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The Sociological Quest - Summa

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The term 'sociology' is an amalgam of the Latin and Greek word meaning reasoning about the social'. Sociologists attempt to find the quest for sociological understanding through explanation and reasoning. Whilst studying different societal groups, four aspects are addressed, their purpose to raise arguments and issues. These involve historical, cultural, structural and critical components, which indicate styles of analysis and social phenomena. Sociologists use historical evidence to explain the current shape of society, which enables them to prove certain ideologies as incorrect. The view that 'marriage is going out of fashion' is one example, which is viewed in an 'a-historical' context. The Australian Census in 1986 showed that the percentage of people married had increased from 45% in 1981 to 57.8%, showing that 'marriage' was not suffering. Sociologists use historical evidence to theorise, in doing so they develop different terminology. In the case of increasing marital failure during the early 1980's, a ?negative sanction' result occurred. Sociologists theorised that the increase in failed marriages was because of society's attitude. Marital break-ups were now more socially acceptable. Sociologists have classed their historical reasoning into two categories, necessary and sufficient conditions'. A necessary condition, in a case where "the age to which women give birth to first born babies is increasing', refers to contraception, which is the requirement for delaying pregnancy. Whereas,' the sufficient condition refers to factors such as career, education and housing, being the external influencing factors to the problem. A cultural understanding allows sociologists to challenge the notion of ethnocentrism, in which one culture will "somehow feel more superior to those of other cultures". Ethnocentrism, an aspect of cultural understanding is evident
in the scenario of human responses to hot temperatures. Australian's tend to wear light, brief clothing, whereas Arabian cultures try to cover up. What seems normal within one culture is an accepted practice in another. Cultural differences are observed at intersociety levels, between different societies. "Burping a baby" is one example. Mothers in Great Britain and the U.S.A believe the act to be universal, instead it has been socially constructed. Women in countries such as Czechoslovakia do not practice this. Cultural differences are also observed at an intrasocietal level, within a society. Beach behaviour displays this, where "different ...

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