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Sociology 101 Chapter 1 Lectures


Sociology 101 Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective & Research Process Identifying Independent and Dependent Variables Kids who have a delinquent record are more ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sociology 101 Chapter 1 Lectures

Sociology 101
Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective
Research Process
What Is Sociology?
  • It is one of the Social Sciences along with
  • Psychology, Anthropology, Criminology, Economics,
    Political Science, and History
  • The study of social life and the social causes
    and consequences of human behavior
  • Sociologists look for the social
    causes/influences of human behavior
  • Looks beyond psychology
  • Sociologists rely on The Sociological

The Sociological Imagination is the Ability to
See the Relationship Between Individual
Experiences and the Larger Society in Which They
  • Sociologists try not to take anything for granted
    or accept anything at face value
  • Want to peel back the layers of reality
  • Are generally skeptical of explanations about
    human behavior or situations until proven to be
  • Always ask why? and how?

Why ????
  • Because not everything is what it seems...

Also, We Sometimes Rely On Common Sense To
Explain Human Behavior And Other Situations
  • Those who suffered from child abuse are more
    likely to abuse their children
  • Those who live together before marriage have a
    better chance of a successful marriage than those
    who did not live together
  • Couples with children are happier than those who
    do not have children
  • The majority of those on welfare are lazy and
    really dont want to work

Why Study Sociology?
  • Helps us determine why people do the things that
    they do
  • E.g. Why do some people grow up to be child
    abusers, alcoholics, poor, etc.?
  • Allows us to make important decisions regarding
    policies, laws, etc. that effect society
  • Example What is the best way to treat poverty

How And Why Did Sociology Emerge?
  • Sociology is the direct product of 19th century
    humanism and skepticism
  • Humanism- The study of thought based upon human
  • Humans are the measure of all things
  • Skepticism- A philosophical term that means to
    suspend belief in God and/or the supernatural

  • Several philosophical and social changes
    contributed to the emergence of sociology
  • Philosophical change
  • The emergence of humanism skepticism
  • The Enlightenment (1693-1800)
  • Humanism Skepticism
  • The rise of empiricism (positivism)
  • Social Changes
  • The growth of science
  • Revolutions
  • American (1775 1783)
  • French (1789 1799)
  • Auguste Comtes goal was to rebuild France
  • Industrialization urbanization
  • Created several social problems that needed to
    be solved

Suicide As A Social Problem
  • 19th Century governments began collecting
    statistics on
  • Criminal activity
  • Birth and death rates
  • Suicide rates

The Result
  • Social scientists discovered patterns that seemed
    contradictory to common sense
  • Noticed that these patterns remained consistent,
    again defying common sense

Suicide As An Example
  • Common sense suggested suicide was an
    individualistic, random action
  • Yet, if this were true, we would expect to see
    fluctuations, not stable patterns
  • Yet 3 patterns emerged
  • Rates were extremely stable from year to year
  • Rates often varied greatly from one place to
  • Suicide rates were rising all over Europe

Emile Durkheims Study of Suicide
  • Durkheim challenged purely psychological
    explanations for suicide
  • Noticed that suicide was more than just an
    individual act, social forces played a role
  • He found that two things determine who is at risk
    for suicide
  • Social integration (How imbedded in a social
    network are you?)
  • Social regulation (How tightly does the society
    or reference group regulate you?)
  • Found that there were four types of suicide, each
    of which corresponded to the two variables above

Integration Regulation
  • High
  • Low
  • High
  • Low

Durkheims 4 Types of Suicide
  • Altruistic (extreme social integration)
  • Found that those who were extremely integrated in
    groups had high suicide rates
  • E.g. Military personal
  • Egoistic (lack of social integration)
  • Found that people with few family and friendship
    ties had higher suicide rates
  • Fatalistic (extreme social regulation)
  • Found that those whose lives were excessively
    ordered by agents over whom they have no control
    had higher suicide rates
  • E.g. prisoners and mental patients

  • Anomic (lack of social regulation)
  • Found that those whose lives were loosely
    regulated had higher suicide rates
  • E.g. Individuals with a lot of power, rock stars
    (Kurt Cobain)

  • Psychological explanations cannot fully explain
    why people commit suicide
  • Social integration and regulation help determine
    who is more at risk for suicide
  • In short, social relationships (or lack thereof)
    shape the decision to commit suicide

The Four Sociological Perspectives
  • Functionalism
  • Conflict
  • Interactionist
  • Postmodern

The Conflict Perspective
  • Several types of conflict theory
  • The Marxist Neo-Marxist approach
  • Focuses on conflict between economic classes
  • The Critical approach
  • Focuses on conflict between races and ethnic
  • The Feminist approach
  • Focuses on conflict between the sexes

The Conflict Perspective
  • Major theorists
  • Karl Marx
  • Max Weber
  • C. Wright Mills

The Conflict Perspective
  • Society is diverse everyone is competing for
  • Power is unequally distributed
  • Marxists suggests that capitalistic societies
    consist of 2 classes
  • Bourgeoisie those who own the means of
  • Proletariat those who sell their labor
  • Feminists argue that men generally have more
    power than women
  • The powerful oppress the powerless
  • The powerful create self-serving social policies
  • There are always winners and losers
  • Conflict theory challenges the status quo

The Functionalist Perspective
  • Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton
  • Major Assumptions
  • Society is a system of highly integrated parts
  • Each part works to maintain the whole
  • Each part has a function
  • Manifest, latent, dysfunction
  • There is value consensus
  • Rapid change is not desirable
  • Typically supports the status quo

The Interpretive Perspective
  • Max Weber, Georg Simmel, George Herbert Mead,
    Herbert Blumer
  • The world is socially created through the use of
    mutually understood symbols
  • Signs, gestures, language, shared values
  • Reality is based on subjective interpretation,
    not objective fact
  • What is defined as real is real in its
    consequence (W.I. Thomas)
  • There is not one reality rather there are
    multiple realties
  • Reality is relative to time, place, and person
  • E.g. Smoking as a deviant activity

The Postmodern Perspective
  • Roland Barthes, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Jean
    Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida
  • Postmodern Society is characterized by
  • An Information explosion
  • A rise in consumerism
  • Contributions to a global village
  • Emphasis on communication technology
  • Has shrunk the world and changed the way we view
  • Time (History) and space (geography) are no
    longer viewed as unified and coherent in the
    postmodern world

  • Anti-foundational
  • Rejects the grand narratives of previous
  • There are no absolutes
  • All truth is relative
  • All meaning is a social construction (we make it
  • Religion, Science, History, Ethics, etc.
  • A-historical
  • History is constructed by those in power
  • History is not a record of objective facts
  • History is constructed by those who successfully
    defeat others who are writing opposing views of

Research Methods
  • Two Types
  • Quantitative (Deductive)
  • You start with a theory, and then collect data to
    test the theory
  • Qualitative (Inductive)
  • You collect data and then develop (induce) a
    theory that explains the data you collected

Two Types of Reasoning
Ways of Reasoning
Select and Define the Research Problem
Review the Literature
Review the Literature
Develop the Research Design
Formulate the Hypothesis
Develop the Research Design
Collect/Analyze the Data
Develop the Research Design
Collect/Analyze the Data
Review the Literature
Collect/Analyze the Data
Generate Hypotheses for Theory Construction Draw
Conclusions Report Findings
Draw Conclusion Report Findings
Ways To Gather Data
  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Structured Interviews
  • Semi Structured Interviews
  • Secondary Analysis of Existing Data
  • Field Research
  • Participant Observation
  • Ethnography
  • Experiments

Two Types of Samples
  • Non-Probability Samples
  • Cannot generalize findings
  • Probability Samples
  • Can generalize findings

  • Independent Variable
  • Dependent Variable

Identifying Independent and Dependent Variables
  • Kids who have a delinquent record are more likely
    to come from single parent homes
  • Women are more likely than men to cheat in a
    marriage relationship
  • Rebellious kids are more likely to listen to at
    least one of the following musical styles
    hip-hop, heavy metal, industrial, and/or goth
  • Freshman students who join fraternities or
    sororities will adjust easier to college life
    than those who live in dorms
  • Lawyers are more likely to commit murder than

4 Levels of Measurement
  • Qualitative
  • Nominal (Categorical)
  • Quantiative
  • Ordinal
  • Interval
  • Ratio

Three Criteria For Determining Causation
  • Correlation (association)
  • Time Order
  • Non-Spuriousness

  • Positive
  • Negative
  • None

Correlation Of Variables
  • As income increases crime decreases
  • Religiosity decreases with income
  • Political conservatism increases with religiosity
  • Individuals with large noses have a better sense
    of smell than individuals with smaller noses
  • Pipe smokers are more likely to live longer than
  • The faster one drives the greater the risk of
    getting into an accident
  • Athletes will score higher on the history 101
    exam than non-athletes