Sociological Imagination-intersection between individual lives and larger social influences
Ex: connection between personal troubles (biography) and structural (public and historical) issues-if some people are unemployed, that’s a personal trouble. But if unemployment is widespread, it’s a public issue, because economic opportunities have collapsed and the problem requires solutions at the societal rather than the individual level.
Auguste Comte-“father of sociology,” study of sociology is empirical (information based on observations, experiments, or experiences rather than on ideology, religion, or intuition; studied 2 aspects of society (social statics-investigates how principles of social order explain a particular society, as well as the interconnections between structures)&(social dynamics-explores how individuals and societies change over time)
Ex: relationship between education and politics (social statics) and how their interconnections change over time (social dynamics).
Harriet Martineau-emphasized importance of systematic data collection through observation and interviews, and an objective analysis of records in explaining events and behavior, and published the first methodology text for sociology; feminist; anti-slavery; published books; dismissed as too radical.
Emile Durkheim-French sociologist and writer agreed with Comte that societies are characterized by unity and cohesion because its members are bound together by common interests and attitudes; believed Comte didn’t show that sociology could be scientific; study social facts-aspects of social life, external to the individual, that can be measured (material facts examined by demographic characteristics & nonmaterial facts by observing everyday behavior and how people relate to each other through communication & social currents such as collective behavior and social movements); social solidarity (social cohesiveness) maintained by division of labor (interdependence of different tasks and occupations, characteristics of industrialized societies, that produce social unity and facilitate change-as division of labor becomes more specialized, people become more dependent on one another for specific goods); showed importance of testing theory empirically; found suicide rates reflected the degree to which individuals were integrated into family, group, and community life (more integrated, less likely to commit suicide)
Karl Marx: German social philosopher; during Industrial Revolution like Comte and Durkheim; economic issues produce divisiveness; capitalism (means of production are in private hands-land, factories, large sums of money, and machines) & there are 3 social classes (capitalists-owners & petit bourgeoisie-small business owner who are likely to be outcompeted & proletariat-working class) and there is a division between the haves and have-nots; division leads to alienation.
Max Weber-German sociologist, economist, legal scholar, historian, and politician; disagreed with Marx that economics played a major role in explaining society; focused on social organization, a subjective understanding of behavior, and a value-free sociology; economic factors, ideas, religious values, ideologies, and charismatic leaders are crucial; his Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (self-denial fostered by Calvinism strengthened predestination); didn’t dismiss “objective research,” but to understand society requires a “subjective” understanding of behavior; verstehen requires knowing how people perceive the world they live in through direct observational understanding and uses explanatory understanding to explain it; value-free (one who separates their own personal values, opinions, ideology, and beliefs from scientific research).
Jane Addams-social worker; served the poor community; leader in woman’s suffrage movement.
W.E.B. Du Bois-argued NAACP should be run by blacks not whites; wanted to