Drawing on the information in Chapter One, discuss the difference between common sense and sociological research. How has sociological research refuted common sense assumptions

Please refer to the grading rubric before submitting your answer

 Rubric for Online Activity Responses

All responses must be a MINIMUM of THREE full paragraphs. They must include citations from the text and lecture material, and all must include a reflection or applied component to the answer

A – Excellent: above 4.4

Strongly developed response that is a full three paragraphs; clear opinion and defended with examples from the reading(s); there is evidence of personal reflection; excellent organization and logical structure; no significant errors in grammar or punctuation.

B – Good: 3.5-4.4

A good response that is a full three paragraphs; well-argued, but perhaps lacks examples from the course; opinion not always explained with facts; some evidence of personal reflection; good organization and logical structure; some grammar and spelling problems, but generally minor in nature.

C – Average: 2.6-3.5

An adequate response that is three paragraphs but may be short and/or underdeveloped; an opinion is stated and defended, but with little or no summary material from the reading(s); some problems with logic or organization; frequent grammatical and stylistic problems.

D – Poor: Below 2.5

A short and limited response; unclear thesis with little or no supporting evidence; little evidence of having read the learning material; readings are not employed or employed sparingly; serious problems with grammar and style that impede understanding.


Entirely off topic or no thesis; no work handed in or work is copied from elsewhere and/or not referenced.

Principles of Sociology

Module 1.4 

We all like to believe that we are individuals who make our own decisions and choices about most of the aspects of our lives.  We tend to go through our lives without actually deciphering our daily actions. Think about what you have done so far today. What did you eat for breakfast today? For lunch?  What clothing choices did you make? What did you bring to school with you? It is most likely that you chose the foods and clothing that you prefer (within your budget) and that you packed your bag with the items that you felt you would need at school for the day. Initially, you may feel as though you chose the toast and coffee for breakfast, and the sandwich and apple for lunch, because it was the preference you could afford.

You woke up this morning and chose a particular pair of shoes to wear.  Thus, you might say that these shoes were the ones that you felt best matched your outfit. However, look around the room at your classmates’ feet.  You will most likely see that many other people made very similar choices as you did. There is in fact much more going on here than simply personal choice. Personal choice is in fact shaped by many factors external to you, including your family, your peers, and the media.  Examining these factors and the ways in which they have influenced you is an example of sociological inquiry.

To understand your shoe “choices” we would have to explore the influence of culture and pop culture. We would also look at your financial resources. The money you have to spend is an important influence in what brands of shoes you purchase. A sociological analysis requires us to look beyond your personal circumstances to the larger social, economic, and cultural environment in which you reside.

Sociology then  is the systematic study of human groups and their interactions


Sociological Perspective  refers to the unique way in which sociologists see our world and can dissect the dynamic relationships between individuals and the larger social network in which we all live

people act toward things based on the meaning those things have for them; and these meanings are derived from social interaction and modified through interpretation (Blumer)


Above is one of the definitions of symbolic interactionism.  Straight forward, right?  J


Imagine for a minute that you are at a club and you are standing at a table close to the bar with one of your friends.  You look over and you see a person bring their eyes up from your feet slowly all the way to meet your eyes. When they meet your eyes they give you an appreciative smirk and then wink. Is this just a meaningless gesture?  Or, has a whole conversation actually happened.  This appreciative glance has told you this person is definitely interested in you (the meaning of the action that has happened within an interaction (wordless even) and now you have choices on how you will react based. 

We act towards others during conversations and interactions based on our understanding.  This understanding of course is built over time. We know there is a different meaning when someone winks at us then or when they role their eyes while we are talking. 

Back to the club for a minute; perhaps you decide to go and talk to the person who has given you the appreciative glance.  Once you start interacting with this person you come to the conclusion that they are very flirty with every one thus you modify your understanding of the situation through your interpretation.  Make more sense now?


Interactionists believe that our interactions are as important to study.  They come from a  microsociological perspective as they are interested in individual and small group behaviour.  Functionalists and Conflict theorists are coming from a  macrosociological perspective as they focus on society as a whole


An example of an interactionist is  George Herbert Mead who theorized about how our sense of self is created.   Mead argues that there are three parts to our self; The  I,  the element of the self that is spontaneous, creative, impulsive and at times unpredictable

The  Me,  The part of our self that   helps to control the  I,  the self-reflective part of the consciousness that thinks about how to behave

The Me has been socialized into us through our  Significant others,  those around us whom we want approval from (parents, peers, etc.).