Connecting Sociology and YOU!

Chapter 1: Introduction – Understanding Sociology

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-Portable technology has decreased face-to-face interactions which leads to people being more susceptible to social isolation. 

-sociology: scientific study of social relationships. 

-Social Institutions: provides the framework for governing the behavior of individuals in a society.

-Society: large group of people sharing culture and social institutions. 

-Sociological Perspective: Understanding and explaining how individuals and groups interact within society.

-Social Structures: Distinctive and stable arrangements of social patterns. Forms society.

-Social Problems: Harm segments of society.

-Sociological Imagination: Ability to see the details of our own lifes in the context of larger social structures. 

-Social Change: Demands change within a societies organization and structures.  


Sociology: In the Beginning 

-Auguste Comte.. thought society could be studied using similar scientific methods used in the natural sciences. Thought sociologist would be able to resolve social ills and be elevated to the highest positions in society.

-Positivism: Authentic Authentic and valid knowledge of the social world found only through scientific and empirical pursuit. 

-Sociological  Theory: a 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 Sociology: A level of analysis focusing on individuals and small groups within the larger social system.

-Proletariat: The majority who were poor.

-Bourgeois: The small minority who were wealthy. 

-Conflict theory: a sociological perspective emphasizing the role of political and economic power and oppression as contributing to the existing social order.

-Emile Dukheim: His view is the village. Sees how villagers live in harmony and how each part of the village serves a function (bakery, mercantile store).  Credited with developing the discipline of sociology and conducting the first large scale study. 

-Functionalist Theory: Macro view of how part of society serve to maintain stability. (education, gov, anf families)

-Manifest Functions: intentional and formally sanctioned functions of social institutions and society. 

-Latent Functions: unintentional and informally sanctioned functions. 

-Dysfunction: undesirable disruptions of social patterns, results in negative consequences. 

-George Herbert Mead: Developed the theory Socialized Self.. states that the self cannot develop apart from society. 

-Symbolic interaction: 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: an empathetic approach to understanding human behavior (verstehen). Believed that the researcher has to imaginatively view the subject through a first-person perspective to understand the meaning of the actions of the group of people being studied. (micro level analysis)



-Feminist Theory: A view on anti-oppression in relation to gender equality. 

-Applied sociology: Use of sociological theory, research, and methodologies to find solutions to problems in society. 

-Queer Theory: critical view that rejects the traditional categories of gender, sex, and sexuality in contemporary society. 

-Postmodern social theory: Critical view rejection the historical, scientific, and structured means of investigating and interpreting the social world. 

   >French sociologists 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 



-Social Structures: Distinctive and stable arrangement of social patterns that form the society as a whole. 

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

Characteristics of social structures 

  • 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



Social Problems: Societal conditions that harm segments of society. less about personal feelings, more on measurable, evidence-based reality.

-Object conditions: the scope of a problem. 

-Subjective concerns: People\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s feelings about a problem. 

-Fair Trade: Organizational movement and certification process to elp producers in developing countries receive a fair price for their products. 

-Sustainability: Idea that current and future generations should have equal or greater access to social, economic, and environmental resources. 

-Sustainable Development: Development that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 



Social Inequality: unequal distribution of power, property, or prestige in society. 

-Functionalist Theory: Theoretical perspective that us concerned with how the parts of the social system work to maintain stability in society. (macro lvl)

-Conflict Theory: Looks at the issue of competition and change and who benefits from structural inequalities. (macro lvl)

-Symbolic Interactionism: Contends that our understanding of everyday social behavior is based on our lived experiences. (micro lvl)



-Sociological imagination: Ability to see the details of our own lives in the context of larger social structures as opposed to personal choices or troubles. 

-Personal troubles: Matters experienced at the individual lvl.

-Public Issue: A matter that impacts society as a whole. 

-Anomie: The breakdown of social values, norms, and order resulting in social instability. 



-Social Change: Forces that change the organization and the social structure of society.

-Globalization: The worldwide integration of our cultural, economic, and political lives that results from ever-increasing lvls of business. 



-Applied sociology: The use of sociological theory, research, and methodologies to find solutions to problems in society. (careers.. criminology, law, public health, market research, etc.)