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Final

SOC101Y1 Study Guide - Final Guide: Ethnic Stereotype, Critical Race Theory, Ascribed Status


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101Y1
Professor
Sheldon Ungar
Study Guide
Final

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Sociological Knowledge & Science
Inquiry is a natural human activity, much of ordinary human inquiry seeks to explain events &
predict future events
Much of what we know, we know by agreement rather than experience, tradition & authority two
key sources of knowledge
When we understand through direct experience, we make observations & seek patterns of
regularities in what we observe
Science seeks to protect against mistakes we make in every day inquiry
Whereas we often observe inaccurately, researchers seek to avoid such errors by making
observations a careful and deliberate activity
Sometimes we jump to general conclusions on the basis of only a few observations, so scientists
seek to avoid overgeneralizations by committing themselves to a sufficient number of observations
& by replication
Three views of reality are premodern, modern & postmodern: in the postmodern, there is no
objective reality independent of subjective experience
Social theory attempts to discuss and explain what is, not what should be
Social scientists are interested in explaining human aggregates, not individuals
Theories are written in the language of variables, a variable is a logical set of attributes & an
attribute is a characteristic
In causal explanation, the presumed variable is the independent variable, while the affected
variable is the dependent variable
Idiographic explanations seek to understand specific cases fully, whereas nomothetic explanations
seek a generalized understanding of many cases
Inductive theories reason from specific observations to general patterns
Deductive theories start from general statements and predict specific observations
Both pure & applied research are valid & vital parts of the social scientific enterprise
Ethics is a key consideration in the design of social research, two fundamental ethical guidelines are
that participation in social research be voluntary & that no harm should come to subjects
Common sense: relies on authority, tradition, and first-hand experience, suspends doubt able to
world, focus on action
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Characteristics of Critical thinking: independence of mind, intellectual curiosity, courage empathy,
humility, perseverance
Three levels of social structure: microstructures (intimate social relations), macrostructures
(patterns of social relatios outside of oe’s soial ile & gloal stutues pattes outside of
national level)
Functionalism: human behaviour governed by stable patterns, shows how structure undermines or
maintains social stability, structure based on shared values, argues that re-establishing equilibrium
is the best way to solve social problems
Conflict theory: focuses on macro-level structures, shows how major patterns of inequality produce
social stability in some circumstances & social changes in others, stresses how members of
privileged groups seek to maintain advantages while members of subordinate groups struggle to
increase theirs, typically recommends eliminating privilege as a means of reducing social conflict
o Marx: class conflict, believed workers would develop class consciousness & this would bring
about communism
o Weber: argued the middle class stabilizes society & that class conflict is not the only driving
force of history & politics & religion are also important sources of historical change
Symbolic interactionism: focuses on interpersonal communication at the micro level, emphasizes
social life is possible only because people attach meanings to things, stresses people help to create
their social circumstances, not merely react to them
o Verstehen (Webe: epathetiall udestadig people’s oties & eaigs the
attach to things to gain a clear sense of the significance of their actions
o Mead: sense of self is formed in the course of interaction with others
o Goffman: compared social interaction to a staged play
Poststructuralism: rejects universalism & essentialism
Research Methods
Causal relationship: involves a relationship between two variables in which change or variation
in one variable produces change in a second variable, four criteria are essential to establishing a
causal relationship: association, time ordering, nonspuriousness & theoretical rationale
Ethnography: the detailed description of a particular culture or way of life, or the written results
of participant observation
Experiment: controlled test of the causal effects of a particular variable or set of variables
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Explanation: an account of the causal logic that shows how & why variables influence one
another
External validity: the generalizability of a particular finding from the study group to a large
population, the relevance of conclusions to a large population, or the ability to infer that the
results of a study are representative of processes operating in a broader population
Hawthorne effect: people involved in a study may be influenced by the very process of being
studied
Hypothesis: a knowledge claim or hunch about how the world works, it is a testable statement,
derived from a theory, about the relationship between two variables
Interview: a method of collecting information by asking people questions, range from highly
structured to loosely structured
Meaningful action: human action, as distinct from physical behaviour, occurs with specific
intentions or reasons in mind
Randomization: a procedure used in experiments to assign test subjects to experimental
conditions on the basis of chance
Reliability: the consistency of measurements & the ability to reproduce the same measurements
multiple times
Sampling: selecting units fro, a larger population, can be selected by probability, where every
unit has a non-zero chance of selecting, or nonprobability, where chance does not enter into the
selection of sample units
Spurious relationships: involve an incorrect inference about the causal relationships between
variables
Validity: the relevance or accuracy of measurement in relation to the theoretical concept it is
supposed to measure
Pure research: interested in understanding
Applied research: interested in application
Content analysis can be both qualitative & quantitative
Manifest content best suited to quantitative, latent content to qualitative
Content analysis is unobtrusive
Culture
Counterculture: a group that strongly rejects dominant societal values & norms & seeks
alternative lifestyles
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