Sociology Study notes;
Chapter 4 – Social Interactions
Feminist theory shows men have a mochoness about them as authority figures and they look at gender
differences in patterns of social interaction.
Blocks to social interactions; roles, status, and norms
Norms and values govern social life in terms of what is accepted. Ie. Wedding = happy, funeral=sad
Emotional labor is controlling emotions brought on at work. Women have more jobs with this as
Conflict theory; social interactions need to have focus on both parties. Struggle for attention with
subject of conversation is also applied to listener.
Symbolic interaction; people act in ways they see just – ie. Altruistic
This has idea of using norms to govern behaviours
George Mead; taking role of other person and seeing ourselves as someone else see us. Understanding
nonverbal signs to understand how they see us and change behaviour to fit expectation. Learn norms
Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis – the world is stage that we play roles in. our presentation to the
world and always in public eye when role playing to norms is most intensive. Ie- server, they have
waitress, lines and actions to perform once away from table they remain themselves.
Social context – making sense of language and gestures to understand a word
Facial, body and gestures – understanding communication through expressions, posture; 6 common
expressions made the same in every culture – happy, sad, angry, disgust, fear, surprise
4 zones of interaction; intimate (lover), personal(friends), social (handshake), public (restaurant)
Status cues – social position, and stereotyping, creates social barriers and discriminative.
Groups; how was is possible for Nazis to murder 6 million jews?
- Norms of solidarity demand conformity; approval of accepted behaviours and gain social bond.
Ie. Nazis didn’t hate jews they wanted to be accepted themselves.
- Authority renders obedience; fear of punishment when disobeying authority.
Ie- Stanley mailgrams experiment- willing to hurt someone when authority prompts them
- Bureaucracies efficient as authority structure; refined positions to break authority in small
tasks. Ie. Nazis w/ leaders. Social networks; “small” world based on everyone having different social groups, connects with a wide
range of people and can be similar to network analysis.
Urban networks – community vs. society
Groups; networks that identify with each other- norms, values, dresss code. Conforming to a group is
pressure to connect with behaviours and conformity shows cohesion. Boundaries that exist to remain
group intact and keep outsiders from joining.
Dominant Groups; further goals, such as Nazis.
Social categories – similar people who don’t interact – coffee drinkers
- Primary; strong social ties(family)
- Secondary; impersonal social ties(classroom friends)
The Asch experiment; Solomon Asch
- Group experiment where subjects answered wrong to remain consistent with rest of the room.
Group think as valuable aspect – armies see each others as brothers, can be dangerous with
pressures to conform.
Bureaucracies – most efficient secondary group
- Traditional – we always done it this way and leader to keep in tact
- Informal – changing it to meet an ideal reality
- Flaws – size = difficult to communicate, protest/rivalries, hierarchy, too much power over riding,
poor communication through all fields of authority.
- Having small order with multiple communication ties and 1 authority head. – No middle
Chapter 5 – Deviance and Crime
Social norms cause idea of deviant going against them, and every society has different idea of what
Deviance involves breaking a norm – evoking negative reaction – crime is breaking a law
Sanctions; actions that indicate diaprroval
- Informal; negative reaction (stigmatization-negative view of distinction)
- Formal; breaking the law
Social definitions define deviance and crime in terms range of severity and what is accepted.
Measuring crime; Canadian uniform crime reports – all departments data to characterize statistics. - Flaws; most crime isn’t reported, authorities/public what is a criminal act to report/ignore
Self report surveys; find more crimes that go unreported, shows majority of people deal with illeagal
activity. Shows victims and what community needs to focus on.
Crime rate declined due to;
1) Well-trained bodies fighting crime
2) Community policing initiatives/ crime prevention efforts
3) Enforcement in targeting specific crimes
4) Case management
5) Improvement in forensics
Abortion become legal also dropped crime rates due to unwanted children not being had and more
supervision with children planned.
Criminal profiles – age/gender, races – the way we define and categorize people based on crime rates –
Symbolic approach; learn deviant behaviour through social context of experienced higher order – sees
actions as “normal”. Labeling; judgments/responses of deviant behaviour based on views of race – ie.
White vs black
Functionalist; deals with social dysfunctions that lead to deviant behaviour.
Durkheim – crime benefits society of redefining social solidarity and adapt with social change.
Criminal subcultures – social groups adopt criminal gangs, feel rejected and make a subculture that
works – they rationalize with behaviour to appear as if its accepted.
Conflict theory; rich/powerful impose labels and they escape their own criminal behaviours and have
more control over justice system. Believes people will act in deviant ways when they can get away with
it. Adolescence are more susceptible to deviant behaviour as they lack self control and poorly socialized
as they act on impulse.
Feminist Theory; gender based influences. Women change face of crimes as they become more involved
in law – acts of violence against women.
Punishment; ensures behaviours and kept and raise in recent years. Most people alter behaviour when
they know they’re being watched – ie. Surveillance camera.
Medicalization of deviance; medically definfing behaviours – punishment in form of psychiatric help.
- Mental disorders cause deviant crimes are given drugs and seems more apperant in our society.
Increase suggests people accept mental health issues over criminals.
Prisons; career criminal – multiple imprisonments and adopts culture of prison. - Prisons take away freedome making it more civil then death.
- Incarnation use to be a way to teach accepted norms in society to lead better lives when
released. However todays criminals aren’t given any lenance. Scares eople into staying away
from criminal behaviour.
moral panic – belief society is at threat – has benefits
1) Mass media makes $$ with publicizing it
2) Crime prevention industry $$
3) Criminal justice job $$
4) Politically used as defense to ensure voter
Chapter 6 – Social Stratification
Inequality this is seen through unjust measures;
1. Possible to be rich without working for it
2. People can work hard without becoming rich
3. Structure of society causes inequality
Social stratification – the way society is organized in divisions – ie. Class, race, age
Functionalists idea of stratification; argues some jobs are mor important and people make sacrafices in
terms of pay $$, and inequlity is required to motivate these sacrafices.
Wealth is what you own, your assets minus liabilities. Ensures sense of well-being in terms of financial
problems, power in politics, ensures health in terms of stress,
Net worth = assets – debts
Social structures shape the idea of inequalitys and the raise of human, social and cultural capital are the
reasons behind this.
Human Capital – investment in education and training, worth of self
Critiques to human capital are;
1. Presumes everyone is rational in adapting to this thinking
2. Assumes we compete in fair labor market
3. Assumes meritocracy – that we all have equal opportunity based on human worth
Social Capital –networks/connections an individual possess
Cultural capital – high-status culture
Bourgeoisie – owners of productions, they do not do physical labor and benefit form profits
Poltetariat – working classin position to earn wages and don’t own means of production. Ascription-based stratification; system in which allocation of rank depends on features with which a
person is born
Achievement-based; system in which the allocation of rank depends on persons accomplishments
Chapter 7 – Race and Ethnicity
Using a discriminatory way of testing ethnicity isn’t a valid way to measure differences. Testing done the
IQ’s of races doesn’t represent the race as a wholes intelligence and rather the social setting a persons
in raised and educated on is what impacts the IQ.
Race and Sports
Idea that black people are superior in sports – this is false beliefs as no testing can prove genetically that
such gene exists in black athletes as well; blacks are not commonly in hockey, swimming, soccer, ect.
Racial profiling groups of people based on race are what stem for discrimination and prejudice.
Genes cannot determine race base+d on genetic makeup. Internally nothing is different and multi racial
couples show this with mixed babies and genes of a sort – race is no longer a variable to distinguish
people as most people are of different mixed backgrounds. Biologically these races have no differences.
Sociological Definition of Race
Race will forever be an invaluable analytical tool people use to identify a person – physical features.
Perceptions of race are often socially constructed and distinctions that are made with physical images.
Race in terms of sociology is only to use inequalities and discriminatory perceptions that have racial
dominance. Describing factors that a race is known for brings about racial stereotypes and negatively
reflects an idea of the race. This reinforces racial inequalities and shows the social inequalities that we
use with race. Cycle of Racism Chart (pg. 145)
Ethnicity, Culture, and Social Structure
Race is to biology, as ethnicity is to culture. Race is socially defined physically deceived markers. Ethnic
group is people who perceive cultural markers.
Ethnic groups bear language, religion, customs, values, ect. however, these cultural differences don’t
change behaviours drastically in individuals as social structure undermines any cultural differences. This
means society teaches norms of behaviours that people are influenced by, rather than cultural beliefs.
Having the equal treatment and knowledge growing up means no ethnic barriers favor one person over
another based on race in Canada – equal qualifications apply when equal schooling and knowledge is at
Resources and Opportunities What matters in determining economic success of ethnic or racial group is the resources on posses – ie.
Education, as well as the opportunities open at the time.
John Porter – founder of modern Canadian sociology, called mid-twentieth century Canada a vertical
mosaic – ethnic and racial society. Saw it as a flaw to Canadian economy making it low-mobility. This
idea however was disregarded when society sprung regardless of ethnic diversity. Ethnic and racial
diversity increased making society less discriminatory and equally cultural. With unemployment rate
increased, visible minorities were made less economically successful and more likely to fall as new
immigrants. An issue immigrants in Canada face is they may be highly educated but the credentials don’t
stand in Canadian educational systems.
In addition to the resources a person possesses, the structure of opportunity is also crucial in economic
advancement. Racial and ethnic inequalities is rooted more in a social then biological aspect.
Symbolic Interactionism, Race, and Ethnic Relations
Labels and Identity
Social context and the nature of a person’s relations with other members of separate racial and ethnic
groups shape and reshape a person’s ethnical identity. Changing social context will also change the
ethnic identity one has of self-conception. Ex- ethnic identity was born through Canadians terms of
“Italians” – people who came from Italy.
Symbolic interactionists empathize that ethnic and racial labels and identities are formed as a result of
negotiation. Social context in which a group is identified as, example would be blacks as a the proper
term, not Negros. A change in social context stems a change in refered, Indians prefer native Americans
as a less discriminatory manner and was only recently changed with social conflicts.
Imposition Vs. Choice
Blending with majority to remain on equal terms and using ethnicity to benefit rather than discriminate
– St. Patrick’s day is celebrated regardless of ethnicity and used a symbolic matter. In contrast is the
racism against black Canadians who often deal with negative remarks in regard to ethnicity and ideal the
inferiority the group has over another. Institutional racism is the bias not noticed by majority groups.
The idea of racism doesn’t reflect with status in society, where racism is common, racial identities are
compulsory and at the front of a person’s identity. Irish vs. black racism takes different forms.
Conflict Theories of Race and Ethnic Relations
Colonialism and Internal Colonialism
Colonialism is one of the most influential factors constituting race and conflict of inequalities.
Colonialism involves people from one country invading another – invaders gain control and
destroy/change their culture. This promotes and reinforces ethnic differences in a racial sense. In
Canada the victims of colonialism is the aboriginals, Quebec natives and blacks. Canada’s Aboriginals
Aboriginals were subject to expulsion – the removal of population on territory claimed by another
population in their case, European settlers. Europeans used what is today Newfoundland as a port for
fishing, taking over the Beothuk tribes land. They saw these previous settlers as nuisance and eventually
began killing them off and population declined from European decent. By the eighteenth century,
Beothuk were squeezed into interior of Newfoundland and expulsion from their land was completely
seized by Europeans leading to their extinction. This is extreme; however, MOST first nations have
similar stories with European settlers taking over fur trade, minerals, oil, and gas – which as a result
allowed Canadian economy to grow.
Most aboriginals saw Europeans acts as a way to obliterate their heritage. They forced aboriginal
children into schooling and prevented from speaking their language, religions and forced to adopt
European culture. Canadian government was accused of creating cultural genocide, exterminating entire
population defined by race or ethnicity and until the twentieth century schools were teaching
aboriginals as evil or irrelevant in Canadian history. Aboriginals were prevented from practicing ways of
life and formed into European culture. From this discriminatory aboriginals are still under scrutiny and
many face unemployment in today’s societies.
In Canada colonialism was not just expulsion but also conquest of land – forcible capture of land and
economic/political dominance on inhabitants.
When English settlers captured Canadian they imposed their ethnic stratification that remained in place
for over 200 years. The British banned language, religion, and laws of the former colony taking away the
French heritage. They attempted to gain allies favoring farmers and Catholics to remain loyal to British
rule. British origins populated most areas and social separation reinforced economic segregation. French
and British continued to have separate lives, with language, live in diff towns, and interact on small
occurrences. During the 20 century Quebec was still in era of undeveloped government – health,
education and welfare were on part of the Catholic Church. Quebec’s middle class and blue-collar
workers campaigned for government and political system in early 40s. They wanted liberal ways and
state control over education. Wanted government to supply social services to province and help with
economic development – this became known as the quiet revolution in 1960s.
Modernizing of Quebec failed in 4 ways;
1. The potential demographic decline of the Quebecois. By 1980’s Quebec women were having less
children with major incline – caused fear of endangered race.
2. The assimilation of immigrants into English culture. English immigrants wanted English schools
and the fear of declining birth rate threatened Quebec’s heritage.
3. Persistent ethnic stratification. Quiet revolution made many jobs in government, education, and
corporations for Quebecois but higher power remained for English-origin Canadians. 4. The continued use of English as the language of private industry. English remained choice of
language because large technological businesses were controlled by English and Americans.
These problems steamed changed among Quebecois as they searched for ways to benefit province and
keep culture, such as compulsory French-language education in immigrant children, French signs only.
Wanted to keep culture intact and remain equal to other groups. Searched for pro independence – and
Quebec a separate nation from Canada.
Third form of colonial action –slavery, creates barriers. In 1800s 24 million Africans were brought to
Canada half didn’t make if from violence, sickness and ship wreck on the way. Once in Canada they were
bought and sold until 1833 when British government made slavery illegal. Slavery was abolished in U.S.
30 years after. Slavery in Canada was minimal compared to U.S. as slaves were smuggled into Canada to
work on railway.
Canada helped in early 1830s after American civil war (1861-65) black settlement was disregarded in
Canada and rejected most black immigrants. Social relationships with blacks and whites were anything
but equal and blacks remained doing unskilled labour and socially segregated.
Canadian immigration policy was liberalized in 1960s – racial, ethnic restrictions were removed.
Immigrants were admitted based on economic contribution and close family ties. This made Canada a
much more racial and ethnically diverse country. Today, 3 quarters of Canadian immigrants are visible
minority groups. Blacks form Canada’s third largest visible minority. From aftermath of slavery, even in
today’s society blacks and whites very regularly interact and prejudice, discrimination, disadvantage,
and segregation continues to act as barrier.
Sociology at the Movies – Crash
Deals with racist assumptions, and learning race doesn’t make someone’s situation any different from as
human as they are. Uses ethnical and racial realities of the world with neighboring conflicts. Crash uses a
measure of hope that races can be equal to one other without the prejudice.
Split Labour Markets and Asian Canadians
Second theory that focuses on social-structural barriers in split labour market – proposed by Edna
Bonacich. She explains why racial identities are reinforced by labour market conditions. Racist attitudes
develop when low and high wage workers compete for the same job. Resent began in early years of
Asian, Chinese and Japanese immigration in Canada. They were brought to provide cheap labour. Asian
immigrants worked in lumbering, railway, and mining. 15 000 Chinese were brought in to work on
Canadian railway and paid half the wages of white Canadian workers.
Asian immigration was seen as a threat to British values and immigration was declined once railway was
finished. This introduced the “head tax” in which was placed on Chinese immigrants. Head Tax was the
$$ per immigrants to decline the raise of immigrant families moving into Canada. After great depression many Chinese were deported due to unemployment. Racial criteria for immigration was removed later
on in 1960s.
Asian and European animosity arose due to Asian population willing to work for lesser wages, sparking
conflict with Europeans. European Canadians formed “exclusion leagues” pressuring government to
restrict Asian immigrants and staged anti-Asian riots, solidified racial identities and made assimilation
impossible. These racist and ethnical boundaries and discriminations have left a legacy of racism in
Some Advantages of Ethnicity
Conflict theory emphasize how social forces outside a racial or an ethnic group create inequaly and
prevent assimilation into dominant values and institutions in society. Focus on disadvantages of race.
High levels of immigration renew racial and ethnic communities by providing similar language, customs,
and so on. Canada is third most multicultural country in the world.
3 main factors enhance value of continued ethnic group memberships;
1. Ethnic group membership can have economic advantages – most apparent for immigrants
seeking similar customs and relating to one another. Immigrants remain tightly connect dealing
with similar situations. Using generations to keep business and connections among countries
2. Ethnic group membership can be politically useful – government funds became available to
make both English and French languages taught in schools. Multiculturalism was introduced as a
way of making all ethnic backgrounds equal. Helped Canada become bilingual and stimulates
ethnic culture and identity throughout the country. Thus, ethnicity can be political tool for
achieving increased access to resources.
3. Ethnic group membership tends to persist because of the emotional support it provides – most
apparent in immigrant communities. Allows sense of comfort in alien environment, performs
significant emotional function. People within culture groups feel sense of belonging and pride,
offers a sense of security.
Immigration in today’s society involves a better connection to homelands that never use to be available.
Sustains ethnic culture and keeps a sense of tradition and family. Communication through, phone,
internet, email, radio and TV cultural shows, cheaper flight rates. Ethnicity remains vibrant force in
The Future of Race and Ethnicity in Canada
Canada’s British roots still remain most dominant with democracy still British model, English dominant
language and French as second language. Canada is nonetheless, one of the most diverse and accepting
countries. As diversity increase Canada’s racial relations have changed. Todays society is based on
segregation, pluralism, and assimilation. Canada is tolerant compared to other countries that bring wars with genocide and inequality from racial
tensions. Only in Canada a strong majority of the population has a broad acceptance for immigrants.
Upward mobility of immigrants has however changed due to immigrants difficultly in gainging academic
recognition from credentials earned abroad. Aboriginals remain at lowest economic and educational
standings. Canadian born children of immigrants are not disadvantaged as blacks still seem to be today.
Black men have the worst off for what seems to be discriminatory labels. Discrimination is still present in
Canada and without changing social standings of today the society will continue to favor only certain
Chapter 8 – Sexuality and Gender
Sex vs. Gender
Is it a Boy or a Girl?
A case study done on male twins - during circumcision something went horribly wrong and one
of the infants penises were burned off. With no hope for remodeling and reclaiming male identity, the
parents decided to have a sex change and continue life as a female with genderization. The newly
formed girl was treated like a girl and given girl socialization. Picking up on this identity until hormones
came into play she wanted to be a he and later tried committing suicide due to this emotional trauma.
Told of her sex change she changed into male and married, and adopted children. At age 38 committed
suicide from emotional damage.
Gender Identity and Gender Role
What makes us female or male? The first answer is biological. Our sex is what determines female or
male genitals and genetic hormones to stimulate development of reproductive system. Involves having
“masculine” and “feminine” feelings, attitudes, and behaviours. This is terms of gender, with gender
your feelings, attitudes, and behaviours typically associated with being male and female. Gender
identity is identifying with sense of belonging to particular sex. Acting in ways a male or female is
expected to act is taking upon gender roles.
Social Learning of Gender
Gender identity begins at infants at the age of one, and fully aware of by age two and three. Early
childhood lessons prove identity in gender with the role models and behaviours that biologically we pick
Biology is not “destiny” to determine gender but also the socializing from the beginning of infant hood
that recognizes differences. In David’s case the gender reassignment began at 22 months which in this
case male attitudes were already directed towards the infant. When people reject gender roles it arises
a negative sanction with scrutiny, punish for deviance.
Theories of Gender Origins of gender differences have 2 perspectives;
- Essentialism; the theory that views gender as nature in ones biological makeup. (functionalists)
- Social construction; the theory that views gender as “constructed” by society and culture.
(conflict, feminist, and symbolic interactionists theories agree)
According to sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists gender differences in behaviour are based in
biological differences between men and women. Women can have limited amount of children where as
men can have millions, it gives women a more protective side to their offspring and need for proper
mate. Males compete with each other to gain women access and treat women as property, and women
look for money.
Functionalism and Essentialism
Functionalists back up essentialism theory by saying gender roles help to integrate society. Women are
specialized in raising children, and managing the house – men are in paid labour to support the family.
This deals with gender role socialization passed through generations. For boys learning “masculinity” is
traits such as rationality, self-assuredness, and competiveness. For girls, “femininity” is learning
expressive traits, such as nurturance, and sensitive to others. This socialization in seen through family
roles and larger society conforms to gender roles. In functionalist view learning essential features of
female and male essence integrates society to function better.
Critique of Essentialism from Conflict and Feminist Perspectives
1. Essentialists ignore the historical and cultural variability of gender and sexuality.
- Wide categories constitutes male and female and gender differences aren’t constant, they vary
with social conditions. Ie. Woman in police filed are aggressive, deals with role change.
2. Essentialism tends to generalize from the average, ignoring variations within gender groups.
- Using a limited sample to conclude theory, women and men are equally assertive in verbal ways
but not providing full sample limits what their theory concludes.
3. Little or no direct evidence supports the Essentialists’ major claims.
- Sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists have not identified the genes that determine
4. Essentialists explanations for gender differences ignore the role of power.
- Assumes power of behaviour patterns ensures function of society. Seeing men as position of
power over females.
Friedrich Engels identified root of male inequalities steaming from preliterate societies producing more
goods then they needed. Men gained control over economic surplus, imposed rule only men could own
property and then using force made their wife’s stay faithful to them. With capitalism male dominance
increased as men with wealthier and powerful over women domestic roles. Feminist Theory
Feminists doubt that male domination is related to capitalism. They believe inequalities deal with more
land property then capitalist societies. They conclude them male dominance is rooted less is capitalism
then in patriarchal authority relationships, family structure, and socialization that takes place in cult