The Importance of the Global Perspective - Google Slides

Global perspective sociology definition

Definition / July 3, 2017

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Hello and welcome to sociological studies. As always, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to study society. The topic of today's lesson is sociology and the sociological and global perspective defined.

We're going to introduce the discipline of sociology, define it, as well as discuss the perspective that sociologists take to their work, called the "sociological perspective." And with that, there's also a second perspective, called the "global perspective, " that will be discussed as well.

So to begin with, let's just define sociology. Sociology is the scientific study of society and the social behavior of people in groups. So to make that clear, let's break the definition down a little bit.

Well, firstly, sociologist study groups and the behavior of people within them. So a social movement theorist might look at what causes normally law abiding citizens to not be so law abiding and start to riot. I mean, we can think back in the Arab Spring. We had all kinds of different people come into the streets to riot that might normally not. So a sociologist might look at and go, OK, what were the factors that led to this group of people deciding to riot.

Another angle of interest to a sociologist then is how are these riots organized, where are people communicating. So if somebody says to be in the square at this time, how is that information communicated. Are they using Facebook and Twitter or more old fashioned mechanisms. So a sociologist would be interested in the role of technology in movement organization.

They might also look at where are these people meeting. Where are they congregating. Where is the actual physical space that is facilitating discussion and then in a sense revolution. So those are two angles.

And then also a sociologist might be interested in the power structure of the society. Who's in power? How do they get there? How do they use that power? How unequal is the society? And factors like that that contribute to a revolutionary ethos. So just as we can see just within the one sphere of social movement, there's many different angles that a sociologist would look at it.

Now for the second part of the definition, the system systematic study, sociologist aren't just going out drinking coffee and generalizing. No, it doesn't work like that. They use rigorous scientific methods, often in the form of surveys, questionnaires, interviews, even participant observation, which is the method I use. I like that best. As well, they can use statistical analysis and a number of regression techniques.

So what kind of perspective do sociologists bring to their work? Well, the sociological perspective is defined as seeing the general in the particular. Sociologist are looking for broad, transcendent, general patterns in the behavior of individual particular people.

So to give you an example, let's look at deindustrialization and the loss of manufacturing jobs in America. So this started to happen around 1970 or so. The economy started to open up with globalization. And it was cheaper for companies to take the manufacturing jobs, send them anywhere to the lowest bidder. So these jobs used to be done in America. And they were primarily done by poorer, blue collar workers.

So now the capitalists we're only trying to be more competitive by outsourcing these jobs. They didn't set out to decimate the inner-city working class, but it just worked out that way. As the jobs left, poverty, crime became more rampant. And then fast forward to today, these trends only got worse. So now the urban, old manufacturing core that used to give all these people jobs just is gone. And so sociologists have studied this.

So fast forward to today. Suppose there's a 10-year-old boy born in a poor neighborhood of South Chicago, that used to be a manufacturing neighborhood that had somewhat stable jobs. So how are we supposed to make sense of this boy's life and his future job prospects and life success without referencing these trends that occurred in the past. I mean, you can't really.

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