Sociology Midterm #2.docx

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Jill Bakehorn

Concepts you should be able to define and apply: 1. Symbolic Boundaries: conceptual distinctions we make to categorize objects, people and practices; not literal or physical 2. Social Construction: differences are produced by social experiences rather than biologically; social, not natural 3. Social Stratification: the differentiation among people on the basis of socially significant identity categories and the resultant differences in access to resources 4. Ascribed characteristics: a category given by birth, to a large extent, uncontrollable by the individual; race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality 5. Achieved characteristics: abilities, talents, motivations - those controlled by the individuals 6. Sex and Gender: sex is the socially agreed physiological characteristics for classifying humans as male or female; gender is the social meanings, attributes, competencies, norms, and conduct associated with the sexes 7. Cultural capital: class based knowledge, skills, linguistic and cultural competencies; a worldview passed on via the family 8. Exploitation: the process whereby one social group labors to produce wealth that is privately owned and controlled by another group 9. Bourgeoisie: capitalists; owners of the means of production; employers of wage labor 10. Proletariat: wage laborers; must sell their labor power in order to live 11. Praxis: fusion of action and theory; study society and conceptualize how to change it 12. Capitalism: a system of wage labor and commodity production for sale, exchange, and profit rather than for the immediate need of the producer; invest capital to produce goods and services to sell for a profit in a competitive market; economic motivation for profit 13. Alienation: social and psychological consequences of the workers’lack of control over his work 14. Surplus value: the difference between your wage and the amount of value you create; total value of labor - wages = surplus value 15. Social Structure: patterned social arrangements in society 16. Racial formation: race is a socially constructed identity 17. Racialized social system: refers to societies in which economic, political, social, and ideological levels are partially structured by the placement of actors in racial categories; these are societies that allocate unequal economic, political and social rewards along racial lines 18. Hegemony: imperial dominance in which one class has power over the other 19. Structuration: the process by which the rules for how to act, interact, and understand the world are produced, sustained, and transformed 20. Emotional culture: a set of rituals, beliefs about feelings, and rules governing feeling which induce emotional focus, and even a sense of the sacred 21. Agency: how individuals and collectives uphold, reform, resist, or transform the social order 22. Calling: a duty to God to fulfilled through disciplined, rational labor in a vocation 23. Predestination: the notion that only the elect are chosen by God for salvation 24. Asceticism: abstaining from worldly pleasures; self discipline and self restraint 25. Gender System: binary system of man and woman 26. Sexuality: a social construction and social fact that defines what type of relationship we look for 27. Sexual Identity: what sexuality you are RACED, CLASSED, AND GENDERED INTERACTIONS 1. According to Bettie, what are the three different meanings to “women without class”? How were were symbolic boundaries drawn between the students? They had no cultural capital - not a lot of social mobility; there was a hole in social class theories because women are often absent; only talked about gender and reduce everything to gender. The symbolic boundaries were as follows: those who had money and those who did not; those who were four-year college bound versus community college or work; college prep courses vs vocational training. 2. What were the different markers of distinction between the preps and las chicas? Why does she argue that this distinction is really about class? In addition to appearance, how else was class performed? Las chicas wore darker and more make-up; they also had sketchier clothes. The preps stayed with a more natural look and wore different type of clothes. These distinctions were made by the lower class. Class was also performed through which paths were taken, be it the vocational or college prep courses 3. Why were las chicas seen as more sexually active than the preps? Las chicas were actually the same about of active as were the preps. Las chicas wore more promiscuous clothes; however this wasn’t an indication of increased sexually activity. Las chicas were just more likely to keep the baby, than were the preps. 4. What did it mean for las chicas to accuse someone of acting white? Las chicas would accuse someone of acting white for following school and prep norms, acting in accordance with middle class norms, or having a superficial level of insincerity. 5. What are the different ways preps and las chicas attain adulthood? For the preps, it would be when they obtained approval from their teachers and parents and when they went to college and got a career. For Las Chicas, it was to join the workforce, become a parent, and become independent. 6. What is the impact of the invisibility of class? What are the larger implications of class- based differences for las chicas?  Class differences are often invisible and therefore more emphasis is put on gender and especially race; “class based differences lead to school tracking and vastly different futures” Students who were of lower class often blamed themselves for their poor school performance, as they were unable to understand why are subject to institutions that hold them down. 7. What does Waters mean by arguing that whiteAmericans maintain “symbolic ethnicities”? Why is ethnicity optional? ­ Waters is talking predominantly about white people being able to pick up and drop ethnicities whenever it was convenient; Symbolic ethnicities are optional because they aren’t officially sanctioned and aren’t really required by society; also they have no real consequence and may be used whenever they are beneficial- This wouldn’t be the case forAfrican-American people whose ethnicity cannot be picked up and dropped whenever it works; they are subject to racism and cannot then choose not to beAfrican-American. Their ethnicity is socially enforced. 8. Why does Waters argue that there are social costs associated with symbolic ethnicities? Why is pluralism in this context problematic? People with symbolic ethnicities, who have lived being able to pick up and drop ethnicities, are used to that life and see ethnicities as very individual This ignores those who have a socially imposed and enforced racial identityAnd this is problematic because those two different types of ethnicity are therefore equated with one another, when in fact they are very different from one another. Pluralism brings with it the “invisible hand” of capitalism and it makes it more difficult for whites to understand programs like affirmative action. 9. How do Black college students experience ethnicity on college campuses? What is the paradox of symbolic ethnicity?  Black students experience ethnicity on campus very differently from other students. Many black students will experience racism for the first time in college and will likely attempt to band together with other black students in the face of said treatment. They will also have their level of identification with black culture called into question with people judging how black they act, how much they identify with black culture, and who they hang out with (other black students or not). Paradox of Symbolic Ethnicity: It depends on the ultimate goal of a pluralistic society, and at the same time makes it more difficult to achieve that goal.All ethnicities mean the same thing and enjoying them is optional, but their heritages should not have any social costs. 10. According to Read and Bartowski, what are the competing discourses of the veil in contemporary Islam? Those who are pro-veiling say: men and women have disparate libidos and the man’s needs to be checked by women; it shows commitment to the religion itself; it highlights the relevant differences between men and women and women do not belong in the open public Those who are anti-veiling say: it’s sexist; that it originated before islam and is completely cultural; that it isn’t an appropriate gauge of religiosity. 11. What are the different motivations Muslim women have for wearing the veil? For not wearing the veil? How do these different meanings demonstrate social construction theory? Many muslim women wear the hijab because the Qu’ran says to but also because they had friends who did and they believe it shows their dedication to their religion. This is a social construct in that hijab wearing is reflects devoutness and feminine identity through social interactions. The unveiled believe it is a tool of oppression and that the burden of men controlling their own sexuality shouldn’t fall on women; they also believe it’s political and cultural, not religious; SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER 1. Explain the basic tenets of social construction theory. The social construction theory emerged from symbolic interactionism. It states that all knowledge is derived from and maintained by social interactions. It also states that socially constructed reality is an ongoing and dynamic process. 2. According to lecture, what is the gender system approach? The gender system approach is meant to drive the female and male genders completely away from each other, into two distinct compartments. It is meant to institutionalize gender and says that there is no sameness between men and women. There needs to be a distinct category for both genders. 3. Drawing on Lorber, what does it mean to say that gender is an institution? Saying that gender is an institution is giving it both ascribed and achieved characteristics. Essentially we are assigned a gender category at birth that is unnatural, but rather social. 4. According to Messner, how are sports a key part of gendering boys? What kind of masculinity is constructed through sports? 5. What does Messner mean when he argues that sports are both a “gendered institution” and a “gendering institution”? What were the main differences he found along race and class lines in terms of motivations and participation in sports? Sports are seen as masculine, therefore these gendered playing sports also gender players as masculine, rather than feminine. Gendered institution: institution constructed by gender relationships; structures and values reflect dominant conceptions of masculinity + femininity. Gendering institution: institution that helps construct the current gender order; “masculinizing” of male bodies + minds. Lower status males see athletic careers as “the” institutional context for masculine identity + status” vs. higher status males make early shifts towards other institutions because in their classes, education is more valued and higher education is a more viable option. They have other life opportunities and know the infeasibilities of making it in athletics and the greater chances of being successful in other enterprises like business, so they focus more on that than pursuing sports. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF RACE 1. How does the example of SouthAfrica discussed in class demonstrate the social construction of race? Race cannot be a static institution. In SouthAfrica, the Chinese were defined as black to get their post-apartheid benefits. Therefore there has to be fluid definitions of race. 2. How do racial formation theory and racialized social systems theory explain the social construction of race? The racial formation theory states that there is a process by which social, economic, and political forces determine the content and importance of racial categories. Racial categories are created socially racialized social system: societies in which economic, political, social and ideological levels are partially structured by the placement of actors in racial categories. We learn from these that race is a socially constructed, non-static institution. 3. What are Telles’and Zhou’s arguments about assimilation and “becoming white?” Assimilating to theAmerican culture and becoming white are essentially signs of economic progress and a sign that theAmerican Dream is fathomable. 4. From Telles: what happens with educational achievement across generations of Mexican- Americans? Tells found that educational attainment actually decreases in each subsequent generation While educational achievement is elusive, linguistic attainment is almost sudden, and by the 5th generation, there is almost a complete assimilation to English monolingualism. 5. According to Zhou, how have other ethnic groups “become white”? Why is the model minority stereotype problematic? Other minorities such as the Irish and the Jews who were once considered non-white achieved that white title by accumulating wealth and acquiring status. One consequence of the model-minority stereotype is that it reinforces the myth that the US is devoid of racism and accords equal opportunity to all. This not only pits minorities against each other, but also against whites.Also it holds the stereotype thatAsianAmericans have to have higher standards, and distinguishes them fromAmericans. Expectations = labeling. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF SEXUALITY 1. According to lecture, what is the social constructionist approach to sexuality? The definitions of the kinds of sexualitites that are possible; what is considered appropriate or not; what is sexy and attractive are created by society and learned by individuals. 2. Seidman refers to sex as a social fact. What does he mean? Why does Seidman argue that we could all, at one time, be sexual outsiders? Seidman refers to sex as a social fact; sexuality is regulated and shaped by social forces. We could all at one time be sexual outsiders because we can feel the weight of sexuality being a social fact. We experience this because you can identify as heterosexual, but you may have different desires and activities and you could feel that stigma for those. You could be ridiculed and disrespected because of your sexual practices. 3. According to lecture, what are who restrictions and how restrictions? Each culture creates who and how restrictions; who restrictions are the gender, age, kin, race, caste, or class of a potential partner, while the how restrictions are the organs used, and what’s the manner of sexual intercourse, what you can touch and how often you can touch it. 4. According to Seidman, what is sexual politics? Sexual politics means the social construction of sexuality. How these identities get created and maintained. This is about recognizing how sexual hierarchies lead to unequal distribution of benefits. Heterosexuality therefore gets reproduced through social institutions (marriage, attention); it organizes national life. 5. What does it mean to say that sexual identities are socially constructed? Sex and gender do not automatically determine sexuality because sexual feeling, behavior and identity are not always congruent so, sexual identities must come from external sources. Therefore there is social construction at work. 6. Why doArmstrong et al argue that one source of gender inequality is the sexual double- standard? What myths about hooking up do they debunk? Sexual double-standard: Guys can hook up with many women with low social cost, whereas women worry about being called a slut. This is a source of gender inequality because from hook ups men are gaining both social praise and more sexual satisfaction from these encounters than women. Myths thatArmstrong et. al proved wrong: Myth 1: young people are having more premarital sex than their parents. IN FACT, amounts are comparable or less. Sexual activity in "hookups" is relatively infrequent and light. Myth 2: It HASN'T replaced committed relationships (69% college students: relationship of 6 months or more). Myth 3: Hookup culture is not new -started in the 1960s (sexual revolution: pill, women's/sexual lib,) 7. According to Weitzer, what is the oppression model in sex work? There is a common and popular monolithic perspective that prostitution only leads to exploitation, abuse and misery. This is the common oppression model.Also some say that prostitution is a field of major male domination over females. So the oppression model holds images of victimization and essentially states that prostitution should be eradicated. 8. What is the difference between indoor and outdoor sex work? There is a sharp distinction to be made between street prostitution and indoor prostitution. Most of these stereotypes in the oppression model derive from street prostitution, rather than indoor. Many street prostitutes have it terrible. They sell sex for money to feed addictions; they can be abused by their pimps and are socially isolated and disconnected with help. Now this is where victimization comes from, however many studies even in street prostitution show that the numbers of victimization are a lot less prevalent than thought. However, street prostitution only accounts for 20% of prostitution. The other 80% comes from indoor prostitution, which is much safer, much more independent, has lower rates of childhood abuse, and these prostitutes are much more educated. They make more money, have lower levels of arrest, and have a safer job. Research has found that many of the prostitutes here don't consider themselves oppressed victims, or feel like their work is degrading. Rather they have a high job satisfaction, have better mental health, higher self esteem, and higher physical health. Some even said they felt empowered and validated because they were in control. 9. What myths about sex work does Weitzer challenge? What does research show that counters conventional notions? Refer to the question prior. 10. What is the argument for legalizing prostitution? Basing this off an international policy, countries like Sweden and the Netherlands have made it illegal to buy prostitution, however legal to sell it. This means that, by legalizing prostitution, it gives more power to those who decide to partake in such a job.Also it allows for a healthier environment, because women can be mandated to get regular check-ups to test for HIV, can be exposed to certain types of contraception, and can operate without pimps controlling them. POVERTY 1. Drawing on lecture, what is the level of income and wealth inequality in the US? The top 10% of earners received more than half of the total income in 2012; the top 1% took more than 20% of income. DanAriely and Michael Norton conducted a survey in 2005 aboutAmerican’s perception of wealth inequality and found thatAmericans vastly underestimate the wealth distribution among classes. Nearly all of them thought it should be more equal. The incomes of the 99%, their wealth plunged 12% during the recession. The top 1% has gotten 95% of the income gains. 2. What does Gans mean when he argues that poverty leads to a number of functions, both negative and positive? What are these functions? Poverty has both positive and negative functions; poverty can benefit those who are better off. These are the latent functions of poverty - the unintended consequences. Gans explains that those who are living in poverty are not only labeled as deviant, but also as undeserving, which are the negative consequences.Americans view that moral shortcomings cause poverty - they engage in deviant behaviors. The poor are accused of being lazy and taking government handouts. The functions of poverty for the better off, however, increase the motivation to label the poor as undeserving. These functions are microsocial (risk reduction, scapegoating), economic (economic banishment and the reserve army labor, supplying illegal goods, and job creation), normative (moral legitimation, norm reinforcement, and supplying popular culture villains), political (institutional scapegoating, conservative power shifting, and spatial purification), and macrosocial (reproduction of stigma and the stigmatized, and extermination of the surplus). 3. Drawing on Ledger, what is the Moynihan Report? Why was it controversial? The Moynihan Report was conducted under LBJ during the 1960s to better understand the condition ofAfrican Americans. Moynihan was assistant secretary of labor in 1965. Johnson asked him to write this so he could assess the state ofAfricanAmericans. This was supposed to be an internal document, but it got leaked to the press. Many critics saw it as blaming the victim, by focusing on the deterioration of the family. Many believed thatAAs were becoming scapegoats. However, many now argue, that the report was misinterpreted. This report, ironically as it is, helped fuel the conservative rhetoric aimed at cutting back federal aid; we need to get tough with the poor. 4. From Ledger: how does mass incarceration cause poverty and the “social ills” of the “undeserving poor?” Mass incarceration makes it more difficult to get jobs.African Americans are 8x more likely to be incarcerated than whites;America incarcerates 7x more than Europe.Also it removes father figures from homes; separates families from each other. These structural factors play into why there are so many single females.Also there are discriminatory sentencing practices in the US. More men go to jail, they can’t provide for their family, and they can’t be engaged. 5. What surprising findings does Rank uncover about poverty and welfare? How does Rank explain why so manyAmericans will be in poverty? Rank shows that manyAmericans will experience poverty and will turn to public assistance at least once in their lives. Poverty is actually a normal part of life. By 75 years of age, 59% will have experienced poverty for at least one year and 68% will have faced a year near poverty. Poverty is a reality that a clear majority will experience. Rank explains this through: time; if you live long enough, obviously there will be unexpected things that come up that will lead to a financial burden; the other thing is that there isn’t a strong safety net. There is little help for Americans who face economic challenges. 6. According to lecture, why has enrollment in the food stamp program increased lately? What does DeParle’s investigation (discussed in lecture) into welfare recipients reveal about how they are getting by? Economists and researchers have shown that food stamps have helped during the last recession. Food stamps serve about 46 million people in the US. Enrollment grew 45% from Jan. 2009 to Jan. 2012 for food stamps. This was partly due to the stimulus package. However, social programs have been coming under scrutiny, especially from Republicans - this is bad. Since the changes to welfare in the 1990s, food stamps were one of the only remaining help for the poor. Food stamps helped lift people 6% closer to the poverty line; it moves them further up. However welfare programs are lacking. Food stamps are up because cash payments are low. Jason DeParle talked to Arizona single mothers - found that due to decreased cash assistance, they get by by selling food stamps and blood, going to food banks, and churches, skip meals regularly to get by, shoplifted, scavenged for recyclables, and went back to their abusive boyfriends. 7. According to Auyero and Switsun, what types of polluted environments do the poor have to live with? What about Flammable specifically? What is the impact on health? Places like Flammable are drenched in poverty. Poor people do not breathe the same air, drink the same water, or play on the same ground as others. Theirs’is a poisoned environment with dire consequences for their present health and future capabilities. Kids in Flammable pointed to the bad pictures, indicating things like the terrible condition of the contaminated water, the soil, and the polluted air. UNDERSTANDING EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITY 1. According to Downey and Gibbs, why should we explore what happens when kids are out of school if we are concerned about educational inequality? Kids show the most gap occurs during summer or prior to school even starting. Research has shown that schools are not the primary score of inequality - this happens at home. However schools can help level that. 2. What are differences between students that arise in the home? Middle class kids tend to be more exposed to vocabulary and have a better comprehension of certain skills, such as reading, as opposed to the working class kids, who don’t have this exposure. Middle class kids, therefore, have an advantage. 3. What is season comparison research? What does it tell us about educational inequality? Seasonal comparison research compares differences between school session and summer. Research indicates that schools are not the primary source of inequality - rather home is, due to the economic, and cultural structures. Children begin school with some disadvantages already. 4. What surprising conclusions do Downey and Gibbs reach about schools and equality? What are impact studies (Downey and Gibbs)? What do they tell us about teaching effectiveness? Home life actually matters more than school - parent’s socioeconomic status is the highest indicator of academic success. Teaching isn’t necessarily the problem - the problem is the teachers are blamed too much for the failure or success of the students, when really, the students may have had that disadvantage. 5. According to Farkas, what factors are most important in explaining the black-white test score gap? What research does he cite? Family structure, child rearing cultures that vary by class and race, and black families still lag behind white families in terms of employment, income, resources, and two-parent families. Financial and parental resources are key in these test scores. This is all about social class - white and black children that come from the same class are closer together; this is fundamentally about class, not necessarily race. 6. How does this research demonstrate social-structural factors that contribute to the test score gap? What are possible solutions that would help close the gap? Closing the economic gap would go a long way in helping close the gap between black and white test scores. 7. According to lecture, how does cultural capital help explain educational inequality? What are examples of cultural capital that lend advantages in the educational system? Cultural capital is class-based knowledge, skills, linguistic and cultural competencies; this is a worldwide view that is passed on via the family. Cultural capital is one way we can explain inequality because academic ability is the product of investing time and cultural capital; also the educational system rewards those who possess cultural capital of the dominant class. Cultural capital is the best educational investment. Capital can be reproduced by being invested from generation to generation. This can be seen by larger vocabulary, better reading skills, etc. Even the systems that claim to be meritocratic perpetuate inequality. 8. According to Lareau, what is concerted cultivation? Accomplishment of natural growth? What are the hallmarks of each parenting style? Concerted cultivation is the parenting style of the middle class, while natural growth is that of the working/poor class. So concerted cultivation is where parents are more involved - parents engage in organized activities, they cultivate talents, and they speak more to their kids. In natural growth, parents engage in more leisure time, and they don’t see that organized activities are important. These parents focus on basic needs; they use directives and have less verbal discussions with their kids. 9. What structural factors limit working-class families from adopting concerted cultivation? Working class parents don’t have the time to be as involved with their children; most of the time, both parents are working.Also they don’t have the income to allow their children to participate in so many activities. 10. What are the differential outcomes of these different parenting styles? How can we explain this? Middle class kids gain a sense of entitlement; they are more comfortable with authority, which serves them better for educational institutions. They learn how to make the runs work to their advantage. They also question authority and view themselves as equal to adults. For working class kids, they feel a sense of constraint, especially in institutional settings. Also they defer to authority, just like their parents. They no not seek or get institutional accommodations. This all has to do with parenting style. THE WORKING POOR 1. According to lecture, what is historical materialism? Historical Materialism means to understand the social world and the structure of human society by exam
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