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Introduction To Sociology

1. What is the sociological perspective? Talk about it and about how sociology emerged as a science. 

2. What are the similarities and differences between subcultures and countercultures? Provide examples of each. 

3. Define ascribed status and achieved status.  Provide an example to illustrate how a person’s ascribed status could influence their achieved status. 

4. Define primary and secondary groups and in-groups and out-groups. How are they similar and how are they different? 

5. Define deviance from the common perspective most people use and how the sociological perspective differs.

Sample Answer

1. A scientific study of the society is known as sociology where a brief study on social relationship, interaction and social culture has been discussed. An attempt to understand the social order has been made through sociology and this subject has been emerged as an enlightenment of thought. After the French Revolution, sociology becomes positivist science of the society. The origin of the subject has been laid down under the philosophical knowledge of the subject (Grusky and David). A systematic study regarding anything through observation and experiment is known as science. In case of sociology, certain social research techniques have been made and it becomes a social science to study human, society and culture.

      There are following perspectives in sociology:

Functionalist perspective;
Conflict perspective;
Symbolic interactionism perspective
According to the functionalist perspective, every stages of the society are interdependent and reflect the function of the society. According to symbolic interactionist perspective, face-to-face interaction and symbolic use is considered as medium of communication. Conflict theory depends on the control power of the elite class over the poor class.

Sub-culture is a culture within the culture that occupy by certain group of people such as any kinds of occupation. Further, it develops the communication system among individuals. The politicians are group of people who occupies certain corners of life and they have their specific ideas to lead life. Counter-culture is also a part of the culture where the people occupy certain corners of life.

Counter-culture goes against the prevalent culture and goes to the opposite direction. It has a political implication act against mainstream culture. The punk movement can be an example of the counter-culture. This movement has a specific belief and it opposes the mainstream culture. Sub-culture goes with the mainstream culture and unites by common interest and experience (Adams et al.). Goths are the example of sub-culture.
3. In this society, two things help an individual to get his status such as ascription and achievement. Ascribed status is those over which an individual has no rights and therefore, no choice has been left to them. Blood group and racial group of an individual are falling in this category. On the contrary, the individual has gained achieved status and every society has certain achieved status (Cusack et al.).

In certain times, the ascribed status influences the achieved status. The person born in low caste has to face serious trouble in case of achieving his status and he will be disadvantaged comparing to the upper class. In USA, an upper middle class child gets many facilities. Therefore, it can be stated that the achieved status of an individual is depending on the ascribed status to certain extent.

4. Primary group is a small-scale society where the members are maintaining a close relationship. Family and childhood friends are the example of the same. In secondary group, the role of the people is interchangeable and individual has a choice to become a part of the group. Service for payment is an example of it. Where a person can psychologically identifies him as a part of the group known as in-group (Piazza, Alessandro and Fabrizio). People from certain race and culture may think them as a part of the group. In case of out-group, the people could not identify them as a part of a group psychologically. The main similarity among these groups is that all are the part of social groups. However, certain distinctions have been noticed from their definition and applicability.

5. The term deviance is the contrary forms of conformity and it denotes all the behaviors that go against the social norms. The nature of the deviance can be criminal or non-criminal. Therefore, it can be stated that any act that goes against the social policy and law, known as deviance. Any kinds of offenses such as murder, theft, robbery are the examples of deviance.

 There are certain differences taken place between deviance and social deviance. From the social perspective, the term deviance does not follow the negative actions all the time. there are certain positive deviances too. Anything goes against the appropriate conduct of the society can be recognized as deviance in sociology (Giddens et al.). The concept of right and wrong in deviance is based on the situation. For example, killing someone is wrong; but in case of permission to kill any people from government is not at all wrong.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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