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Questions on Sociological Concepts

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I need help answering the following questions:

What is sociology? How does it differ from the other social sciences, such as psychology or anthropology? In what ways is the logic of sociology useful?

What are some of the norms of the American culture and the subculture that you belong to?

What are the steps of the scientific method?

How would you use the different types of research design? What are some strengths and weaknesses of each?

What are some of the major agents of socialization? Which do you think most influenced you? Why?

What is the "social self"? Give examples. And, what are some moral and ethical factors of the social self?

What are some of the communities of which you are a part?

Name some formal organizations and groups, what function do they serve in the community?
What are some things that determine social stratification?

How does social class affect attitudes and behaviors?

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Dear Student,
Hello and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. I have provided concise answers for each question you posted and weblinks that you can use for further information. If you have any questions in relation to this solution, please feel free to let me know via the feedback section. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing and download. Good luck with your studies.

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones
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About Sociology

Sociology, simply put is the science of human dynamics, the study of society. The main interest of sociology is to understand the structure, underpinnings and mechanisms of society - how it works, what makes it so. By doing this, sociologists learn the science behind social research in order to explain and understand social phenomenon. Its main focus is human behavior from individual to groups. Social agents (individuals) make society happen and their interaction as individuals or groups happens within a social agency, a social structure. There are different kinds of human groupings according to sociologists - primary (family, friends), secondary (school, workplace) and referential (hobby clubs). Within the setting of society human beings interact and via this interaction through language culture happens. Over time members of the same culture begin to identify with each other creating traditions and practices unique to their grouping, to their culture. Sociology is the broadest of all social sciences for its research methods, principles and concerns are the focus of particular social sciences (social, political, economic, religion, social origins, language, history, viewpoints & philosophy). Anthropology for example is the study of humanity. It is a social science for its focus is human beings but unlike sociology it doesn't focus on society alone. Its concerns are the origins of man and the way human beings create and partake in culture and traditions. The main fields within anthropology therefore include cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, & biological anthropology. It therefore borrows from other bodies of knowledge aside from the social sciences - humanities, philosophy & the natural sciences particularly biology. While sociology asks the questions - What makes human society work? Why do human beings behave the way they do? How are identities created?' Anthropology asks the questions ' What are human beings? Where did man come from and what can culture and the past tell us about the origins and the future of humanity?' Psychology on the other hand is bordering both the social sciences and the natural sciences. It is the science of mind and behavior. Psychologists aim to understand how the human mind works and how human behavior is formed via the study of mental functions and an exploration of neurobiological and physiological processes. By doing so, their studies can lead them to further understanding social behavior exploring the creation of personalities and an understanding of cognition, perception & meaning. Sociology, Anthropology and Psychology all study the human condition and all follow the scientific method in their processes. Sociology finds the forefront in ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,901-word narrative that discusses and provides concise yet comprehensive-enough answers to each of the questions posted complete with a list of web resources/references for the purpose of further research. Americans norms, the social self, the scientific method, types of research design, agents of socialization, communities, organizations and groups and social class is discussed according to the context of the questions (see the long description above). A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing and digital use.

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See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Defining Important Sociological Concepts

1).What does Mills mean by the "sociological imagination"?

A). Identify a private trouble or personal issue you are aware of, have experienced, or are experiencing. (For example, difficulty in getting a job, healthcare, childcare, divorce, rising cost of housing, rising cost of education.)

B). Discuss how the issue you identified above might actually be a larger public issue. Identify what the larger public issue might be.

C). Identify what some of the consequences or implications of this larger social issue might be for society. I.E. How will society be affected?

D). Using your sociological imagination give at least two ways of dealing with this issue at a macro level and two at the micro level. What is the difference in how one might deal with a problem if one views it from a micro perspective (personal trouble) v. a macro perspective (public issue)?

E). What prevents society from seeing this as a broader social issue?

2). Did you understand that Miner was describing the "American" ("Nacirema" spelled backwards)? Why do we not recognize this right away? What do we gain from being able to "step back" from our way of life as Miner has done? Think in terms of ethnocentrism. Identify the positive and negative aspects of ethnocentrism. How does sociology allow us to step back from our lives? What new insights do we get from being able to do this?

3). Discuss Emile Durkheim's investigation of suicide rates and how his research contributed to the development of theory. What is theory and why is it important? What did his research show us?

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