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Week 1

In: Science

Submitted By mystykalflower
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chapter one

Sociology: Perspective,
Theory, and Method

What sets human beings apart from all other forms of life?

Why is sociology an important tool for your future?
How should you respond to people whose way of life differs from your own?

ISBN: 0-536-12116-8

Societ y: The Basics, Eighth Ed itio n by Jo hn J. Ma cio nis. Published b y Prentice -Hall. Co pyright © 2006 by Pear son Edu cation, In c.

ISBN: 0-536-12116-8

L

The sociological perspective shows us patterns of behavior common within a society.
Here, a member of Brazil’s Pataxo tribe offers a traditional greeting to a visitor.

Societ y: The Basics, Eighth Ed itio n by Jo hn J. Ma cio nis. Published b y Prentice -Hall. Co pyright © 2006 by Pear son Edu cation, In c.

I

f you were to ask 100 people, “Why do couples marry?” it is a safe bet that at least ninety would reply, “People marry because they fall in love.” Indeed, it is hard for us to imagine a happy

marriage without love; likewise, when people fall in love, we expect them to think about marriage.
But is the decision about whom to marry really so simple and so personal? There is plenty of evidence that if love is the key to marriage, Cupid’s arrow is carefully aimed by the society around us.
In short, society has a number of “rules” about whom we should marry. What are they?
Right off the bat, society rules out half the population because U.S. laws (despite recent actions in cities such as San Francisco and likely change in Massachusetts) do not allow people to marry someone of the same sex even if the couple is deeply in love. But there are other rules as well.
Sociologists have found that people—especially when they are young—are very likely to marry someone close in age, and men and women of all ages typically marry someone of the same race, of a similar social class background, of much the same...

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