Introduction

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This is a powerpoint to accompany Introduction to Sociology:
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Sociology

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Introduction

  1. 1. Introduction to Sociology: Introduction
  2. 2. What is Sociology? ● Sociology is a branch of the social sciences that uses systematic methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop and refine a body of knowledge about human social structure and activity, sometimes with the goal of applying such knowledge to the pursuit of government policies designed to benefit the general social welfare. Its subject matter ranges from the micro level to the macro level. Microsociology involves the study of people in face-to-face interactions. Macrosociology involves the study of widespread social processes.
  3. 3. History ● Started in 19th century ● Response to the challenges of modernity
  4. 4. Auguste Comte and Other Founders Emile Durkheim Auguste Comte Karl Marx
  5. 5. The Development of the Discipline ● International effort – developed in the UK, France, Germany, and the US ● International Sociological Association founded in 1949 ● American Sociological Association founded in 1905
  6. 6. Early Sociological Studies ● Comte's positivism ● Durkheim's Suicide ● Weber's verstehen
  7. 7. Quantitative vs. Qualitative Sociology ● Quantitative sociology is generally a numerical approach to understanding human behavior. Surveys with large numbers of participants are aggregated into data sets and analyzed using statistics, allowing researchers to discern patterns in human behavior. ● Qualitative sociology generally opts for depth over breadth. The qualitative approach uses in-depth interviews, focus groups, or analysis of content sources (books, magazines, journals, TV shows, etc.) as the data source.
  8. 8. Sociology and Other Social Sciences ● The social sciences comprise the application of scientific methods to the study of the human aspects of the world. – Psychology studies the human mind and micro-level (or individual) behavior – sociology examines human society – political science studies the governing of groups and countries – communication studies the flow of discourse via various media – economics concerns itself with the production and allocation of wealth in society – social work is the application of social scientific knowledge in society.
  9. 9. The Development of Social Science ● Science developed from philosophy ● Natural philosophy included some data collection, but was more reliant on intuition and introspection
  10. 10. Sociology Today ● Sociologists study a broad range of topics. – Some sociologists research macro-structures that organize society, such as race or ethnicity, social class, gender, and institutions such as the family. – Other sociologists study social processes that represent the breakdown of macro-structures, including deviance, crime, and divorce. – Some sociologists study micro-processes such as interpersonal interactions and the socialization of individuals.

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