Sociology Journal Entry Book Report example

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Sociology Journal Entry Book Report

In chapter 1, the author explains to the reader what is Sociology and how it came to be the science that it is today. Not only is Sociology the study of human behavior in society, it also a message that, contrary to what people used to think, each individual is free to act as he wishes and that his actions are not predetermined. The author does gives the historical context in which this science was born, back when Auguste Comte wanted to analyze humans’ behavior; and he also gives famous names of those who contributed to the elaboration of this science, such as Karl Marx, Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, and even Harriet Martineau and W.E.B. Dubois.

Further down, the author skims through the pillar theoretical approaches—which is different than a mere theory—such as functionalism (which studies the function of social activity and its effects on society), Marxism and Class Conflict (whereby society is defined and shaped by the struggle between social classes, and more particularly by the oppression of the powerful elite on the proletariat), Feminism (which studies the societal status of women and gender inequality), Rational Choice Theory (that considers self-interest to be the main driver of people within society), Postmodern Theory (which denies the existence of history and believe the new media to almost erase our past). Finally, the author clearly distinguishes between two different levels of analysis in sociology: microsociology and macrosociology. The former is an individualistic approach and the latter is a large-scale study of society. All these theoretical approaches and these people who have contributed to make sociology a respected and renowned science have for purpose to provide as many perspectives as possible on the social world.

The second chapter digs much more into the scientific part of sociology, first by explaining the process by which a sociologist plans his research process, and second, by going at relative length about the research method that ought to be used in order to have substantial and therefore legitimate results. The author explains how a sociologist must define the research problem that he decides to tackle, review the literature available on the topic in order to see what has already been said, focus the question in order to be as precise as possible, decide the way the researcher will collect his/her data in order to build his work, collect the data (which, depending on how it goes, might take quite some time), then interpret the results obtained through data-collection, and finally report the findings of the research. In regards to research methods, the chapter explains how the necessity to collect data arose, mainly because sociologist understood that mere speculation was not enough.

The collection of data can be done in various ways. The first one mentioned is Ethnography, which is basically the gathering of data through direct observation and interviews of participants, which is usually employed in order to study smaller groups of individuals and which provides the researcher with in-depth data and understanding …

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