SOC 101

Chapter 1





What is Sociology?

Sociology – the scientific study of human interaction and the products of such interaction

Components of sociology




common sense knowledge



sociology as a science which is superior to common sense knowledge

the main focus of sociology – group

the ultimate questions of sociology: how and why human beings act the way they do?

Macro-sociology and micro-sociology


The Founding Fathers of Sociology

Auguste Comte

Herbert Spencer

Emile Durkheim

Karl Marx

Max Weber

Sociology in America

Charles H. Cooley

George H. Mead

Talcott Parsons

Robert Merton



SOC 101                                                            

Chapter 1







What is theory?

Concepts, statements, relationships between factors

Pure and applied science

The Functionalist Theory

Rooted in the writings of Spencer, Durkheim, Parsons and Merton

The key questions: whether each different part contributes to the smooth functioning of the whole?

Sees society as a biological organism

Society characterized by cooperation, consensus, and balance

The various parts of society are interdependent and functionally related.

Stress harmony and stability – having a conservative bias?

Conflict Theory

Rooted in the work of Marx and Weber and other critics of the 19th century

The key questions: who benefits what and why?

Sees society as constantly changing in response to social inequality and social conflict

Conflict is beneficial to society

Too much on conflict and change but too little on what produces stability

The Interactionalist Perspective

The key questions: how do people make sense of the world in which they participate?

Seeks to understand social life and human behavior from the standpoint of the individuals involved in day-to-day interaction

Symbolic Interactionalist Approach –

Human beings can create symbols and interpret the meanings.

The definition of situation has consequences and affects social interaction.

Sociology and other Social Sciences:



Political Science

Social Work



SOC 101

Chapter 1










What is Methodology?

A system of rules, principles, and procedures that guide scientific investigation

The scientific approach –

The Research Process- a sequence of steps that is followed when designing and carrying out a research project

Define the problem

Review previous literature

Develop hypothesis – a testable statement about the relationship between two more variables

Determine the research design




Define the sample and collect data

Analyze the data and draw conclusion

Report the results

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