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University of Toronto St. George
Robert Brym

SOC101 Test 1 – Notes Chapter 1 Glossary Words ALTURISTIC SUICIDE – Durkheim says that it occurs in settings that show high levels of social solidarity and that have norms that strictly govern behaviour – devotion to the interests of others – individuals act more for group interest (soldiers) ANOMIC SUICIDE – Durkheim says that anomic suicide occurs in settings that show low levels of social solidarity and that have norms that vaguely define how people should behave EGOISTIC SUICIDE – results from a lack of integration of the individual into society because of weak social ties to others CONFLICT THEORY – Macrolevel structures – such as relations among classes – shows how major patterns of inequality can either produce social stability in some situations and can create social change in other situations – members of privileged groups try to maintain their advantages – subordinate groups struggle to increase their advantages – suggestion that elimination privilege will lower the level of conflict and increase the sum total of human welfare DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION – 1750 – people are responsible for organizing society and can therefore solve social problems DYSFUNCTIONAL CONSEQUENCES – effects of social structures that create social instability ETHNOMETHODOLOGY – the study of how people make sense of what others do and say in terms of norms that exist independently of individual social actors FEMINIST THEORY – patriarchy is as important as class inequality in determining a person’s opportunities in life – male domination and female subordination are determined by structures of power and social convention – operation of patriarchy in micro and macro settings – contends that patterns of gender inequality can and should be changed FUNCTIONALIST THEORY – human behaviour is governed by relatively stable social structures – social structures maintain or undermine social stability – social structures based on mainly shared values – re-establishing equilibrium can best solve most social problems GLOBAL STRUCTURES – social relations that lie outside and above the national level – international organizations – patterns of worldwide travel and communication – economic relations between and among countries GLOBALIZATION – process by which formerly separate economies, states and cultures are becoming tied together and people are becoming more aware of their growing interdependence – (dependence on each other) INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION – 1780 – economic transformation – formation of a working class LATENT FUNCTIONS – invisible and unintended effects of social structures MACROSTRUCTURES – predominant patterns of social relations which are outside and above one’s circle of intimates and acquaintances – classes, bureaucracies and power systems – ie patriarchy MANIFEST FUNCTIONS – visible and intended effects of social structures MICROSTRUCTURES – patterns of relatively intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interaction – families, friends, work associations PATRIARCHY – traditional system of economic and political inequality between women and men POSTINDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION – technology-driven shift from manufacturing to service industries – consequences of that shift for virtually all human activities PROTESTANT ETHIC – protestant belief that religious doubts can be reduced and a state of grace ensure if people work diligently and live plainly – Weber = the protestant ethic had an unintended effect of increasing savings and investment and thus stimulating capitalist growth SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION – 1550 - sound conclusions about how society functions must be based on solid evidence and not just speculation SOCIAL SOLIDARITY – refers to the degree to which group members share beliefs and valuesAND the intensity and frequency of their interaction SOCIAL STRUCTURES – relatively stable pattern of social relations SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION – quality of mind that allows a person to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures SOCIOLOGY – is the systematic study of human behaviour in social context SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONALISM – focuses on face-to-face interaction in microlevel social settings – states that we must have an understanding of the subjective (personal) meanings people attach to their social circumstances in order to be able to explain social behaviour – people help create and do not only react to their social circumstances – symbolic internationalism validates unpopular and non-official viewpoints by underscoring the subjective meanings people create THEORY – tentative explanation of some aspect of social life that states how and why certain facts are related VALUES – ideas about what is right and wrong Chapter 1 Notes - Émile Durkheim (pioneer of sociology) – non-social and antisocial actions are influenced by social structures – social solidarity affects suicide rates – as the level of social solidarity increases, the suicide rate declines – beyond a certain point, it starts to rise – thus anomic (low social solidarity – without order/norms), egoistic (lack of integration and ties) and altruistic (for the group) types of suicide - Paradigm Main Level of Main Focus Main Question Image of Ideal Analysis Society Functionalism Macro Values How do the Astate of institutions of equilibrium society contribute to social stability? Conflict Theory Macro Class How do The elimination inequality privileged of privilege – groups seek to especially class maintain their advantages and subordinate groups seek to increase theirs, often causing social change in the process? Symbolic Micro Meaning How do Respect for the Internationalis individuals validity of m communicate so minority views as to make their social settings meaningful? Feminism Micro + Patriarchy Which social The elimination Macro structures and of gender interaction inequality processes maintain male dominance and female subordination? - S.D. Clark – Canadian social development as a process of disorganization and reorganization on a series of economic frontiers – functionalism – society re-establishes equilibrium after disruptions caused by economic change - John Porter – premier sociologist in 60s-70s – study of class and power – conflict theory - Erving Goffman – “dramaturgical” approach to symbolic interactionalism – way we present ourselves to each other - Margrit Eichler – feminist - Chapter 6 – Social Stratification – Glossary - Absolute poverty – is the state of existence of those who have so little income that they can barely stay alive - Achieved status – is a changeable status that is acquired on the basis of how well an individual performs a particular role - Ascribed status – status such as age or gender, that is assignee to an individual, typically at birth, not chosen by the individual - Bourgeoisie – according to Marx, is one of the two main classes in the capitalist mode of production – it comprises the owners of the means of production - Caste system – closed stratification system, most common in India, with strict rules regarding the type of work that members of different castes (the strata of society into which people are born) can do - Circulatory mobility – is the occupational mobility that occurs within a society when better- qualified individuals move upward to replace those who are less qualified and who must consequently move downward - Class – a position in an economic hierarchy occupied by individuals or families with similar access to, or control over, material resources - Class conflict – according to Marx – is the conflict between major classes within a mode of production – eventually leads to the evolution of a new mode of production - Class consciousness – according to Marx – is the recognition by members of a class of their shared interests in opposition to members of another class - Class structure – the relatively permanent economic hierarchy comprising different social classes - Closed stratification system – stratification system in which little or no social mobility occurs because most or all statuses are ascribed - Contradictory class locations – according to Erik Olin Wright – are the locations within a class structure populated by occupational groupings with divided loyalties (e.g. managers who supervise others and report to owners) - Exclusion – according to Frank Parkin – is the organized effort of privileged, more powerful groups to maintain their advantaged position - Intergenerational occupational mobility – refers to an individual’s occupational mobility, either upward or downward, in relation to his or her parent’s occupational status - Intragenerational occupational mobility – refers to an individual’s occupational mobility either upward or downward within his or her own lifetime - Life-chances – according to Weber – are the opportunities (or lack thereof) for a higher standard of living and a better quality of life that are available to members of a given class - Low-income cutoff (LICO) – also known as the poverty line – is an estimate of the income level below which one might be considered to be living in relative poverty. Defined by Statistics Canada as the level of income at which more than 63 percent of income is spent on basic needs - Means of production – according to Marx – is one of the main components of a mode of production, consisting of the technology, capital investments and raw materials used in production - Meritocracy – a society in which most or all statuses are achieved on the basis of merit (how well a person performs in a given role) - Mode of production – according to Marx – the overall system of economic activity within a society, comprising the means of production and the social relations of production - Occupational status attainment – refers to the process whereby an individual obtains a particular occupational status and the factors that influence that process - Open stratification system – a stratification system in which merit, rather than inheritance (or ascribed characteristics) determines social rank - Petite bourgeoisie – according to Marx – is a secondary class within the capitalist mode of production, including independent owners/producers (eg farmers) and small business owners - Power – is the ability to impose one’s will on others - Proletariat – according to Marx – is one of the two main classes in the a capitalist mode of production, comprising of workers who exchange their labour for a wage (ME!!) - Relative poverty – is a state of existence in which individuals have significantly less income than of most others in their society causing their lifestyle to be more restricted and their life- chances substantially curtailed - Social closure – according to Max Weber and Frank Parkin – refers to the methods used by more powerful groups to maintain their unequal access to status and resources and to exclude others from such access - Social mobility – is the process whereby individuals, families, or other groups move up or down a status hierarchy - Social relations of production – according to Marx – are one of the main components of a given mode of production – specifically the relationships between the main classes involved in production - Social stratification – refers to persistent patterns of social inequality perpetuated by the way wealth, power, and prestige are distributed and passed on from one generation to the next - Socio-economic status – refers to a person’s general status within an economic hierarchy based on income, education and occupation - Status – is a culturally and socially defined position that a person occupies in a group - Structural-functionalist theory – a school of thought that views social organization as analogous (similar) to a biological organism or system, in which the parts (or organs) exist because of the functions they perform in maintaining the whole. Thus, stratification exists because of vital functions it performs in maintaining social equilibrium - Structural mobility – refers to the occupational mobility in a society resulting from changes in the occupational structure (e.g. the upward mobility of many individuals resulting from the creation of more middle and upper-level jobs in the economy) - Surplus value – according to Marx – is the value of goods in excess of the cost of production, which takes the form of profit when the product is sold - Usurpation – according to Frank Parkin – the effort of excluded groups within a stratification system to gain advantages and power at the expense of more powerful groups - Working poor – individuals who work but whose income leaves them below the designated low-income or poverty line - Summary - Social theorists have proposed a variety of different explanations of the origins and effects of social-stratification systems - Karl Marx emphasized the exploitation of the working class by the owners of the means of production and the capacity of class conflict to generate social change – based on class system - Max Weber – emphasis on power that resides in ownership of property but argued that hierarchies of prestige and political power are influential as well - Structural-functionalist theory of social stratification suggests that inequality is both inevitable and functionally necessary for a society, ensuring that the most qualified individuals are selected to fill the most important (and rewarding) roles – power differences are downplayed in this theory, as is conflict between different social classes o More recent theories of social stratification have placed more emphasis on power and conflict (Gerhard Lenski, Frank Parkin, Erik Olin Wright) - Wright developed a class-based theory of stratification that adapts many of Marx’s idea into contemporary circumstances – middle class – contradictory class locations - Parkin’s approach follows in the same footsteps of Weber – focused on how patterns of social inequality changed - Canada is a relatively open society – but considerable evidence suggests that class-based advantages are often passed from one generation to the next - Material inequality is increasing in Canada - Davis and Moore – structural-functionalists – because inequality exists in all societies, it must be necessary - Lenski argued that technology determines the degree of inequality in a society – causes people to struggle to get resources (notes are starting to get shitty… so sleepy) - Functional theory of stratification – some jobs are more important than others – more important ones require more work and therefore more rewards - Math Shits - Inflation and Real Dollars - Real value = (nominal dollars today / inflated base dollars today) * nominal dollars today - Box of shit costs $100 in 2011 - Box of shit costs $105 in 2012 - Inflation rate = 5% - What you can buy in 2012 with $105, you could have bought in 2011 for $100 – therefore: - $105 in 2012 = $100 in 2011 - 105 nominal 2012 dollars = 100 real 2011 dollars - How much is $100 in 2012 worth in terms of worth in 2011? – What is the real value of money in 2012, using 2011 as a base? - Real value = (100/105) * 100 - = $95.24 - The real value of $105 from 2012 is worth $95.24 in 2011 because you are getting the same but spending more - - Regression Equation? - y = a + bx (equation summarizing the trend or regression line) - y = the effect (any y coordinate on graph) - x = the hypothesized cause (any x coordinate on graph) - a = the intercept (the value of y where the regression line hits the y axis) - b = the regression coefficient = slope = rise over run = (y2-y1)/(x2-x1) - CHAPTER 8: RACEAND ETHNIC RELATIONS ETHNICITYAND RACE: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF DIFFERENCE  We believe that race and ethnicity are ascribed characteristics – we assume that we are born with a certain race or ethnicity that cannot be changed  Sociologists claim although we cannot change our birth parents, or our skin colour, we do not necessarily have fixed ethnic and racial characteristics – it is more useful to see race and ethnicity as achieved characteristics (statuses that are acquired by virtue of social definition)  Ethnicity: There are two fundamental ways of defining ethnicity  Objective definitions of ethnicity assume ethnic groups exist because of people’s social attachments  Ethnicity is something that people possess because of differences in language, culture, customs, national origin, and ancestry  Subjective approaches to ethnicity focus on the process of ethnic identification or essentially self-identification of group members  Ethnic groups are made up of people who identify themselves, or who are identified by others, as belonging to the same ancestral or cultural group  Whether they display any of the cultural characteristics of the group with which they identify, or whether they are merely born into that group, is largely irrelevant  The way people define themselves, and are defined by others is in constantly changing  Prejudice: Unfavourable, generalized and rigid belief applied to all members of a group  Discrimination: Practices that deny members of particular groups equal access to societal reward  Race: Socially constructed label used to describe certain kinds of physical differences between people  Racial classification of humanity are arbitrary, that genetic differences between groups are small, and that genetic differences are behaviourally insignificant  Racial classification based on a characteristic such as skin colour, are as illogical as racial classifications based on the length of index fingers  Ethnic boundaries and identities are flexible, negotiated, and historically variable  However despite social construction, race and ethnicity are important parts of our social reality  Many continue to believe existence of race and ethnicity and organize their relationships with others based on those beliefs  Racism: Two forms of definitions are attributed to racism, biological and sociological  The traditionally defined biological versions refer to the belief “the belief that humans are subdivided into distinct hereditary groups that are innately different in social behaviour and mental capacities and can therefore be ranked as superior and inferior”  The claims of inherent superiority and inferiority of groups have been so thoroughly discredited that racism has taken new forms  Researchers have developed the concept of new racism as a way of analyzing its changing manifestations  New racism involves the beliefs that, although races of people cannot be ranked biologically, they are different from each other and that social problems are created when different groups try to live together  New racism hence hints at the theory of human nature that suggest that it is natural for groups to form bounded communities  One group is neither better nor worse than the other, but feelings of antagonism will be aroused if outsiders are admitted  In new racism, the beliefs should be considered racist because of their underlying intent: to socially exclude, marginalize, and denigrate certain groups of people, but to do so without reference to unalterable biology  Institutional racism: Discriminatory racial practices built into such prominent structures as the political, economic, and education systems (or racism in institutions)  Institutional racism can take three forms  Institutional practices based on explicitly racial ideas (Canadian history has a lot of this form of institutional racism; Chinese people denied the right to vote in federal elections until 1947; Japanese Canadians were denied their basic civil rights, were forcibly expelled from the west coast of British Columbia, and had their property confiscated)  Institutional practices that arose from, but are no longer sustained by, racist ideas (In 1960s black workers from Caribbean admitted to work on southern Ontario farms because they deserved the “back breaking work”; today thousands of workers from the Caribbean are admitted into Canada to work at Ontario farms, although this act is no longer considered racial)  Institutional practices that sometimes unintentionally restrict the life-chances of certain groups; this is sometimes referred to as systemic discrimination (Height and weight requirements for jobs with police forces and fire departments did not necessarily originate in racist ideas, but these requirements meant that certain Asian groups could not get jobs as police officers and firefighters THEORIES OF RACE AND ETHNIC RELATIONS  Four main approaches that seek to explain various forms of ethnic and racial hostility  Social Psychology: Focus on how prejudice and racism satisfy the psychic needs of certain people  Apopular variant of social psychological theory is the Frustration-aggression theory, which explains prejudice and racism as forms of aggression that arise from people frustrated in efforts to achieve goals. Since the real source of frustration is usually too powerful to confront directly, or may not be known, people take out their frustrations on the less powerful. Hence, racial and ethnic groups become safe targets of displaced aggression. This can also be called scapegoating, where the targets of frustration are scapegoats.  This theory does have its limitations though: It does not specify circumstances that lead to aggression (it is not necessary that we always have aggression from frustration; we can choose to internalize this frustration, or we can choose to let it out in other ways); neither does the theory explain why some groups rather than others are chosen as scapegoats  Primordialism  The primordialist thesis suggests that ethnic and racial attachments reflect an innate tendency for people to seek out and associate with “their own kind” (others who are similar in terms of language, culture, beliefs, ancestry, and appearance)  Ethnic prejudice and racism are ways of maintaining social boundaries  Prejudice and discrimination stem from our supposedly biologically grounded tendency to be nepotistic  According to socio-biology, in people’s “natural” tendency to want to pass on their genes, they favour those most alike themselves (similar ethnic and racial groups) and treat them as “family”  Humans hence naturally favour members of their own ethnic or racial groups – their “families” – and have a natural distrust and dislike of “nonfamily” members  This theory also has its limitations  We have seen white people kill white people and we have seenAmericans t
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