Sociologists are interested in society. Some argue that society shapes us. Others argue that we shape society and we have free will.
What they all agree on however is that sociology is primarily about social life. In other words learned behaviour and characteristics.
So what is social and what is biological?
Cases of feral children have been studied in order to establish what is social and what is biological.
Much of what we assume to be biological is actually shaped by culture and society. There is very little if anything therefore that is not open to sociological study.
The study of feral children shows us that without human socialisation, we are not fully human.
What kind of human you become depends very much on culture. Different cultures have different norms and values etc. which to them seem normal and natural.
(yellow as sociology induction assignment hand out)
Norms; behaviours and actions that people can do without being judged or thought to be unusual.
Values; beliefs that there are ways in which we expect to be treated for example our right to privacy and politeness and manners.
Roles; the way we act in different situations. The part we play when we interact in different situations or times in our life.
Role conflict; when you have more than one role and they cross over each other so it is difficult to know which one to play.
Status; the role or rank a person has in society depending on their occupation, fame or respect from their community. Status can be changed for better or for worse depending on how you act on changing people’s views of you.
Ascribed status; the status that you are born with and have no choice or are powerless to, whether you are given this status can depend on things such as ethnicity, gender or class.
Achieved status; this is a status that you can earn by