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Министерство образования и науки рф

Федеральное государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение

«АЛТАЙСКИЙ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННЫЙ УНИВЕРСИТЕТ»

WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY?

Учебное пособие по английскому языку

Барнаул 2012

УДК 811.112=20(075.8)

What Is Sociology? [Текст]: учебное пособие по английскому языку для студентов факультета социологии Алтайского государственного университета .

Барнаул: АлтГУ, 2012. – 51 c.

Составитель: доцент кафедры иностранных языков гуманитарных факультетов Кузикова Т.Г.

Рецензент: к.ф.н., доцент кафедры иностранных языков гуманитарных факультетов Беляева В.А.

Учебное пособие “What Is Sociology?” предназначено для развития навыков чтения, говорения и интерпретации текстов по специальности для студентов-социологов. Каждый раздел содержит множество заданий, позволяющих развивать и совершенствовать устную речь, а также активизировать профессионально-ориентированную лексику, что поможет студентам читать и переводить оригинальную литературу по специальности и вести беседы на темы, предусмотренные программой.

Данное пособие рассчитано на аудиторную и самостоятельную работу студентов 2 курса дневного и заочного отделений всех специальностей факультета социологии.

UNIT1. WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY?

The name of sociology was first suggested in the 1830s by the French philosopher Auguste Comte, but for many years it remained only a suggestion. Comte urged others to study philosophy.

It was not until late in the19th century that we can identify people who called themselves sociologists and whose work contributed to the development of the field. Among these were Herbert Spencer in England who published the first of three-volume “Principles of Sociology” in 1876 and Ferdinand Tonnies in Germany. A decade later, Emile Durkheim published “Suicide”.

The first sociologists studied moral statistics. Their work proved so popular that it led to the rapid expansion of census questions. However, sociology as an academic speciality was imported from Germany. The progressive uncovering of social causes of individual behavior – in response to the questions raised by moral statistics – produced the field called sociology.

Sociology is one of the related fields known as the social sciences. They share the same subject matter: human behavior. But sociology is the study of social relations, and its primary subject matter is the group, not the individual.

There is a close connection between sociology and other disciplines such as psychology, economy, anthropology, criminology, political science, and history. But sociologists differ from psychologists because they are not concerned exclusively with the individual; they are interested in what goes on between people. They differ from economists by being less interested in commercial exchanges; they are interested in the exchange of intangibles such as love and affection. Sociologists differ from anthropologists primarily because the latter specialize in the study of preliterate and primitive human groups, while sociologists are interested in modern industrial societies. Criminologists specialize in illegal behavior, while sociologists are concerned with the whole range of human behavior. Similarly, political scientists focus on political organization and activity, while sociologists survey all social organizations. Finally, sociologists share with historians an interest in the past but are equally interested in the present and the future.

Sociology is a broader discipline than the other social sciences. In a sense, the purpose of sociologists is, in general, to find the connections that unite various social sciences into a comprehensive, integrated science of society.

Sociology consists of two major fields of knowledge: micro sociology and macro sociology. Micro sociologists study the patterns and processes of face-to-face interaction between humans. Macro sociologists attempt to explain the fundamental patterns and processes of large-scale social relations. They concentrate on larger groups, even on whole societies.

Sociologists attempt to use research to discover if certain statements about social life are correct. The basic tools of their research are tests, questionnaires, interviews, surveys, and public opinion polls.

Task 1. Transcribe the following words and learn their pronunciation:

anthropology, identify, illegal, macro, micro, philosophy, primary, process, psychology, science, social, society, sociologist, sociology, speciality, specialize

Task 2. Answer the following questions:

  1. Who was the first to suggest the name sociology?

  2. Who were the first sociologists?

  3. What were they mainly interested in?

  4. What country was sociology as an academic discipline imported from?

  5. What is the subject matter of sociology?

  6. What other disciplines is sociology closely connected with?

  7. What is the goal of sociologists?

  8. What fields of knowledge does sociology consist of?

  9. What do micro sociologists study?

  10. What do macro sociologists attempt to explain?

  11. What are the basic tools of sociological research?

Task 3. Explain the difference concerning the subject matter between:

  1. sociology and economy;

  2. sociology and criminology;

  3. sociology and history;

  4. sociology and psychology;

  5. sociology and anthropology.

Task 4. Read the text and translate it in writing:

Sociology, as a science, takes its point of departure from the materialist world outlook in its application to the solution of social problems. In this application sociology demonstrates its scientific character as it employs some guiding principles in the understanding of social affairs.

They are:

  1. The society in its development is regulated by objective laws discovered by science.

  2. Views and institutions, political, ideological and cultural developments arise on the basis of the development of the material life of society.

  3. Ideas and institutions, which thus arise on the basis of conditions of material life, play an active role in the development of material life.

So, sociology studies regularities in social processes, connections between social events, which are independent of our consciousness and will, social relations and social institutions. Sociology is concerned, as well, with circumstances which give rise to the formation of aims and intentions in people’s minds. Different people have different aims. This does not mean that individual psychologies differ, but it expresses the fact that people find themselves in different circumstances, with different interests arising from those circumstances.

Task 5. Speak on:

  1. The origin of sociology.

  2. Its subject matter.

  3. Differences and similarities of sociology and other social sciences.

  4. Major fields of sociology.

  5. Basic sociological research methods.

  6. The guiding principles of sociology.

Task 6. Translate the following words and word-combinations into Russian:

It was not until late in the 19th century; three-volume; rapid expansion; census questions; in response to the questions; share the same subject matter; exchange of intangibles; preliterate and primitive human groups; similarly; are equally interested in; large-scale social relations

Task 7. Find in the text English “What is sociology?” equivalents for:

Это оставалось только предложением; спустя десятилетие; оказалась настолько популярной; одна из смежных областей; тесная связь; главный предмет; противозаконное поведение; весь спектр человеческого поведения; в то время как социологи занимаются; в определенном смысле; всеобъемлющая комплексная наука об обществе; основные области знаний; фундаментальные модели; основные инструменты исследования

Task 8. Translate the following sentences into Russian:

  1. He was greatly concerned with the latest sociological research.

  2. In their conversation they concerned a great number of vital problems.

  3. His main concern was sociology.

  4. They talked much concerning the main points of his report.

  5. She was concerned with the problems of social relations at the high level of the society’s development.

Task 9. Memorize the following words and word-combinations:

behavior primarily

census public opinion poll

concern (n., v.) questionnaire

differ from society

discipline statement

focus on (v.) subject matter

guiding principles suggest

major survey (n., v.)

pattern tools of research

preliterate urge (n., v.)

UNIT 2. SOCIAL BAROMETER

A great part of sociological research consists of quantitative experimenting. The system of techniques used for that purpose is that of statistical methods. These methods are necessary to examine the data, analyze them and draw certain conclusions. The results of the sociological survey are published then.

Sociological research is usually conducted by a working group under the supervision of the leading sociologists of the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion. The public opinion poll is a criterion of the current social life within the society. It is the so-called social barometer of the country. In fact our fast-moving life makes it necessary to analyze things. So it is useful to examine the results of sociological surveys.

The public opinion poll is carried out nationwide or in some definite regions, cities, establishments. It may be verbal in the form of an interview. But more often the opinion poll is conducted by means of tests or questionnaires. The questionnaires contain some items to be chosen by the subjects. In other cases the questionnaires present a set of questions to be answered by the respondents in their individual way. The polled may express their own opinions verbally or in writing. The assessments may be optimistic, pessimistic, dramatic, positive, or negative. They expose and reassess our ideals and values.

The polls are very popular nowadays throughout the country. In general, they are directed to assess current social and political situation, political figures, the most important events, economic perspectives, our losses and gains, and so on. All data are given in percentages.

Task 1. Transcribe the following words and learn their pronunciation:

analyze, barometer, criterion, examine, figure, ideal, individual, interview, percentage, perspective, respondent, result, situation, technique

Task 2. Answer the following questions:

  1. What methods are the basic tools in every sociological research?

  2. Who conducts sociological research?

  3. What is considered to be a social barometer?

  4. Where is the public opinion poll carried out?

  5. In what form may it be conducted?

  6. What are the questionnaires like?

  7. How do the polled express their opinions?

  8. What do assessments expose?

  9. What is the aim of the polls?

  10. How are all data given?

Task 3. Divide the text into four logical parts.

Task 4. Speak on the main points of the text.

Task 5. Try to make up your own questionnaire and offer it to your groupmates.

Task 6 . Look through the fresh newspapers and find there some information on the latest polls. Be ready to comment on it.

Task 7. Translate the following words and word-combinations into Russian:

Sociological research, sociological survey, public opinion, public opinion poll, to conduct a poll, to carry out a poll, the polled, respondent, to assess, to reassess, assessment

Task 8. Find in the text English equivalents for:

система методов; с этой целью; рабочая группа; современная общественная жизнь; так называемый; по всей стране; в других случаях; ряд вопросов; пересмотреть идеалы; потери и приобретения; и так далее; в процентах; в наше время

Task 9. Fill in the blanks with the necessary words: to conduct, conclusions, to examine, poll, to assess, assessments

  1. Statistical methods are used to analyze the data and draw … .

  2. The opinion … is carried out nationwide.

  3. Leading sociologists … a poll all over the country.

  4. The polls are directed to … social and political situation.

  5. The respondents give their … verbally or in writing.

  6. Sociologists carefully … the obtained data.

Task 10. Complete the following sentences:

  1. The public opinion poll is a criterion of … .

  2. It is the so-called … .

  3. The poll is carried out … .

  4. It may be verbal in the form of … .

  5. The opinion poll is conducted by means of … .

  6. The polls are directed to … .

  7. The poll data are given in ….

  8. The assessments may be … .

  9. The polls are very popular nowadays … .

  10. The questionnaires contain some items … .

Task 11. Translate the text in writing:

The foundation of Comte’s work was an attempt to apply scientific methods to the study of society and to the practical task of social reform. In his own lifetime, scientific thinking was becoming more sophisticated and influential than ever before, increasing human knowledge about the physical world. Why not, Comte reasoned, apply the same scientific methods to understanding the social world? In Comte’s view, sociology should attempt to determine the laws that govern human social behavior, in much the same way that natural laws govern the operation of the physical world. Comte’s sociological study was concerned with what he called social statics - how society maintains itself as a cohesive system of many interrelated parts – and social dynamics – how society changes in an orderly way according to specific social laws.

Task 12. Memorize the following words and word-combinations:

assess nationwide

assessment obtain

by means of publish

carry out research quantitative

conduct research respondent

current subject (n., v.)

draw conclusions technique

event the polled

expose under the supervision

item verbally

UNIT 3. SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY

The discipline of sociology involves more than a distinctive point of view. The sociological perspective illuminates new facts in countless familiar situations; but linking specific observations together in a meaningful way involves another element of the discipline, theory. In the simplest terms, a theory is an explanation of the relationship between two or more specific facts. To illustrate the use of theory in sociology, recall Emile Durkheim’s study of suicide. Durkheim attempted to explain why some categories of people (males, Protestants, the wealthy, and the unmarried) have higher suicide rates than do others (females, Catholics, the poor, and the married). To do so, he linked one set of facts – suicide rates – to another set of facts – the level of social integration characteristic of these various categories of people. Through systematic comparisons, Durkheim was able to develop a theory of suicide, namely, that people with low social integration are more prone to take their own lives.

To provide another illustration, how might we explain the sociological observation that college science courses in the United States typically contain more men than women? One theoretical approach would suggest that the sciences are more attractive to males than to females; perhaps males simply have a greater innate interest in science. Another possibility is that American society encourages male to develop an interest in science while simultaneously discouraging this interest in females. A third theoretical approach might suggest that the educational system has some formal policy that limits the enrollment of women in science courses.

As this example suggests, there may be more than one theoretical explanation for any particular issue. Therefore, the ability to link facts together into a meaningful theory does not in itself mean that theory is correct. In order to evaluate contrasting theories, sociologists make use of various methods of scientific research.

As sociologists use these scientific methods to gather more and more information, they are able to confirm some theories while rejecting or modifying others. In the early decades of the 20th century, several sociologists interested in the rapid growth of cities developed theories that linked city living to distinctive patterns of human behavior such as pronounced impersonality and even mental illness. However, research completed during subsequent decades has found that living in a large city does not necessarily result in social isolation, nor does it diminish mental health. Within any discipline therefore, theory is never static, because sociologists are continually carrying out research, sociological theory is always being refined.

Task 1. Transcribe the words and learn their pronunciation:

category, characteristic, contrasting, course, illuminate, modify, observation, policy, static, suicide, systematic, theoretical, theory

Task 2. Answer the following questions:

  1. What is meant by theory?

  2. What did Durkheim base his research on?

  3. What is the essence of his suicide theory?

  4. What sociological observation was made among college science students?

  5. What did sociologists make use of to evaluate contrasting theories?

  6. Is theory static or changeable within any discipline?

  7. Who are more prone to science study according to the sociological observation in the United States? Do you agree with this point of view?

Task 3. Find in the text English equivalents for:

точка зрения; бесчисленный; набор фактов; а именно; более склонны; одновременно; любой частный вопрос; следовательно; для того, чтобы; извлекать пользу; подтверждать теории; внутри; последующие десятилетия; характерные модели человеческого поведения; резко выраженная безличность; проводить исследование

Task 4. Find in the text antonyms for:

indefinite, unfamiliar, meaningless, complex, to forget, similar, to be unable, repulsive, learned, to discourage, wrong, to accept a theory, late, slow, personality, to start

Task 5. Divide the text into logical parts and make up a plan of the text.

Task 6. Speak on the text.

Task 7. Translate the text in writing:

The gradual development of scientific thought in Europe was one important foundation of sociology. But something more was involved: revolutionary change in European society itself. The increasing importance of science is but one dimension of the modernization of Europe. Social change, of course, is continuous but European societies experienced particularly rapid transformations during the 17th and 18th centuries. In the midst of intense social change that reached crisis proportions, people were less likely to take society for granted. Indeed, as the social ground shook under their feet, they focused more and more on society, which stimulated the emergence of the sociological perspective.

Three dimensions of social change occurred in that era, each truly revolutionary in its own right. First, various technological innovations in eighteenth-century Europe led to the appearance of factories, initially in England. This new way of producing material goods soon gave rise to an industrial economy. Second, factories located within cities drew millions of people from the countryside, where agriculture had been traditional livelihood. As a result, the growth of industry was accompanied by the explosive growth of cities. Third, the development of the economy and the growth of cities were linked to changes in political ideas.

Task 8. Fill in the blanks with the following words in the necessary forms and translate the sentences into Russian:

to be influenced by, to encourage, to be interested in, to be concerned with, to make use of, to give rise to, to be prone to, to carry out research

  1. People … greatly … … society since the beginning of human history.

  2. Systematic studies of the society carried out by the social thinkers … … … appearing a new science – sociology.

  3. They are planning … … … … on the basis of a new scientific approach.

  4. The scholars … primarily … … the investigation of the sociological perspective.

  5. Early sociologists … strongly … … Comte’s ideas.

  6. The scholars … constant … … his ways of interpreting and analyzing new phenomena.

  7. They always … scientific methods of investigation in any particular observation.

  8. He … … … take part in the discussion concerning the operation of social laws within the society.

Task 9. Read and translate the following sentences taking into account different meanings of the word ‘experience’:

  1. He experienced great hardships in the life, but in spite of that he continued his work in the field of sociological research.

  2. They considered him to be a very experienced scholar as far as the sociological perspective was concerned.

  3. His experience was great and he readily encouraged such innovative strivings.

  4. They experienced true feelings of friendship to each other and this devotion lasted all their life.

  5. The situation was out of being ordinary and he understood her experiences quite well.

  6. Recent decades of our century experienced tremendous transformations in all spheres of the life.

  7. He described the situation in such a way as if he had experienced it himself.

  8. His experience in this field was quite evident and nobody doubted it.

Task 10. Memorize the following words and word-combinations:

be prone to issue (n., v.)

confirm level

develop a theory link (n., v.)

discourage make use of

distinctive point of view

encourage refine

evaluate reject

experience (n., v.) relationship

familiar simultaneously

involve through comparisons

UNIT 4. METHODS OF SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH

Four research methods are widely employed in sociological investigation. A method is a strategy for carrying out research in a systematic way – comparable to a blueprint used in building or a recipe in cooking. The four methods discussed here are all expressions of the logic science. They differ, however, in the specific ways in which observations are made and in the kinds of questions they help us answer. No method is in an absolute sense better or worse than any other; each has characteristic strengths and weaknesses so that any method is particularly suited for certain kinds of research.

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