SOC-1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Thomas Theorem

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4 Feb 2017
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There is a clear survival advantage to social conformity!
Social Conformity provides: order, predictability
*Both are important because humans probably don’t have instincts. (Palmer Reflex)
We must constantly, construct, evaluate, adopt and reconstruct reality… (represented by rules
of acceptable behavior)
-Even though we depend on order and predictability, sometimes we are wrong.
Humans are reflexive.
-Humans can “reflect” on behavior that hasn’t happened yet.. And they can change the behavior
to be more, or less conforming.
*Behaviors can be changed
1. To meet the expectations of others.
2. To hide intentions from others.
3. To express displeasure with others.
Philosophers tell us there are at least 2 kinds of reality.
1. Objective Reality: things that are “really real”
2. Subjective Reality
“Reality” can be in both categories at the same time. But, the differences between the 2 are
irrelevant in our everyday lives!
-We live in a 3D world, 4D, well 5 if you count time.
Tesseract: a 4D solid.
-Society defines what is “real” based on a complex array of changing biases and this “agreed
reality becomes “objective reality”
-The Thomas Theorem
“Things that are perceived to be real are real in their consequences.
*Theory: a set of logically related statements that explain an entire class of events.
-Tell us what to expect
-Theories are ways of making sense of the world.
-Paradigm: a set of fundamental assumption that guides thinking and research.
<3 distinct “world- views” emerged to explain “social problems”
1. Structural Functionalism
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