Chapter 1: The Sociological Imagination “Sociologists seek to reveal the full extent of our interdependence “(2) Sociology is: the systematic study of the relationship between the individual and society and of the consequences of difference Two parts to the definition, both important Sociological Imagination:(C. Wright Mills) connecting history/society and biography (institutions, social patterns, society/historical) “The sociological imagination calls us to also consider the role larger social forces may play [when explaining why people think and act the way they do]” (3) Unemployment Example: people on welfare Other examples Private Troubles: are problems we face in our immediate relationships with particular individuals in our personal lives. individual is unemployed (habitually late, and they like to party) Public Issues: are problems we face as a consequence of the positions we occupy within the larger social structure. unemployment (race, age, gender) Paying attention to PATTERNS is important “To put it simply, place matters” (3) –what does Witt, the author, mean by this statement? Some key positional categories: geography, income, age, parents economic/education level, your individual economic status, race, gender “The irony of modern society is that we depend on one another now more than ever, but we realized it less. We embrace individualism, yet we lack the basic skills for self-sufficiency.” (5) consequences themselves location is often invisible in social BREAKING DOWN THE DEFINITION OF SOCIOLOGY:-Systematic Study: Sociologist conduct empirical research ???? experiences/observations. Research is broken into qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative: observations, not numerical. Quantitative: survey, statistical analysis, #’s -the Individual: people that make up groups -agency: freedom of individuals to choose and to act -Society: the umbrella—persistent patterns of relationships and social networks within which we operate -institutions: major components of social structure (Ex: economy, family, education, government, religion) (locators) -Consequences of Difference: -social inequality: condition in which members of society have differing amounts of wealth, prestige, and power (distribution) Understanding how our positions (society/social structure) constrain our choices (agency) is important What is the difference between natural science and social science? Natural Sciences: has nature, biology, chemistry Social Sciences: interactions, people, relationships How can you distinguish sociology from psychology? Sociology: groups, external, interactions, patterns in groups Psychology: individual, internal, inside the brain Theory: stories we tell based on the information we have; a set of statements that seek to explain problems, actions, or behavior. What did Durkheim do to demonstrate how social forces shape individual action? (9) • Had a theory that social forces(invisible) shaped individual action. • Before this people thought action was based off human instinct or religion/God • Important to take a step forward and realize that there are things outside of the natural science and religion- social sciences • Studied suicide- “ultimate individual act” to prove social forces exist • searched for patterns (religion, cultural environment, weather, etc.) • social integration matters (peoples sense of belonging into the community; religion: Catholics vs Protestants)Major Questions: 1. How is social order maintained? -Major people: Auguste Comte (1798-1857) • Sought to establish science of society that would reveal the basic “laws of society”????Scientific method • Coined term “sociology” • “Father of Sociology” • social statics—the principles by which societies hold together and order is maintained • social dynamics—the factors that bring about change and that shape the nature and direction of that change Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) • translated work • Wrote first book on sociological theory • Introduced the significance of inequality and power into the discipline Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) • Emphasized significance of social order • Introduced concept of anomie -social order: How does society hold together/function -terms: anomie-(Durkheim) a weak sense of social solidarity due to a lack of agreed upon rules(norms) to guide behavior 2. How do power and inequality shape outcomes? -Major people: Karl Marx (1818-1883) • Emphasized significance of power and control over resources • Alienation • theory of the way society develops and changes; society develops through conflict over resources Max Weber (1864-1920) • Who has power determined by social class and ownership of material resources and by social status and organizational resources • looked at capitalism and social status • not just class but position????prestige; bureaucracy -social inequality: unequal access to power, wealth, & prestige -terms: Alienation- loss of control over creative human capacity to produce, separation from products we make, and isolation from fellow workers 3. How does interaction shape our worlds? Macrosociology- concentrates on large-scale phenomena or entire civilizations Microsociology- stresses study of small groups and the analysis of our everyday experiences and interactions -Major people: Erving Goffman- popularized dramaturgical approach -dramaturgical approach: people play roles not unlike theatrical performers 4. How does group membership influence opportunity? -Major people: W.E.B. Du Bois • Combined emphasis on analysis of everyday lived experience with commitment to investigating power and inequality based on race Ida Wells-Barnett • Early feminist • Argued societies can be judged on whether the principles they claim to believe in match their actions • Used analysis of society to resist oppression 5. How should sociologists respond? Sociological theory and research should contribute to positive social change. -Major People: • Jane Addams (1860 –1935), an early member of the American Sociological Society, cofounded Hull House. • Durkheim, who considered an educated citizenry essential to democratic success, helped shape French educational policy. • Du Bois cofounded the NAACP. -Hull House: provided social, educational, and cultural programs for recent immigrantsSociological paradigms:
>Society as an organism/body with interconnected parts >Parts: stability, consensus/cooperation
>Tension between groups over power & resources >Focusing on how the status quo is maintained, who benefits, & who suffers
>How everyday social interaction explains society as a whole >Construction of meaning
How can you distinguish sociology from psychology?
What is the difference between natural science and social science?
“To put it simply, place matters” (3) –what does Witt, the author, mean by this statement?
We also discuss several other topics like What numbers are considered elements of whole numbers?
>Locates the individual >Using sociological imagination to situate self within society and then take responsibility for choices/actions >recognizing the impact our individual position has on who we are, and how we think and act.
>Degree >Arguments >Evaluating research methods >Writing >Computer analysis etc.
>Using sociology to make a difference for human behavior(applied) or organizations/institutions (clinical)
Don't forget about the age old question of Which law pertains to the rate of a reaction being proportional to the
concentration of the reactants
We also discuss several other topics like What is based on one person’s experience not on experimental data?
Don't forget about the age old question of What is needed for marketing to occur?
If you want to learn more check out What are seeds not enclosed by fruit, naked seed?
Don't forget about the age old question of How has family changed throughout history?