• Coined by Auguste Comte (1798-1857), meaning the study of society- socius (being with others) ology (the study of)
  • Henslin et al: “simply put, sociology is the discipline study of human social behaviour, especially the investigation of the origins, classifications, institutions, and development of human society on a global level”
  • “the systematic study of social behaviour in human societies”
  • SOCIETY:
    • “the sociologists think of ‘society; as denoting a large complex of human relationships or to put it in more technical language, as referring to a system of interaction”
  • THE SOCIAL:
    • “as one in which people orient their actions towards one another. The web meanings, expectations and conduct resulting from such mutual orientation is the stuff of sociological analysis”
  • sociologists sees a situation by analyzing the social activities

Thinking Sociologically…

  • sociologists strive to go beyond common sense understands of how society works

C. Wright Mills

  • developed concept of sociological imagination
  • wrote book in 1959, another book called Power Elite
  • interested in social inequality
  • two ideas:
    • private troubles
    • public issues
  • Both ideas can be tied together, private troubles, for example, husbands expecting their wife to cook and clean for them is more than a private trouble. It is related to the public issue of spousal abuse

Peter Berger

  • Sociologists should see:
    • The strange in the familiar
    • The general in the particular

Three Necessary Needs in Order to be Sociological:

  • Objects of analysis
    • Research areas
    • Research topics
    • Research questions
    • Theory: functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism
  • Methods
    • Quantitative: surveys, polls, questionnaires
    • Qualitative: participant observations, formal and informal interviews, content analysis
  • Social theory

What Sociology is NOT

  • History, English, psychology, philosophy, anthropology…

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