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Introduction to Sociology

292 Pages · 2007 · 555 KB · English

  • Introduction to Sociology

    LECTURE NOTES



    For Health Science Students







    Introduction to Sociology











    Zerihun Doda, M.A.



    Debub University




    In collaboration with the Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, The Carter Center,


    the Ethiopia Ministry of Health, and the Ethiopia Ministry of Education



    June 2005









    Funded under USAID Cooperative Agreement No. 663-A-00-00-0358-00.




    Produced in collaboration with the Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, The Carter


    Center, the Ethiopia Ministry of Health, and the Ethiopia Ministry of Education.










    Important Guidelines for Printing and Photocopying


    Limited permission is granted free of charge to print or photocopy all pages of this


    publication for educational, not-for-profit use by health care workers, students or


    faculty. All copies must retain all author credits and copyright notices included in the


    original document. Under no circumstances is it permissible to sell or distribute on a


    commercial basis, or to claim authorship of, copies of material reproduced from this


    publication.



    ©2005 by Zerihun Doda



    All rights reserved. Except as expressly provided above, no part of this publication may


    be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,


    including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system,


    without written permission of the author or authors.








    This material is intended for educational use only by practicing health care workers or


    students and faculty in a health care field.


    PREFACE


    Sociology is a discipline that belongs to what


    conventionally is called the social science. The


    discipline plays a leading role in the social sciences. The


    term sociology literally means the science of society; for


    the term itself in its direct sense denotes that. Sociology


    as an academic discipline arose in the first half of 19th


    century (in 1837, to mention the exact year) as a special


    science dedicated to unravel the fundamental laws


    governing the societal phenomena and human social


    relationship with primary interest in analyzing the


    problems and societies of the modern, western world. It


    has, thus, conventionally been accepted to associate


    sociology with the study of the modern, industrialized


    societies of western world.


    Health science students learning this discipline have a


    great advantage of gaining fresh insights and practical


    benefits in their personal lives and professional


    practices. Sociology along with other sisterly disciplines


    such as anthropology, economics, social psychology,


    human/ cultural geography, history and political


    sciences has now become an essential component of


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    the health and medical sciences curricula in universities


    and other training institutions abroad. Following this


    example, similar institutions in Ethiopia have also


    included this course in their curricula.


    These lecture notes on introductory sociology are


    prepared for the health and medical sciences students


    in institutions of higher learning in Ethiopia. Its purpose


    is to provide the students with basic ideas and


    knowledge in the science of sociology. By learning the


    materials presented in this lecture notes, it is believed


    that students will be able to understand and appreciate


    the basic issues, principles and approaches of


    sociology. Students may also gain an indirect benefit of


    appreciating the social, cultural, and behavioral


    dimensions of health and disease.


    Specifically, the main learning objective of introduction


    to sociology is to familiarize the students with the basic


    ideas, issues, concepts and principles of sociology.


    Students will be able to describe the meaning, scope,


    methods, history and importance of sociology, and its


    relations to other disciplines. The students will also be


    able to appreciate the relevance of sociology in their


    ii


    personal and future professional practice. A brief


    discussion of the survey of social problems in


    contemporary Ethiopian society will also help them


    understand their nature, causes and types; and their


    relations to health and disease.


    The lecture notes are organized into seven chapters: the


    First Chapter introduces important introductory issues


    such as the definition, subject- matter, theories, history


    importance and basic research methods of sociology,


    and its relationship to other disciplines. Chapter Two


    discusses the concepts of society and culture that are


    central to sociology. In Chapter Three, the concept of


    socialization is discussed. Here, the meaning, bases,


    necessity, goals and types of socialization are important


    issues of the chapter. Chapter Four deals with some


    aspects of social organization and social interaction.


    Three important dimensions of social processes,


    namely, social stratification, social mobility and social


    change will be discussed in Chapter Five, while an


    overview of social pathologies (focusing on Ethiopia)


    and methods of social action and intervention will be


    dealt in the Sixth and Seventh Chapters, respectively.


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    Each chapter begins with learning objectives, ends with


    a chapter summary and has review questions. Inside the


    text, there are illustrative boxes, tables and figures


    which are meant to aid the students in utilizing the notes


    more effectively. Throughout the text, key terms and


    concepts are highlighted in bold and they are put in


    glossary section for easy reference. Important


    references used in preparing these lecture notes are


    also cited in the text and they are put in bibliographical


    section. However, it is advisable to use the lecture notes


    as complementary materials. Students should refer to


    the textbooks and other references for detailed and


    richer knowledge.


    The author wishes an enjoyable and fruitful reading for


    the students.


    iv


    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


    These lecture notes are prepared with the financial


    assistance made by The Carter Center. I, thus, first


    of all wish to thank The Caret Center. I also want to


    thank the College of Health Sciences, Debub


    University, for giving me the chance to participate in


    preparing these lecture notes. My appreciation also


    goes to Ato Alemante Amera, my colleague in the


    College for his constructive comment on the


    material, during the intra-institutional review


    meeting. I also wish to extend my deepest thanks to


    inter-institutional reviewers Ato Woubshet


    Demewoz, Jimma University; Ato Abraraw Tesfaye,


    Gondar University; Fasika Melesse, Defense


    University College and Dr Mesfin Adissie, Addis


    Ababa University, Medical Faculty. They have


    constructively contributed to the lecture notes.




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    Last but not least, I want to express my deep


    gratitude to the national reviewers: Dr Gebre Yntiso


    and Dr Teketel Abebe of the Department of


    Sociology and Anthropology, who spared their


    precious time to review these lecture notes. They


    have made valuables comments I say, “thank you


    very much!”


    I finally want to assure all the reviewers who


    contributed to this teaching material that all of your


    relevant and precious comments are well taken and


    incorporated into this final version.


    Zerihun D. Doffana, MA, Social Anthropology


    June 2005


    vi


    TABLE OF CONTENTS



    Preface ............................................................................. i


    Acknowledgement............................................................. v


    Table of Contents ............................................................. vii


    List of Illustrative Boxes, List Tables and List of Figures . xiv


    CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION


    Learning Objectives ......................................................... 1


    1.1. Definition and Subject Matter of Sociology ............... 2


    1.1.1. What is Sociology? ................................... 2


    1.1.2. Brief Historical Overview............................ 6


    1.1.3. Subject Matter, Scope and Concerns of


    Sociology.................................................... 14


    1.1.4. Levels of Sociological Analysis and Fields of


    Specializations in Sociology ...................... 16


    1.1.5. Major Theoretical Perspectives ................. 20


    1.2. The Significance of Learning Sociology ................... 34


    1.3. Sociological Research Methods ................................ 38


    1.3.1. The Scientific Method................................ 38


    1.3.2. Steps in Sociological Research ............... 41


    1.4. The Relationship between Sociology and Other


    Disciplines ................................................................ 55


    1.5. Chapter Summary ..................................................... 57


    Review Questions ........................................................... 60


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    CHAPTER TWO: SOCIETY AND CULTURE


    Learning Objectives ......................................................... 61


    2.1. The Concept of Society:............................................. 62


    2.1.1. Definition.................................................... 62


    2.1.2. Basic Features of Society.......................... 64


    2.1.3. Conceptualizing Society at Various Levels 66


    2.1.4. Types of Society......................................... 67


    2.2 The Concept of Culture............................................... 69


    2.2.1 Definition..................................................... 69


    2.2.2. Basic Characteristics of Culture................. 72


    2.2.3. Elements of Culture................................... 76


    2.2.4. Cultural Variability and Explanations......... 83


    2.2.5. Ethno-centrism and Cultural Relativism


    and Culture Shock...................................... 86


    2.2.6. Cultural Universals, Alternatives and


    Specialties ................................................. 90


    2.2.7. The Concepts of Culture Lag and Culture


    Lead............................................................ 94


    2.2.8. Global Culture an Cultural Imperialism...... 95


    2.3 Chapter Summary ...................................................... 96


    Review Questions ............................................................ 98




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