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What is Sociology?

What is Sociology?

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What is Sociology?

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  1. What is Sociology? Aims: • To know what Sociology is. • To understand how Sociology is different to other methods of studying people. • To recognise some simple sociological perspectives and terms.

  2. What is Sociology? Sociology explores the social world around us. It is the scientific study of society and human behaviour.

  3. Is it useful? Advertising Banking Criminal Justice Education Government Health Care Public Relations Research Clinical Sociologists Military

  4. ‘ologies! – How does Sociology Compare? • Biologistsfocus on the body. • Psychologistsfocus on the mind. • Sociologistsfocus on the environment and the social aspects of human behaviour.

  5. Biology, Psychology and Sociology - E.g. perspectives on racism Psychologists would examine whether racism is caused by a childhood trauma Sociologists would examine whether a person was socialised with racist values or look at how ethnic minorities have been ‘scapegoated’. Biologists might look at genetic differences

  6. C. Wright Mills Sociological Imagination • C. Wright Mills came up with the term “sociological imagination”. It means... • The ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society.

  7. For example…Private v. Public Issues Is linked to this... How this...

  8. Other Sociological Questions… How are a persons’ life chances affected by their social status? Who is more likely to commit a crime? Does the culture a child belongs to influence their achievement at school? Does violence in the media encourage violence in real life? Why are divorce rates increasing?

  9. A society is a large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and cultural expectations.

  10. Bonjour! Society • Human beings are social animals – we all live and participate in society. • Culture is the things that are shared by a society: • Language • Beliefs • Ways of doing things

  11. Culture and Society • Not all societies have the same Culture – this is cultural diversity. E.g., the UK has very different ways of doing things to China. • However all Cultures share some basic ideas (language, family, religion, property) called Cultural Universals. • Some people may judge another culture as it is very different to their own – the acceptance that there are differences but that every culture should be treated with equal respect is called cultural relativism.

  12. Social Life – is full of rules… • Norms: The unspoken and unwritten rules of behaviour in everyday life. • Mores (pronounced more-ays): Stronger form of norms – behaviour that is seen as essential to maintain decency. • Values: The beliefs that we all share that form the basis for our norms. • Role: The norms that go with our status. • Status: The position that a person has in our society. • ascribed status (what you are born with) • achieved status(the result of a person’s efforts).

  13. Sociological Perspectives • There are different types of views in sociology. • A bit like the different denominations in religion! • They don’t always agree!

  14. Functionalists Durkheim & Spencer • They compare society to a human body. • All the different parts are like organs, essential to the overall health. • They all have their own role and function. • If these parts of society fail there would be a negative affect on all of us. • Therefore people should do as they’re told for the good of the whole society. In other words – every PART of society has the function of contributing to the WHOLE to help it ‘FUNCTION’

  15. Marxists Conflict Theorists • Say society is divided into two classes: • Bourgeoisie (ruling class). • The Proletariat (workers) • They are in conflict as the ruling class only stay in power by exploiting the workers. • The ruling class use the different institutions of society to strengthen their position at the top of society. Bourgeoisie In other words – The rich and powerful stay in power by taking advantage of the workers.

  16. Interactionist (Micro sociology) Weber & Mead (later) People exist and act. All other “structures” found in society are nothing but human creations. Society is dynamic. Continuous change, characterises the real nature of society

  17. Famous feminist - Germaine Greer Feminists • Believe society is divided by sex. • Men have all the power (called Patriarchy). • They want men and women to have equal rights. • They can be men as well! In other words – your gender affects your status – men have the power!

  18. Who would say the following? • Lone Parent Families are deviant. • It is the function of families to socialise their children. • Women are exploited in families. • Independent schools help to keep the ruling classes in power. • A teacher shapes a child’s actions. • It is the function of schools to prepare children for work. • The law is designed to protect the property of the rich. • The Welfare State encourages people to rely on state benefits. • Women are not treated equally in the workplace and can’t get to the top because of the ‘glass ceiling’. • The best type of family to socialise children is the nuclear family. • Class conflict will lead to a communist revolution.

  19. What is Sociology? Aims: • To know what Sociology is. • To understand how Sociology is different to other methods of studying people. • To recognise some simple sociological perspectives and terms.