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An overview
An overview

Prepared by John N. Abletis

Department of Sociology, PUP

Sociology

Sociology  the study of society and social interactions taking place within it  the study
  • the study of society and social interactions taking place within it

  • the study of social facts

Sociology  the study of society and social interactions taking place within it  the study
  • the study of social structures

Sociology  the study of society and social interactions taking place within it  the study
  • the study of social processes

Sociology  the study of society and social interactions taking place within it  the study

Our Social World Model

  • the queen of the social sciences

    • Research areas in Sociology [Fields of

Specialization]

Sociology  the study of society and social interactions taking place within it  the study
  • among social scientists and cultural workers, sociologists are the more frequent and vivid in displaying the sociological imagination

Sociology  the study of society and social interactions taking place within it  the study
  • a debunking science

Global

Community

Society

National Organizations, Institutions, and Ethnic Subcultures

Local

Organizations

and

Community

Me (and My Inner Circle)

Global Community Society National Organizations, Institutions, and Ethnic Subcultures Local Organizations and Community Me (and My

Society and Culture

  • ―Societies are self-perpetuating groups of people who occupy a given territory and interact with one another on the basis of shared culture‖ (Bryjak & Soroka, 2001, p. 65)

  • Culture is a people‘s way of life or social heritage and includes values, norms, institutions, and artifacts that are passed from generation to generation by learning alone‖ (Ibid, p. 31)

  • Sociocultural System

  • The field of culture is the primary concern of Anthropology, yet ―the experience of sociological discovery could be described as ‗culture shock‘

minus geographical displacement‖ (Berger, 1963,

Society and Culture  ―Societies are self-perpetuating groups of people who occupy a given territory and

23)

Social Structures

  • patterned, recurring social relationships

Small groups Formal organizations

Social Structures  patterned, recurring social relationships  Small groups  Formal organizations  Social institutions

Social institutions

Social Structures  patterned, recurring social relationships  Small groups  Formal organizations  Social institutions

Society

Social Structures  patterned, recurring social relationships  Small groups  Formal organizations  Social institutions

Social Processes

  • ―…actions taken by people in social units.

Processes keep the social world working…‖

(Ballantine & Roberts, 2011, p. 20)

  • ―… to understand a social unit… we must consider the structure and processes within the unit as well as the interaction with the surrounding environment. No matter what social unit the sociologist studies, the unit cannot be understood without considering the interaction of that unit with its environment.‖ (Ibid)

Social Processes  ―…actions taken by people in social units. Processes keep the social world working…‖

Social Institutions

  • ―[They] are orderly, enduring, and established ways of arranging human behavior and doing things. Social relationships in institutions are structured for the purpose of performing some task(s) and accomplishing some specific goal.‖ (Bryjak & Soroka, 2001, p. 193)

    • Family

    • Education

    • Religion

    • State (Polity) [primary concern of Political Science]

    • Economy [primary concern of Economics]

    • Mass Media [primary concern of Media Studies]

Social Institutions  ―[They] are orderly, enduring, and established ways of arranging human behavior and doing
Social Facts  ―they consist of manners of acting , thinking , and feeling external to

Social Facts

  • ―they consist of manners of acting, thinking, and feeling external to the individual, which are invested with a coercive power by virtue of which they exercise control over him.‖ —Emile Durkheim (1895, p. 52)

  • ―We are located in society not only in space but in time. Our society is a historical entity that extends temporally beyond any individual biography. Society antedates us and it will survive us. It was there before we were born and it will be there after we are dead. Our lives are but episodes in its

Social Facts  ―they consist of manners of acting , thinking , and feeling external to

majestic march through time. In sum, society is the

walls of our im risonment in histor ‖

Research Areas in Sociology

  • According to the International Sociological Association, the following are the primary

research areas of sociologists worldwide:

  • Aging

  • Agriculture and Food

  • Alienation Theory and Research

  • Armed Forces and Conflict Resolution

  • Arts

  • Biography and Society

  • Body in the Social Sciences

  • Childhood

Research Areas in Sociology  According to the International Sociological Association, the following are the primary

Research Areas in Sociology

  • Clinical Sociology

  • Communication, Knowledge and Culture

  • Community Research

  • Comparative Sociology

  • Conceptual and Terminological Analysis

  • Deviance and Social Control

  • Disasters

  • Economy and Society

  • Education

  • Environment and Society

  • Family Research

Research Areas in Sociology  Clinical Sociology  Communication, Knowledge and Culture  Community Research 

Research Areas in Sociology

  • Futures Research

  • Health

  • History of Sociology

  • Housing and Built Environment

  • Labor Movements

  • Language and Society

  • Law

  • Leisure

  • Logic and Methodology

  • Mental Health and Illness

  • Migration

Research Areas in Sociology  Futures Research  Health  History of Sociology  Housing and

Research Areas in Sociology

  • Organization

  • Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self- Management

  • Political Sociology

  • Population

  • Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policty

  • Professional Groups

  • Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations

  • Rational Choice

  • Regional and Urban Development

  • Religion

Research Areas in Sociology  Organization  Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self- Management  Political Sociology

Research Areas in Sociology

  • Science and Technology

  • Social Classes and Social Movements

  • Social Movements, Collective Action and Social Change

  • Social Psychology

  • Social Indicators

  • Social Transformations and Sociology of Development

  • Sociocybernetics

  • Sociotechnics, Sociological Practice

  • Sport

Research Areas in Sociology  Science and Technology  Social Classes and Social Movements  Social

Research Areas in Sociology

  • Tourism, Internationl

  • Women in Society

  • Work

  • Youth

source: http://www.isa-sociology.org/rc.htm

Research Areas in Sociology  Tourism, Internationl  Women in Society  Work  Youth source:

Sociological Imagination

  • ―… the quality of mind essential to

Sociological Imagination  ―… the quality of mind essential to grasp the interplay of man and

grasp the interplay of man and society,

of biography and history, of self and world.‖ —C. Wright Mills (1959, p. 10)

  • personal troubles vs. public issues

  • ―It is now the social scientist‘s foremost political and intellectual task… to make clear the elements of contemporary uneasiness and indifference.‖ (Ibid, p. 20)

  • ―By such means the personal uneasiness of individuals is focused upon explicit troubles and the indifference of publics is transformed into involment with public issues.‖ (Ibid,

Sociological Imagination  ―… the quality of mind essential to grasp the interplay of man and

Sociological Imagination

  • Three sorts of questions consistently asked by classical social analysts:

What is the structure of this particular society as a whole? What are its

essential components, and how are they

related to one another? How does it differ from other varieties of social order? Within it, what is the meaning of any particular feature for its continuance and for its change? (p. 13)

Sociological Imagination  Three sorts of questions consistently asked by classical social analysts:  What is
Sociological Imagination  Three sorts of questions consistently asked by classical social analysts:  What is

Sociological Imagination

Where does this society stand in human history? What are the mechanics by which

it is changing? What is its place within and its meaning for the development of

humanity as a whole? How does any particular feature we are examining affect, and how is it affected by, the historical period in which it moves? And this periodwhat are its essential features? How does it differ from other periods? What are its characteristic ways of history-

Sociological Imagination  Where does this society stand in human history? What are the mechanics by
Sociological Imagination  Where does this society stand in human history? What are the mechanics by

Sociological Imagination

What varieties of men and women now

prevail in this society and in this period?

And what varieties are coming to prevail? In what ways are they selected and formed, liberated and repressed, made sensitive and blunted? What kinds of

―human nature‖ are revealed in the

conduct and character we observe in this society in this period? And what is the

meaning for ―human nature‖ of each and

every feature of the society we are

Sociological Imagination  What varieties of men and women now prevail in this society and in
Sociological Imagination  What varieties of men and women now prevail in this society and in

Grand Theory

  • To be aware of the idea of social structure and to use it with sensibility is to be capable of tracing such linkages among a great variety of milieux. To be able to do that is to possess the sociological imagination. (p. 17)

  • [T]hat every self-conscious thinker must at all times be aware ofand hence be able to controlthe levels of abstraction on which he is working. The capacity to shuttle between levels of abstraction, with ease and with clarity, is a signal mark of the imaginative and

Grand Theory  To be aware of the idea of social structure and to use it
Grand Theory  To be aware of the idea of social structure and to use it

t

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ti

think

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43

Methodological Inhibition

  • But no method, as such [natural scientific method/statistics/positivism], should be used to

delimit the problems we take up, if for no other

reason than that the most interesting and difficult issues of method usually begin where established techniques do not apply. (p. 83)

  • If the problems upon which one is at work are readily amenable to statistical procedures, one

should always try to use them

No one, however,

... need accept such procedures, when generalized, as the only procedure available. Certainly no one

Methodological Inhibition  But no method, as such [natural scientific method/statistics/positivism], should be used to delimit

need accept this model as a total canon. It is not

Methodological Inhibition  But no method, as such [natural scientific method/statistics/positivism], should be used to delimit

Use of Method and Theory

  • ‗Method‘ has to do, first of all, with how to ask and

answer questions with some assurance that the answers are more or less durable. ‗Theory‘ has to do, with paying close attention to the words one is using, especially their degree of generality and their logical relations. The primary purpose of both is clarity of conception and economy of procedure, and most importantly just now the release rather than the restriction of the sociological imagination. (p. 135)

  • For the classic social scientist, neither method nor theory is an autonomous domain; methods are methods for some range of problems; theories are

theories of some range of phenomena

that he must

... be very well acquainted in a substantive way with the

Use of Method and Theory  ‗Method‘ has to do, first of all, with how to

state of knowledge in the area with which the studies

Use of Method and Theory  ‗Method‘ has to do, first of all, with how to
Use of Method and Theory  Serious attention should be paid to general discussion of methodology

Use of Method and Theory

  • Serious attention should be paid to general discussion of methodology only when they are in direct reference to actual work ...

But neither Method nor Theory alone can be taken as

part of the actual work of the social studies. (p. 136)

  • Classic social science

...

Neither ‗builds up‘ from microscopic

study nor ‗deduces down‘ from conceptual elaboration. Its

practitioners try to build and to deduce at the same time, in the

same process of study, and to do so by means of adequate formulation and reformulation of problems and of their adequate

solutions. To practise such a policy

is to take up substantive

... problems on the historical level of reality; to state these problems in terms appropriate to them; and then no matter how

high the flight of theory, no matter how painstaking the crawl

among detail, in the end of each completed act of study, to state

the solution in the macroscopic terms of the problem

...

The

character of these problems limits and suggests the methods and the conceptions that are used and how they are used.

Use of Method and Theory  Serious attention should be paid to general discussion of methodology

Controversy over different views of ‗methodology‘ and ‗theory‘

probably carried on in close and continuous relation with

is
is

Mills on Academic Specialization

  • As he comes to have a genuine sense of significant problems and to be passionately concerned with solving them, he is often forced to master ideas and methods that happen to have arisen within one or another of these several disciplines. To him no social science specialty will seem in any intellectually significant sense a closed world. He also comes to realize that he is in fact practising the social science, rather than any one of the social sciences, and that this is so no matter what particular area of social lie he is most

interested in studying. (p. 157)

Mills on Academic Specialization  As he comes to have a genuine sense of significant problems
Mills on Academic Specialization  As he comes to have a genuine sense of significant problems

On Politics

  • In common with most other people, he does feel that he stands outside the major history-making

decisions of this period; at the same time he knows that he is among those who take many of the consequences of these decisions. That is one major reason why to the extent that he is aware of

what he is doing, he becomes an explicitly political man. No one is ‗outside society‘; the question is where each stands within it. (p. 204)

  • In a world of widely communicated nonsense, any

statement of fact is of political and moral significant. All social scientists, by the fact of their existence, are involved in the struggle between enlightenment and obscurantism. In such a world

On Politics  In common with most other people, he does feel that he stands outside

as ours, to practise social science is, first of all, to

On Politics  In common with most other people, he does feel that he stands outside

ractise the

olitics of truth (

198)

Note about the term

―sociological‖

  • I hope my colleagues will accept the term ‗sociological imagination‘. Political scientists who have read my manuscript suggest ‗the political imagination‘; anthropologists, ‗the anthropological imagination‘– and so on. The term matters less than the idea, which I hope will become clear in the course of this book. By use of it, I do not of course want to suggest merely the academic discipline of

‘sociology’. Much of what the phrase means to me is not at all expressed by sociologist. In England, for example, sociology as an academic discipline is still somewhat marginal, yet in much English journalism, fiction, and above all history, the sociological imagination is very well developed indeed. The case is similar for France: both the confusion and the audacity of French reflection since the Second

World War rest upon its feeling for the sociological features of man‘s fate in our time, yet these trends are carried by men of letters rather than by professional sociologists. Nevertheless, I use

‘sociological imagination’ because: (1) every cobbler thinks

leather is the only thing, and for better or worse, I am a

sociologist; (2) I do believe that historically the quality of mind has been more frequently and more vividly displayed by classic sociologists than by other social scientists; (3) since I am going

to examine critically a number of curious sociological schools,

Note about the term ―sociological‖  I hope my colleagues will accept the term ‗sociological imagination‘.
Note about the term ―sociological‖  I hope my colleagues will accept the term ‗sociological imagination‘.

I need

Sociology is a debunking science

  • Peter Berger (1963) argued that

Sociology is a debunking science  Peter Berger (1963) argued that dimensions of sociological consciousness have

dimensions of sociological

consciousness have four characteristics:

  • Debunking

  • Unrespectability

  • Relativizing

  • Cosmopolitan

  • ―Sociology is more like a passion. The sociological perspective is more like a demon that possesses one, that drives one compellingly, again and again, to the questions that are its own. An introduction to sociology therefore, an invitation to a very

is,

Sociology is a debunking science  Peter Berger (1963) argued that dimensions of sociological consciousness have
Sociology is a debunking science  Peter Berger (1963) argued that dimensions of sociological consciousness have

References

  • Ballantine, J. H. & Roberts, K. A. (2011). Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology, 3 rd ed., CA: Pine Forge Press

  • Berger, P. (1963). Invitation to Sociology, NY: Double Day

  • Bryjak, G. J. & Soroka, M. P. (2001). Sociology: Changing Societies in a Diverse World, 4 th ed., MA:

Allyn and Bacon

  • Durkheim, E. (1895). The Rules of Sociological Method [Excerpts]. Retrieved April 18, 2012 from http://durkheim.uchicago.edu/Summaries/rules.html

  • International Sociological Association (n.d.). Research Committees. Retrieved April 18, 2012 from http://www.isa-sociology.org/rc.htm

References  Ballantine, J. H. & Roberts, K. A. (2011). Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology
References  Ballantine, J. H. & Roberts, K. A. (2011). Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology
References  Ballantine, J. H. & Roberts, K. A. (2011). Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology