[SOCA 101] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 19 pages long Study Guide!

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West Virginia University
SOCA 101
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Sociology is the scientific study of human social relationships, groups, and societies. The
systematic study of the relationship between the individual and society and of the
consequences of difference
Aims to understand human behavior, social relations, and social institutions on a larger scale
Scientific approach
Rigorous research methods
Principle of social embeddednessIdea that economic, political and other forms of human
behavior are fundamentally shaped by social relations.
Interaction between individuals
Dating couple
Roommates
Co-workers
Interaction between groups
Cliques
Teams
Interaction between nations
Immigration Patterns
Economic Globalization
Common sense often distorts reality.
Common sense is often contradictory.
Common sense perceptions change over time.
Much of our common sense is based on myths and misconceptions.
The ability to grasp the relationship between individual lives and the larger social forces
that shape them
Relationship between personal troubles and public issues
Where biography and history intersect
Example:
American Dream
Poverty
Agency: the ability of individuals and groups to exercise free will and to make social
change whether on a small or large scale
Structure: patterned social arrangements that have an effect on agency
Our choices are enabled or constrained by structure.
Reciprocal relationship
Gender variances across culture
The ability to evaluate claims about the truth by using reason and evidence. We
frequently accept things as “true” because they are familiar, feel right, or are consistent
with our beliefs.
Be willing to ask any question, no matter how difficult.
Think logically and be clear.
Back up your arguments with evidence.
Think about the assumptions and biasesincluding your ownthat underlie all studies.
Avoid anecdotal evidence.
Be willing to admit when you are wrong or uncertain about your results.
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Rooted in four interrelated historical developments:
Scientific revolution: belief in science and reason
The Enlightenment: equality, liberty, and fundamental human rights
The Industrial Revolution: shift from agriculture to manufacturing
Urbanization: mass migration from rural farms to urban factories
Auguste Comte
The "father of sociology"
Argued for the empirical study of society
Analyzed social statics (The way society is held together)
What is the basis of social stability at a specific historical moment?
Dynamics (The laws that govern social change)
How and why do societies change?
Positivism--a belief that accurate knowledge must be based on the scientific method
Harriet Martineau
One of the earliest observers of American culture.
Harriet Martineau used the powers of social observation to record and analyze the social
structure of American society.
Focus on gender discrimination & slavery
Max Weber
Argued for the importance of ideas, ideologies, and charismatic leaders
Argued for verstehen or subjective understanding
Argued for value-free sociology
Rationalization of societythe long-term historical process by which rationality replaced
tradition as the basis for organizing social and economic life.
Dual-labor economy: Men and women both work
Karl Marx
Analyzed Industrial Revolution
Studied societal development
Capitalism
Recognized it divides
Means of production- wealth/access to resources
Class conflict
Wealth, power, other valued resources
Alienation
Alienation of the worker from the family/employer
Emile Durkheim
Analyzed social order, social solidarity, division of labor, and social integration
Collective conscienceshared values of society
Social FactsNo scientific basis
Anomienormlessness
Mechanical solidarity: traditional, bonds based on similarity
Organic solidarity: modern industrial, bonds based on specialization and interdependence
W. E. B. Du Bois
One of the first sociologists to use community studies as the basis for sociological work.
Intra-racial & Inter-racial
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