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CHAPTER I- A SOCIOLOGICAL COMPASS- LECTURE 1
Things vary according to your perspective of/on them.
We all see reality in our own way and the way we live our lives has an impact on our view.
Structure is an invisible force that cannot be seen however has an impact on you. E.g. class,
gender, race, ethnicity, age.
The scientific study of society developed in late 1700’s-early 1800’s by Comte. He created the
word ‘sociology’. Sociology specifically is the systematic study of development, structure,
interaction and collective behavior of organized groups of humans/society. The science of social
forces (external to individuals but has an impact on humans) was Durkheim’s view which stated
that sociology goes way beyond individuals/sum of individuals, i.e. values.
Durkheim was interested in looking at suicide. Suicide can be regarded as a supremely antisocial
and non-social ace as nearly everyone condemns it, considered as a private act, and a rare
phenomenal. Suicide rate for the Aboriginals is 5-6x higher than others.
According to Durkheim, the cause for suicide is stronger social control and integration (your
sense for belonging). Durkheim argues that the more one is integrated, the less chance they
have of committing a suicide. Social control is the rules and regulations.
Durkheim talks about NORMAL solidarity. Low rates of suicide= NORMAL level of social control
Egoistic and anomic suicide is when people have lots of friends but no sense of belonging. They
get no attention.
Altruistic suicide is when you can die for something or someone.
Fatalatic suicide is when people are so controlled that they can’t take it. Too much control, e.g.
Scientific Revolution- science was the dominant institution for finding truth instead of religion.
Democratic Revolution- Haiti was the first country to abolish slavery.
In order to understand problems and structures of a society, one HAS TO look at the 3 levels of
Social structures are in which people are in bedded.
Mills said that one can’t just look at one person and decide what’s wrong with them and why.
We have to look at the factors revolving around that person as well as the 3 levels of analysis.
Biography is the individual life. One’s unique biography.
Milieu- You can’t understand a person until you understand a person’s sense of belonging at
home, community, etc. E.g. how your family treats you, acts with you.
History- what society you came from.
Sociology is the focus on society.
Process of asking and finding answers is research, which leads to 4 theoretical traditions.
Conflict Theory argues that there is conflict in society within those who have and those who
Symbolic Interactionism is how we communicate with shared meaning.
Feminism is what structures are placed that maintains patriarchy in society. Patriarchy is the
system set up in most societies where males are dominant and females aren’t.
Structure is gender, class, ethnicity, age, etc.
Functionalism- how does your society have an impact on you. Functionalists are interested in
seeing the stability in society.
Functionalism in North America
We all have the same beliefs, and therefore get along. There is a purpose of every institution
(education, government, healthcare, economy, family, media, etc.) in society.
Positive function to an institution is known as Eufunction.
Negative function to an institution is known as Digsfunction.
Conflict Theory and Karl Marx
Every society has 2 groups: dominant and subordinate.
Capitalists exploited workers.
Maximum profit, minimize labor costs.
Marx believed that workers would become class consciousness and overthrow the capitalists.
Conflict Theory and Weber’s Response
Weber argues that Marx didn’t see that social welfare would keep a lid on the class system.
Focuses on interpersonal communication in micro level social settings because people attach
meaning to things.
Symbolic interactionists are interested in how one understands their lives without giving
WEBER, VERSTEHEN: People’s understanding of how they understand their lives.
Suggests male domination and female subordination i.e. men have more power.
CHAPTER 3- CULTURE- LECTURE 4
What is Material Culture?
It is tangible. Use tools to produce everything from food to satellite.
Material culture comprises the tools and techniques that enable people to get tasks
What is Non-Material Culture?
Composed of symbols, norms, and other intangible elements.
What are Values?
Ideas about what is right and wrong.
What is a MORE? (MOR-AYS)
Core norms that most people believe are essential for the survival of their group/their society.
What is a Folkway?
Least important norms and they evoke the least severe punishment.
What is a Norm?
Generally accepted way of doing things.
What is Consumerism?
Tendency to define ourselves in terms of the goods we produce.
CHAPTER 4- SOCIALIZATION- LECTURE 5
Socialization is a process of learning. It helps you shape your behavior specific to a culture.
Socialization and the Crystallization of Self-Identity
Human potential that you are born with= Epigenesis.
Born with a blank slate= Tabula Rasa.
Formation of the Self
By 6 months, babies start to imitate etc. Family is the most important part of the primary
o Primary socialization.
Secondary socialization= Begins at 10-11yrs. School is increasingly responsible for secondary
Theories of Childhood Socialization
Id: Part of the self that one is born demanding. E.g. you hungry, you cry. It is pleasure seeking.
Things vary according to your perspective of/on them. We all see reality in our own way and the way we live our lives has an impact on our view. Structure is an invisible force that cannot be seen however has an impact on you. The scientific study of society developed in late 1700"s-early 1800"s by comte. Sociology specifically is the systematic study of development, structure, interaction and collective behavior of organized groups of humans/society. The science of social forces (external to individuals but has an impact on humans) was durkheim"s view which stated that sociology goes way beyond individuals/sum of individuals, i. e. values. Durkheim was interested in looking at suicide. Suicide can be regarded as a supremely antisocial and non-social ace as nearly everyone condemns it, considered as a private act, and a rare phenomenal. Suicide rate for the aboriginals is 5-6x higher than others.