SOC 633 | Midterm Study Notes | Candice Bentham | 500385130
15 true and false and 3 short answers but only need to answer 2 (NOTES IS ALLOWED)
EXAMPLE: The metaphor of the panopticon prison is a good illustration of the concept of Foucault theory of power?
True or False
- Need to know the claims and arguments of author
- Need to know about concepts theories and ideas covered in class readings
- Explain concepts X in your own words, no example just focus on the concept
- Illustrate concept Y and use a social example
- A Question ABOUT SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONS ** AND DISCOURSE
WEEK ONE | The Individual and Society
Week One | Lecture Slide
The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relation between the two within society
- Our central problematic: what is the relationship between biography/self/ individuals and the broader social
Sociological struggles to make sense of how social factor deeply animate us whilst also recognizing that we are
biological being, as well as animated by our minds, the thinking of sociology involves;
(a) The social factors
(b) The biological factors
(c) Subjectivity (conscious vs. unconscious)
Tips 1-3. The individual- social relationship
Tip 4&5. Humans are meaning making being: many choices, ways of feeling and thinking affect our experience of
reality. However we are subjects to material constraints—conditions that are beyond our will
Tip 6&7. We live in a changing social world, individuals, society is in constant flux, the social world is best thought of as
alive, organic, even while some elements seem so static and enduring
Messner Reading: Constructing the Sexual Self | Becoming 100 Percent Straight
A clear understanding of the subjective aspects of social life- one’s bodily feelings, emotions and reaction to others.
- Messner has assumed that was fully and always heterosexual, his readings go beyond the explanations of
nature or nurture.
The idea of ‘studying up’ rarely occurs to sociologist unless and until we live in a time when those challenge the
institution privilege of elites.
- In sports it is assumed that people who identify as heterosexual or straight require no explanation since they
are acting according to the social norm.
- In-group memory work can produce an important, productive insight on social reality though not a complete
- Studies have stated, for heterosexuals it is natural part of development to have gone through bisexual or even
homosexual stage in life.
- Story with Timmy, at the time the boy hardly thought about thee incidents other than to brush them off as,
moments that made him uncomfortable
Kinsey found that a large number of adult heterosexual men had previously experience sexual desires for males at a
younger age. The Freudian theory of bisexuality states that all people go through a stage in life when they are
attracted to people of the same sex.
- High level of homophobia led to the deny and repress of Messner own homoerotic desires through a did and
overt rejection of Timmy
Sublimation of homophobia desires into aggressive, violent act as serving to construct a clear line of demarcation
between self and other
- Some often undergoing this desire consciously acting to control and regulate other perception of them by
constructing a front stage persona that differed from what is the true inner self.
- It is more than repression rather than just being buried the desire or impulse is transformed.
Conscious. The surface meaning of making a decision and experiences at the time
Unconscious. The underlying meaning desire animating our actions
Social context. The social norms and values expected
Cultivating Sociological Images | Course Reader Notes
Sociology can often be split into empiricist, methodologist, and theorist.
1. Empiricists are passionately obsessed with the minute of social life and seek to describe as much as they can
in greater detail.
2. Methodologist give their intellectual energies to rendering the tools and stats of social research
3. Theorist are obsessed with the intricacies of human thought (the search for more general lays and
understanding the rule of the game)
1 SOC 633 | Midterm Study Notes | Candice Bentham | 500385130
THE DAY AND ITS HABITS
William James called the daily routines seen in each persons day to day life style a ‘flywheel of habit’, he claims that
this is what makes social life work.
THE WORLD AS A PRISON
All societies across the world develop definite identifiable patterns, these social structures are the patterns of
predictable human actions that cluster around key problems in living and they vary in all societies.
EXAMINE SOCIAL ACTIONS AND MEANINGS ‘HOW PEOPLE ACT AROUND OTHERS’
We are never solitary individuals and are always depending on others for a sense of who we are.
Max Weber claims that social actions refer to human life when it takes into account the meaning people have of other
people. It is linked to inter-subjectivity whereby people make sense of social life through enter the minds of other they
- In other words, we dwell in the minds of others
S OCIAL ACTIONS LIST.
1. ** RATIONAL ACTIONS . Our actions are shaped by ends and means
2. Value actions. When we take a moral or ethical position
3. Practical actions. When our actions are guided by solving daily problems
4. Instrumental actions. Perusing ones own end e.g when we use a teacher to get knowledge
5. Emotional actions. When our actions are shaped by feelings
6. Traditional actions. They are shaped by habit like brushing your teeth
BRIDGE ACTIONS AND STRUCTURES: HOW DO WE CONNECT INDIVIDUALS WITH SOCIETY
A CTION STRUCTURE DEBATE . The tension between the broad mapping of general social structures and the concrete and
social actions of individual
- How, in short can be develop and maintain a balance of individuality and sociality in life and society?
Cultures might been seen as a way of life or design for life, but there are always alive and changing
Sociologist are concerned with showing how certain beliefs come to arise with the ways in which they have come to be
leant and organized into people’s lives and the overall roles and task that they play.
Semiotics – examine key symbols look at the chain of signs and the process of signification
Verstehen – Understand the way people come to see each other
Dramaturgy – how do people come to see themselves (identity and roles)
INTEGRATE THE MATERIAL WORLDS: HOW ARE WE CONSTRAINED BY OUR BODIES
We live in a world that is undeniable material and have a brutish, physical reality about them.
Materialism is a philosophical stance that explains nature of reality in terms of matter.
The material world directs you to study the evolution, the economics and the environment.
1. The Evolutionary thinking directs us to see our bodily tensions and limitations
2. The Economics thinking directs us to the resource we work for an live through
3. The Environment makes use aware of the wider universe and the sever limits it places upon our actions
WEEK TWO | Introduction to Social Construction and Psychoanalysis
Sexuality and Modernity Victorian Sexuality | Course Reader
The Victorian era became dominated by the belief that an individual’s sex and sexuality form the most basic core of
their identity and freedom. It formed a sense of what was appropriate sexuality wise.
- Within the family
- Private and between parents
- Reproduction legitimate sexuality
Scientific study produced inappropriate sexual species; (1) The pervert (2) The hysteric (3) the prostitute * (4) The
masturbator * (5) the homosexual
Freud is known to bring sexuality into the social world in the twentieth century, the Victorian centrality of reproduction
sexuality and the rigid distinction of masculinity and femininity
- He provides a conceptualization of how the natural materials of sexuality (instant) are transformed
- He divides the mind into unconscious and the conscious
- He relies heavily on the opposition of the mind and the body
- Gender is conceived as the process of becoming, whereby the child will encounter and resolve thee
complexes in contrasting ways
2 SOC 633 | Midterm Study Notes | Candice Bentham | 500385130
Constructing Sex, the Sexual, and the Erotic | By Tracy Steele | Chapter Readings
What is Sex? In short the meaning of sex is a product of both individual and social factors, however the purpose and
ultimate significance of individual sexual interaction may differ the underlying sense that we know.
- Social constructionist perspective of sex claim, that sex rather than being natural and instinctual is in fact a
principle that is learnt and produced within a cultural context.
THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION PARADIGM
Segal identifies three intellectual traditions that have dominated western thinking about sex
(1) THE SPIRITUAL
(2) THE BIOLOGICAL
(3) THE SOCIAL
Of essentialist sexuality is fundamentally a product of organic and biochemical process, a function of out innate nature.
They believe that by nature individuals are heterosexual or homosexual, we are born straight or gay. Men are more
sexual and promiscuous than women because they are programmed to spread their seed.
Social Constructionist it is though out inactions with others that we learn how to interpret and evaluate the world
- They also assert social hierarchy and the role it plays in giving meaning to the notion that individuals at the
social top are most likely to have their definitions and views enforced as reality.
- For constructionist sexuality is an arrangement of cultural norms values and expectations which themselves
are fundamentally shape by hierarchies of the special power relations.
- They argue that if sex and the realm of the sexual were natural, we would not have to be taught what sex was,
it would take consistent forms across society.
Definition of S-E-X
Despite the existence of a wide variety of social identities, in modern America the designation of having sex is typically
limited to a quite narrow range of erotic expressions.
- In our culture’s hegemonic (culturally dominant) men are known to be sexual actors, who seek sex
- Homosexuality. If we don’t really count same sex sexual activities as ‘real sex’ what is it considered?
- It is important to note that our cultures give us important cues as to the culturally legitimate for of sex.
The shift away from reproductively oriented construction of sex renders the heterosexual imperative embedded in
contemporary construction particularly anachronistic.
- Structurally SEX and romantic love may be conceptually defined as separate and distinct categories, but at the
interpersonal level these distinctions appear to dissolve quite quickly
WEEK THREE | Historicizing & regulating sexuality
Moving Beyond Deviance, Power, Regulations and Governmentality by Deborah Brock | Course Reader
MOVING BEYOND DEVIANCE
Deviance refers to any behaviour or appearance that violates social norms, rules, or laws. It is about defining and
regulating differences particularly moral differences.
- For example, jaywalking is a rule violation – A deviance act
3 SOC 633 | Midterm Study Notes | Candice Bentham | 500385130
- Often we resist the label because we regard the labeling of actions as deviant as excessive attempt to regulate
- We are all implicated in the social relations of deviance when we mark people as difference and than speak of
then in a critical manner.
- This is demonstrated when the labeling actions invokes feelings of shame, sometimes this involves sexuality.
Deviant behaviours are not necessarily uncommon. Example a married person having an affair is quite common but it is
concerned to be deviant because it violates social values.
- Emile Durkheim believed that it is only as a result of the creation of norms that the possibility of violating those
norms exists. Good behaviours reminds us what is Bad and vice versa
- Teleological assumes that things happen the way they do because they serve some ultimate purpose or
contribution to some ultimate foal or end
Parsons believed that gender inequality is functionally necessary, also that women and men should have separate roles
(men had greater social power than women and this is functionally needed for the maintenance of a society)
- Liazos points out that it is marginalized population whose actions continue to be explored rather than the
actions of people in control.
- Focus remains that deviant and the problem the deviant represents
- Deviancy assumes a state of normalcy against which difference and rule breakers must be judged.
Heterosexuality is located as the normal, taken for granted, indeed even the natural form of sexual expression.
However, we continue to name homosexuality as the problem even though our objective may be to explain why
homosexuality should not be the problem.
Discourse. Is an organized system of knowledge that make possible what can be spoken about and how one can
speak about it
Is being exercise when we are located within a particular vision or way of seeing that we cannot imagine alternative to
it; it shapes our thoughts, preferences, and acceptance of ourselves within the existing order of things.
- Usually power is only visible to us when it involves coercion. It is our task here to try to make power more
- It involves the ability of a person to put into place a definition of a situation
- The establishment of the term through which events will be understood.
- The establishment of the term through which one can discuss the issue at hand
Now lets take a look at the three approach to power (1) Power in Liberal Political Theory (2) The Power within theorist
of social inequality seen in the Marxist theory (3) Power in governmental
literature Foucault theory
POWER IN LIBERAL POLITICAL
This does not mean that power is equally shared among all people, rather people who accumulate wealth and authority
to attain power do so largely because of their ability to maximize their given social opportunities.
- Social Darwinism, believes that there is a hierarchy of superiority and inferiority among human groups.
- Power is something that is possessed by individual seeking to maximize their own opportunities and rewards.
- Generally power is available to those who seek to achieve it and is open to anyone who wishes to address the
- Power is regarded as something that can be possessed, that is, power is property of individuals
- The two fundamental classes are ruling class (bourgeoisie) and the working class (proletariat)
- Having power mean having the ability to organize social life
The Marxist View
Power in capitalism has largely been conceptualized as the exercise of social control by the ruling class. Power is
largely exercised by hegemony in which domination is secured through the organization of consent.
- Domination is much stable and secure, those who ruled come to regard their interests as being the same as
those who ruled.
- Reification occurs when a society is presented as if it has needs and intentions
- Where there is power there is also resistance to power, this is evident in the plethora of social movements that
have developed to contest power
- Marxist critical theory which approaches power as domination and social control
Firstly a basis on post modernism— the measurement and understanding of human behaviour and the relations to
social progress. Post modernism challenged the being that there is an underlying reality that can be discovered and
controlled through scientific practices.
- These post modernist rejected the belief that there is an essential meaning to being human as well as the
universalizing of social life and historical change, thereby challenging humanist thought
4 SOC 633 | Midterm Study Notes | Candice Bentham | 500385130
For Foucault there is more to power than domination, repression, and inequalities. He is not concerned with who has
power because for him it is not something that anyone can possess and exercise over others.
- Rather it is a multiplicity of force relations. Power is everywhere. And since it comes from everywhere it is not
an institution and not a structure, it is the name that one attributes to a complex situations.
- The state, law, and social classes are not sources of power but rather the terminal form power takes
- So while power is not tangible it does have material effect. He also believes that power and knowledge exist in
a circular relationship (power produces knowledge, knowledge produces power)
What is Discourse? It is an organized system of knowledge that makes possible what can be spoken about and how
one can speak about it.
- in Foucault use of the term, discourse do not represent truths