Humans are, at their very core, social animals- more akin to pack or herd animals than to individualistic cats. (Pgs 4-5)
Humans were not made to be solitary creatures; although there are introverts, extraverts, and we all enjoy some alone time we also crave both physical and mental stimulation from others. In the book we are given an example about a boy who decided to sail alone around the world and stated that he learned a lot about people by doing so. He was able to take the time alone and reflect upon his relationships with others as well as feeling what being in solitude for long amounts of time do to someone. Proof that we are solitary creatures can also be seen in prisons. Prisons are largely social places where there are different groups, hierarchies, and codes; still a major punishment in prison is to be put in solitary confinement. I also enjoyed within the book that they stated the social world is not only something that exists outside of us but it is also something that we carry within us. Even in our alone time we keep a running dialogue in our heads, or a stream of consciousness. We also use alone time to reflect upon our interactions with others and maybe even create different social scenarios and experiment with how we might react.
Sociology is based on scientific findings, making it more reliable than commonsense beliefs in a particular culture. (Pgs 5-9)
Much of what people believe is influenced by others. Whether it be from personal experiences, judgments based on the beliefs of family or friends, what we take in from the media, or stereotypes. Because of this what we believe is sometimes incorrect, instead of being based on scientific data or research. The same goes for common sense, because of the term these things are often deemed finite and unquestionable but this is very far from the truth. Instead of taking common sense and accepting it at its face value sociology instead uses scientific methods to test the accuracy of common sense beliefs and ideas that society has. For example one of the most commonly accepted “common sense” facts were gendered norms and stereotypes. The “fact” that women are always nurturers and men are more stoic and strong. Because of the contributions of sociology it is now understood that gender and sex are two very different things and gender is something that is socially defined and constrained whereas sex is biological. Sociology has also studied how these “common sense” beliefs have impacted other parts of society. Following along with the gendered norms stereotypes we can see how it has impacted in many countries the amount and quality of education that women receive because why would they need much education to be a wife and mother? It can also be seen in the far reaching affects it has on how differently men and women are treated in society. From marketing and violence against women to what women feel everyday.
Sociology is a social science and, therefore, uses the tools of the sciences to establish credible evidence to understand our social world. As a science, sociology is scientific and objective rather than value laden. (Pgs 12-13)
What I find extremely difficult about thinking from a sociological viewpoint is learning and practicing techniques that avoid letting my personal opinions get involved and remaining objective. Because of this objectivity sociology relies on their data and expect to be held accountable for their work. Social sciences including sociology, anthropology, and psychology look to learn more about the human experience and have changed the way we view people by going beyond stereotypes and examining different relationships and human behaviors. Although many of the social sciences like sociology and anthropology are very similar there are also some social sciences, like sociology and psychology, which differ greatly. Psychology looks at the individual rather than the group and although seeks to identify human behavior