Sociology 210 Study Guide Essay

1134 Words Apr 1st, 2012 5 Pages
Chapter One: The Sociological Perspective

I. The Sociological Perspective.
A. Sociology is the systematic study of human society.
B. The sociological perspective (Berger, 1963) helps us to see general social patterns in the behavior of particular individuals (the general in the particular).
C. It also encourages us to realize that society guides our thoughts and deeds — to see the strange in the familiar (Berger, 1963).
D. Sociology also encourages us to see personal choice in social context. 1. For example, Emile Durkheim’s (1858-1917) research showed that the suicide rate was strongly influenced by the extent to which people were socially integrated with others.
2. WINDOW ON THE WORLD—Global Map 1–1 (p. 4): Women’s
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3. It serves as excellent preparation for the world at work. B. Sociologists have shaped public policy.
C. Sociology and personal growth
1. The sociological perspective helps us assess the truth of “common sense.”
2. The sociological perspective helps us assess both opportunities and constraints in our lives.
3. The sociological perspective empowers us to be active participants in our society.
4. The sociological perspective helps us to live in a diverse world. D. The “sociology advantage.” A background in sociology is also good preparation for the working world. An increasing number of sociologists work in all sorts of applied fields.

IV. The Origins of Sociology.
A. Three major social changes during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are important to the development of sociology.
1. The rise of a factory-based industrial economy.
2. The emergence of large, thriving cities in Europe.
3. Political changes, including a rising concern with individual liberty and rights. The French Revolution symbolized this dramatic break with political and social tradition.
B. Auguste Comte (1798-1857) believed that the major goal of sociology was to understand society as it actually operates. Comte favored positivism—a way of understanding based on science. He saw sociology as the product of a three-stage historical development:
1. The theological stage, in which thought was guided by

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