We will write a custom Term Paper on Summary of the Book “Sociology” by Richard Schaefer specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Chapter 1 of the book by Schaefer (2011) acts as the introduction to the book, where it gives the definition of sociology, as well as the terms and concepts commonly used in sociology. Some of the terms defined in the chapter include sociological imagination, macro sociology, micro-sociology, the functionalist perspective, the feminist view, the interactionist perspective, nonverbal communication, applied and clinical sociology, and basic sociology.
The chapter elucidates the difference between sociology and other sciences. It also emphasizes the importance of testing and analyzing the information as part of the sociologists’ roles. The chapter further examines the application of theories in explaining relationships between observations.
Some of the founders of the discipline of sociology, which are discussed in chapter 1, include the 19th-century sociologists like Auguste Comte, Harriet Martineau, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Karl Marx, and W. E. B. DuBois. Pierre Bourdieu, Charles Horton Cooley, and Robert Merton are some of the mentioned 20th-century sociologists.
In chapter 2, Schaefer (2011) focuses on the application of the scientific method in research work. Therefore, some of the concepts discussed in the chapter include the scientific method itself, research variables, research hypothesis, sample, validity and reliability, research design, interviews, and questionnaires.
Other concepts in the chapter include a discussion on ethnography, experiments, secondary and content analysis of sources, the code of ethics adopted by the American Sociological Association, and an emphasis on neutrality when conduction research.
The role of technology in sociological research is also mentioned. The chapter concludes by discussing the development of the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS), which was established by researchers with no government funding involved. The survey looks at the sexual practices of US adults.
Chapter 3 of the book is focused on culture, where the social practices that are ubiquitous to all cultures are mentioned. Moreover, the elements that different cultures are elaborated. The culture universals, such as marriage, sexual restrictions, and cooking, formulated by George Murdock, are provided. Cultural relativism, as opposed to ethnocentrism, is discussed too. Discovery and invention are elaborated as components of innovation of culture. The diffusion of culture is also central to this chapter.
Other concepts in this chapter include the idea of a subculture, countercultures, language, and the formal vs. informal norms and mores vs. folkways norms of a culture. Finally, the chapter discusses the idea of a dominant ideology of a culture, as well as the policy of bilingualism (Schaefer, 2011).
Chapter 4 is mainly based on the concept of socialization. In addition to defining socialization, the chapter looks at the role played by socialization in human development and the socialization process as a whole. A discussion on how the socialization process is affected by nature and nurture is given. The phenomenon of the looking-glass self that was formulated by Charles Horton Cooley is elaborated.
The theory of the self by George Herbert Mead is also discussed. Other concepts in the chapter include the process of impression management, gender roles, the role of schools in socializing people in the US, as well as other agents of socialization throughout the life course. The rites of passage in the life course are also discussed.
They include events like marriage and parenthood, among other events that depend on the culture in question. Schaefer (2011) concludes the chapter by looking at the changing dynamics of society, where the labor market is experiencing an increase in the number of mothers of young children. Therefore, childcare demand has increased dramatically, thereby calling for policies to be formulated to address the issue.
Schaefer, R. T. (2011). Sociology (13th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.