Chapter 1

Report
Third Edition
ANTHONY GIDDENS ● MITCHELL DUNEIER ● RICHARD APPELBAUM ● DEBORA CARR
Slides created by Shannon Anderson, Roanoke College
Chapter 1: Sociology: Theory and
Method
1
What Is Sociology?
• Sociology is the scientific study of human
social life, groups, and societies.
• Sociology shows us that aspects of life we
consider natural or take for granted are
influenced by social and historical forces.
• Sociology is a discipline that insists on
studying people within their social context.
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2
The Sociological Imagination
• C. Wright Mills (1959) coined this phrase,
which explained the need to move from away
from viewing problems as personal troubles
and toward recognizing them as public issues.
• An important part of learning to think
sociologically is to gain and utilize the
sociological imagination.
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3
Social Structure
• Goal of sociology: to understand the
connections between what society makes of us
and what we make of ourselves.
• What we do both gives shape to and is shaped
by society. That is, we structure society and at
the same time are structured by society.
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Social Structure
• Our lives are structured, or patterned, in
particular, non-random, ways.
• Social structures are dynamic. Societies are
always in the process of structuration, which
means they are constantly being affected by
human actions.
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A Global Perspective
• As sociologists, we must now be global
observers.
• Globalization affects all of us every day, both
as individuals and as members of nation-states,
economic markets, and more.
• A global view offers insight into worldwide
connections, as well as a point of comparison.
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Social Change
• Sociology was born during the upheaval that
accompanied industrialization in Western
Europe.
• Many early social thinkers dedicated their
research to better understanding the massive
social change they witnessed.
• The discipline developed with an eye toward
understanding history and change.
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Social Change Today
• Social change continues: for most of human
history, the vast majority of people lived in
small, isolated groups. By 2050, nearly 70
percent of all people will live in urban settings.
• The development of technology and
communications capabilities continue to alter
the way humans live.
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Social Theory
• Social theories intend to explain, not what is
happening, but why.
• There are many theoretical approaches in sociology:
sociologists do not all agree on any given topic, but
theories must be based on facts.
• Research and theory cannot, and should not, be
separate enterprises.
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Early Theorists
• Auguste Comte
– French philosopher who is credited with giving the
discipline its name.
– Believed in creating a science of the social world
to be used for improving people’s lives.
– Saw sociology as the “last science” to be
developed.
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Auguste Comte ( 1798– 1857)
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Early Theorists
• Émile Durkheim
– Drawing on Comte’s notion of sociology as a
science, Durkheim set out to study social facts.
These are those aspects of social life—for
example, religion, the economy—that shape
individual action.
– Saw society as a body that needed all its parts to
function in harmony.
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Émile Durkheim ( 1858– 1917)
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Early Theorists
• Émile Durkheim
– Was interested in what societies needed to function
smoothly.
– Studied social constraint, social isolation, and
anomie (normlessness) in relation to social change
and human behaviors such as suicide.
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Early Theorists
• Karl Marx
– In seeking to explain social change Marx looked
primarily to the economy.
– Developed what is called a materialist conception
of history, whereby the economy, and not values,
culture, or ideas, drives social change.
– Focused primarily on the ills of capitalism and its
class system.
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15
Karl Marx ( 1818– 1883)
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Early Theorists
• Karl Marx
– Predicted that ultimately the class conflict built in
to the capitalist system would lead to its demise
and that a new, classless society would emerge.
– Marx’s ideas have had a great deal of influence,
both within sociology and in world political
history.
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Early Theorists
• Max Weber
– Though he, too, was interested in explaining social
change, Weber saw power, not only in the
economy, but also in ideas and values.
– In particular Weber argued that Christianity, in the
form of the Protestant work ethic, played an
important role in the development of capitalism.
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Max Weber ( 1864– 1920)
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Early Theorists
• Max Weber
– Was also interested in the increasing rationality of
the social world and studied the structure of
bureaucracies.
– Studied many other aspects of social life, including
religion, law, and power, and was always attuned
to the ways people make meaning out of life.
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Neglected Founders
• Harriet Martineau was a scholar and activist
who introduced sociology to England. Among
other things, she insisted on the significance of
studying domestic life to better understand a
society.
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Neglected Founders
• W.E.B. Du Bois was the first significant
African American sociologist. He made many
contributions to the field, including the notion
of the “double consciousness” experienced by
all American blacks. Du Bois was also a
founding member of the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP).
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22
Contemporary Theory
• Symbolic Interactionism
– All social interaction involves an exchange of
information via symbols.
– This exchange may be through language, but may
also be non-verbal or may be conveyed by setting.
– We learn about ourselves and the world through
this meaningful interaction.
– Key figure: George Herbert Mead
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Contemporary Theory
• Functionalism
– This perspective is derived from Comte and Durkheim
and emphasizes large-scale social institutions and
processes.
– Functionalist approaches are focus on understanding
the role or contribution of some event, activity, or
institution to the workings of society as a whole.
– Modern figures: Talcott Parsons, Robert K. Merton
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Contemporary Theory
• Marxism
– Those working under this approach derive their
approach from Marx, most significantly as regards
concerns about power, conflict, and ideology.
– This perspective is most commonly applied to
capitalism and economic systems.
– Marxist thinkers tend to take on an activist stance in
addition to a scholarly one.
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Contemporary Theory
• Feminist theory begins from the perspective that
women’s lives and experiences have largely been
ignored and must be brought to the forefront of
sociological thinking.
• Postmodern theory takes the position that social life
is not based on any kind of linear history, but is rather
always in flux. The media is often seen as a key
player in how people understand their lives.
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Levels of Analysis
• Microsociology is the study of everyday, face-to-face
interaction. Symbolic interactionists study primarily at this
level of analysis.
• Macrosociology is the analysis of large social systems and
institutions. Functionalists and Marxists fall largely under this
heading.
• In practice, these two levels of analysis work best when
applied in concert.
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Research Methods: Questions
• Sociology, as a social science, must take an
empirical approach to answering questions
about the world.
• Sociologists ask four primary types of
questions: factual, comparative,
developmental, and theoretical.
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Table 1.2 A Sociologist’s Line of Questioning
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Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
Research Methods: Seven Steps
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Define the research problem.
Review the evidence—do a literature review.
Make the problem precise—specify your hypothesis.
Work out a research design.
Carry out the research—collect your data.
Interpret the results—analyze your data.
Report the findings—publish or present them.
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Research Methods
• Ethnography, or participant observation, is a
method frequently used to study people in their
own settings.
• Surveys are a more structured research method
where specific, carefully constructed questions
are asked to specific, carefully selected
individuals.
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31
Research Methods
• Sociologists occasionally use experimental
designs when highly controlled conditions are
necessary to answer research questions.
• Comparative and historical research are
approaches that allow researchers to
understand variations in social phenomena
across both time and space.
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Research Methods: Ethics
• Because sociologists are dealing with real people in
their everyday lives, we must be very cautious in our
work.
• All research that directly involves human subjects
must first be approved by an Institutional Review
Board (IRB).
• Study participants must give informed consent prior
to agreeing to participate and must be debriefed after.
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This concludes the Lecture
PowerPoint Presentation for
Chapter 1: Sociology: Theory and Method
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Clicker Questions
1. What is sociology?
a. Sociology is the study of individuals.
b. Sociology is the study of personality, cognition, emotion, and motivation.
c. Sociology is the study of human social life, groups, and societies, focusing on
the industrialized world.
d. Sociology is a branch of the Social Reform movement. It is dedicated to
providing a scientific underpinning for the Liberal and Social Democratic political
agendas.
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35
Clicker Questions
2. What is the sociological imagination?
a. It is the ability to “think ourselves away” from the familiar routines of our daily
lives in order to look at them anew.
b. It is the study of the way private troubles aggregate into public issues.
c. It is the worldview of Karl Marx.
d. It is the application of Liberal and Socialist political values to social scientific
inquiry.
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36
Clicker Questions
3. The social contexts of our lives consist of more than just random assortments
of actions or events; there are regularities in the ways we behave and in the
relationships we have with one another. This patterned nature of social contexts
is what sociologists refer to as which one of the following?
a. structuration
b. functionalism
c. macrosociology
d. social structure
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37
Clicker Questions
4. What is microsociology?
a. the study of the internal dynamics of individual consciousness
b. the study of face-to-face interaction in everyday life
c. the study of children in social life
d. another name for the sociology of computing
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Clicker Questions
5. Sociology can be considered a science because it does which of the
following?
a. It uses systematic methods of empirical investigation to study a phenomenon.
b. It uses haphazard methods of theoretical thinking.
c. It involves the making of recommendations to policy makers.
d. It is conducted by people with advanced professional degrees wearing white
lab coats.
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39
Clicker Questions
6. Which of the following best reflects the definition of ethnography?
a. the study of ethnicity, race, and urban social relations in multicultural contexts
b. questions that relate to the knowledge produced when sociologists link a
current phenomenon to historical forces
c. the study of something with a historical basis (e.g., the Russian Revolution)
and involving the analysis of documentary sources such as government
statistics, newspapers, and so on, to explain a type of human behavior during a
certain time in history.
d. a way of studying people firsthand using participant observation or interviewing
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40
Clicker Questions
7. Sociologists ask factual, comparative, developmental, and theoretical
questions as they study the social world. Which type of question is the
following: “What accounts for the decline in the proportion of the population
voting in presidential elections in recent years?”
a. factual
b. comparative
c. Developmental
d. theoretical
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Art Presentation Slides
Chapter 1
Sociology: Theory and Method
Anthony Giddens
Mitchell Duneier
Richard P. Appelbaum
Deborah Carr
Chapter Opener
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
What is the origin of romantic love? Originally, romantic
love was limited to affairs for medieval aristocrats such as
Tristan and Isolde, the subjects of a thirteenth century
court romance who inspired poems, operas, and films.
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
“How would you like me to answer that question?
As a member of my ethnic group, educational class,
income group, or religious category?”
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Globalization and Everyday Life
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Globalization and Everyday Life
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Do-It-Yourself
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Auguste Comte ( 1798– 1857)
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Émile Durkheim ( 1858– 1917)
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Karl Marx ( 1818– 1883)
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Max Weber ( 1864– 1920)
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Table 1.1 Interpreting Modern Development
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Harriet Martineau ( 1802– 1876)
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W. E. B. Du Bois ( 1868– 1963)
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Figure 1.1 Theoretical Approaches in Sociology
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New York City’s Times Square serves as the backdrop for live
television programs such as ESPN’s Sports Center and Dick
Clark’s New Year’s Rock in’ Eve with Ryan Sea crest.
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Table 1.2 A Sociologist’s Line of Questioning
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Figure 1.2 Steps in the Research Process
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In looking at this painting by Brueghel, we can observe
the number of people, what each is doing, the style of the
buildings, or the colors the painter chose.
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Table 1.3 Three of the Main Methods Used in
Sociological Research
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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In Philip Zimbardo’s make- believe jail, tension between
students playing guards and students playing prisoners
became dangerously real
Essentials Of Sociology, 3rd Edition
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Table 1.4 A Automobile Ownership: Comparisons
of Several Selected Countries
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This concludes the Art Presentation Slides
Slide Set for Chapter 1
Essentials Of Sociology
THIRD EDITION
by
Anthony Giddens
Mitchell Duneier
Richard P. Appelbaum
Deborah Carr

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