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General Orientation. Birth of the Social Sciences Thinking Sociologically Sociological Methods Sociological Theory & Theorists. Sociological Imagination (C. Wright Mills) . Understand Human Behavior in Terms of the Intersection of: Social Structure (& Culture) History Biography

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General Orientation


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. General Orientation • Birth of the Social Sciences • Thinking Sociologically • Sociological Methods • Sociological Theory & Theorists

    2. Sociological Imagination (C. Wright Mills) • Understand Human Behavior in Terms of the Intersection of: • Social Structure (& Culture) • History • Biography • Personal Troubles v. Public Issues

    3. Modern Society • Three Great Revolutions • Political • Scientific (Both were Result of Philosophical/Cultural Developments) • Industrial • Population Growth

    4. Population Growth

    5. Sociological Theory & Methods of Research • (Natural) Scientific Method Applied to Society • Focus on Aggregates/Patterns (v. Individual) • “Social Facts” (Emile Durkheim [1855-1917]) • External to Individual • Coercive Over Individual • Durkheim: study patterns (social structures) + relate them to other patterns

    6. Sociological Theory & Methods of Research • Scientific Method (Durkheim) • Systematic Observation • Hypothesis • Testing • Verification/Falsification • Data are quantitative • Aggregate Patterns • Variations (Variables & relationships) • Descriptive Statistics, then correlation, causation

    7. "Interpretive" Sociology • Focus is on definitional processes and interaction • occurs at the symbolic level • at the level of meaning • Field work • Direct observation • Participant observation; ethnography • Data are qualitative • "microcosmic“ (vs. aggregate or “macro”)

    8. Major Theoretical Approaches & Theorists in Sociology • Conflict Theory: derived from Karl Marx (1818-1883) • Scarce resources are unevenly distributed among different social groups • source of conflict = inequality • Economy is the most important sector of society • and the chief source of conflict • owners of means of production in conflict with workers

    9. Functionalism • Focus on relations between a social whole (groups/ societies) and its parts • Group members • “Institutional spheres": areas of social action • family, economy, etc. • “Function“: purpose that some action or part of society serves to maintain the whole • Emile Durkheim (1855-1917) • Crime and “Deviance" • plays a role in maintaining group identity and solidarity

    10. Interpretive Approach • Max Weber (1864-1920) • Weber: "verstehen“ (“Understanding”) • Intersubjectivity • People act on the basis of meanings • How we define social situations

    11. Interpretive Approach • George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) • Symbolic interaction • The social processes involved in creating and maintaining a given reality • Especially the creation of the social self (identity)