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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2234E
Professor
Charles Levine
Semester
Fall

Description
Social Psychology as a Perspective  Why did it take so long to develop? o nature of sociology and psychology in natural or original forms - Divorce o Why do people get divorced?  financial issues, unemployment, angry, children, abuse, unhappy, fear, adultery, betrayal, trust, mutual respect (communication), communicative basis of commitment  feelings  individually based – psychologically based  others  socially based o How much of the variation of divorce is explained by this?  only explains a small proportion of divorce rate – sociology and psychology are limited o runs the risk of tempting us into logical mistakes  to make this is caused ecological fallacy – logical error of explaining individual behaviour with reference to group data  atomistic – opposite way of ecological fallacy - Psychology  individual –biological, formal cognition, habits and emotions o discipline that tried to understand how the human was conditioned, how behaviour could be manipulated, early psychology saw us as objects to be manipulated - Sociology  evolution, capitalism, social structure, culture, systemic perspective, conditioning o claimed to be a science of society and studied interrelationships – individual without society is a problem  Both claim scientific investigation of individual and conditioning of individual  Objectivity and predictability – so they could control  all things can be controlled… they only need conditioning - Social Psychology  person – social psychology construction  identity *, capable of constructing moral reasons, rationality and reason  as a person – rationality and reason provides a distinction between form and context – we have values and claims - Person o moral reasoning and rational  they are a part of who you are – IDENTITY o we go through our lives not having to raise claims/complain – environments are structured so we minimize the sense of a dilemma - so we don’t use our moral reasoning o people = interaction, language, symbols, communication, communicative structures, power and power distribution  if you don’t know who you are, the whole thing becomes false o it is possible to conceptualize ourselves as persons who can do 2 things – form identities and engage in moral reasoning  both of these can interfere with prediction o early sociology and psychology did not want to pay attention to identity and moral sensibility History of Sociology and Psychology - A tentative definition social psychology: o a discipline that involves:  an understanding of a person’s relationship with other persons  an understanding of a person’s relationship with culture/social structure  an understanding of how/what a person knows/feels  an understanding of the interrelationship of the above three Nominalism Realism Descriptive A way of explaining social A way of explaining social events/processes with references events/processes without to the intentions of human beings, reference to human intentionality a way of knowing, strategy for but with reference to knowing, thinking about “natural/habitual factors” intentions Ethical Value/moral judgements about Make moral ideal human development, judgements/evaluations about justice/criticizing society for society; either positive or human freedom negative, criticize to make better  these terms are roughly corresponding to distinction between sociology/psychology - early sociologists and psychologists fit into these categories – early sociologists are likely to be normative and relative – BUT normative and relative do not like one another - interests of each other are opposed - to make social psychology = break barrier between nominalism and realism, but to do that, you have to get rid of ethical definitions - one way to get rid of ethical boundary = scientist value – free (objective – can then control preferences) - A review of sociology o era of fatalism – what passed as early sociology was philosophy/theology  pre-enlightenment  society was a god given hierarchical social structure –society was sacred – one didn’t question it – the person was largely the role they occupied  they were viewed as the role – the individual, at the time this was classed as over-socialized – the whole notion of individuality didn’t really exist in the culture – you moved from one role to the other – it is how you were identified o the enlightenment  the idea of individuality became important – SPECIALIZED ROLES – division of labour creates the individual – awareness of difference affirms individuality  criticized things in society that got in the way of human development  period of undersocialization – conceptualized the person as they stood on their own without social influence o HUMAN POTENTIAL, DESIRE FOR A BETTER SOCIETY - sociology begins with Comte o generates several revolutions o using science to create a discipline called sociology o concerned with creation/maintenance of social order – if we live in chaos our animal instincts will drive us – competitive, greedy ,don’t care about the other o tries to understand how the social works – descriptive/ethical realist – RR)  doesn’t have faith in the enlightenment – human isn’t rational o extreme conservative discipline – how to conserve it o clearly cannot entertain the idea of people/person/identity o he has to demonstrate enlightenment was wrong – make people understand they need order/defer to authority o change intellectual view of human being – wants to run things – need to point out they can’t be masters of themselves – does so with foundation theory:  Tableau cerebral  trying to create a contradicting picture to the enlightenment o human is made up of three things  intelligence – emotion – will  we have two main emotions – egotism and altruism  intelligence is genetic – it is given to you (genetically determined)  we are born egotistical (genetic) and have the potential to develop altruism – potential depends on MOM  family is the most important organization there is  what determines what we do is emotion  intelligence influences the relationship between emotion and behaviour – no direct impact on behaviour  give us a blueprint that justifies social solidarity  mommy familyemploymentstrong government - IF YOU WANT ALTRUISM TO DEVELOP, YOU NEED A PROPER FUNCTIONING SOCIETY Social Psychology: Lecture Two - if sociology or psychology is only concerned with some ideal notion of human being or human action or social structure without person – then we don’t have a discipline that listens to context and what we say - to be a social scientists – you need to look at all 4 boxes of nominalism/realism chart – pay attention to all cells to listen to people’s voices  one side values individuals, one side values society – that’s why there is the barrier History Cont’d Comte  - could realized rationality/reason do effect our behaviour - attributed his intelligence to genetics – not to his wilfulness - Comte’s view of social change: o society evolves – doesn’t develop – development has a human intention involved – believes society evolves – believes it is a natural process – we are ruled out as fabrications of social change - Law of 3 stages o society, history of all knowledge and the biography of human beings all go through 3 stages of evolution  theological  metaphysical  positivistic o 3 stages represent 3 dominant social types o problem  he ignored = humans go through 3 stages, if Comte has realized social structure can interfere with human potential  he didn’t because it suggested society can do bad things to is – if he had, he would have had to cross the barrier Durkheim  - links to changes in social structure - isn’t attending to the inner states, comparing states of the world to rates of things - silence the motive s of people – essentially undermine the person - ethical/descriptive realism - most important thing is social solidarity – if we don’t have it, we will have chaos – human nature is animalistic - book called moral education – morality is society maintaining its own integrity – telling you what is right - morality is conventional – simply understanding norms/rule/values of the social - if you are conditioned properly social solidarity is maintained and the system continues to work - SOCIAL FACTS – what he studies – ways of acting/thinking and feeling that are external to individuals  can be external if the social teaches it to you and have the constraint over you - social fact exerts itself against you because you transgressed - we’re most often unaware of the social facts around us – we are the pawns of social solidarity - evolution o function of increasing population density – society evolves because population density increases – as it increases, division of labour becomes increasingly complex o division of labour for Durkheim is source of individuality  if it was simple no individual, individuality has been created by social evolution o attempt to study society from a realist point of view  everything is a function of the study of society  social facts = social facts Marx  - descriptive/ethical realist and ethical nominalist  blurred the line (germinated) - wanted to destroy capitalist order - encouraged us to overthrow ownership – appalled at private proper property – was a concrete way of excluding the other - profit determines respect for the other - Theory of Social Change o social change – evolutionary and developmental perspective o 7 stage theory of evolution o different ways in which society organizes in relation to property o people don’t revolt for nothing – they revolt for reasons which has to do with the notion that something is unjust o developmental notion  human motivation matters o have to understand the reasons to understand society - alienation is a state in which persons create things, forget they are the creators and allow the things to oppose u s  we begin and forget quickly that we are in charge - nominalist possibility that you refuse to take responsibilities for your own actions  false consciousness – you initiate and allow yourself to do something - a social change continues we enter a phase in social life in which alienation will no longer occur (destruction of private property) – we will be able to celebrate the communism relationship  relationship with person and nature are all non-exploitive - we are on the road to understanding the only way to respect persons is to not exploit them – to do that you must destroy private property  negotiate/morally reason with others (we are no longer exploiting one another) - ideal world – that can’t be separated - in all 4 cells – he represents conceptual noise – threatened to turn what people thought into a moral crusade Weber  - problem: sociology wasn’t going anywhere –due to the boxes – he took away the ethical portion - objectivity in science was possible if sociology/psych had preferences – they could be controlled - control for objectivity – laying the foundation to a noiseless understanding of requirements or scientific objectivity - in controlling the prescriptive – he was left with descriptive - social psychology begins with Weber - unit of analysis – how he will study the social  Social action - social action o action in which by virtue of the meaning attached to it – the actor takes into account the other and orients his behaviour accordingly o engaging in it by understanding something meaningful, attributing it to the other and behave - humans think/have meanings that are shared with others  shared meaning = behaviour - How do you bring realism into it? o all thinks social are simply coherent patterns of social action o if conception has meaning we should be able to discern patterns of social action o all things social can be reduced – nothing is static o if the meaning doesn’t get shared, nothing works – the social is real because individual interaction continues  the two depend on one another o while he acknowledges humans orient themselves to each other with meaning, he doesn’t tell us how meaning is constructed o an eventual attempt to link nominalism with realism Pavlov  - classical conditioning – original paradigm in behaviourism o LOOK TO LECTURE NOTES Skinner  - offers variation/techniques  instrumental conditioning/operant conditioning - trying to condition performance pre-existing behaviour - reinforcement schedules – we can become less frequent that more familiar we become with the reward (we lose interest) - he wants to study what we do, not how/what we think given how the environment responds to them - we can create the perfect world by creating culture by issuing rewards that have survival value - if every reward = maintenance of human/relationship with others, then you have maintenance of species – you can design to survive –all realism - why we do what we do has nothing to do with intentions Freud  - we do things for reasons we are not aware - we are governed by LIBIDO – we are controlled by how ego determines our psychological structure - determinants of behaviour are given at a bio-physiological level – outside of our intentionally meaning they are the creators - realist; behaviour is determined by inner psych - Erikson manipulates Freud - Mead manipulates Weber  to make social psychology - Kohlberg – theory of moral development that allows us to understand nominalism as moral cognition o brings back prescriptions/value choices Methodology - social psychology as a science - Look to notes for methods - theory a set of logically organized laws/empirical generalizations - a theory is a package of laws – if you look at one element of the package, you can logically deduce the relationship to the other things in the package o 2 purposes: to explain what has been observed in order to predict another set of findings – not a completed thing - theories always generate another question – they never stop - your explanation is always more than the findings which raises more questions - hypothesis – a conjecture about a relationship that may exist among 2 or more variables – you deduce from the theory to get the hypothesis - law – the demonstration of reliable hypothesis (never know if something holds the way it does always – laws don’t exist) – you can never know for sure o we speak of empirical generalizations - induce – most unregulated part - objectivity – not problematic, can use science in unbiased way to understand/gain knowledge about social psychology - operationalization – act of putting terms of a hypothesis into a measureable form Social Psychology – Lecture 3 Men are more intelligent than woman - How do you operationalize intelligence? – SB test - all we have is one observation  go to other universities - it is always the case that men >10pts women - This leads to an empirical generalization – which leads back to another why – why are men smarter? o ALWAYS generates more questions - the ability to assimilate information, accommodate to existing structures in order to adapt to demands in environment = intelligence 3 Sources of Bias - operationalization – we are actively involved in constructing what it is we discover – then the traditional notion of science doesn’t exist anymore  “FACTS” that you’ve discovered – you get stuck - experimenter bias – Rosenthan – observing how people run experiments o example: 1. randomly chose 60 people, gave instructions on how to get a rat to run a maze 2. job was to teach rat to run the maze, each has 15 rats to run 3. lowest average average time to learn maze  worst time in BB is higher than the highest BD (look to lecture notes for diagram) 4. no experimenter remembered being given reference to brightness of rats o he finds – experimenter expectations influence the data obtained o if you warn an experimenter about bias – high probability of boomerang effect will occur o experimenters who detect “good” data at beginning of experiment tend to repair better and better data as experiment proceeds: 1. with variety of controls experimenter bias cannot be accounted for with intentional bias 2. greater when experimenter can see or have visual contact with participants - subject bias – Orne – when you run an experiment subjects are actively involved in trying to figure out what is going on – they can bias the experiment o characteristics of unintentional 1. people who have a lot of input – volunteers tend to contribute to bias 2. tend to drink coffee, take uppers and tend to smoke 3. seek social approval, intramoody, self-punitive, general symptoms of neuroticism, tend to be first born (more concerned with pleasing)  every experiment requires all 3 types of bias – what confidence can we have in confidence and validity of social psychological facts  biases produce interesting information  BIAS – no objectivity – the best we can hope for is inter-subjective agreement  no science deals with objectivity methods used and resulting “FACTS”  always dealing with intersubjective agreement about what might be the case and it can’t be coerced  agreement has to be spontaneously given What about theories - theories: o Frustration/aggression hypothesis (theory) 1. 4 major concepts used by the authors of the hypothesis:  frustration – condition that exists when movement toward a goal is interfered with  aggression – actions that are designed to injure someone (including self) or something  inhibition – tendency to refrain from aggression because of anticipated negative response  displacement tendency to aggress to targets other than frustrating agents o theorists generate 5 hypotheses with these concepts: 1. amount of frustration is a function of 3 things:  strength of desire for the goal  degree of interference of the behaviour  number of times behaviour has been interfered with 2. tendency to aggress is indirect relationship to amount of frustration 3. the strongest inclination to aggress is against the source of frustration 4. the tendency to inhibit aggression varies directly with anticipation of punishment 5. inhibition of aggression constitutes an additional source of frustration, consequently an increased tendency to displace aggression onto other targets  an act of aggression reduces tension and is therefore cathartic (satisfying) - problem: o predicting target if aggression is displaced o how much time can pass between frustration and aggression o definition of terms; what const
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