Class Notes (839,574)
Canada (511,407)
Sociology (3,266)
SOC250Y1 (69)

SOC 250Y1Y LEC 2.doc

5 Pages

Course Code
Joseph Bryant

This preview shows pages 1 and half of page 2. Sign up to view the full 5 pages of the document.
SOC 250Y1Y: Prof. Bryant September 19. 2012 Lecture 2 Social science example of the dilemma: Carlos Castaneda (d.1998), who began his research on the world of Yaqui magicians/sorcerers in conventional anthropological fashion, but through his association with the brujo Don Juan Matus and other "insiders", came to agree with them that science could not properly access the "separate reality" they functioned in. Castaneda "cross over" (from the tonal to the natural, the 'everyday' to the 'spirit' world) became a mystic of sorts, and related that magical world from the "inside" in a series of popular best-sellers. The social science community, however is highly sceptical of the objective value or realism of Castaneda's "reports." The case thus illustrates the basic dilemma of insider vs. outsider, subjective vs. objective ways of knowing: scientific standards are deemed inadequate or distortional by "believers/insiders" while scientists insist that only by maintaining "objective distance" can we hope to discover the true social causes and forces at work - Don Juan and Castaneda's relationship was strained because Don Juan didn't believe Castaneda could ever understand the Yaqui world by only viewing it from the extermal. Takes Don Juan's advice and beings to "cross over" into their world. - He learned how to speak to a coyote, learned how to fly, turned into a jaguar. He wrote about techniques of how to communicate with the spirit world even without Don Juan. - His work was applauded in the anthropological world. As more books came out and the claims became more unrealistic - there was a back-last. It was viewed as less of an anthropological work, but more spiritual, popular culture, self-help. -Castenada "crossed over" to fully understand Don Juan's world. But he began to lose his credentials as an anthropological scientist - Anthropoligists tend to become closer to their subjects and get insider information than sociologists. Its ok for them to fully practice their subjects - but there is a fine line between being a participation vs. observation. - Black like Me" - a documentation of a journalist who changed the colour of his skin to try and experience what it was like to be a black man in the south - even though he felt like he got closer to the experience of being a black man, he didn't experience it fully because he had the option to go back to his regular life, or the skin pigment would fade. - Castenada's experiment was talking about the spirit world, not the real world - an entire different reality. Even though the experiement was silimar. RELIGION: a system or complex of social relationships that human beings create and modify - in history - with supernatural or divine powers (impersonal/personal), for purposes of establishing order and protection, and for securing meaning and purpose. - religion emphasizes the relationship between the HUMAN AND DIVINE. - we create relationships with supernational beings and entities - there is no society who hasn't had a sacred/religious practice - religion is close to universal social practice/ a fundamental social aspect - two central concerns to explain why human beings repeatedly make these connections Religion is thus: a. a way of making sense = the COGNITIVE function - human beings find meaning and purpose - one of the most fundamental medium of how human beings find understanding of the cosmos, where we are placed in the world - providing a world picture of what the world is like, a powerful system of belief and definition of the order of the universe - we now turn to science for understanding now (ex. we go to doctors rather than spiritual healers for health) - modern science and technology b. a way of gaining security, support, protection = the PRACTICAL function - human beings established relationships with the divine powers to get something from those powers - ex. offerings, sacrifices, rituals, appealing to, building sacred places, prayer to - the supernatural powers for fertility, health, agriculture, weather, war [common sense, science, law, morality, technology, art, etc., share those functions] basic premise or intuition: there is a higher reality than the natural and social/human worlds, ultimately constitutive, creational, causal -- a transcendent realm of power and mystery, upon which our existence is dependent religion is an "imaginary" consturction, in the sense that human beings create the symbols of representation and meaning that "vivify or realize" the transcendent for our comprehension - we are the authors of how gods are understood - it comes from our own imaginations - personification: projecting the human qualities to natural processes (ex. rain power that could be appealed to) = making the Transcendent "objective" ... localized or present in sacred objects, places, times, actions/events - in order to establish a relationship with the transcendent, we have to bring them into our own domain - this is how anthropologis
More Less
Unlock Document

Only pages 1 and half of page 2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.