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Introduction to sociology

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Introduction to sociology

  1. 1. Introduction to Sociology PREPARED BY UMAIR
  2. 2. Introduction to Sociology • The study of sociology starts from the basic premise that human life is social life • Most of us are constantly involved in interactions with other human beings (for instance, family, school, work, play, retirement, leisure and social gathering). • But so what? What does that definition actually mean? Why is sociology important? Why should anyone study sociology? What does sociology offer to us in our personal lives? And what does it offer to wider society?
  3. 3. Contd…. • The word sociology itself actually derives from the Latin word socius (companion) and the Greek word logos (study of ). • the scientific study of the development, structure, interaction,and collective behavior of social relationships.
  4. 4. Contd…. • The study of sociology encompasses the diversity of these social worlds, ranging from intimate, one-to-one exchanges to impersonal gatherings of large numbers of people. WHAT SOCIOLOGY OFFERS A sociological look at the world provides a number of unique benefits and perspectives.
  5. 5. Contd…. 1. Sociology provides an understanding of social issues and patterns of behavior. 2. Sociology helps us understand the workings of the social systems within which we live our lives. Social structures (the way society is organized around the regulated ways people interrelate and organize social life) and social processes (the way society operates) are at work shaping our lives in ways that often go unrecognized.
  6. 6. Contd… 3. Sociology helps us understand why we perceive the world the way we do. 4. Sociology helps us identify what we have in common within, and between, cultures and societies. 5. Sociology helps us understand why and how society changes. 6. Sociology provides us theoretical perspectives within which to frame these understandings and research methods that allow us to study social life scientifically.
  7. 7. Contd… 7. Sociology is not just common sense. Results of sociological research may be unexpected. They often show that things are not always, or even usually, what they initially seem.
  8. 8. History of Sociology • Sociology is rooted in the works of philosophers, including Plato (427–347 B.C.), Aristotle (384–322 B.C.), and Confucius (551–479 B.C.). Some other early scholars also took perspectives that were sociological. • Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406), profiled below, conducted studies of Arab society
  9. 9. Contd… • Enlightenment thinkers also helped set the stage for the sociologists that would follow. The Enlightenment “was the first time in history that thinkers tried to provide general explanations of the social world. • Writers of this period included a range of well- known philosophers, such as John Locke; David Hume; Voltaire (the pseudonym of Francois-Marie Arouet); Immanuel Kant; Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu; Thomas Hobbes; and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
  10. 10. Contd…. • The term sociology was coined by French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798–1857), who would become known as the “Father of Sociology.” Comte is profiled below. He first publicly used the term in his work Positive Philosophy. • Comte saw history as divided into three intellectual stages. The first, or theological, stage included the medieval period in which society was seen as reflecting the will of a deity. The second, or metaphysical, stage arose during the Enlightenment and focused on forces of “nature,” rather than God, to explain social events. Comte considered his own time period the third stage, which he termed the positivistic, or scientific, stage.
  11. 11. positivism —a way to understand the social world based on scientific facts. He believed that, with this new understanding, people could build a better future. He envisioned a process of social change in which sociologists played crucial roles in guiding society.
  12. 12. Contd… • Other events of that time period also influenced the development of sociology. • The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were times of many social upheavals and changes in the social order that interested the early sociologists. Sharing Comte’s belief, many early sociologists came from other disciplines and made significant efforts to call attention to social concerns
  13. 13. Contd…. • In Europe Karl Marx (1818–83) • In Germany, Max Weber (1864–1920), • In France, Emile Durkheim advocated for sociological understanding of the society. • In the United States, social worker and sociologist Jane Addams (1860–1935) studied poor immigrant • Talcott Parsons and Robert K. Merton
  14. 14. Sociological Imagination • The connection between learning to understand and then change society as being the sociological imagination. C. Wright Mills (1916–62). • How intertwined social forces and personal lives are:
  15. 15. Contd…. • When a society is industrialized, a peasant becomes a worker; a feudal lord is liquidated or becomes a businessman. When classes rise or fall, a man is employed or unemployed; when the rate of investment goes up or down, a man takes a new heart or goes broke. When wars happen, an insurance salesman becomes a rocket launcher; a store clerk, a radar man; a wife lives alone; a child grows up without a father. Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.
  16. 16. Contd… • Mills felt that developing a sociological imagination will help us to avoid becoming “victims” of social forces and better control our own lives. By understanding how social mechanisms operate, we can better work to bring about change and influence history.
  17. 17. CAREERS IN SOCIOLOGY • administrator • advocate • applied sociologist • clinical sociologist • consultant • development officer • executive director • graduate work in sociology and other fields, such as medicine and law • outreach coordinator • professional periodicals staff • professional sociologist • researcher • social historian • social-research assistant • social-science analyst • teacher • writer/publisher/editor

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