Comparing sociology of other social sciences.

Remember: Sociology is the systematic study of human society and social interaction  From the study of dyads (two-person groups) to entire groups Each other social science has its own distinct focus:  Specific segments of social life and human behaviour Most other disciplines belong to social sciences, most emerged in 19th century, and modeled after natural sciences. Each discipline has its own distinct focus. Sociology focuses on a combination. (Interested about the pizza, not all the toppings) Philosophy  Our mother to us all…  From the Greek philia and Sophos (lover of wisdom) Not a social science. Best described as a quest, reflection on meaning of life. (Being, reason, knowledge, truth?) Philosophy is about speculation. Greater concern with internal logic of its reasoning. (When Auguste Comte created sociology, he wanted to break away from social sciences) Psychology  From the Greek logos and psukho (psyche – science of the soul)  Subject matter o Behaviour of individual humans (generally under experimental conditions)  Focus o Process internal to the individual to determine what influences people

A boundary discipline: Social psychology:  The study of individual behaviour in small groups. Sociology and psychology are closely related here. Psychology is more focused on medical values nowadays. Sociology is also concerned with how people adjust to the difficulties of life. Difference: Sociology focuses on factors externals to individual. Psychology looks inside the person. Comparative example: turbulent school children in a classroom Psychological explanation  Personality of the kids Social psychology: Surrounding environment  Influence of parents, friends, peers, prof Sociological explanations:  School organization and rules (rules of conduct or discipline, pedagogical practices, design of school and of the class room, etc.)  Social characteristics and categories (gender, class, privileged or underprivileged neighbourhoods, family situation, etc.) Anthropology  From the Greek logos (science) and anthropos (man, mankind – the scientific study of man)  Two branches: physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology (ethnography)  Physical anthropology o Studies the biological adaptations, variability and evolution of human behinds, and their living and fossil relatives o Both a biological science and social science

Cultural anthropology (ethnology)  The study of societies different from us, mostly preliterate or tribal people  Chief concern: to understand culture (defined as a people’s total way of life) Group’s artifacts such as tools, arts, and weapons Group’s structure: hierarchy and other patterns that determine its members’ relationships to one another Group’s ideas and values (belief system) Group’s forms of communication, especially language Differences between anthropology and sociology: Historical context  European colonialism vs (European) social changes and crisis Societies observed  Preliterate tribal groups vs modern societies Research techniques  Participant observation vs sample survey However, these differences are mostly outdated... However again… Isolated tribes are still ‘discovered’ now and then…  May 2007: Metyktire (subgroup of the Kayapo)  June 2008: somewhere in the rainforest on the Brazilian-Peruvian border… Peruvian government was forced to re-examine its logging industry. The Nacirema…  ‘teevee’ (sacred drug)  ‘essuvee’ (huge powerful chariots for fathering grubs)  ‘powa centa’ and ‘wah mah’ (huge religious temples)  Nacirema males notoriously warlike

Pay massive yearly tribute to a great fetishfigure called ‘Terror’ Consume a large part of their resources Chief is a sacred fool but mainly a figurehead Real power is wielded by a merchant class known as ‘the Corporations’ After 4-8 years, chief is sacrificed ritually The ‘Meedia’: privileged priestly class The Nacirema believe they can affect the outcome by pushing a button on a ‘mystery box’ History  The oldest of all social sciences  Herodotus, Greek historian  The study of past events, of human and social developments through time (“Classical history”)  Specialized branches in intellectual and social history o The history of science, of philosophy, of ideas, etc. o The history of women, of sport, of fashion, of hygiene, etc. Mills believed that we needed to become familiar with history and biography. Need to know where human history stands in society. Differences between history and sociology  Historians focus on unique and singular events  Sociologists seek to go beyond singular events in order to make connections between different ones o Looking for patterns of change and social factors causing change and transformations (Recall: Class conflict) Economics  Adam Smith, Scottish philosopher and economist; can also be traced to the works of 14th century scholars  Focus on a single institution

o 

Production, exchange, distribution and consumption of goods and services Sociologists focus on: o Social organization, impacts and interactions o And they do not concentrate on a single institution

Updated version of the old elephant story  Once upon a time, a psychologist, a historian, a political science, an economist, and a sociologist (of course)… tried to examine an elephant only by seeing one part

Political science  The study of politics and government  Sociologists do not focus on a single institution; the study of power transcends the topic of government Other social sciences:  Geography  Demography  Management sciences  Law or legal studies  Education sciences  Criminology  Linguistics  Religious sciences  Gerontology  Leisure Studies Sprecialized sociologies:  Historical, political, cultural, law, education, religion, health, again, youth, etc.  But also…Sociology of body, technology, sport, consumption, art, music, fashion, death, bare breast  Sociology of sociology! o Historically missing voices within sociology, and what I has meant in terms of the shaping of the discipline Trevor Pinch  Pioneer in sociology of scientific knowledge (Confronting Nature: The Sociology of Neutrino Detection)  Co-founder of the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT)  Now into the sociology of musical technologies Can sociology be an integrative discipline?

FINAL REVIEW FOR FINAL EXAM Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 Montpetit Gym (A and B) Starts at 2pm, ends at 5pm Bring student ID card (pen, no pencil) 3 parts  Part A: Multiple-choice questions (10 points)  Part B: Conceptual definitions (30 points)  Part C: Short answer questions (40 points)  For a total of 80 points (40% of your final grade) Part A: Multiple-choice questions (10 points)  Ten questions, one point each:  Ethnicity: 2  Gender: 5  Family and Intimate Relationships: 3  Basic facts and concept application  Write down your answers in the booklet Sample question Sexual ___ refers to a preference for emotionalsexual relationships with members of the opposite (heterosexuality), the same sex (homosexuality), or both (bisexuality). Orientation Part B: Conceptual definitions (30 points)  Choice of 7 questions: you answer 5 of them (six points each):  Ethnicity: 3  Gender: 2  Family and Intimate Relationships: 2  Concept definition  Length: approximately one half to one full page (double spaced) What do sociologists mean by the terms racial and ethnic group? What is the difference between them?

Part C: Short answer questions (40 points)  List of 5 questions: you answer 4 of them (10 points each):  Ethnicity: 1  Family and Intimate Relationships: 2  End of Suburbia: 1  Overview of related disciplines: 1  Questions of comprehension and critical understanding. Where required, examples  Length: approximately one to two pages long (double spaced) Don’t provide example if it’s not necessary? Won’t get extra marks. What are the foreseen societal impacts of Peak Oil as sketched in The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse the American Dream? Do you agree with this pessimistic prognosis? Define peak oil, explain why oil is essential for our society, talk about impacts, why you agree or not, back up your argument Always define your concepts first!  Chap. 9: From the beginning to Racism. Nothing on the Sociological Perspectives on Ethnic relations and Race, but one question on Critical Race Theory Chap. 10: From the beginning to Contemporary Gender Inequality. Nothing after. Chap. 12: Refer to the lecture notes (see slides) for relevant sections in the text (Families and Intimate Relationships) 20 minutes defining family, arranged marriages.

 