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Sociology Final Exam Notes.docx

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SOCI 100

From EvernoteSociology 100A Final Examination NotesChapter 1 Sociology and the Study of SocietyIndividuals create society but society in turn creates themCulture describes the contents of societySociety as process social world remains fairly constant over time but it is also simultaneously in flux and changetechnologies values beliefs laws governanceThere are a number of competing broad theoretical frameworks called paradigms that explain the same facts in different ways 1Sociology is the systematic study of human society and the behaviour of people in society Analyzing our social world can sometimes be a difficult task because students not only have strong feelings about topics but often feel they are already well informed about them 2Human behaviour is affected by a social world that imposes itself on us whether or not we are aware of it A society may impose itself on human behaviour it must also be noted that societies are created and altered by humans3In order to survive people have to organize themselves into some kind of structure and they have to construct rules of behaviour Once they come into being these structures can exist for very long periods of time One key goal of sociology then is to systematically study and analyze the various elements that constitutes a societys structure and the relationships among these elements4Society can be understood both as an ordered system made up of identifiable cultural components and social institutions and as an entity that is constantly changing5The concept of power is central to understanding how societies work All of us are affected by both proximal and distal relations of power However although distal relations of power may have more serious and negative consequences for our lives they are very hard for us to see and oppose 6Although humans act in patterned ways that can be studied by social scientists there is always room for human agency7Society can be a constraining force on the individual but it can also be a liberating force The commonly shared rules of our social world allow us to function in our daily lives because assuming that most people will act as they should reduces our level of insecurity and allows us to get on with our lives8The roots of modern sociology lie in the nineteenth century Europe and are linked to the growth of science in the preceding few centuries From the outset there was a tension in sociology about the ultimate use of social analysis9All knowledge has a bias embedded in it and human understanding is affected by where we sit int eh social universe Nonetheless sociology must satisfy the rigours of scientific investigation by providing concrete evidence to support or refute theoretical constructs10Dialectics can help us make sense of our social world by offering a basic set of tools we can use in social analysis 1Concept of dialecticsthat change is a result of internal stresses1Everything is related Nothing in the universe is isolate but rather ll things are dependent on everything else2Change is constant Nothing in the universe is final absolute eternal perfect and immutable Everything is int he continual process of becoming and passing away3Change proceeds from the quantitative to the qualitative Quantitative changes achieve a different nature resulting in a distinctly new quality4Change is the result of the unity and struggle of opposites things can embody within them two opposing tendencies at the same timetensionscontradictions that can often become the basis for social change 11The two major approaches in the social sciences are the order theories and the change theories The former tend to support the status quo while the latter try to alter it12Although sociology is a distinct discipline the boundaries between the various areas within the humanities and social sciences are not clearcut Big Fish Theory The world is JustMiddle Fish Theory There is some justice in the worldLittle Fish Theory There is no justice in the worldSocietydescribes the structure of our social worlda group of people within a limited territory who share a common set of behaviours beliefs values material objectsculture and social institutions all existing together as a coherent system Sociocultural systemcombination of society social structure culturesynonymous with societyanthropologists use this term Powerability of an individual or a group to carry out its will even when opposed by othersProximal Relations of relations of power that exist between individuals within social groupsparent over powerchild Distal Relations of relations of power that exist in society as a whole rather than within personal social Powerrelationshipspower wielded by governmentscorporationsmedia that affect both individuals or groups more serious consequences on our lives but hard for us to see and oppose we live in a society that teaches us to look inward to ourselvesto nearby proximal relations of power to explain failings instead of looking externally to broader social forces Statusa position within the social structure statuses are usually ranked in relation to each otherSociological ability to go beyond the personal issues we all experience and connect them to imaginationbroader social structureslinking distal relations of power to our immediate life situationsNormsthe expected patterns of behaviourHuman Agenciesacknowledgement of possibility of individual behaviour that strays from predictable human patternsFreedomremoval of social constraints which allows individuals to do as they pleaseTheoriessomething that has not yet been provensocial sciencesa number of theories competing with each other at the same time Why1 societies are complex entities full of contradictory elements2 most of us have strong feelings and opinions about the social world Biological any theoretical explanation of human behaviour that focuses on the biological or determinismgenetic basis for that behaviourFunctionalism a sociological framework that sees society as similar to an organism with a number of Structural interrelated and necessary elements Each element or structure is seen as having an functionalismequally important function for the maintenance of a particular society order theoryMiddie fish theorieshardest of the order theories to understand because they promote some changes to our social world but seek only readjustments within the same basic structural arrangements There is some justice int he world Macrosociologyfocus on the ways individual human behaviour is influenced by the broader societyconcentrate on analyzing social structuresMicrosociologyfocus on the ways individual behaviour and perceptions influence societyhuman agency is primary Chapter 2Is Human Nature the Result of our Biology
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