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Sociology Notes

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 1005
Professor
Polly
Semester
Spring

Description
Sociology 2/2/2012 9:07:00 AM 2/1/12 Sociology- scientific study of social behavior in human groups Focus on:  How relationships influence people’s attitudes and behavior  How societies develop and change C. Wright Mills describes sociological imagination as:  An awareness of the relationship between an individual and the wider society  A key element is ability to view one’s society as an outsider would, rather than only from the prospective experience  Understand the relationship between history and biography The Development of sociology  Philosophers/religious authorities of ancient and medieval societies made observations of human behavior  European theorists in 19 th century made pioneering contributions to development of science of human behavior  Enlightenment made people move away from religious explanations of society to scientific thought Emile Durkheim: (1858-1917)  Behavior must be understood within larger social context, how society maintains itself  “Founder” of Functionalism  Wanted to study sociology as a science- “Social fact”- everything can be studied as a social fact Karl Marx (1818-1883)= Class struggle  Society divided between two classes that clash in pursuit of their own interests  Worked with Engels  Emphasized group identifications and associations that influence one’s place in society  Working class needed to overthrow existing class system 1890-1960 Sociology is functionalism 1960 Sociology turns towards Marx and Conflict theory because of all the movements took place then Max Weber (1864-1920)  Rationalization  To comprehend behavior, must learn subjective meaning people attach to actions  Conflict theorist  Employ Verstehen (understanding; insight)  Interactionist perspective Sociological perspectives (word for word in textbook on test)  Functionalist perspective (macro theory)- emphasizes the way parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability  Conflict perspective (macro theory)- assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between competing groups  Interactionist perspective (only micro theory)- generalizes about everyday forms of social interaction 2/7/12 What is the Scientific Method?  Systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity and consistency in researching a problem  Concerned with the question of causality  Formulate the hypothesis o Hypothesis- speculative statement about relationship between two or more factors known as variables o Variable- measurable trait or characteristic subject to change under different conditions  Independent variable- variable hypothesized to cause or influence another  Dependent variable- action depends on influence of independent variable o Causal logic- involves relationships between a condition or variable and a particular consequence, with one event leading to the other o Correlation- exists when change in one variable coincides with change in another  Correlation does not necessarily indicate causation o 1. Observe 2. Hypothesis 3. Test 4. Conclusion/Theory Ethnography- observing a social setting for a long amount of time in order to immerse themselves in a culture Code of Ethics  1. Maintain objectivity and integrity in research  2. Respect subject’s right to privacy and dignity  3. Protect subjects from personal harm  4. Preserve confidentiality  5. Seek informed consent  6. Acknowledge collaboration and assistance  7. Disclose all sources of financial support 2/9/12 “An intersection of biography and history” (Mary Romero)  Chicana Domestic workers in Denver (Mexican descent born in US)  Interactionist perspective  25 interviews  Snowball sample- interviewed 1 person and asked them if they had in mind any other people she should interview 2/14/12 The culture of fear The more things improve, the more pessimistic we becomes The decline of the date and the rise of the college hook up Online survey of 615 students and interview with 270 students Culture- totality of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects and behavior  Culture includes ideas, values, customs and artifacts of a group of people Society- a large number of people who live in the same territory, who are relatively independent of people outside that area, and who participate in a common culture Dominant ideology- set of cultural beliefs and practices that help maintain powerful interests including  Social interests  Economic interests  Political interests Language- abstract system of word meanings and symbols for all aspects of culture  Includes speech, written characters, numerals, symbols and gestures and expressions of non verbal communication Globalization- worldwide integration of government policies, cultures, social movements and financial markets through trade and the exchange of ideas Diffusion- process by which cultural item spreads from group to group  Can occur through o Exploration, Military conquest, Missionary work, Mass media, Tourism, Internet All societies develop common practices and beliefs known as cultural universals  Adaptations to meet essential human needs  Innovation  Diffusion Material Culture vs. Non- material culture  Material Culture o Physical or technological aspects of daily life  Food items, houses, factories, raw materials  Non- material culture o Ways of using material objects as well as:  Customs, beliefs, philosophies, governments, patterns of communication Norms- established standards of behavior maintained by a society  Formal norms- generally written, specify strict punishments  Informal norms- generally understood but not precisely recorded 2/16/12 Cultural Variations Subcultures- segments of society that shares a distinctive pattern of customs, rules and traditions that differ from the pattern of the larger society Argot- specialized language that is developed that allows insiders to understand word with special meanings The culture of fear Fear is lucrative and politically useful The more things improve, the more pessimistic we become The decline of the date and the rise of the college hook up Online survey of 615 students and interview with 270 students 2/23/12 Socialization- process by which people learn the attitudes, values, and behaviors appropriate for members of a particular culture Agents of socialization:  Family o Gender role  Expectations regarding the proper behavior, attitudes and activities of males or females  School  Peer Group o Harassment as well as support  Mass media and technology o Online social media networks  Workplace  Religion and the State o Impacting life by reinstituting rites of passage one observed in agricultural communities and early industrial societies Socialization throughout the Life Course:  Rites of Passage- means of dramatizing and validating changes in a person’s statues  Life course approach- looking closely at social factors that influence people throughout their lives The Self and Socialization  Self- distinct identity that sets us apart from others (Mead’s definition) o The self is not a static phenomenon o Continues to develop and change Theoretical approaches to development of the self: Cooley  Looking glass self- stage of development not distinct; feelings toward ourselves developed though interaction with others o 1. How we present ourselves to others o 2. How we imagine people look at us o 3. How we develop feelings of ourselves based on that Mead’s stages of the Self:  1. Preparation- child imitates the actions of others  2. Play- Child takes the role of a single other, as if he or she were the other  3. Game- Child considers the roles of two or more others simultaneously (development of the self is present) Mead (the self generalized other)- 3 distinct stages of development; self develops as children grasp the roles of others in their lives Goffman (impression management, dramaturgical approach, face-work)- Self developed through the impressions we convey to others and to groups Feud (psychoanalysis)- Self influenced by parents and by inborn drives, such as the drive for sexual gratification Piaget (cognitive theory of development)- Four stages of cognitive development; moral development linked to socialization  Sensorimotor (0-2)- Babies begin to use senses and motor skills to understand the world  Preoperational (2-7)- Children have mental representations and use symbols to understand social world  Concrete Operational (7-11)- When a child can engage in logical operations  Formal Operational (12+)- When children can think abstractly 2/28/12 Resocialization- discarding former behavior patterns and accepting new ones as transition in one’s life Anybody’s Son Will Do It’s hard to train young teenagers to kill people when they have been taught from so young that killing is wrong. They do this with basic training which doesn’t really teach people skills, it changes their attitudes. Talks about Marines. They’re tough physically and mentally on the recruits to make them more able to adjust and to accept the new attitudes they must have. Acting as a group is also important. The unit spends every second together and gets punished together. 3/1/12 The presentation of self in everyday life- Goffman (Mead’s concept of the self) Impression management- how we manage impressions through interaction Dramaturgical model of human life- people are humans on a stage  Audience is people observing others to see what they’re doing  Costumes are the clothing in style  The parts are the roles people play  Dialogue is ritualized conversation “Hi, how are you” When you see another person, you want to find out everything about them so you know what to expect from them and they know what to expect from you and so that they know how to act for them.  Conduct  Appearance  What they say about themselves  Info from previous experience “only certain people are found in this social setting” Use expressions to understand people  Expressions they give o Verbal symbols  Expressions they give off o Things they do for reasons other than the info they conveyed When people are in front of you, you cant judge them correctly because they are going to adjust their behavior. You can only judge them after they leave. The person in front of others may want the others to think of him as a certain way so he has to influence the definition of the situation. He does this by acting in such a way that gives off the impression that the others will want to act in accordance with his plan.  Girls look popular from receiving a lot of calls so they made arrange for a lot of calls to be made Article more concerned with expressions given off (nonverbal, unintentional, theatrical) Gives example of Preedy (vacationing Englishman) on a beach in Spain  Acting to give off an impression  First pretends like no one is there and sees right through them  When going into ocean can jump in make splashes and turn around to let everyone see who it is OR can go into ocean like no distinction between land or sea as if natural for him Because we know that a person may seem different to give off a good impression, sometimes we break his actions into 2 parts  One that is easy for him to manipulate (speech)  One that he has little control over (the expressions he gives off) We use the parts that he cant control to check if the ones he can control (what he says) is actually true  Guest says oh I love the food and he is eating quickly and stuffing his mouth so he must really love it  Also if you want to check to see if A like B. Wait to see B in conversation with C and look at A’s expressions (more relaxed because not being observed) Working consensus- what two people agree to be the definition of a situation First impressions are so important because it’s harder to change your mind as the situation progresses.  Teacher has to act tough in beginning because if you don’t, they won’t take you seriously ever When things don’t turn out as we first thought they would we use “defensive practices” and “protected practices” Overall- when someone appears before others, he has a lot of motives to try to control the impression they get Social Interaction, Groups and Social Structures Social structure- way in which a society is organized into predictable relationships  Concepts of social interaction and social structure closely linked to groups and organizations Elements of social structure Statuses- any of the full range of socially defined positions within a large group or society, from the lowest to the highest position  Any person can hold several statuses at the same time  Ascribed vs. Achieved Status o Ascribed Status- “Assigned” to a person by society without regard for the person’s unique talents or characteristics  Racial background, gender, age o Achieved Status- comes largely through one’s own efforts  Ascribed status heavily influences one’s achieved status Social role- set of expectations for people who occupy a given status Role Conflict- when incompatible expectations arise from two or more social positions held by same person Role Strain- difficulties that arise when same social position imposes conflicting demands and expectations Groups- people with similar norms, values and expectations who interact on a regular basis  Primary group- small group with intimate, face-to-face association and cooperation  Secondary group- impersonal groups with little social intimacy or mutual understanding  In-groups- any groups/categories to which people feel they belong  Out-groups- any groups or categories to which people feel they do not belong o Conflict between in-groups and out-groups can turn violent  Reference group- any group individuals use for evaluating their own behavior o Serve a normative function by setting and enforcing standards of conduct and belief o Perform a comparison function by serving as a standard against which people can measure themselves and others Social networks- series of social relationships that link person directly to others and indirectly links him or her to still more people  Networking- involvement in social network, valuable skill when job hunting 3/6/12 Deviance- behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society  Involves violation of group norms, which may or may not be formalized into law  Stigma- labels society use to devalue members of certain groups Social control- techniques and strategies for preventing deviant behavior in any society  Obeying parents  Peer groups o Introduce informal norms  Bureaucratic workers have formals rules and regulation  Government legislates and enforces social norms Sanctions- penalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social norm  Ultimate formal sanction is death penalty  People often receive competing messages about how to behave  Functionalists- people must respect social norms if a society is to survive Conformity- going along with peers who have no special right to direct behavior Obedience- compliance with higher authorities in a hierarchical structure  Zimbardo experiment (Stanford jail)  Stanley Milgram experiment (learning with shocks) Durkheim’s Legacy  Punishments established within a culture help define acceptable behavior and contribute to stability  If improper acts not sanctioned, people might stretch standards of appropriate conduct  Anomie- normlessness, loss of direction felt in society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective Deviance does 3 things according to Durkheim  Clarifies rules  Unites and separates groups  Allows social change Merton’s theory of deviance  Anomie theory of deviance (strain theory) - how people adapt in certain ways by conforming to or by deviating from cultural expectations o Conformist o Innovator o Ritualist o Retreatist o Rebel Interactionist perspective Cultural Transmission Theory  Cultural transmission- one learns how to behave in social situations, whether properly or improperly Differential association- process through which exposure to attitudes favorable to criminal acts leads to the violation of rules (Sutherland) Social disorganization theory- attributes increases in crime and deviance to the absence or breakdown of communal relationships and social institutions  Some claim social disorganization theory seems to "blame the victim" Labeling theory- attempts to explain why certain people are viewed as deviants while others are not; also known as social reaction approach  Response to an act, not the behavior, determines deviance  We label people as stupid so they think they’re stupid, they conform to the social role you put on them 3/8/12 Crime: violation of criminal law for which some governmental authority applies formal penalties  Key ingredients in incidence of street crime appear to be drug use and widespread firearms Even with current declines, reported crimes well above those of other nations  Explanations of decline in violent crime nationwide o Community-oriented policing and crime prevention programs o New gun control laws o Massive increase in the prison population preventing inmates from committing crimes outside the prison Types of crime  Organized crime o Work of a group that regulates relations between various criminal enterprises involved in various illegal activities  White-collar and technology-based crime o White- collar crime- illegal acts committed in the course of business activities  Transnational crime o Crime that occurs across multiple national borders 3/13/12 Midterm- 23 multiple choice, 3 definitions, 2 essays Functionalism Conflict Theory Interactionist perspective Criminal justice- retribution (people pay for a crime they do) and rehabilitation (can a criminal become a member of functional society again?) We have highest documented incarceration rate in the world and have 2.2 million people in jail Durkheim vs. Foucault on Deviance  Durkheim (French)- deviance serves 3 functions 1. Clarify rules 2. Creates in groups/out groups 3. Allows for social change o Any form of punishment or legal norms acted either as a repressive function (trying to stop a crime) or as a restitute (restores) functions o Traditional society you see more repressive and in modern society we moved to restorative (restore social order within society) o Considers positive aspects of deviance (teaching people how not to be deviant)  Foucault (French)- Focused on relationship between power and knowledge (can’t talk about knowledge and not understand it as a relation to power) o Thought about how power moved about through bodies o First to articulate power as bodily o Considers negative functions of deviance o Argues that we didn’t move to more lenient forms of punishment (prison terms and fines are not more lenient than cutting off hands, it just works differently and possibly more effective) o He sought to look how it had a negative effect on bodies o His assumption is the forms of punishments we have today (largely focus on discipline) have end result of creating docile bodies problematic and negative effect on society o Also argued that with these changes of punishment(repressive to restorative), increases deviance o Docile Bodies  Wants to understand how the prison functions in a negative and how it instills discipline in its prisoners  If the prison functions in a certain way, isn’t it true about all social institutions focus in this way  Talks about space and time of prison o Socialization and deviance and discipline creates docile bodies- submissive, obedient o Example- we have been conditioned that when we hear the bell in school we leave class and go to next one. In college, we don’t have bell because we don’t need it. This is bad because we aren’t free thinking individuals. Docile Bodies article The body can be used, transformed and improved. The army does this, so do hospitals. Emphasis in 18 thcentury. Work on the body part by part not as a whole (movements, gestures, attitudes) Object of control- the economy, the efficiency of movements, their internal organization Then there is a coercion supervising the process and activity of the body These are disciplines. Discipline increases utility and makes you obedient, takes away from your body and redistributes it It’s adopted in hospitals and schools during certain times (like an outbreak of epidemic diseases or the invention of the rifle) Discipline pays a lot of attention to detail 1. Discipline sometimes requires enclosure  Gates of factories will only open to let employees in in order to prevent theft, distractions, cabals 2. Discipline organizes an analytical space  Partitioning- each individual has its space so you can find people and keep order 3. Functional sites- to use the same place for different purposes  Factories were set up with each floor as a different department  On each floor was set up in rows to watch the individuals and compare skills 4. In discipline, the elements are interchangeable  The unit is classified by rank o Rank made education possible (instead one of person working with teacher one-on-one while everyone else was idle) o Teacher was also able to supervise everyone and hierarch everyone o Everyone has an assigned seat Summary: Discipline needs some type of order so that you can account for everyone in an organized manner. 3/20/12 Midterms: 2/4 1. List and give an example of each of the 4 main agents of socialization (social institutions) 2. Compare and contrast the differences between culture and society 3. Discuss the primary differences between the functionalist and conflict views on religion or the family. 4. Focused on crime and deviance by sociological perspective, describe differences between Durkheim’s functionalist approach and Foucault’s approach on crime and punishment. Sociological perspectives on social institutions Functionalist view- any society must accomplish 5 major tasks  1. Replace personnel  2. Teach new recruits
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