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Sociological Viewpoint. The Beginnings of Sociology Sociological Perspectives The Origins of Sociology Sociological Theory Current Perspectives. Sociology’s Purpose. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Sociological ViewpointThe Beginnings of SociologySociological PerspectivesThe Origins of SociologySociological TheoryCurrent Perspectives

  • Sociologys PurposeThis course will lend you the ability to understand and apply knowledge about our social world as well as visualize how a scientific approach can be used to study social issues.

  • Seeing the Strange in the Familiar

    Emile Durkheims study of suicide in the late 1890s found the following more likely to commit suicide:Why?

    MenProtestantsThe wealthyThe unmarried

  • Sociologys PurposeWhat social institutions are Americans between the ages of 14-18 a part of?

  • Sociological PerspectiveSociology views society from the viewpoint of an observer, Focusing on social interaction and social phenomena.

  • Sociological PerspectiveThis perspective gives a person the ability to see the invisible workings of society.

    Instead of wondering why somebody did something YOU can understand the what invisible forces pushed them.

    It also exposes the judgments we all succumb to. As Americans: Is the way we liveBetter?The right way?More civilized?

  • Sociological PerspectiveWhy are white people more likely to graduate from college?

  • Sociological ImaginationWhen you develop this perspective you at the same time develop a Sociological Imagination.

    The ability to see the connection between the larger world and your own life.Nowadays men often feel that their private lives are a series of traps. They sense that within their everyday worlds, they cannot overcome their troubles, and in this feeling, they are often quite correct: What ordinary men are directly aware of and what they try to do are bounded by the private orbits in which they live; their visions and their powers are limited to the close-up scenes of job, family, neighborhood; in other milieux, they move vicariously and remain spectators. And the more aware they become, however vaguely, of ambitions and of threats which transcend their immediate locales, the more trapped they seem to feel.

  • Underlying this sense of being trapped are seemingly impersonal changes in the very structure of continent-wide societies. The facts of contemporary history are also facts about the success and the failure of individual men and women. When a society is industrialized, a peasant becomes a worker; a feudal lord is liquidated or becomes a businessman. When classes rise or fall, a man is employed or unemployed; when the rate of investment goes up or down, a man takes new heart or goes broke. When wars happen, an insurance salesman becomes a rocket launcher; a store clerk, a radar man; a wife lives alone; a child grows up without a father. Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both. Yet men do not usually define the troubles they endure in terms of historical change and institutional contradiction. The well-being they enjoy, they do not usually impute to the big ups and downs of the societies in which they live. Seldom aware of the intricate connection between the patterns of their own lives and the course of world history, ordinary men do not usually know what this connection means for the kinds of men they are becoming and for the kinds of history-making in which they might take part. They do not possess the quality of mind essential to grasp the interplay of man and society, of biography and history, of self and world. They cannot cope with their personal troubles in such ways as to control the structural transformations that usually lie behind them.

  • The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals. It enables him to take into account how individuals, in the welter of their daily experience, often become falsely conscious of their social positions. Within that welter, the framework of modern society is sought, and within that framework the psychologies of a variety of men and women are formulated. By such means the personal uneasiness of individuals is focused upon explicit troubles and the indifference of publics is transformed into involvement with public issues. Excepts from C.Wright Mills: The Sociological Imagination published 1959

  • Sociological ImaginationTake the issue of race relations:

    How does is race viewed at the societal level in the U.S., and how do you view race from your situation?

  • Consider marriage. Inside a marriage a man and a woman may experience personal troubles, but when the divorce rate during the first four years of marriage is 250 out of every 1,000 attempts, this is an indication of a structural issue having to do with the institutions of marriage and the family and other institutions that bear upon them...

  • As A ScienceScience: a body of systematically arranged knowledge that shows the operation of general laws.

    carried out by the .Scientific Method: a process by which a body of scientific knowledge is built through observation, experimentation, generalization, and verification.

  • Science As A MethodEmpiricism: the view that generalizations are valid only if they rely on evidence that can be observed directly or verified through our senses.Sociology would more likely study divorce rates instead of personal reasons for divorce

  • Social SciencesSociology is one of a hand full of social sciences: academic disciplines that apply scientific methods to studying human behavior. However, instead of focusing on physical properties it attempts to understand people through theory. This makes soc. And the social sciences; soft sciences.

  • Social SciencesOther social sciences include:Anthropology: Which focuses on past cultures or the origin of culture.Economics: Focuses on economic factors such as the production and consumption by people.3.Political Science: Studies the organization of governments and the basis of politics.

  • Social SciencesOther social sciences include:4. History: Sets it sights on the study of past events.5. Education: studies pedagogy: the science of understanding how people learn. closely related but significantly different areBehavioral SciencesPsychology: looks to study and understand the behaviors, thought processes, and cognitive abilities of individuals.

  • DevelopmentThe Beginnings of Sociology:Sociology as a field developed in the late 18th century/early 19th century.Rapid change because of the Industrial Revolution led to the study of social conditionsGrowth of citiesDeclining power of the churchGrowth of manufacturingGrowth of urban and transient populations.Development of never before seen urban issues and problems.

  • Developmentalso people are starting to question their rulers and forms of government.American Revolution

    2.French Revolution

  • Early SociologistsEarly sociology grew in France, Germany, and England and produced numerous sociologists.

    Auguste Comte: Considered Founder of SociologyFocused on social order and social changeCited social statics processes that keep society together ex: marriagesocial dynamics- social processes that cause change-ex: education

  • Early SociologistsHerbert Spencer: Influenced by Charles DarwinSociety is a set of parts that work together to form something biggerThat it is natural for societies to change even violentlyView was coined Survival of the Fittestand became known as Social Darwinism

  • Early SociologistsKarl Marx: Believed society is influenced by its economy.Society is divided into (2) classes- the proletariat (workers)-the bourgeoisie (capitalists)The imbalance between the two always lead to conflict.Society would eventually lead into a classless society.Conflict is the primary cause of social change.

  • Early Sociologists1. Emile Durkheim: First sociologist to apply scientific methods to the study of society.Saw society as a set of parts that make up a larger system.Everything in society has a function.Renowned for his study of suicide.

  • Early SociologistsMax Weber:Interested in separate groups within society.Focused on how society effects the individual.Applied the process of Verstehen (the meanings people give to their actions)Employed the concept of ideal type ( the examination of a particular element of society ex: schools)

  • A theory; possible explanations of why certain factors in society influence each other.

  • Theoretical Perspectivesthe perspectives of sociology are based on many theories.A theory; possible explanations of why certain factors in society influence each other.Theories are outlined by paradigms; or frameworks for questions to be answered

    The theoretical perspectives take these theories and their frameworks and attempt to apply them to social life.

  • Structural-Functional ApproachLooks at society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system; focus on functions and dysfunctionsThis understanding presumes that most people agree on what is best for society and work towards achieving it. Ex: work (almost all people work in diff. jobs which ensures that society functions smoothly.)

    think of human society as a great machine with each person and component of society as a gear moving with each other

  • TIMEOUT...think of Pink Floyd's timeless musical hits

  • FunctionalismAs with anything some things do not function properly: Dysfunctions: elements of society that have a negative effect.Some functions are Manifest: or intended Some functions are Latent: or unintended

  • Social-Conflict PerspectiveFocuses on the elements of society that