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SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Emotional Labor, Clitoridectomy, Social Constructionism

Course Code
Robert Brym

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Sociology Lecture #2 September 21, 2011
Human culture begins at the start of rituals and shit
that calm people’s anxiety – that somehow fulfills a
human need
Culture, then, guides us on how to act
Culture becomes shared, and can be transferred through
generations if it is socially transmitted
Culture is the sum of social transmitted ideas,
practices, and material objects that people create to
overcome real-life problems. Culture gives us
guidelines for how to act
A society exists when people interact and share
culture, generally in a geographically delimited area
i.e. steam engine (hero in Alexandria, then
England), computer (revived in the second world war
for trajectories, etc)
We participate in our culture without being too
reflective of it
Ethnocentrism involves judging another culture
exclusively by the standards of our own
Cultural relativism is the belief that all elements of
all cultures should be respected as equally valid
We should respect cultural traditions, but to a
certain extent (i.e. clitorectomy)
World has become globalized (social, economic, etc
barriers are lowered) so we have become more open to
accepting, being exposed to many different cultures,
and take what we want from them to create a satisfying
environment for ourselves before this, our culture
was monolithic (see chart on immigration on portal)
Figures of authority are being challenged now, and
people are becoming cynical, especially towards the
advancements of science and technology
Postmodernism involves:
the eclectic mixing of cultural elements from
different times and places;
the erosion of authority;
the decline of consensus around core values
Rationalization is the application of the most
efficient means to achieve given goals and the often
unintended, negative consequences of doing so
A bureaucracy is a large, impersonal organization
composed of many clearly defined positions arranged in
a hierarchy. It has a permanent, salaried staff of

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qualified experts and written goals, rules and
procedures. Staff members strive to achieve goals more
Bureaucracies have unintended negative implications
(i.e. school)
Consumerism is a lifestyle that involves defining
one’s self in terms of the goods one purchases
Clothing signals what our rank in society is, who we
are, what we believe, interests, group memberships,
etc this has been going on since pretty much the
beginning of time (i.e. sandals for important people
in ancient Egypt, Greeks, etc)
The message imparted by outfits is “I’m rich, I don’t
work, I can afford it” – even if they were
uncomfortable (back in the day powdered wigs, etc)
Then, synthetic, and false gems were created, so
people with modest means could be quickly copied, so
it becomes difficult for the well-to-do to be
distinguished from the not well-to-do introducing
the outer label again (i.e. Nike shirts)
Why is this shit important? We all want to be part of
a group we want to fit in, or we feel uncomfortable
Advertising works, because of this desire we want to
emulate the people they advertise, etc
Sociologists/psychologists have roles in the world of
advertising, because they understand what
influences/appeals to the consumer their ads/methods
for moving merchandise is somewhat manipulative, and
not the most ethical you have to impose on people
the philosophy of WHAT
Many sovereign countries are experiencing high levels
of debt because people are consuming more than they
can afford because of these advertisements which may
send us into another economic crisis, as countries
won’t be able to pay back their debts (i.e. Greece,
Consumerism takes away from social issues
Hip-hop emerged as a protest to the conditions that
Americans lived in during the economic strife when
industries were moved to like Indonesia songs blamed
gov, industries for the fall of black-panthers, drug
wars, etc
(i.e. Ice-T’s song: cop-killa)
even when we have descent, political protest emerges
in different forms, the lure of money calms us down

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consumerism not only creates debts, etc, but it also
stifles descent, and draws away from pressing social
Conflict Theory
Social Constructionism
Manifest functions
Latent functions
Symbolic functions
*See pics on phone for example test questions
Sociology Lecture #3 September 28th, 2011
Social Interaction
Why do we experience certain emotional states in the first
dyad: two person group
status: recognized position in a social interaction (i.e.
professor, student)
role: expected behavior of a person in society (i.e. prof in
his fave cutoffs…)
Laughter is typically unevenly distributed between people
of different classes (people with higher statuses get more
Women laugh more than men, because men are generally of
higher status
Laughter is affected by our position in a status hierarchy
(higher: crack more jokes, laugh less; lower: crack less
jokes, laugh more)
Dominance/subordination: jokes are made about social
So, our laughter or reaction clearly isn’t as based on our
emotional states as we would like to think
We can’t control our body’s reaction/response
external stimulus (i.e. grizzly bear attack)
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