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1: Sociology and the Sociological Perspective
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- 1.1: The Sociological Perspective
- Most Americans probably agree that we enjoy a great amount of freedom. And yet perhaps we have less freedom than we think. Although we have the right to choose how to believe and act, many of our choices are affected by our society, culture, and social institutions in ways we do not even realize. Perhaps we are not as distinctively individualistic as we might like to think.
- 1.2: Sociology as a Social Science
- A generalization in sociology is a general statement regarding a trend between various dimensions of our lives: gender and suicide rate, race and voting choice, and so forth. Many people will not fit the pattern of such a generalization, because people are shaped but not totally determined by their social environment. Sociology is fascinating because no matter how much sociologists are able to predict people’s behavior, attitudes, and life chances, many people will not fit the predictions.
- 1.3: Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology
- We have talked repeatedly about “a” sociological perspective, as if all sociologists share the same beliefs on how society works. This implication is misleading. Although all sociologists would probably accept the basic premise that social backgrounds affect people’s attitudes, behavior, and life chances, their views as sociologists differ in many other ways.
- 1.4: Doing Sociological Research
- Research is an essential component of the social, natural, and physical sciences. This section briefly describes the elements and types of sociological research.
- 1.S: Sociology and the Sociological Perspective (Summary)