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Western University
Sociology 1020
Kim Luton

CH. 1 What is Sociology? The Sociological Imagination- C. Wright Mills -stepping out of your comfort zone. The view that we have is limited so mills wants us to develop a “sociological imagination”. On the basis that we have to stand outside our daily lives in order to get a different perspective. Critiques of Structural Functionalism: too broad, ignores inequalities of social class, race and gender, focuses on stability at the expense of conflict (wants stability at any cost, despite social injustices of a given group, ex: immigrants) -assumes “natural” order (benign) Father of Structural Functionalism: EMILE DURKHEIM -Evolving societies; argued that societies are dynamic and are evolving -change from mechanical solidarity (a sense of belonging based on tradition/value) to organic solidarity (not based on tradition, in large industrial societies, everybody is doing something different *key to the change is an expanding division of labour *Durkheim argued that suicide was a personal act, but rates of suicide in a given group were consistent and relevant to social connectivity/ cohesion egoistic suicides: suicides that occur because of the lack of such social ties altruistic suicides: excessively strong social ties that can also lead to higher suicide rates (suicide bombers) anomic suicide: societies with insufficient regulations=a condition that might arise is time of rapid social change. anomie: no rules fatalistic suicide: too many rules SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM- a micro inspection, interested at looking at the individual society arises as a “shared reality” : argues that individuals react to symbols (languages) * a symbol is something that meaningfully represents something else * -most interaction is symbolic (dependent on language/gestures) W.I THOMAS: “What we define as real, is real in its consequences” -a shared reality is constructed by us -the way we treat the homeless, either help them or avoid them -perspectives; your understanding of a situation determines how you will act MAX WEBER * “Verstehen” =to understand ( we cannot understand unless we put ourselves in someone else’s position and ask) * argued that no single factor determines society of the individual * social conflict may originate in values, statuses, ideas and NOT in economic interests only. Triangulation: the application of several research methods to the same topic, hoping that the weaknesses of one method will be balanced by the strength of the other. Use of Existing Sources: Secondary Analysis: research techniques that make use of previously collected and publicly accessible information and date (i.e census) Content Analysis: systematic coding and objective recording of data, guided by some rationale (music: code it racism, aggression, violence) CHAPTER 3: CULTURE Proxemics: study of culturally specific relations in time and space -different cultures relate to time/space differently TEXTBOOK notes: Cultural element: anything that is 1) is shared in common by the members of some social group 2) is passed to new members, and 3) in some way effects their behavior or their perception of the world. Three of the most important elements are values, norms, and roles. Cultural Capital: individuals’ access to and understanding of the dominant culture. Cultural imperialism: the imposition of one’s nation’s culture on another, not through direct occupation buy by the indirect effects of media influence. EDWARS TYLOR Hall: “cultures include: knowledge, belief, art, morals, laws, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” The above mentioned things are all 1) shared by all or almost all members of social group. 2) the older members of the group try to pass on the younger members. 3) shapes behavior. The sociology culture: “considers material products, ideas and symbolic means and their relation to social behavior.” *Culturally specific relations in time and space: time: 5 minute rule space: territoriality, sequential reallocation: filling up empty spaces on the basis of availability- ex: we would be bothered if a stranger came to sit right beside us on an empty bus *Class exercise: “a” and “b”- a walks toward b (observed distance that people preferred to stay at) Intimate distance: 0-1 feet Personal distance: 1-4 feet Social Distance: 4-12 feet Public Distance: 12+ feet Cultural Universal: customs that are shared across much of the world: ex: every society has rules limiting sexual behavior though the content and number of these rules vary from society to society. *Incest taboo: a norm prohibiting sexual intercourse b/w parents and children and between sibling-not all societies adhere to the incest taboo!! Popular culture: those aspects of a culture that is widely distributed and recognized throughout all social classes in a society. (comic books, and horror films.)  Infantilization: the tendency to systematically associate people from other cultures with traits we associate with children  Eurocentrism: a bias shaped by the values and experiences of the white, middle class in Western industrialized societies assuming that these values are shared universally. -judging cultures based on a western society  Androcentrism: means male-centeredness. It is a bias that involves seeing things in a males point of view, or in a way that reinforces males privilege in society. One form of androcentric bias is to develop cultural interpretations that see men as active and women as passive. Orientalism: is a form ethnocentrism identified some time ago by Palestinian-born Edward Said. For him orientalism meant the sum total of all theories, analyses and interpretations developed in the nineteenth century by western scholars to understand “Oriental” societies (mainly Arab and Middle East). Said’s overall point was that
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