The Distinction Between Sociology And Common Sense Sociology

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Social Sciences (1)
Unit 1
Introduction to Sociology

The Distinction between Sociological understanding and Common Sense understanding (1.1)
Sociology and common-sense are very different. Sociology requires research and evidence. However, common-sense is based on our own personal experiences. Each individual person, has their own personal view that they believe to be fact, although it is not based on research, just personal opinion. Common-sense requires no research or evidence, whereas sociology does. Common sense can differ from person to person, plus group to group, depending on their backgrounds and environments.
Sociological research has shown many widely held common-sense ideas and explanations to be false. Brown (2011, p.4)

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Brown (2011, p.8)

Discuss the application of basic concepts in sociological explanation, using appropriate examples. (2.1)
Social norms are the behaviours within a society or group of people. Norms are usually unwritten rules, which social groups live by. Many norms are learned behaviours that are passed down from generation to generation. Social norms can differ from culture to culture. For example, here it is normal to think that burping at the dinner table is impolite, whereas in Saudi Arabia, it is considered polite to burp after a meal to compliment the cook.
Norm (social norm, normative) In sociology a norm is a shared expectation of behaviour that is considered culturally desirable and/or appropriate. Scott (2014, p.519)

Our cultural values help us accept the social norms that are expected of us. Values are shared beliefs within a society or group about what is considered good or bad, right or wrong, important or not important.

One western value is monogamy within a marriage, it is considered wrong and illegal to have more than one partner. Also it is considered wrong and illegal to marry a close relation, such as a brother. Whereas in rural areas of Tibet, it is accepted that a woman can have more than one husband, which often includes her
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Browne (2011, p.16)

An evaluation of contrasting sociological perspectives, and critically assess particular perspectives. (3.1)
There are three main sociological perspectives Functionalist theory, Conflict theory and Symbolic interactionism. Each perspective offers us a different way to look at how our society works. Usually we look at the world through common-sense, but these theories help us look at the world in different ways. They help us to look at the behaviour of individuals and groups, and how society is organised. They help us to understand how society is shaping our everyday lives.

Functionalist theory, founded by David Emile Durkheim, is based on the notion that society is made up of different parts working together to maintain a state of harmony and balance.
For example, the government, or state, provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the state depends to keep itself running. The family is dependent upon the school to help children grow up to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. In the process, the children become law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, who in turn support the state. If all goes well, the parts of society produce order, stability, and productivity. If all does not go well, the parts of society then must adapt to recapture a new order, stability, and productivity.

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