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September 7 th. Attendance & Participation Cards Lecture One: Sociological Perspective Homework: Introduction to Sociology Chapter Two Homework #1. Lecture One. Sociological Perspective. The Sociological Perspective.

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September 7 th
September 7th

  • Attendance & Participation Cards

  • Lecture One: Sociological Perspective

  • Homework:

    • Introduction to Sociology Chapter Two

    • Homework #1

Lecture one

Lecture One

Sociological Perspective

The sociological perspective
The Sociological Perspective

  • Sociology seeks to understand the relationship between the individual and society with:

C wright mills sociological imagination
C Wright Mills: Sociological Imagination

  • A quality of mind that allows us to connect:

    “Personal troubles of the milieu”


    “Public issues of social structure”

  • Examining these relationships gives us the knowledge to understand society, our place in it, and the ability to make changes

Understanding and explaining hiv aids
Understanding and Explaining HIV/AIDS

  • Cultural Explanations

    • Virility is strongly linked to masculinity in many cultures affected by HIV/AIDS

    • Low status of women

  • Social Structure Explanations

    • Global poverty and inequality create low immune systems

    • Underdevelopment limits economic opportunities

  • Political Explanations

    • Lack of adequate health care and access to treatment

    • Political policies that do not address the issue

  • Individual Explanations

    • Lack of education and poor choices

Social consciousness
Social Consciousness

  • Another sociologist, Peter Berger, believes that we need a social consciousness or “A form of consciousness that enables us to see the "reality" behind the "facades."

  • He asks us to critically examine the things that are familiar to us as unfamiliar

    • “It can be said that the first wisdom of sociology is this – things are not what they seem.”

Practicing social consciousness
Practicing Social Consciousness

  • Have you ever asked yourself: Why do women shave their legs?

  • Why is it normal in our

    culture for women to

    shave their legs and

    not men?

Asking how why and when with social consciousness
Asking How & Why (and when) with Social Consciousness

  • When did this ideal emerge?

    • In the 20th Century when women’s legs became more visible due to shorter skirts and changing fashion

  • How did this ideal emerge?

    • Needed to have the right technology to make shaving easy and safe. The safety razor emerged on the market in early 20th Century.

  • Why did this ideal emerge?

    • Anglo-American cultural standard: leg hair is unfeminine

    • Cultural mechanism to increase sexual dimorphism (difference between sexes in the same species)

The origins of sociology
The Origins of Sociology

  • The sociological discipline emerged at the end of the 19th C at the intersection of 3 major revolutions

    • Scientific Revolution: idea that we can objectively study society

    • Democratic Revolution: idea that ‘the people’ are responsible for making decisions that shape and change society (not God)

    • Industrial Revolution: created significant and lasting changes in society and people’s daily lives

Karl marx 1818 1883
Karl Marx (1818-1883)

  • Association of Marx with Communism obscure his contribution to sociology and his ideas. Communism is a later application of his ideas.

  • Marx focused on the economic relations of society as the source and solution of social conflict

    • He believed that social scientist’s task is to analyze and explain conflict, which drives social change

Emile durkheim 1858 1918
Emile Durkheim (1858-1918)

  • While Marx was concerned with the source of conflict in society, Durkheim wondered what tied people to each other and society

    • Focused on division of labor in society

  • Durkheim believed that the social scientist’s task is to analyze and explain solidarity and the mechanisms through which it is achieved

Max weber 1864 1920
Max Weber (1864-1920)

  • Weber believed that the structure of society could be explained by observing the behavior of people in society that supports that structure and the ideas/values that motivate those actions.

    • Focused on how society became rationally organized

    • Weber believed that social scientist’s task is to explain the course and consequences of social action

      • He was concerned with social actions and the meaning people attach to their behavior.

Why are the dwem s still relevant
Why are the DWEM’s still relevant?

  • Early sociologists studied the rapid and far-reaching changes that brought by Industrialization; these changes are the foundation of the society we live in today

    • Globalization – cultural, social, and economic interdependence

    • Post-Industrial society – economy based on services and education

    • Rationalization – dominance of value-rational thought/action

    • Division of labor and specialization – jobs, education, geography