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Lecture 7

SOC307H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Ritualism In The Church Of England, Social Disorganization Theory, Talcott Parsons

Course Code
Reza Barmaki

of 5
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Social Disorganization Theory (Chicago School)
Ecological Explanation
Study of organisms relations with their environment and each other
Reflects degree scarcity of resources (food, mate…)
Unintentional system (not engineered)
Key concept: Natural Habitat
A natural system
Equilibrium: parts have adjusted
Often: a system of predator-prey
Keeps numbers of each specie in check
Result of introduction of new specie?
Equilibrium is disturbed
What to do with the new specie
No “Natural” enemy
Either adjust, or system is destroyed
These ideas were applied to cities (Human Ecology)
Cities: natural environments
Ecological processes operate
Immigration: new species
Processes intensify as population grows
Competition for scarce resources: housing, jobs, food…
Disturbed equilibrium (social order)
How is social order achieved in such ethnic diversity...Assimilation
Four parts of assimilation process:
1. Competition
Groups pursue their own interests without paying attention to other
individuals or groups
2. Conflict
Groups consciously try to eliminate other individuals or groups
3. Accommodation
Adjustment in order to reduce conflict and achieve mutual security
4. Assimilation
Separate groups acquire each other’s culture, or become part of a common
A form of accommodation
“Tolerated, but not fully accepted”
Indicates: accommodation, conflictual tolerance, satisfies needs
“A stranger amongst us…”
“On the fringes of society”
May prevent disorganization
Structural Functionalism
Talcott Parsons
Emerges in the late thirties, early forties when American society was
beginning to recover from the depression
Shows us something about our system which ultimately is a good system
Organic Analogy
Life forms
Food, defense, procreation, adaptation
Organs: perform specific functions
Contribute to existence of organism
Combined activity of all of them keeps the organ alive
Existence of Society (AGIL)
Adaptation: to situational exigency (environmental change, war, famine…)
Goal attainment: must attain its collective goal (population increase, health…)
Integration: must regulate interactions (institutional, individual…)
Latency: maintain/renew cultural belief
Society: Social system
A system of interrelated parts
Organs, institutions
Key institutions: economy, polity, religion, family, education
Contribute, compliment each other
Hierarchical: roles, expectations, rewards
Inequality is systemic
Ultimate result: existence of society (AGIL)
Parson’s Structural-Functional Model of Society Institutional Interaction
(Ref. Diagram)
Family: sexual regulation, socialization
Education: knowledge; citizens’ collective ideals, loyalty
Politics: leadership, compliance
Economy: necessities of life, employment
Religion: moral codes, compassion
Source of Crime/Deviance
1. Partial-legitimation of disapproved acts
Increases likelihood of deviance, ex. Tattoos, marijuana
2. Contradictory values
Between society/subculture
3. Social stratification
Lower classes are less likely to be subject to institutions of social control
Social disorganization
4. Institutional settings
Boundary confusion, incompatible functions, unrealistic demands
Result of 1-4: Strain to what should I conform?
Crime/deviance >>>>>>> disrupts AGIL
How do you control deviance?
1. Rigid Re-socialization
Rigid rule following
Absolute obedience to given commends
No ambivalence regarding right/wrong
Examples: family, army…
Criminal justice: rehabilitation
2. Forestalling strain (meant to eliminate confusion)
Segregation: by space, time, role (ex. night manger, district)
Insulation: symbolic segregation (ex. modes of address, titles, Dr., Prof.)
Status priority: avoiding role conflicts (ex. rank; chief, sergeant, constable)
Rank is important to humans: hierarchy is the answer to social order
3. Tension management
Channel stress into socially acceptable means: allowing mild forms of
By defining actions as “permitted” and “tolerated”
4. Blockage
Increasing cost of deviance
Decreasing advantages of deviance
5. Removal of society
For rehabilitation
When there is no other option