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Sociology 1 Midterm Review Notes.docx

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- sociology: scientific study of the web of social interactions of society; sociology utilizes systematic and empirical methods to capture patterns of human behavior o sociological imagination: ability to connect personal experiences to society at large/greater historical forces; study interaction b/w individuals/society (C. Wright Mills) o by connecting personal experience to the greater picture, we “make the familiar strange” and question habits and customs that are normal for us o allows people to distinguish between personal troubles and public issues  personal trouble  issues having to do with self  class example: students have to sit on floor to crash a class, complain about crashing a class for their personal hardship  own example: homelessness  caused by laziness, mental disability, physical disability  public issue  having to do with matters that transcend personal issues/local environments; issue is a public matter when values are threatened  class example: now, students have to worry about crashing while 30 years ago get in to a UC with a 2.5  own example: homelessness  caused by underemployment, lack of benefits and welfare, lack of community support o it’s a paradox/catch 22  similar to biopsychology; the universe is depicted by our brains which are still a mystery, so as long as our brains are a mystery, the universe is too  as long as society is a perception of our structure and agency, our individuality will be a perception of society as well - structure: social things that other human beings have built; enduring patterns of collective behavior in society that limit or influence the individual o class example: Capitalist economy, university system, the ideal American family o own example: no shirt, no shoes, no service - agency: the individual; the power that individuals have to act and make change in society (against structure) o people can use their own agency to go against structure (society’s norms/systems) o own example: no shirt, no shoes, no service… no pants? Going to a restaurant without pants, even though the social norm is to wear pants… (wearing bathing suit in dining hall, perhaps.) - false consciousness (Marx): mystification of material and institutional processes that mislead people, often to act against their own interests, or to continue to act against the interest of those in the classes below them; the inability to connect personal troubles with public issues o class example: middle class blame poor for personal troubles (pay for mortgage and school AND someone else’s welfare?), religious beliefs justifying hatred o own example: although petty, when my best friend says that girl A was really rude and started a rumor about the best friend… because she’s my best friend, I am going to dislike girl A; when students of the UC system vote for certain politicians without knowing their goals… only knowing what you’re TOLD they stand for - conformity, obedience, and authority o obedience is a central mechanism for organizing our social world o readiness to obey authority no matter what outrageous acts are requested  ex: Holocaust, Stanley Milgrim’s obedience shocking experiment, school bell ringing signaling next class - socialization o teaches conformity and obedience o process by which we learn norms, ideas, and behaviors that make us part of society  socialization creates society o social norms do not necessarily correlate with what we consider normal behavior, and people have a psychological inability to disengage from certain behaviors  ex: even if it isn’t used in a derogatory manner “faggot”, sexism in workplace, etc. - social institution o any institution in society that works to socialize the people within it o social institutions help issue conformity, obedience, and authority  ex: school system, big business, government, high school hierarchy - social construction o collective reality developed by people agreeing to behave in certain ways and follow certain rules o reality shaped through social interaction and construction o social construction of reality  “If things appear to be real, they are real in their consequences.” (Peter Berger)  class example: Harold and Kumar bomb vs. bong  terrorism on plane  own example:  high school hierarchy means everything while learning, but in the real world it isn’t true and doesn’t mean anything  schizophrenia  in real world, healthy people > number of paranoid schizophrenics, therefore they’re labeled as “crazy”; if the real world was full of schizophrenics, and what we see as “healthy” was considered crazy, it would be just a different social construction of realit
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