Study Guide

Better Essays
Chapter 1 - Conley

1. Some people accuse sociologists of observing conditions that are obvious. How does looking at sociology as “making the familiar strange” help counter this claim? How does sociology differ from simple commonsense reasoning?

Sample answer: Sociologists may appear to study conditions that are obvious, but by making the familiar strange, they are able to move beyond commonsense reasoning and use evidence to really understand a topic. For example, students will say that they plan to marry for love, but society narrows the field; they are more likely to marry individuals of the same race, ethnicity, age, educational attainment, and social class. Making the familiar unfamiliar also helps to explain how society shapes our
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It can also help to create incentives for work within the society. Conflict theory emphasizes the ways in which the groups in power use that power to disproportionately control and benefit from the resources within a society.

6. You tell a friend that you’re taking a class in sociology. There’s a chance they know about sociology and are quite jealous. There’s also a chance they’re confusing sociology with another social science. How would you describe sociology? How does sociology differ from history and psychology?
Sample answer:Sociology is the study of human society and its components, including sports, religion, music, and medicine. In addition, it examines populations of people across time and geographic distances. History focuses on the uniqueness of past events as opposed to the sociological focus on finding commonalities. Psychology focuses on individuals to determine why they do the things they do, whereas sociology is more concerned with the larger picture of group influences and interactions.

7. Sociology, like any discipline, features some divisions. What are some of the cleavages in the field and why might they be described as false dichotomies?

Sample answer:Some sociologists do surveys and use other quantitative methods. Other sociologists use ethnographic methods and interviews; these are qualitative methods. Some people could try to argue that one approach is better than the other,
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