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Chapter 16 Notes.docx

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Chapter 16 Voluntary Associations: A group formed by voluntary membership, often has a political goal Social Movements: Organized groups of people with a n agenda or plan for social change, to be achieved through agitation and political pressure Interdependence: The Real State of Nature - Examples of our organic solidarity (need for interdependence) o Work/live in a global marketplace  Multiple dyadic relationships between buyers and sellers can gather into complex networks of exchange that indirectly connect/affect millions of unseen/distant participants  We can fulfill our needs without the supervision of a Hobbesian despot!  *Ability to set prices independently differentiates free market and command economy o The internet: a vast info market  Striking feature – diversity! o Milgram’s 6 degrees of separation  Small World Property  Connectors/sociometric stars link us all together Classic Studies: Improvised News: Sociological Study of Rumor - Tamotsu Shibutani - Rumors are ‘improvised news’ - First study: The Psychology of Rumor by Allport and Postman o Simulated broken telephone o Most distant source is often deeply flawed o Critic: takes rumor transmission out of its natural social context - Rumor-formation is a problem-solving strategy that relies on the pooling of resources – knowledge and intelligence o Thus improvised news  News imagined and created under conditions of hardship and confusion - ‘Collective Transaction’ Five Roles o Messenger – says the message o Interpreter – hears the message o Skeptic – skeptical of the message o Protagonist – star of the message o Decision Maker … - Contrary to Allport and Postman o Reliance on rumors is not abnormal o Rumors do not grow increasingly distorted o Rumors are not transmitted randomly - Critics of Shubatni o Should have had more data o Theory is too simplistic o Overestimated human rationality Voluntary Associations and Sociability - Natural human impulse is to be social - Johan Huizinga (1955) spoke of humanity as ‘homo ludens’ – ‘man the game player’ play has 3 attractive features o Free o Departure from ordinary o Occupies its own time and place Benefits of Voluntary Associations - Increase knowledge/social tolerance o Works best under non-competitive (friendly) conditions People Control One Another Informally - Most people can feel guilty or shameful easily o This is informal social control o Rooted in  George Mead’s Generalized Other - Social Control: Control by society or social relations o Distinct from military control, police control, legal etc The Civilizing Process - Norbert Elias, 1969 - To show that polite manners and state gov’t develop together o Make up ‘civilizing process’ - Two volumes o The History of Manners  The spread of politeness, generated by class distinction created even more class distinction o Power and Civility  Social behaviors and social structures reinforce each other  Self control in the form of good manners, parallels to a strong stage - Critics: use of etiquette books, were those actually followed? o Reliability of sources o Can findings generalize to other societies?
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