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Soc. 101 rw ch. 1


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Soc. 101 rw ch. 1

  2. 2. Chapter 1 Outline Society Social Science What is sociology? Microsociology vs. Macrosociology The sociological Perspective Sociology and Everyday Life The U.S. in Global Perspective The Mass Media and Popular Culture
  3. 3. Reality T.V. and Society Reality T.V. - the issues that are dealt with reveal social dynamics of the real world Why do we watch it? Are the issues reflective of our world? We see some aspect of social life, no matter how contrived it may be Society – a group of people who shape their lives in aggregated and patterned ways that distinguish their group from other groups.  Sui generis? What can we actually see?  Working, playing, eating, driving, etc…
  4. 4. Sociology’s Development Sociology developed out of modern science discoveries in 17th &18th centuries, new forms of knowledge and practices were established During 19th century, the concept of social science emerged Social Sciences – use scientific method to study social world (natural sciences look at physical world)  Sociology is a social science  Overlaps bits of other social science fields
  5. 5. What is Sociology? Sociology – scientific study of human society and social behavior from large institutions & mass culture to small groups & individual interactions  Becker- “The study of people doing things together”  As sociologists, we need to learn to question everything Neither society nor the individual exists in isolation-each is dependent and intertwined with the other
  6. 6. Food and Eating Food & Eating – biological or social? What, when, where and with whom we eat, and how we feel about eating- socially constructed  Meaning is not inherent (McDonalds Vs. Spago)  Eating and family (women)  Eating and dating The values, hierarchies, and institutions of our society have all intervened in our drive to seek nourishment
  7. 7. Microsociology and Macrosociology Microsociology – study face to face & small group interactions – how they affect society  Like a zoom lens-see details  Pam Fishman-(pg. 12) recorded/analyzed heterosexual couples conversations in homes  Women ask 3x as many questions as men  Macro-level phenomena like gender and power are manifested in everyday interactions
  8. 8. Microsociology vs. Macrosociology Macrosociology - study large scale social structures – how they affect groups/individuals  Like a wide-angle lens- “big picture”  Christine Williams-(pg. 14) studied sex segregation in the workplace: glass ceiling vs. glass escalator  Men in female-dominated jobs advance more quickly  Large-scale structures create constraints by which we experience success or failure
  9. 9. The Macro-Micro Continuum  Society  Culture  Social Institutions  Social Inequality  Groups  Roles  Socialization  Interaction  Self
  10. 10. Quantitative vs. Qualitative Sociology The use of either quantitative or qualitative methods depends on the question asked of research Quantitative-translates social world into numbers that can be treated mathematically  Tries to find cause/effect relationships Qualitative-works with non-numerical data (texts, interviews, photos, recordings)  Goal to find how people make sense of their world
  11. 11. The Sociological Perspective Sociological Perspective – understand the relationship between our particular situation in life and what is happening at a social level Sociological Imagination – ability to understand intersection between history & biography  C. Wright Mills  We normally think of our problems as being of a private matter, but they are connected to our cultural and historical context  Unemployment-personal or social problem?
  12. 12. Sociological Imagination We look at what is going on in society and how that affects people Ex. – Columbine (pg. 18)  Understand time and place (Soc. Imagination)  Harris & Klebold shaped by their environment  American adolescents exposed to violence through entertainment (movies to video games; guns available Sociological Imagination-gives broader context for understanding people and situations
  13. 13. Culture Shock and Beginner’s Mind Culture Shock – disorientation when you enter a radically new social or cultural environment  Sociologists try to create this effect in our own culture  We try to put ourselves in position of “the Other” Beginner’s Mind – approach world without preconceptions to see things in a new way  Lose bias to understand the social world – live in the present moment  Opposite of expert’s mind Sociology is not just common sense – we investigate common wisdom or knowledge
  14. 14. Starting Our Sociological Journey There is a difference between an everyday actor and a social analyst Everyday actor-one who has practical knowledge needed to get you through daily life, but not necessarily scientific knowledge Social analyst-must place in question everything that seems unquestionable to everyday actor  Tries to act as a stranger in the social world, without biases or assumptions about it  Only makes conclusions after investigation or evidence
  15. 15. America as a Place and Ideal America is both a real place and an ideal concept with a meaningful cultural and historical context  Tocqueville-admired American ideals of freedom, equality, individuality, tolerance, democracy and enterprise  Troubled by slavery, lack of universal suffrage, the exploitation of workers, tyranny of majority, materialism America & multiculturalism in large cities
  16. 16. The U.S. in Global Perspective We are closely linked to others around the world Open society means mutual flow of goods, services, information, ideas, and people Macro-trade agreements, multinational corp. Micro-my way of life is influenced by… “Global Village”-Term coined by Marshall McLuhan to describe how media create new kinds of social bonds  Bring together as if belonged to the same small tribe