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Final

SOSC 1000 Study Guide - Final Guide: 1969 White Paper, The Bell Curve, Sociology Of The Family


Department
Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1000
Professor
Terry Conlin
Study Guide
Final

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SOSC 1000 – Exam Study Guide April 2013
Final Exam Study Compilation
All the information below is informed by readings and lectures of 2012/2013. The study
questions are completed to the best of my understanding at the current time; however,
there may still be some mistakes/gaps. If you find any errors, please contact me so I
can make the respective changes immediately.
Thanks for your support, and best of luck in the exam!
Part A – Define and State Significance of Five of the Following Concepts
1. The Fur Trade
In pre-confederation times, the British and the indigenous peoples of
North America engaged in a trade system to benefit both parties. As
discussed in lecture, the natives would trade various types of furs,
predominantly beaver; and the British traded European manufactured goods
and tools such as guns. This trade was made possible mainly through, as
Innis highlights, a dependence on indigenous technologies like the “canoe”.
Throughout the latter half of the trade, marked around the 17th century, the
British and Aboriginals “half-breed” descendants were very important. These
people secured the native technological advantage, as well as the European
industrial view. As romantic as this trade system appears at first glance, the
relationship was exploitive to both the Indians and the environment because,
as Innis highlights in the readings, it was treating the environment as a
staple. Consequentially, the indigenous culture experienced a major shift,
being forced to adopt modernity and commercialize their skills around the
new fur industry. Additionally, they were subject to the influence of European
culture, drastically changing their original heritage. Innis underlines that the
Indians had an insatiable appetite for the European goods. Similarly, the new
staple economy the fur trade created was exploitive to the environment. By
hunting the animals, predominantly the beaver, at ever increasing rates, the
beaver during the 17th century nearly completely disappeared in Canada. On
the other hand, as Innis highlights, good things such as accessibility,
transportation and communal knowledge were shared with the creation of
the staple economy in Canada. These new features in Canada helped to
expand the country to find new staples. Ultimately then, through the fur
trade, the Indians and their culture were fundamental to the growth of
Canadian institutions, but carried some exploitive consequences, both to the
indigenous peoples and the environment.
Key Concepts – Exploration
Colonization
Exploitation, Staple
Economy, Expansionist Paradigm
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SOSC 1000 – Exam Study Guide April 2013
2. Luddism
In tutorial, we discussed the notion that “control technologies”, a
concept introduced by Ursula Franklin, are not neutral. Unlike others, control
technologies are used by elite classes to influence the majority, identifying an
underlying class conflict. Examples include substituting software for
employees and shortening and simplifying production and distribution
process. Luddism then, is the belief that technological change is not
beneficial for society, because technology is not neutral and creates a system
of upper class domination over the working class. As Noble highlights, this
worldview was adopted by the working class from 1811 to 1817 in response
to a sewing “power loom” technology with no economic purpose, only control
related. Fundamentally then, this world view is contradictory to the visions of
a techno paradise many had during this era, as Rifkin underlines, because it
permits the creation and separation of social classes. Luddism is further
significant because it highlights the conflicting ideologies of classes in
society. Because the technologies have been successfully invoked and have
not received any further large scale revolts, we can see that the dominant
class won the ideological war. Nowadays, Rifkin underscores that the name
Luddite, referring to a follower of luddism ideology, is used as a derogatory
insult against someone who may oppose development. This goes to show
how enveloped the paradigm of technological development is in our society,
disallowing us from thinking otherwise.
Key Concepts – Class Control and Marxism, Counter Ideologies, Control
and Prescriptive Technologies
3. Race as a Social Construct
Augie Fleras when identifying race in our culture, highlights that, just
like animals, we as humans all belong to the same species, no matter what
variations there are in our physical appearances. Likewise, in lecture, the
documentary “Skin Deep: The Science of Race”, underlined that there are no
inherent genetic differences from people across the globe. Thus, at the most
scientific basis, race does not exist. If there is no scientific basis then the
notion of race must be created by society, and, as stated in the documentary
be used by dominant groups in society to divide ethnic groups into rankings
of inferior and dominant. “The Bell Curve” as Gould highlights, is an
excellent example of this exact ranking method. In summary, it states that
some races are inherently more intelligent, yet ignores other important social
factors. The implications of this academic racism would mean the systemic
slashing of social programs for those minorities that are ranked as inferior.
This would further create, as discussed in lecture, a self-fulfilling prophecy in
which the marginalized group acts as they are perceived to be. Thus,
academic work similar to the bell curve, created by dominant societal groups,
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SOSC 1000 – Exam Study Guide April 2013
is used to dehumanize the “others” in society with no actual scientific basis.
The notion of race then is inherently oppressive to the marginalized groups of
society. Yes there are physical differences between many people of different
ethnic origins, but to as the documentary states, use these characters to
define a “race” and rank these races is absurd.
Key Concepts – Social Construct, Racism, Science following an
Ideology, ”Othering”,
4. Violent Masculinity
The documentary “Tough Guise” by Jackson Katz, seen in lecture and
discussed in tutorial, introduces the idea that strength, power and violence
are male characteristics that are influenced by the media. These images,
seen through the roles of cowboys, gangsters and athletes, force males,
especially marginalized ethnic populations who have a difficult time fitting
into society, to adopt a “mask of invulnerability”. This mask removes any
emotional attributes associated with femininity, also socially constructed,
that would make the male seem any less powerful. Michael Moore identifies
the implications of such a mask in his comical journal, “The End of Men”,
including violent acts such as road rage, in which the male must reveal his
aggression to resolve problems. Additionally, the media, through movies
such as slasher, sexualize the violence, degrading the female as a person.
Also, Katz parallels the action figures of past and present to the masculinity
of males. Simply, in recent years, action figures have become increasingly
muscular, underlining their physical power. In contrast, women have become
increasingly to the representations of a perfect female. Ultimately, this
dominant perception that males must be tough reflects an underlying
patriarchal ideal, in which violence is intrinsically related to power. Thus,
males, however specifically presented in the media, must adopt a “tough”
mask to be accepted into society, for fear of being gendered a female, for not
showing violent characteristics.
Key Concepts – Social Construct, Gendered Roles, Patriarchal Ideology
5. Caregiver Role
In lecture, Professor Conlin and Andrea O’Reilly both identified that the
caregiver role is a fundamental aspect of a female’s life in the modern
domestic world. The woman in this society is ideally supposed to provide all
basic needs of the family including, sustenance, psychological and elder care.
Additionally, the woman must care for her children, which, as Hays highlights,
has become increasingly prominent in society today. Ultimately, these
occupations listed are considered worthy for a woman to undertake, yet, as
society perceives, pale in comparison to the males work and their input to the
economy. Thus, reflecting the patriarchal ideology of society in which women
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