SOCI 1F90 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Montesquieu, Michel Foucault, Critical Race Theory

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10 Aug 2016
Sociology Test Chapters 1-4
Chapter 1- Introduction To Sociology
Peter Berger: transformation of consciousness
oSees the general and the particular of the sociological imagination: ability to look
at unique events or circumstances and recognize larger general features involved
 recognizing general social patterns
o Sees the strange and the familiar of the sociological imagination: seeing normal
and familiar circumstances as strange  changing point of view
oBeing able to discern between a “common sense” and a sociological perspective
C Wright Mills: the sociological imagination
oSociological Imagination- connects our lives with larger social realities
oViewing yourself as a product of social forces, looking at yourself from a new
oThree Main Questions:
1. What are the structures of this society like?
2. Where does society fit into the broader picture of human history?
3. How do the structures of this society and the historical period of which I am a
part of influence me and those around me?
Common Sense Vs. Sociological Perspective
oCommon sense ideas are uncritical and based on bad research
oA sociological perspective dissects the relationships between individuals and the
larger social networks in which they live
Living on the margins of society and living through a social crisis promote the
sociological perspective
Dominant: white, middle-upper class, able bodied, straight, Christian, male
oCertain groups gain privilege
oMost advantaged groups are least likely to use the sociological perspective
Sociology- the systematic study of human groups and their interactions
oAllows us to assess the truth of “common sense”
oEmpowers us to be active participants in society
oHelps us to see the opportunities and constraints in our lives
Social Structures- relatively stable patterns of social relations
oMicrostructures: patterns of intimate relations formed during face to face
interaction (common sense formed, family, friends)
oMacrostructures: overarching social patterns of social relations relying outside of
intimate circles (class, gender, government)
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oGlobal Structures: social structures that lie outside and above national level
(worldwide travel and communication patterns, most sociologically important)
Three Revolutions that led to the birth of sociology and imagination
1. The Scientific Revolution- conclusions about society must be based on evidence
oReligion & Scientific Experimentation
oAuguste Comte used Law of 3 Stages to define how the mind advances in
different societies
- Theological Stage: religious outlook
- Metaphysical Stage: questioning teachings of the church, people have
their own insight
- Positive Stage: world interpreted through scientific lens
2. The Democratic Revolution- people create society and human intervention can solve
social problems
oAmerican, Canadian and Haitian revolutions
oMachiavelli’s “The Prince” suggests human behaviour is motivated by self-
interest and desire for material gain
oDescartes believes we are thinking beings “Cogito ergo sum”
oHobbes believes people are driven by 2 passions: fear of death & desire for
oRousseau suggests humans began in a natural state where desires are self-
centred and began to see benefits of working together as society developed
3. The Industrial Revolution- created a host of social problems that attracted the
attention of social thinkers
oAgriculture  Technology
oRural houses  Urban cities
oUrbanization causing child labour, poverty, increase in crime
Globalization- worldwide process including the production, distribution and
consumption of technological, political, economic and sociocultural goods and services
oCapitalism has inequities in wealth distributions
Chapter 2- Classical Sociology
Theory- a statement of how and why specific facts or variables are reached
Theoretical Approaches:
oConflict Theory
oSymbolic Interactionism
oFeminist Theories, Post-Structuralist Theory, Queer Theory, Post-Colonial
Theory, Anti-Racist Theories
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Functionalism- a macro-level approach that sees society as a complex system whose
parts work together to promote solidarity and stability
oAssumes natural order and focuses on stability at the expense of conflict
Emile Durkheim- Functionalist *
Key Concepts:
oSocial Facts- general social features that exist on their own and are independent
of individual manifestations, provide context for our thinking
oCollective Conscience- totality of beliefs that are common to the average person,
drives our behaviours
oAnomie- social forces that exert pressure on the individual  feelings of
oSocial Solidarity- individuals firmly anchored in the social world
oMechanical Solidarity- describes early societies based on similarities and
oOrganic Solidarity- describes later societies organized around interdependence
and the increasing division of labour, we need each other to survive and coexist
oDidn’t focus on individual cases, focused on social factors
oSuicide rates strongly influenced by anomie
oThe more social solidarity a group has (less anomie), the less likely people are to
commit suicide
oPsychological disorders and suicide are not directly related
Herbert Spencer
oSurvival of the Fittest- interpretation of biological principles that justify why only
the strong should survive
oNatural Selection- environmental pressures allow certain beneficial traits to be
passed on to future generations
oSocial Darwinism- societies evolve according to the same principles as biological
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