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Lecture 9

SYG 2010 Lecture 9: perspective

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Shawn Gauldon

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Sociological perspective: view that sees general patterns of society in the lives of particular people The sociological perspective helps us to see general social patterns in the behavior of particular individuals It also encourages us to realize that society guides our thoughts and deeds Objective study of subjective phenomena Culture valuesbelief Norms objective inquiry about social structuresocial organizing principles Culture: characteristics of a group of people values of members of a group language speaksymbols used material goods they create dress types of social relationships most common nature and types of institution rituals roles even concepts of the universe Symbols: anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share culture the meaning of the same symbols varies from society to society, within a single society, and over time Values: abstract ideals (attitude, perspective) Norms: rules, principles, or expectations that guide behavior spoken or unspoken what brings shame, what is meritorious reect values based on beliefs about what sort of behavior is expected to happen in a given social context Norms elicit conformity String relationship between ones normative beliefs and behavior Thus, behavior is more determined by society rather than the individual Structure of norms depends on ones position in the social structure and on culture e.g., sitting at dinner, using particular type of utensil, manners Social Structure: repeated, regular and enduring patterns of social relations interactions Rule systems institutions Rules often coalesce into institutions marriage, family, political parties, military Institutions created through social interaction agency Smallest unit=groups that form the patternsfollow shared rules Groups=collections of people who interact based on shared expectations (norms) Aect our perceptions and our practices coercively is gender a social structure? Yes it is a culturally variant and profoundly shapes the way we think, behave, and allocate resources Social Status: ones place in society Rung on a ladder or horizontal position How ones place in society shapes personal perceptions, behaviors, and problems intersects with social structure What accounts for social problems? Structure and agency locating the root of social problems Structure: enduring patterns of social arrangements within a society, group, organization or time period. Includes social institutions, laws. Inuences (limits or propels) choices and opportunities available from which one might choose
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