chapters 1-4 Starting points.docx

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University of Toronto St. George

Chapter 1 Functional theory -everyone has a specific role, explain social problems as an institution’s failure to preform its role Key figures: Robert Merton- Social Theory and social Structure- manifest functions (school teaching math) and latent function, not directky intended function, (school teaching social skill and dynamics) Emile Durkheim- everything helps society (robber may cause disruption of property but unifies the community and sets example of what is shunned) -“common conscience”- everyone in small communities has very similar if not the same experiances, values, norms, and identity. -“mechanical solidarity” interdependence of individuals in small communities -“organic solidarity” interdependent on survival and prosperity -Suicide- laid out the foundations for the quantitative methods in modern ociology and established sociology as a distinct and recognized discipline. Principle of the method is that “social facts must be studied as thing, as realities external to the individual”. Visible patterns of why people suicide rather than purely random or biologically inflicted. -The Division of Labour-everyone is interdependent (merchant buyer, writers  readers) Critical theory - arises out of division between societies “have’s” and “have nots”, whether they focus on clss race gender, etc, and the unequal distribution of power. View society as a collection of groups that struggle to dominate society and its institutions -ideologies are beliefs that guide pplz interpretations of and reactions to external events. Dominant ideology keeps the social structure and the heirachy of power stable. Key figures Karl Marx- - attributed social problems to capitalism (economic struggle between Bourgeoisie d proletariat) Max Weber- expanded the critical theory from stuggle of capitalism to struggle between different groups (containing different cultural values, social status, and personal honour) -three sources of authority: 1)traditional 2) rational-legal 3) charismatic Traditions- what we have always done Rational-legal – importance on law, science and democratic decision making Charismatic- Jesus, Mohammed John Porter- Vertical Mosaic- cultural mosaic of anasimulated cultures -The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism- religion can make material progress. Protestants believed that you are predetermined to either go to hell or heaven so fulfill your life as much as you want. Working hard at a task (their calling) and reaching economic success was viewed as a blessing from god since we are his creations and if we succeeds he succeeds hence paving road to capitalism. Symbolic Interactionalism - focuses on small group interactions, what keeps groups together : shared meanings, definitions, and interpretations of interacting individuals. Study how behaviours come to ve defined or framed and how people learn to engage in everyday activities. =>Labeling Theory- rests on the premise that any given social problem is so cause the an influencial group of people defines it as so. “definition of the situation”- the norm and the meanings that govern a social interaction Social Constructionism Key figures: Herbert Blumer- - proposed social problems develop in stages: social recognicion>social legitimating>mobilization for action>development and implementation of an official plan Goffman-Stigma- anything that distinguishes a person from the norm discredits them. Everyone wants to be “normal” to avaid social ridicule and we do this by hiding our “discreditable features” by passing and covering. People also tend to group up with people like themselves causing residential segregation. -Presentation of Self in Everyday life- introduces the Dramaturgical approach (social scripts and roles). Everyone uses scripts learned from others and use them to apply in everyday situations (aka they use it as the base, but improvise partly). Not going according to social scripts causes negative emotions in those around you. Social roles are the source of our identities Role embracement-person accepts the social role and identity Role distance- person accepts the role but separates the identity associated withthat role (drop me off a block away from school, don’t wanna ruin my image in front of my friends) Role exit- rejection of some of the activities, rights, and responsibilities as well as identity associated with the role World is a theater with social scripts and social roles Peter Berger and Thomas Luckman- “The Social Construction of Reality”- all knowledge is created, preserved and spread by social interaction 3 aspects of social interactionalism: 1) human beings act toward things on the basis of the meaning =s that things have for them; 2) these meanings arise out of social interaction; 3) social action results from a fitting together of individual lines of action Giddens- positivism- sparked the enlightment era George Simmel- one of the earliest writers to look at city life on an everyday basis. City life= relentlessly, supremely alienating, with inhavitants numbing their emotions to cope with the excessive stimulation that city life offers -The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies- People have two worlds (socially acceptable behavior mask and a secret deviant mask) people use secrets in order to perform deviance. Everyone needs some concealment to functionally work in the society (white lies or things to protect ourselves from negative judgement like hiding addiction) Secret societies- “characterized by an interactuinal unit characterized in its totality by the fact that reciprocal relations among its membersare governed by the protective function of secrecy” - main concepts being:1) people wanna protect their ideal and activities which they give positive value. 2) members protect secrecy and privacy of their community by controlling the distribution of info about valued elements. Social forms control our behavior, and are comprised of two elements: 1) content: purpose or motive of an action 2) form: mode of interaction by which the the specific content achieves social reality Dyads (even number of ppl in a group) agree easily or are hard at conflict Triads (odd numbered groups) take longer to agree but don’t polarize aka no hard conflict. Characterized by compromises and shifting alegences. Groups tend to have task leader, joker (tension dissolver) and emotional leader (conflict and frustration resolver. Feminist Theory – mixture of critical theory and symbolic interactionalism focusing on man’s domination over women, and gender and gendering inequalities (such as women’s lives are significantly different then man’s ) Assumptions of Feminist research: =>all personal life has a political dimension =>both are public and private spheres of life are gendered (unequal for men and women) =>women’s social experience routinely differs from men’s =>patriarchy- or male control- structures the wau most societies work =>because of routinely different experiences and differences in power, women and men view the world differently Main interests are the gendering of experiences, problem of victimization, and intersectionalism (interaction of gender with other social characteristics such as class and rece to produce particular combinations of disadvantage) Key figures: Post Modern Theory - focused on unmasking the ideologies that protect the dominant social order and a direct response to modernism. Modernism claims that through science we can find “the one truth” and shape the world
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