Origins Of Sociology Chapter Notes

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Chapter 1 Notes Origins of Sociology
● 9000 B.C.­ Domestication of Plants
○ Abundant stable food supply.
○ Stable settlements and eventually cities.
○ Food Surplus brought conflict and social stratification.
● Industrialization
­ move to cities in 17th and 18th Century social philosophers.
○ Sociology emerged in response to the intellectual ferment and confusion.
● Two factors that supported the development of sociology.
○ Examples of natural sciences.
○ Exposure of Europe to different societies through colonial expansion.
● Auguste Compte
(1798­1857) (Europe)
○ Father of Sociology
○ French Revolution overthrew aristocracy and entire social order.
○ He analyzed how societies changed.
○ He believed in observation and experimentation .
○ Empiricism
­ Study of observable facts.
○ Considered the “founder of sociology.”
○ Comte’s philosophy became known as positivism ­ a belief that the world can best be understood through scientific inquiry.
● Harriet Martineau (1802­1867)
○ Believed society would improve when:
■ Women and men were treated equally
■ Enlightened reform occurred
■ Cooperation existed among all social classes
● Herbert Spencer (1820­1903)
○ Contributed an evolutionary perspective on social order and social change.
○ Social Darwinism
■ The belief that the human beings best adapted to their environment survive and prosper, whereas those poorly adapted die out.
● Emile Durkheim (1858­1917)
○ Believed the limits of human potential are socially based.
○ One of his most important contributions was the concept of social facts
■ Social facts are patterned ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that exist outside any one individual but exert social control over each person.
● Max Weber (1864­1920)
○ Believed sociological research should exclude personal values and economic interests.
○ Provided insights on rationalization, bureaucracy and religion.
● Karl Marx (1818­1883)
○ Viewed history as a clash between conflicting ideas and forces.
○ Believed class conflict produced social change and a better society.
○ Combined ideas from philosophy, history, and social science into a new theory.
● Georg Simmel (1858­1918)
○ Theorized about society as a web of patterned interactions among people.
○ Analyzed how social interactions vary depending on the size of the social group


Developed formal sociology, an approach that focuses attention on the universal recurring social forms that underlie the varying content of social interaction.
● Jane Addams (1860­1935)
○ Founded Hull House, one of the most famous settlement houses, in Chicago.
○ One of the authors of a methodology text used by sociologist for the next forty years.
○ Awarded Nobel Prize for assistance to the underprivileged. (Won the prize for helping the poor.) ○ She wanted to apply sociology knowledge to helping people.
■ Identify the problem.
■ Gather info about the problem.
■ Set up social action policy.
■ Organize political leaders... if you can.
● W. E. B. Du Bois (1868­1963)
○ One of the first to note the identity conflict of being both a black and an American.
○ Pointed out that people in the U.S. espouse values of democracy, freedom, and equality while they accept racism and group discrimination.
● Sociology in America­ Late 19th Century
○ Early emphasis­ social reform. (fix the problems)
○ Knowledge for its own sake. (study so we understand it)
● Objectives:
○ Describe the patterns of interaction.
○ Devise theories to explain patterns of interaction.
○ Change existing social conditions.
■ Objective
­ see the world as it is­ facts/truth.
■ Subjective
­ using personal values/feelings.
● Behavioral Sciences in Perspective
○ Anthropology
○ Sociology
○ Psychology
■ Social Psychology
The Sociological Research Process
● Research
­ process of systematically collecting information for the purpose of testing an existing theory or generating a new