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SY101 Study Guide - Final Guide: Critical Race Theory, Mechanical And Organic Solidarity, Feminist Theory

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Lucy Luccisano
Study Guide

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SY101 Final Exam Notes
Sociology: the scientific study of society and human behaviour.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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

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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
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
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
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