Lecture 3 Notes + ch.5 from "Introduction to Sociology"

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16 Oct 2011
Sociology Lecture 3: Chapter 5
Theory Provides us with a structure; plan. Either Macro or Micro. Theory is a lens which
sociologists see their work.
What are the modern Social Theories?
Western Marxism
Centered around Marx and conflict. More complicated. Our interpretation of Marxist
Feminist Theories
Micro and Macro
We need to come up with something new and different.
Queer Theory
How people are deemed to be deviant.
Post Colonial Theory
How society was organized.
Anti-Racist Theories
Western Marxism
- Antonio Gramsci
The powerful elite control things. How does this control work and get regulated?
Divergence from Marx in his analysis of how the ruling class ruled.
Domination; physical and violent coercion (Ex. Violence in G8 summit/ fear).
Hegemony; ideological control and manipulation. (Very way we try to make sense
in society; systemic overall plan to make rules that appear to make sense/ things that don’t
make sense appear to make sense).
- Society’s dominant ideas reflect the interests of the ruling class.
- Involves Consent. We all buy into this and go along; therefore they end up
controlling us.
Feminist Theories
Core concern for gender oppression.
Women and men should be equal.
Men have social power and thus an interest in maintaining their social privilege
over women.
Dorothy Smith
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Sociology for women; Micro sociology.
Her argument was that sociology and all theory that we looked at is almost all
created by man. And man created all research methods.
If women are trying to understand the social world of women, different than man,
the feminist sociologists must develop research methods that are specific to women.
The everyday World is Problematic (Women have own particular way to describing
lives and relationships with people).
Begins in the ‘actualities’ of people’s lives, and addresses problems of how we are
influenced by “extra-local” relations.
Everyday world that women lived is important.
Standpoint: from view of women in world.
Bell Hooks
Black women feminist thought.
Rarely recognized black women as separate from black men.
Hook argues against universal assumptions about women’s experiences.
Challenge universal ideas to find more information about actual experiences.
Post Structuralism
Concerned with how knowledge is socially produced; understand how world
- Michel Foucault = interested how power works; how people exercises power over other
(Power, Knowledge and Discourse).
Michel Foucault
Power created within social relationships, multi-dimensional, found everywhere
and is always at work.
Knowledge can never be separated from relations of power.
Discourses guide how we think, act and speak.
- Tells us how the world is and how it ought to be.
Queer Theory
Problematizes the standard of equality based on sameness.
Eve Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Ad
rienne Rich.
Post-Colonial Theory
Focuses on the political and cultural effects on colonialism.
Imperialism: “what happens at home”
Colonialism: “what happens away from home”
Anti-Racist Theories
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- Used usually with racial profiling.
Critical Race Theory
Racism is built right into American society.
Acts of racism are not individual acts, isolated, or random acts.
Insists on contextual/ historical analysis of the law.
Value in drawing on experience.
Interdisciplinary. (Health Care, Education, Legal, etc.).
- Lens of historical racism. (From the past).
Research Concepts
- About the relationship between variables might mean. Ex.
In quantitative research one begins with a testable theory.
A tentative statement about a particular relationship that can be tested
- Are used to measure relationships.
- Independent variable
- Dependant variable
Operational definition: describes what you’re looking at and how you are going to measure
Research Population
- The group of people that a researcher wishes to learn something about.
- The group of people we pick to respond to our questions. Determined by how
much $$$ we have.
- A subset of the population.
Research Methods
- Random surveys and suto surveys.
- Respondents answer pre-set questions.
- Ask questions of what people do, how much money they make, where they live, etc.
- Self-Administered Questionnaire.
- Telephone surveys.
- In-person surveys.
- 1st interview is a structured one; limited benefits.
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