Sociology is the study of society, social life, and the causes and consequences of human social behavior. Sociology encompasses many aspects of life and civilization. We begin to learn what “social rules” are acceptable and fit in at a young age. By the time we are adults we go about them without even thinking about it. What exactly does the term sociology mean though? The definition of sociology is the scientific study of human behavior, social groups, and society. This term came from Auguste Comte (1798-1857) who is considered the founder of sociology. Another logical study that could be added to sociology is social life. Social life is the study of interpersonal relationships, all groups or collections of persons, and all types of social organizations. Sociologists often find themselves asking five questions in order to start studies: How do groups influence individual human behavior? What are the causes and consequences of a particular system of social order? What social factors contribute to a particular social change? What purpose is served by a particular social organization? What are the causes and consequences of a particular social system?
Sociology is not limitless and expands even broader into the studies of racial and ethnic relationships, prejudice, power and politics, jobs and income, families and family life, school systems and the educational process, social control, organizations, bureaucracies, groups and group dynamics, leisure, health care systems, military systems, women’s movements, and labor movements. Sociology is a unique study in the fact that it teaches people to look outside of their box or own world and put on what is called a “social imagination”. Social Imaginations are qualities of mind that allow us to understand the influence history and biography on our interactive processes. Putting on this imagination will bring about different perspective and aids in teaching. Just like this imagination we need to bring on a social perspective. In the textbook an excellent example is made: What is a school building to you? Well to a teacher it is a place of work, by a student a place of study, by a homeowner it may be a tax liability, and it may be a fire hazard by firefighter. Learning about this type of perspective involves our study and seeing the different viewpoints last mentioned. Perspective can operate on two levels macrosociolgy and microsociology. Macrosociology is the level of sociological analysis concerned with large-scale units such as institutions, social categories, and social systems. On the counterpart Microsociology is the level of sociological analysis concerned with small-scale units such as individuals in small group interactions.
... , social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology ... , arguments and stories, constructing new knowledge, and participating in groups.The social studies curriculum focused on how values are formed and how they ...
One study that sociology helps with is to keep people from believing things based on what they’ve been taught or “wives tales” but by true studies. For example; some might believe that perpetrators that perform school shootings have history of mental illness. By sociology studying this belief they’ve found this is actual false and most have no history of illness. Here is a table that studies have been done on the belief that men commit suicide more likely than women. The table actually shows some countries where woman are more prone than men.
Country(Area) | Year | Males | Female | Total(Number) | Males | Female | Total(Rate) |
Sri Lanka | 1986 | 388 | 424 | 812 | 43.9 | 49.3 | 46.5 |
Russian Federation | 2002 | 2,384 | 499 | 2,883 | 38.5 | 8.3 | 23.6 |
New Zealand | 2000 | 31 | 11 | 42 | 22.3 | 8.2 | 15.3 |
El Salvador | 1993 | 44 | 52 | 96 | 13.2 | 15.8 | 14.5 |
... sciences are distinct: Anthropology is the study social and cultural features of primitive societies while sociology studies the social and cultural features of modern societies ... science is the science of state. Gilchrist says,”Sociology studies man as a social being ,and political organization is a special kind ...
Ireland | 2000 | 34 | 7 | 41 | 19.8 | 4.3 | 12.3 |
Norway | 2001 | 21 | 8 | 29 | 15.3 | 6.2 | 10.9 |
Canada | 2000 | 173 | 52 | 225 | 16.3 | 5.2 | 10.8 |
Finland | 2002 | 25 | 6 | 31 | 15.0 | 3.8 | 9.5 |
Belgium | 1997 | 46 | 12 | 58 | 14.5 | 3.9 | 9.3 |
Cuba | 1996 | 23 | 45 | 68 | 6.1 | 12.5 | 9.2 |
Ecuador | 1991 | 40 | 64 | 104 | 6.9 | 11.4 | 9.1 |
Australia | 2001 | 95 | 25 | 120 | 13.8 | 3.8 | 8.9 |
Poland | 2001 | 242 | 39 | 281 | 14.1 | 2.4 | 8.4 |
Switzerland | 2000 | 27 | 8 | 35 | 12.6 | 4.0 | 8.4 |
USA | 2000 | 1,347 | 269 | 1,616 | 13.0 | 2.7 | 8.0 |
Japan | 2000 | 335 | 138 | 473 | 8.8 | 3.8 | 6.4 |
Germany | 2001 | 207 | 54 | 261 | 8.7 | 2.4 | 5.6 |
Hong Kong | 1999 | 12 | 12 | 24 | 5.1 | 5.3 | 5.2 |
France | 1999 | 150 | 48 | 198 | 7.5 | 2.5 | 5.0 |
Denmark | 1999 | 13 | 1 | 14 | 9.0 | 0.7 | 4.9 |
Netherlands | 2000 | 35 | 8 | 43 | 7.4 | 1.8 | 4.6 |
Sweden | 2001 | 15 | 7 | 22 | 5.7 | 2.8 | 4.3 |
Brazil | 1995 | 286 | 128 | 414 | 5.7 | 2.6 | 4.2 |
United Kingdom | 1999 | 122 | 33 | 155 | 6.5 | 1.8 | 4.2 |
China | 1999 | 179 | 253 | 432 | 3.2 | 4.8 | 4.0 |
Mexico | 1995 | 263 | 117 | 380 | 5.1 | 2.3 | 3.7 |
Spain | 2000 | 71 | 18 | 89 | 5.3 | 1.4 | 3.4 |
Italy | 2000 | 57 | 25 | 82 | 3.6 | 1.7 | 2.7 |
As this table shows, women are at high rates of suicide in different cultures and social settings. Many people believe the structure and workings of society are a matter of common knowledge, but with understand and study popular conceptions can be disproved.
Chapter 1 taught the nature of sociology and its start. Chapter 2 teaches the development and core founders who contributed to its offshoot. Early studiers of sociology where not called “sociologist” per say because this term did not come about until later. The five theorists attributed to off shooting sociology are Comte, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. Comte, who coined the term sociology, is known for the law of progress which means society goes through three stages: 1.) theological, or fictitious; 2.) metaphysical or abstract; and 3.) scientific or positive. Comte originated the concept that society was a type of “organism”. It had a base and offshoots from that base. From this concept originated social statics and social dynamics. Comte’s work was quite influential on both Spencer and Marx.
... group. Similarly, Simmel viewed society as essentially a social process and Sociology as the discipline concerned with the study of that process. It is ... their study. Indeed, some sociologists conceive of society as the expression of different social processes or forms of interaction and hold that sociology should ...
Jumping ahead to the 1900’s, Sociology had an amazing offshoot. Once The University of Chicago, The Chicago School was the leading sociological training and research center in America. The first sociological graduate program was established there in the 1890’s. This school taught influential sociologists such as Cooley, Mead, and Thomas. Not until after the 1930’s was it that sociology shifted from Chicago School to other major universities. A social theory is a proposition that seeks to explain a process or phenomena. There are major theories three at the macro level and two at the micro level all which have had an important influence on contemporary sociology: structural functional theory, conflict theory, symbolic interactional theory, exchange theory, and evolutionary–ecological theory. One type of theory is called a Structural Functional Theory. This dates back to the early workings of Durkheim and Weber. The study uses macro-level analysis to explain and interpret society in terms of large groupings such as organizations, institutions, social classes, communities, and nations. Along with Structural Functional Theory are conflict theory, exchange theory, and evolutionary theory.
As learned from chapters 1 and 2, sociology is a broad perspective and encompasses endless studies. It teaches one to take on new perspectives and learn why a society may function. It shows us not to take on certain beliefs just because those seem to work, but actually study, and find answers to sociology.