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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

SOCIOLOGY 101 - Macrosociology: a study of large-scale social organizations and large social categories; studies social processes and patterns in whole society, and it perceives social change as slow and patterns as persistent - Microsociology: face to face interactions between people that produce stable and enduring patterns in macrosociology; change is rapid and subtle - Jim Curtis: o Sociology: systematic study of social behavior of individuals and the behavior of groups and organizations; used to understand human behavior o Focuses on 2 aspects: culture, and people live in social groups/ organizations (social structure) o Culture and social structure explain the repetitive patterns of behavior: different self-concepts, biology, personalities, yet individuals behave the same in social structures o E.g. Classroom has different backgrounds, personalities not displayed in the classroom but has same culture of how to behave in classroom o Situations have different norms, rules and cultures Chapter 1: Understanding the Sociological Imagination Sociology: the systematic study of human groups and their interactions Sociological perspective: view of society based on the dynamic relationships between individuals and larger social network in which we all live in Social forces shape our lives Charles Wright Mills: suggests that people who do not, or cannot recognize social origins and character of their problems may be unable to respond to these problems effectively  Different between personal troubles and social issues (challenges caused by larger social factors that require collective solutions) Personal troubles never become social issues because people rarely equate what is happening to them with the larger social worlds in which they exist  People need to understand themselves and others through sociological imagination, they develop appreciation Quality of mind: Mill’s term for the ability to view the personal circumstance within a social context Social Imagination: ability to perceive how dynamic social forces influence individual lives Cheerful robots: people who are unwilling or unable to see the social world as it truly exists  Peter Berger builds on how sociologists see the world: ability to view the world from two distinct yet complementary perspectives: seeing the general in the particular and seeing the strange in the familiar Peter Berger  seeing general in particular: look at unique event and see bigger picture (homeless person ask for change, realize there are many more) seeing strange in familiar: thinking of something familiar and seeing it as strange (study for test, everyone does this but why are we graded? Is a mean he’s smarter than D? or just harder working?  see social world from a unique position – one that allows us to understand social context and to appreciate the position of others Engaging Social imagination Agency: the assumption that individuals have the ability to alter their socially constructed lives vs. Structure: the network of relatively stable opportunities and constraints influencing individual behaviours (relationships, roles and patterns are consistent) Five social factors 1. Minority Status: visible minority group: disability, gay, lesbian faces discrimination (influence from others about how they are viewed as)  social advantage: male, Caucasian, non disabled, heterosexual 2. Gender: men earn more than women (overall trend of 35% more) patriarchy: system where men control the political and economic resources of society 3. Socio-economic Status: combination of variables to classify or rank people on criteria such as income level, level of education achieved, occupation, area of residence (hierarchical structure) Ascribed Status: assigned advantage or disadvantage at birth (sex) Achieved Status: attributes developed throughout life as a result of effort or skill (course grades) sociology shows that if born poor, remain poor 4. Family Structure: income of the family (female alone = low income); higher income benefits child’s development 5. Urban-rural differences: growing up in city or country reflects entertainment, access to health care, cultural events, communication The Origins of Sociology Confucius (Chinese) and Ancient Greeks discuss relationships  Sophists (Greeks paid teachers) focus on human being contrasting physical world  Socrates and Plato challenged paid knowledge and advocated deeper reflection on human social condition (greatest happiness of whole)  Comte is father of sociology Three Revolutions 1. Scientific Revolution: Renaissance period of Galileo, Newton developed scientific models that influenced pace of social change  Augusta Comte considered himself a scientist and believed that scientific theories of physical world should be applied to social world Law of Three Stages 1. Theological: religious outlook and explains society as an expression of God’s will and views science as means to discover God’s intentions; where does the sun go every night?  merges from religious to science 2. Metaphysical Stage: understand truth and the relationship between mind and matter  question church find conscious being though abstract emotions and beauty (artists) e.g. smells of past, emotion during 911 3. Positive Stage: scientific lens: society guided by rules of observation, experimentation and logic not give credit because only 3 stages, final stage seemed to be emerging  Positivism: theoretical approach that considers all understand to be based on science based on 3 assumptions 1. Objective and knowable reality exist: not subjective 2. since all science explore the same, singular reality, over time all sciences become more alike 3. There is no room in science for value judgments  Anti-positivism: knowledge and understanding to be the result of human subjectivity 1. While hard science may be useful for exploring the physical world, the social world cannot be understood solely through numbers and formulas (getting 89% but class average is 96%) 2. All sciences will not merge over time and no single methodological approached can reach a complete understanding of our world 3. Science cannot be separated from our values: what we choose to study is also a social expression; values as those cultural assessments that identify something as right, desirable, and moral  Quantitative Sociology: study of behaviours that can be measured (income levels): positivists’ belief  Qualitative Sociology: study of non-measurable subjective behaviors (effects of divorce): anti-positivist 2. Political Revolution: Enlightment  after church and science came democratic principles Machiavelli: human behavior is motivated by self-interest (wrote book called the Prince stating how anyone can be a prince; nobility and power not a birth right)  Descartes: “I think, therefore I am”  human beings understand themselves through rational reflection leading Comte’s theory and Hobbes Hobbes: people driven by 2 passions: fear of death and desire for power  solitary, nasty, short  true nature of humankind is self-preservation  citizens must join together to achieve long term stability  John Locke: ideas are not innate and that knowledge is the result of experience (people are born as blank slates) vs. church (faith)  Rousseau: individual’s desire was solitary and self-centered  period of tension (transformation of how we saw our selves, each other and society= restructuring of society): sociology was born 3. Industrial Revolution: replaced agriculture as our dominant means of supporting ourselves and families changing family structures, people dreams  technological advances from agriculture  capitalist and urban  agriculture economy: based on local food production for local consumption capitalist: mercantile activity rather than production mechanization and industrialization resulted from movement from local production and consumption to regional and national distribution networks  steam engine  power in rise of Industrial Revolution Macrosociology: study of society as a whole  System-wide phenomena (class structure, education system)  Marx: nature of human relationships; people forced into competition with others because of material changes brought about by the accumulation of wealth in early agricultural societies; all human relationships in capitalist economies have power imbalances (understands how power influences the way people interact)  contrast Marx view is Durkheim: people wanted to work together for collective benefit, decline in moral society but had potential to lessen decline  Weber analysis of how the social world is becoming increasingly rationalized over time (rationalize not doing extra readings) Microsociology: study of individual or small-group dynamics within a larger society  Mead viewed individual mind and self as rising out of the social process of communication: social interactionism: people and society are defined and created through the interactions of individuals Cooley suggested that people define themselves by how others view them  Blumer concluded how people create their sense of self within the larger social world Sociology in Canada Four Defining Features distinct from American sociology 1. Geography and Regionalism: ability to survive over time, role of regionalism (Quebec), francophone society, quiet revolution focus more on issues of social class and social policy 2. Focus on Political Economy: interest in political economy interactions of politics, government and governing and the social and cultural constitution of markets, institutions and actors 3. Canadianization Movement: influenced greatly by American sociology (sociology departments had 50% American, 28 Canadian) 4. Radical Nature: greater focus on macrosociology as well as greater support for feminist ideas and social change, more critical Canadian Sociologists MacLean: first Canadian woman in sociology, working women Ames: statistical analyses to document slum conditions people experienced living south of downtown Montreal Dawson: wrote introductory sociology textbook that was widely used in North America Innis: analysis of Canada’s political economy through his staples thesis hypothesis, studies of media theory Sociology in a Global Perspective Globalization: worldwide process involving the production, distribution, and consumption of technological, political, economic, and socio-cultural goods and services  primacy of capitalism as a defining feature of the global economy CHAPTER 2: CLASSICAL SOCIAL THEORIES Theory: statement that tries to explain how certain facts or variables are related to predict future events Philosophical Roots of Classical Sociological Theory Hobbes: people are responsible for creating the social world around them and society is changed through conscious reflection  natural state: human condition before the emergence of formal social structures (government)  people motivated by self-interest and the pursuit of power (war of all against all)  role of government was to preserve peace, allow individuals to fulfill personal interests John Locke: argued that god was responsible for the emergence of society and government (people are born blank state)  right to self-preservation and to private property  disagreed with Hobbes that people need government to protect them Charles Montesquieu: 2 parts of original natural state, and then people created society agreeing to a social contract that subjugated them to a government  humans were defined and created by society (his laws define the spirit of people) ideal types: classic or pure forms of a given social phenomenon (Republic, Despotism, Monarchy) Rousseau: state of nature and the social contract  believed that people entered into the social contract as free and equal individuals and not because they had to Enlightment: French Philosophes advocated critical thinking and knowledge Thinking: culmination of the inherently revoluntary views (The prince) (take control of life leading to American and French revolutions)  sociology was born not from the revolutionary ideas of Enlightenment thinking but, rather, from the conservative reaction against them Conservative reaction to enlightenment thinking  Conservatives who promoted a return to earlier terms challenged individual autonomy, liberty, and the primacy of rationality and reason 10 propositions of conservative reaction thinking 1. society exists on its own with its own laws and is independent of individuals 2. society, not the individual, is the most important unit of social analysis and it produces the individual 3. individuals are not the basic unit of social interest; society consists of components such as roles, relationships 4. the smallest unit of social analysis is family 5. the parts of society are interrelated and interdependent 6. change is a threat both to individuals and to society as a whole 7. social institutions are beneficial both to individuals and society 8. modern social changes are disorganizing elements that create fear and anxiety 9. most of these viewpoints reflect the desire to move to a more rational society but they tend to offer stabilizing influence 10.conservative reaction theorists advocated for a return to social hierarchies because they promote a system of differential status and award Compare: Enlightenment thinking: importance of self-reflection, church, rich and powerful, challenged tradition Conservative Reaction: society was independent of human experience, that change threatened human experience, hierarchical arrangements were necessary Legacy of the conservative reaction for sociological theory  macro (conservative reaction): deductive sees behavior as predictable  micro (enlightenment):inductive, sees behavior as creative and is characteristically North American and contemporary Functionalism: social world as dynamic system of interrelated and interdependent parts  social structures (education system) is functional because it makes good education and good pay  universities, buildings, employees, policies  structural functionalism  view human society as being similar to an organism (organic analogy: belief that society is like an organism with interdependent and interrelated parts)  homeostatic system(natural state of affairs to create stability and equilibrium) society is made up of structures that work together for the good of the collective (meet needs of majority) e.g. strike of rural revolution but like a flu it will return to regular state of homeostasis  Herbert Spencer: survival of the fittest was his interpretation of biological principles to justify why only the strong should survive (social Darwinism: assertion that societies evolve according to the same principles as do biological organisms) - he then established natural selection: biologically based principle that environmental pressures allow certain beneficial traits to be passed on to future generations - evolution: biological process by which genetic mutations are selected for and against through environmental pressures - resulted in his concept of social Darwinism - believed it is best to leave things the way they are and let them take care of themselves (laissez-faire: opposes regulation of interference with natural processes) Durkheim: choices are influenced by society: culture and society exist outside of individual External collective force is referred to as collective conscience (highlighting the totality of a society’s beliefs and sentiments) Social Facts: general social features that exist on their own and are independent of individual manifestations (laws, beliefs, marls)  anomie: state of normlessness that results from a lack of clear goals and may ultimately result in higher suicide rates (going to school, graduate, and cant find job) Four types of suicide: altruistic suicide (too much integration), anomic suicide (not enough regulation), egoistic suicide (not enough integration), fatalistic suicide (too much regulation)  refer early societies as having mechanical solidarity: based on similarities and independence  contemporary societies as organic solidarity: organized around interdependence and the increasing division of labor American theorists  functionalism: Parsons: why people do what they do social action theory: separate behaviours from actions to explain why people do what they do  used to separate behaviors (mechanical responses to specific stimuli) from actions (result of an active and inventive process) Four Functional imperatives (required for a social system to maintain homeostasis) 1. Adaptation: must be able to gather and distribute sufficient resources and adjust to changes in its environment (employing mechanized farm equipment to increase food production on limited arable land) 2. Goal Attainment: needs to establish clear goals and priorities (diff goals for part time/volunteer) 3. Integration: maintain solidarity while allowing the aspirations of subgroups (school has rules of plagiarism, but must be applied to every student 4. Latency: needs to motivate individuals to release their frustrations in socially appropriate ways (tension maintenance: recognizes the internal tensions and strains that influence all actors, pattern maintenance: involves socially appropriate ways to display tensions and strains) e.g. Exam time  work out at gym, while others wait till exams are done to go drink (but what if skip to work out? important for maintaining social equilibrium  all four imperatives operate by process of socialization and social control Robert K. Merton  social structures have many functions: manifest functions (intended consequences of an action or social pattern: study for exam to do well and get good grades), latent functions (unintended consequences of an action or social pattern: studying but started conversation with random and he became your husband not all social institutions inherent good and functional for society (increase of tax may create jobs because encourage people to spend money, but may cut programs for poor)  not functional for everyone Critiquing functionalism  assumes that change in one area of society may lead to changes in others (integrated and interrelated) but if said that society is organism and returns to homeostasis, then how does functional account for social change? - change is possible when faced with challenges or dysfunctions - BUT the theory overemphasizes harmony and stability - Overlooks positive consequences = conflict + struggle 2. Conflict Theory society is grounded in inequality and competition over scarce resources  conflict  social change 2 principles: power (core of relationships, unequally divided, scarce), social values (more powerful promote own interests at expense of weak) Rousseau said 2 kinds of inequality in people 1. natural or physical inequality: physical differences by nature (age, strength) 2. moral or political inequality: based on human classification (money, social status) Karl Marx: power based on tension and struggle (challenges Functionalism)  dialectics: Marx analyzed Hegel’s work of society as the result of oppositions, contradictions and tensions from which new ideas and social change can emerge (fight with friend until understand other’s position and agree to do things differently in future)  Hegel, idealism emphasized that human mind and consciousness are more important in understanding human condition than is the material world  idealist focus on what people think instead of what they build (positivist)  Marx dismissed this theory  base/ superstructure model: base (material and economic foundation made up of forces productions like natural resources), relations of production (relationship between workers and owners) - superstructure: all things society values once material needs met (religion, law) like Maslow’s hierarchy  social class: group who share a similar relationship to labor and who are aware of their conflict with other classes  class conflict: when interests of one class or in opposition to another (proletariat are workers and bourgeoisie are rich owners)  alienation: lack connection and become separated from themselves and other workers exploitation: difference between what workers are paid and the wealth the create for owner (owners exploit workers)  conflict incorporates and advocates social change while functionalism presents conservative and stable view of society society needs standards for equality, which is developed by ideology(set of beliefs and values that support and justify the ruling class of society) domination of one group over another  why is it that rich remain rich and poor do nothing about it? - false consciousness: belief in and support of the system that oppresses you - those who are oppressed can liberate by class consciousness: recognition of domination and oppression and collective action to address it Critiquing conflict theory  don’t realize that struggle is not personal desire for power but is institutionalized (people compete to win which makes more conflict)  advocates for people who lack social power (contrast functionalist)  focuses too much on macro level instead of individual motivations and reactions to conflict 3. Symbolic Interactionism  social structures are just creations of people interacting, and can be changed  Thomas theorem: if you define situation as real, then there are real consequences (people in prison are awful, that is what they will become) 1. have capacity for thought (not like animals) 2. thinking is shaped by social interaction 3. social settings allow human capacity to learn meanings 4. meanings and symbol enable people to carry human actions 5. meanings and symbols used give interpretation of social situations 6. make changes because they can interact with themselves (can choose most beneficial over disadvantage) 7. culmination of patterns and interaction make up groups and societies  highlight way meanings are created, constructed, changed by society Max Weber  verstehen: deep understanding of social meanings to appreciate intention and human action (understand action from actor’s point of view: put yourself in their shoes) Georg Simmel: summation of human experience and its patterned interactions  formal sociology: society is result of social processes, different forms of interactions can be isolated from their context so that seemingly different interactions can be similar in form (you’re diff from students 50 years ago, but same) George Herbert Mead  not organic but social group of individual organisms (society is result of individuals defining themselves through participation in social acts)  focuses on self of I (unsocialized part of the self: response to action of others), me (socialized part of self: response of the I) Charles H Cooley  sympathetic introspection: put yourself into another person’s shoes and see world  looking glass self: we develop our self-image through the cues we receive from others which results in self-fulfilling prophecy which is becoming person others believe we are (prediction when made causes the outcome to occur) Critique fails to acknowledge how hard it is to change long-established social arrangements  doesn’t account for importance of social structures and institutions in defining world we live in Marginalized Voices and Social Theory Women  Mary Wollstone was firs feminist who suggested marriage was form of legal prostitution Visible Minorities  Cooper- spokesperson enlightening people in hopes of reshaping society  Barnett: confront racial and sexual discrimination  Du Bois: double consciousness (see oneself through eyes of someone else=divided identity) Non-western scholars Fanon: racisms generates harmful psychological constructs that blind minority to their oppression and alienation; language influences how people view themselves James: challenge colonial rulers Padmore: pan-Africanisms: communism and colonialism revolution CHAPTER 3: MODERN SOCIAL THEORIES Western Marxism  more independent and critical forms Gramsci’s concept of hegemony: focus on police and military 2 forms of political control: domination: direct physical and violent coercion by police and military; hegemony: ideological control and consent  separated superstructure into the state (police) and civil society (schools, media)  focus on role civil plays in getting hegemony Feminist Theories  socially disadvantaged group to male issue of equality socially and politically  waves metaphor (different approaches to feminism) Second-wave feminism some woman had right to vote in first wave women as a coherent group with common experience  Dorothy Smith: androcentric (male centered) intellectual world that presents itself as both universal and objective concept of ruling: exercise of power shaping people’s actions (ultimately life) Third-wave feminism  challenges the coherence of the category of woman and recognizes diversity of women  bell hooks(pen name of Gloria Watkins):criticize how household as places of patriarchal oppression for women, argues that household is refuge from institutionalized racism of labor force Post Structuralism Theory analyze from perspective of social relations that already exist (concerned with how knowledge is socially produced) power is productive; produces particular forms of behaviours Michael Foucault: power and knowledge work together - power, knowledge and discourse (system of meaning that governs how we think, act and speak about a particular issue); power relations as being created within social relationships - discipline: how we be motivated to produce particular realities - normalization: process which some practices and ways of living are marked as normal and others are marked as abnormal Queer Theory  seeks to destabilize and deconstruct sexual identities; sexuality is socially constructed (assumes that all the same)  desire of our sexual attractions and ways, language identity: sense of self that is socially produced is fluid and is multiple  not social justice and equity but pursuing sameness Post Colonial Theory  western style of thought that creates a false difference between orient (east and occident (west) Edward Said: power does not flow only from colonizer to colonized but is multidirectional orientalism is a discourse of power that has the effect of naturalizing the East as being inferior to the West - academic (knowledge produced by government experts) - imaginative: arts, novels poems (representation made) - institutional: institutions created by Europeans Critiques: fails to consider Non-westerners view of themselves and West; he has more ambivalent relationship with East  political and cultural effects of colonialism  imperialism: conquest of land, resources, and people’s labor ideas practices and attitudes of colonizers colonialism: effects of imperialism including concrete and ideological effects within colonized territories Canada and Colonialism  own British colony that is rich and powerful  Aboriginal population is marginalized (women specifically): they were assimilated into dominant culture Orientalism  gendered orientalism when Vancouver attacks against Asian girls and women as inferior to the West Anti-Racist Theories Critical Race Theory racism is endemic to American life: exploring how status quo of American life actually operates as a vehicle of racial oppression and subordination  skepticism toward dominant legal claims of neutrality, objectivity, color, blindness, and meritocracy (argues that CRT is institutionalized and not isolated contemporary racial inequalities are linked to earlier historical periods (income disadvantage, unequal levels of education)  draw on experience of those who have experienced racism interdisciplinary and eclectic (draws from Marxism, feminism, post-structuralism, liberalism)  eliminate racial oppression as broader goal of ending all forms of oppression  view contemporary social situations through a lens of historical racism  Hurricane Katrina was evidence of preceding institutionalized racial inequality (mostly poor and African American): racial segregation and racial inequalities in housing and occupation Theorizing whiteness -whiteness is a racial identity (white is thought of as people while non whites are seen as distinct races)  deracializing (white is constructed as default position)  whiteness carries privilege, they are the standards of humanity Globalization  influences social-cultural and political processes  transformation of time and space in our lives (invention of clock and Industrial revolution changed how people interacted with other  rely on distant and unknown also)  time-space dissocciation: social relations to shift from a local to global context: separation of time and space which allows social relations to shift from a local to global context  disembedding mechanisms: mechanism that aids in shifting social relations from local to global contexts - symbolic tokens: medium of exchange that can be passed around without consideration of the specific person or group involved (money) - expert systems: system of knowledge on which we rely but which we may never be directly in contact CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH, METHODOLOGY, AND ETHICS Connecting theory to Research Questions research: systematic approach of gathering data using an agreed upon set of methods e.g.: families (functionalist: how roles shared values promote equilibrium, conflict: how families cope with current economic strains, symbolic interactionists: how immigrant families negotiate their sense of identity in their new surroundings Quantitative and qualitative  two main approaches to social research (may use combination) Quantitative (numerical data) is research that coverts aspects of social life into numbers and determining whether a significant relationship exists between sets of numbers  surveys questionnaires gather information from respondents, convert to numerical values and analyzed for patterns within a group Qualitative (non numerical) focus on rich detail that have smaller samples because more in depth  more expensive  use interviews as main technique (group interviews) Systems of Reasoning  inductive logic is a system of reasoning that moves from data to the formation of a theory  deductive logic is a system of reasoning that moves from theory to the formulation of hypotheses for testing  explain or predict pattern Essential Research Concepts Hypotheses is a tentative statement about a particular relationship between objects, people or groups of people that can be tested empirically Variables are used to measure relationships between objects, people or groups of people (characteristics of objects, people that can be measured)  independent variables can be varied or manipulated by researchers  dependent variable is the reaction (of one occurs) or the participants to this manipulation Operational definition is description of how a variable is measured Validity is the consistency of a given result Reliability refers to the consistency of a given result Correlation is a measure of how strongly two variables are related to each other Causality is the relationship in which one variable causes a change in another variable Spurious correlation is a false correlation between two or more variables even though it appears to be true Research population is a group of people that a researcher wishes to learn something about Sample is a subset of the larger research population Research Methods  strategies used to collect data Survey is a research method in which respondents answer pre-set questions Self-administered questionnaires are often mailed to participated that include envelope that can be returned with completed survey (quantitative) such as the Census Telephone surveys work same was as questionnaires: are often close ended questions In person surveys are similar to telephone surveys (useful with children) Interviews involve researcher asking a series of questions of participants that may be structured, semi-structured or unstructured  qualitative interview is when asked open-ended questions (semi-structured interview)  quantitative requires consistent data collection to ensure that the data can be compared (ask everyone same questions  unequal relationship between interviewer and interviewee with relations of power Participant Observation is active participation by a researcher in a research setting that combines observation and participation in daily life activities of research subjects known as fieldwork  some are distant observers  uses qualitative method that uses induction instead of deduction Content Analysis is a research method involving analysis of texts (magazines, movies) can be either qualitative or quantitative or both Secondary Analysis is a research method involving analysis of existing data Participatory Action Research brings together two approaches: action research and participatory research  action research is designed to effect change (goal)  participatory invites concerned individuals to be a part of projects Multiple Research Methods Mixed methods an approach in which both qualitative and quantitative procedures are used Triangulation is an approach in which more than one research method is used in attempt to more fully understand an area of study Sexist Bias in Social Research  belief that one sex is superior 1. androcentricity is when women are not seen as active subjects but rather passive objects to whom things happen 2. overgeneralization occurs when researches include only one sex in their study but present their findings as being applicable to both men and women 3. gender insensitivity occurs when gender is ignored as a socially important variable 4. double standard when it employs different means to evaluate or measure the same actions, qualities, or circumstances 5. sex appropriateness is a specific instance of a double standard 6. familism is a problem derived from gender insensitivity (when families are taken as the smallest unit of analysis) 7. sexual dichotomist is an extreme form of a double standard when two sexes are treated as completely separate and distinct social and biological groups rather than as two groups with overlapping or similar characteristics Ethics  ethical research include respect for others, upheld through informed consent, and balancing participant risk with benefits to the wider society CHAPTER 5: CULTURE Culture is a complex collection of values, beliefs, behaviours, and material objects shared by group and passed on from one generation to the next Social life: early evidence that our early hominid ancestors lived in groups as far backs 4.4 million years ago 3. parental care, pair bonding, subsistence, environmental adaptation, thought, language art and religion 4. homo sapiens are modern human beings Defining features of culture 1. culture is learned (immersed) 2. culture is shared (shared collective symbols like the flag) 3. culture is transmitted (pass from generation to generation 4. culture is cumulative (refine and modify to meet changing needs) 5. culture is human (animals are not culture) Material culture is tangible artifacts and physical objects in given culture Non-material culture is intangible and abstract components of a society including values and norms Values are beliefs about ideal goals and behaviours that serve as standards for life Norms are culturally defined rules that outline appropriate behaviors Folkways are informal norms that suggest customary ways of behaving Mores are norms that carry a strong sense of social importance and necessity Law is a type of norm that is formally defined and enacted in legislation Sanction is a penalty for norm violation or a reward for norm adherence Ethnocentrism is the tendency to view one’s culture as superior to all others Culture relativism is appreciation that all cultures have intrinsic worth and should be evaluated and understood on their own terms Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation, alienation, depression and loneliness experienced when entering a culture very different from one’s own Four stages of cultural sock 1. honeymoon is feeling of admiration and awe of new culture 2. crisis is confusion and disorientation of differences 3. recover is growing understanding of host culture and recognize values are consistent 4. adjustment is an increasing ability to function effectively and enjoy the host culture symbol is something that stands for or represents something else language is a shared symbol system of rules and meanings that governs the production and interpretation of speech Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the assertion that language influences how we perceive the world also known as linguistic determinism  how we perceive world linguistic relativism is language the reflects how we perceive the world strong version is language that determines how see the world weak version is language that reflects the way we think Non-verbal communication  body language, proximity, haptic (touch to convey meaning), oculesics (eye contact), chronemics (time, pauses), olfactics (smell), vocalics (voice) sound symbols(audible cues), adornment are accessories, locomotion that uses movement micro-expressions are largely uncontrollable, instantaneous emotional reactions Subculture is a group within a population whose values, norms folkways or mores set them apart from the mainstream culture Counterculture is a type of subculture that strongly opposes the widely held cultural patterns of the larger population Canadian culture Discovery occurs when something previously recognized or understood is found to have social or cultural applications Invention/innovation occurs when existing cultural items are manipulated or modified to produce something new and socially valuable Diffusion occurs when cultural items or practices are transmitted from one group to another Cultural universals are common cultural features found in all societies Cultural adaptation is the process by which environmental pressures are addressed through changes in practices, traditions and behaviours Functionalists hold that cultural traditions develop and persist because they are adaptive and maintain stability Conflict theory views cultural system as means of perpetuating social inequality with the dominant culture assimilating less powerful cultures Symbolic interactionism understands culture as being actively created and recreated through social interaction Its vast and harsh physical environment has defined Canada culture by the coexistence of and conflict between French and English and by its primary and enduring differences from the US Chapter 6 SOCIALIZATION AND SOCIAL INTERACTION Two basic approaches to understanding how we develop personalities: - Biological approach: nature side of the debate holds that our actions and feelings stem from biological roots - Environmental Approach: believe that we are the product of socialization (the lifelong process by which we learn our culture, develop our personalities, and becoming functioning members of society) held to be the result of Social Interaction: the ways in which people interact in social settings, recognizing each person’s subjective experience and intentions - Nature versus nature: the debate between whether biological forces or environment define the person we become Personality: an individual’s relatively stable pattern of behaviours and feelings Socio-biology: A science that uses evolutionary theory and genetic inheritance to examine the biological roots of social behaviours. - Social behaviours among humans have evolved over time to secure the survival of the species (important to leave as many offspring as possible) - Differences in women and men today are the result of millions of years of natural selection - Developed into evolutionary psychology Evolutionary Psychology: a relabeled form of socio-biology that argues that Darwinian inheritance can explain contemporary human behaviours -Example according to John Patton: fact that the Achuar Indians have one of the world’s highest murder rates because killing is part of their culture and has been selected for over many generations - On different application to theory, Victor Nell suggest that evolutionary psychology can explain why young men are more likely to drive faster than women and older men Empirical support: assertion that human behaviours are determined by genetics (contentious and has limited support) -Sociologists generally acknowledge that some genetic linkages exist and influence human behaviours (defined not by nature but by nurture) Nurture Argument When young children are isolated from human contact we become the people we are Effects of Social isolation -Isolation from other people during virtually her entire early life prevented her from developing more than a small fraction of her intellectual potential (Anna who was tied to chair by grandfather at birth) -Important for children who suffered from severe neglect -People construct social reality every time they interact with others -Genetic makeup (nature) gives us the capacity to be social beings, but it is the process of social interaction (nature) that enables us to develop our capacity Development of Self: Sociological Insights Self: one’s identity, comprising a set of learned values and attitudes that develops through social interactions and defines one’s self-image - Self comprises of a self-image: an introspective composition of various features and attributes that people see themselves as having - Self is key component of personality - Healthy individuals: personality and self join to give individual sense that he or she is unique and special - Imagining how others see us: C.H. Cooley Cooley’s concept: looking-glass self where what we think of ourselves is influenced by how we imagine other people to see us - To be aware of oneself, one must be aware of society - Self-consciousness and social consciousness are inseparable because people cannot conceive of themselves without reference to others - Self is result of social interaction and NOT emerge independently - Essence of sociological imagination (project themselves into mind of others) Understanding Others and Ourselves: G.H. Mead Adding to Cooley, Mead argued that self is composed of two complementary elements: I (consciousness: spontaneous, creative, impulsive and unpredictable; responds to things emotionally), Me (socialized element of the self: part of consciousness that thinks about how to behave) - Win lottery “I” would jump up and down for excitement, but “me” would realize maybe that’s embarrassing - Me controls impulses of the I Significant Others: people we want to impress or gain approval from Generalized Other: compilation of attributes associated with the average member of society; represents an individual’s appreciation that other members of society behave within certain socially accepted guidelines and rules Role-taking: assuming the position of another to better understand that person’s perspective (helps you better anticipate their actions and to respond to them in a manner you have considered in advance Feral Children: children who have been isolated from human contact at a very young age -Offer social scientists a unique glimpse into the crucial role of social interaction in the development of healthy human beings Preparatory Stage (birth to age 3): imitate what they see others are doing (please parents develop the I, but Me is also forming in background) Play Stage (3-5): assume role of others through play (imitate imagined roles of characters the are playing); me continues to grow, communicate thoughts and feelings Game Stage (Elementary School Years): take on multiple roles to be able to identify with the generalized other; participate in complex games, rules, primary socialization occurs (learn attitudes, values and appropriate behaviours for individuals in their culture) Secondary Socialization follows primary and occurs through participation in more specific groups with defined roles and expectations (early adolescence) Double Consciousness: W.E.B. Dubois Double consciousness is a sense of self that is defined in part through the eyes of others (Black Canadians have this: because self concept as being American but also as a black person of African descent) - The inability to see oneself independently from the white majority but it also enabled a type of “second sight” that allowed a deeper reflective comprehension of the contemporary world - Only necessary and possible through ongoing oppression - To be socialized as a member of any minority group requires a perception of self that is at least partially defined through the eyes of others Agents of Socialization -Individuals, groups, and social institutions that together help people to become functioning members of society 1. Families: most important agent of socialization because they are the center of children’s lives - First values and attitudes are simple reflections of families attitude - First experience with social world guided by parents - Parents model what is acceptable and child imitates - Gender stereotyping: assignment of beliefs to men and women respectively that are not based on fact - Responsible for assigning socio-economic stress position to members: social status as determined by family income, parents’ education level, parents’ occupations and family’s social standing within the community - Affluent parents are better able to provide their children with diverse leisure activities that contributes to children’s cultural capital (social assets, values, beliefs, attitudes, competencies that are gained from one’s family and help one to succeed in life - Pierre Bourdieu described how children’s social assets help them prepare for success which in turn reproduces ruling class culture 2. Peers - Importance of one’s friends, peers, increases during adolescence - Peer groups consist of people who are closely related in age and share similar interests -Exclude others from their peer groups as a way of asserting their membership with the “in” group - Vital for establishing a sense as community as well as for achieving and maintain social influence -Peer involvement links to adolescent drug use and delinquent behaviours 3. Education - School evaluates children on what they do instead of who they are - Learn social roles by interacting with teachers and peers - Hidden curriculum: unconscious, informal and unwritten norms and rules that reinforce and maintain social conventions E.g. The Outsiders interpreted as a story of adolescent turmoil and conflict but hidden curriculum of divisions of class and need for moral behaviours - Also plays role in gender role socialization - Self-fulfilling prophecy is when teacher assumes and makes prediction (that girls are more obedient) then it will come true 4. Mass Media - Mass media are forms of communication produced by a few people for consumption by masses - Socialization function is subtler with much of it occurring unconsciously - Television reinforces prosocial behaviours (situations in which people help someone else without the motivation being personal gain); majority of its content reinforces competition and desire of social worth (Survivor, The Bachelor) - Impact of socialization of media replaced by Internet - Those with higher income and education levels may be the first to benefit from using the information highway Socialization Across the Life Course Life Course: socialization that occurs throughout one’s adult life Birth Cohort: all of the people who are born during a given period of time and therefore experience historical events at the same points in their lives - Allows researchers to explain and predict how different groups respond to situations - Personalities are not fixed and they evolve as we experience more challenges and opportunities and learn from the decisions we have made in the past - Ability to change how we see both ourselves and the world around us is at the core of adult development Early to Middle Adulthood - Young adults are people who have completed school - Lead to considerable tension if their career aspirations are compromised as a result of having children - Erikson’s terminology: woman may end career or put on hold Later Adulthood - Between ages 40 and 60 is career achievement, children leaving home, birth of grandchildren, and preparation for retirement - Physical aging occurs and health declines - Empty nest syndrome: the depression that some mothers experience when their children have left home (most women experience life satisfaction) - Men faces mid life crisis of physical (sore, hair loss, weight gain) and emotional (hormonal changes: ability to maintain erection) changes - Men and women grow more confident in themselves to focus on family and careers “Old Age” - Functional definition: declining health or mental faculties is result of aging process - Chronological: based on age - Means-tested programs: social programs based on need (old age assistance program based on financial need) - Universal plans: social programs provided to everyone - Socialization occurs during late adulthood and old age is different: old age entails loss of identity and satisfaction, but may also be liberating - Learning of new roles and unlearning of others as well as preparation for final stage Socialization into dying and death Gerontology: scientific study of old age and aging Kubler-Ross studied process of dying through interviews of ill people and developed series of stages that people go through (Death Course) 1. Denial 2. Anger: Why me? Strong sense of injustice 3. Bargaining: ask for more time to be better person 4. Depression: realize they can’t negotiate out of situation 5. Acceptance: discuss feelings and accept it to reach inner peace -He established dying trajectories: the courses that dying takes in both social and psychological senses (prescription of how we should die versus social integrationists say it’s a prescription for reality) Critique -No evidence that people move from stage 1-5 - People may experience emotions and reactions from different stages at same time Totality of the person’s life is neglected Euthanasia: the deliberate ending of the life of a person who has an incurable or painful disease Assisted Suicide: Intentionally killing oneself with help from others Resocialization - The profound change or complete transformation of a person’s personality as result of being place in a situation or an environment dedicated to changing his or her previous identity - Prisons or mental institutions facilitates this - Total institutions: setting in which people are isolated from society and supervised - By an administrative staff Asylum (book Goffman wrote of 5 total institutions) 1. Incapable of taking care of themselves and are harmless: home for blind, aged, orphaned, and indigent 2. Incapable of taking care of themselves and pose threat (mental hospital) 3. Protect community from harmful (prisons) 4. Instrumental tasks that require unique work arrangements (army, work camps, boarding schools) 5. Religious training (monasteries) 3 important characteristics 1. Staff supervises all aspects 2. Every activity is controlled and standardized 3. Formal rules and polices define everything Resocialization occurs in two distinct stages 1. Mortifications of the self: first stage of resocilaization process in which person’s existing identity is stripped away (recreate individual to fit demands) 2. Build up system of rewards and punishments (form new identity) CHAPTER 7: SOCIAL INEQUALITY Social Stratification is society’s hierarchical ranking of people into social classes - Societies redistribute materials and social rewards to individuals (does who do more or more capable receive more) - Meritocracy: system of rewards based on personal attributes and demonstrated abilities (surgeons and physicians) - System is stable over time, but there is social mobility (movement between social classes)  intergenerational mobility: comparison of adult children’s social class to that of their parents but can be intergenerational: status movement throughout one’s lifetime (poor family but child gets scholarship) - It varies in how it expresses itself: status is granted by how much money one ahs but other countries is how much wealth one gives away - Criteria by which they are granted are nonetheless considered fair and just by majority of population - Social class is based on birth and achievements in life, sharing a position in a social hierarchy - Social Status is an individual’s position within the class structure What is Social inequality? Social inequality: when certain attributes affect a person’s access to socially valued resources Classism: ideology that suggest that people’s relative worth is at least partly determined by their social and economic status (Like racism, sexism) but is based on economic inequality Blaming the victim: perspective that holds individuals responsible for the negative conditions in which they live Culture of Poverty: fatalistic belief system held by the poor as adaptation to systemic discrimination - Oscar Lewis said that poor have different subcultural value systems - Deferr
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