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Soc 101 Lecture Notes

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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

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Sociology - Chapter Notes Chapter 1 – Understanding the Sociology Imagination • Sociology – the systematic study of human groups and their interactions • Sociology: the study of everything that people do Interested in sociological theory, culture, socialization (how we turn out the way we turn out), groups and organizations, crime and deviance (punishment; why do people commit crimes), social stratification and class (organization; ranking), global stratification (big pictures, how the world is organized), race and ethnic relations, sex and gender, religion and mass media • Sociology perspective – a view of society based on the dynamic relationships between individuals and the larger social network in which we all live • Personal troubles – personal challenges that require individual solutions • Social issues – challenges caused by larger social factors that require collective solutions • Quality of mind – Mill‟s term for the ability to view personal circumstance within a social context • Look beyond personal circumstance and into social context Charles Wright Mills – suggested that people who do not, or cannot recognize the social origins and character of their problems may be unable to respond to these problems effectively The Sociological Imagination- Developing an appreciation z how individual challenges are influenced by larger social forces . Personal troubles ,Social issues, Quality of mind. • The sociology imagination is the ability to understand the dynamic relationship between individual lives and the larger society, stepping outside of your own condition and looking at yourself from a new perspective • Peter Beger defines the sociology perspective as the ability to view the world from two distinct yet complementary perspectives • Seeing the general in particular • Ability to look at the seemingly unique events or circumstances and then recognize the larger (or general) features involved • The ability to move from the particular to the general and back again is one of the hallmarks of the sociology perspective • Seeing the strange in the familiar • What is familiar and seeing it as strange • The ability to see the general in the particular and the strange in the familiar is the cornerstone of the sociology perspective Example in text: General in the particular Walking downtown, see a homeless man on street. Sociologists see the general; “Why is that person homeless?”. Taking a situation and looking at broad societal issues and how they effect what we are looking at (looking deeper) Example: Familiar and see it as strange familiar: people waiting for a plane in an airport strange: people fighting for power outlets to charge electronic devices Engaging you Sociological Imagination- Our perception of ourselves and others are the products of many factors, for example:Minority status, gender, socioeconomic status, family structure and urban-rural differences • Agency: the assumption that individuals have the ability to alter their socially constructed lives • Five social factors, the most influential for defining a person • Minority Status • Face various forms of discrimination • You start applying sociology imagination • Gender • Society treats men and women differently • Society remains patriarchal – a system of rule that translates to “rule by the father” in which men control the political and economic resources of society • Socio-economic status • Describe a combination of variables to position or score people on criteria such as income level, level of education achieved, occupation and area of residence • Ascribed status – attributes assigned at birth • Achieved status – attributes developed throughout life as a result of effort and skills • Sociology teaches us that majority that are born poor, remain poor • Family Structure • Family structure does influence a child‟s development to the extent the female lone-parents families tend to have lower incomes than two-parent structure • Loving parents with adequate incomes more often than not raise productive and well-adjusted children • Urban-Rural Differences • People who live in small towns report that they are distinct from urban dwellers and that their rural connections are important defining feature suggests that sociologists have been trying to explain and understand urban-rural differences • since the industrial revolution The Scientific Revolution: 1650-1800- Auguste Comte Law of 3 Stages: Theological- longest period of human thinking, beginning with our earliest human ancestors and ending in the middle ages Metaphysical- period during which people began to question everything and to challenge the power and teachings of the Church Positive- comte believed that society would be guided by the rules of observation, experimentation and logic • Sophists (first paid teachers) went around the country and catered to the rich, who wanted to learn how t live well, and be happy. • First thinkers to focus their efforts on the human beings • Plato‟s The Republic • Most important works in the western philosophy • It asks what social justice is and dwhat the characteristics of a just individual are • 3 revolutionary events inspired the rise of sociology • The scientific revolution • to understand the society, you have to understand the human thinking and how its changed throughout time • Metaphysical Stage (understanding the truth and the relationship between mind and matter) was a period during which people began to question everything and to challenge the power and teaches of the church • Final stage – the positive stage – society began to emerge during Comte‟s lifetime, he believed the world would be interpreted through scientific lens • The Law of Three Stages • Sociologist‟s today don‟t grant much creditability to Comte‟s ideas for 2 main reasons. First, the idea of having 3 stages is difficult. Second, the idea of the final stage was self- serving • Positivism – a theoretical approach that considers all understanding to be based on science. 3 primary assumptions • 1) There exists an objective and knowable reality – answer are objective and based on science, there is no room for subjective interpretation of the results • 2) Since all sciences explore the same, singular reality, over time all sciences will become more alike. – in the future there might be one science, instead of divisions we see today • 3) There is no room in science for value judgements – Positivism- -There exists an objective (factual) knowable reality, -Singular explanation. -Value free Positivism: Believe there are truths that we can discover and prove (lots of psychologists. • Anti-positivism – a theoretical approach that considers knowledge and understanding to be the result of human subjectivity • 1) the science world cannot be solely understood through numbers and formulas • All science will not merge over time and no single methodological approach can reach a complete understanding of our world • Science cannot be separated from our values. • Quantitative sociology – the study of behaviours that can be measured (e.g. level of income) • Qualitative sociology – the study of non- measurable subjective (e.g. effects of Divorce) • The political revolution- Renaissance to the Enlightenment • Promotion of individual rights and social responsibility, equality of opportunity and the political ideology of democracy • Society endorse democratic principles • Niccolo Machiavelli‟s famous work – the Prince – suggests that human behaviour is motivated by self-interest and an insatiable desire for material gain. • Thomas Hobbes, who believed that people are driven by two primary passions: fear of death and the desire of power • Two most influential Englightenment thinkers in the development of sociology were John Locke and jean-Jacques Rousseau • John Locke - people are born as blank slates, knowledge is to gather more information about the material world through science and experimentation • Jean-Jacques Rousseau‟s - human beings existed in a natural state whereby an individual‟s desire was solitary and self- centered • The industrial revolution- Moving from an agricultural and rural economy to a capitalist and urban one • The movement from local production and consumption to regional and national distribution networks requires was largely the result of mechanization and industrialization • Macro sociology – the study of society has a whole • Macrosociology refers to attempting to understand society as a whole- Marx and Durkheim • Mircosocoiology – the study of individual or small-group dynamics within a larger society • Microsociology refers to attempting to understand individual or small group dynamics- Mead, Cooley and Blumer Macrotherorists • Karl Marx believed that people are naturally competitive with each other because they have unlimited wants but unequal ability to fulfill them • Power influences how entire classes of people interact with each other • Emile Durkheim believed that people wanted to together for a collective benefit • Argued that low levels of social integration and regulation was a source of social problems • Max Weber believed that people are becoming more focused on selecting the most effiecent means to accomplish any particular end Microtheorists • Herbert Mead believed the individual mind and self as rising out of the social process of communication, we become ourselves through social interaction • Symbolic interractionism – a perspective asserting that people and societies are defined and created through the interactions of individuals • Charles Horton Cooley suggested that people define themselves on how other people view them, we become the kind of person we believe others see us to be • Herbert Blumer – core principles led him to conclude how people create their sense of self within the larger social world • Political economy – the interactions of politics, government and governing and social and cultural constitution of markets, institutions and actors • In today‟s interconnected world, it is vital to consider the dynamic forces of globalization and the inequities that result from the primacy of capitalism in the global economy Chapter 2 – Classical Social Theories Functionalism: Societies work (function) the way they were built and they way they are supposed to Symbolism Interactionism: Microsociologists study this; understand how people create their own social reality and how people work things out together Conflict: Society is not operating the way that we think it is Seeing the world Theoretically: • Theory is a statement that tries to explain how facts or events are related • Develop skills necessary to see the world from alternative perspectives • Each theorist offers unique insights into our social world • Objective (positivistic) vs. subjective reality • Epistemology, “ways of knowing” • Thomas Hobbes – natural state – conception of the human condition before the emergence of formal social structures • People are responsible for creating their social worlds • Natural state: how humans existed prior to the emergence of social structures • People are motivated by self interest and the pursuit of power • John Locke – people are born as tabula rasa (blank slates), suggesting that there is no knowledge independent of experience, and that God granted certain rights to people - people are fearful that‟s why they need the government to protect them • God was responsible for the emergence of society and government • Tabula rasa: people are born as blank slates • Right to self-preservation and to private property • Individual autonomy and freedom • Charles De Montesquieu - ideal types – class or pure forms of a given social phenomenon • People never existed outside, or without society • Humans created and defined by society • Laws define the spirit of the people; the Republic, the Monarchy and Despotism • Appreciation for cultural diversity and comparative methodology • Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that we needed to understand the basic nature of human condition so we could build a society that most closely resembled our natural tendencies and desires • The Social Contract: people existed in symbiotic and idyllic relationships in the natural state • Entered into the social contract free and equal individuals • The Enlightenment period represents an intellectual movement that began around 1650 and ended with the French Revolution. Challenged years of Christian teachings • Philosophes – French philosophers during the Enlightenment period who advocated critical thinking and practical knowledge • Page 39 – 10 propositions of conservative reaction thinking • Functionalism encompasses a view of the social world as a dynamic system of interrelated parts. Its early thinkers include Auguste Comte and Vilfredo Pareto; later theorists include Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton • 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 -When one part fails, other parts that depend on that part fail as a result this is due to the “interrelated and interdependent parts” -Dominant theoretical paradigm between the late 1920‟s and early 1960‟s • Herbert Spencer • Survival of the fittest: Justifies why the strong should survive • Social Darwinism • Draws upon Darwin‟s idea of natural selection; • Laissez-faire approach: opposed regulation of or interference with natural processes • Emile Durkheim • Founder of modern sociology • Human action originates in the collective • rather than in the individual • Behavior is driven by the collective conscience • Social Facts: general social features that exist on their own and are independent of the individual • Anomie: state of normlessness that results from the lack of clear goals and creates feelings of confusion that may ultimately result in higher suicide rates. disconnectedness from society around us; not a valued part of society • Mechanic solidarity: describes early societies based on similarities and independence • Organic solidarity: describes later societies organized around interdependence and the increasing division of labor • Talcott Parsons • Social Action Theory • Attempting to separate behaviors from actions to explain why people do what they do • Four Functional Imperatives (AGIL) • Adaptation • Goal attainment • Integration • Latency • 1. Adjusting to changes • 2. Priorities • 3. Maintain solidarity • 4. Motivating individuals to release frustrations appropriately • Robert K. Merton • Along with Parsons (1937), • developed 'functionalism„ • Social Structures have many • functions • Manifest functions: intended consequences of an action or social pattern • Latent functions: unintended consequences of an action or social pattern • Critiques of Functionalists approaches • Inability to account for social change • Overemphasis on the extent to which harmony and stability actually exist in society Conflict theory holds that power lies at the core of all social relationships, and is unequally divided and that the powerful maintain their control of society through the dominant ideology. The most influential conflict theorists are Karl Marx and his collaborator, Fredrich Engels • Society is grounded upon inequality and competition • Power is the core of all social relationships; scarce and unequally divided among members of society • Social values and the dominant ideology are the vehicles by which the powerful promote their own interests at the expense of the weak • Conflict theorists were against functionalism and the stability of society • Concentrate on the distribution of power; “Who‟s going to get what share?”. The poor are victimized • Karl Marx • Society is based on power and class relations • Base and Superstructure • Dynamic relationship between the material and social elements of society • Base: Material and economic foundation for society. Includes the forces and relations of production. • Superstructure: all of the things that society values and aspires to once its material needs are met. Includes religion, politics and law Material: things in society that one can handle; material goods Social elements: Marx – religion was an institution of power used to control everybody else Opiate of the masses: religion is used to help people put up with the lives they lead • Key to human history is class conflict • Bourgeoisie- those that own means of production (capital, land, machines, factories) are in conflict with the… • Proletariat- the exploited class, the workers who do not own the means of production • Struggle can only end when members of working class unite in revolution • Class conflict: problems that arise between people of different socioeconomic status‟ • Bourgeoisie: Bill Gates, Mr. Burns; People who own and run major corporations • Proletariat: Homer Simpson, us • Important Concepts(Marx) • Alienation: separation of things that naturally belong together • Exploitation: using a vulnerability in another; using them to attain something at their expense • Ideology: generally accepted belief system • False consciousness: Misunderstanding of one‟s social standing in society • Class consciousness: Being aware of ones social standing in society • Symbolic interactionism emphasizes that society and social structures are created by interactions between people and that these structures can be changed. This theory unlike preceding two has a mircosocological orientation. It early theorists are Max Weber and Georg Simmel; later American theorists include George Herbert Mead and Charles H. Cooley • 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) Ritzer‟s principles of Symbolic Interactionism • human‟s have the capacity for thought • human thinking is shaped by social interaction • people learn meanings and symbols in social settings • meanings and symbols enable people to carry on uniquely human actions and interactions • meanings and symbols change dependent upon interpretation • unique ability to interact with self • culmination of interaction and patterns of action make up society • Max Weber • Verstehen: a deep understanding and interpretation of subjective social meanings • Highlight the ways in which meanings are created, constructed, mediated and changed by members of a group or society • George Herbert Mead • Mind, Self and Society (1934), • The social organism is not an organic individual but rather a social group of individual organisms (p. 130) • Human mind results from the individual‟s ability to respond and engage with the environment • How we develop ourselves depends on the environment and the society we are in. • I, the element of the self that is spontaneous, creative, impulsive and at times unpredictable • Me, helps to control the I, the self-reflective part of the consciousness that thinks about how to behave • Significant others, those around us whom we want approval from (e.g. parents, peers, etc) • Charles Holton Cooley • Sympathetic introspection: putting yourself into someone else‟s shoes • Looking-glass self: we develop our self image through cues we receive from others • Self-fulfilling prophecy: internalize impressions and as a result become the kind of person we believe overs see us as • Critiques of Social Interactionism • Disregards difficulties in altering social arrangements • Doesn‟t address the macro problems • Rely primarily on qualitative methods • Feminism: Where are the women?? • Primarily activists • Mary Wollstonecraft • Harriet Martineau • Jane Addams • Organic analogy – the belief that society is like an organism with interdependent and interrelated parts • Anomie – Durkheim‟s term for a state of normlessness that results from the lack of clear goals and may ultimately result in higher suicide rates • Mechanical solidarity – describes early societies based on similarities and independence • Organic solidarity – describes later societies organized around interdependence and the increasing division of labour Chapter 3 – Modern Social Theories • Should not be thought of as completely separate from classical theories • Draw on each others work in their formulations • Theme of power runs through modern theories (Conflict theory derivatives) • Modern theories were developed to adjust classical views • Gramsci‟s concept of hegemony holds that the ruling class dominates through the permeation of its ideology. Its prevailing philosophy, culture and morality become internalized by the population and appear by common sense. In this way, the subordinate classes never feel wholly oppressed by ruling culture • Western Marxism- Antonio Gramsci • Tried to explain: „how do we comply with a societal system in which most of us are victimized?‟ • Diverged from Marx in his analysis of how the ruling class ruled • Domination; physical and violent coercion • Hegemony; ideological control and manipulation • Society‟s dominant ideas reflect the interests of the ruling class Involves consent (we consider our acts as normal and do not question them) • Dorothy‟s Smith‟s feminist theory begins with the actualities of people‟s lives and addressed how people are influenced by social relations outside their particular worlds. Feminist Theories • Core concern for gender oppression • Women and men should be equal in all facets of life • Men have social power and thus an interest in maintaining their social privilege over women • 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‟ relations • Everyday world that women live (how is it different?) • Standpoint approach: from that person‟s social place (where they live their lives, understand from their point of view) Bell hooks criticiques the erasure of black women‟s identities in the context of the women‟s movement and focuses on the inseparability of face and gender • Black feminist thought • Rarely recognized black women as separate from black men • hooks argues against universal assumptions about women‟s experiences • Post Structuralism • Concerned with how knowledge is socially produced • Michel Foucault : how is power maintained? • Power, Knowledge and Discourse • Michel Foucault understands power not as an entity but as constituted within social relations. This approach thus perceives individuals as having the agency to resist and even change power relations. Foucault links power with knowledge through concept of discourse, a system of truths that serve to structure how people think that certain subjects. Discipline, according to Foucault is a form of modern power that works through normalizing judgement rather than force or coercion • Power created within social relationships, multidimensional, found everywhere and always at work • 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 • Discipline is how we come to be motivated to produce particular realities- a way we are controlled • Power operates by producing some behaviors while discouraging others • Discipline (form of power) works through surveillance • Surveillance: acts of observing, recording and training • Normalization: a social process by which some practices and ways of living are deemed normal and others abnormal • Queer‟s theory‟s three principles areas of critique are desire, language and identity. With regards to desire, queer theorists aim to disrupt categories of normal and acceptable sexuality and allow for its multiple expressions. Language is understood as having the power to create reality in that far from being neutral, language is laced with implicit values. Identity is perceived not as inherent within us but rather as constructed: it is fluid, multiple and emerges through our relationships with others • Problematizes the standard of equality based on sameness • Eve Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Adrienne Rich • Three main areas of queer theory: desire, language and identity Components of Queer Theory • Desire • Aim to disrupt categories of normal and acceptable sexuality • Language: • Unable to capture whole truth of reality • Normal vs. abnormal • Identity • Social production • Constructed through social relations and discourse • Post-colonial theory is concerned with relations of power, whether past or present, between colonizing and those colonized. Edward Said‟s concept of Orientalism outlines the West‟s false opposition between it and the Orient (or the East), whereby the West is considered superior to the East. This orientalism takes three forms, academic, imaginative and institutional • 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 earlier 1960‟s • Edward Said‟s Orientalism • Orientalism: Concept of discourse of power whereby the West is superior to the Orient (East) • Imaginative- Representations including art, novels, poems, images that make a distinction between the Orient and the Occident • Academic: refers to knowledge that is produced about the Orient. Said perceives that this knowledge is not neutral • Imaginative: refers to representation that makes a distinction between the Orient and the Occident • Institutional: refers to institutions created by Europeans such that they have power over the Orient • Anti-racist Theories • Critical Race Theory • Racism is endemic to American life • Acts of racism are not individual, isolated, random acts • Insists on contextual/historical analysis of the law • Value in drawing on experience • Interdisciplinary • Intersectional • Lens of historical racism Chapter 4 - Research Methodology, and Ethics • Connecting Theory to Research Questions • Macrosociological theories ask “large” questions • Conflict theorists • Functionalists • Microsociological theories ask questions about experiences and meaning • Symbolic Interactionists • Feminists, issues surrounding gender and inequality • Queer theorists, problematize taken-for-granted concepts • Quantitative Approaches (numerical data) • Determining significant relationships between variables • Generalizable • Comparative • Qualitative Approaches (non-numerical data) • Smaller sample sizes • Interviewing and observation • Researchers are research „instruments‟ • System of reasoning • Inductive logic- Moving from data to theory • Deductive logic- Moving from theory to data Research Concepts: Hypothesis • In quantitative research, one begins with a testable theory (question or statement) • A temporary statement about a particular relationship that can be tested empirically Variables • are used to measure relationships • Independent Variable: variable being manipulated • Dependent Variable: variable being measured • Operational Definition: way you describe a variable in terms of how you measure it • Research Population- Group of people that a researcher wishes to learn something about • Sample- Subset of population • Surveys • Respondents answer pre set questions • Ask questions about what people do or think • Self-Administered Questionnaires • Telephone surveys • In-person surveys • Valid: a question that is measuring what we believe it measures (gets at what we believe it gets at; accuracy) • Reliability: consistent responses from an example • Correlation: two variables appearing to have a relationship (one changes according to another) • Causality: relationship where one variable causes a change in another • Spurious: false correlation where two variables appear to be related, but in actuality, are not. • Interviews • Structured: set questions • Semi-structured: set questions while exploring answers (e.g., what did you mean?) • Unstructured: chat • Participation Observation • 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 researchers status • Secondary Analysis- Use existing data (archival data) • 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 Question = Methods • Macro Approach- Large scale approach • Micro Approach- Face-to-face approach • Sociology theory and research questions are inextricably linked; the theoretical perspective a researcher uses will influence the type of research questions he or she asks • Sociology research entails using wither a quantitative (numerical) or qualitative (non-numerical, richly detailed) approach, or a combination of the two. Researchers employ either deductive reasoning (moving from theory to data) or inductive reasoning (moving from data to theory) • The essential concepts involved in formulating a research project are hypothesis, independent and dependent variables, validity and reliability, correlation and causality and research population • The six main research methods in sociological research are surveys, interviews, participant observation, secondary analysis, participatory action and a mix of two or more of these • Just as the theoretical perspective informs the questions a researcher asks, the research question in turn the choice of research methods • Sexism has been prevalent in academic research. According to Margrit Eichler, the seven types of sexism found in research are • Androcentricity • Overgenaliztion/overspecificty • Gender insensitivity • Double-standard • Sex appropriateness • Familism • Sexual dichotomism • Key principles in ethnical research include respect for others, upheld through informed consent, and balancing participant risk with benefits to the wider society Chapter 5 – Culture Social Consequences • Culture carries meaning and facilitates communication between members of society • Facilitate or inhibit social bonds • Facilitate or inhibit social rifts • Culture – a complex collection of values, beliefs, behaviours and material objects shared by a group and passed on from one generation to the next • Expansive Definition • Everything that is a product of a human mind; the sum total of human creation • Social environment • Ideas are seen as socially conditioned: • The socialization process influences all that people do and think What is Culture? • culture is a complex collection of values, beliefs, behaviors and material objects shared by a group passed on from one generation to the next • Five defining features • Culture is learned • Cultured is shared • Culture is transmitted • Culture is cumulative • Culture is human • Material Culture • The tangible artifacts and physical objects found in a given culture • Non-material Culture • The intangible and abstract components of a society, including values and norms • Values: beliefs about ideal goals and behaviors that serve as standards • Norms: the way we expect others to behave • Folkways: behaviors we accept as proper or correct • Mores: Norms that carry a strong sense of social importance and necessity; we do not like it when one breaks these • Laws: type of norm that is formally defines and enacted in legislation • Sanction: penalty for norm violation or a reward for norm adherence • Cultural Relativism: Understanding a culture in its own terms • Ethnocentrism is the tenchy to perceive one‟s own culture as superior to all others; cultural relativism, in contrast, appreciates that all cultures have intrinsic worth. Focused centrally in your own culture; belief that one is living the „correct‟ way • Language, comprising a system of symbols having agreed-upon meaning shared by a group of people, can distinguish one culture from another, with the death of its language, a culture loses one of its survival mechanisms • A subculture is a group that shares common attributes that distinguish it from the larger population; a counterculture is a type of subculture that opposes the widely held cultural patterns of the larger population • Canadian culture has been defined by its vast and in place, harsh physical environment, by the coexistence of and conflict between French and English, and by its primary and enduring differences from the United States • Global values between 1981 and 2006 have shifted toward stronger self-expression values and to a lesser extent, toward secular-rational values • Cultural change occurs through (1) discovery, when something previously unrecognized or understood is found to have social and cultural applications (2) invention/innovation, when existing cultural items are manipulated or modified to produce something new and socially valuable; and (3) diffusion, when cultural items or practices are transmitted from one group to another • Functionalists hold that cultural traditions develop and persist because they are adaptive and maintain stability. Conflict theorists, on the other hand, view cultural systems as a means of perpetuating social inequality, with the dominant culture assimilating less powerful cultures. Based on Durkheim's work • Symbolic interactionists understand culture as being actively created and recreated through social interaction • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis – the assertion that language determines thought (also known as linguistic determinism) Chapter 5 – Culture • Sociologist suggest that culture has 5 defining features: • Culture is learnt – no one is born with culture, we constantly immersed in cultural traditions by our parents, siblings and peers – language to views of the world are learnt. • Culture is shared – culture develops as people interact and share experiences and meanings with each other • Culture is transmitted – cultural beliefs and traditions must be passed from generation to generation if they are to survive, communicating traditions and beliefs to the next generation is an important requirement for any culture • Culture is cumulative – each generation refines and modifies their cultural beliefs to meet their changing needs, they build on the cultural foundations of their ancestors • Culture is human – animals are considered social but not cultural • Culture shock – the feeling of disorientation, alienation, depressing and loneliness experienced when entering a culture very different from one‟s own • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis – the assertion that language determines thought (also known as linguistic determinism) • Places where languages are going extinct are known as “language hotspots” • Eastern Siberia • Northern Australia • Northwest Pacific Plateau • Oklahoma-Southwest • Central South America • Subculture – a group within a population whose values, norms, folkways or mores set them apart from the mainstream culture • Counterculture – a type of subculture that strongly opposes the widely held cultural patterns of the larger population • Christian Welzel suggest that while variation of people‟s value orientation is enormous, much of the variance can be summarized in just two dimensions: secular-rational and self-experission • Page 135 – Chapter summary Culture in place • Culture often refers to the entire social reality of a social group, as distinguished from another social group. It is often understood as regional or national Marxist and Neo-Marxist • Dominant ideology: sharing of ideas and beliefs which most people in a society believe and use as a framework Chapter 6 – Socialization and Social Interaction Socialization • A process by which people learn to become members of society (Berger) • A Lifelong process Outcomes • Identity (self-concept) • Internalization of social expectations: • Social interaction • Roles • Norms • Personality – stable pattern of behaviours and feelings • Nature vs. Nurture – the debate between whether biological forces or environment define the person we become • Two basic approaches to understanding how we develop our personalities • The Biological Approach (nature) • Environmental Approach (nurture) • we are a product of socialization • Nature side debate holds that our actions and feelings stem from our biological roots • Genetic makeup • Evolutionary psychology: examine the biological roots of social behavior • Nurture debates that we are the product of our socalizaton – the life-long processs by which we learn our culture, develop personalities, and becoming functioning members of society • Social Isolation and Feral Children • Sociologists believe that social reality is constructed by people every time they interact with others • Socio-biology – a science that uses evolutionary theory and genetic inheritance to examine the biological roots of social behaviour • Evolutionary psychology – a relabelled form of socio-biology that argues that Darwinian inheritance can explain contempoary human behaviour • Mead developed 3 distinct stages where we develop our sense of self through social interaction • Preparatory Stage (birth to age 3) – what others do, children imitate. Children don‟t understand the meaning behind early interactions, they just want to please their peers, or significant others – positive or negative influences they develop I, but me is also forming in the background • Play stage (ages 3 -5 ) learn from the society around they through play. Start assuming roles of others, move beyond simple imitation. Language skills are developing therefore the communication skills are much stronger • Game Stage (elementary-school years) – increasingly proficient at taking on multiply roles at once • Primary socialization – occurs when people learn the attitudes, values and appropriate behaviours for individuals in their culture • Occurs from birth through adolescence • Family is the most important agent • It is both intentional and unintentional • Secondary socialization – follows primary socialization and occurs through participation in more specific groups with defined roles and expectations • Adult socialization • Occurs though out the life cycle as people anticipate and adjust to new experiences • It is a reciprocal process • It is based on previous experience • Anticipatory Socialization • Mentally preparing oneself for future roles • Effectiveness depends on: • Ambiguity of the new situation • Similarity to previous experience • Agents of socialization – individuals, groups, and social institutions that together help people to become functioning members of society • Agents of sociolization • Family • Social institutions • Family, friendship groups, educational system, the media, community • Media • Mass Media – influential agents of socialization • Transmit values, behavior, and definitions of social reality • Reflect social relations and socialize the audience to them • Media violence: • Concern with imitation by children • A subtler influence: defining social reality as violent leads to increased acceptance of real-life violence • Changes within Media • Two changes in media use: • Increasingly a solitary activity, rather than a social activity • Digital divide: attached to social class issues, a means of access to people who do not usually have access to media • Peer Group • Development of a frame of reference not based on adult authority • Tempered (mediated) by parental influence • People who are closely related in age and share interests • School • Individuals spend a lot of time in educational institutions • Learn social roles • Hidden curriculum • Includes the informal and unwritten rules that reinforce and maintain social conventions • • Socio-economic status (SES) - social status as determined by family‟s income, parent‟s occupation and the family‟s social standing within the community • Cultural capital – social assets (values, beliefs, attitudes, competencies) that are gained from one‟s family and help one to succeed in life • The term was brought up by French philosopher and sociologist Pierre Bourdieu • Hidden curriculum – the unconscious informal, and unwritten norms and rules that reinforce and maintain social conventions • Birth cohort – all of the people who are born during a given birth period of time and therefore experience historical points in their life • Empty nest syndrome – the depression women go through when their children have left home • Condition is largely a myth, women have increase in life satisfaction and psychological well-being when children leave the home. • Men face challenges called the “mid-life crisis”, physical and emotional symptoms. • Old age – declining health or mental faculties as a result of the aging process • Gerontology – the scientific study of old age and aging • General course of death • Denial – people often don‟t believe – logical response • Anger – express hostility towards others who live on – “why me?” • Bargaining – negotiations with God • Depression – knowing what is coming to you and how you cannot change it – sorrow, guilt and shame are linked with his stage • Acceptance – discussing their feelings, people move on into a final stage, acceptance brings inner peace • Dying trajectories – the courses that dying takes in both social and psychological senses • Resocialization is the profound change or complete transformation of a person‟s personality as a result of being placed in a situation or an environment dedicated to changing his or her previous identity • Generally occurs without the person‟s will, a person is placed in a situation with little or no control. • Process of learning new norms and attitudes • Transformation of a person‟s personality • Places where resocialization may occur are called total institutions – settings in which people are isolated from the society and supervised by an administrative staff • Homes for blind, the aged, orphans – people incapable of taking care of themselves • Mental institutions or places for communicable diseases – people who incapable for looking after themselves because of an illness • Prisons or prisoner-of-war camps – people who can harm others • Monasteries or convents – retreats from the world and serve religious training • Resocialization occurs in two distinct stages • Mortifications of the self – which a person‟s existing identity is stripped away to accomplish a new setting • In the second stage, resocialization process allows for the formation of a new identity that is distinct from the one that entered the total institution • The development of a sense of self is a dynamic process that influences us each and every day of our lives • Functionalism • Socialization is a process of internalizing social norms and behavioral expectations • Social integration • Feminist Critique • Focus on socialization avoids the issue of structural barriers faced by women • Does not explain change in attitudes • Symbolic interactionism • People actively participate in their own socialization • Accomplishment of socialization: a sense of self • Mead • I, the element of the self that is spontaneous, creative, impulsive and at times unpredictable • Me, helps to control the I, the self-reflective part of the consciousness that thinks about how to behave • Significant others, those around us who we want approval from • Generalized other, the attitudes, viewpoints and expectations of society that are internalized • Role-taking, Mead‟s Development of Self • Preparatory Stage (birth to age 3) • Play Stage (ages 3 to 5) • Game Stage (elementary school years) • Freud • Elements of personality: • The id • The superego • The ego • Socialization Outcomes • Socialization reproduces: • Gender • Race • Class distinctions • Adult family and work roles • Gender • Rejection of biological determinism • Few behaviors that consistently differentiate males and females • Gender Socialization • Parental reaction to innate differences • Professional women • Race • Parents shape children‟s learning about race and race relations • Child rearing among ethnic and racial minority families • Class • 1/5 racial discrimination • Promotion of mistrust • Racial socialization of mixed race children -Importance of exposure to both cultures -Discrimination • Children begin at a very young age to absorb implications of class in society • Alwin: change of emphasis in child rearing in North America from 1940-1990 Socialization into Death • Gerontology • Kubler-Ross (1969) • The Dying Trajectory Chapter 7 – Social Inequality Define social stratification and inequality from sociological perspective • Social stratification is a society‟s hierarchical ranking of people into social classes. An individual‟s social class is based on both birth and achievements in life. An individual‟s position within the class structure is called his/her social status • Social Stratification: Society‟s hierarchical ranking of people into social classes • Social Class: Based on both birth and achievements (ascribed and achieved status) • Social Status: Position within the class structure • Social inequality results from collective decisions about is important in evaluating a person or a group, criteria‟s are usually subjective because they have no material influence on whether a person can actually perform a particular job. • Inequality is the result of a system that ranks people from high to low • Supported by dominant ideology rather than individual capability • The subjective assessment of people‟s worth are supported not by individual capability but by the dominant ideology Review sociology‟s theoretical explanations for social stratification and social inequality • Social stratification is based on few key principles • All societies redistribute materials and social rewards to individuals. Because resources are limited, people must start believing meritocracy – meritocracy – a system of rewards based on personal attributes and demonstrated abilities • Social stratification allows social statues to be granted by what you were given by your parents, this system is stable – even though there is some movement out of social classes for an individual (social mobility), relatively few people move out of the stage they were born into • Social stratification is present in all human societies but varies how its expressed. • All societies recognize differences in wealth and prestige, the criteria by which they are granted nonetheless considered fair and just by the majority of the population • Principles of Social Stratification • Meritocracy • Relatively stable (some social mobility) • Varies in how it presents itself (income vs. prestige) • Fair and just • Classism • Worth is determined by social and economic status • Blaming the victim • Working harder will alleviate poverty • Blaming the system • Systematic discrimintion • Classism – an ideology that suggests that people‟s relative worth is at least partly determined by their social and economic status • It legitimates economic inequality and called it “the ideology of competitive individualism” • Grounded in the idea that everyone in the society starts out with the same chances of success, referred to as the “American Dream” (capitalist ideology) • Classism believes that the wealthy have what they deserve and the poor are responsible for their failure • This belief constitutes two broad perspectives on why people are poor: • Blaming the victim, a perspective that assumes that poor need only to work harder in order to transcend their poverty – responsible for the negative conditions of their lives. Oscar Lewis, came up with the phrase culture of poverty – a fatalistic belief system held by the poor as an adaptation of systemic discrimination. Poor people are socialized to view the world in a different way, they do not appreciate the value of deferred gratification – the ability to forgo immediate pleasures in interest of achieving greater rewards in the future • Blaming the system, a perspective that recognizes the systemic discrimination that exists within social systems and is more consistent with the sociological perspective than the blaming the victim approach. Systematic explanations for poverty argue that that the larger socio-economic system imposes certain restrictions on certain members of society • Ranking People • Social systems rank people in two ways Closed systems and open systems • Closed system • Based on ascribed status • Open system • Based on achieved status • Socio-economic status (SES) • Income, occupational prestige and education • 2 major ways in which social system ranks people are • Closed systems – Caste • A social system in which status is based on attributes ascribed at birth • Caste system – an ascribed system of hereditary class designation • Open systems – Class • Result of someone‟s social class – class structure; the society‟s economic hierarchy that categorizes groups of people based on their socio-economic status • Socio-economic status (SES) – social position based on income, occupational prestige and education • Two components of inequality: • Property – where one resides in the class structure. Usually divided into two general categories, income – defined by the money one receives from all sources, wealth - defined by one‟s net accumulated assets. Income is what you earn, wealth is what you have. • Occupational prestige – what a person does that helps us determine their social position and how we interact with them Sociological Approaches to Social Stratification • Functionalism • Davis-Moore thesis – the theory that social stratification is functional for society because it ensures that key social positions are held by the most capable people • The system needs to attract people that can fill in the important roles of society and provide sufficient rewards for their investment of time and effort • Functionalism- Davis-Moore thesis (1945) • Social inequality serves important social function: • Ensures that key social positions are held by the most capable people • Critiques: • Social status is often hereditary • Substantial discrimination • Market forces • Extreme • Conflict Theory • A society that contains social classes is simply a manifestation of competition between those who have social power and those who do not • Karl Marx believed that the class struggle was the most important inspiration behind the historical transformation of societies – social stratification is a mechanism to institute inequality and promotes social stability over time • Conflict Theory • Social classes are a manifestation of completion between the haves and the have-nots • Max Weber • Critiqued Marx‟s sole focus on economic production • Social class is multidimensional • Class, status groups and party • Symbolic Interactionism • Less interested in trying to explain why stratification exists than they are in looking at how people interpret and construct their responses to class inequality. • How class affects every day pattern of life – use and respond to status symbols • Material and non-material indicators of social class are important to those who want to let people know about how well off they are • We seek to appear as belonging to a higher social class than our actual one • How people interpret and construct their responses to class inequality • Consider how people use and respond to status symbols (Gucci, cars, etc.) • Feminist Theory • Considers how dominant perspective permeates our society‟s evaluation of what is deemed to be valuable and important • Investigation of the working lives of women focuses on how gender influences • The double ghetto is the situation in which women who have full-time jobs outside the home often work another “shift‟ when they get home. • Men maintain a superior social position over the women because they own most of the social wealth • Feminists also view social classes primary locations of struggle within society and believe that this is where most important memories of life experiences help to define who we are • Recognize the working lives of women within capitalism • Role of class position in determining one‟s view of the world • Armstrong and Armstrong (1994) • Double ghetto • Women in subordinate position inside and outside of the home Table 7.3 – Page 178 The Canadian Class system • Erik Olin Wright (1996) • Forms of social control • Upper Class • Relatively few reside in the upper class • Comparatively few visible minorities • Tend to live in elite communities, marry within their class • Upper Middle Class • Tend to be highly visible • People working in professional careers • Tend to live in suburbs and although mostly white, more ethnically diverse than upper class • Lower Middle Class • Managers, small business operators, executive assistants and minor professionals • Moderately comfortable lifestyle • Sense of insecurity and vulnerability to market forces • The Working Class • The Underclass • Low income cut off (LICO) • Page 182 chapter 7 Review Canadian Class structure • 3 important forms of social control • 1) economic ownership that entails real control over the economic surplus • 2) command of the physical means to economic production • 3) supervisory control over the workers • These forms of control correspond with three distinct classes • Bourgeoisie – all three controls • Petite-bourgeoisie – 2 types of control – no supervisory control • Proletariat – no controls Review the factors of becoming and staying poor in Canada • Factors influencing social inequality in Canada • Gender – women continue to earn less than men • Work Status – whether someone has a job or not • Family structure – all family types are showing declining poverty rates • Age • Education • Visible Minority Status • Location: Urban vs.
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