Principles Chapter 1

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Principles Chapter 1
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  1. Define sociology.
    Is the systematic study of human society and social interaction.
  2. Explain how sociology helps us to better understand our social world and our selves.
    Sociology is the systematic study of human society and social interaction. We study sociology to understand how human behavior is shaped by group life and, in turn, how group life is affected by individuals. Our culture tends to emphasize individualism, and sociology pushes us to consider more-complex connections between our personal lives and the larger world.
  3. Define and give examples of high-, middle-, and low-income countries.
    • The world's high-income countries are nations with highly industrialized economies; technologically advanced industrial, administrative, and serve occupations; and relatively high levels of national and personal income. (Examples- United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Countries of Western Europe).
    • Middle-income countries are nations with industrializing economics, particularly in urban areas, and moderate levels of national and personal income. (Nations of Eastern Europe, and many Latin American Countries-Brazil and Mexico).
    • Low-income countries are primarily agrarian nations with little industrialization and low levels of national and personal income. (Many nations of Africa and Asia-India and Peoples Republic of China).
  4. Explain how sociological theory helps us to understand social issues like consumerism.
  5. Distinguish between commonsense knowledge, myths and sociological knowledge.
    • Commonsense knowledge guides ordinary conduct in everyday life. We often rely on common sense-or "what everybody knows"-to answer key questions about behavior.
    • Many commonsense notions are actually myths. A myth is a popular but false notion that may be used, either intentionally or unintentionally, to perpetuate certain beliefs or "theories" even in the light of conclusive evidence to the contrary. Like money can buy happiness.
    • Sociological knowledge is the result of sociology. It is the knowledge sociologists get from studying human societies and their social interactions to develop theories of how human behavior is shaped by group life and how, in turn, group life is affected by individuals.
  6. Explain what C. Wright Mills meant by the sociological imagination.
    According to C. Wright Mills, the sociological imagination helps us understand how seemingly personal troubles, such as suicide, are actually related to larger social forces. It is the ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society. It is important to have a global sociological imagination because the future of this nation is deeply intertwined with the future of all nations of the world on economic, political, and humanitarian levels.
  7. Define race, ethnicity, class, sex, and gender, and explain the importance of these terms to developing a sociological imagination.
    • Race is used to specify groups of people distinguished by physical characteristics such as skin color. There are no "pure" racial types. Most sociologists consider race to be a social construction people use to justify social inequalities.
    • Ethnicity is the cultural heritage or identity of a group. It is based on factors such as language or country of origin.
    • Class is the relative location of a person or group within the larger society. It is based on wealth, power, prestige, or other valued resources.
    • Sex is the biological and anatomical differences between females and males.
    • Gender is the meanings, beliefs, and practices associated with sex differences, referred to as femininity and masculinity.
  8. Identify Auguste Comte, Harriet Martineau, and Herbert Spencer, and explain their unique contributions to the emergence of sociology.
    • August Comte is considered to be the "founder of sociology." Comte�s philosophy became known as positivism- a belief that he world can best be understood through scientific inquiry. Comte believed objective, bias-free knowledge was attainable only through the use of science.
    • Harriet Martineau believed society would improve when: women and men were treated equally, knowledge gained from science is used to reform society, and cooperation existed among all social classes.
    • Herbert Spencer's major contribution to sociology was an evolutionary perspective on social order and social change. Social Darwinism- the belief that those human beings, best adapted to their environment will survive and prosper, whereas those poorly adapted will die out.
  9. Explain what Durkheim meant by his use of the terms social facts and anomie.
    One of Durkheim's most important contributions was the idea that societies are built on social facts. Social facts are patterned ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that exist outside any one individual but that exert social control over each person. Durkheim observed that rapid social change and a more specialized division of labor produce strains in society. These strains lead to a breakdown in traditional organization, values, and authority and to a dramatic increase in anomie- a condition in which social control becomes ineffective as a result of the loss of shared values and of a sense of purpose in society.
  10. Identify and discuss the key assumptions of the Age of Enlightenment.
    The origins of sociological thinking can be traced to the scientific revolution in the late 17th and mid-18th centuries and the Age of Enlightenment. In France, the Enlightenment was dominated by the philosophers, including Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Turgot. They believed human society could be improved through scientific discoveries. If people were free from the ignorance of the past, they could create new forms of political and economic organization, which would produce wealth and destroy the aristocracy. The Enlightenment produced an intellectual revolution in how people thought about social change, progress, and critical thinking. The philosophers wrote about equal opportunity. Their writings about equal opportunity stirred political and economic revolutions in America and France. In the 18th and 19th century, the Industrial Revolution occurred. The technology shifted from agriculture to manufacturing.
  11. Describe the origins of sociology in the United States and discuss the role of women in early departments of sociology and social work.
    From Western Europe, sociology spread in the 1890s to the United States, where it thrived as a result of the intellectual climate and the rapid rate of social change. The first departments of sociology in the United States were located at the University of Chicago and at Atlanta University. Jane Adams is one of the best-known early women sociologists in the United States because she founded the Hull House, one of the most famous settlement houses, in an impoverished area of Chicago. She lectured at numerous colleges, was a charter member of the American Sociological Society, and published a number of articles and books. Awarded a Nobel Prize for her assistance to the underprivileged.
  12. Distinguish between microlevel and macrolevel analyses and state which level of analysis is utilized by each of the major theoretical perspectives.
    The conflict and functionalist perspectives have been criticized for focusing primarily on macrolevel analysis. A macrolevel analysis examines whole societies, large-scale social structures, and social systems. Instead of looking at important social dynamics in individual's lives, symbolic interactionism fills this void by examining people's day-to-day interactions and their behavior in groups. Thus, symbolic interactionist approaches are based on a microlevel analysis, which focuses on small groups rather than on large-scale social structures. Postmodernist can be either or.
  13. Define industrialization and urbanization, and explain the role of each in furthering sociological thought.
    Industrialization is the process by which societies are transformed from dependence on agriculture and handmade products to an emphasis on manufacturing and related industries. Industrialization leads to urbanization, the process by which an increasing proportion of a population lives in cities rather than in rural areas.
  14. State the major assumptions of functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, postmodernism, and identify the major contributors to each perspective.
    • The functionalist perspective that view society as composed of interrelated parts that work together to maintain stability within society. This stability is threatened by dysfunctional acts and institutions. Talcott Parsons and Robert K. Merton contributed to the functionalist perspective.
    • The conflict perspective viewed society as characterized by social inequality; social life is a struggle for scarce resources. Social arrangements benefit some groups at the expense of others. Max Weber and C. Wright Mills contributed to the conflict perspective.
    • The symbolic interactionist perspective view society as the sum of the interactions of people and groups. Behavior is learned in interaction with other people; how people define a situation becomes the foundation for how they behave. George Herbert Mead and Herbert Blumer contributed to the symbolic interactionist perspective.
    • Postmodernist perspective views societies as characterized by postindustrialization, consumerism, and global communications bring into question existing assumptions about social life and the nature of reality. Jean Baudrillard contributed to the postmodernist perspective.
  15. Contrast Karl Marx's perspective on social change with that of Max Weber.
    • Karl Marx viewed history as a clash between conflicting ideas and forces. He believed class conflict produced social change and a better society. His philosophy/theories formed the basis for the Communist Revolution in Russia and China. He focused on the exploitation and oppression of the proletariat (the workers) by the bourgeoisie (the owners or capitalist class).
    • Max Weber recognized the importance of economic conditions in producing inequality and conflict in society but added power and prestige as other sources of inequality. Weber defined power as the ability of a person within a social relationship to carry out his or her own will despite resistance from others, and prestige as a positive or negative social estimation of honor.
  16. Compare sociology with other sciences and determine areas of overlap and important differences.
    • Anthropology seeks to understand human existence over geographic space and evolutionary time. Sociology seeks to understand contemporary social organization, relations, and change.
    • Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes - what occurs in the mind. Sociological research examines the effects of groups, organizations, and institutions on social life.
    • Economists attempt to explain how society's limited resources are allocated among competing demands. Economists focus on economic systems such as monetary policy, inflation, and the national debt. Sociologists focus on a number of social institutions, one of which is the economy.
    • Political scientists concentrate on political institutions. Sociologists study political institutions within the context of other social institutions, such as families.
  17. Sociology
    The systematic study of human society and social interaction.
  18. Society
    A large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.
  19. Sociological Imagination
    C. Wright Mill's term for the ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society.
  20. High-income Countries
    (Sometimes referred to as industrial countries) Nations with highly industrialized economies; technologically advanced industrial, administrative, and service occupations; and relatively high levels of national and personal income.
  21. Middle-income Countries
    (Sometimes referred to as developing countries) Nations with industrializing economies and moderate levels of national and personal income.
  22. Low-income Countries
    (Sometimes referred to as underdeveloped countries) Nations with little industrialization and low levels of national and personal income.
  23. Industrialization
    The process by which societies are transformed from dependence on agriculture and handmade products to an emphasis on manufacturing and related industries.
  24. Urbanization
    The process by which an increasing proportion of a population lives in cities rather than in rural areas.
  25. Positivism
    A term describing Auguste Comte's belief that the world can best be understood through scientific inquiry.
  26. Social Darwinism
    Herbert Spencer's belief that those species of animals, including human beings, best adapted to their environment to survive and prosper, whereas those poorly adapted die out.
  27. Social Facts
    Emile Durkheim's term for patterned ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that exist outside any one individual but that exert social control over each person.
  28. Anomie
    Emile Durkheim's designation for condition in which social control becomes ineffective as a result of the loss of shared values and of a sense of purpose in society.
  29. Theory
    A set of logically interrelated statements that attempts to describe, explain, and (occasionally) predict social events.
  30. Functionalist Perspectives
    The sociological approach that views society as a stable, orderly system.
  31. Manifest Functions
    Functions that are intended and/or overly recognized by the participants in a social unit.
  32. Latent Functions
    Unintended functions that are hidden and remain unacknowledged by participants.
  33. Conflict Perspectives
    The sociological approach that views groups in society as engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources.
  34. Macrolevel Analysis
    An approach that examines whole societies, large-scale social structures, and social systems.
  35. Microlevel Analysis
    Sociological theory and research that focus on small groups rather than on large-scale social structures.
  36. Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives
    The sociological approach that views society as the sum of the interactions of individuals and groups.
  37. Postmodern Perspectives
    The sociological approach that attempts to explain social life in modern societies that are characterized by postindustrialization, consumerism, and global communications.
  38. Jane Adams
    One of the best-known early women sociologists in the United States because she founded Hull House, one of the most famous settlement houses, in an impoverished area of Chicago. Throughout her career, she was actively engaged in sociological endeavors: She lectured at numerous colleges, was a charter member of the American Sociological Society, and published a number of articles and books. She was also awarded a Nobel Prize for her assistance to the underprivileged.
  39. August Comte
    He is considered to be the "founder of sociology." Comte�s philosophy became known as positivism- a belief that he world can best be understood through scientific inquiry. Comte believed objective, bias-free knowledge was attainable only through the use of science.
  40. W.E.B. Du Bois
    One of the first to note the Identity Conflict caused by being both a black and an American. Pointed out that people in the U.S. champion values of democracy, freedom, and equality; at the same time they accept racism and group discrimination.
  41. Emile Durkheim
    Believed the limits of human potential are socially, not biologically based. One of his most important contributions was the idea that societies are built on social facts. Social facts are patterned ways of acting, thinking and feeling that exist outside any one individual but that exert social control over each person.
  42. Harriet Martineau
    Believed society would improve when: Women and men were treated equally, knowledge gained from science is used to reform society, and cooperation existed among all social classes.
  43. Karl Marx
    Viewed history as a clash between conflicting ideas and forces. Believed class conflict produced social change and a better society. His philosophy/theories formed the basis for the Communist Revolution in Russia and China.
  44. George Herbert Mead
    Founded the symbolic interaction perspective. He emphasized the importance of studying the group ("the social") rather than starting with separate individuals. Mead also called our attention to the importance of shared communication among people based on language and gestures. Mead gave us important insights on how we develop our self-concept through interaction with those persons who are the most significant influences in our lives.
  45. Robert Merton
    He distinguished between manifest and latent functions of social institutions. Manifest functions are intended and/or overly recognized by the participants in a social unit. In contrast, latent functions are unintended functions that are hidden and remain unacknowledged by participants. Merton noted that all features of a social system may not be functional at all times; dysfunctions are the undesirable consequences of any element of a society.
  46. C. Wright Mills
    A key figure in the development of contemporary conflict theory, encouraged sociologists to get involved in social reform. He contended that value-free sociology was impossible because social scientists must make value-relatated choices. Mills encouraged everyone to look beneath everyday events in order to observe the major resources and power inequalities that exist in society. He believed that the most important decisions in the United States are made largely behind the scenes by the power elite-a small clique composed of the top corporate, political, and military officials.
  47. Robert E. Parks
    Asserted that urbanization had a disintegrating influence on social life by producing an increase in the crime rate and in racial and class antagonisms that contributed to the segregations and isolation of neighborhoods.
  48. Talcott Parsons
    Stressed that all societies must provide for meeting social needs in order to survive. Parsons believed that other institutions, including school, church, and government, must function to assist the family and that all institutions must work together to preserve the system over time.
  49. Georg Simmel
    Theorized that society is 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 on the universal recurring social forms that motivate social interaction.
  50. Herbert Spencer
    Spencer's major contribution to sociology was an evolutionary perspective on social order and social change. Social Darwinism- the belief that those human beings, best adapted to their environment will survive and prosper, whereas those poorly adapted will die out.
  51. Max Weber
    He emphasized that sociology should be value free-research should be conducted in a scientific manner and should exclude the researcher's personal values and economic interests and the necessity of understanding how others see the world. He also provided important insights on the process of rationalization, bureaucracy, religion, and many other topics. Was more aware of women's issues than were many scholars of his day, perhaps because his wife was important figure in women's movement in Germany.

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