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SOCY 226 (57)

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Queen's University
SOCY 226
G R Frank Pearce

SOCY 226 Instructor: Frank Pearce Assignments Paper 40% Exam 35% (mid-term) Will be given as an example… 10 questions and 6 will be on the exam sort of deal There will be an essay question on the exam Tuts. contrib./att 15% Tuts 2 summs 5%+5% Theory is… - Abstract: only some of the elements, relations and processes of theoretical discourse may be perceivable by humans i.e. atoms…you cannot see them but you can infer that they exist. Society is equally inaccessible to perception…you can‟t perceive culture or community in a tactile, physical way. Social rules that are unspoken but are known (socialised) are abstract…i.e. how a group of people act when they are drunk. - Mediates between “us” and the world Theory is NOT - “Common Sense” – which relies at best on generalisations derived from limited experiences…i.e. stereotypes such as women are careful drivers - “Dogma” – which assumes unquestionable elements in its discourse, e.g. religion and God Social Theories: A social theory is a discourse based on inter-related rigorously defined sets of concepts, arguments, models and questions: - Interrelations between individuals and institutions - Are there relations which function impersonally as a system to include some groups while excluding other groups from social and institutional participation? - What role does society as a whole (an autonomous entity) play? Do collective beings have an emergent power? - Culture passed down through generations and its effect on institutions - What determines whether social change is developmental or is a fundamental transformation of a society? How do we know? Durkheim often speaks as if society has its own separate emotions and goals…whereas Marx assumes that nothing is in control of the people…relationship between people and work Weber denies that there is a structure Social theorists appreciate conventional understandings but recognise a need to break with them and go beyond them. London U.K. riots 6-10 August 2011 “senseless thugs” “criminals and anarchists” “angry drunken rioters “protestors Police Chief asks “Why is no one discussing the parent‟s role in bringing up feral children” U.K. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clark “Rioters are a feral underclass.” Prime Minister David Cameron On London U.K. Riots…targets 18-24 age group and makes great generalisations about youth, low-income families, and single parent families: “This is not about poverty, it’s about culture. A culture that glorifies violence, shows disrespect to authority, and says everything about rights but nothing about responsibilities Single parent families are terrible and produce animals Need more disciplinary schools At the heart of all violence are street gangs Why Rob Ford refuses to “hug a thug” More generalisations… Mass media, some politicians and everyday conversations rep certain areas as stable, orderly, obey the law, work hard, and share family values…associated with suburban life And then there is “the other side” which are home to the impoverished, immigrants, live in run-down homes and many of the individuals living in these areas have criminal records…more likely because they are targeted by the police not that they are criminals by nature Disregards the population of people living in that area…these areas are stigmatised and are may attract more negative attention from police and the law, basically they are targeted based on their ethnicity and their economic status. Police are expected to have so many arrests…bureaucracy is at play here. There is a problem in the structure of law enforcement…the implicit theory -A study found that more Caucasian people use cocaine than African Americans who were convicted more often for using crack cocain disregards social mobility All 3 sociologists would… Condemn reductionism. ASK QUESTIONS Weber: Is the political system legitimate? How can we come to know the meanings the rioters gave to their actions and what were these meanings (what is to riot…is it symbolic? Just to let off steam?)? Alegitimate system…people obey a syst
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