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Sociaology 100 Lecture notes.docx

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Philip Goodman

Sociology 100 9/18/2012 8:37:00 AM What is the Sociological Perspective? - Examines patterns of social relations - Provides an unique and enlightening perspective on social events that differs from commonsense understanding (Different take on daily events) - Can be used to analyze how people commonly understand the world (Analyze common sense understanding of the world) Example: Sociological Analysis of Suicide  Examines patterns of social relations that might encourage or inhibit suicide.  Challenges common sense of suicide “selfish act” – it is a isolated act that has nothing to do with society – commonsense knowledge  Commonsense Knowledge: Suicide is an act that is anti-social and non-social. Who is Émile Durkheim? (1858-1917) - 19thcentury French sociologist - Famous study of suicide rates in France Suicide (1897) - Durkheim discovered higher rates of suicide among certain categories of people, including:  Unmarried (as opposed to married) men (as opposed to women, who are typically more socially connected than men)  Christians (as opposed to Jews, who are more socially integrated than Christians)  Seniors (as opposed to the young and the middle-aged) Argued that suicide was: - Strongly influenced by social forces - Varied in its rate with degree of : Social solidarity - degree to which group members share beliefs and values and the intensity and frequency of their interaction Social values - ideas about what is right and wrong, good and bad, - beautiful an ugly. Social Solidarity & Social Values Weak = weak social integration & weak social control Strong = strong social integration & strong social control Continuum of Suicide 1. Individualistic: a) Egoistic suicide  weak (low) social integration, morals and values are not followed, detached from community  “Excessive Individuation”  Example: Senior who has recently lost their life partner. They don‟t trust anyone, isolated, don‟t care about anything, they become distant. b) Anomic suicide  weak social values/norms governing behaviour  norms and values regulates our behaviour  there are moments in time where norms and values break down  Example: Person commits suicide after a stock market crash, civil wars, economic crisis, then becomes social transformation, it is quick 2. Collective: a) Altruistic Suicide  Strong social integration & strong social values  Groups goals become primary and powerful  Example: People going to war to fight for their country – sacrifice for the good for us  Police officers, fire fighters, people that are expected to put their “life on the line” for us b) Fatalistic Suicide  Excessive Social Norms & Values  Example: Prisoner serving a life sentence committing suicide, extreme case, future premeditated for them, as a only way our because society moves their each step. 2. The Sociological Imagination - The quality of mind that enables one to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures.  Relatively stable patterns of social relations Social structures - Relatively stable patterns of social relations . - Aspects of social structures, such as the level of social solidarity of the groups you belong to, affect your innermost thoughts and feelings, influence your actions, and thus help to shape who you are. a) Levels of Analysis Microstructures  Patterns of intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interaction. Examples: Family, friends, and work associations Macrostructures  Patterns of social relations that lie outside and above person‟s circle of intimates and acquaintances Examples: Patriarchy (system of male domination in society), social class, and religious institutions. Global structures  International organizations, global economic relations, and patterns of worldwide travel and communications. b) Historical Background Scientific Revolution (circa 1550):  Statements about society require evidence-based analysis rather than mere speculation.  Need evidence to prove about society, no speculation Democratic Revolution (circa 1750):  The social order is a product of real human actions. People are responsible for creating society, thus humans are capable of solving social issues. Industrial Revolution (circa 1775):  The new economic order created several social issues that scholars began to study. c) The Tension between Science & Values: Auguste Comte (1798-1857) - Coined term “sociology” in 1838 - economics is not science (value and nurtural) - sociology is not science - Was eager to adopt scientific method in study of society - But also was motivated by strong opposition to radical change in French society - Similar tension is found in the works of other early figures in sociology such as Marx, Durkheim, and Weber. Sociological knowledge: rethink our world, recognize personal troubles are social Commonsense knowledge: Ex: Consepzalization of race = biological distinction btw sex(biology) and gender (social construct - learned) September 18, 2012 Test: - 40 min long - all the lectures up to that point, text and lectures - 30 questions – most of them multiple choice and true and false - front cover of the textbook to help to study for the test. Practice questions**** he is going to use similar in wording and organization as in the textbook but not the same questions - type of questions  no dates  need to know general sense of when periods began, when was early sociological theory developed etc. bigger questions like that  no statistical facts, wont be asked Sociological theory and theorists 4 main Theoretical traditions in sociology: - Functionalism  Human behaviour governed by stable patterns of social relations/structures, often macrostructures  Examines how social structures contribute to social stability (ex: how it creates sense of calmness and prevent conflict, traditional roles in family)  Common norms and values, customs and traditions  Social problems should be solved by establishing consensus  Ex: Emile Durkheim‟s theory of suicide  Hates social problems - Conflict theory  Opposite of functionalism  Associated with Karl Marx  Powerful groups use social structures to maintain their power, while subordinate groups struggle for equality.  Conflict will only end with large scale social changes.  Look at social inequalities  Wealthy class controls factories, fashion etc.  Lower classes do not have much power, unequal distribution of power between males and females in society  Racism, racial inequalities, queer theory,  If u want to put an end to conflict with have to end social inequalities  Modern society defined by the struggle between the class of owners (bourgeoisie) & the working class (proletarians)  Social change occurs through conflict  When the workers become conscious of their common exploitation (class consciousness) they will form a social movement that: o Abolish private property o Establish a communist society  Max Weber (1864 – 1920) o Social conflict includes class conflict, political conflict, ethnic conflict, and religious conflict – core aspects, and cannot be reduced to economic o Agrees with Marx, but says that there is something missing, o He says that he presumes that as modern system, meaning that you get smaller amounts of wealthy people, and if it keeps getting smaller you will get working class o Marx says there will be opportunity for change, o Weber says added the lecture of writing, luxury of over 100 years, new thing called middle class – provide stabilizing effect of wealthy and lower class which minimizes the conflict between them. o Another element is we live in society that are in democracy and it creates stability - Symbolic Interactionism  Focus on social meaning – symbolic interactions  Social realty is constructed through the daily interactions of individuals  Emphasis: Symbols (gestures, signs – how you read things (ex: time, by looking at the clock and we know what times it is) and language) are a core element of social interaction  Study: interpersonal communication in microlevel social settings  Human Agency: People help to create social circumstances, rather then merely reacting to them (Functionalism)  Erving Goffman o Canadian born, earned a B.A. at UofT o Dramaturgical approach to sociology:  People are social actors who manage their identities to create desire impressions from heir audience (like actors)  Social interactions are similar to being in a play. o Interacting through characters, the world is conducted in stage - Feminism  Patriarchy: Social structure that subordinates females to male domination  Distinction between biological sex and gender  Male Domination determined by social structures, not biology  Examine patriarchy in micro, macro, and global social structures  Eliminating gender inequality is beneficial for everyone in society. o Need to create equal conditions for social inequality o Table 1.1 in the textbook September 25, 2012 Cultural Sociology, Part I 1. Sociological Definition of Culture v. Commonsense Notions of Culture 2. Learning Objectives 3. Culture & Class Video Clips from People Like Us: Social Class in America (2001) Analysis Using Three Cultural Tools Sociological Definition of Culture Culture refers to the symbolic and learned aspects of human society. The sum of traditions, practices, languages, symbols, beliefs, values, ideologies, and material objects that create a sense of similarity amongst a group of people. Commonsense Notions of Culture in North America “High Culture”: the sum of traditions, practices, languages, symbols, values, ideologies, and material objects that are associated with the upper class. Judged in relation to the majority culture (“popular culture”). – mass culture “Ethnic Culture”: the sum of traditions, practices, languages, symbols, values, ideologies, and material objects that are associated with a cultural minority group. Judged in relation to, and often from, the perspective the majority ethnic culture (“ethnocentrism”). - denotes negative evolution - sometimes used in a negative way 3 Biases in the Commonsense Notions of Culture: 1. Culture is an exclusive sphere – shared traditions that belong to limited group of people (its exclusive, and hard for other people to access, it is closed off) 2. Culture is relational – high culture vs. ethnic culture 3. Culture represents differences – difference between cultures Learning Objectives 1. Articulate and apply terminology used in sociology. 2. Develop a sense of the differences between commonsense knowledge and sociological knowledge. “Culture refers to the symbolic and learned aspects of human society. The sum of traditions, practices, languages, symbols, beliefs, values, ideologies, and material objects that create a sense of similarity amongst a group of people..” Film Clips PBS Documentary People Like Us: Social Class in America (2001) directed by Louis Alvarez & Andy Kolker Class distinctions based on the cultural norms and expectations of the upper class in America Clip 1: “Gnomes are Us” Clip 2: “Joe Queenan's Tour” Analyzing Culture & Class Using Three Cultural Tools 1. Symbols “Anything that carries a particular meaning, including the components of language, mathematical notations, and signs.” “Symbols allow us to classify and generalize from them.” - gnomes as symbol, upper class – tackiness, lower class – beautiful - label does not matter what it means, even if its in different language, they can have any meaning behind them, what matter is the distinguishing between lower and higher class - in Canada it would be what kind of beer you drink – high class 2. Norms & Values Norms: “Generally accepted ways of doing things.” - popular class -> its wrong to drink important beer, Values: “Ideas about what is right and wrong, good and bad, beautiful and ugly.” - gnomes, one group of people think they are pretty and another group of people think they are ugly. Analyzing Culture & Class Using Three Cultural Tools Three Types of Norms a) Folkway: “The least important norms – the norms that evoke the least punishment.” b) Mores: “Core norms that most people believe are essential for the survival of their group or their society.” - what Is right and what is wrong. c) Taboos: “The strongest norms. When someone violates a taboo, it causes revulsion in the community and punishment is severe.” Analyzing Culture & Class Using Three Cultural Tools 3 Productive Tools Production: “The human capacity to make and use tools. It improves our ability to take what we want from nature.” - potato peeler Non-material culture: “Symbols, norms, and other non-tangible elements of culture.” - language is not tangible but has symbolic value (cultural attachment to it) Material culture: “The tools and techniques that enable people to accomplish tasks.” - diff types of vinegar (which shows higher and lower class) - backpack shows distinguish - wine September 25, 2012 Socialization: “The process by which people learn their culture.” 2 ways people are socialized: 1. “Entering into and disengaging from a succession of roles” 2. “Becoming aware of themselves as they interact with others” Role: “A set of expected behaviours, or the behaviour expected of a person occupying a particular position in society” George Herbert Mead (1863–1931) American Symbolic Interactionist Individual personalities develop through interacting with others Process of objectification where we “take the role of the other” People learn their roles by observing how others respond to them (e.g. gender roles) “Me” – objective side of an individual (socialized) Social forces (norms, values, roles) that constrain individual behaviours “I” – subjective side of an individual (active) Creative side that distinguishes us from each other (not pure followers) Mead’s Theory of Socialization Play  Game  Generalized Other st 1 Stage: imitation of “significant others” (parents) 2nd Stage: role-play & pretending House or mama-baby (gendered feminine roles) Sports Icons or war games (gendered masculine roles) Gender Roles: “The set of behaviours associated with widely shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act” (67). 3rd Stage: complex games th 4 Stage:
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