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University of Saskatchewan
SOC 111

 SOCIOLOGY is the systematic study of human groups and their interactions  SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE refers to the unique way in which sociologists see our world and can dissect the dynamic relationships between individuals and the larger social network in which we all live  SOCIETY is a group of people within a limited territory who share a common set of behaviour, beliefs, values, material objects, and social institutions that exist as a coherent system  *What would sociology of aboriginal people look like?* HINT: might be final exam question CHARLES WRIGHT MILLS  THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION ->Developing an appreciation of how individual challenges are influenced by larger social forces  PERSONAL TROUBLES-> result from individual challenges  SOCIAL ISSUES ->are caused by larger social factors  THE ‘trick’ is in understanding how these personal troubles may indeed be due to larger social issues  QUALITY OF MIND refers to one’s ability to look beyond personal circumstance and into social context The Sociological Imagination (1959)  ******Mills’ most influential work, it describes a mindset for doing sociology that stresses being able to connect individual experiences and societal relationships Definition: the capacity to shift from the perspective of the personal experience to the grander, societal scale that has caused or influenced that personal experience connections between “private troubles” and ‘public issues” and between powerful people and ordinary citizens Components that form the sociological imagination are: 1. BIOGRAPHY: the nature of “human nature” in a society; what kind of people are in a particular society 2. HISTORY: how a society came to be and how it is changing and how history is being made in it 3. SOCIAL STRUCTURE: how the various institutional orders in a society operate, which ones are dominant, how are they held together, how they might be changing  An idea that guides a sociological imagination is to bring about awareness of people in all ranks of problems in society and that using a sociological imagination can lead to social change. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Engaging Your Sociological Imagination Our perception of ourselves and others are the products of many factors, for example: 1. Minority Status 2. Gender 3. Socioeconomic Status 4. Family Structure 5. Urban-Rural Differences How have factors such as these affected the person you have become today? The Historical development of Sociology The Scientific Revolution: 1650-1800 Auguste Comte (the father of sociology) Hard science should be applied to the social world Law of 3 Stages: Theological- religious outlook, the world is an expression of God Metaphysical- a period of questioning and challenging Positive- rules of observation, experimentation and logic Positivism and Anti-Positivism  Positivism is a theoretical approach that considers all understanding to be based on science 1. There exists an objective knowable reality 2. Singular explanation 3. Value-free  Anti-positivism is a theoretical approach that considers knowledge and understanding to be the result of human subjectivity - Rejects each of the positivist assumptions QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE SOCIOLOGY Quantitative Sociology  THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIOLOGY  The Political Revolution: Renaissance to the Enlightenment  Machiavelli – Human behaviour motivated by self-interest  Descartes – “I think, therefore I am”. we are all masters of our own destiny  Locke - Knowledge is the result of experience  Rousseau – we achieve more working together than we can apart (social contract)  Promotion of individual rights and social responsibility, equality of opportunity and the political ideology of democracy  The industrial Revolution: around 1750  Often associated with technological advancement  Profound social changes  Moved from an agricultural society based on local food production for local consumption to regional and national distribution networks  Resulted in new social problems  Monty Python Macro and Micro approaches  Macrosociology refers to attempting to understand society as a whole  Marx, Durkheim(father of sociology), Weber  Microsociology refers to attempting to understand individual or small group dynamics  Mead, Cooley and Blumer Sociology in Canada  Geography and Regionalism  Political Economy  Harold Innis  Canadianization Movement  Racial Nature Sociology in a Global Perspective  Looking beyond our own boundaries to consider the dynamic forces of globalization  Globalization is a worldwide process ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ “Seeing” the World Theoretically THEORY is a statement that tries to explain how facts or events are related THE ENLIGHTENMENT (1659-1799) Sociology developed from a conservative reaction against Enlightenment thinking.  Challenged years of Christian teachings  Philosophes advocated critical thinking and practical knowledge and built on the natural sciences  Challenged beliefs guided in tradition  Resulted in the ability of the masses to challenge their oppressors  Reorganization of societies  Sociology was born out of the conservative reaction against Enlightenment thinking THE BIRTH OF SOCIOLOGY Social conservatives believed that society is not the product of individuals, rather an entity in itself  Conservatives believed that society is not the product of individuals, rather an entity in itself 1. Society exists on its own 2. Society produces the individual 3. Individuals simply fill positions 4. Smallest unit of social analysis is the family 5. Parts of society are the interrelated and interdependent 6. Change is a threat 7. Social institutions are beneficial 8. Modern social changes greate fear and anxiety 9. Emphasis on seemingly irrational factors 10. Return to social hierarchies and healthy competition CLASSICAL SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY Functionalism  Social world is a dynamic system of interrelated and interdependent parts  Social structures exist to help people fulfill their wants and desires  Human society is similar to an organism, when it fails to work together the “system” will fail  Society must meet the needs of the majority  Dominant theoretical paradigm between the late 1920’s and the early 1960’s (civil rights movement) FUNCTIONALIST THEORIST Herbert Spencer  Survival of the fittest justifies why only the strong should survive  Societies evolve because they need to change in order to survive  Environmental pressures all or beneficial traits to be passed on to future generation  Social Darwinism draws upon Darwin’s idea of natural selection; asserts societies evolve according to the same principles as biological organisms  Laissez-faire approach (opposes regulation of or interference with natural processes) – let everything happen, it will sort its self out… “let it happen” Emile Durkheim  Founder of modern sociology  Human action originates in the collective rather than in the individual  Behaviour is driven by the collective conscience o (ex: not wearing a samurai suit to the lecture, wedding dress… we pick most commonly accepted… regular clothing) o Collective conscience – we want to appear normal, make decision on what we consider normal , norms for our behavior o Who decides what’s normal ->dominant society  Social Facts are general social features that exist on their own and are independent of individual manifestations o More dominant features of the collective conscience o Ex: cellphone, the social fact of all of us having cellphones, now there’s a bylaw no texting and driving…  Anomie is a state of normlessness that results from the lack of clear goals and creates feelings of confusion that may ultimately result in higher suicide rates (self-removal)  o There are 4 types of suicide he talked about o Altruistic suicide: for the benefit of society… Ex: soldier throwing himself on grenade to save the others o Anomistic Suicide: sudden disconnection from society – ex: lose all your money, partner is cheating, loss of loved one etc. – something abrupt happens and they commit suicide o Egoistic Suicide: think there is no good reason to keep themselves alive, o Fatalistic Suicide: No way out of something, Ex: sex slave, o Example: Amanda Todd - > she probably felt complete worthlessness ( Ego), to much to overcome ( Anomistic) o How does it fit into functionalism? Suicide etc. fit in because there must be something wrong with the system. Suicide disrupts the system, family are disrupted by suicide therefor it disrupts the system of society. o The system was wrong to begin with ex: Amanda Todd was being bullied. Won’t look at the bullying as a problem but more looking at the individual as the problem. o Suicide, domestic violence, crime rate are all a sense of Anomie.  Mechanic Solidarity describes early societies based on similarities and independence  Organic solidarity describes later societies organized around interdependence and the increasing division of labour Robert Merton Social Structures have many functions Manifest functions: the intended consequences of an action or social pattern Latent functions: the unintended consequences of an action or social pattern Critiques of functionalist approaches: Inability to account for social change Overemphasis on the extent to which harmony and stability actually exist in society *******CONFLICT THEORY  Society is grounded upon inequality and competition  Based on the assumption that society is grounded upon inequality and competition over scarce resources that ultimately result in conflict and inspires social change.  (1)Power is the core of all social relationships and is scarce and unequally divided among members of society  (Natural and physical inferiety imbedded depending on race, gender etc.) Those who have power, wealth etc. have the power to get the resources and credibility…(biological and moral)  Inequality is at the base of all social conflicts  (2)Social values and the dominant ideology are the vehicles by which the powerful promote their own interests at the expense of the weak  Rooted in the writings of Machiavelli, Hobbes and Rousseau Karl Marx - Dialectics: a way of seeing history and society as the result of oppositions, contradictions and tensions from which social change can emerge (big difference between functionalism and conflict theory) - Conflict theory is a way of mediating contradictions and tensions for the better of society. - The social structure that we have are able to be changed… functionalism thinks the opposite - Idealism: Human mind and consciousness are more important in understanding the human condition than is the material world (MARX wasn’t an idealist*) - Human consciousness and human interaction with the material world could change society - Relations of the production based on power - Base / superstructure : (diagram) - Forces of production- things that make our lives ( there is someone making our cars, oil, clothing) - The Base is where all the conflicts of society happen Marx Continued…  relations of production  Proletariat (workers)the little people  Bourgeoisie (owners) they get the benefit of the proletariat work.  Alienation: the process by which workers(proletariat) are disconnected from what the produce  Exploitation: the difference between what workers are paid and the wealth they create for the owners  Ideology: set of beliefs and values that support and justify the ruling class of society  Dominant ideology maintains the position of the ruling elite  False consciousness: belief in the support of the system that oppresses you  Class consciousness: recognition of domination and oppression and the collective action that occurs to address it *****3) SYMBOLIC INTERACTION People act toward things based on the meaning those things have for them and these meanings are derived from social interaction and modified through interpretation (Blumer) - Ex: woman wearing nurse outfit you’re pretty sure she’s a nurse, someone wearing a cross, pretty sure they are a Christian. - A symbol grows - What do symbols mean? Makes someone who they are. - A Christian wears a cross, but what if someone just wears it because they think it’s pretty? - It would be wrong for someone to wear a metis sash, if they are not metis at all. - Ritzer’s principles of Symbolic Interaction 1. Humans have the capacity for thought 2. Human thinking is shaped by social interaction 3. People learn meanings and symbols in social settings 4. Meanings and symbols enable people to carry on uniquely human actions and interactions 5. Meanings and symbols change dependent upon interpretation 6. Unique ability to interact with self 7. Culmination of interaction and patterns of action make up society Micro versus Macro approach Highlight the ways in which meanings are created, constructed, mediated and changed by members of a group or society Max weber Verstehen: a deep understanding and interpretation of subjective social meanings Georg Simmel Society is the summation of human experience and its patterned interactions MEAD AND COOLEY  George Herbert Mead - Mind, Self and Society (1934), the social organism is not an organic individual but a social group of individual organisms )p. 130)( the rational side of yourself, the part that tell you what you shouldn’t do ) - Human mind results from the individual’s ability to respond and engage with the environment  Charles H. Cooley - Sympathetic Introspection: putting yourself into someone else’s shoes - Looking-glass self: we develop out self image through the cues we receive from others - Self-fulfilling prophecy: internalize impressions and as a result become the kind of person as we believe others see -> Thomas theorem (what is perceived as real becomes real in its consequences) – if you believe something is real, it becomes real in its consequences – - Reflect what people believe us to be. Marginalized Voices & Social Theory - Sexism, racism , and ethnocentrism: applying sociological concepts to the classical theorists - > only the voices of white males were given credence in that time in history. - Contributions by women: Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Martineau, Florence Nightingale, Beatrice Potter Webb, Jane Addams, Marianne Weber, Anne Marion MacLean – you will recognise some of these names - Promoted social equality and activism ======================================CHAPTER 3====================================== MODERN SOCIAL THEORY What are modern social theories?  Should not be thought of as completely separate from classical theories  Themes of power runs through modern theories o Western Marxism o Feminist theories o Post-Structuralism o Queer theory o Post continental theories o Anti-racist theories WESTERN MARXISM  Antonio Gramsci – diverged from Marx in his analysis of how the ruling class ruled  Hegemony: ideological control and manipulation o Control of public groups o Leadership or dominance, esp. by one country or social group over others - Society’s dominant ideas reflect the interests of the ruling class - Involves society’s consent acceptance from society - Prevailing consciousness internalized by population and becomes “common sense” – appears common sense, - Social control-> “police” showing up to an incident or protest.  Aboriginal people in prison system due to poverty, lack of education , health - Majority of society - Dominant society want to keep their power and control over other people in society - Example: Gender roles appear to be common sense, a guy who isn’t following his gender role might not be looked as “not manly enough” gets put down. *******GRAMSCI  Hegemony is a process that is constantly negotiated and renegotiated  Society gives active, if not fully aware consent  Hegemony is used as a way to explain how particular features of social organization come to be taken for granted and treated as common sense  EXAMPLE: “Grills”, fashion, holidays, technology  Holidays are notion of hegemony – it’s nice and all it can’t just stay.  FASHION -> girls wearing ripped jeans vs. a poor person on the street wearing the real thing.  Society is present at a common sense but in reality some of the stuff is just stupid.  Abortion Vs No abortion -> both ideas common sense but lots of fighting over it. FEMINIST THEORIES  Feminists differ in their explanations of women’s oppression and the nature of gender and in their ideas about women’s emancipation  Core concern for gender oppression  Women and men should be equals  Men have social power and thus an interest in maintaining their social privilege over women  Dorothy Smith and bell books  Gender is a social construction ->when born we are taught what men should be and women should be. (Example: TOYSTORE) Gender Sex Social distinction born with genitals Reproduction capabilities Intersexes *******DOROTHY SMITH  Canadian sociologist: Sociology for women  The Everyday World as Problematic - Begins in the “actualities” of people’s lives, and addresses problems of how we are influenced by “extra-local” problems - “actual| - where people live and where their reality is constituted through discourse - Discourse – social organized activity among people - Everyday world contains different experiences and it as the starting point of inquiry - Standpoint theory – preserves the presence of the subject as an active experiencing person *******bell hooks  Black feminist thought  Black women rarely recognized as separate from black men, rarely seen as having separate problems from non-black women  Criticized contemporary feminist theorizing that automatically positions households as places of patriarchal oppression for women  hook argues against universal assumptions about women’s experiences POST-STRUCTURALISM  Concerned with how knowledge is socially produced  Foucault (Power, Knowledge and Disclosure)  Power created within social relationships, multidimensional, found everywhere and always at work  Clip about how people perceive themselves as powerless to act differently from how they are expected to behave  Knowledge can never be separated from relations of power  Discourses guide how we think, act, and speak - Tell us how the world is and how it ought to be: Milgram +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ FOUCAULT Cont.  Discipline is how we come to be motivated to produce particular realities  Power operates by encouraging some behaviours while discouraging others  Discipline (form of power) works through surveillance  Surveillance – acts of observing, recording and training  Normalization – social process by which some practices and ways of living are deemed normal and others abnormal  QUEER THEORY  Problematized the standard of equality based on sameness i.e.: heterosexuality as a hegemonic norm (standard, everything that’s different is bad)  Three main areas of queer theory: desire, language and identity  Desire - Aim to disrupt categories of normal and acceptable sexuality - Who were supposed to desire and who we are not supposed to desire? - Who we desire, & who were supposed to desire…  Language how we use our language is very important. - Unable to capture whole truth of reality - Normal vs. abnormal - Words such as “straight”, “gay”, “that’s so gay” phrase…(reinforces that gayness is bad/abnormal)  Identity - Social production - Constructed through social relation and discourse - Bono-reveals-naked-torso-wardrobe-change.html POST-COLONIAL THEORY  Focus on the political and cultural effects of colonialism  Imperialism: “what happens at home”  Colonialism: “what happens away from home”  Post suggests a focus on events that happened after formal colonialism ended in the early 1960’s ANTI-RACIST THEORIES  Critical race theory - Racism is endemic to American life - Acts of racism are not individual, isolate, random acts - Insists on contextual/historical analysis of the law - Value in drawing on experience - Interdisciplinary - Intersectional  Lens of historical racism THEORIZING WHITENESS  Whiteness as the “normal” or standard racial identity  Richard Dyer (1997) Whiteness - Whites thought of as simply people while non-white are understood as distinct races - White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack – by Peggy McIntosh ======================================CHAPTER 4====================================== CONNECTING THEORY TO RESEARCH QUESTIONS  Macro sociological theories ask “large” questions - Conflict theorists, struggles over scarce resources - Functionalists, smooth functioning of society  Micro sociological theorists ask questions about experiences and meanings - Symbolic Interactionists, meanings people use to facilitate social life  Feminists, issues surrounding gender and inequality  Queer theorists problematize taken-for-granted concepts QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE APPROCHES  Quantitative Approaches (numerical data) approaches like telephone surveys etc. - Determining significant relationships between variables - Generalize - Comparative  Qualitative Approaches (non-numerical data) smaller groups , smaller samples , approaches like interviewing - Smaller sample sizes - Interviewing and observation - Researchers are research ‘instruments’ SYSTEMS OF REASONING  Inductive logic - Move from data to theory - Gather information about a topic before developing theories about how to explain particular aspects - Most often use quantitative approach  Deductive logic - Move from theory to data - Develop a theory or set of theories to explain or predict a pattern and then test the theory - Most often use a qualitative approach RESEARCH CONCEPTS  Hypothesis - in quantitative research on begins with a testable theory - A tentative statement about a particular relationship that can be tested empirically  Variables are used to measure relationships - Independent Variable; can be varied or manipulated - Dependent Variable; is the reaction (or lack thereof) of the manipulation  Operational Definition describes how a variable is measured  Variables used must be defined carefully once chosen (ex. What violence against women means)  Research Population -The group of people that a researcher wishes to learn something about  Sample - A subset of the population - Applying the concepts: You want to research the relationship between drug addiction and homelessness. How would go about researching this? What is you hypothesis? Independent and dependent variables? The research population? The sample? RESEARCH METHODS  Surveys - Respondents answer pre-set questions - Ask questions about what people do or think - Self-Administered Questionnaires - Telephone surveys - In-person surveys What are the pros and cons of each type of survey?  Interviews - Structured; each respondent asked the same question- quantitative in nature - Semi-structures; use a set of questions however allow respondents to guide the interview in areas they think are important - Unstructured; no predetermined questions, interview proceeds conversationally o Topic , but it’s a wide open discussion, no questions  Participation Observation - Involves active participation in the daily life activities of those he or she is observing - Qualitative in nature - Uses processes of the induction are opposed to deduction - Covert; those in the field are not informed of the researchers status - Semi-covert; only some people involved are aware - Open; everyone is aware of the research status  Secondary analysis - Use existing data (archival data) - Libraries, government documents, churches, information records, newspapers, magazines  Participatory Action Research - Action research, designed to effect change and participatory research combined together - PAR projects have both an action component and collaborative component  Mixed Methods - Using one or more method to investigate the same phenomena  Theory + Research Questions = Methods o Macro approach  Ask questions with wide-reaching scope  Macro method, quantitative , e.g. surveys o Micro approach  Ask questions about experience or meaning  Micro-method, qualitative e.g. Interviews, participation observation o Combining micro and macro approaches  Asks both broader and specific questions  Uses both quantitative and qualitative data e.g. surveys and interviews Ethical research  Ethical Principles are essential statements about right and wrong  Policies are in place to protect participants  Tri-Council on Ethics Involving Human Subjects o Informed consent o Respect for others o Risks or harms o Protection of rights o Voluntary participation  Examples of Unethical research o Stanford prison experiment (Zimbardo, 1971) ==============================CHAPTER 5============================================== What is social stratification?  Social stratification o Society’s hierarchical ranking of people into social classes  Social class o A group of individuals sharing a position in a social hierarchy based on both birth and achievements (Lower, Middle, Upper)  Social status o Positions within the class structure  Principles of Social stratification o Meritocracy  a form of social system in which power goes to those with superior intellects  the belief that rulers should be chosen for their superior abilities and not because of their wealth or birth  A belief that rewards should be allocated commensurate with talent, effort and output.  The idea that merit and individual effort, rather than one’s family or social background (including race, gender, class and legacy), determine one’s success, one’s social and economic position. Similarly, the idea that social inequalities are the result of individual differences in merit and effort.  , 'the more you do the more you are allowed to do.' o Relatively stable (some social mobility)  Intergenerational (parents, grandparents etc.)  Intragenerational ( “you”) o Varies in how it presents itself (income vs. prestige) o Fair and just Social Inequality  Inequality is the result of a system that ranks people from high to low on subjective criteria such as gender, minority status, sexuality  Supported by dominant ideology rather than individual capability (  Classism o An ideology that suggests that people’s relative worth s at least partly determined by their social status and economic status (benefits of being born into a family with high economics status) o Legitimates economic inequality  Blaming the victim Working harder will alleviate poverty – “get a job!” ex) aboriginal came to work in a bank, white tellers wouldn’t communicate, help her (ridiculed her), do unfriendly things, so she quit (they seen it as lazy), even though they didn’t want her to succeed; (CULTURAL POVERTY) - They cannot escape the class that they are in - Victim of everything o Culture of poverty – fatalistic belief held by the poor as an adaptation to systematic discrimination o Idea that if you’re a person living on the edge, it’s a result of your own actions o Residential schools, intergenerational*** aboriginals mostly doing the trades examples of culture of poverty.  Blaming the system o Systematic discrimination o Oppression is systematic RANKING INDIVIDUALS  Social Systems rank people in two ways o Closed system based on ascribed status  Very little room for social mobility  Caste systems determine what people can wear, what jobs they can perform and who they can marry  Membership hereditary o Open system based on achieved status  Result of one’s own merit within the class structure  Income, occupational prestige and education COMPONENTS OF INEQUALITY… wealth and income Wealth is defined as one’s net accumulated assets  This is economic inequality is related to social inequality in a broader sense Social inequality – relatively stable difference between individuals and groups of people in the distribution of power and privilege that exist because opportunities are differently distributed in society Income is defined as the money one receives annually  Income inequality is the unequal distribution of income across individual and households  SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO STRATIFICATION  Functionalism o Davis-Moore thesis (1945)  Social inequality and social stratification serve an important social function: key social positions are held by the most capable people, and instill the desire to complete duties and obligations  Rewards must be high to attract most capable and skilled  Critiques: o Social status is often hereditary o Substantial discrimination o Market forces o Extreme  Conflict Theory o Social classes are a manifestation of completion between the haves and the have-nots o Karl Marx  Interests of social classes incompatible  Proletariat need to overthrow bourgeoisie  Social stratification is embodiment of class conflict o Max Weber  Critiqued Marx’s sole focus on economic p
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