socc40 9/30/2013 11:07:00 AM
Social changes that made them rethink mid-20 century
1. warfare: the ability of people to kill people grew with the development
of military and weapons
2. science: massive increase of funding and labour force; heightened
social status and increased number of scientists.
3. professions: the increase of white collar professions, the emergence of
the management class as opposed to the old antagonistic relationship
between the proletariat vs. bourgeoisie
4. mass consumption: the influence of Hollywood and advertisement to
consume in a uniform way. The emergence of scientific management,
5. civil right & feminism: family structure change from nuclear family to
working women. More autonomy in women as their participation in the
labour force has increased, coupled with abortion becoming an option.
6. counter culture: hippie movement
Action frame of reference
Unit of sociology
Theory of action
- concepts that allow us to treat people specifically, but not god or rocks.
-god: idealism vs. rock: materialism
action frame of reference
-frame: select some explicit focal point
- reference: with reference to other people, and people only. Just like
physicist refers to quantum theory as background information and biology
draw reference from organism, human action should have some grand
theory to go back to.
An analogy would be a certain perspective is shaped by the frame from
which you look from. The frame shapes what you are seeing.
Residual category -logical consequence of using theory,
-some concepts will always be left out of the theory, given the limited
scope of the theory it can apply to.
- ex: we do not have categories for goals, desires, human action,
however they are everyday concepts that surround our daily life
- these are then called residual, unidentified action
main elements of an action:
-circumstances or factors affecting the way to do something
-condition are realities we have to meet: for example, in order to get in
graduate school one has to meet the condition of getting a 3.8 GPA.
-tools/ways to achieve a goal
-determines what you do
-no goal, no action
-regulate goals and means
-criteria to select the legitimate goals and the way to achieve it
- appropriate action done to achieve the goal
- energy invested and utilized to excel the means
origins of unit acts
1. conditions from positivism
- scientific facts as the only acceptable way
- why people do things with reference to only their conditions
heredity: biological inherited condition ex: aggressive gene so
you punch people
environment: conditions you grew up in. ex: abusive family
therefore violent personality
2+3. Means + goals = utilitarian way of theorizing action
- dominant way to think
- economistic - exogenous: only aim to achieve certain goals with finite resources
and time in a rational way without giving consideration in norms and
- it is simple, powerful, critical and direct in a calculating manner
however, how did these goals come from?
-why did the goals originate?
1. neglects norm
ex: defend family order, makes sense of human’s action to
achieve these goals. Or there were no social norms to indicate
that money is good, no one would undertake actions to
2. problem of order
social order restricts actions, if it everyone merely focuses on the
most effective way to get to the goal, then a vast amount of
people would resort to getting a gun to rob the bank in order to
get rich in one night. Therefore it is social order such as policing
and law institution that restricts the goals and means in an unit
Idealism: norms only
- ones value affect ones action: a person initiate a fight because the other
person insults their family name and it is not tolerable due to subscription
to the family honour system.
- however norms itself are not enough to constitue an action, otherwise it
would be emanationist, meaning that everything derives from a God
Effort is the final key component that maintains norms and motivation.
Pattern variable: major pattern that regulate our interaction with one
another depending on the situation.
1: affective vs. affectively neutral
affective: immediate gratification ex: cultivate personal character,
affectively-netural: a mean to get something later ex: you study first and
then get a job which lead you to money thus enjoyment, therefore the study and work part is not something you work first in order to get
2: collectively vs. self
the group interest vs. self interest
working for a church, non-profit organization for the sake of the well-
being of the overall community vs. your own reason of earning money in
a stock market
3. particular vs. universal
does it adhere to a particular set of standard such as I should always
maintain at the weight of 100 pounds or the universal standard that
everyone should be healthy.
4. diffuse vs. specific
a person uses a diffuse standard to deal with basically everyone in all
sorts of situation, example would be smile and wave when you see both
an acquaintance and brother while a specific standard is only something
you do with special people such as a lover or parent. For example one
does not ask money from a stranger but only their mother or father.
5: Astrictive vs. achievement
who is person is vs what is person does.
If a person is the son of a famous scientist, he would be expected to be
amazing at math and science. If a person ace all of his science course and
is able to win a science competition, he would then be expected to
contribute to the science field.
- culture, society and personality
- how does a rule change from external to internal? - the process of consolidation and embedding one’s own belief, attitudes,
and values when it comes to moral behaviour. The accomplishment of this
may involve the deliberate use of psychoanalytical or behavioral methods.
Culture, society and personality
Culture: books, symbols and arts that influence the value of people. For
example, movies and advertising that shapes the moral value of people
Social system: the relationship of different roles of people
Ex: capitalism fosters competition and freedom, causing people to think
that the market should dictate the decisions of people
Personality: individual traits that shapes the needs and desire of a person
Ex: a person who grew up in a culture that most of the population are
Christian would be most subject to those teaching. Ex: even they exclaim
they say Jesus Christ!. Social system that values equality. The personality
is then formulated under these influence.
- how multiple role sets are coordinated in a culture
- a set of belief, value that encompass all of the role set in order for them
to interact with one another. For example, a consumerism culture
encourages new trends and continuous consumption connections people
who like to spend regardless of their social status, ethnicity and
- when people astray from this common culture, they become deviant.
- the failure of people to comply to the expected behaviour derived from
- it can be carried out under three aspects
- within personality: usually when people are ripped away from object
they once valued.
Ex: a student who once was passionate of studying was not given good
grades due to certain circumstances will develop resentment and
disappointment that ultimately cause them to refrain from performing the
basic action of studying. Within culture:
When a group of people do not fit in the common culture, they would
form their own minor, non-dominant culture. For example: crime that
uses “alternate ways” to gain access to wealth
Within social system:
- not being able to meet the social norms
- social system constitute different mechanism to restore order such as
punishment and reward.
Two mechanisms that the society will have to use to keep functional
allocation is the distribution of finite and resource in order to not have
inequality that arise problems
there are three kinds of resources that need to be allocated
1. facilities: uses generalized instruments that enable people to get all
sorts of tools and means to achieve goals. Two main kinds are power and
money, these currency enable people to gain objects they need.
2. personnel: essentially means people, human resources. The
establishment of education systems helps to distribute people with
different talents to the appropriate institutions based on achievement or
3. reward: the distribution of reward for people who accomplished their
goals. The main motivation of most of the people. Needs to be allocated
equally among various occupation, if the science field gets all the prestige
and respect then everyone will go into science, leading to a lack of
resources in other professions.
Integration: how people cope with the fact that dreams don’t always
come true. In order words, the mechanism used to integrate
Objective: how the society is organized
1. effectiveness: how well a society is to address the needs of people, ex:
sufficient food, proper training of people
ex: political structure 2. coordination: well-organized structure of people to make sure
everything runs well without disruption.
Subjective: emotions of people. A moral basic structure
1. preventative: cultural pattern prevent disorganization
ex: you need to pay for everything. Therefore people would be obedient
to their boss in order to earn money
2. remedial: cure problem if they occur
- accepting failure: the result is not as important as the process
ascription: some position can only be accessed through inheritance, for
example: royal family, therefore even people don’t feel bad even they
cant make it to the throne.
- enforcement: social authorities, accepted way to settle deviance.
Lec # 5 still parson
-trying apply the framework on german, after WW2, why did Germany
transformed to something opposite to civilized and high tech
-Could apply the breakfree theory to the rest of the world
-liberal democracy was breaking down. Individual right, personal
autonomy, contract, property rights. May not prolong.
-possible alternative: nationalism/fascism: anti-individual and anti-liberal
-at the old time, revolutionary change was needed
-parson was a defendant of liberalism thus he is terrified
general condition that make fascism likely to occur all over the modern
world 1. rapid social change
new technology, trends, cars, industrialization picking up, urbanization,
-within a short period of time, generation at the same are hugely different
-disorientating, hard to adjust created free-floating anxiety/aggression
- no concrete reasons or person to blame because it depends on a whole
societal transformation, no clear causes
-therefore no emotional dependent
-ways to fix/resolution or promise is needed
-fast and powerful
-changes are imposed externally after ww2
-traditional group Junkers group, old aristocratic, military group with big
influence to stand against
-big social authority and the means of weapons to oppose the new social
-going from more affective to rational
-bureaucracy, test rather than personal condition
-religious belief and tradition are challenged by rational
-however all these happens at differential rate, different part of society
experience that at diff. rate new kinds of conflict
big cities professional, accept the changes, new types of jobs and
values vs. small tradition town dweller who still live in the glory of the old
-highly modernized type of society
-projection new ideas and wishes that are not fulfilled.
-escapism, anywhere out of this world would be better
-withdrawal of people from the reality, project the emotional commitment
to the good old days or the utopia, imagination in the future
-detachment from the reality
Specific to german - romanticization of the political
- how to translate the good imagination to the politics
- the German nation will be the greatest and dominate the rest of the
- better world funneled into nationalism
- contrast German to NA(American, Britain and Canada)
- the attribute German desire in NA
- 1. Utopianism intellect and planning will solve the problem
- 2. Personal success idea of getting ahead in the business world.
Boss syndrome. Unreal, unlikely to happen. Happy ideal and
motivation to work harder. Emotional into the occupation system. Ex:
less formal titles in the workplace, call each others by first name
whereas german called them by their position title
- 3. Romantic love a lot of the emotion are poured into
interpersonal connections. Dating, courtship, marriage are powerful,
saturated into culture. Becomes meaning of life, my job might suck but
I have a hot date on Friday. Instead of thinking about going into war.
Love transforms people.
Then what is different in Germany?
- formal language vs. informal. Huge different event to switch from
informal to formal. Highly rigid, and one’s occupation determines your
life. Wife of a doctor is called by that.
a. emotional withdrawal from exsiting society
-official roles you have, tend to absorb less emotional attachment.
Own you, own expression is hard to be displayed, it is not about what
you are anymore, it is what you do. Trappings of real life is
b) blocks less radical form of romanticism.
-hard to switch back and forward between different roles.
-marriage cannot be personal, but occupational
-no going back to the rural, aristocratic world anymore.
-glory of the german people
-easy enemy, foreigners military idea
-absorb romantic ideas -even dull job, unsatisfying marriage, still a german who is glorious in
-worships war, spices up regular life, brings excitement
-Hilter is the top person on this world
Parson did this analysis before the war, wanted to transform Germany
-reinvest romanticism and hope in german
-fine german craftsmanship benz
-ability and skills poured into manufacturing instead of politics
- continuation of the five variable
- unit act would be socially produced
- why are these functions the major function?
- Any system has to maintain itself. What are those mechanism?
- Bounded systems? Sports team: teammates vs. non-teammates?
Within the team or outside the team. Intricately valuable or not so.
Own sake or sake of something else. Practice: for the team sake,
External oriented A G
Internal I L
- The four functions every system should meet: AGIL
- can apply to everything, biology, theology..etc
Acquire stuff outside and apply it and make it usable on the system
-oil drilling company,
transforming nature into something usable
-churches: people to money
Setting and achieving goals
- use the tool to get what? - Economy can help you get money, but how much and what exactly
are you getting?
Ex: politics, direct society into a certain direction
L: Latent pattern maintenance
-the basic structure of pattern that the system needs to function
-agreement of the structure
-fiduciary: trust. Ex: family, education, church, culture
-producing the norms itself
Making internal parts of the society work together
-more connected and collective to achieve a goal
-law courts: making everyone one side
generating conformity to norms
start from action theory to large scale theory.
This theory allows analysis on interchange.
Articulate the bridge or breakdown between small unit/organization to
Every subsystem, AGIL, has to be dependent on other subunits. Each
helps each other. Ex: business provide something to politics, politics
and give back to business. Economy of society. Profit and laws. Why
some firm success and why some firm fails? It is the relationship
between the firm and other units.
Adaption & latent
(L) Household-------- (A) office
- office gives household money(a job), consumer supplies. Training to the
- household gives firms labour, customers. Values of the workers and
must co-exist, cant survive without one another. Artist: considered as deviant. Who resisted the office world.
Integration of artist into the culture lately: more direct way of artist can
make people nowadays, graphic design..etc. more contributing. Business
firms recognize artistic skills in their culture. Therefore artists integrated
into the business world. New dynamics can still be viewed by this
framework. Never one way change, always two ways.
Using this to understand evolution
-new changes survive only if it fits the function of the society
Differentiation : different goals of different place. Household vs. firms
- division of labour
- core of evolution
- specializing improves performance
- apply this idea into AGIL
- went with goal-attainment
- historically, pre-modern Europe combined the two, household firm
combined, household both manufactured and nurture domestic life.
- If separated, men work outside of the home, surrounded by
workers, only work. When go home, only deal with family, children.
- Differentiation of workplace and home.
- Evolutionary? It should exhibit adaptive upgrading
- If it allows the