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SOC2109 Final: Final Exam Notes

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Sam Alvaro

Introduction Macro, Meso, Micro Sociology: Macrosociology: Focuses on the analysis of large-scale social processes -Looks at larger groups and social institutions (Ex: Institutions such as the economy or family) Microsociology: the study of effects of interpersonal interactions, larger society on social psychological processes and relationship within and between groups -individuals participate in the construction and maintenance of society (ex: Individuals such as you) Meso-level: the bridge between micro- and macro-level phenomena (Organization such as your job or club affiliation) Social Psychology: the systematic study of people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours in social context -looking at internal processes and society together Perspective View of the Role of Individual in Area of Focus Society Symbolic Individual is an active participant in the Meaning-making processes Interactionism construction of society Social Structure and The nature of interaction is based on Emphasizes process of how larger Personality adherence to the roles that people social structures influence occupy individuals Group Processes When individuals form into social Processes that occur in group context groups, certain basic processes emerge regularly emerge in interactions Sociological imagination: the ability to see our personal lives in the context of the history, culture and social structures of the larger society within which we live. C. Wright Mills: argued that sociologists must understand the larger cultural, structural and historical conditions influencing individuals before arriving at any conclusions about the causes of their decisions or experiences. -”the sociological imagination enables its processors to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals” Ethnomethodology: Harold Garfinkel proposed a method of studying society as reflected in our typical day-to day interactions that he called ethnomethodology -both a theory and a method of inquiry -theoretically understanding of the linkage between the individual and society -methodological looks at the relationship between the individual and society Norms: behavioural guidelines- the rules that regulate our behaviour in relationship Values: differ from social norms in that they refer to deeply held ideals and beliefs Status: refers to a person’s position in a group or society that is associated with varying levels of prestige and respect Roles: Our status includes a set of expectations about how to behave in a group. These refer to our roles in society -Roles and statuses are related but distinct concepts Organizations: groups that share a common purpose and contain a formal set of rules and authority structure Social institution: consists of patterns of interaction in which the behaviour of a large group is guided by the same norms and roles Five major institutions: Family, economy, religion, education and government Culture: Each society had its own culture- its unique patterns of behaviour and beliefs The components of culture include language, symbols, values, beliefs, norms and material artifacts Perspectives Behaviourism: The theory that human and animal behaviour can be explained in terms of conditioning without appeal to thoughts or feelings and that psychological disorders are best treated by altering behaviour patterns Blumer’s Symbolic Interactionism: Symbolic interactionism help us understand the social processes that influence our understanding of the world -an important symbolic interactionist argued that we can study social processes by focusing on three core principles 1. Meanings arise through social interaction among individuals 2. People use the meaning they derive from interaction to guide their own behaviour 3. People employ an interpretive process regarding these interactions Thomas’ Theorem: Which states that when people define situations as real those situations become real in their consequences -As long as we think that our understanding is real we will act on it Framing: is the process by which individuals transform the meanings of situations using basic cognitive structures provided by society (Goffman) Social Scripts: Within each of these structures (frames) are a series of social scripts about the appropriate thoughts, feelings and behaviours that should be displayed in that frame Chicago School: traditional school of symbolic interactionism associated with Blumer and the University of Chicago contends that social reality is fluid and ever changing -social reality cannot be qualified and predicted in the same way as other aspects of the physical world. This is the perspective of the Chicago school of symbolic interactionism which states that the primary goal of symbolic interactionism is to understand the social processes involved in a given situation- not to quality those processes or try to predict future behaviour Iowa and Indiana Schools: The second school of symbolic interactionism has been associated with researchers and theorists from the University of Iowa and from Indiana University. As mentioned, it is sometimes called structural symbolic interactionism and it varies from the traditional view in its emphasis on the stable of social reality. That is once an interpretation or definition of the situation has been made, it tends to remain for a period of time. The Iowa and indiana schools of symbolic interactionism argue that as a result social reality can be quantified and studied using the scientific method House’s Three Key Principles: James House argued that our ability to study the effects of larger structural forces on the individual involves three key principles 1. Components principle: We must be able to identify the elements or components of society most likely affect a given attitude or behaviour 2. Proximity principle: we need to understand the aspects or contexts of social structure that most affect us 3. Psychology principle: We need to understand how individuals internalize proximal experiences Power: The ability to obtain what we desire in a group despite resistance Justice: Perceptions that a social arrangement or distribution is fair Legitimacy: The sense that a social arrangement or position is the way that things should be Status: A position in a group based on esteem or respect Simmel’s Dyads and Triads -Simmel argued that the size of a group restricts the level of intimacy possible within the group. A two- person group or dyad is limited to a single relationship. But adding just one more person to that group to form a triad creates two additional relationships. Thus simply adding a person to a group increases the number of relationship in the group exponentially white simultaneously decreasing intimacy levels. Studying People Social Theories: refers to organized arguments about how various elements of social life are related to one another. -Social theories typically focus on people's relationships with one another and with their larger social worlds -A theory typically includes some of the following components 1. A set of relevant concepts and their definitions 2. General statements about social relationships 3. Statements about the causes of those relationships Hypothesis: are specific statements about how variables will relation to one another in a research study Variables: are theoretical concepts (eg. competitiveness) put into a measurable form (e.g how people reward themselves and others when dividing up payment amounts) Sampling: a sample is a group of people selected to represent the larger population Reliability: When a study yields the same results using the same techniques and data Validity: How valid or accurate the findings of the study are Ethics: Must follow guidelines to make sure everything is fair and equal Quantitative and Qualitative: Numbers vs. laboratory, interviews and field research Mixed-Method Approaches: to the study of people in society have grown considerably over the years. Steps in developing research 1. Assess the theory and literature 2. Develop research questions or hypotheses 3. Choose research methods 4. Conduct Data analysis 5. Report results Stratification Role of Status: Page 89 Othering: a form of collective identity work in which those with higher status create definitions that make them feel superior and in the process obscure the morality of lower status groups Gendering: is a social process in which individuals are held accountable to the social rules or norms associated with being a man or a women in society Intersectionality: the idea that race, gender and class statuses are not separate but interlocking systems of inequality Wisconsin Model of Status Attainment: ties together the relative impact of social background characteristics and ability on long-term status attainment (102-103) Networks: social interactions and personal relationships Ties: People with whom we are close, like friends and family Kohn and Schooler Model: the reciprocal relationships between work conditions and personal values in the types of work we obtain through life. -our social and economic backgrounds in life tend to find jobs with low levels of substantive complexity and high levels of supervision. -these jobs, in turn, affect our personalities in ways that conform to the types of jobs we are in. People in low-end jobs tend to develop personalities with lower amounts of intellectual flexibility and self-direction go on to other jobs with less complexity and more supervision Social Exchange theory: theory based on the premise that individuals enter into relationships that provide some benefit to them and end or leave relationships that do not provide some sort or reward Four core assumptions 1. Exchange relationships develop within groups in which members have some degree of dependence among them 2. Group members will act in groups in ways that maximize personal benefit 3. Interaction in groups will continue as long as reciprocity between individuals continues 4. Groups operate on the satiation principle that the value of what is exchanged will diminish after a period of exchange Status Characteristics theory: theory that links social roles and expectations from a larger society to stratification processes in groups Power vs. Status: Power and status share some common elements. Both are group processes and both involve inequalities in rewards. People follow the directives of people with high status, just as they do the directives of people high in power. The differences between status and power lies in the reasons why people comply -Power is structural -being high in status can significantly affect access to powerful positions Self and Identity Mead’s Me and I: a large part of internal dialogues occur as interplay between two components of characters within ourselves -The ME: is the organized set of attitudes towards the self, based on the views of significant others (such as friends and family as well as society as a whole) -The I: refers to the active self; is the one on stage, in the moment talking to other people The I and ME form a constant dialectic regarding thoughts, feelings and behaviours Identity theory: emphasizes the enduring nature of our thoughts about who we are -Identity: refers to our internalized stable sense of who we are, including role identities, social categories and personal characteristics -Role identities: are the internalized expectations associated with different positions Five principles rooted to identity theory (Stryker) 1. Behaviour is based on an already defined and classified world 2. Positions in society are among the things classified in the world 3. People develop their identities based on their positions in society 4. We incorporate our social positions into our sense of identity, our positions become part of our senses of self 5. Social behaviour is derived from the shaping and modifying of the expectations of our positions Affect control theory: incorporates elements of symbolic interactionism and identity theory to explain the role of sentiments in identity processes. The theory states that sentiments serve as signals about how well we are producing our identities are reproducing others identities. Negative emotions often signal that something is not right about a situation. 1. Evaluation 2. Potency 3. Activity (page 126) Rosenberg’s Self Esteem Scale: Self-esteem, mastery and mattering can be measured quantitatively. One of the most popular measures is the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale. These measures assume that responses to a series of questions about one’s thoughts and feelings accurately portray a dimension of self-concept. If this is true we can use such measures to treat empirical relationships between social processes and the self-concept using surveys Socialization Mead’s Stages: 1. Preparatory stage: The first stage of self-development in which children simply mimic the attitudes and behaviours of their parents and caretakers 2. Play Stage: The second stage of self development in which children begin to
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