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SOC 302
Margaret Tate

Mercedes Wood SOC308 Quiz and Test 1 Study Guide/ Summary What do we mean by culture and society? Emile Durkheim • Distinguishing and elaborating the field of sociology from other social sciences • Emphasis on EMPIRICAL DATA to lend support to theoretical speculations • Focus on the DIVISION OF LABOR and its consequences for social life • COLLECTIVE CONSCIENCE or the need for a common core of values and moral rules • FUNCTIONALISM Society is made up of two components: SOCIETY IS DEFINED BY THE SPECIFIC PEOPLE THAT MAKE UP A COLLECTIVE GROUP - AND SOCIETY IS ALSO DEFINED BY THE COLLECTIVE CONSCIENCE THAT EMERGES FROM THAT GROUP AND ACTS UPON THE INDIVIDUALS AS A COERCIVE FORCE. The collective conscience can be identified in its cultural formations. Culture is the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, meanings, and emotional understanding that are learned through socialization within a society and/ or smaller groups. THESE SHARED PATTERNS IDENITIFY THE PEOPLE WITHIN AND OUTSIDE OF A GIVEN GROUP. Culture therefore delineates social boundaries. “The essence of a culture is not its artifacts, tools, or other tangible cultural elements but HOW THE MEMBERS OF THE GROUP INTERPRET, USE AND PERCEIVE THEM. It is the values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives that distinguish one people from another in modernized societies. ”Culture: learned and shared human patterns or models for living: day to day living patterns. These patterns and models pervade all aspects of human social interaction. CULTURE IS MANKIND’S PRIMARY ADAPTIVE MECHANISM” “Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, consisting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts: the essential core of culture consists of traditional (historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values: CULTURE SYSTEMS MAY, ON THE OTHER HAND, BE CONSIDERED AS PRODUCTS OF ACTION, AND ON THE OTHER AS CONDITIONING ELECTS OF FURHTER ACTION.” “Culture consists in those patterns relative to behavior and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation INDEPENDENTLY OF THE BIOLOGICAL GENES” CULTURE IS ABOUT SHARED MEANINGS and therefore CENTRAL TO MEANING AND CULTURE. Culture is an activity, a process and this activity or process is linked to human praxis (idea of creativity of active assimilation of the universe, of IMPOSING ON THE CHAOTIS WORLD THE ORDERING STRUCTURE OF HUMAN INTELLIGENT ACTION • SOCIAL FACTS are the subject matter of sociology, “sui generis” (meaning of its own kind; unique) and must be studied distinct from biological and psychological phenomenon o CAN BE DEFINED AS PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR THAT ARE CAPABLE OF EXERCISING SOME COERCIVE POWER UPON INDIVIDUALS. They are guides and controls of conduct and are external to the individual in the form of norms, mores, and folkways o Through SOCIALIZATION and education these rules become internalized in the consciousness of the individual. These constraints and guides become moral obligations to obey social rules. • Human Dualism o “there are in each of us… two consciences: one in which is common to our group in its entirety… the other represents that in us which is personal and distinct, that which makes us an individual” o Our purely individual side seeks satisfaction of all wants and desires. It knows no boundaries. This side of human beings quickly leads to a condition that Durkheim labels as “ANOMIE”  Durkheim characterized the modern individual as insufficiently integrated into society. Because of these weakening bonds, SOCIAL REGULATION BREAKS DOWN and the controlling influence of society on the desires and interests of the individual is rendered ineffective; individuals are left to their own devices  Because of the dual nature of human beings this breakdown of moral guidance results in RISING REATES OF DEVIANCE, SOCIAL UNREST, UNHAPPINESS, AND STRESS • Modern Society o Durkheim identifies two major causes of anomie: the division of labor and rapid social change. Both of these are, of course, associated with MODERNITY  MODERNIZATION: a transition from relatively isolated local communities to a more integrated large scale society. Roughly coincided with the emergence of capitalism, rationalization, bureaucracy and the decline of religion as a societal governing force • Individualization o An increasing division of labor weakens the sense of identification with the wider community and thereby weakens constraints lead to social “disintegration” high rates of egocentric behavior, norm violation, and consequent de-legitimation and distrust of authority • Collective Conscience o According to Durkeim, the desires and self-interests of human beings can only be held in check by forces that originate outside of the individual. Dunkheim characterizes this external force as a COLLECTIVE CONSCIENCE, A COMMON SOCIAL BOND THAT IS EXPRESSED BY THE IDEAS, VALUES, NORMS, BELIEFS, AND IDEOLOGIES OF A CULTURE • Society defined by Solidarity (collective Conscience) o In The Division of Labor Durkheim identifies two forms or types of solidarity, which are based on different sources o MECHANICAL SOLIDARITY (traditional)  “solidarity which comes from likeness and is at its maximum when the collective conscience completely envelops our whole conscience and coincides in all points with it”  Occurred in early societies in which there was no division of labor. Such societies were relatively HOMOGENOUS men and women engaged in similar tasks and daily activities, people had similar experience. In such societies the few distinct institutions expressed similar values and norms and reinforced one another  Traditional cultures experienced a high level of social and moral integration, there was little individuation, and most behaviors wee governed by social norms which were usually embodied in religion. o ORGANIC SOLIDARITY (modern)  Developed as a by-product of the modern or industrial division of labor. As society become more complex, individuals played more specialized roles and became ever more dissimilar in their social experiences, material interests, values, and beliefs.  Individuals in a sociocultural system have less in common. The social bond is thereby weakened and social values and beliefs no longer provide coherent or insistent moral guidance  There has to be a shirt towards universalism rather than particular meaning- because the collective science must encompass all of the variety within the social group  Individuals also become more dependent upon each other for their survival • FUNCTIONALISM o THE VIEW THAT SOCIETY IS A SYSTEM OF INTERDEPENDENT PARTS WHO’S FUNCTIONS CONTRIBUTE TO THE STABILITYAND SURVIVIAL OF A SYSTEM. Social problems come down to a question of social cohesion or social solidarity. What is Culture and Society? • Peter Berger and Thomas Luckman • Micro-sociology o Focuses on individuals/ small groups and interactions. Small scale analysis (small n) o Different from macro-sociology that focuses on structures. Large scale analysis (large n) o Emphasizes:  Face to face interaction. How meaning is created between people  meanings rather than functions ( by contract, Durkheim focused on society-level functions)  based on lived experience rather than abstract notions of “society” (because “society” is socially constructed in this view) • Phenomenology o Influenced social construction theory o Study of “that which appears” (subjective reality and consciousness) o Influenced sociology in providing a way to study how subjective meanings give a rise to an apparently objective social world. o “How can we know things? How do mental phenomena come to be our take for granted reality?” o Emphasis on “situatedness” in the world o Alfred Schutz- subjective knowing is rooted in social interaction o
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