Sociology Midterm 1 Material

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University of California - Berkeley
Jill Bakehorn

Sociology Midterm 1 Study Guide -Sociology: study of companions; study of group life and aspects of individual life affected by group interaction -Socialstructure: patterns of social relationships and behaviors that work as a system to constrain individual choice; give us familiar and predictable shape, plan our lives -SocialFact: Durkheim- external limitations that affect an individual which contributes to the shaping of a well defined social institution; define the social structures of a society; external, coercive, resistance can lead to consequences, widespread, exist independently -Socialinstitution: institutions are structures and mechanisms of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human collectivity -Concepts: building blocks of sociological interpretation, probable not concrete (ex: gender) -Theories: set of statements or propositions that seek to explain or predict a particular aspect of social life, explains relationship between 2 or more concepts -Hypothesis: researchable proposition that specifies the relationship between 2 or more variables -Variable:any characteristic attitude, behavior, or event that can take on 2 or more values or attributes (ex: age, gender, income, ethnicity, etc) -Independentvariable: a variable that is impacting another (dependent) variable -Dependentvariable: the outcome the researcher is trying to explain (variation) ex: Household labor and sex study Dependent: sexual frequency Independent: amount of housework done -Reliability: consistency; results can be replicated NOT measure of accuracy -Validity:accuracy; measuring what you intend to measure (wording of questions is important) -Generalizability: ability of results to represent larger population we study; should be possible for another researcher to replicate findings -SocialRegulation: control exerted by social groups and societies over individuals; impact that social facts have over individual -SocialIntegration: feeling part of a greater whole, sense of belonging, feel connected, affirms sense of belonging to social groups and society -Anomie: normlessness; lack of social regulation; limits unknown between possible and impossible, just and unjust -SymbolicInteractionism:study of face-to-face interactions, paying particular attentions to how meaning is created -Looking-GlassSelf: the “self” emerges from our ability to assume the point of view of others and imagine how they see us (Charles Cooler) -Generalizedother:an internalized sense of the expectations of others in any setting; tells you how to act in a certain situation (never really alone, always thinking about what people would think about what we are doing even when we are alone) -Line: pattern of verbal and nonverbal acts by which an individual expresses her view of the situation and through this her evaluation of the participants, especially herself -Face: the positive social value that we claim through our performance -Have,bein,maintainface: when the line presents an image that is internally consistent, supported by others -Wrongface: when information is brought forth about social worth that is inconsistent with the line (ex: professor that comes to class without any information to teach) -Outofface: when participating without having ready a line that participants expect in that social situation (ex: prank shows put people in situation where they would be out of face) -Face-work: actions people take to make whatever they are doing consistent with face, being able to imagine how others see you, traffic rules of social interaction -ImpressionManagement: acting in such a way that others will form desired impressions of us and our current situation (may not always be conscious) -FrontStage: any place there is an audience we work to maintain an appropriate performance -BackStage: behind-the-scenes; can prepare for from stage; can contradict or violate front-stage performance -ExpressiveOrder: managing social interactions so that anything expressed in the interaction will be consistent with one’s face -AvoidanceProcess: try to avoid face-to-face threatening incidents Defensive- stay away from certain topics, situations; change the subject; show modesty (lower peoples’ expectations to avoid losing face) Protective- show respect, politeness; be discrete, courteous; studies nonobservant/tactful blindness Questions What is Sociology? Accordingtolecture,whatisthekeyinsightofsociology?Whatisthemetaphoroftheforestand thetrees? -Must understand tension between how society shapes us and how we shape society in order to understand social life and social phenomena. Total forest (society) is made up of individual trees (people). They (we) are independent and affect one another HowdoesDurkheimdefineasocialfact?Whatareexamplesofsocialfacts?Howdosocialfacts impactourlives?HowdoestheclipfromTheDevilWearsPradahelpillustratesocialfacts? -“any way of acting, whether fixed or not, capable of exerting over the individual an external constraint” “which is general over the whole of society whilst having an existence of its own, independent of its individual manifestations” -examples: laws, financial system, education, spoken language, gender, any social institution, obligations, religious beliefs, social status and role we have, population -Social facts are uncontrollable to us. They are coercive and if we go against them, consequences will follow. -Clip shows that everyone is affected by things bigger than us and out of our control. In this case, Miranda proves to Andy that she is indeed controlled by social facts, even if it is just referring to the color of her sweater. WhatdoesDurkheimmeanbysocialcurrents?HowdoestheImprovEverywhereclip,“Where’s Rob?”illustratethis? -Social currents happen in spite of ourselves. Collective emotions in a group, which have stronger impact than any individual's own emotions. -When more and more people started to notice the situation and realize that Rob was missing, they ALL collectively tried to get him back to his seat. Social forces influenced people to gather in a group and try to achieve a certain goal. WhatisthesociologicalimaginationaccordingtoMills?Whatsortsofquestionsdosociologists ask? -Individuals recognize external forces around us and must have the ability to see connections between our personal lives and the social world in which we live. To understand a private matter, one can look at a public issue. Need to understand social realm to understand personal realm. -What varieties of men and women now prevail in this society and in this period?, Where does this society stand in human history?, What is the structure of this particular society as a whole?, What are people doing with one another here?, What are their relationships to one another?, How are these relationships organized in institutions?, What are the collective ideas that move men and institutions? Whatisthedifferencebetweenpersonaltroublesandpublicissues? -Personal trouble (ex: unemployed individual) is a private matter that occurs within an individual. A public issue (unemployment) is a problem that effects a certain society/public. To understand a private matter one can look at a public issue. WhatdoesPeterBergerargueaboutstatisticsandsociology?Howdoesthisrelatetoourclass discussionaboutrecentmarriagestatistics? -Statistics themselves are not accurate, they must take society into account. Sociology is a large complex of human relationships. It is a system of interactions. Sociological insights help groups and can further hurt groups. Stats can be used to support and undermine an argument. -Same sex marriage means same sex adoption (not allowed), some stats were used to try to prove that sam sex couples cannot raise a child which is not true and was proven wrong. Whatattributesmakesociologyascienceandhowdotheyapplytosociology?Uponwhat scientificprinciplesissociologicalresearchfounded? -Sociology is rational and theoretical. It is concerned with developing theories about social facts. Sociology is empirical (based on observations and measurements of reality)- interviews, questions, observations, stats, cultural messages. Sociology is systematic- data must be collected systematically. Sociology is probabilistic-not trying to create universal laws on how the world (social world) operates, study individuals to generalize about particular phenomena. Sociology is causal- most social research at some point observes cause and effect of relationships. WhatarethephilosophicaldebateswithinsociologyaccordingtoBurawoy?Whatispublic sociology?Policysociology?Professionalsociology? -The philosophical debates within sociology are those concerning the bias that forms because sociologist study the social which they are constantly in. -Public sociology is moving beyond academic dialogue to fully engage in social world, some want to change the world through sociology, pure science vs. promoting social change, Burawoy says we can’t be separate from the social world because sociologists are against inequality and discrimination. -Policy sociology is knowledge that can be used to solve or help a specific case in the social world, it is not confined to academic boundaries, the findings of policy sociology research are likely to have an effect on the general public as they could have an impact on government policy. -Professional sociology is a form of academic sociology that is concerned primarily with addressing other professional sociologists. HowdoesBerger(“SociologyasaFormofConsciousness”)define“society”?Howdosociologists understandtheword“social”? -society: a large complex of human relations, a system of interaction -social: sociologists are concerned with the quality of the interaction and how and under what circumstances people react, we are connected and interdependent; have a web of meaning as we orient ourselves around social situations AccordingtoBerger,whatmakessociologyunique?Whatsetsitapartfromotherdisciplines? WhatdoesBergermeanby“lookingbeyond”? -Unique: sociologists don’t just study a subset of what people do (such as an economist) but rather every aspect of human interaction -Looking beyond: sociology sees past and through social institutions and social structure HowdoesBergerexplainasociologicalapproachtosocialproblems?Whatsetsitapartfromhow wetypicallythinkofsocialproblems?Whatdoesitmeantosaythatsocialproblemsaresocially constructed? -Sociological problems are socially constructed. They are conditions, processes and events that are identified as negative by either significant people or a significant number of people. They only become problems once they are addressed problems. -They are not simply why things go wrong in the viewpoint of authorities, but they are the overall meaning of the act and deal with how the whole system works in the first place (looking beyond). -Social problems are socially constructed because a problem to one social group is a solution or norm to other and vice versa. WhatarethefourdimensionsofthesociologicalconsciousnessaccordingtoBerger?Give examplesforeach.Applythesedimensionsto“BecomingaMarihuanaUser.” -Debunking (debunk social situations, figure out why suicide is socially influenced and not just an individual phenomena), unrespectibility (not just “official” America, the “other America, margins of society, “hipsters, hoboes, American Negro, women), relativizing (ability to imagine other places, times, and people other than one’s self, identities are dynamic, fluid, ever-changing), cosmopolitan (allowing oneself to be open to all human relationships and existence). -Debunking- looking past “official” views of drug use (negative), unrespectibility- examine drug use not from perspective of law enforcement, but from the perspective of the user, relativizing- sees identities and behaviors as fluid, questions rigid labels, cosmopolitan- provides a sophisticated analysis demonstrating an open view of social world. In“BecomingaMarihuanaUser”,Beckerarguesagainstusing“predispositional”theoriesto understanddruguse.Towhatishereferring?Whatdoesheproposeinstead? -Becker is referring the the subject of interest that sociologist follow. Rather than focus on pure science of something, like Marijuana users, Becker is more interested in the social interactions around these marijuana users. Sociologists look at the social not the science. They are concerned with interactions and the effects of those interactions on society. Whatarethestepstobecomingamarihuanauser?Explaineach.HowdoesBecker’sdefinitionof “gettinghigh”differfromthemore“official”definition? -1. Use proper technique: necessary to produce discernible effects; learned through social interaction, 2. Recognize effects as caused by drug: novice need help of experienced users to identify symptoms (social interactions necessary for first time users to get high); social aspects of being high, 3. Learn to enjoy the effects: redefinition of sensations as pleasurable; moderation of ingestion. -Becker’s use of “getting high” refers to the social aspects that influence/help someone get high rather than the scientific facts about getting high. HowdoesBecker’sstudydemonstratetheimportanceofsocialinteractions?ApplyBerger’sfour dimensionofthesociologicalconsciousnesstoSimmel’sThe Stranger. -Becker shows that social interactions are important -The Stranger has a synthesis of nearness and remoteness; objective and not integrated into the social world; he still participates in the social world, however Conducting Research Whatarethetwoprimarycharacteristicsofsociologicalresearchaccordingtolecture? -1) It is empirical (verifiable through observation): the questions of human behavior can be ascertained through controlled, systematic observations of the social world -2) It is probabilistic (subject to variation): it tries to uncover patterns and generalizations based on the idea that it’s not looking for rules or all- encompassing theories Whatisthequantitativemethodofconductingsociologicalresearch? -Converts aspects of the social world into numbers statistical analysis uses survey data; puts answers into large patterns, can help with generalization Whatisthequalitativemethodofconductingsociologicalresearch? -Looks for meaning behind things; gets deep, rich explanations of the social world and perspectives from subjects; uses face-to-face interview and observation Whatissurveyresearch?WhyisprobabilitysamplingusedaccordingtolectureandSchuman? -Survey research: close-ended questions, best bet to finding causation, helps with vast generalization; it is quantitative with clear questions; usually deductive: has a theory it wants to test; uses probability sampling; Reliability: can the survey be replicated to yield same results?; Valid: can it be interpreted correctly?; Generalizability: can this be put as a pattern of a larger population? -Probability sampling: used because each person in a survey set has an equal chance of being picked WhatarethepotentialpitfallsordownsidestosurveyresearchaccordingtoSchuman?Whatare theadvantages? -Pitfalls/ weaknesses/ downsides: results can be inaccurate, bad, or misleading answers may be false or what people profess, not the truth; it’s only a piece of the social world -Strengths: helps understand large populations, show a relationship (causation/ correlation) Whatisfieldworkorethnography?Whatarethedifferenttypesoffieldwork? -Fieldwork is a theory-generating activity that describes beliefs, motivations, and rationales of people in particular sub-cultures, needs to alternate between inductive (starts with observations) and deductive (starts with theories) research most fieldwork starts inductively; wants to see the world through the subject’s point of view by studying them in their natural environment; it is systematic, using systematic data gathering, involves descriptions of events, statements of those involved, studies various types of behavior, explores roles, relationships and interactions, and subcultures -Types- Non-participant: sitting in a public place without interacting with subjects; Participant: you have a role in the social phenomenon you are studying, whether the subjects know you are involved or not, giving a first- hand account WhatarethedifferentstepsinvolvedinconductingfieldworkaccordingtoAdlerandAdler?What arethepotentialpitfallsofthismethod?Whataretheadvantages? -Steps with advantages and disadvantages: Data gathering (it is time consuming and you must gain trust from people, need connections to get into a social circle; must stay objective, you get to know your subjects and are hands-on; Data analysis (also time consuming, systematically coding for patterns); Data presentation (you get to show your research and insight into a formerly dimly-lit part of the sociological world, giving voice to your research subjects, you may not have agreement with your conclusions) -Weaknesses summarized: time consuming, must balance objectivity and subjectivity, difficult to replicate or to generalize because you’re looking at a small subset of a population -Strengths: most accessible of all sociological methods, gives deeper insight and details to a subject, see p
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