Crash Course Sociology


Social science is the
investigation of human social connections
and organizations. Human science’s topic is
differing, extending from wrongdoing to religion, from
the family to the state, from the divisions of
race and social class to the mutual convictions
of a typical society, and from social steadiness to a radical
change in entire social orders. Bringing together the investigation
of these differing subjects of study is human science’s motivation of seeing
how human activity and awareness both shape and are formed by encompassing
social and social structures. It is an energizing and lighting up
field of study that breaks down and clarifies essential matters in our own
lives, our groups, and the world. At the individual level, human
science researches the social causes and results of such
things as sentimental adoration, racial and sex personality,
family struggle, degenerate conduct, maturing, and
religious confidence. At the societal level, human
science inspects and clarifies matters like wrongdoing and
law, neediness and riches, bias and segregation, schools
and training, business firms, urban group, and
social developments. At the worldwide level, human science
concentrates such marvels as populace development and movement, war and
peace, and monetary improvement. Let’s not waste any more time and dig in
to see what we have got in here for you! WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY Starting off with the most
basic question always helps. I am going to introduce you
to the basics of this subject first so that we can discuss
it in details later on. We always tend to talk a lot
about topics while being completely unaware of the
basics of the subject. Sociology, a very complex term
in itself, comprises of the scientific study of the human
behaviors and the society, the interactions between the
members of the society etc. While a sociologist is conducting his
research, he is going to be interested in getting to know more about the
culture of a particular region, the social groups that are present
in that are as well as the other organizations there, the
criminology of that region, the social inequalities, and other issues
that are prevailing in the society. Basically, the list is never ending and it
could go on and on but the point was to let you know the kind of things that are
a sociologist in interested in knowing. You will become more and more
accustomed to the human society and its norms once you get to study
this discipline in more details. The subject itself is further
divided into branches that include: anthropology, economics, political
science and psychology etc. I can explain the brief
difference between psychology and sociology, because most people
tend to confuse the two, by telling you that in psychology
you study the behavioral patterns of individual beings
but when it comes to sociology, you are going to study the pattern
that is followed by the whole society. We have all seen certain behavioral
norms that are present only in a particular geographical region
or in a particular race etc. This is exactly what we study in sociology. THE ORIGIN OF SOCIOLOGY Like any other subject, there is a
lot of dispute on how it all started but most people agree on it that
Ibn-e-Khaldun, an Islamic scholar, was the first person ever to
introduce the concept of sociology. He is known as the father of
sociology because he was the one who introduced the concept of social
conflict and social cohesion. He convinced people to
think of these things on the basis of
scientific reasoning. The word sociology, itself,
has Greek and Latin origins. SOCIOLOGY – A DISCIPLINE The university of Chicago holds
the title of being the first ever University to introduce the
subject of sociology, formally. The introduction of this subject
was important in order to study the diverse cultures that
are spread all over the world. It is not important for you to
understand how it all started, what is important to know is that WHY was it
made a discipline of the universities. Why was the need felt to study
this subject separately? The foundation of sociology
was laid upon the basis of positivism and
anti-positivism theories that we are going to
elaborate later in the book. At this point, you must be feeling
really intrigued and why shouldn’t you? Don’t worry, it is going to get
more and more interesting. You are going to enjoy
the different aspects of this topic that are
going to come forward. By now, you know the basic definition
of the subject at least, don’t you? Well, then, let’s move on to the next
chapter and explore it for more details. BRANCHES OF SOCIOLOGY Here, in this chapter, I am going to
enumerate the branches of sociology so that you get to know more about
the topics that this subject covers. THEORETICAL SOCIOLOGY Theoretical sociology is one of the
most complex branches of sociology. We study how the relation
between the social facts of the world as well as how and why
they happen in the first place. This is what we study particularly
in the theoretical sociology. There is a diverse range of topics
that can be studied under this branch, starting from a single
process to a number of events that are related to each other
and on the basis of these, you can actually analyze and predict
the future events as well. HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY Historical sociology is,
basically, the study of the social groups or civilizations
as well as social facts. You are going to study
the background of any social events that are
happening in the society. You may even study how different
civilizations or organizations originated. For example, you can study about the origin
and lineage of Roman, Greek etc. descent. CRIMINOLOGY This particular branch of
sociology is just meant to study the criminal attitude of
individuals as well as groups. You get to monitor and study
the behavior of these people. The main aim of this branch
is to get to know the origin of the crime as in how it even
started in the first place. You also study the nature of the crime
and the different types of the crime along with the causes of these crimes
and the reasons that lead to them. The law that is present with respect to
those crimes and the punishments that are being associated with them are being
studied in this one branch of sociology. The role that police is playing
against these crimes and the efforts that the whole populations, as
well as the security agencies, are playing in getting rid of these
crimes are being studied in this branch. RELIGIOUS SOCIOLOGY There is no state in this world that
is free of the influence of religion. There is always a very obvious influence of
religion on the people who believe in it. In this branch, you are going to
study the structural setting of a particular religion in a society
and the impact that it has. With respect to the religion, you are
going to study the behavior of the people living in the society and how sensitive
they are regarding the religious aspects. The religious constitutions,
their role, and impact is also studied in this
branch of sociology. The elementary forms of religious life
are studied in this branch as well. ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY Economic sociology is somewhat similar
to what we study in economics but the difference is in the
perspective with which we study that. We are going to study about the
production of the goods and then the distribution, consumption, and exchange
of goods and services in this branch. The economic activities of a particular
society are also being studied, while focusing on the socio-cultural factors
that influence the people of a society. All the factors that affect the
members of the society, with respect to the economic aspect,
are being studied in this topic. The role of culture
in the access and distribution of goods
is also being studied. For example, you can study
why Hindus don’t eat cow and this will explain a lot about
this aspect of the economy. RURAL SOCIOLOGY Rural population plays
a very major role in a country’s economy and
everything else also. In many countries, the rural population
is higher than the urban population and hence, it is really important
to pay attention to this subject. You are going to study the way of life
that people have in the rural areas. There is a significant difference between
the urban and rural way of life. You study the pattern
of life including the traditions, norms, values,
culture, behavior, belief etc in this branch and
you will see how they are really different from what
we see in urban population. You will get to know the rural culture
in more detail along with the social structure that they have and the social
processes that they have to go through. You also get to know about the
social pressures that only the people living in rural
areas have to go through. URBAN SOCIOLOGY Like we talked about rural
sociology, there are a lot of things that are only
associated with urban culture. You are going to study all
of that in urban sociology. You will get a clear idea about the
lifestyle in the urban culture. The social organizations present in
the urban culture as well as the interaction and the social structure
are being studied in this branch. The problems that are present
in the urban life including robbery, crimes, corruption,
environmental pollution, prostitution, as well as unemployment, are
also being studied here under this branch. POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY As the name indicates, this
branch refers to the political history as well as the ongoing
political events of a society. You are going to study about the different
political ideologies along with how they originated, their development
and the function that they have. The method for studying this subject is
that you take different parties and you consider them as separate institutions and
then you conduct your research on them. These parties are a part
of the social system that is present in a
particular place and so they are studied in detail
along with the activities and behavior of the
various parties present. SOCIOLOGY OF LAW The law is very important for a society
because it plays a very major role in formulating the rules and regulations
that a society has to follow. This is a very complex
branch as it is linked with a lot of different
aspects of the society including the economic
conditions as well as the literacy rate present
in a society etc. The law is one of those
factors that lay the basis of a society and hence it can
play a very major role. This is why this particular
subject needs a lot of attention. INDUSTRIAL SOCIOLOGY Industries have a very major
impact on the economic conditions of a country
and so in this branch, we are going to study the
relation between different industrial organizations
and institutions. The relationship between
industries and different organizations is also being
studied in this branch. SOCIOLOGY OF DEMOGRAPHY Demography is the study of population. In this branch of sociology,
we study the size, density, situation, composition,
distribution, measurement etc. Detailed analysis of human
population is being done. The factors that influence
the changing trends in a population are being studied
in this particular branch. Precisely, these are all the branches
of sociology that are present. I wanted you to know the details of
all the possible aspects that this subject covers so that you get to
know the diversity that it offers. As I assured you, in the
beginning, this topic is going to get more and more
interesting as you read on. Let’s move on to the next important
thing that needs to be discussed. THREE MAJOR PERSPECTIVES IN SOCIOLOGY Now, after getting to know about the
branches of sociology, the next important thing is to get to know about the three
basic perspectives of sociology. These three perspectives form
the basis of sociology and so we are going to discuss
the foundation in detail. These three perspectives are: INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE Interactionist perspective, also known
as the symbolic interactionism, aims at focusing on the details and symbols
that are present in the daily life. The meaning of these
symbols is also studied in this perspective
in great details. You also get to study
the interactions among people in detail in
this perspective. The way people interact
with each other is being scrutinized in detail with
respect to this theory. ORIGIN OF THIS PERSPECTIVE The origin of this perspective dates
back to 1920s when an American philosopher known as George H. Mead
introduced this concept to sociology. The basic idea behind this concept
was that people reach to different situations according to their own
interpretation of the meaning of the world. Don’t get baffled by this
statement because we are going to explain it in greater detail
in the coming paragraphs. MEANING OF THIS PERSPECTIVE The basic meaning of this
perspective is that people associate certain meanings
to different symbols and then they act to
situations according to their subjective understanding
of those symbols. This is the reason why verbal conversations
hold more significance because words that are spoken hold a certain meaning and
it is easier to interpret that meaning. This is exactly what this
perspective focuses on. It focuses on taking meanings out
of the different symbols based on what people think of those symbols
and what they interpret from them. You will be surprised to see how
different the interpretations can be for the very same thing
that two people are looking at. For example, if we are looking
at an expensive designer bag, one person might think of it
as the epitome of classiness and all but the other person might
think of the same thing as just a stupid accessory that people
shouldn’t waste so much money on. This is what we are talking about when we say
that there are different interpretations of one symbol and that everyone perceives
things according to their own opinion. Next up is the second
perspective that is present in sociology which is
equally important. THE FUNCTIONALIST PERSPECTIVE The functionalist perspective,
also called as functionalism, focuses majorly on the events
that occur in a society. WHAT DOES IT SAY? According to this perspective, everything
that happens in a society is inter-linked and will have an obvious impact on the
overall functionality of the society. This can be elaborated
with the example that the government is responsible
for providing education to the children of a family and
the family in return pays taxes to the government which it depends
on upon for its functioning. This basically shows how everything
is interdependent in the society. The family is dependent upon the government
for the good education of their children so that these children grow up to be
educated individuals and earn good money. These educated individuals are
eventually going to help the state by becoming law abiding citizens
that pay their taxes on time etc. If the system keeps on going
like this, the country is going to move towards
prosperity and success and if it doesn’t go as planned
then there needs to be some change of plans that can
make the outcome get better. Let’s take the example of a
social recession for this matter. Schools start to offer fewer courses during
this time and families make sure that they cut out their extra expenses because
the point is to adapt accordingly. This is what we are trying to explain to
you here that how anything that happens in a society, affects everything and so
all the individuals learn to adapt to it. The point that a functionalist
put forward is that a society works well when things
are done in collaboration. When people unanimously agree to
something and then work towards achieving particular goals, only then
can a society function properly. This is exactly what this approach means. There are two kinds of
agreements or solidarities that people living in
a society can show. That include: MECHANICAL COHESION Mechanical cohesion is when people
living in the society agree upon similar goals, values, and beliefs and then
they get busy in similar kinds of work. This kind of solidarity primarily
occurs in simpler and smaller societies where everyone just
tries to work on the same thing. For example, there is a large group
of people and all of them work in an industry then all of them are
going to try to give their best to this industry and do their
respective jobs with a lot of devotion so that they can achieve
the targets that they have set. ORGANIC COHESION This kind of cohesion occurs
when people living in a society are dependent on each
other for various things but all of them have their own
set of values and beliefs and all of them are busy in
different types of work. Primarily, they are all doing
their own respective jobs but at the end of the day, they are
all dependent upon each other. This is seen in more complex urban
settings where there are different roles that a human being can play and different
tasks that they have to fulfill. MAJOR CONTRIBUTION For this functionalist
approach, the most important contribution has been
given by the American sociologist Robert Merton, according to whom,
human functions can be divided into two. Those are: Manifest functions are
the ones that you do on purpose and intentionally
and are quite obvious. Latent functions, on the other
hand, are the ones that are unintentional and you don’t even
realize while doing those things. They aren’t even that
obvious for you to notice. Like any other thing that is
being introduced, there are good and bad sides to this
perspective as well and hence, there are people who support
this perspective and then there are those who
are completely against it. The ones that are against it, have their
own point of views but mostly what they say is that this doesn’t let the
society grow and change for good. Anyhow, let’s move on to the third and the
last perspective that we have regarding sociology and I am sure you are going to
find that really interesting as well. THE CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE This is the perspective
that is nothing like the other two that you
have studied earlier. The things that you have
read in the previous two perspectives were
looked upon from a very different angle while this
perspective highlights a very different
aspect of the society. First, I would like to tell you the
difference between the above two perspectives and this one so that
you know where the difference lies. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? The difference lies in the
fact that these other two perspectives primarily
focus upon the positive aspects of the society as
in the things that can make a society better and
can make it more stable. The conflict perspective
focuses on something else. It talks about the
negative side of the society, the side that
is full of conflicts. In the functionalist approach, we
are being told that people work together to make the society better
and the society doesn’t change etc. In the conflict perspective, we give
more of a reality check to people. We focus on the fact that the
society changes and that powerful and resourceful people always
have an upper hand in the society and they force the social order onto the
weak and poor people in the society. A lot of debate has been
done on whether or not this perspective carries
any importance or not. Initially, it wasn’t given much
importance in comparison to the more important functionalist
perspective but in the 1960s, the sociologists were
really keen to dig more into the details of the
conflict perspective. They found this rather
interesting that how a society’s negativity can lead to
the trends set there. MAIN CONFLICT According to Marx, the most important
conflict in the society is always economic. This was believed initially. Today, most of the conflict theorists
believe that the conflict can be of any type, be it religious, economic,
racial, political or gender-based etc. The point to be noted is that the groups
that have a certain conflict among them, they keep on fighting over it and
keep competing against each other. This is exactly how the society and its
nature keeps on changing from time to time. There are a lot of critics from this
perspective as well who believe that this perspective only talks about the
negativity prevailing in the society and does not at all take into account any
goodness that is present in the society. It doesn’t even give any credit
to the goodness that can play a really important role in suppressing
the negativity in the society. In a nutshell, these are the three major
perspectives that are present in sociology. We have explained them in great details
and I am sure that you enjoyed reading all these interesting
points of views that came across. You must be really excited to know more about
the impact that this subject has on the overall functioning of the society and so we
are going to discuss all of that as well. Let’s move on with that, shall we? DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF SOCIOLOGY Here, in this chapter, we are going
to discuss the various aspects of sociology with respect to what we study
in them and what details we consider. Let’s have a look at all
of them one by one. CULTURE First of all, it is important to
understand the basic difference between the sociology of culture
and cultural sociology. Yes, both the terms do
seem somewhat similar but there is a little bit of
difference between the two. I am going to explain it
to you in detail with examples so that you can get
a better understanding. Cultural sociology considers everything
that happens in the society as ‘cultural’. According to cultural sociology,
culture is basically a potential outcome of the
different social phenomena. In simpler terms, you can say that
it concludes culture as the end product of the social phenomena
and refers to them like that. Sociology of culture, on the
other hand, doesn’t attribute everything as cultural and has a
different approach towards it. According to the beliefs of
the sociology of cultures, social processes lead to
the cultural phenomena. This is the primary
difference between the two that lays the basis for
the change of opinions. This is exactly what we
study in this branch of sociology and it actually
gets quite interesting considering the fact that there are two
different approaches that we can use to have an explanation to the various
social events that happen around us. LAW, CRIMINALITY, AND PUNISHMENT In this particular branch, the job of the
criminologist is to first analyze the nature of the crime, all the
statistics associated with it and then move
on to further details. He is going to pay attention
to the cause of the crime and the aggravating
factors for it as well. He has to look for the control of this
criminal activity as well while taking help from the disciplines of psychology
and behavioral sciences as well. Law, being one of the most
influential and obvious signs of solidarity in a society,
carries a lot of importance. While studying sociology of law, you
are also going to pay attention to the impact of law on the overall
functioning of the society and how certain things may be helpful for
the society while others may be bad for it. You are also supposed to monitor the
amendments that need to be made to the existing laws for the
better functioning of the society. All of this has a great
impact on the society and can be really helpful for
the betterment of it. MUSIC, ART, AND LITERATURE This is, basically, a sub-branch
of the sociology of culture. Art is a really impactful medium which is
why there is a separate branch for it. We get to study the social implications
of the artistic objects here. We can explain the reason behind
this to you with an example. Let’s say that there is a certain kind
of literature that is being produced in a certain region or a certain
kind of plays that are being made. The people living there are obviously
going to get at least some influence and it will have at least
some impact on the people for sure. This, right there, is why it is so
essential to monitor these things and see what music or art is being
produced in a particular society and then see the impact that it
has on the people living there. Why do you think all the singers
start singing motivational songs when a cricket or a
football world cup is near? People take a lot of influence from
these art forms and so we need to make sure that the right message is being
sent to people through these mediums. ECONOMICS This is one of the most
important branches that was coined to analyze the
economic data of a society. Like I explained earlier, one of an
essentialconflicts that prevail in the society is the economic conflict
and so it needs to be addressed. According to the specialists,
economic relations take place between the preexisting relations between
the firms and individuals. This is the reason why a lot
of research has been put into this topic alone and studies
are still being conducted. Different aspects of the economic
needs of a society are being considered and then rules and
regulations are formulated accordingly. WORK AND EMPLOYMENT There is absolutely nothing very surprising
in the fact that employment rate and working opportunities decide a lot about
the conditions prevailing in a society. There is absolutely nothing
difficult in understanding the impact that unemployment would
have on a society and similarly, good work related options
are obviously going to have a really different
impact as well. This is what we study in
this particular branch. We tend to think of bringing
new and better options that can provide us with
better outcomes as well. That is exactly what keeps
a society prosperous. ENVIRONMENT Nothing is going to go well if we don’t
take adequate care of our environment. Hence, there is a separate
section that is just meant to establish the
impact that different things have on our society and
what measures we can take in order to make conditions
get better for us. We also study the environmental
problems with respect to the human dimensions and the steps that we can
take to make things get better. We have to keep researching
and come up with better ideas to fix the environment
in the best possible ways. HEALTH AND ILLNESS There is again a difference
in the two terms here. There is the sociology
of health and fitness that, basically focuses
upon social effects and the attitude of public towards ailments,
disabilities, mental health issues etc. This is completely different from
medical sociology that focuses on the medical organizations and
everything related to them. Clinical institutions,
as well as other medical organizations, are the
primary target in this subject and the measures
that should be taken to make these better are
being studied here. Both these branches are
important in their way and have a different
impact on the society. PEACE, WAR, AND CONFLICT This is again a really important
branch of sociology that pays attention to the aspects of society
that are related to peace and war. In the sub-branches of this
subject, more specific things are being targeted
and taken care of. We try to make sure that
the military set up is satisfactory and everything
else is taken care of as well. Studies are being conducted in which
we see the things that are giving rise to war and how we can avoid those
conflicts is also being discussed. We get to see these reasons
and promote activities that can bring peace to a
certain geographical region. The impact of refugee movements
etc is also being discussed in this branch as that is a really
important topic in today’s world. Precisely, we can say that sociology is a
really broad topic and it can be further subdivided into many
small branches that can help us in discussing
it in further details. We shall be able to study every
aspect of the society, provided that we pay attention to the simple
things that make up a society and then take measures to improve
things to the maximum possible extent. It is not just these simple branches
or subjects that we study here. There is a large
number of the simpler sub-branches that are
being discussed as well. Finally, in the last chapter,
we are going to discuss the impact that sociology
has on our daily life. Considering it is a broad subject , there
is a lot of advantage that we get from this one subject and that is exactly what we are
going to discuss here in the next chapter. IMPACT OF SOCIOLOGY IN DAILY LIFE Sociology is a really diverse subject
and studying it has a lot of uses and can be really helpful for
us to understand a lot of things. Sociology provides us with the knowledge
to understand the basic needs of a society and we get to know the details
of everything related to the society and we develop a better
understanding towards everything. It also enhances our
comprehension of society and expansions the force
of social activity. Information of society, social
gatherings, social organizations, and so on helps us to lead
a successful social life. Human science tosses all the more
light on the social way of man. It digs profound into
the social way of man. It analyzes the relationship
amongst individual and society, the effect of society on
man and different matters. The investigation of sociology helps
us to know our general public and men as well as others, their
thought processes, goals, status, occupations, conventions, traditions,
establishments, society, and so on. In an enormous industrialized society,
there are a lot of encounters and the commitment of humanism is
not less huge in improving society. Humanism has offered to
prepare to us to have a normal way to deal with
inquiries concerning ourselves, our religion
traditions, mores, establishments, values,
belief systems, and so on. It has made us end up more
target, basic and impartial. Another part of the pragmatic side of
human science is the investigation of awesome social establishments and the
relations of people of every one of them. Sociology is valuable as a
showing subject as well. It is a calling in which specialized
skill brings its own prizes. Sociologists, particularly those
prepared in examination system are in expanding request in business,
government industry, correspondences, social welfare, and so forth and numerous
different regions of group life. The requirement for the
investigation of human science is more prominent, particularly
in immature nations. Sociologists have now
drawn the consideration of financial specialists
with respect to the social variables that have added to the
monetary backwardness of a couple of nations. Financial experts have now understood
the significance of sociological learning in dissecting the
monetary undertakings of a nation. The investigation of
society is a fundamental significance in taking
care of social issues. The present world is best with a
few social issues of awesome size like destitution, beggary, unemployment,
prostitution, over-populace, racial-issues, wrongdoing, liquor
abuse, untouchable, and so on. A cautious investigation
of these issues is vital keeping in mind the end
goal to tackle them. Sociological learning is essential for
comprehension and arranging of society. Social arranging has been made
less demanding by humanism. Humanism is regularly viewed as a vehicle
of social change and social revamping. It assumes a vital part in
the remaking of society. The handy utility of
sociological procedures. The methods created by the
sociologists and other social researchers are
embraced by others. The social study was
produced and utilized predominantly by sociologists
and statisticians and it has turned into a
fundamental instrument of statistical surveying
and political surveying. Sociologists give a lot
of data that is useful in settling on choices
on social strategy. Investigation of society has
helped a few governments to advance the welfare of
the tribal individuals. The cultivated social orders, as
well as even the tribal social orders, are confronted with a few
financial and social issues. Endeavors are currently being
made to treat the tribal no standard with whatever is left
of the cultivated individuals. The human science of incredibly
viable help in the sense, it stays up with the latest on present day social
circumstances and advancements. Social science has been
significantly capable of changing our states of mind
towards kindred people. It has inhabited to catholic in
outlook and progressive in the soul. It has minimized the mental
separation and diminished the crevice between various
people groups and groups.