Definition and History of Sociology

Definition

In a nutshell, sociology is the scientific study of society. Sociologists use the tools and methods of science to understand how and why humans behave the way they do when they interact together in groups. Though social groups – or societies – are made up of individual people, sociology is the study of the group rather than of the individual. When it comes to understanding how the individual human mind works, sociologists largely leave that up to psychologists.

Most people who call themselves “sociologists” work in universities and colleges, where they teach sociology and conduct sociological research. They ask a variety of questions about society, sometimes wanting answers just for the sake of curiosity; however, many times their findings are used to inform decisions by policymakers, executives, and other individuals. Many people who study sociology go on to conduct sociological research outside of academia, working for government agencies, think tanks, or private corporations. Accurate, systematic study of society is in one way or another useful to just about everyone.

Studying sociology, whether or not you call yourself a “sociologist,” means taking a particular view of the world: a view that sociologist C. Wright Mills called “the sociological imagination.” You have to be willing to set aside your ideas about how the social world should work so that you can see how it actually works. That doesn’t mean that sociologists don’t have personal values and opinions about the social world; they believe that to change the world, you first need to understand it.

History

Sociology is considered one of the social sciences – along with economics, psychology, anthropology, geography, and political science (among others). The social sciences were born in the 18th and 19th centuries, as people began applying the scientific method to human life and behavior. The world was changing dramatically and quickly as industrial production replaced agriculture, as democratic republics replaced monarchies, and as city life replaced country life. Realizing how many great insights science had lent regarding the natural world, people decided to try to use the same method to understand the social world.

Among the social sciences, sociology has always been unique in its ambition to understand the entire social world – considering all its aspects in combination rather than in isolation. It’s a daunting task, and one that sociologists are still struggling with today.

The most important early sociologists had clear ideas about how to study and understand society; these ideas still form the basis for much sociological investigation and discussion today. Karl Marx emphasized the importance of physical resources and the material world; he believed that conflict over resources is at the heart of social life. Emile Durkheim emphasized cooperation rather than conflict: He was interested in the shared norms and values that make cooperative social life possible. Max Weber took ideas from both Marx and Durkheim and argued that both conflict and cooperation, both material resources and cultural values are essential to social life.

Top Arts and Entertainment Hotpots in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale boasts of a culture that is as deep as its oceans any individual can ever fathom. Its heritage is diversified by the arts and entertainment that make its communities alive and dynamic. Throughout the year, there are festivals and events that foster interaction and unity among its residents. Here are some of the arts and entertainment hotspots in the city where you can spend fun time alone or with friends and family.

ArtServe

Located at 1350 East Sunrise Blvd., Artserve holds the reputation of being one of America’s six art incubators. The 20000 square foot art facility has a professional art gallery, dance studio, auditoriums, conference rooms, and office suites. It also holds programs and services that aim to help local artists turn their arts into profitable businesses. It is a haven for both artists and art enthusiasts. The facility also holds regular exhibits which focus on bringing diverse kinds of art to the public.

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

On 900 N. Birch Road, you can find the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. It is a historic house museum erected on 35 acres of pristine barrier island in Fort Lauderdale. It prides itself of being one of the few places with homes and studios carrying original furnishings from American artists. It also has an art gallery from several reputable artists. Its garden is also a living art by possessing five distinct ecosystems within it – the Atlantic Beach Ocean, freshwater slough, secondary dune, mangrove wetlands, and maritime forest. Tropical tranquility beams with the tropical vegetation, hibiscus garden, and arid plantings. The entire garden is also a perfect paradise for wildlife like squirrel monkeys and gopher tortoises. Weddings and corporate events can be held in this place through special arrangements.

Arts & Culture Center of Hollywood

The parcel of land in 1650 Harrison Street is the site of the Arts & Culture Center of Hollywood. It is where art exhibits, live performances, and educational programs for kids and adults are staged. It has several art galleries, art school, theater, and café. This is literally a melting pot of arts and entertainment where residents and visitors can have a grasp of the rich culture that Fort Lauderdale has grown over the years.

These are just three of the top arts and entertainment hotspots in Fort Lauderdale. Throughout the city, there are more places like these which can also satisfy your thirst for visual arts and live entertainment. If you want to know more of these hotspots, you can contact your local real estate agent for more information.

All You Wanted to Know About Life Casting

In the ancient days, life-like, three-dimensional imitations of a deceased person’s body were created to transport him or her to the next world. This venerable art from the land of Egypt is now being practiced all over the world.

However, one no longer has to be dead to get a life cast done! Yes, realistic and perfectly detailed reproductions of the living and breathing human body are possible today. The 3D replica manages to capture every minute detail right down to the hair, skin texture, fingerprints and even the pores.

This cherished reflection can be captured from any part of the body and impressions of baby hands and feet are particular popular. So are pregnant bellies, intertwined hands, individual torsos and so on.

How is it done?

A life cast begins with making a body mold. In fact, this forms a crucial step and success depends on both the skill of the artist and the cooperation of the model. In fact, the model is only involved at this stage and the artist will work on his own during the casting.

The life casting artist will carefully instruct the model and decide on a pose that has to be maintained for a while. The artist will do his best to ensure that the model stays comfortable, secure and stationary.

The artist coats the body part with petroleum jelly or other release agent before slathering it with an alginate mixture. This alginate is a natural product that is derived from seaweed and is completely safe for the skin. Softer set variations are also available that is gentle for infant skin. Alternatively, the artist can opt to make the body mold with skin-safe silicone rubber too.

The mold making material is carefully applied on the body. Extra attention is needed when casting the face as the mold should capture the precise shape and yet the material should not enter the eyes, mouth or nose. Alginate molds are secured with plaster bandages to enable the mold to retain its shape.

The mold will set in a matter of minutes and it can be demolding by wriggling the face a bit. Now alginate molds should be cast quickly as the material tends to shrink and distort quickly. Plaster is generally the material of choice for making life casts. Resin life casts are also popular. It is even possible to make life casts in stone, metal or wood by using cold casting powders.

The casting material is carefully poured into the body mold. Care is needed to avoid air bubbles that can easily mar the perfection of the life cast. Once cured, alginate molds are usually broken away to reveal the life cast inside. The cast is then carefully finished (to correct any imperfections) and can also be painted or buffed as required.