles and social order is constructed through interaction as individuals through shared meaning. They make sense out of their social world.

-Individuals: constantly changing as their “social beings” emerge and are molded by changing circumstances.

-Criticism: concentrates on micro issues only. too psychological in its approach and assumes the label amplified problem.

Feminist Theory
belief that sociology and society in general subordinate women. Emphasize equality between men and women. Interested in how power relationships are defined, shaped and reproduced on the basis of gender differences
Postmodernism
a questioning of the notion of progress and history. Act on shared meanings objectively
Midrange Theory
-Predicts how social institutions tend to function

-between Micro and macro sociology

Macro Sociology
looks at social dynamics across whole societies or large parts of them. Relies on statistical analysis.
Micro Sociology
local interactional context focusing on face-to-face with in depth interviews