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Sociology 1020
Darlene Balandin

Sociology Exam Notes Term #1 Unit #1: What is Sociology? Alex Coville – Magic Realism - Looking at a lady with binoculars - Binoculars signify a different way of seeing the world Sociology - Expanding your view of the world, through a “different lens” - Sociology is the systematic study of social behavior in human societies - Focuses on “pattern group behavior” o The different behaviors of different groups Peter Berger - “To see the general patters in particular” o Identify general patterns of individuals in the behavior of particular individuals - Berger says that we are all unique individuals, but we come from different categories: o Religion, job titles, race, ethnicity, age, gender - Sociologists realize that society treats these different categories, differently, o Poor vs. rich, young vs. old, women vs. men - He says that we act according to the categories that we are involved in/with. The Sociological Imagination - C. Wright Mills - We see the world through the lens of our own experience - This limits our ability to see the world around us - We must stand outside our experience in order to develop a sociological imagination o We must forget our own experiences and biases in order to develop a sociological imagination Levels of Analysis – C. Wright Mills - Biography o The biography is your individual experience o We have the ability to act “human agency” - Milieu (community) o We have our own home, community and belonging o We interact as unique individuals in a community o Gemeinschaft - community  Gemeinschafts are broadly characterized by a moderate division of labor, strong personal relationships, strong families, and relatively simple social institutions - History o Structural values change o Structures in society o Such as: gender, race o History is how society shapes us Mills says that unless we look at these 3 levels of analysis, we cannot learn sociological imagination Example of Level of Analysis Biography – The Jews 1 Milieu – Living in an area where Jews couldn‟t go to restaurants, bars, beaches History – times have changed and Jews are now accepted into society Private Troubles vs. Public Issues Private Trouble - Something you deal with by yourself - Operating at the level of biography – your individual story - Private troubles have an impact on your Milieu - Ex: if I cant get money for school it‟s a private trouble Public Issues - Operates at the level of society - Ex: if no one can get money for school, it‟s a public issue Anthony Giddens - Developed the Structuraction Theory - „Structure‟ related to history - „Action‟ related to biography - The society (history) has an impact on the individual‟s biography - Giddens says we are all products of our society‟s history o Ex: my history in Canada is different then the history in Pakistan Double Involvement of Self in Society - Products o The past has an effect on our future o The world will change o Ex: We are a product of Canadian society through education - Producers o Mills says we have the “human agency” – the right to act o We are producers in our society because we fight for what we want o Ex: The Canadians allowed Green party leader, Elizabeth May into the general debate o Producers move the society The Sociological Theory – Peter Berger - Sociology is the systematic study of social behavior in human societies - Sociological Goals o Describe the social world o Explain how and why things are the way they are o Critique existing social arrangements such as laws, rules (Ex: seat belt laws) - Sociological theories = the way that we see the world Emergence of Sociology - 1838 – Auguste Comte o Sociology is “a new way of looking at the world” - You can‟t only look at the stuff you want, you must deal with the rest of the world as well - “Positivism” o You have to look at the world by a means based on science and not religion. - Founding Fathers o Emile Durkheim 2 o Karl Marx o Max Weber Sociological Perspectives - Sociological Perspectives o Different sociological perspectives give us different views/perspectives of society o These perspectives help us understand that there are structures in our society that impact our lives - Sociological Theories o Act as a lens to make sense of patterns that may seem puzzling o Ex: Durkheim reading on suicide theory – sociological theories showed that rates of suicide were consistent within certain groups (gender, race). Your adherence to a certain group guides your suicide Theoretical Paradigms These paradigms guide the way we interpret sociological theories. 1. Structural Functionalism 2. Conflict Theory 3. Symbolic Interactionalism 4. Feminism Structural Functionalism - Created by Emile Durkheim - Macro-level perspective - Concerned with the patterns that shape our society - Structural Functionalists view society as a complex system which is important to promote stability in society - They say that there was consensus on how the society was established C. Wright Mills – 2 components referring to “history” in society - Structures - Stable patterns of social behavior (gender, race, status, age) - Institutions - „Subsystems‟ of enduring patterns of social relationships (family) - Equilibrium - Structural Functionalists want all the institutions and parts of society to work together and maintain perfect balance between structures and institutions - Ex: The stock market in the U.S. is an institution and may affect the structures. - Consequences: o Ex: Shakers of Pennsylvania – they decided to stop having babies, but that will make society die out o When you disrupt structures in society such as reproduction, then the society and institutions as a whole are affected. - They argue that each institution has a function – each institution provides a benefit to society o If an institution is positive for society it is an eu-functions o If an institution is negative for a society it is a Dysfunctions o Ex: Kingsley Theory on prostitutes  Structural Functionalists would say that they are a function in society because there‟s a theory that says that prostitutes allow men to ride their horniness and if there were no prostitutes then men would have to go after their neighbors wives. Functions of Structural Functionalism: - Manifest Functions – Goal of institutions 3 o Institution of education – intended to prepare people for the workforce - Latent Functions - Unintended Goals o Institution of education – children are subject to bullying which is unintended Critique of Structural Functionalism - It‟s too broad - Some arguments are bad – if an institution is there then it must be positive Emile Durkheim - Each society has needs to survive - Institutions fulfill the needs of society o Military, education, defense/security, government, family - Structures o Gender-roles - Anomie o A state of normlessness caused by a large-scale breakdown of conformity to societal rules. o The discrepancy b/w the goals a society encourages and the legitimate means it provides to achieve those goals can lead to a state of normlessness a large scale breakdown of rules called anomie. o Greater discrepancy b/w means and goals = greater anomie = greater deviance. o Four types of deviance due to anomie 1. Ritualism: lowering your goals to the level of your means. ex. Rented home and old car 2. Innovation: use deviant means to achieve non-deviant ends. Stay w/in goals of society but use wrong means to achieve it. Ex. Criminals and exam cheaters. 3. Retreat-ism: rejecting both means and goals of society and instead withdrawing from society. Ex. Religious fundos and druggies. 4. Rebellion: active retreatist loudly rejecting societies means and goals and advocating for a new social system. Evolving Societies - Mechanical Society o Agricultural society o Traditions and common values that hold society together o Everyone is doing the same thing - Organic Solidarity o Everyone is doing things different - specialization o Specialization holds everyone together because we need each other o Modern societies are based on the organic solidarity o We need each other so we stick together Suicide - Durkheim - Suicide is an indication of social problems - There are different rates of suicide in different groups - Most likely o Males, protestants, wealthy, unmarried o They have the least connection to other people - Less likely o Females, Jews, Catholics, Poor, Married 4 Conflict Theory - Created by Karl Marx - Macro level paradigm - It‟s a response to structural functionalism - You must look at social structures - Structural Functionalists would say “people living in poverty must be good because it‟s a structure of society” - Conflict theorists challenge this - Conflict theorists looks at structures such as race, sex, class and how they are linked to social inequality - They believe that society is structured in a way that benefits the few at the expense of the many - Conflict theorist say that there is no consensus on the way society was established o We don‟t all have the same access to education, wealth etc. Alienation and Capitalism - Alienation o Conflict theorists believe that ordinary people are alienated because they don‟t have any power - They are alienated because: o They have no say in what work they do o Have no ownership in the products they are producing, therefore you don‟t feel invested in it o Alienated from other workers because you can‟t talk to them o Alienated from creativity Critiques of the Conflict Theory - It ignores how shared values unify society - Pursues political goals which is not scientific Karl Marx - Created the conflict theory - He focused on class struggles - The dominant group in society is the group that owns the means of production - Bring change by eliminating private ownership over production Class Conflict: - Unequal - Hostility between classes Class Consciousness - Workers must recognize their unity of being exploited Social Institutions - Structures in society benefit some, but not all - Marx believes that the economy is the base of society is the most important structure Symbolic Interactionalism - Focuses on “biography” - Created by Max Weber - Society is a product of our everyday interactions 5 o The society is not dominant like in the other paradigms - Symbolic Interactionalists look at patterns in a specific situations o Ex: Classroom – we cant say that one classroom is the same as another classroom - “Definition of the situation” - We respond to our own definition of a situation based on our understanding of it. - W. I. Thomas – if we think it‟s real, someone else might think it‟s a joke o Ex: if someone walked in with a gun, some people may think it‟s a real gun or a joke. - Our interactions are create the society we live in Critique of Symbolic Interactionalism - Only focuses on our interactions - Doesn‟t focus on how an institution impacts the people o Ex: education - Doesn‟t look at classes, gender and race Max Weber - “Verstehen” = to understand - It‟s not just about observing, its about understand why and asking people - Walk in their shoes - There is no single factor that determines society or the individuals o Based on ideas, benefits, values - He believes that the way to run a society is about rationality not tradition Feminism - Challenges structural functionalists - Micro-level o How the gender order gets reproduced through language and emotion o Ex: Using the words “police officer” rather then “police man” - Macro-level o Limitations that are in women‟s lives - Not all women are from the same background which makes them have different social experiences o You can‟t place them all under one category Maternal Feminism - Upper-middle class - Help the working class families - Men got money from work and went to bars and spend their wages on alcohol - They want to bring morality into their society - They tried to get rid of drinking Liberal Feminism - Women gained equality through access to education and jobs - Women believed that being in education and jobs will give them an equal playing field with men Radical Feminism - Argued that in all societies the patriarchy is what caused women‟s suffering and benefited man - Women had to separate themselves from men o No sex 6 o Sex made women vulnerable to patriarchal institution Socialist Feminist - Advocates that women can match up with men of the same class to solve gender inequalities 7 Unit #2: Methods Sociological Methodology - How do we find the answers to the question, why? - 5 ways of knowing the world o Normative approach:  Personal, tradition, authority, religion  What should be happening o Empirical Approach:  Science  Through the systematic collection of data  What is happening The Research Process 1. Idea 2. Scientific Literature review a. What gaps are there? 3. Clarify question by clarifying the problem 4. Develop a span for study a. How will you study this? b. What sample will you use? 5. Collect Data 6. Analyze Data 7. Answer question Theory - Attempts to describe or explain a series of events Hypothesis - A best guess - Make a guessable statement to answer the question Data - Info to substantiate or disprove the theory - You can never prove it, only support and disprove it Question about this but asked if it was a theory, concept, or hypothesis and then gave 2 other options she gave u an example like a story Theory Development Deductive Approach - Starts with a theory - “Mental illness is relative to homelessness” - Theory developing  hypothesis building  data gathering  generalization Inductive Approach - Starts with an observation - If you live downtown and notice a lot of people suffering and living on the streets - This observation leads us to gather data - Make a generalization 8 - Tentative Approach – after 5 months of being homeless, their minds deteriorate - Data Gathering Generalization  Theory Developing  Hypothesis building Quantitative vs. Qualitative Methods Quantitative Method - Counting, numbering - Ex: kinds between the ages of 18-24, what percentage go to university - Prediction using numbers and statistics Qualitative Method - Don‟t predict it - Interview, engage in your behaviors - Observe Variables and Measurement Variables - Allow us to study different groups - We can measure the variables from one time to another - Variables = gender, eye color, sex, education, income, attitudes - We can measure them to understand perspectives and situations Independent Variables - Causes the change - Has an impact on dependant variable Dependant Variables - Being impacted on by the independent variable Ex: Independent variable = what you eat (average calories per day) Dependant Variable = what you weight (pounds) Causation and Correlation Cause and effect - A change in one variables affects another variable - For a cause and effect to happen: o There has to be a relationship between the two variables o Independent variable must come before the dependant variable o There can not be a 3 variable that effects the relationship (spurious correlation) Correlation - Relationship whereby 2 or more variables change each other Spurious Correlation - There seems to be a relationship, but it‟s actually false - Ex: Number of hours watching TV and weight gain o Watching TV isn‟t the reason for putting on weight, it‟s the lack of inactivity Reliability - The procedure you‟re using must be consistent 9 Validity - Are you measuring what you intend to measure? - Ex: If you want to measure intelligence and look at income, that is poor validity Random Sampling vs. Representative Sampling Random Sample - Equal possibility to be involved Representative Sample - We add gender into these samples – essential characteristics of population interests Methods of Collecting Data Naturalistic Observation - Focus on real-life settings - Ecological Validity o The observer goes into the setting o This allows you to describe the behaviors Controlled Observation - Researchers want to learn about specific behavior - Normative information for specific situations Questionnaires - One of the most common tests - Allows you to get lots of info fast - Closed Ended Questions o Yes, No, Maybe - Open-Ended Questions o Long responses Questionnaires and Interviews - Disadvantages o Lying o Saying things they think the researcher will want to hear o Don‟t describe behavior accurately - Advantages o Obtain lots of info Controlled Experiment - Best understanding of information the researcher is interested in - Controls the situations an what happens to the person 10 Unit #3: Culture Culture - Every culture has different aspects that only we can understand - What is culture? o Values, beliefs, behavior, material objects that constitute a peoples way of life Proxemics - Eduard T. Hall - Culturally specific relations in time and space - Time is very valuable in our society – “time is money” - Space is very important – lay claim to and defend certain space Values in Canada and United States Same or Different? - Lipset was an old study that showed that differences exist - Canadians: o Trust government, more respect for authority, less individualism, lower rates of violence - United States: o Distrust in government, less respect for authority, more individualism, more likely to volunteer - Differences are based on how the country was formed o America was formed through civil war, they support individualism, but didn‟t have a strong government 5 Major Components of Culture 1. Symbols 2. Languages 3. Values 4. Beliefs 5. Norms Symbols - Anything that carries a particular meanings recognized by people who share culture Language - Allows the continuity of a nation - Language is the foundation of a nation Values - Culturally designed standards in culture - Collective ideas of what is right/wrong and what is desirable/undesirable - Guidelines and standards of behavior Beliefs - Matters that people consider to be true or false - Usually based on faith system Norms - Establish rules of behavior - Perspective Norms – things that are acceptable, things you should do (Ex: holding the door for someone) 11 - Prospective Norms – behaviors that are unacceptable, things you shouldn‟t do (Ex: killing, stealing) - Some norms are acceptable in some cultures, but not in other cultures - Ex: In Canada you can spit anywhere you like, but in other countries, spitting is illegal and is seen as disrespecting the land and country Three types of norms Folkways - Informal customs, in some cases what we might call etiquette - Ex: handshake - Don‟t have to do it, but you can Mores - Customs that members of a particular society might consider to be correct or might even be necessary for group survival - Ex: Customs against bestiality or sexual assault Laws - Laws are formal rules with sanctions/punishments that are written/codified - Laws are codified mores - Enforced by the state or government Subculture - A group of people within a single society who possess separate cultural practices on top of the cultural practices of the larger society - Ex: Religion and ethnic subcultures Counterculture - A group of people within a single society who strongly oppose the cultural patterns widely accepted within the society - Ex: KKK, Hippies. Cultural Universals - Things we see around the world that humans share - George Murdock – found 70+ cultural universals o Sports, art, funerals, dance o These things are specific to different cultures Cultural Diffusion - Via: o Internet, exploration, military encounters, media, tourism, migration, expanding global economy Ethnocentrism - The belief that one‟s own cultural view is superior or the only correct view - Ex: America is better then the rest of the world Cultural Relativism - The practice of judging a culture by its own standards - Ex: Our culture may translate things differently – “Fly Leather” = “Fly Naked” 12 Cultural Materialism - Basic Idea – cultural beliefs are a rational adaptation to material conditions - Ex: Not hurting cows - India is 85% agricultural, we use culture to buffer us to the conditions we live in Urban Legends - Stories with 4 characteristics o Passed along by word of mouth o People repeat them, believe they are true o Stories took place in past and are associated with a nearby geographic location o The stories are almost always completely false Structural Functionalism: Culture - Shared norms = stability - Norms and values are necessary - Emphasize the way our norms and values are institutionalized and serve the stability of a society - Society depends on culture - They like how the world works, no change Conflict Theory: Culture - Dominant social class sets norms to maintain control - Norms and values are used by the dominate social class to maintain their power - Conflict Theorists are pragmatists - Values of society are driven by the powerful, not the poor Symbolic Interactionalism - Mostly concerned with the symbolic expression of any culture - The rules and norms are out there and we automatically follow them, but we re-interpret rules in given situations - Culture influences people and people influences culture - We are always re-interpreting rules and norms in society The Sociological Debate: Barbie Dolls Conflict Theorists: - Barbie represents the ideas of society o Having the perfect body - Values of society are being transferred into he Barbie doll and targeting young girls - Media plays a huge rule in promoting the Barbie - The Elite decide what is important and what our values are Structural Functionalist - Serves an economic purpose – people are spending money on the Barbie dolls - It socializes young people - Influences women to buy cosmetics which benefits another industry and the economy as a whole - Barbie is a role model for women Symbolic Interactionalism - Non-material and learning to play 13 Unit #4: Socialization To What extent are you in the culture or is the culture in you? - How do you become a part of culture? - “Double involvement” - Socialization links us in society and the generations - It allows a society to reproduce itself by passing on values from one generation to the next - Berger: Socialization is the process by which people learn to be members of a society - Epigenesis – a „ground plan‟ o Social content varies from culture to culture o Interactive process begins when you are born Primary Socialization (0-12 years) - Process in which children learn language and shared meanings - What they will learn from others - Mostly the things the child learns is decided on by someone else o Ex: parents Attachment - Bowiby - There must be attachment between someone and the child - Attachment is the precursor to socialization o Development of interpersonal and cognitive skills ad sense of self - Attachment styles: o Secure: Making consequences for children – mother is present o Avoidant: Parent is emotionally and physically absent o Anxious/Ambivalent: Hot and cold style – “Will they be there? Or will I be alone?” Worst style because the child is always anxious - These attachments are carried by children as they move into other relationships - Long-term consequences Secondary Socialization (Adult and adolescent socialization) - Occurs throughout the life cycle – anticipate and adjust to new experiences - Already know norms and expectations - You now have more choice and more limits Adolescent Socialization - “Storms and Stress” – Hall o Teenagers have lots of excitement, lots of stress in terms of their lives - 3 Sets of discontinuities – Benedict o Only occurs in the west Children Socialized: Adolescent Socialized: 1. No-responsibility roles  1. Do this, do that, responsibility 2. Submission  2. Expect them to make right choices 3. Shielded from sexuality  Types of Secondary Socialization Anticipatory Socialization: 14 - Merton: Learning overt behaviors and values found in statuses and groups which one will likely enter Re-socialization: - “Total institutions” replace inadequate/defective notes. - 24/7 – military, prison, rehab - Strip them of their identity Key Agents of Socialization Family - Most important in primary socialization - Aversive style: o Higher percent of behavior then ineffective - Positive and consistent have higher behavior - The family affect the child from the beginning – most important factor Peers - Members have same age, social position - Children can develop a sense of self, not under the supervision of parents - Makes people feel a sense of belonging - Possibility that the activities will not be condemned by your parents - Influences; emotional, social and economic School - Re-enforces a child‟s positive self image - Provides social life for the child - Decreases in importance as you age - Provides children with occupational choices - Promote values o Ex: middle-class society values academic achievement - Academics are important - Teaches: o Hierarchy in society o Rules, rights, responsibilities - Richer: o Schools have hidden curriculums  Unspoken norms transmitted by the school o Individualism, obedience o Affects social reproduction o Based on the school you attend, it affects your social reproduction in terms of what class you will be in. o Born into working class – school is a working class school Family: Children with Conduct Disorders Ineffective Style: - Rarley – 4% - Sometimes – 24% - Very often - 63% 15 Aversive Style: - Rarley – 7% - Sometimes – 22% - Very Often – 44% Consistent Style: - Rarley – 38% - Sometimes – 24% - Very Often – 16% Positive Style: - Rarley – 27% - Sometimes – 19% - Very Often - 14% Agents of Socialization - Family, Press, Media, Schools - They transmit values and behaviors of society - Reflects social relations – socializes audience - Media Values o Defines social reality as violent o McWilliams – Notel  Launched a satellite to offer a small town a TV channel for a few hours per week  Before this, McWilliams observed society as vibrant  After the satellite was launched, the society changed a lot  People were no longer out in the community centre, playing hockey  Families were attached to the TV rather then family activity  She noticed that the level of aggression increased Socialization Outcome Reproduction of Gender -
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