These viewpoints derive from:Individualistic assumptions that don't recognise the importance of wider social forces. Naturalistic assumptions that don't recognise that behaviour is primarily social (learned) not biological (innate).
Examples of sociological explanation MarriageNaturalistic explanation: It is only natural that a man and woman should live together for life because they fall in love and want to raise children.
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Mating patterns depend on a variety of economic and social factors. The domestic role of womenNaturalistic explanation: Women raise children because this satisfies maternal instincts, and the children's need for a mother. Sociological explanation: Ideals concerning domesticity and femininity confine women to the home.
PovertyIndividualistic explanation: People are poor because they are lazy or stupid and can't handle money, or have no skills. Sociological explanation: Suicide is socially patterned. Suicide is governed primarily by social factors such as religion, family and marriage patterns, and not by individual factors.
SuicideIndividualistic explanation: The most individual of all acts, committed by a person who is unhappy or mentally ill 16 Mar 2015 - You will gain an introduction to key ideas and thinkers in sociology, and can be a good choice of A-level for prospective Sociology students..
Chapter 1. an introduction to sociology - bc open textbooks
Suicide is governed primarily by social factors such as religion, family and marriage patterns, and not by individual factors. Public issues/personal troublesWhen starting to think sociologically, it is important to try and start by asking the right questions.
To do this, we need to employ what Mills called 'the Sociological Imagination'. If one person is unemployed, Mills argued that this was a personal problem, and for that person, a trouble.
As long as there are jobs available, we look to character or training for an explanation. But, when a large proportion of a nation's labour force is unemployed, it is impossible to explain this in terms of individuals. We instead look at the groups they belong to and their organization, the way society is organised, for an explanation.
If one marriage fails, this is a personal trouble.
When, as in contemporary western society, divorce assumes epidemic proportions, then although it appears as a personal problem to each couple, we are justified in seeking an explanation outside of individuals Examples of sociological explanation Marriage Naturalistic explanation: It is We have learned them, they are accepted as 'natural', they become 'common sense'. This reading is a good example of how, through socialisation, we are taught .
The same point could be made as regards other sociological concerns, for example: child abuse, domestic violence and poverty. Stokely Carmichael makes a similar point to Mills but substitutes the terms individual and institutional for public and personal:'When unidentified white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children, that is an act of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the world, but when in that same city, Birmingham, Alabama, five hundred black babies die each year because of lack of proper food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands more are destroyed or maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, that is a function of institutionalised racism.
'Carmichael 1968 The impact of culture In the reading below what it is important to grasp is that even when we believe we are acting freely and making individual choices, we are following rules that are prior to our existence and which exist outside of ourselves. We have learned them, they are accepted as 'natural', they become 'common sense'. And, in as much as we allow ourselves to be guided by these rules, our behaviour is determined by them.
This reading is a good example of how, through socialisation, we are taught to police our own behaviour.
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This is important to stress because it shows us that even in the areas where society apparently allows us some choice the powerful hand of the past narrows down this choice even further Introduction to Sociology – 1st Canadian Edition You move out of the way when someone needs to get by, and you say “excuse me” when you need to leave..
''Let us take, for example, a scene in which a pair of lovers is sitting in the moonlight.
Let us further imagine that this moonlight session turns out to be the decisive one, in which a proposal of marriage is made and accepted. They who are dead have long ago written the script for almost every move that is made.
The notion that sexual attraction can be translated into romantic love. the idea that a man should fixate his sexual drive permanently and exclusively on a single woman, with whom he is to share bed, bathroom and the boredom of a thousand bleary-eyed , the assumption that the initiative in the establishment of this wondrous arrangement should be in the hands of the male, with the female graciously succumbing to the impetuous onslaught of his wooing.
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It is not only that they are supposed to fall in love and enter into a monogamous marriage in which she gives up her name and he his solvency, but this love must be manufactured at all cost or the marriage will seem insincere to all concerned. Each step in their courtship is laid down in social ritual, and, although there is always some leeway for improvisation, too much adlibbing is likely to risk the success of the whole operation.
In this way, our couple progress predictably from movie dates, to church dates, to meeting-the-family dates, from holding hands to tentative explorations of what they originally planned to save for afterwards, from planning their evening to planning their suburban r of them has invented this game or any part of it. They have only decided that it is with each other, rather than with other possible partners, that they will play it.
Family, friends, clergy, salesmen of jewellery and of life insurance, florists and interior decorators, ensure that the remainder of the game will also be played by the established rules. Nor, indeed, do all these guardians of tradition have to exert much pressure on the principal players, since the expectations of their social world have long ago been built into their own projections of the future - they want precisely that which society expects of them.
'Source: Invitation to Sociology, Peter Berger, Pelican, 1966 1) Your job in in-class presentations is to get the class thinking about the reading. Rather, focus on one or two key issues, answer some of my web-posted .
Playing rolesUnlike the previous reading, the one below is an attempt to correct the balance as regards our ability to choose how we behave.
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That is, that humans think about what it is they want to achieve, and how best to achieve it. The situation: Preedy, a vacationing Englishman, makes his first appearance on the beach of his summer hotel in Spain.
First of all, he had to make clear to those potential companions of his holiday that they were of no concern to him whatsoever.
He stared through them, round them, over them - eyes lost in space. If by chance a ball was thrown his way, he looked surprised; then let a smile of amusement lighten his face (kindly Preedy), looked round dazed to see that there were people on the beach, tossed it back with a smile to himself and not a smile at the people, and then resumed carelessly his nonchalant survey of space.
But it was time to institute a little parade, the parade of the Ideal Preedy Course Progress, Best Score Go to chapter Introduction to Sociology: The Basics · Practice test: Introduction to Sociology: The Basics. Week. Ch 2..
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The marriage of Preedy and the sea! There were alternative rituals. The first involved the stroll that turns into a run and a dive straight into the water, thereafter smoothing into a strong splashless crawl towards the horizon.
Quite suddenly, he would turn onto his back and thrash great white splashes with his legs, somehow thus showing that he could have swum further had he wanted to, and then would stand up a quarter out of the water for all to see who it was.
The alternative course was simpler, it avoided the cold-water shock and it avoided the risk of appearing too high-spirited. The point was to appear to be so used to the sea (the Mediterranean) and this particular beach, that one might as well be in the sea as out of it. It involved a slow stroll down and into the edge of the water - not even noticing his toes were wet, land and water all the same to him! With his eyes up at the sky gravely surveying portents (invisible to others) of the weather (local fisherman Preedy).
'Source: A Contest of Ladies, William Sansom, Hogarth, !956. Just click "Find out more" and get £10 off your first tutorial