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Sociology Midterm.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

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Sociology Midterm Review Sociological imagination and sociological theories CH 1 NS, CH 1, 3, 7 SIQ, 1 Becker  Concept of sociological imagination:  C . Wright Mills (1959)  Individual experiences connected to a social context Main Sociological Paradigms 1. Structural Functionalism (order theory; macro 2. Conflict theory(change theory; macro) 3. Symbolic Interactionism (change theory; micro 4. Feminist Theories (change theory; macro and micro) How does each theory explain society? What are the criticisms of each theory? Application to: Olympics, funerals, songs etc. Structural Functionalism  Stability, equilibrium  Consensus  Analogy to human body  Interrelated parts  Functionality of parts  Talcott Parsons, Emile Durkheim Conflict theory  Focus on economic conditions  Class conflict between working-class and owners of capital  Class-consciousness  Karl Marx Symbolic Interactionism  Focus on micro-level interactions  Subjectivity  Communication through symbols  Interactions create society Feminist Theory  Focus on gender relations and gender based inequalities  Attention paid to women’s social reality  Example: Scholarship on unpaid labour Notes: Structural functionalist’s argue that funeral services serve to increase social solidarity. Funerals provide public social support for individuals who are privately grieving. Feminist theorists highlight how masculinity is created; in our society men are expected to be stoic. Feminist theory focuses on gender relations, gender differences and gender socialization Conflict theorists problematize the role of religion in society. According to this theory religion pacifies the working class and prevents the development of class consciousness, which is needed to overthrow capitalism Symbolic internationalists suggest that symbols and material objects are important in understanding how grieving is constructed and actively created. This paradigm examines our micro-level interactions and the use and interpretation of symbols Structural functionalists, rather than conflict theorists would focus on the functions and benefits of a funeral service for society Research methods and ethics  Ch 20 NS; Ch 6 SIQ; Ch 2 and Ch 3 Becker  Experiments  Surveys (self-administered questionnaires, interviews)  Observatory Studies (participant observation, Ethnography)  Secondary data analysis (documentary analysis, Historical sociology, use of official statistics Research methods  What are the strengths and limitations of each research method?  Qualitative versus quantitative methods  Cross sectional versus longitudinal research Research ethics  Ethics approval process: Informed consent, consent letter  Confidentiality, anonymity Ethics  What ethical issues are raised by:  Philip Zimbardo’s prison study (Ch 6 SIQ)  Stanley Milgrams study of obedience  Laud Humphreys study of the tearoom trade  The Tuskegee syphilis experiment Notes: One of the key limitations of observational studies is: generalizability. The findings of a study of one social group may not be generalizable to other social groups (i.e. Findings of biker gang study in Toronto may not apply to biker gangs in other cities. Positivism is old style research, authoritative research using set criteria. Fits with experimental method Culture  Ch 2 NS; Ch 10 SIQ; Ch 4 Becker  What is culture? What are culture universals?  Ethnocentrism versus cultural relativism  Ideal versus real culture  Contemporary culture defined by processes of :  Globalization  Postmodernism  Consumerism What are the key features of each?  What is meant by the term “the commercialization of childhood”?  What was Pierre Bourdieu’s theory? (economic capital converted into social and cultural capital)  Why is social and cultural capital important?  What are the culture wars? Notes: The concept of “social capital” emphasizes the between networks and connections and economic revenues. Socialization  Ch 3 NS; Ch 4 and 5 SIQ; Ch 5 Becker  What is the nature versus nurture debate?  What is the relevance of research on feral children, neglected children and twin studies for this debate?  What is socialization?  Agents of socialization  Types:  Primary  Secondary  Gender  Resocializaton (voluntary/involuntary)  Anticipatory  Charles Cooley: “looking-glass self”  George Herbert Mead: “taking the role of the other” (1.Imitative stage 2. Play stage 3. Game stage); “generalized other”  Erving Goffman, involuntary resocialization, “total institutions”  Gender socialization: children’s books. Deborah tannen’s research on the glass ceiling, workplaces, communication styles that prevents women of advancing)  School shootings, Jackson Katz Problem of school shootings to gender socialization. How we construct masculinity, predisposes some males to lethal violence  Debate: Are there gender differences in friendships?  Mass media: Stern’s study of television consumption by young girls  Stuart Hall (dominant meanings, negotiated meanings, oppositional meanings) Some are not critical of media messages others are not. Concept: hidden curriculum  Schools teach us the values of the larger society help us to become good citizens (structural Functionalism)  Schools are aligned with the interests of capitalists and merely create obedient workers who will accept social hierarchy (conflict theory). Families  Ch 10 NS; Ch 18 and 19 SIQ; Ch 6 and 7 Becker  Defining families and why this is important  Social reproduction (The work of families in family life)  A sociological perspective on family (families are socially constructed and vary over time and place)  Biological/ Essentialist perspective (strongly influenced structural functionalism)  How do structural functionalism, symbolic internationalism, conflict theory, Marxist feminist theory, and feminist theory approach the study of families?  What are the limitations of each perspective?  Talcott Parsons (working in a functionalist perspective highlighting the importance of the heterosexual nuclear male breadwinner family), Frederick Engels (emergence of private property, monogamy, control over women’s sexuality), Meg Luxton (developing a Marxist feminist perspective, unpaid women labour) Notes: Feminist perspectives on the family examined aspects of family life that had previously gone unexamined Conflict perspective on the family examined how industrialization changed family life, specifically that it created a division between the public sphere of work and the private sphere of family.  What are the trends in family life? What are the reasons for these trends?  Question: For each, identify whether the major trend is delayed, declining, or increasing:  Marriage (delayed)  Fertility (declining)  Diversity (increasing)  Home-leaving (delayed)  How was the family life structured in the following periods:  Hunting and gathering society  Pre-industrial society  The industrial period  Contemporary society:  1950s and 60s (50s were prosperous period which fostered the family wage which allowed males to be breadwinners and support their wives, the nuclear family taking hold in 50s marriage and fertility rates changing and reversing trends in earlier decades.)  1970s and 80s (recession in 70s pushed women into labour market, families changed because they needed secondary wage, economy changed family life)  1990s- present Education  Ch 12 NS; Ch 2 SIQ; Ch 8 Becker  How sociology graduates do post-graduation  Applying our 4 paradigms to education  C
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