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Introduction to from Cells to Organisms

Concerning, the lowest levels of biological organization, remember that the chemical
level includes subatomic particles, atoms, and molecules. And just beyond the
macromolecules lie the organelles. Finally, recall that the cell level begins “The Life-
line,” because it is the lowestliving level of biological organization. It is now appropriate
for us to ask, “Just what is it that we mean, by living level?” For an answer, just go back
to Chapter 1, and review the section on the characteristics of living things. These are
the characteristics that first appear in the Pyramid at the cell level, and then continue
upward through the entire organism.
Right above the cell is the tissue level. A tissue is a collection of similar cells, plus
theintercellular ( in -ter- SELL -yew-lar) material located “between” them. There are
four basic or primary types of tissue (Figure 2.3). These are epithelial ( eh -pih- THEE -lee-
al) tissue, muscle tissue, connective tissue , and nervous tissue . By basic or primary, it is meant
that all of the specific types of tissues found in living things (especially humans and
animals) are modifications or specializations of these four types.
Epithelial denotes something present “upon” ( epi -) the “nipples” ( theli ), such as the
nipples in humans and related animals (like a bear, monkey, or your family cat or dog).
Epithelial tissue is a covering and lining tissue. It covers body surfaces in general, and
lines cavities within the body interior. Epithelial tissue, for example, forms the
outermost layer of the human skin. As evident from Figure 2.3, A, epithelial tissue is
almost entirely cellular in nature, with little or no intercellular material between its cells.
Connective tissue (Figure 2.3, B), in great contrast, includes a lot of intercellular
material between its cells. Frequently, this intercellular material contains long, slender
rods – connective tissue fibers . Such fibers help connective tissue do its main job, which is
to directly or indirectly connect body parts together. The fearsome teeth in the jaw of a
shark, for instance, are firmly anchored into their sockets by connective tissue fibers.
Nevertheless, these teeth sometimes break off, and then re-grow. Muscle tissue (Figure
2.3, C) consists of long, slender, muscle fibers . These muscle fibers are actually cells that
contract or shorten, thereby creating body movements. Nervous tissue (Figure 2.3, D)
is the major tissue for communication and control within the body’s internal
environment. (The internal environment is everything deep in from the surface of the
skin.) The nervous tissue largely does its communicating by means of neurons ( NUR-
ahns ), the nerve cells. Neurons (nerve cells) within the nervous tissue inform the brain
when the body has been damaged, usually resulting in the sensation of pain.
Fig. 2.3 The basic or primary types of body tissu

Read the following statements and make a judgement about their truth or

1. Men and Women.

a. A woman walking alone at night is in greater danger of sexual assault or

rape by a stranger than a woman in a familiar place with a man she knows.

b. Men are naturally more aggressive than women.

c. “Falling in love” is a natural human emotion. Therefore, romantic love has

existed in all societies at all times.

d. By teaching children about sexual relationships, the education system

encourages young people to experiment sexually, leading to an increase in
teenage pregnancies.

e. Making contraceptives available to teenagers through school clinics will

encourage them to be more sexually active because they will not have to worry
about unwanted pregnancy.

The prime concern of sociology is socialized individuals while education is the

process of socializing individuals. Education is the means for achieving the goals
of sociology. Education is the laboratory and workshop of sociology. Sociology
develops methods and techniques to be utilized by educational system to attain
its goals.

This course is a graduate-level seminar that introduces students into the principles of
research design in sociology. Focusing on the logic of research, this seminar deals with
various epistemological and methodological issues that sociologists are confronted with in
the course of their research, irrespective of the specific theoretical perspectives and the
various methods of observation and analysis they are employing in different fields of
sociological study. These issues are introduced with particular attention to the
characteristics of sociology as a scientific activity and in view of the special connection that
exists between theory and research. This course, therefore, is not a course on the techniques
of sociological methods of observation and analysis, but on the logic of research.

Within the specified frame, attention goes to a selection of principles of research design
(such as measurement, operationalization, sampling, and causal logic); the logic of selected
methods of data collection (including survey research, ethnography, experiments,
evaluation research, and comparative-historical methods); and aspects of proposing and
publishing research. Based on the participants’ specific interests, students are encouraged to
explore relevant epistemological and methodological matters mentioned in this course in a
more in-depth manner by taking other courses and/or through self-study and exploration of
the literature. You can always consult the instructor for guidance.

This course is designed for all graduate students in sociology, not just for those who happen
to be or want to become experts in epistemology or methodology. We will therefore address,
when applicable, elements of various theoretical perspectives and substantive interests that
the students are interested in. Participants in this seminar must be graduate students in the
Sociology program. Students from another discipline need my explicit permission to take
this course.

Upon successful completion of this seminar, students should be able to 1) critically analyze
sociological research from the viewpoint of the principles of research design in sociology as
a scientific and theoretically driven activity; and 2) develop a proposal for an original
sociological research that abides by the standards of scientific analysis.

The syllabus will be handed out in class.