I learned that Sociology is the scientific study of society and human behavior, and Sociological Perspective stresses the social contexts in which people live. It examines how these contexts influence people’s lives. At the center is the question of how groups influence people, and how people are influenced by their society. To find out why people do what they do, sociologists look at social location, the corners in life that people occupy because of where they are located n a society, i.e., jobs, income, education, gender, age, and race, are significant. Sociologist C. Wright Mills: “The sociological perspective enables us to grasp the connection between history and biography.” History being, each society is located in a broad stream of events. Because of this, each society has specific characteristics, such as ideas about proper roles for men and women. Biography is the individual’s specific experiences. Our experiences and external influences become part of our thinking and motivations. We don’t do what we do because of inherited internal mechanisms, such as instincts. The societies in which we grew up, and our particular corners in the society, lie at the corner stone of what we do and how we think.
Something is the society within us. Why are hamburgers delicious? Because something tells us they are delicious – the society we live in. I learned Sciences are divided in natural science; to comprehend, explain, and predict events in the natural environment. And social science, which seek to understand the social world objectively by means of controlled and repeated observations. Natural Sciences: are the intellectual and academic disciplines designed to comprehend, explain, and predict the events in our natural environment. Specialized fields of natural science according to subject matter include: biology, geology, chemistry, and physics.
I found it interesting to learn that social sciences examine human relationships, i.e., Psychology focuses on the processes that occur within the individual; primarily on mental processes (what occurs in the brain or the mind). Sociology is similar to the other social sciences; how people govern one another, what happens to the goods and services of society – but sociologists place their focus on the social consequences of production and distribution. Sociologists do not concentrate on a single social institution – they focus primarily on industrialized societies, and stress factors external to the individual to determine what influences people. Economics study the production and distribution of the material goods and services of a society, i.e., what goods are being produced at what rate and at what cost, and how they will be distributed. Political science is the politics and government, the study of how people govern themselves. Anthropology – the sister discipline of sociology, understand culture, a people’s total way of life, i.e., the groups artifacts, such as its tools, art, and weapons; the groups structure – how its members interact with one another. If found the study of Values, Norms, and Sanctions especially interesting with Values being people’s ideas of what is desirable in life, and Norms being the expectations concerning the right way to reflect values; rules of behavior, that develop our of a group’s values. Sanctions refer to the reactions people get for following or breaking norms. A positive sanction is an expression of approval given for following a norm, i.e., monetary awards, prizes, hugs, smiles, etc…, while a negative sanction reflects disapproval for breaking a norm, i.e., harsh words or gestures, stares, raised fists, etc…
Folkways and Mores: Folkways are norms that are not strictly enforced, walking down the street with no shirt. Mores are norms taken more seriously; our core values, i.e., rape, stealing, murder. Taboo refers to norms strongly ingrained that even the thought of its violation is greeted with revulsion, i.e., eating human flesh – judged as to not fit to live in the same society as others; sanctions are severe and may include prison, banishment or death.