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The 1
Sociological The Sociological Perspective

Perspective Seeing the Broader Social Context
Origins of Sociology
Tradition Versus Science
Auguste Comte and Positivism
Herbert Spencer and Social
Karl Marx and Class Conflict
Emile Durkheim and Social
Max Weber and the Protestant Ethic
Sexism in Early Sociology
Attitudes of the Time
Harriet Martineau and Early Social
Sociology in North America
Early History: The Tension
Between Social Reform and
Sociological Analysis
Jane Addams and Social Reform
W. E. B. Du Bois and Race Relations
Talcott Parsons and C. Wright
Mills: Theory Versus Reform
The Continuing Tension and the
Rise of Applied Sociology
Theoretical Perspectives in
Symbolic Interactionism
Functional Analysis
Conflict Theory
Levels of Analysis: Macro and Micro
Putting the Theoretical
Perspectives Together
How Theory and Research Work
Diana Ong, Rainy Day Crowd, 1999
Doing Sociological Research
A Research Model
Research Methods
Participant Observation
Secondary Analysis
ISBN: 0-558-13856-X

Unobtrusive Measures
Ethics in Sociological Research
Protecting the Subjects
Misleading the Subjects
Values in Sociological Research
Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, Seventh Edition, by James and Copyright
M. Henslin. Review © James M. Henslin.
Published by Allyn and Bacon, a Pearson company.

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ven from the glow of the faded red-and-white exit As I stared at the Styrofoam cup that held my coffee,
E sign, its faint light barely illuminating the upper grateful for at least this small pleasure, I noticed what
bunk, I could see that the sheet was filthy. Resigned to looked like tooth marks. I shrugged off the thought,
another night of fitful sleep, I reluctantly crawled into telling myself that my long weeks as a sociological ob-
bed. server of the homeless were finally getting to me. “This
The next morning, I joined must be some sort of crease from
the long line of disheveled men handling,” I concluded.
leaning against the chain-link
I was determined. “I I joined the silent ranks of
fence. Their faces were as down- will experience what men turning in their bowls and
cast as their clothes were dirty. they experience,” I cups. When I saw the man behind
Not a glimmer of hope among the counter swishing out
kept telling myself. Styrofoam cups in a washtub of
No one spoke as the line cloudy water, I began to feel sick
slowly inched forward. When my turn came, I was to my stomach. I knew then that the jagged marks on
handed a cup of coffee, a white plastic spoon, and a my cup really had come from a previous mouth.
bowl of semiliquid that I couldn’t identify. It didn’t look How much longer did this research have to last? I
like any food I had seen before. Nor did it taste like felt a deep longing to return to my family—to a wel-
anything I had ever eaten. come world of clean sheets, healthy food, and “normal”
My stomach fought the foul taste, every spoonful a conversations.
battle. But I was determined. “I will experience what
they experience,” I kept telling myself. My stomach re-
luctantly gave in and accepted its morning nourishment.
The room was eerily silent. Hundreds of men were
eating, each immersed in his own private hell, his head
awash with disappointment, remorse, bitterness.
ISBN: 0-558-13856-X

Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, Seventh Edition, by James M. Henslin. Copyright © James M. Henslin.
Published by Allyn and Bacon, a Pearson company.

5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 4


The Sociological Perspective Seeing the Broader Social Context
The sociological perspective stresses the social contexts in
Why were these men so silent? Why which people live. It examines how these contexts influence
did they receive such despicable treatment? What was I people’s lives. At the center of the sociological perspective
doing in that homeless shelter? After all, I hold a re- is the question of how groups influence people, especially
spectable, professional position, and I have a home and how people are influenced by their society—a group of
family. people who share a culture and a territory.
Sociology offers a perspective, a view of the world. The To find out why people do what they do, sociologists
sociological perspective (or imagination) opens a window look at social location, the corners in life that people oc-
onto unfamiliar worlds and offers a fresh look at familiar cupy because of where they are located in a society.
worlds. In this text you will find yourself in the midst of Sociologists look at how jobs, income, education, gender,
Nazis in Germany, warriors in South America, and even age, and race–ethnicity affect people’s ideas and behavior.
the people I visited who live in a city dump in Cambodia. Consider, for example, how being identified with a group
But you also will find yourself looking at your own world called females or with a group called males when we are
in a different light. As you view other worlds—or your growing up shapes our ideas of who we are and what we
own—the sociological perspective will enable you to gain should attain in life. Growing up as a male or a female in-
a new vision of social life. In fact, this is what many find fluences not only our goals in life but also how we feel
appealing about sociology. about ourselves and the way we relate to others in dating
The sociological perspective has been a motivating and marriage and at work.
force in my own life. Ever since I took my introductory Sociologist C. Wright Mills (1959) put it this way: “The
course in sociology, I have been enchanted by the per- sociological imagination [or perspective] enables us to grasp
spective that sociology offers. I have thoroughly enjoyed the connection between history and biography.” By
both observing other groups and questioning my own as- history, Mills meant that each society is located in a broad
sumptions about life. I sincerely hope the same happens stream of events. Because of this, each society has specific
to you. characteristics—such as its ideas about the proper roles of
men and women. By biography,
Mills referred to the individual’s
specific experiences. In short,
people don’t do what they do be-
cause of inherited internal
mechanisms, such as instincts.
Rather, external influences—our
experiences—become part of
our thinking and motivations.
The society in which we grow
up and our particular location in
that society lie at the center of
what we do and what we think.
Consider a newborn baby. If
we were to take the baby away
from its U.S. parents and place
it with a Yanomamö Indian
tribe in the jungles of South
America, you know that when
the child begins to speak, his or
her words will not be in English.
You also know that the child
ISBN: 0-558-13856-X

Granted their deprivation, it is not surprising that the homeless are not brimming with optimism.
This scene at the Atlanta Union Mission in Atlanta, Georgia, is typical of homeless shelters, will not think like an American.
reminiscent of the many meals I ate in soup kitchens with men like this. He or she will not grow up

Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach, Seventh Edition, by James M. Henslin. Copyright © James M. Henslin.
Published by Allyn and Bacon, a Pearson company.

dangerous work. not de. which had provided the answers to social life. greeted them with horrible working conditions: low pay. This extensive change removed the security of looking to the past as a sure guide to the present. or a warrior—and he emerged about the middle of the 1800s. The cities you will see that the way you look at the world is the re. exhausting hours. or designer jeans. New ideas arose. no longer could be counted on. requires the development of theories car. a Pearson company. As this new idea to answer this question. His writings are often considered the origin of sociology. birth. and tradition. it is difficult that individuals possess inalienable rights. Equally. . Published by Allyn and Bacon. Henslin. in contrast. Even ancient peoples tried to fig. but others are poor. two. or three children. ISBN: 0-558-13856-X Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. even children had to work in these conditions. others. that can be tested by research. for example. The Industrial assuming that it is natural to want many children. caught fire. why some people become more powerful than found the ready answers of tradition inadequate. asked questions about why way to more democratic forms of government. jective. Their ties to the land— This brings us to you—to how your social groups have and to a culture that had provided them with ready an- shaped your ideas and desires. or even the position of the stars and did not test ing tried out in chemistry and physics. About this same time. And whether male or female. moving to cities in search of work. the scientific method—using ob- However. Henslin. People war exists. the child will un. The success of the American and French revolutions encouraged people to re- Tradition Versus Science think social life. The events of this period stimulated Auguste Comte to analyze how societies change. survive. some children were even chained to factory machines to make certain they could not run away. Tradition suffered further blows. Copyright © James M. had been concealed in nature were being uncovered. swers to life’s difficult questions—were broken. questioningly take his or her place in Yanomamö society— sociology only recently appeared on the human scene. They. a hunter. Many secrets that their assumptions. a new Science. and masses of people were bating whether to have one. With This eighteenth-century painting (artist unknown) depicts women from Paris joining the French Army on its way to Versailles on October 5. Revolution had just begun. including the conviction Just how did sociology begin? In some ways. when social ob- or she will not even know about the world left behind at servers began to use scientific methods to test their ideas.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 5 ORIGINS OF SOCIOLOGY 5 wanting credit cards. and the latest video game. too. by James M. many traditional Western monarchies gave ure out social life. For families to enjoy the process of self-discovery that sociology offers. It perhaps as a food gatherer. 1789. systematic observations to test theories—was be- myth. they often based their answers on superstition. Over and over in this text. I think you will long. The French Revolution of 1789 not only overthrew the aristocracy but also upset the entire social order. sult of your exposure to human groups. Life no longer Origins of Sociology looked the same. the child will grow up Sociology grew out of social upheaval. Measured by this standard. and why some are rich. Seventh Edition.

Spencer on a particular course. began to analyze the bases of the social order.” cover social principles but also would apply them to so. merely helped the “less fit” survive. Just as this method had revealed survive. Spencer disagreed profoundly with Comte that sociology gether. Nevertheless. so- the law of gravity. who grew up in England. As generations pass. pable and intelligent (“the fittest”) members of the society tific method to social life. ISBN: 0-558-13856-X Auguste Comte (1798–1857).” and a more advanced society—unless misguided do-gooders get the Latin socius. uted to his contemporary. com. If you help the lower classes. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. The fittest members will produce “the study of society” (from the Greek logos. Comte to become interested in what holds society to. Henslin. once society does become set should intervene in the evolution of society. Although Spencer coined this phrase. “study of. Spencer called this principle “the survival of the fittest. sometimes called the second of sociology. Published by Allyn and Bacon. Herbert Spencer (1820–1903). What creates social order. Charles Darwin. what causes it to change? thought that societies evolve from lower (“barbarian”) to As Comte considered these questions. he did not apply it himself. Herbert Spencer conservative town in which he had grown up and moved and Social Darwinism to Paris. that this applied to the study of society. applying the scientific method to vironment. it would uncover the laws that cieties improve. With the French Revolution still fresh in his mind. Comte’s insistence that we must observe and classify human activities to uncover society’s Auguste Comte and Positivism fundamental laws is well taken. Comte left the small. Because he developed this idea and coined the term sociology. who is credited as the founder Herbert Spencer (1820–1903). so. in the way and help those who are less fit to survive. Sociologists would reform the entire society. too. Copyright © James M. he wondered. and his conclusions have been to these questions. He was convinced that no one anarchy or chaos? And then. The result was the birth of sociology. that organisms evolve over time as they adapt to their en- To Comte. led is sometimes called the second founder of sociology. the most ca- that the right way to answer them was to apply the scien. over time. Thus. “companion” or “being with others”). Henslin. he concluded higher (“civilized”) forms.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 6 6 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE tradition no longer providing the answers to questions about vations of social life. while the less capable die out. it usually is attrib- cial reform. you interfere underlie society. He did not do what today’s sociolo- social life. founder of sociology. instead of should guide social reform. world. by James M. abandoned. Comte stressed that this new science not only would dis. Seventh Edition. however. Comte called this new science sociology. with this natural process. Because of their similarity to Darwin’s ideas. the logical step was to apply the scientific method gists would call research. social life meant practicing what we might call “armchair Spencer’s views of the evolution of societies became known philosophy”—drawing conclusions from informal obser. . bined with those France underwent in the revolution. The changes he experienced in this move. Comte often is cred- This idea of applying the scientific method to the social ited with being the founder of sociology. who proposed making it a better place to live. apparently was first proposed by Auguste Comte (1798–1857). a Pearson company.” Although he stressed that the scientific method should be Spencer thought that helping the poor was wrong. coined the term “survival of the fittest. as social Darwinism. known as positivism.

Spencer did not con. factories. who came to England after being exiled from The primary professional goal of Emile Durkheim his native Germany for proposing revolution. His comparison of the own the means of production. Although Marx did not others in their communities are weak. . Henslin. Copyright © James M. he shook Karl Marx and Class Conflict his head and said. Durkheim achieved land. After gaining a wide following in England and the political system called communism. to sociology today. believed (1858–1917). particularly conflict theorists. Spencer was more of a social philosopher Marxism is not the same as communism. Durkheim (1897/1966) found which people will work according to their abilities and that each country had a different suicide rate. Marx felt disgusted when he discarded. in several European countries. who do not own the means of production). Durkheim’s identification consider himself a sociologist. 1977). and Social Integration Marx. The result ducted rigorous research. a Pearson company. He also found 1848/1967). that staunch advocate of capitalism. He simply developed ideas about ers could gain control of society. the exploitation of workers by those who many important concepts to sociology. Social change. one free of exploitation. that different groups within a country had different suicide Karl Marx (1818–1883) believed that the roots of human misery The French sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858–1917) contributed lie in class conflict. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. He ogy recognized as a separate academic discipline (Coser said that the bourgeoisie (boor-zhwa-ZEE) (the capitalists.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 7 ORIGINS OF SOCIOLOGY 7 Like Comte. who grew up in France. was factor: People are more likely to commit suicide if their ties to inevitable from Marx’s perspective. This is a later applica- United States. Up to this time. Comparing the suicide rates of will be a classless society. his ideas have influenced many of the key role of social integration in social life remains central sociologists. sociology had been viewed as a part those who own the means to produce wealth—capital. Marx supported revolution as the only way that the work- duct scientific studies. has called him one of the three greatest modern thinkers (the other two being Emile Durkheim Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein). by James M. After lis- tening to some of the positions attributed to him. forces affect people’s behavior. Seventh Edition. in the form of the suicide rates of several countries revealed an underlying social ISBN: 0-558-13856-X overthrow of the capitalists by the workers (proletariat). the mass of workers in sociology at the University of Bordeaux in 1887. and machines) are locked in conflict with this goal when he received the first academic appointment the proletariat (the exploited class. Published by Allyn and Bacon. he did not develop the society. This bitter Durkheim also had another goal: to show how social struggle can end only when the workers unite in revolu. To accomplish this. Gitlin 1997:89). he con- tion and throw off their chains of bondage. “I am not a Marxist” (Dobriner 1969b:222. heard debates about his insights into social life. Spencer’s ideas about social Darwinism were tion of his ideas. was to get sociol- that the engine of human history is class conflict. and that these receive according to their needs (Marx and Engels rates remained about the same year after year. The influence of Karl Marx (1818–1883) on world his- tory has been so great that even the Wall Street Journal. of the study of history and economics. Although than a sociologist. Henslin. Also like Comte. Indeed.

we see the principle road to heaven because they were baptized and were that was central in his research: Human behavior cannot church members. in order to make more money the spirit of capitalism. To ogy. and you will come across in Roman Catholic and Protestant countries. historical materials to trace the causes of social change and to because their social integration is weaker. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Like Durkheim and Marx. Suicide. This. appears at first to be such an intensely indi. males are more independent Max Weber (1864–1920) was another early sociologist who left a than females. by James M. the degree to which people are tied to their social group. not sociolo. and the unmarried lack the connections and profound impression on sociology. . and the unmarried have higher suicide rates. and the unmarried killed themselves at a higher rate than did Catholics. That role. We’ll explore these tral force in social change. they began to live frugal lives. and the married. To bring about this “sign” miss its social basis. Uncomfortable with this. flourish in Protestant countries. For example. Eventually. Published by Allyn and Bacon. he said. undermined people’s spiritual se- the unmarried—are more likely to kill themselves. Weber is one of the most test his theory. as a key social factor in suicide. groups have fewer of the social ties that keep people from committing suicide. Weber (1904/1958) theorized that the Roman quoted. saving their money and investing the surplus in or- Max Weber and the Protestant Ethic der to make even more. In line with his writings and theories in the coming chapters. From this. they began to vidual act that psychologists should study it. members of these determine how social groups affect people’s orientations to life. Henslin. Durkheim argued: Protestantism encourages greater free- dom of thought and action. we that God was on their side. a Pearson company. and Protestantism. Roman Catholics believed that they were on the From Durkheim’s study of suicide. a German Weber called this self-denying approach to life the sociologist and a contemporary of Durkheim. Rather. Over a hundred years later. gists. Copyright © James M. did not share be understood simply in individualistic terms. this belief. Durkheim’s work is still religion. Henslin.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 8 8 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE rates and that these. In other words. Let’s his theory. curity. Durkheim drew the insightful conclusion that suicide is not simply a matter of individu- als here and there deciding to take their lives for personal reasons. His research was so thorough that the principle he Catholic belief system encouraged its followers to hold uncovered still applies: People who are less socially inte. if we look at human they concluded that financial success was the major sign behavior (such as suicide) only in individualistic terms. and it continues to be debated disagreed with Marx’s claim that economics is the cen. males. he found that capitalism was more likely to consider an issue Weber raised that remains controver. onto traditional ways of life. Weber compared the extent of capitalism influential of all sociologists. social factors underlie suicide. and this is what keeps a group’s rates fairly constant year after year. he said. males. Max Weber (Mahx VAY-ber) (1864–1920). remained stable from year to year. those same system encouraged its members to embrace change. said Weber. It works this way. while the Protestant belief grated have higher rates of suicide. Weber’s conclusion that sial today. we must al. too. males. Even today. Weber troversial when he made it. females. also held Protestant ethic. Judgment Day. He concluded that people who have weaker social ties are more likely to commit suicide. groups that Durkheim identified—Protestants. Protestants. Yet. He termed the readiness to invest capital professorships in the new academic discipline of sociol. and receive spiritual comfort. he said. Durkheim identified social integration. today (Barro and McCleary 2003). This factor. belongs to ideas in more detail in Chapter 13. Seventh Edition. Protestants of the Calvinist tradition were ways examine the social forces that affect people’s lives. religion was the key factor in the rise of capitalism was con- ISBN: 0-558-13856-X Religion and the Origin of Capitalism. He used cross-cultural and responsibilities that come with marriage. however. explained why Protestants. brought about the birth of capitalism. told that they wouldn’t know if they were saved until for example. as Durkheim illustrated. Jews. Protestants. look for “signs” that they were in God’s will.

life. Like Harriet Martineau. In the clas. ported on this new nation’s customs—family. writing. children. sociology first took root at the University of Kansas in Harriet Martineau 1890. for writing of California at Berkeley didn’t have one until the 1950s. and the University ing beneath her sewing when visitors arrived. Mead devel- oped the symbolic interactionist perspective. Higher ed. Martineau’s research met the same fate as the work of selves to the four K’s: Kirche.) Members of this early sociology department whose ideas continue to influence today’s sociologists include Robert Park (1864–1944). two or three decades before Durkheim and Weber were born. Henslin. until recently. College of Philadelphia. disapproval. sex roles were rigidly defined. a Pearson company. Henslin. a department of sociology until 1930. was ig- (church. Transplanted to U. which is still worth reading to- sic German phrase. and wrote extensive analyses of social life. Harriet Martineau (1802–1876) wealth and privilege. for the rare few who received it. Early History: The Tension trenched in the universities stopped them from obtaining Between Social Reform advanced degrees or becoming professors. Addams came from a background of Interested in social reform. She attended the Women’s Medical ISBN: 0-558-13856-X turned to sociology. A handful of women from wealthy families. women were expected to devote them. gen- ciologists. Attitudes of the Time Martineau published Society in America. In 1837.S. male or female. where she discovered the writings of Comte. Women who nored. dom- inated sociology. the department at the University of Chicago. and at Atlanta and Early Social Research University. however. by James M. in 1897. Seventh Edition. none was as successful as Jane Addams (1860–1935). und Kleider other early women sociologists and. Kinder. day. examination of U. but dropped out because of ill- She became an advocate for the abolition of slavery. Addams observed and was impressed by the Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. When Martineau partment of sociology. was considered “masculine” and sewing “feminine” Initially. soil in the late nineteenth century. Despite her insightful women assigned the roles of wife and mother. traveled ness (Addams 1910/1981). which we will examine later.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 9 SOCIOLOGY IN NORTH AMERICA 9 Sexism in Early Sociology (Gilman 1911:88). their research was almost entirely ignored. politics. Instead. Jane Addams and Social Reform Although many North American sociologists combined the role of sociologist with that of social reformer. and George Herbert Mead (1863–1931). In the 1800s. A few even managed to study sociology. then an all-black school. and she eventually studied social life in both Great Britain and the United States. to Europe. During one of her many trips widely. at the University of Chicago in 1892. she would hide her writ. Few people. however. and religion. did pursue higher education. in which she re- As you may have noticed. received any education be- yond basic reading. although the sexism that was so deeply en. It was not A classic example is Harriet Martineau (1802–1876). Published by Allyn and Bacon. Martineau persisted in her interests. race. Küchen. and clothes). we have discussed only male so. In line with the and Sociological Analysis times. Harvard University did not open first began to analyze social life. she is known primarily for translating tried to break out of this mold experienced severe social Comte’s ideas into English. cooking.S. and a little math. was reserved for men. Sociology in North America ucation. . Ernest Burgess (1886–1966). which was founded by Albion Small (1854–1926). who until 1922 that McGill University gave Canada its first de- was born into a wealthy English family. Copyright © James M. (Small also founded the American Journal of Sociolog y and was its editor from 1895 to 1925. with der.

the U. as well as ploitation of blacks. the sick. Henslin. Addams strived to bridge the gap between the powerful and the powerless. Du Bois taught Greek and Latin at Wilberforce University. E. She worked with others to win the eight-hour work day and to pass laws against child labor. Jane Addams and others from Hull-House. he eventually embraced revolutionary Marxism. He W(illiam) E(dward) B(urghardt) Du Bois (1868–1963) spent his then went to Atlanta University in 1897. she At first. From then to battle racism both as a sociologist and as a journalist. Henslin. Her efforts at social reform were so outstanding that in 1931 she was a cowinner of the Nobel Prize for Peace. B. frustrated at the continuing ex- was also a leader in women’s rights (women suffrage). Published by Allyn and Bacon. Copyright © James M. a Pearson company. Du Bois (1868–1963). Later in life. he moved to Ghana. Sociologists from the nearby University of Chicago were frequent visitors at Hull-House. Du Bois Although Du Bois was invited to present a paper at the ISBN: 0-558-13856-X combined the role of academic sociologist with that of social 1909 meetings of the American Sociological Society. by James M. With Ellen G. (Stark 1989). dismayed that so little improvement had been made Chicago’s notorious slums. E. discrimination was so prevalent in the United States that hotels and restaurants would not al- low him to room or eat with the white sociologists. B. he once saw the fingers of a lynching victim on display in a Georgia butcher shop (Aptheker 1990).S. The Down-to-Earth Sociology box on the next page is taken from one of his books. a center to help immigrants in Chicago. he turned to social action. where he is buried ple who needed refuge—to immigrants. the first African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard. Jane Addams. the only sociol- ogist to win this coveted award. Starr. she worked tirelessly for social justice. an influential journal of was too poor to attend. the aged. 1860–1935. and he published a book on this subject each year between 1896 and 1914.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 10 10 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE subsequent meetings. located in 93. in race relations. Du Bois’ lifetime research interest was relations between whites and African Americans. When he could afford to attend the time. Du Bois’ insights into race relations were heightened by personal experiences. worked on behalf of poor immigrants. where he re. Later. when Du Bois had the money to travel. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Addams cofounded Hull-House. He was also the editor of Crisis. After completing his education at the University of Berlin. the poor. Seventh Edition. where he attended lectures by Max Weber. whites. he reformer. Along with the peace movement of World War I. Du Bois and Race Relations Another sociologist who combined sociology and social reform is W. She objective data. on. For example. Hull-House was open to peo. With her piercing insights into the ways in which workers were ex- ploited and how immigrants adjusted to city life. At age In 1889. Du Bois was content to collect and interpret founded Hull-House. . State Department feared that he would criticize the United States and at the height of the Cold War refused to give him a passport (Du Bois 1968). lifetime studying relations between African Americans and mained for most of his career. Like many early North American sociologists. Continuing work being done on behalf of London’s poor. Du Bois founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (Deegan 1988). W. a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

wrote a little. but these. dark fatalism bound to bring all things right in His own good thin Black. and herds of untamed education beyond the first several grades was a the thirty years following the Civil War. and they answered with little. all human relations. how Josie Tennessee. Henslin. and the children * “The Veil” is shorthand for the Veil of Race. with here and there a consciousness.” saw in every present hindrance or help a dren. twenty-five and more years before had seen “the glory of the On Friday nights I often went home with some of the chil. ever working. at burial. rough farm.—he preached now and pressed sociological thought more like an ac. referring to how race colors were strong and barefooted. All this caused marvelous. Copyright © James M. poor black spelling-book.—sometimes to Doc Burke’s farm. but that four dollars a month was tions at that time. insects wandered over the luxury.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 11 SOCIOLOGY IN NORTH AMERICA 11 Down-to-Earth Sociology Early Sociology I liked to stay with the in North America: Dowells. horses. then. and sit Fisk. Best of all I loved to go to Josie’s. ISBN: 0-558-13856-X Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. and wheat he been neglected in sociology. B. Reuben’s larder was limited se- enough food. how Josie longed to go away to school. DU BOIS. poverty was widespread in the must go where life was less from pages 66–68 of The Souls of Black Folk lovely. finally. . their faces shading called my tiny community a world. were spoken in various languages. us to think some thoughts together. . sprung from common joy and grief. I have thirty of them. for they had four rooms and plenty of good Du Bois and Race country fare. and yet there was among us but a half-awakened common swinging. have berries. . . will judge men by their souls and not by their skins” (p. I enough ahead to let her. Those whose eyes beyond the hill. on the rough benches. Du Bois’ hope was that “sometime. with saffron face ridiculed their offering. above all. . all woods Relations and hills. while he was a student at people Du Bois worked with. twinkle of mischief. from common hardship in poverty. from the sight of the the children had in the wisdom of their teacher was truly Veil* that hung between us and Opportunity. sang. a Pearson company. We read and spelled together. . and the hands grasping Webster’s blue. loud. men room cabin in the hollow of the farm near the spring. “mighty little” wages. but that it “looked liked” they never could get far It was a hot morning late in July when the school opened. worked at service in winter. how mean some of the white dusty road. and shiny hair. time. and saw the growing row of dark solemn faces folks were. changes that occurred in the social and eco. The following excerpts help us understand condi. eating peaches. birth. This photo depicts the conditions of the For two summers. and. . but people said tion of childhood found the world a puzzling thing: it asked that he would surely fail and the “white folks would get it little of them. and low wages. I reprint the following excerpts In the 1800s. 261). coming of the Lord. somewhere. nearly For two summers I lived in this little world. while the mother bustled and housed in a log hut “way back in the hills” of rural talked: how Josie had bought the sewing-machine. how the crops failed and the well trembled when I heard the patter of little feet down the was yet unfinished. or wedding. .” His wife was a magnificent Amazon. Eddingses’ beds. who ex. by James M. uncorseted and barefooted. . He was a great. . and so its isolation made from a pale cream to deep brown. and bright eager eyes facing me. In this book. and. Du Bois taught in a segregated school on the porch. Most people were so poor that they expended their life energies on just getting mother was incorrigibly dirty. and the fine faith land. and clothing to survive. miles from the big road. complished novelist than a sociologist. Often. Published by Allyn and Bacon. and trying to buy these seventy. The mass of those to whom slavery was a dim recollec- five acres of hill and dale where he lived. the eyes full of expectation. Formal nomic conditions of African Americans during riously. and yet it all. for instance.—and with his children. Uncle Bird had a small. To help remedy was happy and prosperous. I loved my school. They lived in a one-and-a-half. tales. There they sat. Seventh Edition. but he was full of THE WRITINGS OF W. when ripe for picked flowers. to keep the peace. I this omission. fuel. . and listened to stories of the world speech. Henslin. ‘Tildy’s (1903). Du Bois analyzes United States. . the little feet bare and it. . E.

This is called basic (or pure) sociology. Henslin. Some an obligation to use their expertise to try to make society work for business firms to solve problems in the workplace. Talcott Parsons (1902–1979).1. politics.1 Comparing Basic and Applied Sociology BASIC SOCIOLOGY APPLIED SOCIOLOGY Audience: Fellow sociologists Audience: Clients Product: Knowledge Product: Change Constructing Research on basic The middle Analyzing Implementing theory and social life. Today. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach.) One of the first attempts at applied sociology—and tension in sociology that is still with us today. Wright Mills: Theory Versus Reform During the 1940s. in social activism. by James M. Others Down-to-Earth Sociology box on the next page. Henslin. C. Copyright © James M. a better place in which to live and to help bring justice to the poor. Wright Mills (1916–1962) deplored the theo- retical abstractions of this period. Seventh Edition.tioned: ciologists believe that their proper role is to analyze some the founding of the National Association for the aspect of society and to publish their findings in sociol. Based on DeMartini 1982. a Pearson company. and he urged sociol- ogists to get back to social reform. As illustrated in the ogy journals. the emphasis shifted from social reform to social theory. C. Published by Allyn and Bacon. (See Figure 1. today’s say that basic sociology is not enough: Sociologists have applied sociologists work in a variety of settings. The apparent contradiction of these two aims—analyz. Some so. The Continuing Tension and Somewhere between these extremes lies applied the Rise of Applied Sociology sociology. developed abstract models of society that greatly in- fluenced a generation of sociologists. . This precedent-shaking era sparked interest of the public. He warned that an imminent threat to freedom was the coalescing of in- terests on the part of a group he called the power elite— the top leaders of business. Advancement of Colored People. and Mills’ ideas grew popular among a new generation of sociologists. which contrasts basic and applied sociol- ing society versus working toward its reform—created a ogy. his analysis is taken for granted by many sociologists and members and 1970s. and sociology) suggesting ISBN: 0-558-13856-X solutions Source: By the author. which uses sociology to solve problems. for exam- ple. Parsons’ models of how the parts of society work together harmoniously did nothing to stimulate social activism. one of the most successful—was one I just men.S. on how ground: criticisms problems. and the military. Wright Mills was a controversial figure in sociology because of Shortly after Mills’ death came the turbulent late 1960s his analysis of the role of the power elite in U. solutions testing groups affect of society and evaluating (clinical hypotheses people social policy programs.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 12 12 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Talcott Parsons and C. Figure 1. society.

Applied so. ogy is determining ways to disrupt terrorist groups (Ebner It is an application of sociology but not an attempt to 2005). and birth complications—were Leslie Green. analyzes statistics for the New MOST SOCIOLOGISTS TEACH IN COLLEGES and universities. She also did research on how well the caregivers the needs of different groups. She alerted the Centers for Disease ciologists. The Down-to-Earth Sociology box on the next change society. Iutcovich does research sion groups. is president of Keystone University Research velop strategies to get doctors to prescribe particular drugs. Group in Philadelphia. work in a wide variety of areas—from Control. by James M. Henslin. A new specialty in applied sociol. say that applied sociology doesn’t even come close to this. ted. It is plied. As she examined death certifi- sharing sociological knowledge with college students. earned her bachelor’s de. as cates.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 13 SOCIOLOGY IN NORTH AMERICA 13 Others investigate social problems such as environmental Consequently. State University. She found that problems at birth—low birth four applied sociologists. In one of participate in the research. You can ISBN: 0-558-13856-X though there was a long list of eager adoptive parents. she noticed that a Polish neighborhood had a high your instructor is doing with you in this course. Banks compared birth certificates with you an idea of this variety. rate of stomach cancer. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. of the Society for Applied Sociology. even vate agencies. One of his assignments was to find out for corporations. lack of prenatal care. He spots problems and the variety of work that applied sociologists do. whose doctorate is from Kent gree in sociology at Shippensburg University. is it still sociology? Down-to-Earth Sociology was routed through the system and suggested ways to im- Careers in Sociology: prove the flow to accelerate the process. for attempt to rebuild society. He evaluates how children’s Substance Abuse and Health Information Clearinghouse. Sociologists who want the emphasis to be on social reform or how AIDS spreads. on discovering knowledge.’ It helps me to understand providers. she designed a training program for child care says.” did. If sociologists use socio- an application of sociology in some specific setting. counseling children to studying how diseases are transmit. who received her master’s degree in sociol- ogy from Fordham University. York City Health Department. some are employed by government and pri- why it was taking so long to get children adopted. To give In another case. and preschool education—actually work. homes. you can catch a glimpse of with how they are supposed to work. Her research and program improved the quality of care Stanley Capela. as early sociologists envisioned.000 pieces of literature a month. Corporation in Erie. example. the relationship between pornography and rape. not an logical principles to help teenagers escape from pimps. whose master’s degree is from Fordham given to children by the Pennsylvania Department of Public University. “helps me in ‘people skills. say that when sociology is ap- Applied sociology is not the same as social reform.” she her projects. in contrast. Published by Allyn and Bacon. let’s look over the shoulders of school records. works as an applied sociologist at HeartShare Welfare. programs—such as ones that focus on housing. “My training in sociology. who want the emphasis to remain page presents a startling example of applied sociology. which conducted interviews in the neighborhood. Joyce Miller Iutcovich. They traced the cause to eating large amounts of sausage. pollution. Henslin. also see that you don’t need a doctorate in order to work as Capela pinpointed how the paperwork got bogged down as it an applied sociologist. it is no longer sociology. and to interact with them. Some even make software more user-friendly. Seventh Edition. AIDS. Copyright © James M. Her organization also administers the Pennsylvania Human Services in New York. who does marketing research at Vanderveer linked to low reading skills and behavior problems in school. Some work suggests solutions. primarily for government agencies. Pennsylvania. and others run their own businesses. locates moderators for the discus. a new tension has emerged in sociology. She is also a past president She sets up the meetings. She helps to de. What Applied Sociologists Do Laurie Banks. compared From just these few examples. a Pearson company. weight. group which distributes over 300. Pennsylvania. and arranges payments to the physicians who and consulting. Others. .

so it was likely that peared. Using software programs to sift houses in Baghdad. a Pearson company. are mapping the links in bin Laden’s tribal network to The photos placed closest to Hussein on this map of so. Those who were pictured but perhaps none as startling as assisting in slightly farther away knew the capture of Saddam Hussein. comparing themselves with others (Stryker 1990). functional analysis. intelligence officers through vast amounts of information gained from inform- began to apply sociology. Henslin. Hussein disap. identify weaknesses that might reveal his whereabouts cial relationships represented an intimate and loyal group.” We place our observations (our “facts”) into a framework of more-or-less related ideas. William I. Let’s Cooley (1864–1929). Seventh Edition. they of Applied Sociology also were the least likely to reveal this information. Applied sociology takes many twists and turns. color-coded map. This Sociologists use three major theories: symbolic inter. they work. But Hussein was nowhere to be found. Then let’s see how each theory helps us to understand why the in Sociology divorce rate in the United States is so high. him all over the map. from neighboring countries to safe The approach worked. His capture became a pressing goal some of them had informa- with two purposes. the analysts drew an exten- network analysis. After U. . (KRT 2003). placing their photos closer to or As I write this.-led people in this more intimate forces took over Baghdad. individuals’ social ties to sistance to the occupation of Iraq.S. like a bull’s-eye. and conflict theory. Analysts drew up a “people map.S. The first was symbolic: a tion about Hussein’s where- sign of the coalition’s triumph. everyday life. group. Henslin. As we do so. Because these practical: to prevent Hussein from directing re. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 14 14 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Down-to-Earth Sociology Capturing These people were the most Saddam Hussein: likely to know where Hussein was. provides a dis- Facts never interpret themselves. The second was abouts. In tinctive interpretation of social life. we interpret what we observe by using “com- mon sense. Sociologists do this. A theory is a general statement We can trace the origins of symbolic interactionism to about how some parts of the world fit together and how the Scottish moral philosophers of the eighteenth century. They intimacy with Hussein (Schmitt 2003). Published by Allyn and Bacon. To find him. but they place their observations in a conceptual Symbolic Interactionism framework called a theory. but because of A Surprising Example their close ties to him.” On a sive people map that pictured these social relationships. Theoretical Perspectives first examine the main elements of these theories. Rumors placed they provided the weaker links to try to break. analysts are using applied sociology farther from Hussein’s photo on the basis of their level of in a similar way to hunt down Osama bin Laden. Thomas (1863–1947). too. they placed Hussein’s photo in a yellow Identifying and focusing on the weaker links led to the cap- circle. by James M. a form known as ants and electronic intercepts. specifically. perspective was brought to sociology by Charles Horton actionism. you will see how each theory. Copyright © James M. were connected to Hussein. It is an explanation of how two or more “facts” who noted that individuals evaluate their own conduct by ISBN: 0-558-13856-X are related to one another. U. They then drew links to people who ture of Saddam Hussein. Hussein were not as strong. or perspective.

and In short. by James M. for haviors depend on the ways we define both ourselves and children began to contribute to the support of the family others. without symbols we would have no Then. this is not the case in many cultures often comes as a Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. or uncle. define for us what relationships are. Symbolic interactionists note that ideas about mari- fore your marriage. There would still be re. For example. clothing. Copyright © James M. ten are expected to support themselves by the age of 8 or ists point out that even the self is a symbol. we assume of the ideas we have about who we are. When these symbols to specify times. the meaning of marriage began to change. divorce rate (see Figure 1. They study face-to-face interactions. your mother confides that she had a child tal roles and parenthood also changed—and they point before she married. people’s views changed. Formerly a symbol differently. In advanced industrial societies. In Colombia. have no hospitals. To explain the main elements of this theory. sizes. She out that none of these changes strengthen marriage. however. there making marriage more fragile and divorce more com- would be no movies or musical instruments. Americans thought of marriage as a sacred. Symbolic interaction. but if you think of often temporary. there would be no war. of course. a flagrant disregard for public opinion. but it is symbols that sonality was becoming more important in mate selection.S. parenthood is still like how people work out their relationships and how they make this. aunts or uncles. that person as a boyfriend or girlfriend. derstanding. Symbolic interactionists change as symbols change. Published by Allyn and Bacon. for it consists 10. Unable ture that made marriages last. That the reactions of others. Seventh Edition. a child that she gave up for adoption.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 15 THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES IN SOCIOLOGY 15 and George Herbert Mead (1863–1931).2 on the next page). that was based on feelings of intimacy. harmful ac- bols. no religion. to what they consider to be burdensome notions. we could not changed. sociologists Ernest Burgess and Harvey Locke production. The class Similarly. time. Without symbols. Henslin. commitment. of failure. symbolic interactionists look at how people’s ideas and behavior Symbols in Everyday Life. symbolic interactionists analyze how our be. you behave in certain ways. lifelong world and to communicate with one another. ginnings. it became an indicator of freedom and new be- lated to others—and how you should act toward them. It is the symbol that tells you how you are re. spect and obligations or from whom we can expect privi. and compatibility in marriage. build bridges and highways. ideas of parenthood and childhood used to you are taking could not exist—nor could this book. We would not know to whom we owe re. shelter. In contrast. In 1945. they look at early in life. Without symbols. or goals. as a lifelong commitment based on duty and obligation. U. I know that this sounds strange. Without sym. sociologist William Ogburn observed that per- sisters. And this was only for a short time. of animals. . Symbols allow the existence not only of relationships Although couples find it a relief not to have to conform but also of society. No longer did they see marriage leges—the stuff that human relationships are made of. we could not coor. moral guidance. for example. Look at it like this: If you think of someone as your aunt Instead. and are going to marry this person tomorrow. children beyond providing food. you behave quite The meaning of divorce also changed. They note that until the early study how people use symbols to develop their views of the 1900s. We would mon. and children. Among many people. the structure they had created was weakened. materials. couples must figure out your behavior. Gradually. children of the poor of- sense out of life and their place in it. On be quite different. slowly. And the self is a that children are vulnerable beings who must depend on ISBN: 0-558-13856-X changing symbol: As we interact with others. and place. home. those dinate our actions with those of other people. newlyweds knew what they had going to marry is this child. Let’s look at the Applying Symbolic Interactionism. The night be. a Pearson company. our social life would be no more sophisticated than that tion. employers or teachers—or even brothers and In 1933. with to- You can see how the symbol will change overnight!—and day’s much vaguer guidelines. too! how to divide up responsibilities for work. As they struggle to do so. a right to expect from each other. Divorce was seen as an immoral. we constantly their parents for financial and emotional support for many adjust our views of who we are based on how we interpret years—often until they are well into their twenties. Parents had little responsibility for their the positive side. For then adds that she has just discovered that the person you are example. We could traditional expectations (or symbols) did provide a struc- not make plans for a future date. but no symbols to tell us how we are noted the growing importance of mutual affection. no government. many flounder. they began to view marriage as an arrangement. We’ll get more into this later. from tradition. Henslin. Removing the stigma from divorce shattered a To make this clearer strong barrier that had prevented husbands and wives from Suppose that you are head-over-heels in love with someone breaking up. un- related to whom.

social system) in equilibrium. but.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 16 16 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Figure 1. gether.75 Marriages in Millions Millions 1. As a result. The broken lines indicate the author’s estimates. Functional Analysis dysfunctions are consequences that harm society.00 1890 1990 1910 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Year Sources: By the author. is rooted in the origins of so. then. Like an organism. The intention. When all the parts the bonus works. Based on Statistical Abstract 1998:Table 92. No sin. how it contributes to society). Divorce 2.000 bonus for every child born to a has organs that function together.75 Divorces . For example.0 1. Functional analysis. place heavy burdens on today’s couples and. also known as functionalism is intended to help some part of a system. it is a manifest and structural functionalism. ciety as a kind of living organism. In contrast. Merton used the term functions to refer to the beneficial consequences of people’s actions: Functions help keep a group (society. the of society fulfill their functions. Henslin. by James M. Because the ben- If they do not fulfill their functions. bonus is to increase childbearing. these changes provide a strong push toward divorce.50 1. but he did ideas (or symbols) put pressure on married couples.75 . whole unit.75 1. . society is in an “abnor. Just as a person or animal Congress offers a $10. society is in a “normal” state. Seventh Edition. surprise to Americans. a Pearson company. with them.2 U. and the birth rate jumps. then.25 1. suppose that the government be- ciology. earlier editions for earlier years. who assume that their own situa. efits to these businesses were not the intended conse- mal” or “pathological” state.S. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Merton pointed out that its various parts must work together in harmony.25 2. people’s actions can also have latent functions—unintended Emile Durkheim also viewed society as being composed consequences that help a system adjust. each with its own function.50 2.25 . more strain on marriage. they wrote.S.25 Number in Number 1. Marriage. it is made up of interrelated parts that work Functions can be either manifest or latent. Auguste Comte and Herbert Spencer viewed so. the parts of a society fit together to make the whole) and The greater responsibilities that we assign to parenthood function (what each part does. they are latent functions of the bonus. Robert Merton Symbolic interactionists. comes concerned about our low rate of childbirth. They un- The central idea of functional analysis is that society is a dermine a system’s equilibrium.50 .0 . Henslin. U. taken to. or manifest function. Copyright © James M. Published by Allyn and Bacon. of the ciety. ciety as a whole composed of parts that work together. married couple. if society is to function smoothly. function. quences. so does so. maintain the essence of functionalism—the image of so- gle change is the cause of our divorce rate. look at how changing (1910–2003) dismissed the organic analogy. “Population Today” 2006. Let’s suppose that ISBN: 0-558-13856-X of many parts. sales of diapers and baby furniture boom. To understand society. If an action together. functionalists say that we need to look at both structure (how tion is some sort of natural arrangement that is worldwide. Robert Merton and Functionalism.

and caring for Large families become common. Milking cows. more recently. She cooked for him. The husband As you can see. they represent latent When Phil became sick. the family was a sort of economic the casket while Ann. look at this example from the 1800s: protest. collecting moved his body to the church for the final message and then eggs. Merton called them latent dysfunctions. where friends. taxes jump. as were cooking. the more they need the next bonus to survive. darning. To see how sharply family functions Welfare is reinstated. The daughters helped her. and churning butter were also her responsibility— to the grave they themselves had dug. Together.) Phil was also surrounded functional analysis to the U. teaching them however.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 17 THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES IN SOCIOLOGY 17 Of course. and female friends washed team. the mother. To collect the bonus. it took with it first the father and. bathed him. Henslin. members of the family worked together as an economic unit. her mother. Published by Allyn and Bacon. read to him from the Bible. the male neighbors and relatives made fore industrialization. The functions that bonded family members to one an- ple keep on having children. The sons helped him. providing home-based recreation. For example. changed the bed linen. Cuba. Copyright © James M. as in this painting by Leopoldo Romanach (1958-) of Havana. some peo. . and gave him his medi- cine. neighbors. the family used to have more functions was responsible for caring for large animals. From there. the traditional functions of the family. each mem. canning. Henslin. such as chickens. Let’s suppose that they formed an economic unit in which each depended on the government has failed to specify a stopping point with the others for survival. The wife was parlor (the formal living room). friends small animals. by James M. he was nursed by Ann. who shouldered some of his chores while stress that industrialization and urbanization undermined he was sick. Before industrialization. religion. a Pearson company. other also included educating the children. the sick and elderly. On the farm. where most people lived. Because these results were not intended.S. fed him. and for maintain- Because such consequences usually are unintended. divorce rate. The more children they have. Seventh Edition. Families handled many aspects of life and Sociologists who use the functionalist perspective stress how industrialization and urbanization undermined the traditional functions of the family. and cleaning. and cattle. human actions can also hurt a system. and poverty increases. As production moved away from the home. baking. ing buildings and tools. his wife. sewing. and be- cause they harmed the social system. in charge not only of household tasks but also of raising and relatives paid their last respects. One consequence is a major dysfunction. be. Now let’s apply taking care of their six children. for planting and harvesting. ISBN: 0-558-13856-X Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. such as horses than it does now. dysfunctions of the bonus program. and the nation erupts in have changed. the weakening of family ties. Phil was then “laid out” in the front ber of the family had jobs or “chores” to do. wash- ing. When Phil died. and dressed the body. (She did this in addition to doing the housework and Applying Functional Analysis. Functionalists by the children. regard to its bonus system.

Henslin. be. the the oppression of women and women’s struggle against that founder of conflict theory. Just as Marx stressed conflict on the surface alliances or cooperation may prevail. average worker died at age 30.S. multinational. a sign that women are making headway in their his- torical struggle with men. however. For millennia. conflict theorists focus on how men’s at age 50 (Edgerton 1992:87). He concluded that the key to human history is class with industrialization. but divorce is not a sign that marriage has weakened but. and the proletariat. with husbands and wives depending on one another ciety to determine who has authority over what (Turner for their interlocking contributions to a mutual endeavor. the average wealthy person divorce rate is high. and even global system. sick leave. Copyright © James M. When Marx made his observations. (Feminism is discussed in Chapter 10. the bourgeoisie. medical quence has been higher divorce rates as wives grew less in- benefits. Feminists stress that nious whole. Social clined to put up with relationships that they defined as Security. conflict is most likely to develop among people who are sonal. their willingness to accept men’s domination day: minimum wages. They examine how conflict permeates every layer of so. Karl Marx. These people have worked out ways agencies take over family functions. coffee breaks. considered natural and right. Feminists are not united by the conflict perspective. men dominated women. ory. between capitalists and workers. the mass of as inevitable.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 18 18 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE death that we now assign to outside agencies. Marx began to analyze so. As he did so. Sociologist Lewis Coser (1913–2003) pointed out that checks and function as separate components in an imper. paid vacations and holidays. A major difference among these three theoretical per- a community. power and re- bind.” Marriages become more fragile. eco. conflict the. As women gained education ployers. a Pearson company. As they view re- orists stress that society is composed of groups that are lations between men and women. The Applying Conflict Theory. today’s women. Henslin. Any change in this arrangement can lead to hurt feelings. and they strived for more power. unemployment compensation. In each society. From the conflict perspective. Conflict Theory Today. this weakens the “ties that to distribute responsibilities and privileges. Workers had none of what we take for granted to. Functionalists and con- sition of authority try to enforce conformity. Women had few alternatives ciety and history. they see a conflict that goes competing with one another for scarce resources. suffering and their exploitation. Seventh Edition. are much more likely to dissolve a marriage workers who are exploited by the bourgeoisie. he developed conflict the. Today. Even in intimate rela- Conflict Theory tionships. our increase in us that these benefits came not from generous hearts. an organization. Marx’s analysis reminds unfair. In 1978. Published by Allyn and Bacon. or the entire society. by James M. people are in a constant balancing act. from workers forcing concessions from their employers. other than accepting their exploitation. and earnings. and divorce increases. the dominance of men over women was once its infancy. Consequently. today’s husbands and wives earn individual pay. He observed that riety of theories. The result is a constant struggle throughout so- effort. Conflict theory provides a third perspective on social life. some small group controls the vival needs outside of marriage. who view society as a harmo. When outside in close relationships. and workers were at the mercy of their em. witnessed the Industrial oppression. Industrialization has also means of production and exploits those who are not in fostered a culture in which females participate in social control. and the right to strike. the struggle is between worlds beyond the home. with conflict lying uneasily just beneath the surface. then. Although back to the origins of history. women can meet their basic sur- conflict. In industrialized societies. then. When people in a po. home-based resistance. and conflict. Although some focus on Karl Marx and Conflict Theory. that becomes intolerable—or even unsatisfactory.) peasants who had left the land to seek work in cities had to work for wages that provided barely enough to eat. To explain why the U. capitalism was in In sum. with its parts working together. Shocked by people’s deep and women’s relationships have changed. position requires them to do. this creates resentment and nomic production is no longer a cooperative. wards. Levels of Analysis: Macro and Micro ISBN: 0-558-13856-X ciety—whether that be a small group. men and women should have equal rights. Bartos and Wehr 2002). that is. Feminists and Conflict Theory. Similarly. contrast. they Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. spectives is their level of analysis. One conse- five-day work weeks. however. flict between men and women. bitterness. the small group of capitalists who own the refusing to bear burdens that earlier generations accepted means to produce wealth. eight-hour days. so many feminists stress con- neath that surface is a struggle for power. rather. Unlike the functionalists. Some sociologists use con- flict theory in a much broader sense than Marx did. diminished. which their flict theorists focus on the macro level. . feminists tackle a variety of topics and use a va- Revolution that transformed Europe.

S. Divorce Rate Symbolic Microsociological— Face-to face interaction. how the Conflict women find few alternatives elites use their power Competition to a bad marriage. Copyright © James M. They would focus instead to analyze human behavior. Henslin. In contrast. and so on). it is necessary to use all three theoretical lenses tionalists and conflict theorists.1. . It won’t represent the Table 1. The those interpretations are quite different from the com- observations I made at the beginning of this chapter about monsense understanding that two people are simply “in- the silence in the homeless shelter. features of social life. sym. children. These levels are summarized in Table 1. This micro level. loss of jobs overseas) cause Work Together homelessness among people who are unable to find jobs Theory cannot stand alone. they interaction—what people do when they are in one an. They might look at how changes in the family (fewer children. To study homeless people. As sociologist C. by James M. these theoretical perspectives produce their communications. silence. Published by Allyn and Bacon. the high ISBN: 0-558-13856-X to control the weaker Exploitation divorce rate reflects a shift groups in the balance of power between men and women. each provides a distinct interpretation. That. a Pearson company. family ties weaken. Wright Mills and have no family to fall back on. and structural (have beneficial consequences) Dysfunctions and the divorce rate increases. how these Functions traditional functions of the functionalism patterns of society parts are functional (manifest and latent) family. Seventh Edition. point out. changes in the parts of society have increased homeless- ness. search. By combining the contributions on the macro level.” Because each theory focuses on different of interest to symbolic interactionists. fewer unskilled jobs. more divorce) and economic conditions (infla. especially how the policies of the wealthy force certain bolic interactionists focus on the micro level. In the case of divorce. we gain a more comprehensive picture of social life. Which theoretical perspective should we use to study hu- They would analyze what homeless people do when they man behavior? Which level of analysis is the correct one? are in shelters and on the streets. let’s return to the example of the homeless with Putting the Theoretical which we opened this chapter. both their talk and their nonverbal contrasting pictures of human life. functionalism) or dysfunctional (have negative Equilibrium consequences) Conflict Theory Macrosociological— The struggle for scarce Inequality When men control economic life. on social groups into unemployment and homelessness. for example. accounts for the disproportionate number of other’s presence. interaction (gestures. African Americans who are homeless. Functional Analysis Macrosociological— Relationships among the Structure As social change erodes the (also called examines large-scale parts of society.1 Major Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology Usual Level Applying the Perspective Perspective of Analysis Focus of Analysis Key Terms to the U. marriage. it will be abstract and empty. conflict (1959) so forcefully argued.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 19 THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE IN SOCIOLOGY 19 examine large-scale patterns of society. however. use of space. if theory isn’t connected to re- theorists would stress the struggle between social classes. To make this distinction between micro and macro lev- els clearer. They would also analyze As you have seen. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. How Theory and Research tion. Symbols Industrialization and Interactionism examines small-scale how people use symbols Interaction urbanization changed marital patterns of social to create social life Meanings roles and led to a redefinition interaction Definitions of love. For their part. Henslin. would not interest func- Consequently. would be compatible. examines large-scale resources by groups Power the divorce rate is low because patterns of society in a society. Functionalists would examine how of each. and divorce. Perspectives Together symbolic interactionists would focus on the micro level.

which requires re. For example. scientific re. you may want to know why men are more likely than women to be 8 Share the results. You don’t want to waste your time redis- Theory and research. about every aspect of social life. A hypothesis predicts a relationship be- social life. It is the same for research. As sociologists study on a theory. some of these steps 5 Choose a research method may run together. It takes research to find out. Some may even be omitted. Published by Allyn and Bacon. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. then. We want to know what is really going on. we need to fo. pect to find according to predictions that are based plained. This is an ideal model. And as sociologists do research. they often come mulate a hypothesis. Seventh Edition. To test your Figure 1. 7 Analyze the results. by James M. the abusers. First. from one person or situation to another. tween or among variables. Spouse abuse is too broad. the things that “everyone knows are true. Mills said. Every theory must be tested. Your hypothesis will need operational defini- sumptions about the way the world “is. Henslin. 3 Review the literature. glove. that is. Those findings must be ex. sociologists do research on just 2 Define the problem. factors that vary. search follows eight basic steps. people make as.” may or may not be true. • Survey • Participant observation • Documents • Secondary analysis 1. and in the real world of research. 3. however. cus on a specific area. research is also of little value. To find out. tions. we need theory. The fourth step is to for- search. change. Formulating a hypothesis. A Research Model As shown in Figure 1.” problem. or Let’s turn now to how sociologists do research. Without the. they combine research and theory. Or perhaps you want ISBN: 0-558-13856-X to know what can be done to re- duce domestic violence. and for that. For example. a Pearson company. Around the globe.” Common sense. 6 Collect the data. You must review the litera- ory. it is simply a ture to find out what has been published on the collection of meaningless “facts. a statement of what you ex- up with surprising findings. Reviewing the literature. however. go together like a hand and covering what is already known.2 of Schaeffer 1989. Regardless of the topic that we want to investigate. we need to move beyond 1 Select a topic. precise ways to measure the variables. Source: Modification of Figure 2. Selecting a topic. 4 Formulate a hypothesis. Defining the problem. . then.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 20 20 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE way life really is. what do you • Experiments • Unobtrusive measures want to know more about? Let’s choose spouse abuse as our topic. the statement “Men who are more so- cially isolated are more likely to abuse their wives Doing Sociological Research than are men who are more socially integrated” is a hypothesis.3 The Research Model own common sense. read the Down-to- Earth Sociology box on the next page. Henslin. Copyright © James M. Stimulates more 2. Let’s look Generates hypotheses at how they do their research. 4. guesswork and common sense.3. The next step ideas for research is to narrow the topic.

laid off from work take up the slack and increase the 1. Spouse abuse. The means by which you sistent with yours. Copyright © James M.S. 3.S. You can choose from a variety intended to measure.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 21 DOING SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH 21 Down-to-Earth Sociology Enjoying a Sociology 4. their findings will be con- 5. has no be obvious. With today’s software. your unreliable. seems to pecially that done by participant observation. your operational defi. their rate of about caught up with those of U. about double that of U. for example. in just seconds you can run tion about what you are measuring. and social orga. school now than ten or fifteen years ago.) ISBN: 0-558-13856-X nitions must be so precise that no one has any ques. True/False When faced with natural disasters such as 10. Reliability means that if other researchers use your gration. When you gather your data. women have just helmets now than just a few years ago. pressure to do well in school that their suicide rate is nization disintegrates. students are shot to death at amount of housework they do. Analyzing the results. Seventh Edition. of techniques to analyze the data you gathered. it is dur- social integration. Sociologists use six basic research of violence might be included in some research but methods. men make more eye contact in face-to-face conversations. True/False Because bicyclists are more likely to wear 2. True/False Most husbands of working wives who get answers. (Some research. Quiz—Sociological Findings 5. and spouse abuse—and not ing this step that you will test it.S. True/False Compared with women. husbands who have committed the same act research design). students. by James M. Collecting the data. tests on your data that used to take days or even Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Henslin. Yet what some people consider to be hypothesis. while others contradict them. True/False Students in Japan are under such intense floods and earthquakes. which are outlined in the next section. Published by Allyn and Bacon. you that it is 30 percent. people panic. spouse abuse. They could work if they wanted to. social inte. True/False Most rapists are mentally ill. In this example. True/False Couples who live together before marriage derstandings of social life. complete couples who do not live together before marriage. You might show a 10 percent rate of your particular questions. ify the variables in advance. 9. head injuries has dropped. men. and spouse abuse. Choosing a research method. In this case. that is. Versus Common Sense 6. Which will you are going to research that you cannot even spec- you choose? In other words. You would end up with will want to choose the method that will best answer erratic results. You may know so little about the setting abuse is not considered abuse by others. operational definitions. If a tain that you really are measuring social isolation. This would make your research have to take care to assure their validity.S. you would need operational defini. a Pearson company. but another researcher may conclude 6. . SOME FINDINGS OF SOCIOLOGY SUPPORT commonsense un- 7. True/False Most people on welfare are lazy and look- ing for a handout. all the questions before turning the page to check your 8. If your operational definitions are collect your data is called a research method or sloppy. es- something else. tions for three variables: social isolation. Henslin. You excluded in other studies. operational definitions must measure what they are 7. You must also be sure your data are reliable. True/False The earnings of U. hypothesis has been part of your research. are usually more satisfied with their marriages than Can you tell the difference? To enjoy this quiz. you must be cer. True/False More U.

An appropriate Let’s look in greater detail at the fifth step and exam.5 and 10. however. False Over the years. a Pearson company. You will also show how your findings fit in with the published literature and how they support Surveys or refute the theories that apply to your topic.) victed of other crimes. False Sociologists compared the psychological pro. False More students were shot to death at U. full-time working women earn place—and a key to marital success is firm commitment less than 70 percent of what full-time working men to one another (Larson 1988. 3. of human action are studied by functionalists. but their rate of head injuries is higher. is that many couples who cohabit before mar- 2. the even about ethical issues. False Most husbands of working wives who get laid earlier years. Sharing the results. You will review how you did your study. Some husbands are also abused. Copyright © James M. To wrap up your research. you will want to know what “average” is in scientific community. Apparently.3 on page 24. researchers Safety Center 2005). method you choose will depend on the questions you 8.S. tastrophe. The ways to measure average are discussed your research.2 on the next page illustrates. 16. and 271. 6. False Following disasters. The reason. As you will see. rape is a learned behavior (Scully and Marolla ble that of Japanese students (Haynes and Chalker 1984/2005). you want to answer. For an example. As we review the six research meth- Some software. This low figure is actually an improvement over 8. such as the Methodologist’s ods (or research designs) that sociologists use. we will con- Toolchest. but riage are less committed to marriage in the first only slightly. schools in the early 1990s than now (National School 7. False The opposite is true. Henslin. Dushl et al. the wage gap has narrowed. So that you can have a yardstick for will write a report to share your findings with the comparison. False Most people on welfare are children. sociologists each year. method would be the survey—asking people a series of ine the research methods that sociologists use. (Unanticipated consequences 4. see the photo essay on they take more risks because the helmets make them pages 108–109. that you are going to focus on wives. See page files of prisoners convicted of rape and prisoners con. False The suicide rate of U. suggest. earn. Fewer than 2 percent Answers to the Sociology meet the stereotype of an able-bodied man. Like 10. As Let’s suppose you want to know how many wives are abused Table 1. False Bicyclists today are more likely to wear helmets. See page 328 for an explanation. people develop greater co. in Table 1. Henslin. students is about dou- robbery. but let’s assume ISBN: 0-558-13856-X often summarize their findings in tables. False Women make considerably more eye contact 1. provides advice about collecting data and tinue our example of spouse abuse. the old. See Figures 10. See page Quiz 213. 1997). by James M. 9. Seventh Edition. feel safer (Barnes 2001). Versus Common Sense— the sick. 2003). including your operational defini. the mentally and physically handicapped or young mothers with few skills. (Henley et al. Two basic programs that sociologists and Research Methods many undergraduates use are Microcase and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).S.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 08/30/06 9:36 AM Page 22 22 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Down-to-Earth Sociology Sociological Findings 5. Their profiles were similar. weeks.6 on pages 270 off from work reduce the amount of housework they do. Published by Allyn and Bacon. On average. questions. Before you begin your research. . 1985). tions. operation and social organization to deal with the ca. you Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach.

The columns present in- 1 It is located at the top of 4 formation arranged verti- the table. The title states the topic. Often. Tables contain six elements: title. What is the fourth of this table? Please deter. 18% an abbreviation for number. There are three headings in mation is specific enough this table. Nonviolent Husbands.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 23 RESEARCH METHODS 23 Table 1. ber in the third column? swer at the bottom of the page. tom. columns. and source. Violent Husbands 4. you know how to read a table. provides information The headings tell what His job has less prestige 37% 28% on where the data in the 3 kind of information is than his father-in-law’s. 6. Midwestern city who were getting a divorce. Henslin. table originated. Violent Nonviolent Husband’s Achievement Husbands Husbands The headnote is not al. number in the second col- mine your answer before Based on interviews with 150 husbands and wives in a umn and the second num- looking at the correct an. as contained in the table. Seventh Edition. it is important to understand how to read them. 5. it is located He started but failed 44% 27% tally. rows. What is the title Comparing Violent and Nonviolent Husbands cally. . 56%. in this instance. headnote. What His income is a source 84% 24% are the first eight words of of constant conflict. by James M. the headnote of this table? The source of a table. Its to complete high school which husbands are more purpose is to give more or college. see page 241. but all follow the same basic pattern. just below the title. inal source. Comparing Violent and Nonviolent Husbands ANSWERS ISBN: 0-558-13856-X Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Husband’s Achievement and Job Satisfaction. What are they? for you to consult the orig- In the second heading. headings. and n = 25 means that 25 violent husbands were in the sample. 5 mation arranged horizon- When it is. Because sociological findings are often presented in tables. To apply these concepts to a table with more information. 3. and Job Satisfaction n = 25 n = 125 The rows present infor- 2 ways included in a table. lected or how data are pre- sented in the table. What is the what does n = 25 mean? source for this table? Some tables are much more complicated than this one. Henslin. In the fourth row. He has less education 56% 14% 6 usually listed at the bot- than his wife. The n is 2. When you understand how these elements fit together. Based on interviews with 150 husbands and wives 1.2 How to Read a Table Tables summarize information. Violent Husbands. the infor- Source: Modification of Table 1 in O’Brien 1975. a Pearson company. likely to have less educa- detailed information about tion than their wives? He is very dissatisfied 44% 18% how the data were col- with his job. Published by Allyn and Bacon. Copyright © James M. A 1975 article by O’Brien (listed in the References section of this text).

Seventh Edition. of being included in the study. a Pearson company. full. In a ran- to narrow your population. so you won’t be able students. first arrange the cases in order— is simply the cases that occur the most average. would produce skewed results. you can have mean. that arrangement will produce 57 sume that the following numbers repre. When there is an even number of with the same frequency. Henslin. either low or high. In this instance the mode is 57. And if two or more numbers appear Sociologists call this form of average the higher. In this case.884. This does learn about all wives in the world. or only those in advanced physics women become part of your sample. the following distribution: 57 sent men convicted of battering their 57 1. For example. a survey of only women enrolled in introductory of random numbers. the mode. Henslin. you must select a sample. For ex- you assign a number to each name on the list. for three that not every distribution of cases has a number of cases). it is obvious The total is 2. individuals from among your How can you get a random sample? First. Obviously. Using a table ample.or part-time—must have an equal chance to survey all the married women who are enrolled. the one of the other two averages. How do you get a representative sample? Selecting a Sample. cases. In this which is way off the mark. more than one mode. Two other ways to compute averages ISBN: 0-558-13856-X are the median and the mode.795 57 and only by chance comes close to either 57 Then look for the middle case. Because you want to generalize your findings to your Let’s look at these issues. Then your choice will affect the results of your study. the The third measure of average. all married women—whether first-year or graduate that your college enrollment is large. because your Let’s assume that your resources allow you to investi- population is every married woman enrolled in your col- gate spouse abuse only on your campus. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. everyone in your population has the same chance are going to study. Table 1.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 24 24 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE must deal with practical matters that face all researchers. Ideally. you add a group of numbers and either from the highest to the lowest or often.3 Three Ways to Measure “Average” The Mean The Median The Mode The term average seems clear enough. you need a sample that is representative of the campus. Let’s also assume lege. entire campus. In addition. example. for list of all the married women enrolled in your college.795 136 wives: 57 321 229 321 136 289 289 229 229 or 229 321 57 289 136 1. Note that six of the seven cases are less than the mean. Copyright © James M. sociologists 1. cases that were added. Divided by 7 (the the bottom. As To compute the second average. and you will have questions of any woman who happens to walk by.795 289 321 57 Because the mode is often deceptive 136 1. That number is 229. Published by Allyn and Bacon. (Tables of random classes. Now of being included in your sample.795 that falls halfway between the top and seldom use it. you then determine which of these sociology courses. the target group that you dom sample. then divide the total by the number of from the lowest to the highest. is influenced by extreme scores. numbers are lower and three numbers are mode. . you learned in grade school. you might want to The best way is to obtain a random sample. your re- not mean that you stand on some campus corner and ask sources will not permit such research. The mean can be deceptive because it tween the two middle cases. as. to find the median. you need a target population. by James M. How you choose a sample is crucial. the median is the halfway mark be. the average is 412.

4 on the next page illustrates. to such events as example of biased questions. you tive is open-ended questions. and body painting. with their mother. which are worthless. the peo. As Table 1. even if they were not many other items. You would need a list of the freshmen and se. questions can miss the respondent’s opinions. Then. Seventh Edition. B. such as the toon illustrates a more blatant globalization of capitalism. their answers toward agreement with a research runs from the unusual to the routines of everyday life.or open-ended questions. your next task is to make certain that “They’re sick.) use closed. to express “We ought to string them up!” their own opinions. Shown here at ISBN: 0-558-13856-X search. if you were to ask. see the Down-to. Reprinted with permission of Universal Press Syndicate. Although open-ended questions you to generalize to all the freshmen and senior married allow you to tap the full range of people’s opinions. Trudeau. but it wouldn’t work for women students on your campus.” your questions are neutral. You must also decide whether to grams also can generate random numbers. piercing.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 25 RESEARCH METHODS 25 Improperly worded questions can steer respondents toward answers that are not their own. by James M. mat would work for questions about someone’s age lege—you can generalize your findings to all the married (possible ages would be listed). numbers are available in statistics books. dom sample. opinions that people hold about what should be done to What if you want to know only about certain subgroups. . This would allow swer in their own words. which allow people to an- would select a sample from each group. For examples of flawed re. Henslin. Doonesbury © 1989 G. they women at your college. For example. but you would not be able to draw make it difficult to compare answers. “I think they must have had problems tions must allow respondents.” ple who respond to a survey. spouse abusers? The answers provided for closed-ended such as freshmen and seniors? You could use a stratified ran. Your ques. how could you list all the included in your sample. “Don’t you think that men who beat their wives should Because sociologists find all human go to prison?” you would be tilting the behavior to be valid research topics. how any conclusions about the sophomores or juniors. This for- ulation—in this case. stainless steel teeth. married women enrolled at your col. Published by Allyn and Bacon. the alterna- nior married women. For example. For example. Their studies range prison sentence. tions are followed by a list of possible answers. using random numbers. exhibitions of tattooing. Closed-ended ques- Because a random sample represents your study’s pop. After you wives?” have decided on your population and sam- ple. Otherwise you will end up with biased answers. All rights reserved. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Henslin. displaying his next page. thus producing invalid results. a Pearson company. and computer pro. The Doonesbury car- from broad scale social change. Types of Questions. Copyright © James M. the Australian Museum in Sydney Earth Sociology box on the is Lucky Rich. would you compare these answers to the question “What do you think causes men to abuse their Asking Neutral Questions.

2. After establish- ing rapport. In some versions of this method. The surveys were conducted by ers to lose their homes?” researchers who were biased.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 26 26 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Down-to-Earth Sociology Loading the Dice: ployed union workers who trace their job loss to How Not to Do Research Japanese imports. Copyright © James M. Henslin. We know from studies of To go beyond police statistics. divorce ISBN: 0-558-13856-X 6. you can phrase questions in such a way that you di- Americans overwhelmingly prefer Toyotas to Chryslers. consider this question on a national survey con- It turns out that some consumer researchers load the ducted by Republicans: dice. Ask biased questions. the big government Democrats? 1. of trust. Suppose that Americans overwhelmingly prefer Chryslers to Toyotas. Even if you choose an unbiased misrepresentation.000 Americans. Do you prefer a car that veys. In this tech- 3. the respondent listens to the questions on a headphone Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. community service nique. interview unem. sen- first you must establish rapport (“ruh-POUR”). victims will talk about personal. a feeling sitive matters. Will victims of abuse really rape that once rapport is gained (often by first asking non- give honest answers to strangers? The answer is yes.and Open–Ended Questions of burglary. jail time comes lingering problems of distrust. They A. More and more Americans are being fired. then moves aside. of course. . Open–Ended Question find that rape victims will talk about their expe- riences. You’ll get what you’re looking for. scope of the federal government against the wishes of Here are six ways to load the dice. Yet each comes from so-called scientific sur- are even homeless and hungry. each year researchers in- terview a random sample of 100. robbery. the researchers ask about rape. Henslin. with your respondents. you asked the question this way: “We are losing millions of jobs to workers overseas who work for just a few dol- Obviously. rect people to the answer you’re looking for. The national crime victimization survey Which of the following best fits What do you think should be done shows that the actual incidence of rape is three your idea of what should be done to someone who has been convicted times higher than the official statistics (Statistical to someone who has been of spouse abuse? Abstract 2005: page 184). over- 2. but sensitive questions). not independent and Most biases aren’t this blatant. Consider these find- sample. probation areas. Choose a biased sample.4 Closed. Seventh Edition. It turns out that both findings are misrepre- gives jobs to Americans. and they deliver the results Is President Bush right in trying to rein in the size and their clients are looking for. counseling the respondent. while the indi- 5. the interviewer gives a laptop computer to 4. Published by Allyn and Bacon. Closed–Ended Question B. convicted of spouse abuse? A new technique to gather data on sensitive 1. and so on. by James M. THE METHODS OF SCIENCE LEND themselves to distortion. as in the Doonesbury cartoon on the preceding ings: page. If you want to “prove” that This question is obviously designed to channel people’s Americans prefer Chryslers over Toyotas. Some true. a Pearson company. and downright fraud. They ask them whether they have been victims Table 1. They are hired by firms that have a vested interest in the outcome of the research. but objective. or one that forces our work- sentations. The answer is predictable. these opposite conclusions cannot be lars a day. thinking toward a predetermined answer—quite contrary Establishing Rapport. nothing—it’s a family matter vidual enters his or her own answers into the com- puter. Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing.

motherhood. Barnes 1995. dean at the University of Minnesota. Democrats. do the same thing. research must going against the flag. however. Misunderstand the subjects’ world. The researchers may search has become big business.” For example. such as this cockfight in Bangkok. Consider this finding: The first four sources of bias are inexcusable. ISBN: 0-558-13856-X Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Sociologists who enter a research setting to discover information are using a research method known as participant observation. Even re- these researchers did: In asking students which jeans searchers who use good samples. Copyright © James M. ness. List biased choices. They may. As discussed in the text. and offer adequate choices can end up with of choices included no other jeans but Levis 501! skewed results. which is also inexcusable in science. Henslin. surveys tinue to survey samples until they find one that matches show that 80 percent of Americans are environmental- what they are looking for. ‘I want Sources: Based on Crossen 1991. by the do it. put it this way: “A funder will never come to an academic and say. for example. Today. Resnik you to produce finding X. and here’s a million dollars to 2000. correct data into computers. be objective if it is to be scientific. Most Americans. Paul Light. none of 6. . ists. This route can lead Sound good? Before you rush out to buy Levis. fail to anticipate 4. Obviously. inten- U. or they can con- that isn’t “politically correct. “Once you’re on that treadmill. their list properly. use closed-ended questions that push people into the it’s hard to get off. the wording is with the research cited here—and with so many surveys neutral.” He adds. too. are probably embarrassed to tell a stranger otherwise. and the respondents answer the questions hon- bandied about in the media as fact—is that survey re- estly. more work—and funding—will 3.’ Rather. The next two sources of bias reflect sloppi- the jeans of any competitor. Discard undesirable results. “Ask America” 2004. duce the right finding. cusable in science. The underlying problem strive for objectivity. college students overwhelmingly prefer Levis 501 to tional fraud. a Pearson company. and apple pie. This. that would be like As has been stressed in this chapter.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 27 RESEARCH METHODS 27 to the standards of scientific research. Researchers can keep silent that people may be embarrassed to express an opinion about results they find embarrassing. Goleman 1993. word their questions would be the most popular in the coming year. Even when researchers the preceding results qualifies. sociologists sometimes conduct research in controversial settings. the sample is good. Another way to load the dice is to come their way. Published by Allyn and Bacon.” answers you want.S. note what to errors every bit as great as those just cited. 5. by James M. such as entering in- offered by corporations has corrupted some researchers. of course. the subtext is that if the researchers pro- way. Seventh Edition. the results can still be skewed. Simply put. Analyze the data incorrectly. is inex- The beginning of the corruption is subtle. Henslin. the money make a mistake in their calculations.

Your independent variable. For evenly between the groups. For example. the re. . be the men’s behavior: whether they abuse women after they pers. and so on) are distributed collected. you would need study spouse abuse. 2005). To make that determination. this possible. crisis intervention center might have records that contain searcher participates in a research setting while observing key information—but gaining access to them is almost im- what is happening in that setting. the interviewer has out what proportion of those men were charged. and she gives you abuse has affected their lives. newspa. Your Documents dependent variable. With good rapport. If you were to analyze data that someone else has already education. This. Other doc- Participant Observation (Fieldwork) uments. age. But if you wanted to learn how abuse has affected the victims’ hopes and goals. severity of crimes. immigration records. Experiments their dating patterns. something that causes a change in another variable. observ. You would then arrange for the example. When the rested for abuse. these documents would tell you nothing. in turn. You might also use court records to find respondent clicks the “Submit” button. would Documents. Published by Allyn and Bacon. a In participant observation. would be therapy. But no one participant observation. number of arrests. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. con- no idea how the respondent answered any questions victed. for experiments are useful for ing other aspects of their lives. if your campus has a crisis intervention want to find out. Copyright © James M.4 The Experiment The First Measure of The Second Measure of the Dependent Variable the Dependent Variable Experimental Exposure to Experimental Group the independent Group variable Human Random subjects Assignment ISBN: 0-558-13856-X Control No exposure to Control Group the independent Group variable Source: By the author. ble. watch someone being abused. the variable that might change. Let’s suppose that you For example. may give you access to men who have been arrested for spouse abuse. Frankly. Henslin. to conduct an experiment. or put on probation. you would be doing secondary analysis. Henslin. Obviously. or written sources. you may want be able to spend time with them in other settings. or fieldwork.) This would help to ensure that their individual Secondary Analysis characteristics (attitudes. you would be doing secondary analysis.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 28 28 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE and answers them on the computer screen. To find out. or their marriages. but knowing whether therapy works would certainly ipation in counseling. bank records. apy. To get out of jail. race-ethnicity. include books. The men in the control group would not get therapy. This may be impossi- from the time they report the attack through their partic. no one knows how to change a center. would randomly divide the men into two groups. the social and emotional adjustment of the victims. interact with others may help you understand how the Let’s suppose that a judge likes your idea. If you wanted to learn about (Mosher et al. you may even be a step in the right direction. you may be able to observe victims of spouse abuse wife abuser into a loving husband. how- ever. if you were to examine the original data from a men in the experimental group to receive some sort of ther- study of women who had been abused by their husbands. by James M. Perhaps an unusually cooperative center might method does not mean that you would sit around and ask victims to keep diaries that you can study later. though. What they say and how they determining cause and effect. you could use A lot of people say that abusers need therapy. (See Figure 1.4. a Pearson company. and so on. you might examine police reports to to rely on a sloppy operational definition: either reports from find out how many men in your community have been ar. might provide answers. the wives or records indicating which men were rearrested Figure 1. You insight into how to improve college counseling services. knows whether therapy really works. Seventh Edition.

we must also follow the ethics that researchers should not misrepresent themselves. To il- report the abuse. was an Episcopal priest who decided ical guideline is that research subjects should generally be to become a sociologist. Louis. manded to see them. Brajuha found himself be- however. The higher-profit items in more strategic locations (McCarthy district attorney then threatened to put Brajuha in jail. mation. stealing someone else’s work. Ethics also require that sociologists pro. servation of restaurant workers. researchers have attached in. in “tearooms. his wife. but to do so in private ting the fire died. 1971. rum held by abused or abusing spouses on the Internet. forbid the falsification of results. de- It would be considered unethical to use most unob. the district attorney dropped the behavior of people in public settings. and they applaud the professional manner in which In addition to choosing an appropri. This is sloppy because some of the women will not Sociologists take these ethical standards seriously. Other researchers have studied garbage. Henslin. accompanying their demands with trusive measures to research spouse abuse. . they asked to see them. and truth. such as a crowd. being studied. Brajuha still refused. Because he had promised to keep his information confi- frared devices on shopping carts to track customers’ paths dential. even though he grew anxious and had to appear at several Ethics are still a matter of dispute: To secretly record the court hearings. Also. and some of the men who are reported for lustrate the extent to which they will go to protect their abuse will not be arrested. (Brajuha and Hallowell 1986). that is. you can conclude that therapy was ineffec- The Brajuha Research tive. 1975) studied social interaction ISBN: 0-558-13856-X by the research. Grocery chains use these findings to place attorney subpoenaed the notes. For two years.” as the police said Researchers sometimes use unobtrusive measures. Copyright © James M.D. The district through stores. Finally. If you find that the men who received the therapy Mario Brajuha. analyze 911 calls. too. Brajuha’s notes had become rather famous. was doing participant ob- apy backfired. threats of a different nature. measuring this time. you could record and analyze the online conversations. and whisky consumption in a town that was legally “dry” by unsavory characters—perhaps those who had set the fire— counting empty bottles in trashcans (Lee 2000). settings is not. Brajuha refused to hand over his notes. although not all sociologists agree. and their children. They also condemn pla. tween a rock and a hard place. dissertation. Ethics clearly and refine their ethical stance. just across from our campus. soci- of sociology. is subpoena. ethical controversy. Brajuha handled himself. a classmate of mine at Washington giarism. if there were a public fo. If you find no difference in rearrest rates. also began to wonder what was in them. respondents. then. definition. You could. it Humphreys found that some restrooms in Forest Park. If you find that the men who received therapy are less likely to be rearrested for abuse. When detectives learned serving the behavior of people who do not know they are that Brajuha had taken field notes. Brajuha refused to hand them over. Yet it may be the best you can do. informed that they are being studied and never be harmed Humphreys (1970. Henslin. For example.” public restrooms where some men go for tect the anonymity of people who provide private infor. whose research forced sociologists to rethink scientific community). He began a represent themselves. Misleading the Subjects: Ethics in Sociological The Humphreys Research Research Sociologists agree on the necessity to protect respondents. ob. Let’s look at the case of Laud Research ethics require openness (sharing findings with the Humphreys. honesty. He lost his job as a waiter when the restaurant where he was working burned Unobtrusive Measures down—a fire of “suspicious origin. a Pearson company. They. so did the threats to Brajuha.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 29 ETHICS IN SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH 29 for abuse. Published by Allyn and Bacon. were tearooms. quick. University in St. Laud Humphreys. For his Ph. Finally. by James M. generally is considered unethical for researchers to mis. consider the research conducted by Mario Let’s assume that you choose rearrest as your operational Brajuha. of New York at Stony Brook. which center on assumptions of science and ologists who violate this norm can become embroiled in morality (American Sociological Association 1997). Although there is less agreement ate research method. you can attribute Protecting the Subjects: the difference to the therapy. participant observation study by hanging around these Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Seventh Edition. you can conclude that the ther. When the two men under investigation for set- generally considered acceptable. anonymous sex with other men. By 1993). a graduate student at the State University have a higher rearrest rate. Another eth.

ogists stress replication. and took their kids to Little League games. Published by Allyn and Bacon. Was this research ethical? This question is not decided Objectivity as an ideal is not a matter of debate in so- easily. by James M. infused with values of all that he should have identified himself as a researcher. sociol- not affect research. Many of the men parked their cars near the tearooms. values are part of Values in Sociological Research the reason that one sociologist chooses to do research on Max Weber raised an issue that remains controversial the Mafia while another turns a sociological eye on among sociologists. the repetition of a study by other Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Many reported that their wives were not aroused sexually or were afraid of getting pregnant because their religion did not allow them to use birth control. Instead. At first. Respondents often change their behavior when they know they Hoffman 1970). he said. for if values influence research. Humphreys arranged for these men to be included in a medical survey conducted by some of the sociologists on our faculty. By this he meant that a sociologist’s values— To overcome the distortions that values can cause and beliefs about what is good or worthwhile in life—should that unwittingly can become part of our research. a Pearson company. where I had begun teach- ing. I burned total neutrality. Disguising himself with a different hairstyle and cloth- ing. not only watching for strangers but also observing what the men did. Humphreys visited the men’s homes. mowed their lawns. Seventh Edition. Humphreys feared that his list of re- spondents might be subpoenaed. He found that in addition to the two men hav- ing sex. About a year later. however. Humphreys took on the role of watchqueen. a third man—called a “watchqueen”—served as a lookout for police and other unwelcome strangers. sociolo- Humphreys vigorously defended his position. Louis police department gave Humphreys each man’s address. As the controversy heated up and a are being studied. Humphreys decided that he wanted to know more about the regular lives of these men. and a national columnist even wrote a A major concern of sociologists and other social scientists is scathing denunciation of “sociological snoopers” (Von that their research methods do not influence their findings. He gave me the list to take from Missouri to Illinois. we need objectivity. Henslin. Copyright © James M. Humphreys concluded that heterosexual men were also using the tearooms for a form of quick sex. therefore. They voted. supposedly for the medical study. When he called and asked me to destroy it. cal findings will be biased. that. For example. He interviewed the men. All sociologists agree that no one should distort Humphreys—and his book reporting the research won a data to make them fit preconceived ideas or values. sorts. He declared that sociology should be kindergarten students. what was the significance of the wedding rings that many of the men wore? He came up with an ingenious technique. Although many sociologists sided with ciology. court case loomed. He wrote field notes after the encounters. like everyone else. . It is highly acclaimed award—the criticisms mounted. ISBN: 0-558-13856-X value free. For example.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 30 30 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE restrooms. A friend in the St. This study stirred controversy among sociologists and nonsociologists alike. in a second edition of his book (1975). Many sociologists criticized Humphreys. he stated in history and are. and Humphreys recorded their license plate numbers. sociologi- it in my backyard. These values inevitably play a role in our research (Duneier 1999:78–79). Henslin. equally clear. but five gists are members of a particular society at a given point years later. He found that they led conventional lives.

Sociologists larger picture to the smaller picture and back again—is also examine face-to-face interaction—talking. Consequently. Chicago. In the midst of this controversy. dominated sociology. research that has no goal be- yond understanding social life and testing social theories. Emile Durkheim. What was the position of women in early ior. read the rest of this book. Figure 1. P. Henslin. the University of Chicago their work. part of the reason that sociology holds such fascination for gestures. sexism. E. that will alleviate poverty. Herbert Spencer. Origins of Sociology When did sociology first appear as a separate Sociology in North America discipline? When was sociology established in the Sociology emerged as a separate discipline in the mid. . Wright Mills referred to this as the intersection of sociology? biography (the individual) and history (social factors that influence the individual). touching. 5–8. replication by other sociologists should uncover the bias and correct it. Some sociologists are con. racism. the nature of Atlanta.5 The Debate over search findings. If values have distorted re. however. Harriet Martineau. During the 1940s. of human arrangements behavior vinced that research should be directed along paths that will help to reform society. Industrialization affected all aspects the late 1800s at the universities of Kansas. B. Early sociologists who focused on these social and social research and theory ran through sociology. A tension between social reform tionships. 4–5. The sociological perspective stresses that people’s social experiences—the groups to which they belong and their Sexism in Early Sociology experiences within these groups—underlie their behav. understanding harmful social sus the goal of social reform. Max Weber. 9. and Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Values in Sociological Research Despite this consensus. C. a Pearson company. values remain a hotly debated topic in sociology (Buraway 2003. Published by Allyn and Bacon.5. United States? 1800s in western Europe. Du Bois. Sociology appeared during a historical period of deep sex- ism. the few women who received the edu- cation required to become sociologists were ignored. Seventh Edition. Copyright © James M. and so on. during the onset of the The earliest departments of sociology were established in Industrial Revolution. and W. how they viewed life. From racism and sexism to the globaliza- tion of capitalism—these are all topics that sociologists riety in sociology—and the contrast of going from the study and that we will explore in this book. Karl What is the sociological perspective? Marx. The Purposes of Social Research This debate illustrates again the tension in sociology that To advance To investigate we discussed earlier: the goal of analyzing social life ver. Henslin. too. These. by James M. sociologists study the major issues facing our society at this crucial juncture of world history. Pp. This beautiful va.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 31 SUMMARY AND REVIEW 31 researchers to compare results. These contrasting views are summarized in Figure 1. Can be used by Should be They say that nothing but their own interests should di. Summary and Review The Sociological Perspective changes include Auguste Comte. I hope that you also find this variety appealing as you discussions in the upcoming chapters. and ISBN: 0-558-13856-X of human existence—where people lived. Gans 2003). anyone for any used to purpose reform society rect sociologists to study one topic rather than another. Other sociologists lean strongly The Uses of Social Research toward basic or pure sociology. and interpersonal rela. P. clothing. will be the subject of our me.

9–12. another. Functional analysts. and attempts to use sociology to reform society. 20. who a function that contributes to the system’s equilibrium. sociologists stress replication. experiments. documents. by James M. P. sociologists use six research methods (or Sociologists use three primary theoretical frameworks to research designs): surveys. Copyright © James M. participant observation. Pp. Pp. U. Research Methods What are sociology’s major theoretical How do sociologists gather data? perspectives? To gather data. Pp. With each perspective focusing on select features of Pp. 29–30. Symbolic interactionists examine secondary analysis. the contributions of women and mi. 14. 21. truth. these What are the eight basic steps in sociological contrasting orientations exist dynamically side by side. Seventh Edition. sociologists are members of a particular soci- and research? ety at a given point in history and are infused with Theory and research depend on one another. Published by Allyn and Bacon. Theory also ues can cause. 22–29. They stress that society is composed of compet. helps to generate theory. in which the aim is to analyze society. in turn. 22. value free: The researcher’s personal beliefs must be set aside to permit objective findings. and how people use symbols to develop and share their views unobtrusive measures. fulfilling Ethics are of fundamental concern to sociologists. 20–22.S. of the world. Pp. P. Selecting a topic 2. Today. Like everyone else. and each providing a unique interpretation. etition of a study by other researchers in order to while research. are committed to openness. P. Symbolic interactionists usually focus on the micro level—on small-scale. Formulating a hypothesis 5. To overcome the distortions that val- use theory to interpret the data they gather. Choosing a research method Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology 6. social life. each research? part contributes to the stability of the whole. honesty. 30–31. the rep- generates questions that need to be answered by research. Theory compare results. Henslin. a Pearson company. harmful social arrangements. no single theory is adequate.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 32 32 CHAPTER 1 THE SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE in its early years. interpret social life. while researchers: whether to do research solely to analyze ISBN: 0-558-13856-X research without theory is merely a collection of empty human behavior (basic or pure sociology) or to reform facts. Values present a second dilemma for without research is not likely to represent real life. Defining the problem lems. The Brajuha research on society. Sharing the results A theory is a statement about how facts are related to one These steps are explained on pp. and protect- Conflict theorists also focus on large-scale patterns of ing their subjects from harm. Sociologists values of all sorts. 3. face-to-face interac- tion. 19–20. Henslin. Collecting the data 7. Research often shows that commonsense ideas are limited or false. Why do we need sociological research when we have common sense? What is the difference between basic (or pure) and applied sociology? Common sense is unreliable. in contrast. P. restaurant workers and the Humphreys research on “tea- ing groups that struggle for scarce resources. rooms” illustrate ethical issues of concern to sociologists. 1. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Doing Sociological Research norities were largely overlooked. Reviewing the literature 4. research? Applied sociology is the use of sociology to solve prob. sociology has experienced tension between pure or basic sociology. focus on the Ethics in Sociological Research macro level—on large-scale patterns of society. Analyzing the results What is a theory? 8. What is the relationship between theory however. The combined insights of What value dilemmas do sociologists face? all three perspectives yield a more comprehensive picture Max Weber stressed that social research should be of social life. 14–19. 19. Functional theorists stress that a social system is made How important are ethics in sociological up of interrelated parts. . When working properly. A theory provides a conceptual framework for interpreting facts. 12–14. Pp.

Considering the macro.5421_Henslin_Ch01_p002-033 8/23/06 7:51 AM Page 33 SUMMARY AND REVIEW 33 Thinking Critically about Chapter 1 1. . with activities Weblinks Flashcards of key terms and concepts Interactive Maps Where Can I Read More on This Topic? Suggested readings for this chapter are listed at the back of this book.ablongman. by James M. Henslin. Published by Allyn and Bacon. Copyright © James M.and micro-level approaches in sociology. ISBN: 0-558-13856-X Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Content Select Research Database for Sociology. Of the three theoretical perspectives. which one do you think better explains social life? Why? Additional Resources Companion Website www. Henslin. Seventh Edition. which one would you prefer to use if you were a sociologist? Why? 3. Flashcards of key terms and concepts with suggested key terms and annotated references Practice Tests Link to 2000 Census. Do you think that sociologists should try to reform society or study it dispassion- ately? 2. a Pearson company.