Problem Areas -- Chapters 1-10
Sociological Imagination: the capacity to shift from one perspective to another; to be
able to shift from the perspective of the personal experience to the grander,
societal scale that caused or inuenced that personal experience
-- the ability to view human lives as shaped by social forces; recognize
relationship between individuals and society; **INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETY
ALWAYS EXIST IN RELATION TO ONE ANOTHER
Structural Functionalism: Functionalism: focuses on how social systems operate and
produce consequences. Structuralism: a way of explaining social forms and their
contributions to social cohesion. IE: this is the part of society we call organized
religion, and this is how it functions..
-- assumption that society functions much like a machine. Examines
structure and function of systems that make up society.. society needs institutions
to work properly so there is order, harmony, STABILITY.
-- 3 different types of functions: 1. manifest: intended. 2. latent: neither intended
nor recognized(hidden). 3. latent dysfunction: unintended, unrecognized and
negative in consequences. IE: education system. 1. training young to teach. 2.
promotion of conservative ideologies; promotes conformity. 3. perpetuation of
existent social inequalities (race, social class, gender)
Symbolic Interactionism: looks at the meaning(symbolic part) of daily social interactions
of individuals. IE: two males saying Yo, whas up? and bringing their sts
together represents friendship
-- ** concerned with how individuals subjectively respond to objective
situations (context is everything). People in exact same situations respond
differently. Key concepts: interaction, interpretation, meaning and symbols(signs
that have shared meaning for members of a group, which include language,
facial expressions, social roles, material objects)
Sociology by Audience
1. Professional: generates very specic information; academic world of sociology
departments, scholarly journals, conferences.. etc.
2. Critical: the conscience of professional sociology; aims to make sure that
professional sociologists do not become lost in esoteric debates that they lose sight
of the issues of the fundamental importance to the discipline.
3. Policy: generating sociological data for use in the development of social policy for
govt -- 3 main areas are education, health, social welfare
4. Public: addresses audience outside of academy (ie: universities/colleges); can be
said to be in it just for the publicity.
Auguste Comte - 1st positivist, 1st to point out that sociology was more more of a
science. -- believed that through scientic study you could uncover the laws that
govern society and therefore shape and even improve society and social life.
Elements of Scientic Study: Observation, Comparison(of different types of societies),
Historical Analysis(how things evolve/change). Science involves: observation (deliberate and systematic; must follow accepted
methods and procedures), analysis (identify patterns in observations), and must
be public (published in various forms b/c it is a cooperative effort)
Quantitative Research: associated with positivism(objective reality ready to be
discovered); useful for testing hypotheses and generalizing results.. go out
study, come back and explain to everyone else. All experts should have same
objective study found. IE: surveys (problem: doesnt allow you to clarify your
- Dependent variable depends on independent variable. ** Correlation does not
- Valitidity refers to accuracy; authenticity of reserach.. reliability refers to
dependability or consistency; not as important b/c social phenomena change
Qualitative Research: focuses on the subjectivity of both the researcher and the
researched; very detailed; understand something on its own. IE: open-ended
interview, which allows people to elaborate on experience, more in-depth.
-- Ethnography: understand and explain group of interacting people;
involves participant-observation(eld notes) and interviewing.
-- Content Analysis: gathering and analyzing the content of text; search for
themes and patterns in content of text. IE: in advertising, women- experiential
knowledge I tried this and it worked.. vs. men- technical knowledge this is why
this product works..
-- Discourse Analysis: analysis of a conversation, speech or written text in
search for patterns.
Research Ethics -- Key principles: - informed consent, avoidance of harm(physical,
social, psychological, legal, nancial), anonymity and condentiality.
Cases of Ethical Controversy
Obedience Study: Revealed anyone will do awful things under obedience. Issues:
deception, caused stress(harm)
Tea-Room Trade: Revealed 50% lived heterosexual lives, but engaged in homosexual
acts. Issues: consent and deception
Stanford Prison Experiment: Participants got caught up in roles they were assigned.
Issue: psychological and physical harm
What Kinds of Cultures are There?
Dominant Culture: In Canada, white, English-speaking, Christian, European stock,
middle class; Ones who have political and economic power to impose values,
language and ways of behaving.
Subculture (subordinate culture): groups who feel power of dominant culture and exist in
opposition to it. There is no signicant opposition or challenge to dominant
culture. IE: lawyers, sociologists, stamp collectors, computer nerds.. etc.
Counterculture: reject selected elements of dominant culture (ie: clothing style, sexual
norms) IE: goths, biker gangs, hippies in the 60sHigh Culture: the elite, distinct minority VS. Popular Culture: culture of the majority,
usually do not have power (working class, less educated, women, racialized
Mass Culture: similar to popular culture except they believe they can take an active role
in shaping the culture they consume
Norms: rules/standards of behavior that are expected of a group, society or culture
Positive Sanction: reaction that supports behavior; reward for doing the right thing IE:
smile, high ve, supportive comment, work bonuses
Negative Sanction: reaction designed to tell offenders they have violated a norm. IE:
rolling eyes, mild joke, nes for overdue books
Types of Norms: (Note: the differences that exist among these norms relate to the
nature of the reaction their violation produces)
1. Folkways: norms governing day-to-day matters IE: improper etiquette, double-dipping
2. Mores: norms that you MUST not violate; against the law IE: rape, killing, vandalism,
3. Taboo:norm so deeply ingrained in our social consciousness that the mere thought or
mention of it is enough to arouse disgust or revulsion IE: incest, child pornography,
cannibalism, eating dog
Family is the rst agent of socialization; often powerful. The means of socializing a child
vary from culture to culture.
Culture and Personality- a school of thought that attempted to identify and describe an