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Amel Belmahdi SOC103H1 Wednesday, July 3, 2013 Lecture 1 – Defining Sociology and Social Institutions Social Institutions: − Institution → Stable and shared pattern of behaviour based on ~stable values. We learn to behave in simliar ways to one another. − Meet's the needs of peoples (ex. For order, support, and meaning). − Helps us understand what's good and what's bad, etc. − We behave in ways that relate to what we believe in, producing a stable social order. − Two main questions: (1) Social inequality (why huge imbalance between state and equality). (2) How is it that social order is preserved well over long periods of time and different kinds of societies produce different kinds of social orders. No Institutions Exist without Social Interaction: − Social institutions are stable patterns of behaviour created and maintained through scoial interaction. − Interaction →A socially recognized pattern of interrelated acts (ex. conversations, dating rituals). Social Institutions are Social Structures: − All social sturctures: control us, change us (as people move from one location to another, they change their behaviour in keeping with the social expectations of that venue), and both resist and produce social change. − Social structures resist efforts of change, but they end up changing anyways. − Sociology is the study of social structures. Defining the Topic of Sociology: − Sociology (dictionary) → The study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. − Auguste Comte defined it as →Adivision of science concerned with human beings. − Most sociologists say (best one) → Sociology is the study of predictable and recurring relations among human beings, and the social institutions and societies people create through such relations. Sociology's Origins: − Two social crises were especially important for the early development of sociology: 1. The Industrial Revolution thrust people into new kinds of economic relationships. 2. The French Revolution thrust people into new kinds of political relationships. − These convinced people that new social and political arrangements were needed. Diverse Viewpoints: − Sociology today incorporates “multiple narratives and perspectives” → sometimes really conflictiong ones. − Given the different points of view, present-day sociology is also concerned with how we know what we know. − Ex. how we view and judge different images and theories of reality. − Social position shapes social perception (where you're born, etc). ThreeAims of Sociology: 1. To find and explain patterns in people's social relations (how did they arise and how do they fit with other patterns of relations). 2. To question “common sense” and the received wisdom about the way society works. 3. To solve social problems and find better ways of living together. An example: Growing Up Too Soon? Parentification Among Immigrant and NativeAdolescents in Germany: − The problem: Parentification →Adolescents' adoption of adult family roles by providing instrumental or emotional support for their parents (forcing a child to act like an adult and have a parental role). − Often causes long-term problems of depression, anxiety, and faulty relationships (ruins ability to form relationships later on in life – emotional harm). − Assumed to be more common in immigrant families, due to the adolescent-parent acculturation gap. − Immigrant adolescents acculturate faster and outperform their parents socio-culturally (ex. learn language faster). The Methodology: − The sample: 197 German native adolescents and 185 immigrant adolescents and their mothers (random selection – no bias). − Each received some money. − Questionnaires were completed separately and anonymously. The Findings: − Immigrants are more parentified than Native-born children. − More emotional parentification (refers to requirements/requests that the parent places on the child which are more emotionally – ex. restoring peace in the family). Marital Dissatisfaction of Mothers has NO Effect on Immigrant Parentification: − In immigrant families, divorce does not have effect on parentification. Language Brokering and anAcculturation Gap Predicted Both Kinds of Parentification: − Kids did learn language faster and needed to help parents with this. Instrumental Parentification Led to Self-efficacy in Both Adolescent Groups: − Kids being asked to agree/disagree with statements. High Levels of Emotional Parentification Led to Exhaustion in the Immigrant Group: − Kids who were asked to keep peace in the family, etc. were more exhausted than the immigrant group. − People who are emotionally parentified are tired. In the Native Group, No Connection: − No relation between parentification and exhaustion. Implications: − Shows that family migration changes families (puts pressure) and they have to adapt to new pressures (which may result in parentification). The instrumental parentification is an assest (not a tradegy) and it can be empowering. But emotional parentification tends to be the bigger problem (kids being called upon to be the best friends of their moms and dads doesn't work for kids that are 6-8, etc). What do we LearnAbout Sociology from this Study? − Sociology is: a worldwide activity, it's oriented to studying and solving people's problems, it's timely (concerned with issues of the day), it's rooted (in a history of research and solid findings), it's theoretical (concerned with testing hypotheses), it's empirical (uses data and standard measures to test hypotheses), it's incremental (each study contributes to the body of knowledge), it's open-ended (each study leaves unanswered questions), it's connected to other disciplines (psychology, anthropology, geography, etc). Approaches to Sociological Thinking: − Three main schools of thought: Structural funcationlism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactism. Two others (minor): Feminist theory, post-modern theory. − Functional theory → Views society as interrelated parts (ex. Like a cell, or a body (arms, le
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