Sociology: Chapter 1

Perspective, Theory, and Method

 The sociological perspective reveals the power of society to shape individual lives  C.The Sociological Perspective  Sociology is the systematic study of human society.  The sociological perspective helps us to see the general in the particular (Peter Berger 1963). . Wright Mills: called this POV the sociological imagination”  It encourages us to realize that society guides our thoughts and deeds.  Sociology also encourages us to see individuality in the social context.

.  The sociological perspective empowers us to be active participants in our society.  The sociological perspective helps us to live in a diverse world.”  The sociological perspective helps us assess both opportunities and constraints in our lives.Benefits of the Sociological Perspective  The sociological perspective helps us assess the truth of “common sense.

The Origins of Sociology  Three major social changes during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Europe) are important to the development of sociology. (2) The emergence of great cities in Europe. . (3) Political changes. (1) The rise of a factory-based industrial economy.

 Comte saw sociology as the product of a threestage historical development: (1) The theological stage (God >Society). .The Origins of Sociology  Auguste Comte believed that the major goal of sociology was to understand society as it actually operates. (2) The metaphysical stage (Humans >Society). (3) The scientific stage (Science >Society).

. the wealthy.Sociological Theory  A theory is a statement of how and why specific facts are related. Protestants.  The goal of sociological theory is to explain social behavior in the real world. and the unmarried) are at higher risk of suicide.  Example: Durkheim had a theory: categories of people with low social integration (men.

Sociologists use 3 theoretical approaches:  Structural-Functional  Social-Conflict  Symbolic Approach Approach Interaction Approach .

 Manifest Functions– recognized & intended consequences of any social pattern  Latent Functions– the unrecognized & unintended consequences of any social pattern  Social Dysfunctions – any social pattern that may disrupt the operation of society .  Each social structure has social functions (the consequences of a social pattern for the operation of society as a whole).  It asserts that our lives are guided by social structures (any relatively stable pattern of social behavior). Spencer  The structural-functional paradigm sees society as a complex system whose parts work together.The Structural–Functional Approach Comte. Durkheim.

 Gender-Conflict Approach  Race-Conflict Approach  Structural-Functional + Social Construct = Macro Level Perspective  Both have their weaknesses  Popularity: Social-Conflict .The Social–Conflict Approach Karl Marx  The social-conflict paradigm sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change.

The Symbolic–Interaction Approach Max Weber & George Herbert Mead  The symbolic-interaction paradigm sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals. .  Studies how people.  Symbolic-interactionism has a micro-level perspective. construct reality  It focuses on patterns of social interaction in specific settings. in everyday interaction.

rejects principle of objectivity claiming all research is political . focuses on inequality. people construct reality in their everyday lives. tries to establish cause & effect.Research: Doing Sociology    Positive Sociology -uses the logic of science to understand how variables are related. Weber’s Verstehen is learning how people understand their world Critical Sociology -uses research to bring about social change. demands objectivity Interpretive Sociology -focuses on the meanings that people attach to behavior.

 A Survey – subjects respond to a series of questions in an interview. .  The experiment is used to test a hypothesis – an unverified statement of a relationship between variables. -The most widely used of all research methods. -They yield descriptive findings.The Methods of Sociological Research Part 1  The Experiment – investigates cause and effect under highly controlled conditions.

 Not all research requires investigators to collect their own data. . Participant observation – investigators systematically observe people while joining their routine activities.  The most widely used statistics are gathered by government agencies. where people carry on in their everyday lives.  Secondary analysis – a researcher uses data collected by others.The Methods of Sociological Research Part 2   Investigation takes place in the field.

are your questions? (4) What will you need to carry out research? (5) Are there ethical concerns? (6) What method will you use? (7) How will you record the data? (8) What do the data tell you? (9) What are your conclusions? (10) How can you share what you’ve learned? . exactly.Ten Steps in Sociological Investigation (1) What is your topic? (2) What have others already learned? (3) What.