What Is Sociology?

What Is Sociology?

What is Sociology? Sociology may be defined as the study of society - the web of human interactions and relationships: Ginsberg (The Study of Society, 1939) The purpose of Sociology is the scientific study of human society through the investigation of peoples social behaviour: Giner (Sociology, 1972) Sociology is the objective study of human behaviour in so far as it is affected by the fact people live in groups: Sugarman (Sociology, 1968) What Is Sociology? Sociology is the study of human social life, groups and societies. It is a dazzling and compelling enterprise, having as its subject matter our own behaviour as social

beings. The scope of sociology is extremely wide, ranging from the analysis of passing encounters between individuals in the street up to the investigation of world-wide social processes: Giddens (Sociology, 1989) Sociology is the study of individuals in a social settingSociologists study the interrelationships between individuals, organisations, cultures and societies: Ritzer (Sociology, 1979) Sociology is the study of individuals in groups in a systematic way, which grew out of the search for understanding associated with the industrial and scientific revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries:

Lawson and Garrod (The Complete A-Z Sociology Handbook, 1996) shortcutstv.com What is Sociology? Two major themes Identify some of the things sociologists study Examples Identify some of the ways sociologists study social life shortcutstv.com What is Sociology? Two major themes Identify some of the things sociologists study Identify some of the ways

sociologists study social life Sociologists study social behaviour - people and their patterns of behaviour. The focus is on the way people form relationships and how these relationships, considered in their totality, are represented by the concept of a society. The definitions included words like scientific, systematic and objective - ideas that tell us something about how sociologists study behaviour and the kinds of knowledge they are trying to produce to explain such behaviour. The focus of attention is group behaviour how the groups people join or are born into (family, work, education and so forth) affect their development and behaviour. Sociologists create knowledge that is

factual, rather than simply based on opinion. Systematic ways of studying social behaviour are used sociologists test their ideas about social behaviour using evidence drawn from their observations. shortcutstv.com What is Sociology? Sociology is a social science concerned with the study of social relationships and the various ways these relationships are patterned in terms of our membership of social groups. This being the case, we need to look a little more closely at the concepts of social groups in order to understand how the relationships we form shape our behaviour shortcutstv.com What is Sociology?

A Friendship Group Includes people who hang around together because they like each other A Work Group A social group is a collection of individuals who interact both formally and informally with each other. Might include people who do the same type of job. A Peer Group Includes people of roughly the same age An Educational Group Might include people studying together in the same school / college or class. A Family Group People who are related by birth, marriage, etc.

shortcutstv.com What is Sociology? Social Groups Structure Our relationships are based on (or structured by) both formal and informal rules. Society therefore, represents a totality of relationships that imposes rules upon our behaviour. Institutions are stable patterns of group behaviour that persist over long periods of time Society The largest group

to which we usually belong Institutions Small Groups Individuals Action Groups, such as families, peer and friendship groups, etc. The main types of institutional groups in our society are: Family and Kinship, Government, Work and cultural institutions such as the media, education, and religion. shortcutstv.com What is Sociology? One of the main things sociologists investigate are social structures That is, the way our individual

lives are built around social relationships and the rules we have developed to govern such relationships. Sociologists argue that our individual choices of behaviour are shaped by the relationships we form (or have imposed on us). In the following screens, therefore, we need to investigate some of the ways our behaviour is constrained, formally and informally, by social structures shortcutstv.com What is Sociology? Identify some of the ways your behaviour is influenced by: Society Language Laws The Media Lifestyle Advertising

shortcutstv.com What is Sociology? Identify some of the ways your behaviour is influenced by: School Respect for authority What you are taught Your Family Right and wrong behaviour Language shortcutstv.com What is Sociology? Identify some of the ways your behaviour is influenced by: Your Peers Fashion Gender behaviour

Your Friends Self-perception shortcutstv.com What is Sociology? If Sociology is the study of social relationships and the way in which our lives are structured by rules, it follows that the initial answer to the question What is Sociology? is that it is the study of Social Order In other words, Sociology explains how order is: Created Maintained Reproduced This being the case, the next step is to examine these ideas, beginning with the concept of culture shortcutstv.com

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