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1Emile Durkheim believes that society exists externally and we all have the same idea collective conscience He distinguishes between two kinds of social unity Mechanical solidarity based on a moral consensus among people who have many social similarities and organic solidarity based on mutual dependence among people of different backgrounds and beliefs Karl Marx is best known as an economist or historian he has been called the most famous of sociologists For Marx society is and always has been fundamentally divided between two classesthe one that controls the means of production and the one that does not Karl Marx also believes that material conditions create consciousness It is not the consciousness of people that determine their being but their social being determines their consciousness Max Weber defines sociology as the science which aims at interpretive understanding in German for Verstehen of social behavior in order to gain an explanation of its causes its course and its effects To Weber this Verstehen can be achieved only by discovering the subjective meanings that individuals give to their own behavior and to the behavior of others 2 2A hypothesis is a hunch about a possible or probable relationship existing between variables They test this by asking people questions and trying to prove their theory which we refer to as a hypothesis An example of a hypothesis is as follows The lower ones social class the higher the likelihood that one will become schizophrenic This is an off the wall hypothesis which I made up but this is often what people do and then try to prove it in a lot of various ways such as questions research and testing their theory 3 Survey People are asked questions through self-administered questionnaires Surveys are widely used when the sociologists wants to gather data on certain behaviors opinions or attitudes on a large population Interviews Interviews and case histories offer researchers methods of studying particular subjects more closely In
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