Sociology 100 Week 1

Sociology 100 Week 1

scientific and systematic study of human society
What is the OBJECTIVE of sociology?
to arrive at an empirically verifiable, causal explanation of human behavior
social units of anaylsis
social interaction, social groups, culture, social identity, social institutions
central premise of sociology
individual thought behavior is largely influenced by group membership
basic categories of group membership
race
class
gender
sex
religion
nationality
generation
reference groups
serve as a basis for comparison when evaluating our own behaviors and characteristics
examples of reference groups
peer groups, families, occupational groups
“The Promise” author
C Wright Mills
social imagination
“The Promise”
allows the possessor to understand larger historical sceneto grasp how broader culture and institutional changes affect the links of individuals

examples of situations that prompt social imaginiation
“The Promise”
Public issues like unemployment, war, divorce
public issues
“The Promise”
must look beyond the “private orbits of the individual” and consider the basic institutions
“Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology” author
Chris Hunter and Kent McClelland
three major theories in sociology
“Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology”
Conflict theory
functionalism
symbolic interactionism
Conflict Theory creator
“Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology”
Karl Marx
Conflict theory main idea
“Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology”
human society is composed of groups that struggle for control over valued resources
Class and Conflict Theory
“Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology”
class position implies an unequal distribution of economic resources, determining the life chances and opportunities of individuals
Functionalism creator
“Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology”
Emile Durkheim
Functionalism main idea
“Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology”
human society is composed of a system of interrelated social institutions, each performing a function for society
MEETING A BASIC HUMAN NEED
Functions of social institutions
“Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology”
meeting basic human need
integration
regulation
Functionalism and Suicide
Altruistic Suicide (too much integration)
Egoistic Suicide (not enough integration)
Fatalistic suicide (too much regulation)
Anomic suicide (not enough regulation)
“Teenage Wasteland” author
Donna Gaines
“Teenage Wasteland” summary
suicide pact, collective act
outcasts, bad homeslives lacked meaning and belonging
Egoistic suicide

Symbolic Interactionism creator
Max Weber
Symbolic Interactionism main idea
human society is composed of individuals acting on the basis of shared meanings, understandings and expectations
Symbolic Interactionism and culture
culture is a shared agreement that serves to orient and motivate individuals toward desired ends
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