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Sociology 1301 Lecture Notes Sam Houston State University

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James Moore
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Sociology

Whole lot of extra credit

4 exams and quizzes all need scantrons

o Only on Fridays are the quizzes and

Officially need the book by Friday

Chapter 1

Introduction to Sociology

Sociology: study of human social relationships, groups, and societies.

Understand human behavior, social relations, and social institutions

Scientific approach & research methods

Critical Thinking

The ability to evaluate claims about truth by using reason and evidence

o Recognizes poor arguments

o Rejects statements not supported by evidence

o Questions our assumptions

The Sociological Imagination

Relationship between individual lives and larger social forces that shape them

o Relationship between private troubles and public issues

o Where biography and history intersect

o Examples:

An unhappy couple => National divorce rate

A person loses his or her job => Unemployment trends

Agency and Structure

Agency: the ability to exercise free will and make social change on a small or

large scale

Structure: patterned social arrangements that enable or constrain agency

Example: Going to College

C, Wright Mills

o Power elite: small group of wealthy businessmen, military leaders, and

politicians make key decisions for country in their own interests

Sociological Theories

Logical frameworks for the interpretation of social life

Glasses paradigms

Macro-level: large-scale patterns and institutions

Micro-level: social relations and interactions in specific, individual situations

The Functionalist Perspective

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