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SY101 Final Exam Notes.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Lucy Luccisano

1 SY101 Final Exam Notes Sociology: the scientific study of society and human behaviour. Themes: C. Wright Mills - Social imagination: a sociological vision; looking at the world that allows links between the private problems of an individual and important social issues. Social construction: the focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived reality. Theories: - Conflict theory: society is seen as composed groups competing for scarce resources. o Bourgeoisie: o Proletariat: - Functionalism: views society as a unit made up of interrelated parts that work together. - Feminist theory: Marxist, liberal, and non-marxist radical; all share at least four characteristics. - Symbolic interactionism: view symbols, things to which we attach meaning, as the basis of social life. - Critical race theory: encompasses the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, history, philosophy, and politics. - Post-modernism: the logical rejection of modernity emphasizes cultural diversity in opposition to the cultural homogeneity promised by modernism. - Queer theory: an emerging theory that has become associated with gay and lesbian studies – a recent academic achievement spanning the social sciences and humanities. Theorists: Auguste Comte Karl Marx, “conflict theory” - Bourgeoisie, proletariat - Class struggle: - False consciousness - Alienation - Macro structural theory Emile Durkheim, “functional analysis” – study of suicide - Social cohesion – why and how society works - Pre-modern society – mechanical solidarity - Modern society organic solidarity o The rise of different disciplines and expertise, makes society more interdependent - Anomie: how people feel isolated leads to suicide, happening more even though we are more connected – not tied together morally. Max Weber, “structural functionalism” - Protestantism – pushed people to make money, work hard, save it and invest it - Replication – when you have a theory you have to constantly repeat it 2 Race and Social Inequality - Race: a group with inherited physical characteristics that distinguish it from another group - Whiteness o Ruth Frankenberg  A position of structural advantage  A stand point  A set of invisible practices - Racism: when the basis of discrimination is race. o Institutionalized o Systematically oppresses by denying or excluding on the basis of race/ethnicity o We are all racist but try to fight racism o Prejudice: prejudgment, usually negative.  An attitude held by individuals or groups  Social  Part of the definition of racism  Ethnocentrism – superiority of one over another culture  Stereotypes – generalizations about others, both unwarranted and unfounded on the basis of available evidence  Universal tendency o Discrimination: an action – unfair treatment directed against someone.  An act that has the intent/effect of denying or excluding others on the ground other than merit or ability  Individual discrimination  Person(s) acting on their prejudices  Harassment – type of discrimination o Formula  Prejudice (stereotyping and ethnocentrism) with discrimination (harassment) + power (access to institutional power) = RACISM - Functionalist o The social environment can be deliberately arranges to generate either positive or negative feelings about people o Prejudice can be a product of pitting group against group in an “I win you lose” situation o Prejudice is functional in that it creates in-group solidarity o Prejudice is dysfunctional in that it destroys wider community social relationships - Conflict theory o Working class people are pitted against one another in competition for jobs and resources o Capitalist  Exploit divisions = reserve army of low-wage labour = working class solidarity o Ex. Mexicans - Symbolic interactionists o Stereotypes and labels = self-fulfilling prophecy o Negative stereotypes reinforce stereotypical behaviour o Ex. White men can’t jump – basketball - Feminists o Multicultural feminists contend that it is not enough to simply dissect inequality from a woman’s point of view 3 o Analysis must include the experiences of women and men of different racial and ethnic groups and their class differences o How women and men are located within structures and how they have experiences race, based on social and class location - Discrimination o Institutional: discrimination becoming a routine in society; social policy.  Social institutions can have discriminatory effects  Intentional or non-intentional  Policies that close doors on the basis of race only - Residential schools o Church run schools with minimal funding o Goal was to teach native people to read English – to read the bible o The goal was assimilation (the process by which a minority is absorbed into the mainstream culture) o Until the 1950’s, all aboriginal children had to attend o Lived away from home o After WWII it became unpopular o Stories of abuse o Poorly fed and clothed children o Sexual and physical abuse - Canadian immigration policy o Pre-1967 CIP was blatantly racist and sexist  Preferred country list o Post-1967 points system to create a more objective system of entry  Points based on a system of three categories  Independent (economic class)  Family class  Refugee  1978-2002 pass mark of 67 Family - What is family? o It affects legal rights, benefits, and responsibilities - Bonnie Fox o “The social relationships people create to care for one another on a daily basis” o Changes in the family, linked to the economic  No separation of work from private world - Trends o Delaying parenthood  Childless couples report higher levels of martial satisfaction  Satisfaction for couples with children follows a U-shaped pattern  Children reduce the time a couple has to spend with one another  Increased economic pressure/financial strain  Increased work/family stress o Difficulty with becoming parents  Adoption  Domestic and international  Process and costs involved 4  The role of fathers  Not usually the one to take time off to care for child  Children = conflict division of labour o Parenthood and gender  Social construction – baby and child literature geared toward the mother - Childcare o Major issues – availability, quality and affordability o No national standards o Little to no subsidy of childcare by governments o Scarcity of space in regulated childcare o Better at home or daycare? o Factors – how they watch children, some don’t care about the stuff that day cares offer  Wages and benefits of staff  Satisfaction with work environment  Educational levels of staff  Child-staff rations  Centre being non-profit - Divorce o Increase in divorce and re-marriage – 38% or marriage end in divorce  Daily stressors  Feminism plays a role o Increase in dual-earner families  Almost 2/3 women with children under 3 in the workforce  Raises societal issues around childcare o Reasons for increased rates  People expect more form
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