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Sociology 101 Week One: Notes

by: Sydney Schaus

Sociology 101 Week One: Notes SOC 101LEC- Introduction to sociology

Sydney Schaus
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

This covers the first week of notes for Sociology 101
Introduction to Sociology
Christopher Mele
Class Notes
sociology 101, sociology
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sydney Schaus on Wednesday March 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 101LEC- Introduction to sociology at University at Buffalo taught by Christopher Mele in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 32 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at University at Buffalo.

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Date Created: 03/02/16
Sociology 101 (Week One)  The study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior o Structure of groups o Organizations o Societies o Interactions between people  Sociology is the systematic study of society and human behavior  To see the strange in the familiar  C. Wright Mills – History (social context) + Biography (individual experience)  You must link history with biography of the person Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)  Analysis of suicide  Suicide (1897) – Patterns of suicide are directly related to social integration (connection with others)  Social Integration: density of high quality and high quantity social ties thru familial, friendship and institutional networks, degree of connectedness with the ones around you.  What he found about suicide was this o Religious Affliliation  Protestants (Individualism)  No mechanism to put their stress and failures into like confession  Catholics and Jews  They have a God that offers them confessions o Marital Affiliation  Bachelors have a higher rate of suicide than married  This expectation that men should settle down and start a family causes stress on their lives o Gender Affiliation  Males have a higher rate of suicide than females did  If you’re a failure as a man, then you experience social disintegration o Wealth/Class Affiliation  Wealthier have a higher rate of suicide  They more wealth you accumulate the more you feel as if you need  Keeping up your wealth and status is stressful  The expectation of wealth grows with it o War/Peace Context  Peacetime people had a higher rate of suicide  During war people are banded together  They depend on each other and felt connected by the struggle of war  Put petty problems aside  Patriotism  Conclusion: Weak social integration exists as anomie: a state of normlessness 4 Types of Suicide Risks (Las Vegas) 2 o Chronic Risk: A high risk of continual rhoughts of suicide (residents of Las Vegas) o Acute Risk: Risk for temporary visitors o “Leaving Las Vegas” Risk: Lower risk of suicide once left o Traveler’s Risk: 2x higher risk of suicide  Ecological Approach: The place simply makes people want to commit suicide  Selection Explanation: people prone to suicidal tendencies search this place out to die  Contagion Effect: Monkey see, Monkey do  Factors related to suicide exist outside the individual Durkheim’s Social Facts  Social Facts are experienced as an independent and objective reality, as a social context in which individuals exist and operate what you live in (to exist outside the body)  Social Facts impose themselves upon behavior and action, self confidence (they effect you and change the way you act/think ex. Racism, sexism)  Social Facts don’t exist by consensus; they exist as social structure (they are not the agreement of a nation but they exist as a structure to that society) Sociology vs. Other Social Sciences  Sociology stresses external factors of the individual, and determines what influences people  Examines social interactions and human behavior o Micro level 3  Face to face interactions and behavior gestures, languages, codes of dress, social psychology o Meso level  Group to group interactions  Interaction between groups and institution  Community groups, trade unions, professional societies, lobbyists o Macro level  Large scale interactions and processes, typically between institutions  War, deindustrialization, the information revolution Origins of Sociology  Middle 19 century when European social observers began using scientific methods to test ideas o The Enlightenmenth– changthin how people viewed their views (17 and 18 century)  Physical/social world equals mysterious  No man can know everything  Faith in God was vital for the world to make sense th th  Rise of Sociology happen in the 18 and 19 century  Industrialization pushing people into cities  Social Problems o Migration of peasants to cities o Overcrowding in cities o Conditions of factories 4 o Social deviance Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism  British philosopher  sociologist (1820-1903)  Watches how this migration of people adjust to cities o Survival of the Fittest is actually Spencer’s saying o Social Adjustment equals social evolution o Emphasis on individual’s struggle for existence o Individuals and societies compete to adapt to social changes brought on by technological advances (video watched was peppered moths) o Spencer denies agency, he believes that some can adapt to the factory life just better than others o No help should be given including charity to the poor  Antigovernment Individualism o Spencer argued for minimal state intervention and regulation addressing social problems o If it’s all up to the nature of the person then there is not need for intervention because the person will change and adapt o Government to step out of the way o Intervention = Mistake o They would survive (the poor) and then their unfitness would pass onto their children (linked to a super race/Nazism thoughts) o Can’t adapt you’ll be left to die like how nature intended  Criticisms Against Spencer 5 o Humans, unlike plants and animals, actively create and alter their environment  Spencer’s Goals o To naturalize inequality  If you were doing poor at school it was because you were naturally bad at it o Racism, sexism, classism, is all natural and shouldn’t be changed o Justify imperialistic expansion o Least intervention possible th Töennies and Simmel (19 Century)  Spencer unwilling to see sociology as a “moral enterprise”: To under stand and improve it  Ferdinand Töennies (1855-1936) German o Social problems happened from social adjustment to new environments and conditions o Gemeinschaft: dense, familiar and personal social ties that is a close circle of family and friends found in rural villages and towns (small town life) o Gesellschaft: formal, impersonal, distant ties between strangers and institutions that characterized city life; transactional exchanges o New arrivals to cities went from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft o In doing so experiences are subjected to social pathologies (crime, deviance, alienation) o Sees people as sad and lonely in cities because of no personal, meaningful exchanges between people and neighbors  Georg Simmel (1858-1918) German 6 o Gemeinschaft v. Gesellschaft o City life is very transactional o But rural life is up in your space o They know things about you from pertained information about your family, friends, your past reputation o The city you are free from your past identities o No one knows who you are so you can reinvent yourself o The unity ties with people loosen, individual freedoms, and flexibility To learn more and get OneNote, visit 7


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