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SOAN 3070- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 29 pages long!)


Department
Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 3070
Professor
Anna Borisenkova
Study Guide
Midterm

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U of G
SOAN 3070
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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January 12th, 2017
Week 1, Lecture 2
→ Perceptions
Interpreting sounds, smells, what you see etc.
We interpret by using previous life experiences
Are meaningless by themselves
ABSTRACT level of experience occurs in the mind
Composed of concepts (abstract terms for organizing sense experience)
ex. Laptop is concept
Propositions emerge when your mind connects concerts in a meaningful way
ex. Education and income — there is some connection/relationship
If they cannot be tested then the proposition will be rejected
→ Scientific vs. Un-Scientific Thinking
Non-Scientific = not testable, no scientific/research background, no concrete evidence
no logical connection, no scientific proof, based off assumption or chance
presumptions
(all examples shown in the first class slide are not scientific — they are anecdotal for
the most part or based on selective observation — no scientific validation)
Scientific thinking needs credibility, knowledgeable background, facts or scientific
data, etc.
→ Insiders
Want to develop propositions by understanding the meaning people attach to their
actions and the actions of others
Interview to try to deceiver and interpret human behaviour
Often engage in participant observation
Try to interact to better have an understanding
A little more personal
More concrete observation — abstract
→ Outsiders
Want to test proportions in order to explain human behaviour
To accomplish that goal, they conduct experiments (infrequently) and often conduct
surveys
Try to remain objective (they are studying from a distance)
Abstract — Observations
----Ways of Thinking----
- Deductive reasoning:
begins with a general idea and tests whether the idea is credible,
the original propositions used in deduction come from theoretical reasons that occurs at the
abstract level (ABSTRACT TO CONCRETE)
- Inductive reasoning:
the process of going from the specific case to the general one;
inductive reasoning begins when observations are made of specific, empirical instances
(CONCRETE TO ABSTRACT)
- QUALITITATIVE researchers prefer explanations of outcomes in specific cases… look
at cases then look at the causes — usually spend much time and energy developing precise and
clear discoveries
Less focus on concepts and less concerned about concrete validation
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→ History of Social Science; Social science from a positivist perspective
- Auguste Comte: argued sociology should model itself after physics, and he initially
called the subject SOCIAL PHYSICS
- Erving Goffman: Metaphor is the transposition of a name, that is, a name that belongs to
something else
- Used metaphor of theatre — life is like a stage and we are the actors; we perform,
we wear masks, we pretend to be what we are not to please the audience, try to
show w are empathetic even though we may not be
- We should pay attention to interaction, to words said, details of the conversation,
mannerisms
→ Stages of Society
1. The Theological Stage
- Man’s place in society and society’s restrictions upon man were referenced to
God. Man blindly believed in whatever he was taught by his ancestors. He
believed in a supernatural power.
2. The Metaphysical Stage
- This stage is known as the stage of investigation, because people stated to
reasoning and questioning although no solid evidence was laid
3. The Positive Stage
- People could find solutions to social problems and bring them into force despite
the proclamations of human rights or prophecy of the will of God. Science started
to answer questions in full stretch.
Auguste Comte: Society as an Organism
- “By the complexity of its nature the collective organism of humanity possesses in a high
degree the power that the individual organism has only in its rudimentary form, the
power of acquiring new, and even essential, organs”
- In the same way that the skin holds the human body, so too do norms and values bind
society together.
Erving Goffman: Interaction Ritual
- The concept of face, which is the positive self-image that an individual holds when
interacting with others.
- Goffman believes that face “as a sociological construct of interaction, is neither inherent
nor a permanent aspect of the person”.
- Once an individual offers a positive self-image of him or herself to others, that individual
feels a need to maintain and live up to that image. Inconsistency in how a person projects
him or herself in society risks embarrassment and discrediting.
- Therefore people remain guarded, to ensure that they do not show themselves to others in
an unforgivable light.
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