What is an outlier? What do I mean when I say that sociologists study “typicality” or “the likelihood of occurrence”?

What is an outlier? What do I mean when I say that sociologists study “typicality” or “the likelihood of occurrence”?

What is an outlier? What do I mean when I say that sociologists study “typicality” or “the likelihood of occurrence”? 150 150 Peter

Summaries: (50 words or more each answer) (which is a paragraph)

1.1 Describe how we use critical thinking in sociology

1.2 Name and describe the FOUR developments in western society that contributed to sociological thinking

1.3 Describe Auguste Comte’s method of establishing sociology as a scientific discipline

1.4 Describe how sociologists’ use the concept of social embededdness to do their work.

1.5 What were Harriet Martineau’s, Charlotte Perkins Gillman, and W.E.B. Dubois’ contributions to sociology?

Sociological Discussion Questions: (50 words or more for each answer)

1. What social issue or problem is the most interesting or important to study?

2. For the social issue or problem you picked for number one, does it fit into the structural functionalist, conflict, or symbolic interactionist theory perspective? Explain why.


1. Social institutions are meant to fulfill the needs of people in society. I used the social institution of education as an example in lecture. Pick another social institution. Tell me the niche it fills in society. As in, what specific needs does it fulfill? Tell me two concrete elements of the institution. Now, tell me two abstract elements of the institution.

1. What makes up the structure of society? When I say that agency is the ability to enact one’s own free will, what do I mean? Which force is stronger, structure or agency? Why?

1. The sociological imagination is used by understanding the larger social forces that shape people’s lives. In essence, it is how someone’s personal trouble may actually be a social issue. In the lecture, I discussed how divorce may seem personal, but sociologists can prove it is social. Pick a different social issue other than divorce. Explain how the social issue may look as a personal trouble (an individual’s problem). Now explain how the social issue may be influenced by at least two structural forces in society.

1. What is an outlier? What do I mean when I say that sociologists study “typicality” or “the likelihood of occurrence”?

1. Map your social locations, but don’t tell them to me. (I don’t need to know them-NO LISTS PLEASE). Seriously, you don’t need to tell ANY OF THEM to me. Seriously, I don’t care what your social locations are. The mapping exercise is for you to think through these ideas.

Now that you’ve mapped them, reflect on them. Are they mostly marginalized, or do they hold social power? (Or are they more of a mix, like mine).

How have these locations shaped your perspective of the world around you? Are you aware of how other’s social locations affect their lives?

How does this mapping exercise prepare you to practice the sociological imagination for the rest of this class?

6. Consider DuBois’ concept of Double Consciousness. First, briefly describe what he meant. Now, consider if you hold a marginalized identity as well as an advantaged identity. How does this affect your lived experience? How does it affect your agency?


1. Structural Functionalism is a macro level theory. Explain in your own words what it means to be a macro level theory. Explicitly state why structural functionalism is a macro level theory.

1. Durkheim theorized about the organization of society. He stated that it changed from feudal to modern times.

Describe fully in your own words the two types of organizations. Name the two types and describe how the division of labor is different in each type.

1. Now describe in your own words how culture is different in each type of organization.

1. Durkheim argued that societal level consciousness was based on social facts. State in your own words how social facts are related to the collective consciousness. Now state how collective consciousness is connected to collective effervescence. What’s so important about collective effervescence?

1. Durkheim argued that Anomie can destabilize society. Define Anomie in your own words. Now explain fully why Durkheim considers Anomie to be dangerous for society.

1. Describe in your own words what structural functionalism assumes about society. Now describe in your own words how this theory is lacking.