Read the following article:

As we are seeing in current events from the European league soccer (UEFA), blatant expressions of crowd-driven racism toward minority players – that have, at times, brought an individual player to tears.

In your discussion analysis, discuss what similarities or differences do you see in the US professional sports, and refer to the article and explain how or why this might be different in the US. Build on readings and concepts that have been presented to you.

In the United States, this choice is heavily influenced by individual feelings; however, the social acceptability of marriage relative to a person’s circumstances also plays a part, as revealed by trends in if, when, how, and whom we marry. Sociologists try to identify general social patterns by examining the behavior of large groups of people living in the same society and experiencing the same societal pressures. Changes in the American family structure offer an example of patterns of interest to sociologists. A “typical” family now is vastly different than in past decades when most American families consisted of married parents living in a home with their unmarried children. The percentage of unmarried couples, same-sex couples, single-parent and single-adult households is increasing, as is the number of expanded households in which extended family members such as grandparents, cousins, or adult children live together in the family home (U.S. Census Bureau 2013). Some sociologists might study the social expectations and cultural rules that govern social life, which may contribute to these changes in patterns of family form and life. Do people in the United States view marriage and family differently than before? Do employment and economic conditions play a role? How has culture influenced the choices that individuals make in living arrangements? Other sociologists might study the consequences of these new patterns, such as the ways children are affected by them or how they are changing other aspects of society, like education, housing, and healthcare. 2 This text is from University of Minnesota (2010). 1.2 Approaches to the Sociological Study of Society and Culture When sociologists study society, no topic is off limits. Sociologists question every aspect of the world that humans have created. To study these topics and best answer these questions, sociologists conduct research. This research typically follows one of two approaches: the first approach relies on the scientific method; the second approach engages a more interpretive framework. These two approaches provide the foundation for quantitative sociology and qualitative sociology, respectively. Approach One: Use of the Scientific Method A great deal of sociological research engages the scientific method. The scientific method is a procedural technique followed in the natural, physical, and social sciences to help yield the most accurate and reliable research conclusions possible, especially ones that are free of bias (or prejudice) and error. The scientific method involves a series of prescribed steps that have been established over centuries. These basic steps include: (a) formulating a hypothesis (i.e., a testable educated guess about predicted outcomes between two or more variables) that answers a research question, (b) using research methods to collect empirical evidence (i.e., evidence that comes from direct experience, scientifically gathered data, or experimentation) to test that hypothesis, (c) analyzing these data, and (d) drawing appropriate conclusions.3 Quantitative sociology, which involves the use statistical methods such as surveys with large numbers of participants, relies heavily on the scientific method. Quantitative sociologists 3 This text is from University of Minnesota (2010). analyze data using statistical techniques to see if they can uncover patterns of – and even predict – human behavior. Approach Two: Use of an Interpretive Framework Other sociologists operate from an interpretive framework. While this framework also uses sociological research methods to collect empirical data, it doesn’t follow a hypothesis-testing model or seek generalizable truths. Instead, sociologists working within the interpretive framework aim to understand social worlds from the point of view of participants, which leads to in-depth knowledge. Interpretive research is generally more descriptive – and less predictive – in its findings. Thus, this approach aligns well with qualitative sociology, which seeks to understand human behavior by conducting in-depth interviews, focus groups, ethnographic research or observational methods, and analysis of content sources (like books, magazines, journals, and popular media). Researchers in this framework tend to learn as they go, often adjusting their research question and methods to optimize their findings and results. 1.3 The History of Sociology Since ancient times, people have been fascinated by the social. As a result, many topics studied in modern sociology were also studied by ancient philosophers in their desire to describe an ideal society, including theories of social conflict, economics, social cohesion, and power (Hannoum 2003). Following are brief descriptions of six thinkers credited with creating sociology as a discipline, or area of study. As you read each description, note the thinker’s sociological interest in social influence and patterns, as well as their embrace of one of the two approaches – scientific or interpretive – to sociological research. Auguste Comte (1798–1857) The term sociology was first coined in 1780 by the French essayist Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès (1748–1836) in an unpublished manuscript (Fauré et al. 1999). In 1838, the term was reinvented by Auguste Comte (1798–1857). Comte originally studied to be an engineer, but later became a pupil of social philosopher Claude Henri de Rouvroy Comte de Saint-Simon (1760–1825). Both Comte and Saint-Simon thought that social scientists could study society using the same scientific methods utilized in the natural sciences. Comte also believed in the potential of social scientists to work toward the betterment of society. He held that once scholars identified the laws that governed society, sociologists could address problems such as poor education and poverty (Abercrombie et al. 2000). Comte named the scientific study of social patterns positivism. He described his philosophy in a series of books called The Course in Positive Philosophy (1830–1842) and A General View of Positivism (1848). He believed that the scientific method could be used to reveal the laws by which societies and individuals interact, and that this knowledge could lead to the prediction and control of human behavior. Harriet Martineau (1802–1876) Harriet Martineau was a writer who addressed a wide range of social science issues, including economics, social class, religion, suicide, government, and women’s rights. She is widely considered the first woman sociologist. Her writing career began in 1931 with a series of stories titled Illustrations of Political Economy, in which she tried to educate ordinary people about the principles of economics (Johnson 2003). Martineau was the first to translate Comte’s writing from French to English, thereby introducing sociology to English-speaking scholars (Hill 1991). She is also credited with the first systematic international comparisons of society: Society in America (1837) and Retrospect of Western Travel (1838). Martineau found the workings of capitalism, an economic system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private interests for profit, at odds with the professed moral principles of people in the United States. She further noted that Americans’ belief in equality was inconsistent with the lack of women’s rights. Karl Marx (1818–1883) Karl Marx (1818–1883) was a German philosopher and economist. In 1848 he and Friedrich Engels coauthored the Communist Manifesto. This book is one of the most influential political manuscripts in history. It also presents Marx’s theory of society: social conflict leads to social change. Marx believed that societies grew and changed as a result of the struggles of different social classes over the means of production. At the time of his writing, the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism led to great disparities in wealth between the owners of factories and their workers. Marx predicted that the inequalities of capitalism would eventually become so extreme that workers would revolt. This would lead to the collapse of capitalism, and the ascendance of communism (i.e., an economic system in which everything is owned communally and distributed as needed). Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) Durkheim helped establish sociology as a formal academic discipline by creating the first European department of sociology at the University of Bordeaux (1895) and by publishing Rules of the Sociological Method (1895). In another important work, Division of Labour in Society (1893), Durkheim laid out his theory on how societies transformed from a primitive state into a capitalist, industrial society. Durkheim argued that sociologists should study social facts, or those aspects of society and culture that exist outside of the individual but direct or constrain individual action. In 1897, Durkheim demonstrated the relevance of this argument when he published Suicide. In this book, Durkheim examined suicide rates across societies, revealing patterns in who was most likely to die by suicide, when, and where. Given these patterns, he came to attribute suicide to social – rather than to individual or psychological – causes. Durkheim also believed that it was possible to determine if a society was “healthy” or “pathological.” He saw healthy societies as stable, while pathological societies experienced a breakdown in social norms, or expectations for behavior. Max Weber (1864–1920) Max Weber established a sociology department in Germany at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich in 1919. Weber wrote on many topics related to sociology, including political change in Russia and the social forces that affect factory workers. He is perhaps best known for The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904), which argues that Protestant Christianity, especially Calvinism, led to the creation of capitalism. Unlike Comte, Weber didn’t think that the scientific method could be used to accurately predict human behavior in groups. Weber saw culture as a social force that made human behavior too difficult to predict. In fact, Weber argued that sociologists’ cultural biases, if not controlled, could also influence their research. To deal with culture, Weber introduced the concept of verstehen, a German word that means to understand in a deep way. In seeking verstehen, sociologists try to understand a social world, like an entire culture or a small setting, from an insider’s point of view. In this way, Weber and other like-minded sociologists advanced a philosophy of antipositivism, in which sociological research methods are used not to generalize or make predictions but to systematically gain an in-depth understanding of different social worlds. W. E. B. DuBois (1868-1963) 4 William Edward Burghardt DuBois was born free in Massachusetts in 1868. After graduating from Fisk University, he earned a Ph.D. (in sociology) from Harvard University – becoming the first black American to do so ( From academic positions at Wilberforce University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Atlanta University, DuBois vociferously attacked the Jim Crow laws and practices that inhibited black suffrage. His most famous books include: The Philadelphia Negro (1896), which used statistical methods to study society’s impacts on individuals and communities; The Souls of Black Folk (1903), which focused on AfricanAmericans’ “double consciousness” and demand for equal rights; and Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935), which analyzed how race impacted workers’ solidarity in the Reconstruction south (Cole 2019). In 1905, DuBois met with a group of 30 men at Niagara Falls, Canada. As the “Niagara Movement,” they drafted a series of demands essentially calling for an immediate end to all forms of discrimination. Four years later, members of …

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