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Lecture 1

SOCI 100 Lecture 1: Sociology 100 Detailed Notes for entire semester

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SOCI 100

Sociology 100 – GS01 Notes January 6, 2017 Chapter #1: Seeing and acting through the lense of Sociology (A) What is sociology? Things are not as they seem. “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Sociology asks us not to automatically believe what we see. Micro and Macro levels • Sociologists study the interconnection between the micro and macro levels • Micro: individual experiences and personal choices • Macro: the level of broader social forces • Example: micro – people living in poverty, blamed for their own misfortunes. Macro – high unemployment rates, racism, discrimination. (aboriginal ppl.) Most people stop at the micro level and don’t look at the bigger picture. (like when we see a homeless person) Sociology is … the systematic study of society, using the sociological imagination. • Systematic because sociologists have to follow the scientific rules (using large samples, recording data) The Sociological Imagination • C. Wright Mills (1959/2000): “the intersections of biography (micro) and history (macro).” o Impacted by when and where we’re living (history). The homeless person probably has a sad biography, but to understand it we need to look at history. “Seeing the Strange in the Familiar” • Questioning what we see around us, and what we usually do not pay attention to. • Why do people behave the way that they do? o Bus stops and on public transit in general o Where we sit in class o Almost all of the front line people at desks at the university are women o The quiet at a bus stop vs. the kid asks ‘mommy why is that man so fat.’ o Who we choose to sit beside o Elevators and how people stand and act o Man on the sky train who started to sing January 9, 2017 Sociological Theories What is a theory? • An attempt to explain, describe, and sometimes predict social events • Theory can be micro or macro. Sometimes both. o Macro: whole societies, large scale social structures and systems. o Micro: small groups • Each theory represents a worldview: assumption on how the world operates Structural Functionist Theory (Macro) • Worldview: society is a stable, orderly system with interrelated parts and each serves a function in the overall stability of society. • Societal consensus: most of the people share a common set of values, beliefs, and behavioral expectations. Social Institutions: (85, 10) • The State (government) • Education • Family – nuclear (mom, dad, 2.3 kids) • Religion • Economic System • Media • Sports – lacrosse (first nations, make young men fit) o They all work together to provide cultural survival and harmony o All have manifest and latent functions Structural Functionalist Theories (10) 1. Emile Durkheim (suicide study – 11) 2. Robert Merton (Education) • Manifest (intended) functions – job training • Latent (unintended) functions – mate selection, competition Emile Durkheim (Suicide Study – 11) • Men are more likely to commit suicide and using more abrupt and successful methods (guns) versus women (overdose). Men don’t show emotion or reach out for help. • Rich were more likely – put emphasis on making money rather than finding life balance • Single were more likely • Protestant churchgoers were more likely. o they didn’t feel socially connected. Catholic people connect with one another and their minister o least likely to commit: unmarried women January 11, 2017 Strengths and weaknesses Main strength: social institutions Main weaknesses: assumes societal consensus. Cannot account for social inequality. (sexism, racism, even if paper grades are all the same.) Social Conflict Theory (usually macro – 11) Worldview: society is made up of groups of people continuously competing for scarce resources. An endless struggle for power. Karl Marx and Max Weber: Marx: exploitation and othression of the proletariat (workers) by the bourgeoisie (owners/ capitalists) in the mid 19 century. Weber: 1922 added power and prestige. Allow dominant people to carry out their will despite resistance from others. Social Conflict Theory Branches: Feminist Theory: examines gender inequality. Theories of Race: Examine the racialized dimensions of social inequality. Social (or symbolic) Interaction Theory (micro): Worldview: social life consists of the sum of the interactions of people and groups. Peoples day to day interaction sand their behavior in groups. Example: Whyte’s study “street corner society” ‘arm chair theorizing’ profs who never left their offices, but had all these theories. Poor immigrants. Met Italian immigrants, had rich culture, very caring. Nobody at the university here he worked cared about each other families. Wrote that you have to communicate with the people to fully judge and understand. Symbols: anything that meaningfully represents something else. How we communicate. Example: gestures, signs, language. Ex.) gifts of food to new neighbors Learning in each culture what these symbols mean. • People glaring at the guy laying on the bench with his shoes off. Showing the bottom of your feet is considered rude in that country. Theorists: George Herbert Mead: development of self through social interaction, taking the role of the other. (13, 17, 72, 72) Cooley: looking glass self (74) how people act and dress to get a reaction. Erving Goffman: dramaturgical analysis front and back stage (87, 130, 162-63, 254, 302) How people act around their priest versus parents versus friends. Backstage how you act alone. January 13, 2017 (iii) Critical thinking - Transition from lower order to higher order thinking o E.g.) applying knowledge of anomie to volunteer work with the red cross following a local flood - Required practice - Role of critical thinking in solving social problems o Ex.) rather than noticing only that single men, and protestant church goers have the highest suicide rate, notice what they have in common Anomie: state of normlessness – like after the industrial revolution, first day of university, visiting a foreign country Why is it darker people working in corner stores, and taxi companies? Because of widespread racism. Homeless people. Women find it easier to couch surf. Mental health issues, addiction Project Monday. Symbolic interaction theory – apply it to hockey. You learnt the slang and informal communication. January 16, 2017 Sociology Experience Assignment a. “last summer I went to Greece, and was really surprised by what I was expected to eat.” The basic what, when, where, why b. the concept you’re choosing. Include definition from book c. the page # or lecture o marks based on understanding. No point form o the rats in Alberta (cultural relativism – seeing things from a cultures point of view.) the process of getting rid of rats January 18, 2017 Sociological Research Two basic types 1. quantitative research: the collection of numerical data (statistics) often used for large- scale research 2. qualitative research: the collection of interpretive data description leading to analysis smaller scaler research data but also deeper. - Ex. Quantitative – how many people go to WEM. Qualitative – what kind of people go to WEM (Saturdays: younger people) Research Methods 1. Experiment (quantitative) – a controlled test of the casual effects of a particular variable or set of variables (independent variable) on a dependent variable (outcome) - Infrequently used in sociology, other than by social phycologists. Hard to control for all variables. - Ex.) race and perception of skill. Fake resumes to grad students. (white and non-white students.) costly. Timely. 2. Survey research – quantitative and/ or qualitative. Collection of data by asking random questions of a random sample of people. - Population: people who are the focus of the research (usually geographically defined) - Sample: drawn from the population - Example: Fiona’s master’s thesis. The screening process of applying for a job, the process employers use to screen potential employees. Choosing men vs. women, and ethnicity. How you ask the questions 3. Participant observation – qualitative. Also called field participation of the researcher, to varying degrees, in the activities of the group under investigation. Examples.) garment factory research, and carnival research - It is an attempt to give an insiders account of a particular way of life or cultural system - Must be culturally relative rather than ethnocentric - It produces ethnography, a written portrayal of a culture, from its member’s point of view. - Ex.) the people in the carnival getting payed very little. But they weren’t being forced to stay there. Ethnocentric: watch from an elitist point of view. Fiona joined the carnival to get an inside point of view January 20, 2017 Key informant: person who introduces a researcher to the social group being studied – often continues to act as a source of help and information Ex.) George the drug dealer. Boosting – selling stolen items. George was the key informant - Working in the carnival. “we’ve got nothing to hide,” offered Fiona to stay with them and do research. Literature search. Seeing what other people have written about your topic. The tape recorder. Working in porta potties. The carnies with the baseball bats. The guy selling his game, took the money and disappeared. Bringing ‘heat’ to the carnival. Anything that attracts police attention to the carnival. Dirty data: information learned about illegal activities. Examples; drugs, prostitution, domestic violence, forged signatures. Forging a forged signature. The wife used to, but the wife was away, the husband couldn’t do his own signature. The Hawthorne Effect (reactivity): a change in a subject’s behavior, simply because they’re being watched. Can be minimized by: - Establishing rapport with subjects - Staying longer in the domain so your presence is normalized January 23, 2017 A. What is culture? The knowledge, language, values, customs, and material objects passed from person to person, and from one generation to another - Culture is a toolkit of symbols, stories, rituals, and worldviews - We choose among these tools according to our personalities and the situations we face - Different cultural rules for different situations - Ex.) talking with friends versus instructors - Can be stabilizing, providing continuity, (structural functionalist theory) - Can create conflict/ violence (social conflict theory) B. Society A large social grouping that occupies the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations (share same culture) - Society is about people - Culture is about ideas (interdependent) C. Why is culture important? We need it for: 1. Individual survival (we learn how to take care of ourselves, how to dress, what to eat, how to make or spend money.) Ex.) what we wear to stay warm 2. Communication with other people (simplifies life to share a common culture) 3. Survival of societies (share a common understanding) Our cultural toolbox has two major parts. Material and not D. Material Culture - Physical or tangible that members of society make, use and share (cars, houses, clothing, art, technology) - Buffer us against the environment (shelter, warm/dry clothing) - We create things of interest to us (we wear clothing we like) - Pencils are technology, they make life more convenient - Humans are imaginative - Birds making a nest for their babies, can’t go beyond fundamental instincts E. Non-material Culture - Abstract (unseen) or intangible human creations that influence people’s behavior (language, beliefs, values, rules of behavior, family patterns, political systems) - Sociology is more concerned with non-material culture. (more anthropology) - Material and Non-material are related. What we wear is shaped by culture, religion, beliefs – evolution of bras - Trucks, very significant when you’re male. Sons big truck All cultures have 4 non-material cultural components 1. Symbols: anything that meaningfully represents something else. (flags, hearts, swastikas, functional things like sirens and gestures, colors (e.g. Pink and blue) 2. Language: a set of symbols that expresses ideas and enables people to think and communicate a. Can be verbal and non-verbal b. Allows us to share knowledge, feelings, experiences c. Maintains group boundaries, gives solidarity d. Backpacking and hearing a Canadian talk about hockey e. Subcultures (ex. Hockey) unique language (criminal groups) January 25, 2017 3. Values: collective (group) ideas about what is right or wrong, good or bad, and desirable or undesirable in a particular culture - These are the criteria by which we judge people, subjects, and events - We defend them staunchly - There is a moral dimension to values 4. Norms: establishes rules of behavior or standards of conduct contain sanctions (penalties for breaking norms) - Norms can be distinguished along several dimensions a. Type of behavior i. Prescriptive: tell us appropriate behavior (e.g. Pay taxes, open doors for someone carrying a parcel) ii. Proscriptive: b. Level of formality i. Formal: important, written down (laws) often enforced by formal sanctions (rewards for good behavior, penalty for bad) 1. Positive sanctions: 2. Negative sanction: ii. Informal: less important. Not written down (burping in class) violators receive informal sanctions (frowning) c. Level of social importance i. Folkways: informal norms or everyday customs that may be violated without serious consequences in a certain culture 1. Rules of conduct but not essential for societies survival 2. Vary a lot between and within societies 3. E.g. using deodorant, brushing teeth, wearing appropriate clothing, women shaving armpits and legs 4. Mild sanctions for violators 5. Low level of social importance 6. Rural areas are more traditional ii. Mores: strongly-held norms with moral and ethical connotations, they may not be violated without serious consequences in a particular society 1. Based on cultural views 2. Severe sanctions (ridicule to imprisonment) 3. Strongest mores are called taboo (incest) where violation is considered to be very offensive 4. Extremely essential to the stability of society, so high level of social importance iii. Laws: formal, standardized norms that have been enacted by legislatures and are enforced by formal sanctions 1. Civil: disputes among persons/groups 2. Punishment: fine or prohibition 3. Criminal: acts that endanger public safety or well-being. 4. Punishment: fines, prison 5. Highest levels of social importance 6. If people acted right all the time, we would forget the importance of what’s right Sapire-worf hypothesis - How language develops - A culture that had no word for the concept of time o If the word doesn’t exist, the concept doesn’t - Symbiotic relationship between the word and reality o Ex. Domestic violence. A new term. Hitting your wife used to be okay, and normal Ideal and Real culture: - Ideal culture: people expect to follow ex. Canadian culture - Real culture what people actually do, ex. Recycling, speeding Subcultures – people with a shared interest. contain wider cultural practices, but also have their own worlds. - Counter culture – a sub culture, a group which rejects the wider cultural practices. Rebellious. Begins as a counter culture, but spreads into wider society culture (ex. Hippy movement) January 30, 2017 Watch documentary, take notes Chapter #4 – socialization (A) Agents of Socialization - Family - School - Peers - Media Family - First agent of socialization - Plays a role in self-esteem and interpersonal trust - Values, how to resolve conflicts, our gender roles o Ex. Raised by racist parents, or a home with violence School - Transmits knowledge and skills through the official curriculum - Also transmits cultural values and norms (hidden curriculum) - Goffman’s cloak of competence (impression management) o You always have to know the answer to a question from your field Peers - Source of social comparison - Pressure to conform - Learn about romantic/ sexual relationships Media - Connects us with others - Provides us with information - Provides us with entertainment - Constructs reality and shapes our perceptions (B) The Social Structure - Socialization takes place within the social structure o The framework of cultural elements and social patterns - Consists of statuses and roles, social groups, and social institutions i. Statuses and roles • A status is any recognized social position o E.g. Brother, student, professor • A role is the behavioral component of a given status o E.g. Students study • We occupy a status, we play a role • Importance of anticipatory socialization o Deliberate learning to belong to a higher status • Ex.) becoming a teaching assistant, had to dress in ugly tweed jackets, but was very uncomfortably. Put back on the jeans and hoodie, and found she was much more comfortable, which mad teaching better Status - Ascribed statuses are imposed on us e.g. Daughter, skin color - Through personal action, we enter achieved statuses e.g. Doctor - Our most important status is a master status e.g. Sex, race, criminals - Status set: all of your statuses February 1, 2017 (C) Resocialization - Voluntary resocialization o Also called adult resocialization o Living with someone o Becoming a parent o Joining a sports team o Immigrating - Involuntary Resocialization o May take place in a total institution (Goffman) o Often involves a ritual ordeal: ▪ Initiation ceremony that includes status degradation and mortification (stripping and beating) which symbolizes the death of the old identity o Person is then very vulnerable and ripe for conversion to the expectations of the power group ▪ The military ▪ Easier to do to young people o More examples: prison, human trafficking, residential schools (colonization – indigenous), mental hospitals, domestic violence, police academies, the Jews (WW2), hazing, fraternities MIDTERM February 10, 2017 Social stratification (layers) - The cornerstone of sociology A. Definition: the persistent patterns of social inequality within a society, perpetuated by the manner in which wealth, power, and prestige are distributed and passed on from one generation to the next B. Two systems that involve ____ changes in ones place in the social system 1.Caste (closed system) 2.class (open system) Caste System: a system of social inequality in which people’s status is permanently determined at birth based on their parents’ ascribed characteristic (occupation. Social class) - Found in many traditional societies (e.g. villages in India) - Also found in poor sections of large cities in India and the middle east, as well as many other countries around the world - Enormous discrimination against lowest Indian case, “untouchables” (delists), seen as “human pollution” in the Caste system, experience violence, murder and rape, and few cases ever get to trial. Caste system officially abolished in India in 1950, but it continues socially. - Colorism: the lighter your skin is, the higher your social value is. The delists usually have very dark skin - Worse for females, looked at like walking uterus’s. They’re owned by their fathers, until their married, and then they’re owned by their husbands. - Point is to keep honor in your family. That is why girls are disciplines, because by flirting with boys they are hurting the honor of the whole family. So male family members will kill her. - Murder doesn’t get a big sentence in jail, only 5 or 6 months, (because its honor killing), rape gets longer, so women will be raped and then killed and the girl is blamed. Class system (open system) - A type of stratification based on the ownership and control of resources and on the top of work people do - Boundaries between cases less distinct than in caste systems - More individually – based - Industrial (open) societies are assumed to be meritocracies, which are systems which reward personal merit (handwork, education, skills) - But there are no purely meritocratic societies - Professional athletes make more money than doctors but what do they contribute to society? February 13, 2017 A. life chances -ability to lead a happy and prosperous life ⁃ for lower status people, shorter life expectancies ⁃ physical and mental health problems ⁃ malnutrition ⁃ stress and stigma = depression 2.consumption habits - poorer people are more likely to: - have poor nutrition - smoke and drink more frequently - research on social class and drinking: - poorer people: binge drinking once or twice a week, done in public - wealthier people: drink every day, done in private B. life opportunities - fewer educational opportunities and economic resources =lower quality of life - less leisure time - less freedom of action - less flexibility in daily routines - less variety in experiences and interests - less likely to belong to clubs and organizations, including participating in other communities C. values and beliefs ⁃ greater economic deprivation and occupational instability = higher value places on material success and financial security ⁃ working class parents more likely to teach their children the values of obedience and conformity rather than self-direction or independence February 15, 2017 Gilbert’s class structure ⁃ based on quintiles ⁃ high class $109k - ultra-rich/capitalist top 1% - mostly inherited wealth - some are self-made - middle class $72K - upper middle class $79k - 109k: - upper level managers, teachers, some trades - mostly at least one university degree - lower middle class - in lower level service industry jobs - less likely to have an post-secondary education ⁃ low class: less than 41K - in lowest paying jobs, often “unskilled” jobs - includes the “working poor” The poverty line - no official Canadian poverty line instead, statistic Canada uses the LICO (low income cut off): - 60%+ being spend on basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing), then you are living below the LICO Who are the poor? - Females, especially female-headed single-parent families - Reasons: lower wages - The feminization of poverty - Event-driven poverty - And aboriginal peoples Theories - Structural-functionalism o Social inequality in inevitable and unavoidable o It is also necessary so that the undesirable jobs will get done o Belief in meritocracy Social conflict theory - Marx: - Social inequality in not inevitable or necessary - It is created by the capitalist system: - Private ownership of resources encourages the drive for profits - People in power use social stratification to retain their power “crimes of honour” available on university library site – documentary to watch February 27, 2017 Sex versus gender Sex is the body parts you are born with. Gender: characteristics we associate with people’s sex. (socially constructed). Intersex: both sexes Gender: every culture has a blueprint of how ‘men’ should behave, what they should like, etc. Hegemonic masculinity. Idealized version of how men are supposed to behave. For women is called emphasized femininity. Masculinity: physical strength, breadwinner, aggressive, a leader, non-emotional, protective, working – manual labour, endurance, sports, technical expertise, non-relational sex, Heteronormative, and white Femininity: physical and emotional weakness, beauty, submissive, co-operative, loyal to man, nurturing, nursing, teaching, taking care of others March 1, 2017 Chapter 7 – Sex, Gender, and Sexualities: Deconstructing Dualisms Gendered experiences - Education - Occupation - Economic - Family Different educational experiences - Children spend 35 hours/ week in school o More time with teachers and peers than with parents - Teachers inadvertently treat boys and girls differently o Pragmatic need of classroom management o Stereotypes The classroom - Boys at the forefront, girls in the background - Teachers… o Interact with boys more o Encourage boys to solve problems independently o Show girls how to solve problems o Give boys more praise, remediation, criticism, acceptance Why? - Teachers say… o Boys “demand” more attention because of behavioral problems o Boys “need” more attention because of academic difficulties o They don’t want to “hurt the girls’ feelings” by being too tough on them What are children learning in the classroom? - Official curriculu
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