Chapter One Power Points by shuifanglj


									General Sociology

   Manatee Community College
          Summer, 2008
    Instructor: Dr. Gary Voelkl

What is Sociology?

           Why do people do what they do?
             This is the general sociological question.

        What are the sources of such realities as domestic
          violence, economic inequality, high divorce?

The answer is twofold:

    1.   Personal factors
    2.   Social structural factors

How many children do you
intend on having?
 1.   Personal factors why people would
           chose a certain family size?
        2.  Social structural reasons
       influencing a certain family size?

What are the reasons for poverty?

Personal and Social Structural Factors

            Social Structures


  Biology                       Biography

How Much Do You Know
About Suicide?
   True or False?
       In the United States, suicide occurs on the
        average of one every 17 minutes.

How Much Do You Know
About Suicide?
   True.
       A suicide occurs on the average of every
        17 minutes in the United States.
       This differs with respect to the sex,
        race/ethnicity, and age of the individual.
       Men are four times more likely to kill
        themselves than are women.

Suicide Rates by Race and Sex
   Rates indicate the number of deaths by
    suicide for every 100,000 people in each
    category for 2001.

The “Sociological Imagination”
 This is the ability to see the details of our
   own lives in the context of larger social
 structures, as opposed to merely personal
        choices or personal troubles.

By using the sociological
imagination …

 Sociology helps us get a better understanding
  of ourselves and our world by enabling us
   to see how behavior is shaped by the
    groups to which we belong and the
          society in which we live.

Chapter 1

   The Sociological Perspective
        Research Methods

Putting Social Life Into
   Sociology is the systematic study of
    human society and social interaction.
   Sociologists study societies and social
    interactions to develop theories about :
       How behavior is shaped by group life
       How group life is affected by individuals

   A large social grouping that shares the
    same geographical territory and is
    subject to the same political authority
    and dominant cultural expectations.
   We are all affected by global
    interdependence, a relationship in
    which the lives of all people are
    intertwined and any nation’s problems
    are part of a larger global problem.    13
Why Study Sociology
   Helps us gain a better understanding of
    ourselves and our social world.
   Helps us see how behavior is shaped by
    the groups to which we belong and our
   Promotes understanding and tolerance
    by helping us look beyond personal
    experiences and gain insight into the
    larger world order.                   14
The Sociological Imagination
   The ability to see the relationship
    between individual experiences and the
    larger society.
   Distinguishes between personal troubles
    and social issues.

   As a Personal Trouble:
       Many people consider suicide to be the
        result of personal problems.
   As a Public Issue:
       Sociologist Emile Durkheim related suicide
        to the issue of cohesiveness in society
        instead of viewing it as an isolated act that
        could be understood by studying individual
        personalities or inherited tendencies.


A condition in which social control
becomes ineffective as a result of the
loss of shared values and a sense of
purpose in society

Importance of a Global
Sociological Imagination
   The future of our nation is intertwined
    with the future of other nations on
    economic, political, environmental, and
    humanitarian levels.
   Understanding diversity and developing
    tolerance for people who are different
    from us is important for our personal,
    social, and economic well-being.
Importance of a Global
Sociological Imagination
   The future of our nation is intertwined
    with the future of other nations on
    economic, political, environmental, and
    humanitarian levels.
   Understanding diversity and developing
    tolerance for people who are different
    from us is important for our personal,
    social, and economic well-being.
Race, Ethnicity and Class
   Race is a term used to specify groups of
    people distinguished by physical
       Most sociologists consider race a social
        construction used to justify inequalities.
   Ethnicity refers to cultural identity and is
    based on factors such as language or country
    of origin.
   Class is based on wealth, power, prestige, or
    other valued resources.
Sex and Gender
   Sex refers to the biological and
    anatomical differences between females
    and males.
   Gender refers to the meanings, beliefs,
    and practices associated with sex
    differences, referred to as femininity
    and masculinity.

   The process by which societies are
    transformed from dependence on agriculture
    and handmade products to dependence on
    manufacturing industries.
   First occurred during the Industrial Revolution
    in Britain between 1760 and 1850.
   Resulted in massive economic, technological,
    and social changes.
   People were forced to leave rural
    communities to seek employment in the
    emerging cities.                              22
   The process by which an increasing proportion of a
    population lives in cities rather than rural areas.
   The factory system led to a rapid increase in the
    number of cities and the size of populations.
   People from diverse backgrounds began working in
    the same factory and living in the same
   This led to the development of new social problems:
    inadequate housing, crowding, unsanitary conditions,
    poverty, pollution, and crime.

August Comte
   Considered the “founder of sociology.”
   Comte’s philosophy became known as
    positivism— a belief that the world can
    best be understood through scientific
   Comte believed objective, bias-free
    knowledge was attainable only through
    the use of science rather than religion.
Two Dimensions Of Comte’s
1.   Methodological
        The application of scientific knowledge to
         physical and social phenomena.
2.   Social and political
        The use of such knowledge to predict the
         likely results of different policies so the
         best one could be chosen.

Harriet Martineau
   Believed society would improve when:
       women and men were treated equally
       enlightened reform occurred
       cooperation existed among all social

Herbert Spencer
   Contributed an evolutionary perspective
    on social order and social change.
   Social Darwinism
       The belief that the human beings best
        adapted to their environment survive and
        prosper, whereas those poorly adapted die

Emile Durkheim
   Believed the limits of human potential
    are socially based.
   One of his most important contributions
    was the concept of social facts.
       Social facts are patterned ways of acting,
        thinking, and feeling that exist outside any
        one individual but exert social control over
        each person.

Karl Marx
   Viewed history as a clash between
    conflicting ideas and forces.
   Believed class conflict produced social
    change and a better society.
   Combined ideas from philosophy,
    history, and social science into a new

Max Weber
   Believed sociological research should
    exclude personal values and economic
   Provided insights on rationalization,
    bureaucracy and religion.

Georg Simmel
   Theorized about society as a web of
    patterned interactions among people.
   Analyzed how social interactions vary
    depending on the size of the social group.
   Developed formal sociology, an approach that
    focuses attention on the universal recurring
    social forms that underlie the varying content
    of social interaction.

Jane Adams
   Founded Hull House, one of the most
    famous settlement houses, in Chicago.
   One of the authors of a methodology
    text used by sociologists for the next
    forty years.
   Awarded Nobel Prize for assistance to
    the underprivileged.

W. E. B. Du Bois
   One of the first to note the identity
    conflict of being both a black and an
   Pointed out that people in the U.S.
    espouse values of democracy, freedom,
    and equality while they accept racism
    and group discrimination.

Theoretical Perspectives
   Theoretical perspectives are based on
    ideas about how social life is organized.
   The major perspectives in U.S.
    sociology are:
       Functionalist
       Conflict
       symbolic interactionist
       postmodernist perspectives
Major Theoretical Perspectives
   Theory              View of Society
                 Composed of interrelated parts
 Functionalist   that work together to maintain

                 Society is characterized by social
   Conflict      inequality; social life is a struggle
                 for scarce resources.

Major Theoretical Perspectives
   Theory                View of Society
   Symbolic       Behavior is learned in interaction
 Interactionist   with other people.

                  Postindustrialization, consumerism,
                  and global communications bring
 Postmodernist    into question assumptions about
                  social life and the nature of reality.

                        Order Theory or
                   “Structural Functionalism”

   The central concern for Order Theory: What holds society together?
   The focus is on order and stability in society. From the Order Theory
    perspective, what holds society together is consensus.
   For society to survive, each of its parts must work in harmony with the
    others. Each part functions to maintain an orderly system, preserving
    social order for the smooth running of society.
   An orderly, smooth running social order is beneficial to everyone.

Assumptions of Conflict

   Competition. Competition over
    resources is characteristic of all human
   Structured Inequality. Those who
    benefit strive to maintain their advantage.

Conflict Analysis
Two basic questions:
 Who benefits from structural inequality?

 How do they maintain their advantage?

    Example of Application of the Conflict
          Perspective: Ideologies
Ideologies are norms and values that rationalize
existing social arrangements

        Equal opportunity (America)
        A low caste is punishment for poor
         performance in a previous life (Hindu)
        “A woman’s place is in the home”

Example of Application of
Symbolic Interaction

         An Elevator Ride

The Sociological Research

   Research is the process of
    systematically collecting information for
    the purpose of testing an existing
    theory or generating a new one.

Quantitative and Qualitative
   Quantitative research focuses on data
    that can be measured numerically.
       Example: Concern for the environment
       Qualitative research focuses on interpretive
        description rather than statistics to analyze
        underlying meanings and patterns of social

Hypothesis: The higher the social class, the greater
concern people will have for the environment.

      Recycle Cans Low        Medium       High
      and Bottles? Income     Income       Income
      Always or    55%        62%          75%
      Sometimes    45%        38%          25%
      or Never
      Total        100%       100%         100%
      Total        445        545          360

       Data was obtained from telephone interviews.    44
Can you answer the following
1.   For the hypothesis, what is the independent
2.   For the hypothesis, what is the dependent
3.   What is the operational definition of the
     independent variable?
4.   What is the operational definition of the
     dependent variable?
5.   How large is our sample?

Can you answer these

1.       Is the hypothesis supported?
2.       How might the following possibly
         compromise the validity of this study?
          Operational definitions
          Social desirability bias
3.       What other concerns might you have with
         the results of this study?

Research Methods:
Survey Research
   Describes a population without
    interviewing each individual.
   Standardized questions force
    respondents into categories.
   Relies on self-reported information, and
    some people may not be truthful.

Qualitative Research Method
1.   Researcher begins with a general
     approach rather than a highly detailed
2.   Researcher has to decide when the
     literature review and theory application
     should take place.

Qualitative Research Method
3.   The study presents a detailed view of
     the topic.
4.   Access to people or other resources
     that can provide necessary data is
5.   Appropriate research method(s) are
     important for acquiring useful
     qualitative data.
Qualitative Research Methods:
Field Research
   Study of social life in its natural setting.
   Observing and interviewing people
    where they live, work, and play.
   Generates observations that are best
    described verbally rather than
   Example: Tally’s Corner (participant

Research Methods:
Analysis of Existing Data
   Materials studied may include:
       books, diaries, poems, and graffiti
       movies, television shows, advertisements,
        greeting cards
       music, art, and even garbage

Research Methods:
   Study the impact of certain variables on
    subjects’ attitudes or behavior.
   Designed to create “real-life” situations.
   Used to demonstrate a cause-and-effect
    relationship between variables.
   Example: Milgram Study

ASA Code of Ethics
1.   Disclose research findings in full and
     include all possible interpretations of
     the data.
2.   Safeguard the participants’ right to
     privacy and dignity while protecting
     them from harm.

ASA Code of Ethics
3.   Protect confidential information
     provided by participants.
4.   Acknowledge research collaboration
     and disclose all financial support.


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