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V. N. Alexandrovskaya E. F. Smerichevsky




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Ministry of Health of Ukraine


Donetsk National Medical Gorky’s University


Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences and Humanities


V. N. Alexandrovskaya

E. F. Smerichevsky

I. V. Ryzhenko


SOCIOLOGY


Lectures for English-Speaking Students

of Higher Educational Institutions


Donetsk - 2009

Ministry of Health of Ukraine


Donetsk National Medical Gorky’s University


Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences and Humanities


V. N. Alexandrovskaya

E. F. Smerichevsky

I. V. Ryzhenko


S O C I O L O G Y


Lectures for English-Speaking Students

of Higher Educational Institutions


Donetsk – 2009

ББК 86. 3 я 73.

УДК Р36


Sociology: Lectures for English-speaking students of higher educational institutions. – Donetsk: Gorky’s Donetsk National Medical University, 2009. - 76 p.


Basic sociological notions and concepts are covered in the manual. The manual is written in the form of lectures, all material is represented in the structural-logic system.

Manual can be used by students for preparing to practical classes in sociology.


By:

V. N. Alexandrovskaya, Doctor of Philosophy, Associate Professor of Department of Philosophy, Social Sciences and Humanities of the Donetsk National Medical University

E. F. Smerichevsky, Candidate of Philosophy, Associate Professor of Department of Philosophy, Social Sciences and Humanities of the Donetsk National Medical University

I. V. Ryzhenko, teacher of Department of Philosophy, Social Sciences and Humanities of the Donetsk National Medical University.


Readers:

G. V. Grebenkov, Doctor of Philosophy;

P. G. Davydov, Candidate of Philosophy.


Approved at the Academic Council of the Donetsk National Medical University

(Minutes 8, 28th November 2009 )


© V. N. Alexandrovskaya, E. F. Smerichevsky, I. V. Ryzhenko

© DNMU

^ LECTURE № 1

Theme:

SOCIOLOGY AS A SCIENCE ABOUT SOCIETY

Plan

  1. Definition of sociology as a science.

  2. Object of sociology.

  3. Subject of sociology.

  4. Fundamental and applied sociology.

  5. Sociology laws.

  6. Sociology functions.

  7. Sociology methods.

  8. Sociology principles.


Question 1. DEFINITION OF SOCIOLOGY AS A SCIENCE.

a) Sociology (from Latin: socius, "companion"; and the suffix -ology, "the study of," from Greek λόγος, lógos, "knowledge") is by definition the scientific study of society. Thus, sociology is used to interpret human activities and to understand collective behavior. This is achieved using scientific theories and methods of research.

  • The goals of sociology are to understand social action and behavior, to generalize about the causes of both of them, to predict future social action, and to understand how society influences people.

  • The field of sociology is adopted in the examination of the patterns of social relations, social stratification, social interaction, and culture. Sociology is usually considered as a branch of social sciences. However, to distinguish it from others is not straight forward. The common example is when Émile Durkheim proposed suicide as a social and not a purely individual phenomenon by demonstrating its relations with social trends and “economic patterns”. By that time, it was a common belief that suicide is a very personal matter which should not be related with any social factors. After Durkheim, people started to investigate further the relations between individuals and society and that probably is the core foundation of sociology. Therefore, examples such as social class (the distribution of power and wealth in a society), gender(the power relations between sex), education(the process of socialization), work(industrial relations) all became interesting topics for “sociologists”.

  • Areas studied in sociology range from the analysis of brief social contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social interaction to understand why people do what they do. To do this, sociologists examine the ‘social location’ of individuals and groups such as employment, gender, ethnicity, income, education, and class.

  • Numerous fields within the discipline concentrates on how and why people are organized in society, either as individuals or as members of structured or unstructured social groups such as associations, groups, and institutions.

b) Sociological research is supposed to provide educators, planners, lawmakers, administrators, developers, business leaders, and people interested in resolving social problems and formulating public policy with rationales for the actions they might take. However, contrary to most physical sciences, among "sociologists" themselves may disagree on the purposes of sociology. Even whether it is an art or science is part of the debate. The camp of Logical Positivism which led by the Vienna Circle tended to adopt scientific methods in the realm of social sciences while others believe human behaviour is an interaction which cannot be isolated as a physical event such as that happened in physical sciences.
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