SOCA03Y3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: C. Wright Mills, Vaishya, Nonverbal Communication

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15 Nov 2019
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chapter one: understanding the sociological imaginationī½
1.1 the sociological perspectiveī½
- sociology:ī€ the systematic study of human groups and their interactionsī½
- sociological perspectiveī€: the unique way in which sociologists see our world and can dissect theī½
dynamic relationships between individuals and the larger social network in which we all liveī½
charles wright mills and the sociological imaginationīƒ 
- c. w. mills was one of the most influential american sociologistsī½
- suggested that people who do not, or cannot, recognize the social origins and character of theirī½
problems may be unable to respond to them effectivelyī½
- individual and social are inextricably linked and we cannot fully understand one without the otherī½
- personal troubles:ī€ result from individual challengesī½
- social issues:ī€ caused by larger social factorsī½
- many personal troubles never become social issues because people rarely equate what isī½
happening to them with the larger social worlds in which they exist (lacks quality of mind)ī½
- quality of mind:ī€ ability to look beyond personal circumstance and into social contextī½
- ā€œmuch private uneasiness goes unformulated; much public malaise and many decisions ofī½
enormous structural relevance never become public issuesā€ī½
- sociological imagination:ī€ the ability to understand the dynamic relationship between individualī½
lives and the larger societyī½
- stepping outside of your own condition and looking at yourself from a new perspective --ī½
seeing yourself as the product of your family, income level, race, and genderī½
- who am i and why do i think the way i do?ī½
- few things are black and whiteī½
- by seeing their own histories in a social context, they improve their quality of mindī½
- cheerful robots:ī€ people unable/unwilling to see the social world as it truly existsī½
- peter bergerī½
- 1964 book, ī€
invitation to sociology: a humanistic perspectiveī€
, defines sociologicalī½
perspective as the ability to view the world from two distinct yet complementaryī½
perspectives: seeing the general in the particular and seeing the strange in the familiarī½
peter bergerīƒ 
- seeing the general in the particularī½
- the ability to look at seemingly unique events/circumstances and then recognize theī½
larger (or general) features involvedī½
- to appreciate an individual circumstance and broaden your perspective to the larger socialī½
patterns that create and perpetuate these circumstancesī½
- seeing the strange in the familiarī½
- thinking about what is familiar and seeing it as strangeī½
- evidence of having quality of mind, and of beginning to develop the sociologicalī½
imaginationī½
- ability to see the general in the particular and the strange in the familiar is the cornerstone of theī½
sociological perspectiveī½
- less about remembering details and specifics than about seeing the social world from a uniqueī½
position -- one that allows us to understand social context and appreciate the position of othersī½
1.2 what makes you, you? engaging the sociological imaginationī½
- agency:ī€ the assumption that individuals have the ability to alter their socially constructed livesī½
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- structure:ī€ opportunities and constraints that exist within a network of roles, relationships, andī½
patterns that are relatively stable and persistent over timeī½
- not only refers to large social parameters like occupation, minority status, education level,ī½
but also to small interactions between individualsī½
- e.g. gay couplesā€™ relationships defined by larger societyā€™s views onī½
heteronormative idealī½
- structure-versus-agency debate:ī€ ī€
revolves around whether or not individuals behave autonomouslyī½
or are the expressive agents of the social structureī½
minority statusīƒ 
- visible minority groups face discrimination (wow!)ī½
- does your minority status influence how you relate to others or how you view other minorities?ī½
genderīƒ 
- patriarchy:ī€ a system of rule that translates to ā€œrule by the fatherā€ in which men control the politicalī½
and economic resources of societyī½
- men earn more than womenī½
socioeconomic statusīƒ 
- socioeconomic status (ses)ī€: combination of variables to classify or rank people on criteria such asī½
income level, level of education achieved, occupation, and area of residenceī½
- ascribed status:ī€ a person is assigned advantage or disadvantage simply through birthī½
- being born rich means a person will have opportunities for postsecondary education andī½
material pleasuresī½
- achieved status: ī€the status a person has gained through personal attributes and qualitiesī½
family structureīƒ 
- regardless of a childā€™s age, higher income tends to be related to better physical, social/economic,ī½
cognitive, and behavioural well-beingī½
- family structure influences a childā€™s development to the extent that female lone-parent familiesī½
tend to have lower incomes than two-parent family structuresī½
- loving parents with adequate incomes generally raise productive and well-adjusted childrenī½
urban-rural differencesīƒ 
- people who live in small towns report that they are distinct from urban dwellers and that their ruralī½
connections are an important defining featureī½
1.3 the origins of sociologyī½
- confucius and ancient greeks engaged in elaborate discussions and writings about society andī½
role of individual citizenī½
- ancient greece, sophists (first paid teachers) travelled the city and catered to the rich, who wantedī½
to learn how to live well and be happy. first thinkers to focus efforst on the human being (ratherī½
than physical world)ī½
- socrates and his student plato challenged virtue of being paid for oneā€™s knowledge & advocatedī½
necessity of deeper reflection on human social conditionī½
- ibn khaldun recognized as first social philosopher working from sociological perspectiveī½
- 1838, august comte coined term ī€
sociologyī€
; referred to as father of sociologyī½
scientific revolutionīƒ 
- auguste comte believed techniques used to explain physical world should be applied to socialī½
worldī½
-law of three stages:ī€ defines how advances of the mind created three different types of societiesī½
- theological stage:ī€
longest period of human thinking, beginning with earliest humanī½
ancestors and ending during middle ages (1300)ī½
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- characterized by a religious outlook that explains the world and human society asī½
an expression of godā€™s will and views science as a means to discover godā€™sī½
intentionsī½
- people explained what they could see through actions of spiritual/supernaturalī½
beingsī½
- concluded with emergence of renaissance and enlightenment went science, notī½
religion, was used to explain the worldī½
- metaphysical stage:ī€
(metaphysics: a field of philosophy dedicated to an understanding ofī½
truth and the relationship between mind and matter) a period during which people beganī½
to question everything and to challenge the power and teachings of the churchī½
- characterized by the assumption that people could understand and explain theirī½
universe through their own insight and reflectionī½
- these smells and images are only abstractions, but they may inspire powerfulī½
emotional reactions--feelings, passions, and fears that were explored during theī½
metaphysical stage as an attempt to understand ourselves betterī½
- positive stageī€
: (began to emerge during comteā€™s lifetime) he believed that the world wouldī½
be interpreted through a scientific lens--society would be guided by rules of observation,ī½
experimentation, and logicī½
- sociologists donā€™t grant much credibility to his ideas becauseī½
- first, idea of having only three stages is difficult, as it assumes that humanī½
thinking is currently as good as it will ever getī½
- second, idea that the third (and final) stage was just emerging during comteā€™sī½
lifetime is somewhat self-servingī½
- positivism:ī½ī½
- a theoretical approach that considers all understand to be based on scienceī½
- three primary assumptions:ī½
1) there exists an objective and knowable reality.
ī½ī½
a)
positivists asserted that the physical and social worlds can beī½
understood through observation, experimentation, and logicī½
b) reality is objective & beyond individual interpretation or manipulationī½
c) grounded in the premise that we have the capacity to do so -- that ourī½
physical and social existence is knowableī½
2) since all sciences explore the same, similar reality, over time all sciences willī½
become more alike.
ī½ī½
a)
since there is only one correct explanation for the physical and socialī½
worlds, discipline and scientific boundaries will fall away as we progressī½
in our studies and realize that all science is investigating the same realityī½
b) there may be only one science in the future rather than many divisionsī½
3) there is no room in science for value judgments
ī½
a) since all science is exploring the same reality, only from differentī½
perspectives, there is no good or bad science (e.g vaccination to aidsī½
virus is not more valuable than shrinking the size of a hydrogen bomb)ī½
- anti-positivism:ī½
-a theoretical approach that considers knowledge and understanding to be the result ofī½
human subjectivityī½
1) while hard science may be useful for exploring the physical world, the social world cannotī½
be understood solely through numbers and formulasī½
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SOCA03Y3 Full Course Notes
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