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Introduction to Sociology

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أستاذ المادة عبد المهدي عبد الرضا حسن الشحماني       01/10/2019 10:08:09














Introduction to Sociology

The Benefits of Sociology

Using the sociological perspective makes us wiser, more“

”.active, and more powerful citizens and professionals



We can assess the truth of common sense

We can see the opportunities and constraints in our everyday lives

We can be active participants in our society

We are able to live in a diverse world

Careers in Sociology



Market research

Advertising

Government official

Criminal justice

Pre-law








…Some key terms

Social structure – relative stable pattern of social behavior



Social function – the consequences of a social pattern for the operation of society as a whole



Social dysfunction – any social pattern that may disrupt the operation of society









…Some key terms

Manifest function – the recognized and intended consequences of any social pattern



Latent function – unrecognized and unintended consequences of any social pattern



…Some key terms

Macro-level orientation – broad focus on social structures that shape society as a whole



Micro-level orientation – a close-up focus on social interaction in specific situation



The Sociological Perspective

Seeing the general in the particular – We are individuals, but we also belong to certain
.categories. People who belong to the same category share similar experiences






The Sociological Perspective

Seeing the strange in the familiar – We learn to see how society affects us in ways we would
.never have imagined



The Sociological Perspective

.Seeing society in our everyday choices – Our personal decisions are shaped by society



The Sociological Perspective

Seeing society in marginality and crisis - When we are marginalized (an outsider) or when
.society changes quickly (crisis) we are more likely to see how society affects us






Sociological Theories







.A theory is a statement of how and why facts are related

John moves to NY from Kansas, has gone on five dates, but none of the women like “
”?him. Why






Sociological Theories

Structural-Functional Approach - approach looking at how large parts work together to
.promote solidarity and stability






John is having a hard time because he is not going on dates with women who are most “
similar to him. Dating and marriage works for society because it allows to people with
common interests to work towards common goals. He is from Kansas…the girls are from NY.
”.It is not a good fit

Sociological Theories

Social-Conflict Approach – society is a place for conflict, groups of people are in conflict, and
.society is constantly changing



John is having a hard time because he is trying to date upper class women from NY. “
”. Upper class women look down on middle and lower class men

Sociological Theories

Gender-Conflict Approach - looking at conflict and inequality between men and women






On dates, John is too patriarchal. As a man, he is insensitive to women. He is “
”.degrading to women, and does not treat them with the respect they deserve

Sociological Theories

Race-Conflict Approach - looking at the conflict between racial and ethnic groups



John reveals on his date that he is ½ Native American and talks about his heritage “
”.and background. The European American women he dates discriminate against him







Sociological Theories

Symbolic-Interaction Approach – society is the product of everyday actions of individuals



During dates, John is just not smooth. He does not possess the verbal skills to “
”.flatter and impress women

Ways to Do Sociology

After you have decided upon a theoretical approach, you must decide what is your purpose
for using this sociological theory. In other words, what research orientation do you want to
?take



…There are three general orientations

Research Orientation

Positivist Sociology – This is the most common research orientation. We gain knowledge by
gathering data systematically. With this way of doing sociology, the researcher is a neutral
.observer



To understand John’s tough luck, a positivist sociologist would give surveys to John “
”.and all his dates, look at census data for the ratio of men and women…etc






Research Orientation

Interpretive Sociology – this orientation focuses on the meanings people place in their
.actions. For this approach, the researcher is a participant



To understand John’s plight, the interpretive sociologist may go on a double date “
with John to understand the interactions between John and his dates. Or, he or she may just
”.enjoy the dating scene in NYC and find out what people want and think

Research Orientation

Critical Sociology – focuses on the need for social change. In this way, the sociologist is an
.activist







The sociologist may discuss with John his blunders at disrespecting women. Or, the “
sociologist may want to start some culturally awareness classes so that women will not be
”.prejudiced towards John

Research Methods

Once you have decided on a theory, and the way you want to approach the situation, then
?you have to go about finally conducting your research. How do you do this



Experiment – Used to investigate cause and effect

Survey – subjects respond to a series of statements or questions on a questionnaire or
interview

Participant Observation – Sociologists involve themselves in the day to day activities of
people

Existing Sources – Sometimes sociologists use information (data) that has been gathered by
others











!Back to the Sociological Perspective

”.We could be tempted to just say that “women don’t dig John

But sociologists would look at this situation from many different angles to understand why
.he is having such a hard time

Response Paper Assignment



Think of a situation or phenomena from your life that can be understood using a
sociological perspective. First describe that situation. Second, describe how a sociologist
might conduct a study of your situation through one specific theoretical approach and one
specific research orientation. Third, describe a second theoretical approach and research
orientation. Fourth, compare and contrast the two potential studies. Which would you
?use? Which study you think may provide the most understanding and why












END


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