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Midterm

Sociology Midterm.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC101Y1
Professor
Robert Brym
Semester
Winter

Description
Social Stratification 11/26/2012 7:28:00 AM Sociology Exam: Chapter 4: Gender & Sexuality  Compulsory Heterosexuality: The assumption that individuals should desire only members of the “opposite” sex.  Essentialists: Observe male – female differences in sexual scripts, the division of labor at home and in the workplace, mate selection, sexual aggression, jealousy, promiscuity, fidelity, and so forth. They then interpret these differences as natural and universal.  Gender: Encompasses the feelings, attitudes and behaviors that are associated with being male or female as conventionally understood.  Gender Identity: Refers to identification with, or a sense of belonging to, a particular sex, biologically, psychologically and socially.  Gender Roles: Comprise the repertoire of behaviors that match widely shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act.  Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment: Involves sexual jokes, comments and touching that interfere with work or create an unfriendly work setting.  Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: Involves sexual threats or bribery used to extract sexual favors as a condition of employment decisions.  Sex: Refers to being born with distinct male or female genitalia and a genetic program that releases either male or female hormones to stimulate the development of one’s reproductive system.   Being male or female involves not just biology but also certain “masculine” and “feminine” feelings, attitudes and behaviors.  Sexual Orientation: Refers to the way a person derives sexual pleasure, including whether desirable partners are of the same or a different sex.  Sexual Pluralism: Assesses sexual acts only by their meaning for the participants.  Sexual Scripts: Are assumptions that guide sexual behaviour by telling us whom we should find attractive, when and where it is appropriate to be aroused, what is sexually permissible and so on.  Social Construction: Is the main alternative to essentialism. Social construction argue that gender differences are not the product of biological properties, whether chromosomal, gonadal, or hormonal. Instead, gender and sexuality are products of social structure and culture.  Sociobiology: Best known variant of essentialism. It holds that all human beings instinctually want to ensure that their genes get passed on to future generations. However, the different reproductive status of men and women means that they have had to develop different adaptive strategies. This gave rise to “masculine” and “feminine” patterns of behavior that presumable became genetically encoded because of their adaptive value.  Transgendered: When peoples gender identity does not exactly match the sex assigned to them at birth. They blur widely accepted gender roles by, for example, cross dressing.  Transsexuals: Identity with the opposite sex from that assigned to them at birth, causing them to change their appearance or resort to a sex change operation.  Essentialism: - 3 Most Popular Variants:   Brain: The left hemisphere is generally associated with language abilities, the right with non verbal perception and visual and spatial skills.   Sociobiology: E.O Wilson argues that all human beings instinctually want to ensure that their genes get passed on to future generations. Four adaptive strategies or “universal features of our evolved selves” govern the relations between the sexes and contribute to the preservation of the human species: First, men want casual sex with women. Second, men treat women’s bodies as men’s property. Third, men beat or kill women who incite male sexual jealousy. Fourth, women are greedy for money. Men are more concerned with a women looks, physique rather than women who are more concerned with a man’s career, ambitions.  Freud: Freud believed that sexuality is the main human instinct. In his view, it motivates for the development of distinct masculine and feminine gender roles. Children are the age of 3-5 pay attention to their genitals. Pay particular attention to Oedipus and Electra complex. “Penis envy” young girl develops a sense of inferiority.  Criticism of Essentialism: 1. Essentialists ignore the historical and cultural variability of gender and sexuality. Not all society’s enforce gender related concepts nor are they static. Culture is ever changing. 2. Essentialists ignore the fact that gender differences are declining rapidly and in some cases have already disappeared. 3. The research evidence employed by essentialists is often deeply flawed. 4. Essentialists tend to generalize from the average, ignoring variations within gender groups. Ex. All men are aggressive .. not necessarily true. 5. Essentialists exaggerate the degree to which gender difference are unchangeable. Men want sex, women want money. This is a generalization. Women express less preference for older men, and men less preference for younger women, in a more gender egalitarian society. 6. Essentialists offer explanations for gender differences that ignore the role of power. Freud simply assumes that men are superior to women and then creates a speculative theory that justifies gender differences. o Social Constructionalism: Main alternative to essentialism. Social constructionists argue that gender differences are not the product of biological properties, whether chromosomal, gonadal or hormonal. Instead, gender and sexuality are products of social structure and culture. o Culture: Composed of shared systems of meanings. o Social Structure: Refers to the way major institutions, such as families, the economy and the political system are organized. o Social constructionist’s stress 3 main socio-historical changes that led to the development of gender inequality: 1. Long Distance Warfare & Conquest: Anthropologists have shown that a high level of gender equality existed in foraging or hunting an gathering societies, the dominant form of society for 90% of human history. 2. Plow Agriculture: Men’s strengths and enhanced male power and authority. 3. The Separation of Public & Private Spheres: Men worked in public spheres while women mostly maintained jobs in domestic or private ones. o Constructing Gender Through Socialization: o Primary Socialization: From the moment of birth infants boys and girls are treated differently by parents, particularly their fathers. o Secondary Socialization: The process of channeling girls into roles culturally defined as appropriately feminine and boys into roles culturally defined as appropriately masculine continues in schools. o The Mass Media: The symbolic representation of gender in the mass media also creates and reinforces gender stereotypes. o Sexual Assault: Most common in women. Surveys suggest that 1/8 girls growing up in Canada today will be a victim of serious sexual abuse before the age of 16. Significantly rates of rape are highest in war situations, when many conquering males soldiers feel justified in wanting to humiliate the vanquished, who are powerless to stop them. This suggests that in general rape involves using sex to establish dominance. Chapter 5: The Mass Media  Media is the plural of medium, or “middle” hence the idea of media as the means for connecting two or more points  Communications means brining together or unifying by establishing shared meanings and understandings between groups and individuals.  Mass Media: Technologically mediated means of communication in which the flow of messages is largely one way, from a single point of transmission to a large, anonymous, dispersed audience of receivers (ex. T.V)  Interactive Media: Technologically mediated means of communication in which the flow of messages is two way – between actors who transmit and receive messages (ex. Telephone)  Technological theories hold that different media technologies determine social perceptions, interactions and institutional arrangements. Critical theorists argue that social values, interests and conflicts shape the technological development, use and impact of the media.  Time Biased Media: Modes of communication that endure over time but are relatively immobile across space, such as writing on stone or clay tablets.  Space Biased Media: Cover much greater space but are less durable over time – for example, writing on paper or transmitting sounds over airwaves.  McLuhan argued that the relationship between communication on one hand and institutions and culture on the other, was mediated by the way that forms of communication change our sense perceptions and cognitive processes.  The impact of TV is crucial for two reasons. First, unlike print, TV does not rely exclusively on one sense (sight). It integrates sight and sound and achieves a better sensory balance. Second, TV allows communication to be almost instantaneous; there is no significant delay between transmission and reception of the message.  It is remarkable that McLuhan’s argument that electronic media would create a “global village” predated the arrival of the Internet and other new communications technologies between two decades.  According to the critical perspective, institutions, such as the news media and processes, such as socialization and social control, cannot be understood from the viewpoint of society as a whole, but only from that of unequal and conflicting groups and classes. In fact, the critical perspective has two variants, one emphasizing the relationship between media and inequality, the other emphasizing the relationship between media and social conflict.   First variant of critical perspective is derived from orthodox Marxism – Media serves economic interests and political power of those who own and control the means of material production.  Dominant Ideology: Compromises the interests, perspectives, viewpoints and understandings of the dominant class and other powerful groups.  Horkheimer and Adorno developed the argument in regards to seeing mass media as part of a broader “culture industry” that functions to create “mass deception” about the exploitative and oppressive character of capitalist society.  Propaganda Model: Horkheimer & Adorno 1) The media’s orientation to profit making 2) Their dependence on advertising for revenue and profit 3) Their reliance on powerful institutions and individuals as sources of information 4) Negative reaction – what they call flak – if the media deviate from promoting elite interests and values 5) Their adherence to anti-communism as an overarching belief system. With the decline of communism, the fifth filter has morphed into the “war on terrorism”  Hegemony: The exercise by the dominant class of cultural leadership by using the media to naturalize and universalize dominant ideology and to absorb the challenge of alternative and oppositional points of view.  Political economy forces on the ownership and control of economic resources and the effect of technology and economic power on cultural values, social structure and political decision making.  Horizontal Integration: The ownership of different outlets in a media chain for purposes of sharing resources  Vertical Integration: Refers to a media corporation’s ownership and control of the means of production at all stages of the production process – for example, from producing newsprint to delivering newspapers.  The recent development of digital technology has enhanced horizontal and vertical integration, and has led to a series of corporate mergers, such as Time Warner, that have strengthened the position of multimedia chains as the dominant form of organization.  Cultural Imperialism: Is a situation in which one society’s media exert an overwhelming and unilateral influence over another society’s culture.  As TV becomes more differentiated, audiences become more fragmented, a process that is captured by the term narrowcasting. With this development, the role of TV as an agent of common culture is open to question.  Representation: The use of language, visual images, or other means of communication to portray something in a coherent and meaningful way that others can understand.  Framing: Process of defining the boundaries of a representation and the organization of its contents. Framing pertains to the selection of what is included and excluded, what is accentuated and what is played down.  Conservatives argue that the news media have a “left-liberal” bias that runs counter to the views and interests of society’s mainstream.  Bias (according to conservatives) operates in 3 related ways: 1) Media have an anti-corporate bias and are critical of market-oriented solutions to social problems 2) Journalists give greater or more favorable attention to the views of interest groups and constituencies that their personal liberal or left-wing political views 3) Mass media concentrate on negative events, issues and news angles, ignoring the positive aspects of social life.  News Values: Include such criteria as immediacy, personalization and extraordinariness, in terms of which news media define and represent events and issues.  Three Major Criteria: 1) Immediacy – What is new or immediate, report these news as quickly as possible 2) Personalization – When news does deal with causes and explanations, it often reduces them to the level of individuals motives and psychology 3) Extraordinariness – Above all, news concerns events and issues that are out of the ordinary and that entail conflict, confrontation, deviance or disorder.  News media also take account of a fourth news value: objectivity or fairness. Objectivity translates into an attempt to achieve a balance of sources representing the different, often antagonistic, viewpoints that are involved in the event or issue being reported.  Official News Sources: Authoritative voices – for example, politicians, police officers and professional experts – that the media use to define the meaning of an event or issue.  Ordinary News Sources: News sources that do not derive from organizations or groups, such as eyewitnesses or victims of news events and issues.  Alternative News Sources: Representatives of social movements and of social advocacy groups whose viewpoints often diverge from those of dominant social groups and their representatives.  Two Approaches of the Study of Media Effects: 1) Study of media violence and it deals most directly with the negative aspects of the media’s influence. 2) Second focuses on audience interpretation, the way viewers make sense of what they see and hear on television.  Cultivation Analysis: Examines the long-term effects of television viewing on beliefs about social reality. People who watch TV a lot tend to see the world as more violent and dangerous than it really is, and tend to be more fearful   This tendency is what Gerbner and his colleagues call the “mean world syndrome”  The second approach focuses on TV’s effects on behaviour. The predominant view is that TV does play a limited role in generating real- life violence.  The lab experiments have shown that TV violence has an effect on real- life violence independent of the intervening factors that have been shown to affect overall levels of aggressiveness.  The most sociological of these is social learning theory, according to which violence must be learned like any other behaviour and media violence provides scripts that teach children how and when to act aggressively. Social learning, however, does not occur in isolation from psychological factors.  Computer Mediated Communication: Refers to social interaction or information gathering through the use of computer technology.  Digital divide is a term that is commonly used to explain how access to and use of CMC reproduces structural inequities. While access to the Internet has grown rapidly, not only in developed nations but also in developing countries, disparities persist in terms of race, class, gender and technology. Chapter 6: Social Stratification  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.  Status: Culturally and socially defined position that a person occupies in a group.  Ascribed Status: Is a status, such as age, gender or race that is assigned to an individual, typically at birth, not chosen by the individual.  Achieved Status: Is a changeable status that is acquired on the basis of how well an individual performs a particular role.  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)  Social Mobility: The process whereby individuals, families or other groups move up or down a status hierarchy.  Open Stratification System: A stratification system in which merit, rather than inheritance (or ascribed characteristics), determines social rank.  Caste System: Closed stratification system, most common in Indian, with strict rules regarding the type of work that members of different castes (the strata of society into which people are born) can do.  Closed Stratification System: A stratification system in which little or no social mobility occurs, because most or all statuses are ascribed.  Class Structure: Relatively permanent economic hierarchy comprising different social classes.  Socio economic status: Refers to a person’s general status within an economic hierarchy, based on income ,education and occupation. Karl Marx: Capitalism, Exploitation & Class Conflict  Marx called the overall system of economic activity in a society its modes of production.  In turn, its major components were the means of production (technology, capital investments, and raw materials) and the social relations of production (the relationships between the main classes involved in production)  Within industrial capitalism, Marx identified two major classes: the capitalist class, or bourgoise, which owned the means of productions: and the proletariat or working class, which exchanged its labour for wages. He also described a middle class – the petite bourgoise – compromising independent owners/producers (farmers, for example) and small business owners.  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.  Class Conflict: According to Marx, is conflict between major classes within a mo
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