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Chapter Summary 3-17.docx

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Sociology
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Sociology 1020
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Kim Luton

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Symbolic Interactionist- Sees the world as socially constructed and changeable Chapter 3 – Culture Basic Concepts •Values – “shared, relatively general beliefs that define what is desirable and what is undesirable” (Carroll 2011, 41). One such example of a value is that divorce should only be a last resort for couples who are experiencing problems. •Norms – “precise rules specifying which behaviors are permitted and prohibited for group members” (ibid). One such example is the norm against rape. •Most laws are norms, while at the same time there are many norms that aren’t laws (e.g. the social norm against having an affair while you’re in a relationship). •Folkways – “norms that do not evoke severe moral condemnation when violated” (ibid, 42). One such example is the folkway against streaking. •Mores – “norms whose violation provokes strong moral condemnation” (ibid). One such example is the more against murder. •Role – “a [series] of behavioral expectations associated with a particular social position within a group or society” (ibid, 43). One such example is Jason’s role as a T.A. •Role conflicts – “situations in which the behavioral expectations associated with one role are inconsistent with those associated with another concurrent role” (ibid). One such example of a role conflict is evident upon an examination of work-family conflict amongst parents. •Institution – refers to the set of norms and values that members of a society or subculture agree upon to regulate a broad aspect lives (i.e. as evident within a society’s economy, political system, educational system, etc.) •Berdache – Two spirited people •Thrifty Gene – Research that claimed certain races were “cheaper” than others Aspects of Culture th •Since the 19 century, three primary observations have been imperative to the study of culture: °There is a substantial amount of variation across cultures regarding their values, norms, and roles. °There are few cultural elements that are common to all societies. °The cultural elements within a society are often interrelated. Studying Culture •Ethnocentrism – “refers to the tendency to see things from the point of view of the observer’s culture rather than from that of the observed” (Carroll 2011, 51). In its most extreme form, ethnocentrism leads to people viewing their own culture as superior to all others. •There are two forms of ethnocentrism that are more subtle: °Eurocentrism – a perspective which assumes that the values and experiences of the white, middle class in Western industrialized societies are shared across all cultures. °Androcentrism – “a bias that involves seeing things from a male point of view or in a way that reinforces male privilege in society” (ibid, 53). Androcentric biases lead sociologists to neglect female experiences during their studies. Theoretical Perspectives on Culture •Cultural materialism – “de-emphasizes ideas and ideology as determinants of cultures, and instead sees cultures as adaptations to the needs forced upon social groups by their specific physical environments” (Carroll 2011, 58). °Refer to chapter 10 in “Images of Society” (“Mother Cow” by Harris 1974) for an example of a study utilizing cultural materialism. •Referring back to what you read in chapter 1 of the textbook (“What is Sociology?”), “feminist sociology [is] defined as one of women from their standpoint and for women in the political sense of change” (Teevan and Blute 2011, 10). °One example of a feminist investigation of culture has involved scholars arguing that, in pre-Agricultural societies, the gathering activities of females were more important to the origin of human social institutions than the hunting pursuits of males. •Refer to the structural functionalist and conflict theory approaches to culture in the textbook (pg. 55 – 58) for help in answering the discussion question. Functionalism-  A given norm or value or cultural practice is explained by showing how it contributes to the overall stability or survival of the society in which it is found  Every norm or value in society serves a purpose in that specific society, it may not be true in other societies  A norm that is considered successful in one society does not make it successful in another Conflict Theory-  Cultural norms and values promotes inequality or legitimates existing inequalities in wealth and power Feminisim-  The gendered division of labour  Androcentric bias Chapter 4 – Socialization •Nature versus nurture debate – the debate over the extent to which human behavior is affected by genetic vs. social factors. Differential socialization- socializing a child differently based on their gender •Socialization – the means by which someone is made “fit” to live among other humans. •Epigenic – in human development theory (like Erikson’s), the person is likened to a flower, which has genetically preset stages of growth, the outcome of which depends on how well, or poorly, the environment nurtures it during that stage. Sociological Perspectives on Socialization Functionalism •Functionalists tend to view socialization as a necessary and benign process inherent in all groups and societies. •From this perspective, socialization performs several vital functions that maintain the structure of groups and societies, particularly from one generation to the next. •Socialization plays a major role in the formation of the individual personality, while moulding people’s attitudes and behaviors to conform to group values and needs. •Socialization also represents a set of processes and contexts responsible for cultural transmission. •Socialization also performs the function of social integration. Conflict Approaches •Conflict theorists do not disagree with functionalists regarding the basic nature of socialization processes, but they tend to disagree about how benign some of these processes are, how neutral their outcomes can be, and even how necessary some socialization is. •Instead, conflict theorists focus on the concept of social reproduction, namely, the ways in which societies reproduce themselves in terms of privilege and class. •Conflict theorists argue that people do indeed learn about appropriate attitudes and behaviors, but these attitudes and behaviors vary by social class, gender, and race, so people within each of these social categories tend to learn things that perpetuate those categories. Feminist Approaches •Feminist sociologists have many of the same concerns as conflict theorists with respect to the nature and outcome of the gender socialization processes. •Feminist sociologists are particularly concerned with gender socialization. Especially important is the internalization of norms specifying gender inequality and gendered division of labour. •Feminist sociologists and conflict theorists are interested in first recognizing social inequalities, and then modifying socialization processes to help address those inequalities. Symbolic Interactionism •This approach to socialization takes the position that interactions among individuals are mediated by symbols (in the form of language and gestures) that form and shape the self. •Symbolic interactionists argue that individuals constantly monitor themselves and others in attempts to give meaning to events. In doing so, they observe the actions and reactions of other people towards them, and they then incorporate these responses to themselves °They then take the meanings about themselves and others they acquired from previous interactions and use them to give their current conduct meaning. •Looking-glass self – Cooley’s idea that personality is shaped as individuals see themselves mirrored in the reactions of others. George Herbert Mead’s Theory of How the Self Forms •George Herbert Mead developed a theory of how the self forms. •At the centre of G.H. Mead’s theory is the concept of role-taking. °Role taking – Mead’s term for individuals’ attempts to put themselves in others’ shoes to imagine what they are thinking, thus enabling them to see themselves as others see them. •G.H. Mead contended that the development of the self takes place in two stages. °When children acquire a sufficient vocabulary to begin naming people and objects they observe, they begin to play-act roles in what Mead called the play stage. °In the game stage, children develop more unified conceptions of themselves as they learn to simultaneously take the role of multiple others. Thus, through informal and formal play, children learn how to conceive of a generalized other rather than of single, specific others. Generalized other – an individual’s conception of what is expected, providing a unified basis for self-reference. •G.H. Mead also thought it useful to think of two complementary processes associated with the functioning of self: the I and the me. °The I represents the impulsive side of the self, which is spontaneous and creative. °In contrast, the me is the more deliberate, reflective side of the self; it takes time to evaluate how others might react to the actions of the I. •Mead also believed that people are influenced by significant others. Cultural Anthropology •Benedict (1938) argued that most pre-industrial societies provide for a continuous passage from childhood to adulthood. °By doing so, cultural continuity was safeguarded, and individual members of the society did not experience serious personal difficulties in making transitions through these social statuses. •Western societies, however, are age-graded, largely segregating children, adolescents, and adults from each other. •In pre-industrial societies, it is thus easier for younger members to learn over a period of time the skills necessary for adult functioning and experience the realities of life. Chapter 5 – Deviance Theories of Crime Pre-Scientific Theories of Crime Religion •Religious beliefs were traditionally used in order to define and punish deviants within societies. •The majority of countries today have a secular system to deal with deviance and punishment. Classical Criminology •Classical criminology is the basis of all Western criminal justice systems, and is based on two primary principles: °Official punishments for crimes must be clear. °Punishments must occur as soon as possible after a crime is committed. •Classical criminology is based on the idea of hedonistic calculus – the assumption that “people behave in light of conscious considerations of the anticipated costs and benefits of their actions” (Hewitt et. al 2011:427). Environmental Criminology •Rather than utilizing a formal system of law and punishment to reduce crime, environmental criminology “involves efforts to reduce crime and deviance by changing the physical environment in ways that make such behavior impossible or more difficult” (ibid:426). •Environmental criminology uses three primary techniques in order to reduce crime rates: °Target hardening – entails modifying the physical environment so that the opportunities for crime are reduced (i.e. erecting fences around a building to reduce the preponderance of vandalism). °Enhanced visibility – involves modifying the physical environment in a manner that makes potential crime targets more visible, with the aim of instilling fear in potential deviants that they will be caught if they commit a crime within that specific area. °More guardians – involves placing more supervisors within a specific area in order to prevent crime from taking place. Biological and Psychological Theories Biological explanations of deviance are generally rejected by sociologists because they pay insufficient attention to the social factors that interact with their explanations. Although psychological theories of deviance are generally more appealing to sociologists than biological ones, they are also criticized for the difficulty of measuring some of their concepts and for underestimating the influence of the social factors that precede psychological factors in deviance. Functionalism Durkheim (1949) took a functionalist position, arguing that definitions of deviance arise out of what he called the collective conscience, the values held in common by the vast majority of a society’s members.  Deviance is considered to be normal or inevitable  Can be beneficial as long as they are not widespread or serious enough to undermine the basic fabric of society o Deviants can become scapegoats o Unite conformists to fights deviance  Used to mark bottom layer of society  Call attention to flaws in the social system, serves as a warning that something is wrong According to Durkheim, society is the source of definitions of deviance. Strain Theory Anomie Theory The discrepancy between the goals a society instills 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. °According to Merton’s (1957) functionalist model, the greater the discrepancy, the greater the anomie, and the greater the amount of deviance that can be expected. Conformists accept the goals of society and possess the means to achieve them. Individuals without such access to legitimate means then have four options, each considered deviant in some way. °First, they can lower their goals to the level of their means, and engage in ritualism. °The second option for those who lack legitimate means is to keep the goals but to engage in what Merton called innovation. Innovators are individuals who use deviant means to achieve non-deviant ends. °Retreatism involves rejecting both the means and the goals of society and, instead, withdrawing from society. °Rebellion is the fourth option. Feminist Perspective Feminist perspectives on deviance arose in response to the imbalance inherent in a field written by, and generally about, men.  Focused on acts of deviance that exploited women (Sexual assault, spouse battering) Differential Association Differential association – a theory that sees deviance as learned in small-group interaction, wherein an individual internalizes pro-deviant perspectives. Sykes and Matza (1957) argued that most delinquents feel guilty and can engage in such illegal behaviour only after rationalizing that guilt through techniques of neutralization. °Techniques of neutralization – rationalizations that allow deviants to define their behaviour as acceptable. Labeling Theory Labeling theory – the explanation of deviance that argues that societal reactions to minor deviance may alienate those labeled deviant and may cut off their options for conformity, thus leading to greater deviance as an adaptation to the label. Social-Control Theory Social-control theory is a structural theory, but one quite distinct from strain theory. The biggest difference is that it sees all people as potential deviants, and then argues that social bonds constrain most individuals into conformity. °Rather than asking why people deviate, it asks why don’t people deviate. Conflict-Structural Explanations  Believe that society is held together by coercion rather than cooperation  People that perform deviant acts do not do it to benefit the society but rather have their own reasons that benefit themselves  The elite members define what is considered deviant in the society In their explanation of deviance, radical conflict theorists see much bias in the criminal justice system, focus almost exclusively on capitalism, and often proclaim the necessity for revolution. Less radical conflict theorists are aware of things like capitalist pollution and price-fixing, but also include crimes not specific to capitalists in their analyses, like the daily physical assaults to which the oppressed are so frequently vulnerable. These theorists also place somewhat less blame on the police and courts, and accept the possibility of reform. The two views agree, however, that power is a crucial factor in any explanation of deviance. Chapter 6 – Social Inequality Major Theories of Social Inequality Marxist Position on Social Inequality •Each major societal form is characterized by a struggle between the “haves” and “have-nots.” •Productive property is the source of the division called the “means of production.” •Bourgeoisie: control means of production. •Proletariat: workers who would overthrow the bourgeoisie transforming capitalism to socialism and a classless society. Weber’s Critique of Marx •According to Weber, power comes from multiple sources: °Class – according to one’s economic power. °Status group – according to status honor or prestige. °Party – power arising from political groups. •Weber proclaimed that bureaucracy poses a threat to equality and freedom and is even more oppressive in socialist systems. Structural Functionalist Position on Social Inequality •The structural functionalist position on social inequality differs from the Marxist position with regard to consensus, individual action, and pluralism of power. Conflict Theorist  Views structured inequality as something imposed on be the people in power  Inequality occurs because the dominant group owned all the resources (productive property), determined distribution  Only the dominant group benefited from work Functionalist  Status is earned through hardwork  Inequality is based largely on a underlying awareness and agreement about the value put on various positions in the social structure  Value given to each position/status depends on: o Importance to society o Scarcity of people with talent or qualifications for the position  Social inequality is inevitable  Individual action (education, occupation) plays a role in defining social inequality Inequality in Canada •Examine how social inequality in Canada occurs with regard to level of educational attainment, race / ethnicity, age, political power, and between urban & regional areas. Chapter 7 – Gender Relations Biological and Social Determinism •Human behavior is influenced by both culture (nurture) and biology (nature). °Nature implies fixed; nurture a possibility of change. Sex and Gender: Some Definitions •For sociologists, sex and gender are not the same. °A person’s sex is a biological trait characterized by the XX chromosomes and estrogen for a female and the XY chromosomes and testosterone for a male. °Gender is a social construct based, in part, on definitions of masculinity and femininity and consisting largely of the norms and expectations that encourage people to behave in a “sex-appropriate” manner. •Gender identity is the perception of oneself as male or female. It is not to be confused with sexual orientation, and is not necessarily consistent with a person’s sex. •Gendered order is a macro-level concept and refers not to individuals but to social structure. It includes gendered norms, gendered roles, and a gendered ideology, which together make social life gendered, directing how male and females should act. °Its biggest influence is to create a gendered division of labor in which males and females, in both the unpaid and paid labor arenas, tend to act “sex- appropriately”. •Gender is just another of the social conventions that maintain order and promote social stability. •This functionalist perspective claims that men have access to the public realm of paid labor and perform the instrumental tasks needed for survival. •On the other hand, in the traditional functional argument, women are relegated to the private realm of the home, providing unpaid domestic labor and being responsible for the expressive tasks like nurturing and providing emotional support. •In this public/private division of labor, partners are seen as complementing each other, making social order possible. •Each binary duality should be thought of as a continuum, with shades of grey where men do some housework and women earn money, even though neither realm is equally shared. Major Theoretical Perspectives on Gender Functionalist-  The main functionalist position is that social practices, such as gendered division of labor, persist because they benefit society.  Gender maintains order and promotes social stability  Gendered division of labour is the natural outcome of the need to reproduce o Females dependent on males The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective •Symbolic interactionists see the world as socially constructed and changeable. •Unlike functionalists, they do not see the gendered division of labor as a natural outcome of the need to reproduce, and are especially critical of extensions of this position that generalize to a female dependency and a male dominance. °Definitions of masculinity and femininity, gender roles, and gender norms are all negotiable. •Brown and Gilligan (1992) argued that children learn gendered behavior through a variety of processes, such as imitating others (especially significant others) and receiving rewards and punishments for behavior defined as gender-appropriate or gender-inappropriate. Marxist Conflict Perspective •Marxists put primary emphasis on economic forces; therefore, gender inequality was not an issue for Marx. •Today, Marx would be called a sexist as most of his writings were about male workers. •Marx’s co-author Engels (1884) paid more attention to women, likening their position in the family to that of the oppressed working class in the larger society. Feminist Perspectives •Feminists generally concur that the main force behind women’s oppression is patriarchy, a system in which the traits associated with men are valued more than those associated with women and thus gives men greater privilege. •Liberal feminism argues that gender inequality can be remedied by giving women greater opportunity. •Socialist feminism agrees that patriarchy must be eradicated, but methodologically speaking, seeks a longer causal chain. °According to socialist feminists, capitalism is the real issue: it leads to patriarchy and the relegation of women to isolated homes and domestic labor that is always under-valued. •Radical feminism has one goal, the abolition of male supremacy, and two connected focuses: biological reproduction and paid labor. °Some radically feminists thus argue for alternative reproduction strategies, like in vitro fertilization, to permanently eliminate men’s domination of women’s bodies. Chapter 8 – Race and Ethnic Relations Ethnic Group, Race, and Minority Group: Some Definitions Ethnic Group •Is an ascribed status, conferred at birth. •Is a form of social organization with boundaries maintained by social norms governing interaction (e.g. endogamy). Racialization •Inherited physical traits may become socially defined as very significant. •Social category – a collection of individuals who share a trait(s) regarded as meaningful. °The social meaning associated with racial or ethnic categories can include the assignment of a rank (i.e. subordinate or superordinate compared to other racial or ethnic categories). •Race – “an arbitrary social category in which membership is based on inherited physical characteristics (e.g. skin color), characteristics which are defined as socially meaningful” (Hewitt et. al 2011:430). •Racist ideologies – claim that racial categories are natural genetic groupings, with behavioral characteristics. Minority Groups •Minority group – a category that occupies a subordinate rank in a social hierarchy. May outnumber a dominant group •Social control of minority groups can involve: °Expulsion / forcible removal. °Genocide. °Discrimination – involves the denial of opportunities that are available to members of dominant groups. °Systemic discrimination – is a by-product of the ordinary functioning of social institutions, and not an action by individuals (i.e. job applicants being excluded on the basis of strength requirements). °Segregation. Explaining Discrimination •The relationship between prejudice and discrimination is complex. °A prejudiced person may not discriminate. °Gradually, “majority attitudes toward minority groups have become more tolerant and accepting” (ibid:188). The Development of Race and Ethnic Relations in Canadian Society: An Overview •Refer to chapter 8 for details on: colonialism and the First Nations, French and British Canadians, mass immigration to Canada during the last couple of decades. Perspectives on Canadian Race and Ethnic Relations Assimilation •Assimilation – “the view that ethnic diversity gradually and inevitably declines as group members are absorbed into the general population, in the process becoming more and more like the dominant group” (ibid:423). •Park’s (1950, 1952) race relations cycle describes four successive stages in the relationships between dominant and minority groups in society: °Contact. °Competition (if resources are limited). °Accommodation of weaker groups. °Assimilation. •It’s important to distinguish between acculturation and structural assimilation. °Acculturation – “the learning of the language, values, and customs of a dominant group by an ethnic group” (ibid). °Structural assimilation – “acceptance of a minority group by a dominant group into its intimate, primary, and social relationships” (ibid:433). Pluralism and Multiculturalism •Pluralism is the perspective that “ethnic diversity remains a central feature of contemporary societies, and that ethnicity continues to be an important aspect of individual identity and group behavior” (ibid:197). Post-Colonial and Postmodern Perspectives •The post-colonial perspective on race & ethnic relations claims that racism is vital to the structure of a society, and that all members participate in the arrangements that are conducive to institutional racism. •The postmodern perspective aims to deconstruct the assertions of those with power and authority (concerning race & ethnic relations). This perspective studies how these ideas are constructed are controlled. °This perspective studies the experience of the colonizer and the colonized. Chapter 9 – Aging The Study of Aging •Sociologists can study aging in many different ways, of which the following are prevalent in research: °Comparing older people with other age groups. °Examining age effects – the changes that are a result of aging. °Examining period effects – whether changes associated with aging are the result of having been a certain age at a certain historical period. Theoretical Approaches •Refer to in-tutorial lecture conducted on March 16. Trends in Family Ties and Social Support in Later Life •Most 65+ people are married, but with age women are less likely to be married. Growing proportions will be divorced. •On average, married women are likely to retire earlier than their husbands. °This could lead to a later disadvantage for them. •Women are more likely to be caring for an ill partner. •Widowhood and divorce can leave women at a financial disadvantage and men isolated. •In old age, single women tend to fare better than single men. •Siblings are as important as close friends for most elderly. The closeness between siblings typically increases with age. Social Policy and Future Directions •The aging of the Baby Boomer generation and intergenerational equity will be important future issues with regard to aging in Canada. Chapter 10 – Families Definitions of Marriage and Family Consanguine Family – A family that has a common ancestor Nuclear Family – normal family with 2 adults and 2 children •Expressive exchange – emotional dimension of marriage including love, sexual gratification, and companionship. •Instrumental exchange – task-oriented dimension including earning a living, spending money and maintaining a household. •Family – two or more people related by blood, adoption, or marriage (legally sanctioned or otherwise), and who reside together. If they are not related then it is a household, not a family. Uniformity and Family Patterns •Most societies regard marriage and inheritance to be extremely important, and also have an incest taboo. Family Change •Two changes have occurred in families (within developed countries) over the last 150 years. The First Transition (1870 – 1950) •The first transition (1870 – 1950) resulted in smaller families. The Second Transition (1960 – Present) •Can be sub-divided into three sub-stages: °The 1st sub-stage (1960 – 1970) involved the end of prevalent young marriage, along with a rise in the divorce rate. °The 2nd sub-stage (1970 – 1985) involved the rise of common-law unions. °The 3rd sub-stage (1985 – present) involved the divorce rate leveling off, along with a rise in post-marital cohabitation, a
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