Scientific study of human social life, groups and societies with an emphasis on modern, industrial systems.
Sociological Imagination
Have to be detached from a certian problem in order to try to fix it. Looking at things in a bigger picture.
Charles Wright Mills
Came up with the idea of sociological imagination.
Auguste Comte
Coined the term sociology, also known as the father of sociology.
Comte's Science of Society
Two branches, 1. Static, 2. Dynamic.
Comte's Beliefs
Sociology should contribute to the welfare of humanity by using science to understand and predict human behavior.
Herbert Spencer
Thought of society as an organism. Interactive parts contribute to the whole. Government should leave social problems alone.
Emile Durkheim
Studied suicide. Social integration prevented suicide.
Social Integration
The degree to which people are tied to a group.
Karl Marx
Human history marked by class conflict. Economic systems determine beliefs and values. Capitalism breeds conflict.
Max Weber
Ideas and values impact social change as much as economy. Versteken. Bureaucracy inevitable. Society is more efficient but no more democracy.
Individuals give meaning to their own behavior.
Harriet Martineau
Sociology must include analysis of women's lives. Focused on marriage, children, religion and race relations.
Jane Addams
Founded the Hull House in Chicago. Dealt with many social ills but one at a time. Social security, child labor, workmans comp. Nobel peace prize 1931, used formal scientific methods.
W.E.B. Du Bois
First African American to receive a doctorate at Harvard. Worked on racial equality and created the NAACP.
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
Microview of society. Language is crucial. People assign meaning to others words. All interactions involve symbols. Response is due to our subjective interpretation. Behavior is fluid.
Functionalist Perspective
Society is made up of interdependent parts that perform functions for society as a whole. Society is held together by social consensus. Social change is harmful.
Social Consensus
Majority agree on what would be good for everybody, maintaining order and stability in society.
Conflict Perspective
Portrays society as always changing and marked by conflict. Different groups compete with each other for scarce resources. EG. Men vs Women, Black vs. white.
Feminism Perspective
Explains human life in the terms of the experiences of women. Different from men, women's position in most social situations is unequal to that of men, women are oppressed by patriarchy.
Male dominated society.
7 Theories of Perspective
Conflict, Feminism, Functionalist, Marxism, Symbolic Interactionism, Rational Choice, Postmodernism.
Marxist Perspective
Class conflict between the working class and the ruling class. Macro perspective. Capitalist societies will eventually lead to a revolution.
Rational Choice Perspective
Among the different variables, self interest could be the number one variable to explain society. Cannot explain emotions like love.
Postmodernist Perspective
HIstory leads to progress idea is dead. We are run by "New Media". Pluralistic, diverse and disconnected from the past.
Research Process
1. Problem 2. Background 3. Hypothesis 4. Research Method 5. Experiment 6. Interpret 7. Report
Study of people first hand, using participant observation, or interviewing. A- Detailed information. D- Small group
Live Histories
Assembling biographical material about individuals.
Comparative Research
Comparing various groups in different societies
Historical Analysis
Studying past events directly or through written record.
Combining many research methods to check and supplement material obtained from the others.
Sociological Research
Helps us determine which common sense beliefs are myths and which are reality.
19th Century Social Philosophers
Influenced by the natural sciences because those sciences served as a model to understand and control the social world.
Robert Merton
The main function of going to college is to get an education.
Social Role
The expectations one should fulfill to be helpful and contribute to society.
Role Sets
The expectations one should fulfill depending on the association of specific profession.
Role Conflict
Having two obligations but having to neglect one over the other depending upon the severity of the consequences.
Secondary Groups
Mostly found in large, industrial societies.
Social Group
Collection of people that share some characteristics, interact with each other, and have some feelings of unity.
Postindustrial Societies
Less faith in science to provide answers, increasing power and freedom to individuals, impersonal relations, shallow lives, greater gender equality and more people move away from big cities.
Sapir- Whorf Hypothesis
Language shapes the ways in which people perceive the world.
American Values
Have been more beneficial to the U.S. society than other countries with different values.
Cultural Universals
Practices that are found in all cultures.
Participant Observation
A research method that involves asking questions about opinions, beliefs or behaviors.
Class Conflict
Durkheim's terms for struggle between the capitalists, who own the means of production and those who do not.
Socially shared idea about what is good, desirable or important.
Reward for conformity to norms or punishment for violation of norms.
Social Institution
A set of widely shared beliefs.
How you interact with others in accordance with your role/status.
What you do in your status
Your position in society, the prestige that goes along with it.
Role Set
Different roles that go along with one single status.
Role Conflict
Two conflicting roles from two different statuses.
Role Strain
Two conflicting roles from the same status.
Sociocultural evolution
The process of changing from a simple to a complex society.
Pre-Modern Societies
Modern World Societies
Newly industrializing
Hunting-Gathering Societies
Based on using food provided by nature-gathering, fishing and hunting every day. Used simple tools. The oldest and most egalitarian societies. Small societies. Nomads.
Example of Hunting-Gathering
Kung in South Africa.
A person who believes in the equality of all people, most equal society.
Pastoral Societies
Based on the domestication of animals and use their products as main source of food. Groups move where there is foods but they are more settlers than nomads. Independent and warlike.
Example of Pastoral
Deserts of North and East Africa and the Middle East.
Horticultural Societies
The cultivation of domesticated crops in small gardens using hand tools. Slash ; burn the field system. Sexual division. Permanent settlements. Surplus of food= prestige. Warfare common. 1st social inequality and sexual division.
Example of Horticultural
Tropical forests of Asia, Australia, South America and Africa.
Agricultural Societies
Moore labor, use of fertilizers, control of water supply, use of animals. Use of the plow—agricultural revolution—larger crops. Permanent settlements, larger population, central government and great inequalities.
When did industrial societies appear?
250 years ago
Industrial Societies
Production of goods through mass employment in business and commercial operations. Based on industrial production and mostly they are free enterprise; technological advances occur more faster. Urban, social life is impersonal, politics more developed. Nation states.
Move away from cities, do not believe in science, technology for marketing, biotechnology, Increasing power and freedom to individuals but impersonal relations; shallow lives; instant gratification.
Greater gender equality.
The language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors and material objects that are passed on from one generation to the next. The way of life of individual members or groups within a society.
Material Culture
The material objects or goods that distinguish a group of people from others.
Non-Material Culture
A group's way of thinking and doing.
A system, a collection of interrelationships that connects individuals sharing the same territory.
Social Control
Used when a person fails to conform to the culture. Members of a culture are supposed to learn in childhood.
A collection of objective ideas, facts about the physical & social worlds.
Subjective and unverifiable ideas.
Abstract ideals shared by a group. Socially shared ideas about what is good and desirable in life.
Principles or rules of social life people observe.
written and unwritten rules to control a society's behavior. Society enforces these norms through sanctions.
Weak norms that specify expectations about proper behaviors, but if someone does not follow we don't send them to jail, we just raise our eyebrows. Hipsters.
Norms that constitute demands on our behavior. Mores are often turned into laws.
If there is no normative support the laws are hard to enforce (e.g. teenage drinking).
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
That language predisposes us to see the world in a certain way.
Diverse cultures within a society. Different languages or cultural patterns. Offer opportunities for creativity and change such as the following:
Can reject prevailing values and norms.
Can promote alternatives to dominant culture.
Can act as force of change.
The process by which different cultures are absorbed into the mainstream culture.
Respecting cultural diversity and promoting equality of different sub-cultures within the culture.
Judging other cultures in terms of one's own standards. Is the attitude that one's own culture is superior to those of other peoples.
Cultural relativism
Judging a society by its own standards. Is the belief that culture must be understood on its own terms.
Cultural Universals
Common features of human behavior found in all societies.
Examples of Cultural Universals
Food-getting technology, Housing, Language, Marriage, Art, Incest taboos, Cooking, Medicine, Joking ect.
Global Culture
Increased global communications and economic interdependence represent more than the growth of world unity.
Forces for Global Culture
Television, unified global economy, global citizens, international organizations, electronic communications.