SOC 105: MID TERM EXAM REVIEW
C. Wright Mills (1956) is a sociologist who coined the term 'Sociological Imagination' which is
the unusual type of creative thinking sociologists use, described as the awareness of the
relationship between the individual and the wider society.
Emilie Durkheim (1951) is a sociologist who looked into suicide data to develop a theory about
the relationship between suicide and social factors. Using suicide statistics, he gave the concept
of social facts: which is the patterned way of acting, thinking, and feeling, that exist outside of
any one individual.
Dorothy Smith is a sociologist who spoke about the idea of suicide being socially constructed,
and that people killed themselves but society creates suicide. What she means by this is that
there can be cases of suicide but it is only classified as suicide if it is decided so.
Charles Horton Cooley:
Charles Cooley is a sociologist who looked at smaller units as the seedbeds of society in the
sense that they shape people's ideals, beliefs, values, and social nature. Cooley was a symbolic
interactionist because he looked at intimate symbols of smaller units to understand the bigger
picture. He also theorized the looking glass self which states that we learn who we are by
interacting with others and that the self is a product of our social interactions; we see ourselves
as others see us.
Robert Brym is a sociologist who theorized about the cancer paradox which states that we
know how to do prevention from cancer around diet, and smoking but we only spend about
1.8% on prevention. This is because powerful interests benefit economically from this
imbalance towards finding cures instead of preventative action.
TOPIC 2: PART 1
George Herbert Mead:
A sociologist who believed that there are stages of the self. The first stage is symbols which are
gesture that form the basis of human communication. The second is role taking which is the process of mentally assuming the perspective of another person. Followed by generalized
others which are attitudes, viewpoints, and expectations of society as a whole that child takes
Gergen states that before communication technologies were around, we could only interact
with those around us. The numbers and diversities of relationships has increased creating a
multiplicity of identities and removing the essential self. The multiphrenetic experience is made
possible through these technologies as we are finding it harder to get stuff done. The multiple
fragments of self has created a fragmented sense of self.
Goffman created the concept impression management which means that we create certain
appearances and present ourselves in different ways to satisfy different people. He also calls
this the dramatrugical approach which means that people resemble performers in action. His
theory of face work states that we need to maintain a proper image of self to continue social
The systematic study of social behaviour and human groups, focusing on relationships that
influence people, and the establishment/ change of society.
The study of how we know what know, what we can know, and the movement towards
Common Sense Knowledge:
Knowledge that relies on commonly held beliefs rather than on a systematic analysis of facts.
A type of creative thinking described by C. Wright Mills as the awareness of the relationship
between the individual and the wider society.
The capacity of human beings to make choices. It entails the fact that humans do make choices
and enact them on the world. Latent Functions:
Unconscious or unintended functions that may reflect hidden purposes of an institution, for
example meeting a romantic partner in university.
Open, stated, conscious functions of institutions, involving intended and recognized
consequences of an aspect of a society, for example receiving a degree from a university.
Sociology that concentrates on the large scale of entire civilizations, for example Durkheim's
studies of cross-cultural suicide, or the study of international crime rates.
Sociology that concentrates on the study of small groups and uses experimental study in labs,
for example studies of how a teachers expectations can affect a students performance.
TOPIC 2: PART 1
The process whereby people learn the attitudes, values, and behaviours appropriate for
members of a particular culture.
Agents of Socialization:
There are many different social forces twill influence our lives and alter our self
image, these are the agents of socialization;
Family: The most important agent of socialization because it is the primary agent
School, peer group, media, workplace, and the state.
TOPIC 2: PART 2
The totality of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects and
behaviour including all objects and ideas within a society, values, customs and artifacts of
groups of people.
Physical or technological aspects of our daily lives such as food, houses, factories and raw
materials. Non-Material Culture:
Ways of using material objects as well as customs, beliefs, government, communication,
philosophies, language and symbols
Unlearned, biologically determined impulses that are common to all, for example needs such as
sleep, food, and water.
Unlearned, biologically determined responses to certain physical stimuli, for example sneezing
after getting pepper in your nose.
Common practices and beliefs that have been developed throughout all societies.
Anything that meaningfully represents something else within a culture. There can be one
symbol that is interpreted differently by different cultures. For example: flags
An abstract system of word meanings and symbols for all aspects of culture. This includes
speech, written characters, symbols and gestures, and expressions of non verbal
Culturally defined standards held by human beings about what is good or bad that serve as
guidelines for social life.
Formal and Informal Norms:
Formal norms are generally written down, and specify strict punishments for violations, for
Informal norms are generally understood but not precisely recorded, for example work place
Penalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social norm, which could be positive or
Norms deemed highly necessary to the welfare of society, often because they embody the most
cherished principles of people, for example incest.
Norms that govern our everyday behaviour like table manners. Dominant Culture:
The culture is the culture that is the most powerful, widespread, and influential within a social
or political entity, in which multiple cultures are present. This dominance can be achieved
through economic power, or even force and threat. The dominant