Connecting Sociology and YOU!

Chapter 1: Introduction – Understanding Sociology

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sociologythe scientific study of social relationships, institutions, and societies 

social institutionsstructures in society providing the framework for governing the behavior of individuals in a community or society,

society, a large group of people associated with a shared culture and social institutions

Sociological Perspectivethe process of understanding and explaining how individuals and groups interact within society (HP).

Social Structuresthe distinctive and stable arrangements of social patterns that form the society as a whole (HP).

Social Problems: societal conditions that harm segments of society (HP).

Sociological Imaginationthe ability to see the details of our own lives in the context of larger social structures as opposed to merely personal choices or personal troubles (HP).

Social Changethe forces that change society’s organization and social structures 

— has existed for 180 yrs

Auguste Comte — positivism – authentic and valid knowledge of the social world is found only through scientific and empirical pursuit. 

three theories — ConflictFunctionalist, and Symbolic Interactionism.

sociological theorya set of interrelated ideas that provide a systematic understanding of the social world.

macro sociology, a level of analysis focusing on social systems and populations on a large scale

micro sociologya level of analysis focusing on individuals and small groups within the larger social system

Karl Marx — wrote about two classes: the proletariatthe majority, who were the poor, property-less industrial working class, and the land and business owners referred to as the bourgeoisthe small minority who were the wealthy class

the communist manifesto –marx and Engels 

conflict theorya sociological perspective emphasizing the role of political and economic power and oppression as contributing to the existing social order

 Émile Durkheim — functionalist theory, a macro view of how the parts of society serve to maintain stability 

anifest functionsintentional and formally sanctioned functions of social institutions and society.

Latent functionsunintentional and informally sanctioned functions of social institutions and society,

dysfunctionthe undesirable disruptions of social patterns resulting in negative consequences within society

George Herbert Mead — socialized self, which states that the self cannot develop apart from society 

symbolic interactiona micro view of how society is the product of interactions between people, which occur via symbols that have distinct meanings

social facts — social patterns that are external to individuals and greatly influence our way of thinking and behaving in society

Max Weber — verstehen (vûrst e hen), an empathetic approach to understanding human behavior, loosely translated as understanding or interpretation. –observation and explanation

feminist theorya view on anti-oppression, gender relations, and gender inequality

applied sociologythe use of sociological theory, research, and methodologies to find solutions to problems in society

queer theorya critical view that rejects the traditional categories of gender, sex, and sexuality in contemporary society.

 postmodern social theorya critical view rejecting the historical, scientific, and structured means of investigating and interpreting the social world. — Michel FoucaultJean Baudrillard, and Jean-Francois Lyotard are largely responsible for promoting this new social theory that rejects the idea of positivism and the structured and systematic approaches found within traditional sociological theories — understanding of society and culture is relative 

social structuresthe distinctive and stable arrangements of social patterns that form the society as a whole

Rationalization of societythe replacement of traditional values and personal connections with bureaucracy, efficiency, and a means-end approach.

social structures — family, government, capitalism 

  • organizes behaviors of large groups of people
  • capable of coercing individuals and groups
  • provides norms, rules, and practices
  • assigns roles and powers to individuals and groups
  • encompasses large geographical areas

Harriet Martineau — Martineau focused on gender, racial, and class tensions with the goal of helping subordinate groups. studied americas values: Society in America

Jane Addams — hull house

W. E. B. Du Bois — first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1895) and co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People — influenced civil rights movment

Robert Merton — bureaucracy — a hierarchical authority structure that uses task specialization, operates on the merit principle, and behaves with impersonality; red tape — adherence to excessive regulation and conformity that prevents decision-making and change: social theory and social structure

 social problemsthe societal conditions that harm segments of society

objective conditions — the scope of a problem

subjective concerns — people’s feelings about a problem

cocoa industry — farmers earn $2 a day 

human traffickinga situation in which a person is smuggled, abused, and forced to work against their will for the economic gain of another

Fair Tradean organizational movement and certification process to help producers in developing countries receive a fair price for their products with the goals of reducing poverty, providing for the ethical treatment of workers and farmers, and promoting environmentally sustainable practices

sustainabilitythe idea that current and future generations should have equal or greater access to social, economic, and environmental resources

sustainable developmentdevelopment that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,

social inequalitythe unequal distribution of power, property, or prestige in society.

ex: healthcare, homelessness, teen pregnancy, quality of education, life expectancy

1959, sociologist C. Wright Mills coined the term sociological imaginationthe ability to see the details of our own lives in the context of larger social structures as opposed to merely personal choices or personal troubles

Personal troublesmatters experienced at the individual level

public issue, a matter that impacts society as a whole

anomiethe breakdown of social values, norms, and order resulting in social instability,

—  lack of social control and regulation due to the deterioration of the connection between the individual and society; it is what individuals experience when society seems in disarray

Durkheim’s book, Suicide, was first published in 1897 and is considered the first major sociological study

distinct social characteristics of each country that contributed to the suicide rate

  • increase in economic stress
  • social distancing and isolation
  • barriers to mental healthcare
  • constant and pervasive collective anxiety
  • long-term effects on frontline workers
  • effects of “long haul” COVID-19 symptoms on some infected individuals

social changethe forces that change the organization and the social structures of society.

globalizationthe worldwide integration of our cultural, economic, and political lives that results from ever-increasing levels of business, trade, and technology

applied sociologythe use of sociological theory, research, and methodologies to find solutions to problems in society

  • Criminology and law enforcement
  • Marriage and family counseling
  • Business and workplace relations
  • Public health services
  • Federal and state agencies
  • Sales and marketing
  • Advocacy and community organization
  • Market research
  • Public policy