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Sociology 1020
Secil Erdogan

Sociology 1020 Day 1 Sociology is the SYSTEMATIC STUDY of human society Social order, social disorders, social change The heart of the discipline is the “sociological perspective” ­ How do the general categories we fit into shape our personal experiences? ­ How do social norms, values, and expectations guide our everyday behaviours? ­ How do social forces affect the way we play out our lives? Sociological perspective examines the relationship between personal troubles and three levels of social structure: 1. Microstructures – patterns of relatively intimate social relations. 2. Macrostructures – overarching patterns of social relations that lie outside and above one’s circle of intimates and acquaintances 3. Global structures – patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level. Sociological perspective helps us to: ­ Look at the world around us critically ­ Understand that our place in the world affects our daily experiences and “choices” Sociological perspective asserts: ­ Action is not completely voluntary! ­ Our social position always comes with prescribed behaviours, obligations, and privileges – all of which amount to social constraints or restrictions on free will. Question: Does a little girl born into an aboriginal family living on a reserve have the same chance of becoming Prime Minister as a little boy born to a wealthy family living in an upper-class neighbourhood? Emile Durkheim ­ Looked at suicide rate in his society, and during his time there were high rates of suicide. Wanted to explain why. ­ Demonstrated suicide rates were strongly influenced by social forces ­ Association between rates of suicide and rates of psychological disorder did not vary directly ­ Suicide rates vary across groups ­ Social ties and integration – the degree one is anchored in society affects suicide rates C Wright Mills (1959) ­ We need to move beyond individualistic explanations and focus on: the interplay between biography, self, history, and the world. ­ One has a sociological imagination when s/he understands her/his own experience by locating her/himself within her/his socio-historical period and becoming aware of other individuals in the same circumstances. History and Biography ­ What are the central concerns of youth today? ­ What influences these concerns? ­ How is the focus of these concerns different from previous generations? Changing milieu, changing focus 1930’s – working hard and survival 1950’s – marriage, stable careers, children 1970’s – political consciousness raising, questioning norms, demanding freedoms 1990’s – lack of political involvement, consumerism and pop culture take off From personal troubles to social structures: When one person experiences poverty, it may be individual trouble. But on closer look, if this individual is a single mother, and 1 in every 3 mothers is living below the poverty line, then it is a problem connected……… Fundamental objective:; Sociology – sociological imagination can help us better understand ourselves as wee as others, our capabilities, and out limitations. The sociological imagination is a skill that enables one to distinguish………… Origins of sociological imagination: Auguste Comte (1798 – 1857) – Sought to understand the social world using scientific method of research ­ Coined the term sociology Herbert Spencer (1820 – 1903) – made claim for discovering scientific laws governing operation of society. Scientific Revolution (circa 1550): Encouraged evidence-based conclustions about society Democratic Revolution (circa 1750): suggested people were responsible for creating society; thus, human intervention was capable of solving social problems Industrial Revolution (circa 1780): Created……………. Day 2 Sociological Theory ­ Tentative explanations of some aspects of social life. ­ Theories state: “WHY and HOW certain effects are related?” o E.g. Durkheim: Suicide – social solidarity Micro Macro Global Research ­ The process of systematically observing social reality. ­ Theories can be revised, modified or even rejected after research Major Sociological Theories ­ Structural Functionalism (Durkheim) ­ Conflict Theory (Marx) ­ Symbolic Interactionism (Weber, Mead, Goffman) ­ Feminist Theory Structural Functionalism ­ Originates from Durkheim ­ A macro-level perspective ­ Human behavior is governed by relatively stable social structures ­ Think about “human body” ­ Society: A complex system whose parts work together to promote stability ­ FUNCTION! ­ “Each institution/social practice plays a function in the society” ASSUMPTIONS ­ The importance of stability ­ Natural state of the society: Harmony-balance-equilibrium ­ Evolution ­ Society is based on consensus ­ Conservative QUESTIONS ­ How would a structural functionalist explain social order? ­ How would they explain social disorder? ­ How would they explain social change? Conflict Theory ­ Karl Marx ­ Macro-level theory ­ Inequality and competition for scarce resources ­ Society is based on CONFLICT not consensus ­ Change – not consensus and stability ASSUMTIONS ­ Power – suppressing other ­ Conflict – society’s natural state ­ Revolution – NOT evolution o A group rise against oppression and revolts against the larger system QUESTIONS ­ How would conflict theorists explain social order? ­ How would they explain social disorder? ­ How would they explain social change? Social Interactionism ­ Weber, Mead, Goffman ­ Micro level – interpersonal communication ­ Social life is possible only b/c people attach meanings to it ASSUMPTIONS ­ Individuals – Actors! ­ Interaction o Individuals interact with each other to create meaning thus, may lead to disagreement ­ Symbols o Behaviour is based on the interpretation of symbols (i.e. Language and gestures) MAIN FOCUS ­ SI are interesting in: o Symbolic interaction and interpretation that takes place. o Culture and what defines culture o Groups we belong to and the roles we play with those groups. QUESTIONS ­ How would symbolic interactionists explain social order? o Order is based on shared meanings. o Society/order exist with individuals ­ How would they explain social disorder? o If individuals define society as being disordered, then it is ­ How would they explain social change? Feminist Theory ­ Gender issues o Inequality in education, work, domestic responsibilities, etc. ­ Focus: Patriarchy, male domination ­ Micro and macro levels ­ Harriet Martineau – 1 woman sociologist ­ Change: Gender equality. Day 3 Popular culture (or mass culture) – culture consumed by all classes High culture – culture consumed mainly by upper classes (opera, ballet, etc) Society – A large group of people in a particular geographic area who share a common culture Culture – is what the society holds in common (knowledge, belief, art, morals, laws… a) Material Culture ­ Artifacts of society ­ Houses, tools, computers b) Non-material culture ­ Abstract creations ­ Language, norms, values, beliefs The culture of any society includes: 1. Values 2. Norms 3. Beliefs 4. Roles Which help to shape… a) Values ­ The ideals or the generally accepted standards of behavior ­ They help to define what is considered to be the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ­ The are not ‘rules’, they help to shape the rules, which are the norms b) Norms ­ More precise rules, which tell the members of a society what is correct, and what is prohibited behavior ­ There are different types of norms. They differ by the reaction of the group when violated. Some behaviours need to be more severely sanctioned than others. 4 types of norms: 1. Folkways – least important norms that also evoke the least severe punishment. 2. Mores (pronounced MOR-ays) – Core norms that most people believe are essential for survival of their group or their society. 3. Taboos – Are among the strongest norms. When taboo violated, it couses revulsion in the community, and punishment is severe. 4. Laws – are formal rules made by the legislative bodies of a society to regulate specific behaviours. The punishment for breaking laws is usually clearly stated, written down and enforced by the state Q: Are all laws examples of norms that are mores? Ideal vs Real Ideal culture – what you believe should be the case. Faithfulness in Marriage Real Culture – How people really act. Adultery 22% of males and 14% of females admit to committing adultery. Common Characteristics of Human Culture a) Culture is learned b) Culture is transmitted a. Symbols and language c) Culture is shared Ideal Values of Canadians Citizen’s forum on Canada’s Future (1991) ­ Equality and fairness ­ Consultation and dialogue ­ Accommodation and tolerance ­ Support for diversity ­ Compassion and generosity Cultural Universals: ­ It is important to keep in mind though, that even within what we call cultural universals, a great diversity exists. o Eg. While almost all societies have a taboo against incests, which family member are included in this taboo varies greatly from culture to culture Cultural Diversity within a society Homogeneous Societies Members are similar in terms of background, ethnicity, language, religion Heterogeneous societies Varied social characteristics – race, ethnicity, language, religion The Two Faces of Culture Cultural Diversity – As freedom ­ We are increasingly able to choose how culture influences us, b/c there is more to choose from ­ Canada’s culture becoming increasingly diverse. ­ Immigrants make up 19.8 percent of population. Cultural Diversity ­ Tastes in music, food, clothes are more diverse. ­ Inter-racial marriage increasingly accepted. Multiculturalism: Advocates ­ At political level… ­ Multiculturalists say: People now free to piece together own cultural interests, practices, identity, from a world of possibilities. Multiculturalism: Criticisms ­ Political disunity, and results in more interethnic & interracial conflict. ­ Extreme cultural relativism (is in danger of encouraging respect for cultural practices deemed abhorrent to most Canadians) The Right Revolution: ­ Process by which socially excluded groups havae struggled to win equal rights under the law and in practive ­ Began in second half of the 20 century ­ Through rights revolution, demogracy has been widened and deepened (women’s rights, the rights of members of minority groups, gay and lesbian rights, etc.) Ethnocentrism ­ Refers to the belief that one’s own cultural view is the only correct view and that the cultural practices of others are somehow wrong or not proper; ­ Judgment ­ Superior – inferior cultures. Types of ethnocentrism: Eurocentrism – Ideas of cultural superiority shaped by the experiences of white, middle class males in Western Industrialized societies Androcentrism – male centeredness, the bias of seeing things from a male point of view. Orientalism – E. Said - google it…. Conclusion ­ Although biology sets broad human limits and potentials, its role in determining specific human behaviours and social arrangements is questionable. ­ Development of culture – sum of shared ideas, practiced and material objects that people create to adapt to…. Day 5 Social Interaction: involves people communicating face to face or via computer and acting and reacting in relation to other people. ­ is structured around statuses, roles and norms Status: Refers to recognized social position an individual can occupy (each person occupies many statuses) ­ Examples of the following, anyone? o Ascribed status – gender, student, position at work. o Achieved status – Ascribed status: is an involuntary status Achieved status: is a voluntary status Status set: Entire ensemble of statuses occupied by an individual Master status: A person’s overriding public identity, and the status that is most influential in shaping that person’s life at a given time. ­ Whereas people occupy statuses, they perform roles. Roles: “Sets of expected behaviours” ­ Expectations define the roles ­ Entire cluster of roles attached to a single status is called a role set Role conflict: Occurs when two or more statuses held at the same time place contradictory role demands on a person. Role strain: Occurs when incompatible role demands are placed on a person in a single status. What shapes Social Interaction? ­ Norms, roles, and statuses are building blocks of all face-to-face communication ­ Whenever people communicate face to face, these building blocks structure their interaction ­ Norms, roles, and statuses turn social interaction into a durable social structure ­ How social structure is maintained is the most fundamental sociological question that can be asked. The Structure of Social Interaction ­ Social interaction requires norms, or generally accepted ways of doing things. ­ Norms may be prescriptive or proscriptive. ­ Prescriptive norms: Suggest what a person is expected to do while performing a particular role. ­ Prodcriptive norms: suggest what a person is expected not to do while performing a particular role. ­ Norms often change over time o At one point in time, some norms are universal o At other times, norms may differ from situation to situation and from role to role. Humour A general pattern: Where different classes/statuses interact, people associate laughter with class or status hierarchy. ­ Why is it that we feel embarrassed whe we cannot control our emotions in public – laugh too much – or become frozen ­ Our culture offers us ‘scripts’ to follow, we learn how to cover emotions – to pretend we are really happy, or funny ­ Emotions pervade all social interaction ­ Rather than being spontaneous and uncontrollable reactions to external stimuli, ……. Emotional management: is a term that identifies that we obey ‘feeling rules’ so we can respond appropriately to situations… is this wise? Emotional labour: is emotion management that many people do as part of their job and for which they are paid ­ feeling rules take different forms under different social conditions, which vary historically ­ grief, anger, and disgust are neither universal nor constant but have histories and deep sociological underpinnings in statuses, roles, and norms Verbal and nonverbal communication: The Social Context of Language ­ Social interaction typically involves complex mix of verbal and nonverbal messages (facial expressions, gestures, and body language) ­ Understanding of social and cultural context is necessary for making sense of language because same words can mean different things in different settings ­ Need for learning nuances of meaning….. ­ There are not any universally recognized facial… Sociologists commonly distinguish four zones that surround us; the size of these zones varies from one society to the next. 1. Intimate, 2. Personal 3. Social 4. Public Status cues ­ visual indicators of the other people’s social position ­ Can help people define social situation but also can quickly degenerate into stereotypes. o Rigid views of how members of various groups act, regardless of whether individual group members really behave that way o Stereotypes Types of interaction 3 types 1. Domination: - occurs when nearly all power is concentrated in the hands of people of similar status, whereas people of different status enjoy almost no power 2. Cooperation – occurs when power is relatively equally distributed among people of different statuses 3. Competition – occurs when power is unequally distributed, but degree of inequality is less than in systems of social domination From Small Processes to Big Structures ­ face to face interaction forms microstructures ­ sustained microlevel interaction often gives rise to higher-level structures – mesostructures, such as networks, groups, and organizations…………. Sociological theories focus on 6 aspects of social interaction: 1. The way people exchange valued resources (exchange) 2. The way they maximize gains and minimize losses (rational choice) 3. The way they interpret, negotiate, and modify norms, roles, and statuses (symbolic interaction) 4. The way they manage the impressions they give to others (dramaturgy) 5. The way preexisting norms influence social interaction (ethno- methodology) 6. The way status hierarchies influence social interaction (conflict) Conclusion: ­ Social interaction involves people communicating face to face, acting and reacting in relation to each other ­ Character of every social interaction depends of statuses, norms, and roles. ­ Humour, fear, anger, grief, disgust, love, jealousy, and other emotions colour social interactions ­ Nonverbal means of communication, including facial expressions, gestures, body language, and status cues, are as important as language in social interaction ­ People interact mainly out of fear, envy, or trust ­ Sociological theories are useful in helping us understand Day 6 Socialization: is the process by which people.. Learn their culture- including norms, values, and roles. Role is behaviour expected of a person occupying a particular position in society Social Isolation and the crystallization of self-identity Consequences of children raised in social isolation: Rarely develop normally Are unable to form intimate social relationships with others Acquire only basic language skills Are disinterested in game Formation of the self: The self: consists of your ideas and attitudes about who you are Formation of a sense of self begins in childhood and continues in adolescence Crystallization of self identity during adolescence is just on episode in the lifelong process of socialization Theories of Childhood Socialization: Freud Suggested the following was important self development: 1) ID: Part of self that demands immediate gratification (self-image begins to emerge as soon as id's demands denied) 2) Superego: Part of self that acts as repository of cultural standards (develops because many lessons of self-control taught to children (e.g toilet training) 3)Ego: Psychological mechanism that balances conflicting needs of pleasure- seeking id and restraining superego Topographical Model of Personality Everything we are aware of is stored in our conscious. Unconscious: Part of self that contains repressed memories we are not normally aware of (result of having to deny our id immediate gratification) Freud's Theory Is often criticized for neglecting socialization after childhood Main sociological contribution of Freud's theory-> the self emerges during early social interaction and that early childhood experience exerts a lasting impact on personality development. Cooley's Symbolic Interactionism Cooley introduced idea of "looking-glass self". When we interact with others, they gesture and react to us; this reaction allows us to imagine how we appear to them We then judge how others evaluate us From these judgements, we develop a self-concept or set feelings and ideas about "who we are" Mead's Theory of the self Mead proposed following concepts in self development: The "I": Subjective and impulsive aspect of the self that is present from birth The "Me": Objective component of the self that emerges as people communicate symbolically and learn to take the role of the other. Kohlberg Showed how children's moral reasoning---their ability to judge right from wrong---- also passes through developmental stages: 1) "Pre-conventional" stage----> whether something gratifies their immediate needs 2)"Conventional" stage----> whether specific actions please their parents and teachers and are consistent with cultural norms. 3)"Post-conventional" stage---> When a person develops capacity to think abstractly and critically about moral principles. Gilligan and Gender Differences Argues social position affects socialization Demonstrated sociological factors help explain differences in sense of self that boys and girls usually develop Attributed differences in moral development of boys and girls to different cultural standards parents and teachers pass on them. Agents of Socialization 1) Families---> Most important agent of primary socialization, which is process of mastering basic skills required to function in society during childhood 2) Schools---> Increasingly responsible for secondary socialization or socialization outside the family after childhood Conflict Theorist suggest schools impart hidden curriculum that teaches students what will be expected of them in larger society. 3) Peer Groups Peer groups help children and adolescents separate from their families and develop independent sources of identity Are especially influential over lifestyle issues, such as appearance, social activites and dating 4) Mass Media: Have become increasingly important socializing agent in 21st century Fastest-growing mass medium is the internet Tv viewing still consumes more of average Canadian's free time than any other mass medium Gender Roles, the Mass Media and the Feminist Approach to Socialization Gender Roles: Widely Shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act Feminist Sociologists claim masculinity and femininity are not innate; rather we learn gender roles and partly through the mass media Social construction of gender roles by the mass media evident in movies and television. People do not passively accept messages about appropriate gender roles but often interpret them in unique ways and sometimes resist them. Adult Socialization through the LIfe Course Although we form our basic personality and sense of identity early in life, socialization continues in adulthood. Adult roles change as we mature To help us learn a predictable new role, we typically engage in anticipatory socialization, which involves taking on norms and behaviours of the role to which we aspire. Resocialization and Total Institutions Resocialization: Takes place when powerful socializing agents deliberately cause rapid change in peoples values, roles and self-conception. Can occur in total institutions: Settings in which people are isolated from larger society and under strict control and constant supervision of a specialized staff (e.g asylums, prisons) Transition of the individual from one group to another and ensures his or her loyalty to the new group. Adult Socialization and the Flexible Self Peoples identities change faster, more often and more completely than they did just a couple of decades ago. Factors contributing to growing flexibility of the self are: Globalization (frees people to combine elements of culture from wide variety of geographical settings) Growing ability to fashion new bodies from old (due to technological innovations) New forms of social interaction: exchanging text, images, and sound via e-mail, messaging services. Virtual Communties: Associations Problems of Childhood and Adolescent Socialization Today Several developments in past 40 years have changed socialization patterns of Canadian youth, including the following: Declining adult supervision and guidance Increasing media influence Declining extracurricular activities and increasing adult responsibilities Result: Many teenagers today are too busy with homework, household chores and part time jobs Change: raises possibility of childhood and adolescence disappearing Conclusion Social interaction is necessary to unleash human abilities Socializing influence of the family is decreasing while influence of the school, peer groups and mass media is increasing. Are witnessing a growing flexibility of the self Various social changes are transforming character of childhood and adolescence today Day 7 TH EXAM 2 – DECEMBER 5 CHAPTERS: 4, 5, 7, 8, 9  FROM TEXTBOOK FROM READER (TUTORIALS)  HURRICANE KATRINA, Social Stratification ­ Refers to way in which society is organized in layers or strata o (Society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy) o Pyramid shaped – Few ppl at top, lots at bottom  How are Canadians stratified? Stratification involves 4 basic principles: 1) It is a trait of society ­ It is not based on individual effort or merit 2) It persists over generations ­ Parents pass their social position onto their children 3) It is universal, but variable ­ Social stratification is found in all societies, but the dimensions of stratification vary across cultures/societies 4) It involves both inequality and beliefs about inequality ­ Provides more opportunities for some than others, but is define this process as fair and equitable. Important Concepts ­ Ascription-based stratification system: allocation of rank depends on characteristics a person is born with ­ Achievement-based stratification system: allocation of rank depends on a person’s accomplishments ­ Social mobility: Refers to movement up or down the stratification system ­ Status inconsistency: the degree of consistency in a person’s social standing across various dimensions of social inequality. Class vs. Caste a) CASTE SYSTEM – social stratification is based on ascriptions or birth. A pure caste system is CLOSED b) CLASS SYSTEM – social stratification is based on both birth and individual achievements/merit. These systems are more OPEN ­ MERITOCRACY – social stratification is based entirely on personal merit – or the job that one does and how well one does it. Income inequality in Canada MATERIALISM - …. Despite the advantages of living in Canada, things might be better… ­ Despite working harder and longer, families’ incomes have not ­ Almost half of all income is held by 20% of individuals and families ­ Canada is highly stratified. Income, Wealth and Power MARKET INCOME – wages or salaries from work and earnings from investments and private pensions. WEALTH – Total value of money and other assets. Mix of family fortune, business acumen, and opportunism typically key determinants of wealth ­ Wealth inequality is increasing in Canada – but not as much as in the United States, which surpasses all other highly industrialized countries. ­ The richest 5% of Canadian families have wealth valued at over 600,000 ­ The poorest 5% of Canadian fimilies have a negative wealth at -$5,700 that is they actually live in debt ­ The wealthiest 5% of familites in Canada control over 40% of the total wealth Social Classes in Canada Upper Class ($135,000+) (5%) - Upper-uppers (1%) - Lower-uppers (working rich) Middle Class (35%) - Upper-middles ($90-135,000) - Average-middles ($55-90,000) Working Class (40%) - ($25-55,000) – little wealth Lower Class (20%) - minimal income, no wealth ­ The bottom 10% of the population has no assets and considerable debt ­ The top 10% own 58.2% of the nation’s wealth HEALTH: health is closely related to social standing. Children born into poorer families are more likely to die from disease, neglect, accidents or violence during their first year of life than children born into wealth families. Richer children are also predicted to live longer. Video – Neoliberalism as water balloon Myths about the poor MYTH #1 – People are poor because they do not want to work ­ overlooks the working poor and those who are unable to work because of disability or inadequate child-care provisions in Canada MYTH #2 – Overwhelming majority of poor people are immigrants ­ Only recent immigrants experience poverty rates significantly higher than the Canadian-born MYTH #3 – The welfare rolls are crammed with young people who ought to be earning a living. ­ only a small minority of welfare recipients are under age 20 MYTH #4 – Most poor people are trapped in poverty ­ Most people try to move out of difficult circumstances, and most succeed, at least for a time. Poverty in Canada ­ Relative Poverty: Deprivation in relation to average standard of living. SINGLE PERSON  Absolute poverty
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