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Visual Arts Studio 1020 Study Guide - Final Guide: George Herbert Mead, Altruistic Suicide, Erving Goffman

Visual Arts Studio
Course Code
VAS 1020
Kim Luton
Study Guide

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Sociology Notes
Lecture 001 Sociology
Sociology systematic study of social behavior in human societies.
Auguste Compte
- Emerging of sociology
- A new way of seeing the world
- Industrialization
- Positivism
o Analyze the social world through empirical means
- Act as a lens
- Theoretical paradigms
- Gives us a different perspective on the world
- Some Theoretical Paradigms
o Structural Functionalism
o Conflict Theory
o Functionalism
o Feminism
Structural Functionalism
- Macro Level
- Broad view on society
- Structures
o stable patterns of social behavior
- Institutions
o Subsystems of enduring patterns
- Normal state = equilibrium
o Change in on structure changes others
o Change is disruptive
- Consensus about societal values
- Every activity has a consequence or function
o Manifest Functions
Open stated, conscious functions
o Latent Functions
Unconscious functions / may reflect hidden purposes
- There are good and bad functions

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o Eufunction
Positive benefit for society maintain equilibrium
o Dysfunction
Element or process that is disruptive and will destabilize
- Society will fix itself if problems occur restabilize
- Critique
o Too broad
o Focuses on stability at expense of conflict
Emile Durkheim
- Society = social system
- There are needs
o Social structures/institutions fill those
- Anomie = normlessness
o Lack of norms/regulation
- Change : mechanical solidarity - > organic solidarity
o Mechanical Solidarity
people feel connected to each other through similar work/lifestyles
think of machine -> mechanical solidarity
pre-industrial society
simple division of labor.
o Organic Solidarity
Connectedness comes from interdependence, specialization, and
Modern society
Think organ -> complicated -> organic solidarity
- Investigation of suicide
- Looked outward towards society to explain suicides
o Egoistic suicides
Occur because of lack of social ties
Example: men, because they are more independent than women & protestants
more likely to suicide because less integrated into the religious community
o Altruistic suicide
Excessively strong social ties.
Example: suicide bombers
o Anomic suicide
Insufficient regulations, too lax
May arise because of rapid social change
Feelings of unpredictability and without limits
o Fatalistic suicide
Too many regulations, too few options

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Feel trapped
Conflict Theory
- Macro oriented paradigm
- Society = arena of inequality
o Generates conflict and social change
- Society structured to benefit a few at expense of majority
- Dominant group vs. minority group relations
o Incompatible interests
- Alienation
o Capitalism alienates workers in 4 ways
From the act of working
From the products of work
From other workers
From human potential
Karl Marx
- Modes of production
o Social processes and social change is based on economic processes
o Economic system shapes all other components of society
- Ownership of means of production is the basis for other forms of inequality.
- Class
o comes from who owns what means of production
o class conflict
antagonism between entire classes of distribution of wealth/power
o Class consciousness
Recognition of works of unity
Workers band together under common “oppression”
- Power
o Holds society together
o Conflict is natural state
o Bourgeoisie (owners) dominate
o Proletariat (workers)
Own labour power
o Revolution is means of change
o Eliminate inequalities
Eliminate private ownership.
- Social institutions
o Major spheres of social life
o Reflective of dominant class
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