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Chapter 1: Introduction – Understanding Sociology

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

Social Structures: the 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 Imagination: the 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 Change: the forces that change society’s organization and social structures (HP).

Auguste Comte is the father of Sociology. Created positivism. 

Important foundational theories: Conflict, functionalist, and symbolic interactionism

Sociological theory-a set of interrelated ideas that provide a systematic understanding of the social world.

Three Views of Sociology:

Macro sociology-a level of analysis focusing on social systems and populations on a large scale.

Micros sociology-a level of analysis focusing on individuals and small groups within the larger social system.

Karl Marx: Conflict Theory

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

Emile Durkheim: Functionalist Theory

A macro view of how the parts of society serve to maintain stability.

Manifest functions-intentional and formally sanctioned functions of social institutions