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PURDUE / Sociology / SOC 10000 / sociology study guide

sociology study guide

sociology study guide


School: Purdue University
Department: Sociology
Course: Introductory Sociology
Professor: Dan weiss
Term: Fall 2015
Tags: sociology
Cost: 50
Name: sociology study guide chapter 1-2
Description: study guide for sociology
Uploaded: 02/21/2017
6 Pages 6 Views 4 Unlocks


Auditor means what?

Chapter 1: The Sociological Imagination  

- Sociology- study of human society  

- Auditor- someone who is there for the sake of pure learning and wont grade grub

there for the pure sake of learning  

- ‘thinking like a sociologist’ means applying analytical tools to something you have  always done without much conscious thought (like opening a book or taking a  


- ‘thinking like a sociologist’ means to make the familiar strange  - SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION – C. Wright Mills  

- He argued that to think critically about the social world around us, we need to use  our ‘sociological imagination’ and link personal experiences with the larger forces  

of history  

- Includes seeing our life as ordinary- typical of the period and place we live in, or  

maybe due to circumstances  

- ‘sociological imagination’ enables us to grasp history and biography and the  relations between both the societies. To recognize this task and promise is the  

what does thinking like a sociologist mean?

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mark of a classic social analyst.  

- It is the ability to connect the most basic, intimate aspects of an individuals life to  

seemingly impersonal and remote historical forces  

- Xenophobia- feelings that may result from the discomfort of facing a different  


- “Costs in the future are worth less than expenses today”  

- Randall Collins-The Credential Society: A Historical Sociology of Education and  Stratification- argues that expansions of higher education have merely resulted in  ratcheting up of credentials and expenditures on formal education rather than  reflecting any true societal need for more formal education or opening opportunity  

to more people  

- Social Institution – a complex group of interdependent positions that, together,  

perform a social role and reproduce themselves over time  

Xenophobia means what?

- Another definition: any institution in a society that works to shape the behavior  

of the groups or people within it  

- sum of the stories related to someone is the grand narrative of what the subject of  

the story is  

- altering an identity is difficult, even though it is ultimately nothing more than a  change in idea (name, age, university, etc.) as it is linked to not just you or the  

matter, but also everyone else who is directly or indirectly linked to it  - social institutions shape almost every aspect of our behavior, however they are not


- one already starts to think like a sociologist if he/she is becoming aware of the  Don't forget about the age old question of

intersections between social institutions and their own lives  

- The Sociology of Sociology: it is a relatively young field/discipline

- To study sociology, to study the society- we need not only a curious mind to do it,  

but also the specific frame of reference- the lens- of sociological imagination  - Auguste Comte (1798-1857)  ‘social physics’ or ‘positivism’  o Positivism arose out of the need to be able to make moral sense of the social If you want to learn more check out william best lehigh

order in time of declining religious authority  

o secular basis morality existed- we could determine right or wrong without  

high powers or religious concepts/beliefs  

o that was the JOB OF THE SOCIOLOGIST- to develop secular morality  o 3 historical, epistemological stages  

 theological stage- society seemed to be the result of the divine will- it  

was the gods plan to do whatever happened  

 metaphysical stage- enlightenment thinkers such as Jean-Jacques  Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, and Thomas Hobbes, saw human kinds  

behavior as governed by nature, biological instincts  

 Scientific Stage- we would develop a social physics of sorts in order to  

identify the scientific laws that govern human behavior  

- Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) english social theorist, who translated Comte’s  

work to English.  

o Comte assigned her translation to students, saying that the translation was  

better than the original theory  

o Book- Theory and Practice of Society in America – topics ranging from the  way we educate children to the relationships between the federal and state  


o Also authored the first book in the area of sociology, How to Observe Morals  and Manners- took on the institution of marriage, claiming that it was based  on an assumption on the inferiority of women  

- Karl Marx (1818-1883)  most famous of the earliest sociologists  o Marxism (ideological alternative to capitalism)

o Edited a newspaper that was suppressed by the Prussian government for its  


o Essentially a historian, but did more than just that  We also discuss several other topics like

o He elaborated the theory of what drives history-known as historical  


o It was the conflicts between classes that drove social change throughout  


o He believed that history was an account of a man’s struggle to gain control of

and later dominate his natural environment  

- Max Weber (1864-1920)  said to have brought back ideas into history  o Criticized Marx for his exclusive focus on economy and social class  o Most famous for his two-volume work ‘Economy and Society’  provided the  

theories of authority, rationality, the state (govt.) and status and a host of  other concepts that are still in use today

o Also known is his lengthy essay, ‘the protestant ethic and the spirit of  capitalism’  argued that religious transformation that occurred during the  Protestant Reformation in the 16th/17th century laid the groundwork for  If you want to learn more check out

modern capitalism  saw riches as a sign of divine providence  

o One of the most important concepts- Verstehen  (understanding in German)  suggested that sociologists must understand the meanings people attach to  If you want to learn more check out a static budget is not appropriate in evaluating a manager's effectiveness if a company has

their actions.  

o Verstehen: the concept comes from Max Weber and is the basis of  interpretive sociology in which researchers imagine themselves  experiencing the life positions of the social actors they want to  

understand rather than treating those people as objects to be  


o Subjectivity is the foundation of interpretive sociology  

- Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) wished to understand how society holds  together, how modern capitalism and industrialization have transformed the ways  

people relate to one another  

o ‘The Division of labor in society’  degree to which jobs are specialized  o example: hunter gatherers or small scale famers have a low division of labor;

however united states of America has a high division of labor with many  

highly specialized jobs  

o his work had a sociological aspect because he argued that division of labor  didn’t just affect work and productivity, but also had moral and social  


o Anomie: a sense of aimlessness or despair that arises when we can  no longer reasonably expect life to be predictable; too much social  

regulation; normlessness  

o Durkheim is considered the founding practitioner of positivist sociology  o Positivist Sociology: a strain within sociology that believes the  

social world can be described and predicted by certain  

describable/observable relationships  

- Georg Simmel (1858-1918)  Historically, he has received least credit as on the  

founders of sociology  

o He Is gaining a lot of recognition of late

o He established formal sociology- a sociology of pure numbers  o his work was influential in thee development of urban sociology, and cultural  

sociology, and his work with small groups was beneficial for sociologists who  

studied micro interactions

- American Sociology: the emergence of sociology was characterized by focused  

empirical research  

o it was applied perspective, and referred to as Chicago School- UChicago  o its basic premise was that humans’ behavior and personalities are shaped by  

their social and physical environments- known as social ecology

o Chicago was a fertile ground to study urbanism

o Robert Park exhorted scholars to go and get the seat of their pants dirty in  

real research  

o Immigrant Assimilation- today regarded as common and knowledge and part  

of our national ideology, were first described by Park  

o Charles Horton Cooley- known for the concept of the ‘looking-glass self’ – self

emerges from an interactive social process  

o George Herbert Mead’s Mind, Self, and Society- 1934, described how the self  itself develops over the course of childhood as the individual learns to take  the point of view of specific others in specific contexts and eventually  


- W.E.B. Du Bois (1868- 1963)  most important black sociologist of all time,  

failed to fain the renown he deserved  

o First sociologist to take ethnography in the African American Community  o Developed the concept of double consciousness: to describe the two  

behavioral scripts, one for moving through the world and the other for  incorporating the external opinions of prejudiced onlookers, which are  

constantly maintained by African Americans  

o It’s a sense of always looking at ones self through the eyes of others  o Used Durkheim’s theory of anomie to explain crime rates among African  


o Worked to advance a civil rights agenda in the United States  

o Co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People  - Jane Addams (1860-1935)  first American settlement house- hull house- an  

institution that would link ideas of university to the poor through a full-service  

community center  

o She was only regarded as a social worker by most of her contemporaries  o Gender played a role in this marginalization  

- Modern Sociological Theories  

o Functionalism: the theory that various social institutions and processes in  

society exist to serve some important function to keep the society running.   Embodied by the work of Talcott Parsons  

 Functionists view social inequality as a device by which societies  ensure that the most important positions are conscientiously filled by  

the most qualified people  

- Conflict Theory: the idea that conflict between competing interests is the basic,  

animating force of social change and society in general  

o Competition, not consensus, is the essential nature, and thus conflict at all  

levels of analysis causes social change  

o According to conflict theorists, inequality exists due to political struggles  

among different groups in a society  

- Feminist Theory: emerged from women’s movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, it  

shares many ideas with the Marxist/Conflict Theory.  

o not one idea but a catchall term for many theories

o they have in common- emphasis on women’s experiences and beliefs that  

sociology and society in general subordinate women  

o feminist theorists emphasize on gender equality  

- Symbolic Interactionism: a micro level theory in which shared meanings,  

orientations, and assumptions form the basic motivations behind people’s actions   Focuses on face-to-face interactions creates the world  

 Sui generis – appearing to be self-constituting rather than flimsily  

constructed by ourselves and others  

 Groundwork of this was laid by Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical theory  

of social interaction  

 According to him, we make judgements about class and social status  based on how people speak, what they wear, and other tiny details of  

how they present themselves  

- Postmodernism: a condition characterized by a questioning of the notion of  progress and history, the replacement of narrative within pastiche, and multiple,  

perhaps even conflicting, identities resulting from disjointed affiliations  o Social constructions: an entity that exists because people behave as if it  

exists and whose existence is perpetuated as people and social institutions  act in accordance with the widely agreed-upon formal rules or informal norms

of behavior associated with that entity  

- Midrange Theory: a theory that attempts to predict how certain social institutions  

tend to function  

o Its neither macro-sociology or micro-sociology  

o It attempts to predict how certain social institutions tend to function  o The key to the midrange theory is that it generates falsifiable hypotheses

predictions that can be tested by analyzing the real world  

Sociology and it’s cousins:

- history: historical sociologists are consciously theoretical and very keen to explain  

and illuminate historical patterns  

o instead of asking why some certain event occurred, a sociologist may be  more keen on knowing or understanding the aspects or conditions in various  

regions and circumstances that may have led to the event  

o sociologists, unlike historians, are always seeking a variation that can help  

analyze their input.  

- Anthropology: split between physical anthropologists (who resemble biologists  more than sociologists) and cultural anthropologists (who study human relations  

like sociologists). Sociologists study us, while anthropologists study them - Psychology and biology examine things on a more micro level than sociology  

does, and economics is an entirely quantitative discipline  

o Economics assumes that people are rational utility maximizers: they try to  get the best out of them


- Political Science: subsector of sociology that focuses only on one aspect of social

relations- power

o State relations, legal structures, nature of civic life  

o Like sociologists, political scientists deploy a variety of methods, ranging  from historical case studies to abstract statistical models.  

Divisions within Sociology  

- Microsociology understands local interactional contexts, focusing on face-to face  encounters and gathering data through participant observations and in-depth  


o A branch of sociology that seeks to understand local interactional contexts;  its method of choices are ethnographic, generally including participant  

observations and in-depth interviews  

o Why people stare at life numbers, and not at faces of others whilst in a life  - Macrosociology looks at social dynamics across whole societies or large parts of  


o A branch of sociology generally concerned with social dynamics at a higher  

level of analysis- that is across the breadth of a society  

o Use qualitative methods, such as historical comparisons or in-depth  interviewing  

Chapter 2: Methods  

∙   Research Methods  

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