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Soc 233 Oct 14

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Course Code
SOC 233
Kara Somerville

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SOC 233 October 14, 2011 Reference Group Theory con’t… Reference Groups: Any and all groups that influence the attitudes and behaviours of individuals. Response to Student Questions on Merton: Example - War Manifest Dysfunction Latent Dysfunction - Killing people. - Environmental effects. Example – Festival on Broadway Manifest Dysfunction Latent Dysfunction - Shutting down Broadway for festival. - Late for class because of traffic delays. Anomie: Discontinuity between cultural goals and the means to achieve these goals. Example of Nonfunction – The function of painting your car.  Painting your car might help you sell it, but the colour you choose to paint it has no function (this could be argued).  However, if you are an emergency vehicle, the colour is of great function.  Only functional for some groups. Note – Merton suggests we need to get away from universal functions, as they vary depending on the context they are in. Using Reference Group Theory: Example – Adolescent Behaviour / Sexual Behaviour  Adolescents look to other adolescents for how to behave; normative guidance and points of comparison.  Shift from parents or family in childhood, to peer groups in adolescence.  Stage in which we see a shift in one’s reference group – from family to friends.  Sexual behaviour depends on the expectations of the peer group; has a huge influence on an individual’s sexual behaviour or activity. Agents of Socialization: What we look to in order to determine our values, morals and beliefs.  eg) Mass media – How we should dress, how to wear our hair, etc. Class Exercise Q – If you were a structural functionalist, how would you explain: 1. Social Stratification
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