Sociology is: • The Social Science that studies human society and social behavior. • Examples: • For the 1st time in US History a major political party has nominated an African American as President. • The Graduation rate in 17 of the nation’s largest cities is less than 50% • Sociologists develop theories on these and related topics to explain social behavior and its effects in our communities
Psychologists concentrate on the individual. • Sociologists concentrate on the group.
It can help you gain a new perspective on, or view of, yourself and the world around you. • Sociologist Perspective
Sociologist Perspective • Involves looking at social life in a scientific, systematic way, rather than depending on common-sense explanations usually found in the media. • Helps you see that all people are social beings. • Tells you that your behavior is influences by social factors • Tells you that your have learned your behavior from others
When: Early 1800’s • Why: In response to the Industrial Revolution • Europe saw a rapid growth of urban populations • # of people seeking jobs outpaces available jobs • Housing shortages, crime rates, population problems • Individual rights became a major focus
Results: • American Revolution • French Revolution • Scholars began to ? the traditional explanations of life. • Scholars began to speculate that the physical world was based on a SET of basic principles that could be studied and analyzed through the use of scientific research methods.
Results Cont. • The questions then is or was, “what are the SET of basic principles?” • Various scholars came up with their own set of basic principles. • These sets of principles are based on how they saw the world around us and how we should respond to it.
Major Theoretical Perspectives • Sociologist develop theories in their efforts to explain the social world. • Theoretical Perspective: Is a general set of assumptions about the nature of things. (Outlines specific ideas about the nature of social life, and helps provide a foundations for their inquiries) • Functional Perspective • Conflict Perspective • Interactionist Perspective
Functionalist Perspective • Society is a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system. • People agree on what is best for society and work together to ensure that the social system runs smooth • Look at society as a whole
Conflict Perspective • Look at the forces in society that promote competition and change. • Interested in those who possess more power in society exercise control over those with less power in society. • Non-violent- men and women, age, racial or national background • Competition of scarce resources is a the basis of social conflict
Interactionist Perspective • Focuses on how individuals interact with one another in society. • Interested in the way we respond to one anther in everyday situations • Child development, relationships within small groups, mate selections