Sociology Exam Notes.docx

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Published on 12 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC101Y1
Professor
Sociology Exam Notes
Chapter 1: Introduction
Durkheim: Examined association between suicide rates and social solidarity-degree which group members
share beliefs and values, and intensity and frequency of interaction
Anomic Suicide: occurs in low social solidarity settings, where norms and governing behavior are
vaguely defined: when people live in a society that lacks a widely shared code of morality
Egoistic: results from lack of integration of individuals into society because of weak social ties.
Altruistic suicide: High social solidarity, where norms tightly govern behavior- suicide bombers
Implies that social forces exist external to individuals and constrains individual behavior.
Increased suicide today: youth face lower level of social solidarity and less rooted in society. Unmarried men
most likely to commit suicide.
Social Structures
Microstructures: Overarching patterns of intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interaction
Macrostructures: Overarching patterns of social relations outside ones circle of intimates and acquaintances
Global Structures: Patterns of social relations outside and above national level
The Sociological Imagination
Ability to see connection between troubles and social structures.
Scientific revolution: encouraged evidence based conclusions about society
Democratic revolution: suggested people were responsible for society, thus human intervention
solving social problems
Industrial revolution: Created host of social problems
Origins Of Sociology
Values, Theories, and Research
Theoretical Traditions in Sociology
1) Functionalism-stresses human behavior is governed by stable patterns. How social structures
maintain or undermine social stability.
2) Conflict Theory-Shows how major inequality to produce social stability-stresses how members of
privileged groups seek to maintain advantages, while subordinate groups struggle to increase theirs
3) Symbolic Interactionsm- Argues that people help create circumstances, not merely react. Micro level
social setting, emphasizing need for understanding subjective meanings that people attach to social
circumstance
4) Feminist Theory-Suggest male domination and female subordination are determined by structures of
power and social convention rather than biology.
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Chapter 6: Social Stratification
Social Stratification- Refers to persistent patterns of social inequality in a society perpetuated by the
way wealth power and prestige.
Status- Ascribed (assigned) vs. Achieved (earned)
Types Of Stratification Systems
Open stratification system- in which merit rather than inheritance determines social rank; this allows
the prospect of social change. Reflected in meritocracy: positions earned not given
Closed Stratification System- Inheritance rather than merit, little social change possible: Caste
system. Canada might be meritocracy, but ascribed statuses play an important role
Marx: Class Conflict
Industrial revolution: tremendous increase level of economic production and degree of inequality.
Advocate trade unions, labour and laws
Means of production: technology, capital investments, raw materials used in production
Social relations of production: Relationships between main classes involved in production
Two Major Classes of capitalism: Bourgeoisie (owner of the means of production)/ Proletariat
(workers)
Exploitation of wage laborers was the result of surplus value-turned into profits (capitalists)
Class Conflict: Conflict between major classes within a mode of production: Marx was a socialist
Consciousness And Revolution
Criticized for predictions not finding support in later capitalist societies, which were characterized by
absence of widespread class conflict, growth of middle class, and relative decline in inequality. Later
socialist systems of government characterized by persistent inequality.
Weber: Emphasized Life chances: opportunities for higher standard of living
Focused on determinants of power: ability to impose one’s wishes on others saw more complexity in
social stratification system more classes than Marx. Weber did not think that the development of class
consciousness was inevitable, and did not think that class conflict would lead to the ultimate demise of
capitalism.
Davis and Moore: Functional Theory and Social Stratification
Inequality exists in all society-> must be necessary. All societies have occupational roles, some more
important than others. Greater rewards needed for extended training for jobs, doctor vs. janitor. Social
inequality is important and inevitable
Criticism: huge income and wealth inequalities, gender differences, inherited wealth, denoting important
roles, movie stars, nurses and daycares.
Lenski: Technology and Stratification Systems
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Better educated and more highly skilled workers are paid more, although envisioned more equal
distribution of wealth. However, unlike the functionalist approach, Lenski’s theory clearly took power
differences into account, emphasizing how the extent of accumulation of wealth by elites, or the
degree of material inequality, depends on the power and bargaining ability of middle-level workers
Wrights Neo-Marxist Theory Of Class
Industrial capitalism matured, the middle class had grown and become more diverse, emphasized
contradictory class locations- an occupational grouping with divided loyalties. Nine classes of labor
Argued: One class by another can occur through: Means of production/ownership of assets and control
of high positions in organizations
Parkins Neo-Weberian approach
Social Closure: Method used by powerful groups to maintain unequal access to status
Exclusion: organized effort of the privileged, more powerful groups to maintain their advantages
Usurpation: Efforts of excluded groups to gain advantages at expense of more powerful groups
Occupation, SOCIAL class and inequality in Canada
Decline in natural resource occupation, increase in white collar occupations, managerial,
professional, clerical, sales. Many blue collar: manufacturing
Increase in education/incomes/
Greater class diversity/rising standard of living not increasing poverty
Gender based labor market stratification: women have more jobs but often in pink collar
Large class of workers differentiated by: decision making authority, income status, power
Decrease self employed/ increased unemployment/increase part time/income growth has
stopped/ increase in income and wealth inequality
Occupational mobility: Moving up and down occupational and income ladders
Intergenerational occupational mobility: Mobility within an individual’s lifetime
Intergenerational occupational mobility: Process of reaching occupation location higher or lower
than location held by parents
Occupational status attainment: Main determinant of status of a person’s current job is status of
first job (dependent on educational attainment)*
Distribution Of wealth
Wealthiest 10% own 50% of all wealth in Canada
Females make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes
Defining Poor
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Document Summary

Durkheim: examined association between suicide rates and social solidarity-degree which group members share beliefs and values, and intensity and frequency of interaction. Anomic suicide: occurs in low social solidarity settings, where norms and governing behavior are vaguely defined: when people live in a society that lacks a widely shared code of morality. Egoistic: results from lack of integration of individuals into society because of weak social ties. Altruistic suicide: high social solidarity, where norms tightly govern behavior- suicide bombers. Implies that social forces exist external to individuals and constrains individual behavior. Increased suicide today: youth face lower level of social solidarity and less rooted in society. Microstructures: overarching patterns of intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interaction. Macrostructures: overarching patterns of social relations outside ones circle of intimates and acquaintances. Global structures: patterns of social relations outside and above national level. Ability to see connection between troubles and social structures. Scientific revolution: encouraged evidence based conclusions about society.

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