What is Sociology
The study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society
Sociology refers to social behavior, society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life
Sociology - study of social behavior from group perspective
Psychology - study of behavior
History - study of the past
Political science - study of government
Anthropology - study of comparing past and present
Economics - study of scarcity of goods
It is impossible to view society in an objective lenses without separating yourself from your own perspective. Your values, ideals, norms, etc... will add judgement and prejudice.
When studying sociology, it is important to separate your own perspective. Hence, you will be viewing a situation from a sociological perspective.
This will allow you to acknowledge other ways of social reality
Understanding that you and your social reality exists in a bigger world view with many different social realities is crucial to understanding and studying sociology.
Recognizing this difference is called the sociological imagination
Sociology as a Science
Sociology research is conducted the same way that hard science research is conducted, by use of the scientific method, just instead of chemical reactions and dissections, sociologists use people and groups.
Define the Problem - what are we studying
Review the Literature - what do we know
Form a Hypothesis - what is the current thought
Choose a research design - how to conduct experiments
Collect the Data - record and observe
Analyze the Data - what does the data mean
Present Conclusions - what are we adding to the field of knowledge
Cause and Correalation
Sociologists must determine what is causing the findings and what correalations exist. They do this by determining the variables (anything that different) to know if the difference makes the reacts differently.
Basic Research Methods
Survey - questionnaires or interviews
Analysis of existing sources
Observational studies - case studies with participants
Experiment - using variables to find results
Statistical Analysis - using math and gathered statistics
Ethics of Research
Sociologists, whenever using human participants, must be aware of privacy of participants as well as telling them what is going on, as deceiving can give false results.
However, some experiments require deception so participants must at least know any risks and consent to experimentation. This is called informed consent.