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York University
SOCI 1010
Amber Gazso

FALL TERM TEST: INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY STUDY REVIEW INTRO SEPT 9  Sociologist: study society; almost everything that we agree is society; focus on people and how they behave as individuals and in groups – and the struggles among the two; seek to understand how we construct our social world.  Sociologists theorize how we experience social interactions in society and how society appears organized o They theorize interactions between the important binary distinction in contemporary social theory: agency [the human capacity to interpret, evaluate and choose, and then to act accordingly; choices individuals make] and structure [pre-existing arrangements that influence our behaviour; e.g. the labour market, „family‟, democracy] UNDERSTAND SOCIETY SEPT 16AND19  Sociology: systematic study of social behaviour in human societies; study of human group life; focus on how people and societies change  Theory: general statement about how some parts of social world fit together and how they work; an interpretation of reality  Nature of social life: why it is so often unthinkingly orderly, routine, and generally predictable?  ***Sociological Imagination: a book written by sociologist C. Wright Mills in 1959. o Goal was to try to reconcile two different and abstract concepts of social reality – the individual and society. o Address social problems by linking an individual‟s personal troubles with the way society is organized and structured; an individual‟s private trouble are rooted in widespread public issues o Connection between our own lives [biography] and social change within society [history]  Macro sociology: unit of analysis is society, institutions, social structures, social systems; study of large social organizations (e.g. government, university) and social categories (e.g. ethnic minorities); society as a whole o Functionalists: argue that all parts (institutions) of society have a function o Conflict theorists: argue that basis of social organization (society) is class struggle or conflict  Micro sociology: the unit of analysis is the individual; focus on individuals‟ perceptions of and meanings given to their social world; how society is shaped by individuals‟ interactions with others  Meso sociology: in between, middle level, e.g. organizations and communities An individual (micro) experiences a workplace (meso) as part of a larger economic system (macro)  19 Century Enlightenment: society could be studied scientifically o Auguste Comte (1798 – 1857): coined the term „sociology‟ to capture an interest in discovering „natural‟, social laws of human existence (positivism)  Classical Sociology: Functionalism: to identify the basic functions that must be fulfilled in all societies; if something exists in society and persists over time – religion, for example, or sports, or even crime – it must perform some necessary function important for the reproduction of society  ***Émile Durkheim (1858 – 1917) o Studied religion: societies held together by regular gatherings/events in which the tribe feasted and celebrated its community (the sacred) o Studied suicide: when people were no longer united by a single code of right and wrong, Durkheim termed this anomie [a condition, in which people within a society are no longer successfully controlled by established moral rules) and thought it explained suicide  Modern society no longer unified; societal members now individualized  Understanding of anomie in correlation with study of suicide: the well-being of an individual within society must be acknowledged with respect, and that suicide was a result of alienation experienced by an individual within society because of lack of social norms regulating social control and stability o Studied the changing division of labour o Modern societies held together and all parts and people function to maintain social life through organic solidary (best analogy: all organs within a large organism perform together so keep organism alive and functional)  Conflict theory: class struggles (conflict) are the basis of social life; power and resistance; analyze struggle between those who have power and control scarce resources and those who do not  ***Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) o Focused on material changes in society, how basis necessities in social life were distributed unequally over time o Explains changes in society through economic and social change o Transition to capitalism [unequal economic exchange between employers (capitalists) and workers] was marked by a surplus [a measure of exploitation of the working class] of goods that benefited elites or the bourgeoisie  Proletariats: wage workers who provided the labour power to capitalism; lacked property; forced to survive by selling its labour to the bourgeoisie  Bourgeoisie: capitalist class – those who own the means of production (factory owners), the merchant (economically dominant) or ruling class. o Religious msgs (the opium of the people) dulled the pain caused by capitalism o Capitalism could be overturned if working-class (proletariats) revolted against the system (bourgeoisie)  ***Max Weber (1864 – 1920) o Sought to uncover social, cultural, and political factors that shaped modern society o Focused on formal rationality (efficiency to achieve objectives) as an important change in modern societies o Distinguished between traditional and charismatic authority; has been replaced by legal- rational authority: determines how we choose those who govern us and the rules they must follow. o Bureaucracies: policies and regulations in political institutions lead to a formal set of rules o Capitalism was an unintended consequence of the Protestant Reformation: religious movement that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the creation of Protestant churches (separated from the Roman Catholic Church in accordance with the principles of the Reformation) o Focused on class, status, and power and suggested a multi-variable analysis of modern society  Pierre Bourdieu (1930 – 2002) o Various ways people acquire power and control o Cultural capital: education and knowledge resources a person uses to acquire prestige and social standing o Social capital: personal connections are used for power o  Modernism and post-modernism: departure form the sociology associated with the Enlightenment; embraced of the irrational, emotional, expressive aspects of life; common principles: reject „realism‟ and the idea of a single „truth‟ DO SOCIOLOGY SEPT 23AND26  Quantitative sociology: sociology viewed as a science; efforts are often made to quantify social life  Qualitative sociology: sociology viewed as an art or a humanity; research often designed to tap into the rich meanings of human experiences  Sociological research: to explore, to describe (goal is simply to learn more about a group or topic); to explain (often involves testing diff. theories against each other).  Major paradigms: positivism and Interpretivism o Positivism: we can see and study something independent of ourselves; we search for “facts”; evidence confirms our findings are “true” o Interpretivism: we are intimately connected to what it is we are studying; we search for multiple meanings; evidence is relative; the are multiple “truths”; we interpret these meanings  Operationalization: translation of abstract theories and concepts into observable hypotheses and variables. Once abstract ideas are operationalized, we can test them in a study. o Hypotheses: express relationships between variables; an observable equivalent of a theory or at least a set of observable statements that are consistent with a theory. o Variable: the empirical or observable equivalent of concepts; they must be observable and they must have a range of diff. values they can take on; must have variance (e.g. ethnicity, age, years of schooling, annual income, etc.).  Validity: the accuracy of a measure, indicator, or study; many different dimensions to validity can be established through formal tests, logic, or depth in understanding; your measures measure what you want to measure; the consistency of findings rather than consistency of measures o External validity: translation to findings o Internal validity: conclusions are supported by method used and data collected Vs.  Reliability: the consistency of a measure, indicator, or study; produce same results overtime. Note that reliability is different from validity and does not refer to the accuracy of a measure or study.  Generalizability: we can generalize (simplify) our findings to larger populations by using proper sampling techniques in quantitative research  Transferability: we can create opportunities for others to find our findings transferable to other populations by providing enough description of our sample and our findings in qualitative research  Bias: the unintentional, accidental mistakes; refers to systematic inaccuracies in a data or analysis; more serious than error; distort findings in systematic ways. o Respondent biases:  Acquiescence bias: respondents simply check off answers to questions without thinking about them  Social desirability bias: respondents try to answer questions the way they think the researcher wants them to instead of answering the way they themselves want to  Sampling: a sample is a subset of a larger population; samples can be randomly selected, to which each unit in a chosen population has an equal chance of being selected (Simple Random Sample)  Purposive: we deliberately select people or objects that match chosen criteria  Convenience: we include people or objects by convenience (ease) Methods Of Research:  Surveys: collect quantitative or numerical data that can be generalized to a larger population; excellent way of gathering data on large populations that cannot be studied effectively in a face- to-face manner Designing Good Survey Questions: o Focus: each Q should have one specific topic o Brevity: shorter questions are preferable to longer questions o Clarity: use clear, understandable words; avoid jargon o Bias: avoid biased words, phrases, statements, and questions o Relevance: Q‟s asked to respondents must be relevant to them and to your research  Field Research: collect qualitative or non-numerical data that may or may not be generalized to a larger population; aim to collect rich, nuanced data by going into the „field‟ to observe and talk to people directly When selecting a research method, the research method chosen must be determined by the research problem in the question o Ethnographic or participant observation research: also known as ethnography; sociologist become involved in the personal lives of research subjects for extended period of time; field notes are important part of this research process o In-depth interviews: popular field research technique; may be used in conjunction with participant observation; extensive interviews often recorded and later transcribed to text; interviews may be structured, semi-structured, or unstructured o Documentation: usage of various doc. to examine human behaviour; preferably used when working in large institutions (e.g. criminal justice system, churches, families, etc.) o Existing data, secondary data analysis: many studies do rely upon data collected already – secondary data analysis; e.g. official statistics, survey data, magazines, case files, etc.  Research Ethnics: important ethnic principles created as a result of the Nuremberg trials of Nazi doctors and concentration camp officials after WWII o Voluntary participation: people can be asked to participate in a research, regardless of its potential damage, as long as they voluntarily agree to be a part of the research o Voluntary consent: participants must be given consent to participate in the research with a full knowledge of the potential costs and benefits to themselves and to the researcher(s) o Anonymity: researcher must not collect any identifying information about his or her respondents o Confidentiality: identifying information is collected but deliberately withheld in the publication of any results INTEREST IN CULTURE: CULTURE AND CULTURE CHANGE SEPT30ANDOCT3  Culture: powerful social force bringing people together (social order) but can so pull people apart (conflict); refers to the ways in which people‟s lives are structures, to aesthetic or cultural productions, and to institutions; include elements of social life (e.g. symbols, discourses, values, attitudes, beliefs, norms, music) that have meanings to use and influence our behaviour o Relationship between culture and structure: labour market structured along gender lines – occupation segregation by gender; idea that it is normal or appropriate for this segregation to exist is cultural o Cultures vary significantly across time and space; differ by social grouping that vary on the basis of race/ethnicity, class, gender; cultural boundaries are difficult to delineate (outline, describe); change over time  Subcultures: a subset of cultural traits of the larger society that also includes distinctive values, beliefs, norms, style of dress, and behaviour Orthodox Marxist and Neo-Marxist theories:  Marxism: one of the most influential theoretical perspectives in sociology (Karl Marx) o It argues that the nature of sociology is determined primarily by the prevailing mode of economic production, evolving through history from agrarian societies to slave ownership to feudalism and then to industrial capitalism o (Squarely structural) argues that all social change is a result of the economic organizations of society. Mode of economic production forms the „base‟ of society on which the „superstructure‟ rests, which includes everything else, including all cultural elements of society  Neo-Marxism: new form of Marxism; seek to develop theories which look at the individual as well as structural factors; neo-Marxist theorists argued that culture can be shaped to maintain hegemony – a form of ideological control that legitimizes inequality; influence or control over another country, a group of people, etc.  Stuart Hall produced some of the seminal concepts of cultural studies. Communication of meaning requires both encoding and decoding; such things as an advertisement or a television show are created in such a way as to convey a particular perspective; message is never clear; not always in control of how others interpret the intended message. o Encoding and decoding: the embedded and subsequent interpretation of cues, meanings, and codes in cultural productions  Symbolic Interactionism: culture plays the role of a vehicle for meaning (symbolic) and is generated by individuals in face-to-face encounters (interactionists). o Culture is the enacted signals and attitudes that people use to communicate effectively in order to go about their daily lives o Social interaction can be analyzed to reveal layers of meaning behind routine actions  Elements of Culture: o Language: system of symbols, of words both written and spoken; we make sense of our lives through language o Discourse: set of ideas, concepts and vocabulary that are regularly used together (e.g. understandings of crime; discourse of masculinity  Realms of Culture: o Mass media: print, film, radio, television, internet; potent social forces in the production of culture that influence people‟s attitudes and behaviours; provides info and entertainment o Arts and Aesthetics: art an expressive area of social life; non-verbal form of communication. Aesthetics is a system of principles for the appreciation of the beautiful  Globalization as an external factor: goods, services, information, and people can move more easily from nation to nation; easier than ever to inculcate aspects of other cultures into Canadian culture NATURE AND NURTURE OCT7AND10  Socialization: acquisition of knowledge, skills, and motivations to participate in social life; to survive, to become members of society; life-ling process by which we develop selves, roles, and identities  Anticipatory socialization: how individuals acquire values and orientations that they will; inhabit later in life; we may experience re-socialization [learning of new roles, norms, and values that differ from those of the past] during our ever-changing lives  Nature: biological forces determine human behaviour Vs. Nurture: environmental factors and human experience throughout life influence behaviour  Epigenetics: study of heritable traits in gene expression that do not involve modifications to DNA sequence Theorizing Socialization:  Childhood socialization: o Learning/behaviorist frames of reference  Socialization a product of maturational change + conditioning  Classical conditioning: links response to a known stimulus (Ivan Pavlov salivating dog experiment Before learning: bowl of meat (unconditioned stimulus)  dog salivated (unconditioned response) During learning: introduced a bell. The sound of a bell is heard, signaling the food. Dog does not salivate when the bell is rung, only when food is present. After learning: after repeated action of bell signaling the food: bell (conditioned stimulus)  dog salivated (conditioned response); dog salivated to the sound of the bell even before the food was brought to the dog  Operant conditioning: focuses attention on the response which is not related to any known stimulus; according to B.F. Skinner: response correlates with positive reinforcement or a reward; trial and error learning Edward Thorndike‟s Puzzle Box experiment: cat trapped inside a box and needs to escape in order to get the food. The cat first begins to observe its surrounding and overtime; it eventually finds a way to open the box door. Because opening the box door resulted in the reward of food, the time spent trying to escape the box decreases and the cat is conditioned to repeat the action a lot faster in order to get the food.  B.F. Skinner: (nurture) behaviorism: human and animal behaviour can be explained in terms of conditioning, without appeal to thoughts or feelings; behaviour is influenced by the environment and through human experience o Psychoanalytic frame of reference:  Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) and followers (early 20 century onward) introduced theory of unconscious mind: prompts people to make choices/decisions even if it is not recognized on a conscious level; thoughts, memories, and desires below the surface of conscious awareness  The mind: Id (impulsive, in a way, somehow unconscious; not a very thoughtful part of the mind; instant gratification), ego (consists of process thought; satisfies the id in an appropriate way), and superego (largely controls both id and ego; emphasizes to a great extent of moral judgment; what is right and what is wrong)  We proceed through phases or development: oral, anal, and phallic stages, followed by a period of latency and then a genital phase.  Freud was very much into sexuality o Child Development frame of reference:  Erik Erikson and John Piaget emphasized early stages of childhood development; extended beyond childhood development  Were interested in how kids develop in stages (cognitive development)  Piaget developed four major cumulative stages of intellectual development: sensorimotor period (birth to 2 years), pre-operational period (2-7yrs), concrete operational period (7-11yrs), and formal operational period (11yrs through adulthood)  Kohlberg expanded Piaget‟s work by considering stages of moral development: what is morally good or bad  Norms: a way a person is expected to behave within society  Folkways: informal ways of enforcing norms (e.g. kids making fun of a single child for the way he/she dresses; no strict punishment but, it may cause the child to change the way he/she dresses)  Mores: formal ways of enforcing norms (e.g. incarceration of murder) punishment is strict for a more serious and unlawful action (e.g. life sentence, death penalty, etc.) o Symbolic interactionists frame of reference  Symbolic interactionists believe:  Humans must be studied on their own level; social life involves sharing meanings and communicating symbolically, enabling humans alone to deal with events in terms of past, present, or future  An analysis of society is the most valuable method in understanding society; individual behaviour needs to be contextualized within the structure or society  At birth, the human infant is asocial; behaviours + expectations don‟t begin to take on meaning until they learn to channel their behaviours in specific directions via training and socialization from parents  A socialized being is an actor as well as a reactor; humans are minded beings, actively responding to a symbolic environment  George Herbert Mead argues social self consisted of the spontaneous unsocialized “I” (e.g. the Id) and the socialized “Me”  “Me”: predominant over time; takes the roles of others into account  “I”: continues to exist; impulsive component of self  E.g. good life fitness member; unsocialized (temporarily) member who is not sure what equipment to use or how to use them effectively. Overtime, the member is socialized and the knowledge of what equipment to use for a certain exercise is embedded.  The generalized other refers to that part of an individual‟s social self that develops in response to how others perceive the individual (it‟s how you think others see/perceive you)  Feminist Sociology: feminists generally agree that women are not unequal to men and society must include greater gender equality o Draw upon conflict theory and argue that gender diff.; gender inequality is a key part of social life o Challenge the assumption „anatomy is destiny‟ o How gender is socially constructed through social interaction and discourse  Gender roles: refer to how expectations of masculinity and femininity may or may not be tied to one‟s sex  Sex roles: refer to the expectations related to being biologically of one sex or another  Primary and secondary agents of socialization: o Primary: include one‟s parents and family o Secondary: include schools, peer groups, and mass media STATUSES, ROLES, SELF, AND IDENTITY OCT17AND21  Functionalism: to identify the basic functions that must be fulfilled in all societies; if something exists in society and persists over time – religion, for example, or sports, or even crime – it must perform some necessary function important for the reproduction of society  Status: social positions that people hold; describe what one is (e.g. a doctor, patient, criminal, student); something we occupy o Ascribed status: one that someone is born into or imposed by nature (e.g. race/ethnicity) o Achieved status: one that is earned, or chosen during the life course (e.g. doctor, professor); people can hold many statuses simultaneously (e.g. a person can be a teacher, a friend, a sibling, and a father/mother at the same time)  Roles: attached to a status or statuses is one or many roles; responsibilities, behaviours, privileges; something someone does based upon the position
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