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Sociology (1)
SOCI 1001 (1)
Chapter 1-10

SOCI1001 Chapters 1-10

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCI 1001
Professor
Dr.Deatra Walsh
Semester
Winter

Description
Core Concepts: social construction of reality, sociological imagination, social institutions, society and social facts, social class, socialization, culture. Skills: complex and critical thinking skills, research skills, theorizing skills Topics: race and ethnicity, social class and stratification, gender, sexuality and sexual orientation, popular culture and mass communications, social media Examples of sociological imagination: individualism, racial prejudice, romantic love Habits of a critical thinker: (Van Gyn) Independence of Mind, Intellectual Curiosity, Intellectual Courage, Intellectual Humility (limits of knowledge), Intellectual Empathy, Intellectual Perseverance, Reflexive Disposition Examples of Critical Sociological Thinking: (Frenette) Who goes to university and why? Factors influencing sociological research: theory, epistemology, values, ontology Quantitative Research: Deductive theory, Positivist Epistemology, Value free, objectivist ontology Qualitative Research Strategy: Inductive theory, interpretist epistemology, value relevance and constructionist ontology Research Methods: surveys, questionnaires, interviews; observation; content analysis Research Ethics: must give informed consent, identity must be protected, must not be coerced into participating, must store data for up to 7 years in a secure place Enlightenment: a period of rapid change in which previous explanations no longer fit Canadian sociology: French influenced by Catholic church, English influenced by British and American sociology. Historical Materialism: modes of production defines economic structure of society Marx vs Weber: both wrote about negative effects of capitalism, but Marx talked about alienation while Weber talked about rationalization. Marx wanted change, Weber was pessimistic about the iron cage. Marx predicted that the proletariat would cause change, Weber said that science was taking over emotion. Stripper study: “Me” comes from the adoration and value of the crowds and works with the “I” as a spiritual self to participate in the strip club. Social Interactionist Perspective ex. Iranian immigrants’ perception of sexuality in Canada: Iran it is customary to hide women’s bodies to avoid sexual urges and the family is organized differently so men hold significantly more power than women. Immigrants thought women dressed too seductively, talked to freely, gave women too many rights and had too many non-family related friendships. ex. Memory: collective memory is a process and a product that uses different strategies to manifest and transmit different things. How do people have access to information? Apartheid museum: Built by casino, tells the story in a way that reduces conflict and emphasizes forgetting through remembering. Social performances must appear to be natural, genuine and without artifice. ex. Medicine student learns to be confident, professional, and to defer to superiors. Vancouver drug scene study: transition from weekend warrior to street entrenched denison: occurs because the excitement of the drug scene is better than a safer life at home--> asserting independence Interaction rituals: what people do is limited by a number of common practices in combination. ex. Bridal Showers- weddings are highly ritualized. The bridal shower is not often a positive experience, and is stressful for the bride, the gift givers, and the hostess(es). Women participate because it allows them to demonstrate commitment to their group, community and gender. Socialization: either a process or a result of the novice acquiring social fluency. Involves the participants, the process and the requirements --> could be influenced by understandings the novice has from previous interaction with other groups. Membership in a group means knowing and understanding the requisites of membership, competence and skills in their application and commitment to following them as a guide for action. Innate Social Knowledge? Durkheim said all human behaviour is learned an stems from totemic religions, and Mead and Cooley say understanding comes from social interaction. Recent research suggests that children actually are born with some innate social understandings. Children easily form groups and cooperate and identify against the other, but interaction is necessary to become a fully functioning adult. ex. Feral Children: The Wild Boy of Aveyron and Genie Culture: difficult to define as sociologists. One perspective is culture as an all pervasive way of life; knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other habits acquired by a member of society. Makes sense since everything we do is a learned behaviour, so there’s many different possibilities for culture, and we gain it from shared understandings. Humans lack instincts (preprogrammed behaviours), so we use culture to dictate our actions. Now culture is being seen more as a tool kit: mechanisms employed by people in certain situations. (ex. Boys in poor neighbourhoods are influenced by alternative modes of success as compared with decent values because these are the tools in their cultural toolkit they are more familiar with.) (ex. Chinese immigrants work very hard in the Canadian school system because of cultural pressures from their parents). Could take a production of culture perspective: how elements of culture are shaped by the systems within which they are created, distributed, evaluated, taught and preserved: situational and capable of rapid change. ex. Mohawk youth using pop culture and how their values are changing: embraced as a hybrid of cultures. The last perspective is culture and human embodiment; how we experience emotions and conditions differently based on culture. (ex. Bathrooms, food) (ex. How we experience death: what is the definition of dead vs living? Is death private or public?) (ex. Memory: what technologies or strategies do we use to remember stuff? How do we train our memory? Now we focus on critical thinking because it is easy to cross reference and compare sources) Cultural Barriers: Bride price (isn’t it lame that our husbands don’t value us enough to pay for us?), Inuit views on anger and giving social construction of reality= the way we understand reality is shaped by the society in which we live and therefore can be challenged and changed (Berger and Luckmann) sociological imagination= an orientation adopted by a sociologist to recognize and understand the connections between individual experience and larger social structures (Mills) objective knowledge= knowledge purported to be free of bias value system= set of beliefs about what is important in life and what kinds of conduct or behaviour are appropriate lifeworld=the entire communal system of meaning that underlies everyday life (Husserl as influenced by Dilthey) critical thinking= thinking that is purposeful, deliberate, and self-regulatory and that arrives at judgements based on well-defined criteria and evidence empirical evidence= acquired through direct observation that can be verified or disproved by observation by more that one person research strategy= general orientation a sociologist takes in conducting research quantitative research strategy= collects data that can be quantified in terms of numbers, percents, or rates and are amenable to statistical manipulation ex. ethnic differences and university education attainment: Abada qualitative research strategy= collects data that are rich in description and not easily measured using statistical procedures ex. Willis: working class youth of Hammertown (rebellion against the system) research method= the actual technique a researcher uses to collect data data= empirical facts theory=perspective a researcher uses to organize the world (either deductive or inductive) deductive= research informed by a quantitative strategy in which a theory is used to generate a hypotheses and guide the collection of the data needed to confirm or reject it inductive= a theory is the outcome, not the starting point of research epistemology= the branch of philosophy dealing with the nature, scope and limitations of knowledge (positivism or interpretivism) positivism= research methods used in natural sciences can also be applied to study of society interpretivism (hermeneutical) = social scientist learn about the subjective meaning of the actions of the people they study (studies of social sciences is different from the natural sciences) (using empathy to understand social behaviour) values= beliefs and feelings a researcher holds(value free or value relevance) ontology= the study of what constitutes reality (objectivism or constructionism) objectivism= meanings attached to social phenomena are independent of the will or ideas of individuals involved in them constructionism= meanings attached to social phenomena are constructed out of the acts and perceptions of social actors involved in them rationalism= what is is, what is not, is not (Descartes) (related to positivism) standpoint epistemology= the view that all research and knowledge production is directly related to the vantage point or social location of the researcher survey= investigation of the opinions, characteristics, or experience of a group of people based on a series of questions designed to generate quantitative data on two or more variables---> usually quantifiable questionnaire= a set of questions with a choice of answers interview= a conversation guided by a series of questions (structured, semi-structured or unstructured) content analysis= examining media as a way of revealing deeper and hidden meaning ex. Gender Discourse and the Iraq War: Ferree and Christensen (gendered language, macho, cowboys) functionalism= theoretical orientation that says large scale social structures can maintain or undermine social stability (social statics vs. social dynamics) social facts= things external to the individual and capable of exercising coercive power over him or her, independent of the will of the individual social norms= rules governing social interaction. (Prescriptive or proscriptive) anomie= Durkheim’s term for weakening/absence of usual moral standards (normlessness) philosophical idealism= thought creates realizty and physical things lack veritable being (Hegel, rejected by Marx) mode of production= how human labour is organized and carried out in a given era (made up of material forces of production and social relations of production) material forces of production= everything necessary for production to take place (labour, power, means of production) social relations of production= how productive forces are controlled and maintained (owners of means of production are dominant group wile non-owners are exploited) means of production= everything but labour necessary for production (energy, raw materials, tools, facilities, expertise) capitalist mode of production= productive property is held privately and used for private gain alienation= a loss of control over some aspect of one’s being or activity (usually because of wage labour) bureaucracy= a form of social organization characterized by a hierarchical chain of command, the allegiance of office holders to a system of impersonal rules and regulations, an absence of personal ties between it’s employees and clients and decisions based on documents and files ideal type= a methodological construction that summarizes the essential properties common to a number of concrete instances of a given tyep of social phenomenon to help the sociologist identify and categorize the specific social phenomena she studies (ex. a bureaucracy) social action= any human behaviour that has subjective meaning for an acting individual; an action is a social action when an individual takes into account the meaning his actions will have for others observing them rationality= an ideal type mental state characterized by culturally or emotionally defined, coherent way of thinking that is goal-oriented and based on a cost-benefit calculation that is made within the context of a specific social and cultural situation or within the context of a specific emotional state social interaction= the process by which individuals act, interact, and react to one another in the context of social relations social-interactionist perspective= studies the relationships among people as they respond to each other, create shared pasts and futures and collectively negotiate meaning (focuses on how individual and society is a reciprocal loop) (society is not a thing as Durkheim said, it’s a dynamic emergent process)(examines how individual actors create society and how their actions are shaped by society allowing for explanation of anomalies in behaviours.) pragmatism= a philosophical school of thought that views the social world as dynamic and emergent, brought into being by a variety of social groups that create their own way of talking, acting, and thinking and of defining what is and is not real (Unlike what rationalist philosophers said, the social world is not static and predetermined, but brought into reality by different social groups) behaviourism= behaviours are learned and must therefore be understood in it’s context for an individual to adapt to their environment the looking glass self= sense of self developed as a result of our ability to imagine how we appear to others and how others judge us in any given social situation. Recognizing gestures of others and using it to perceive how we appear to others and use it to change ourselves significant gestures or symbols= gestures that hold the same meaning for all participants in a social interaction. the self= a sense of identity that each individual possesses; according to Mead comes from social experience role strain= a situation when there is tension among the various roles attached to a status or between the roles attached to different statuses social actor= an individual who shares with other social actors a common frame of reference that includes common convictions, beliefs, values, a shared language, activities and practices status=the culturally defined social position that an individual holds in a social interaction defining their identity and relationship to others (could have a status set consisting of multiple positions at the same time) ascribed status= involuntary, regardless of abilities and inclinations achieved status= assumed voluntarily, reflects an ability or effort master status= a status with exceptional importance in shaping an individuals identity and life choices (ethnicity, gender) social role= the behaviour performed by an individual who holds a particular social status (dynamic aspect of status) role set= all of the roles attached to a single status impression management= activity engaged in by a social actor in order to guard against unintended gestures, improper use of language, etc. personal front= props used by a social actor to make others believe that the role being played is genuine emotional entertainment= a situation in which participants in an interaction ritual become caught up in each other’s emotions, leading to a mutual intensification of emotional energy, shared feelings and common focus of attention. socialization= the process of becoming a member of society, of becoming a social being or of learning social roles sensationalism (radical empiricism)= perspective from 18th centrury that humans acquire beliefs, ideas and knowledge only through sensory experience attachment theory= a theory of early socialization based on the idea that sociability (especially from the mother) is necessary for human growth and development theory of intersubjectivity= an extension of attachment theory that focuses on two way interactions between infants and caregivers in the socialization process with an emphasis on the role played by subjects other than the maternal figure. Interaction is based on mutual recognition. culture= socially transmitted practices and knowledge systems, including language, beliefs, values, material objects and know-how that are transmitted from one generation to the next that enables humans to adapt to and thrive in a given environment Berger and Luckmann Society is a human product Human activity is habitualized, which causes it to be institutionalized C Wright Mills Sociological imagination: must understand individual to understand society and visa versa, sociology should allow people to understand and change the social world. Wilhelm Dilthey The study of metal objects is different than the study of physical objects; it is an understanding of shared meaning. Robert Merton Grand theories, middle theories and working hypotheses Emile Durkheim Values must be suppressed when conducting research. Studied suicide: found that suicide does not have to do with psychological disorders, but instead with social solidarity. Came up with the concept of social facts. (Individuals do not guide the laws of society): supra-individual phenomena. Said social facts exist and have properties and laws sociologists can study. Said society has no material existence; individuals are guided by their makeup, their experiences, and external social forces (society). Said society is sui generis- must be treated as it’s own kind of reality (not like biology etc.) Said sociology needs it’s own methodology; should be empirical, positivistic, and objective. Acknowledged that individual interaction creates social facts; social currents (how people interact) and crystallization (when these interaction methods become fixed). Studied social norms and anomie (normlessness). Said sociology needed to fix the current state of normlessness by coming up with a new moral system. *Critique: used biology to explain sociology, treated an abstract concept as a material one, did not explain how society could simultaneously shape an individual while being created by the individual* Max Weber Value relevance must be distinguished from value neutrality. Values choose the research questions, but must be kept out of the interpretation of the data. Scientists should not advise on what should or should not be done with results of research. Verstehen is Weber’s term for interpretivist epistemology; the researcher uses empathy to imagine what it would be like to relive the experiences of her research subjects. Said capitalist society was trapped in the iron cage of bureaucracy. Unlike Marx, Weber was an academic who said that the social scientist had no business attempting to change society, only in collecting facts about society. Influenced by Dilthey (nature and human behaviour can be studied scientifically with differences, key to understanding social phenomena is understanding subjective meaning attached to actions, key to differentiating from value judgement is making abstract concepts to classify social actions) and by Rickert (understanding social phenomena by understanding subjective meaning social actors hold behind actions- empathy). A key theme of Weber was methodology and investigation in the social sciences. He said foundation was ideal types, social action, verstehen and values. Emphasized role of individual in assigning subjective meaning to actions instead of social facts like Durkheim or economy like Marx. Said there were four ideal types of social action: traditional, affectual (driven by emotion), value-rational (cultural value driven), instrumental rational (specific goals). Said things are rational if the action is calculated how it will achieve something and understandable to others with the same background. Said rationality was contextual (witch hunting, asylums). Said modern societies develop through rationalization, two historical trend: societies becoming more reliant on calculation the maintain control over social and natural worlds and social actors freeing themselves from magical thinking to replace that with thinking informed by empirical observations. (Didn’t like this- iron cage of bureaucracy). Capitalism rose from the Protestant work ethic; individual responsibility to work hard, though it had been replaced by material goods instead of religious beliefs driving the work. Said bureaucracies had a bunch of characteristics that gave them superiority over other forms of organization. Wanted a separation of statement of facts and values, and that values should not affect conduct of research and should not try to inform society of morals. Parsons and Merton brought Weber to American sociology. Howard Becker Sociologists should side with the underdog when performing research. George Ritzer 6 Social Conditions during the Enlightenment that significantly altered the development of sociology: Political Revolutions (change, order, disorder), Industrial Revolution/ Rise of Capitalism, Rise of Socialism, Urbanization (overcrowded dirty cities), Religion (loss of it), Growth of Science (wanted to make sociology like a physical science). Jacob Riis: photographer in New York that wanted to show the reality behind cities during the Enlightenment Henri de Saint Simon: social physiology (studying society like an organism- growth, stability, order). Looked for laws of social organization. Thought humans had gone from polytheistic stage to Christian theism to a final positivistic stage. Said we could not change the state of society, just adapt to it. Said social reform was needed and central planning for economy. Said artists and scientist would become new leaders of the world instead of priests. Auguste Comte Came up with the term sociology. Thought that the new system coming in to replace feudalism was bad and disorganized. Influenced by positivism he said that observation would allow understanding of the laws of the social universe. Said that society was an organic whole, not a sum of individuals. Developed functionalism and social statics (order) vs. social dynamics (change). Said sociology was the most important science and said that positivism would be the stable end of a natural evolutionary process of society. Emile Littre Formed first sociological society in the world and endorsed Comte’s ideas. Said sociology should be for making social improvement occur through politics. Harriet Martineau Studied American values; democracy, justice, equality, freedom and wrote the first guidelines for the systematic approach to sociological research. Translated Comte making it accessible to the English. Karl Marx Political activist and social scientist that wanted to overthrow capitalism. Wrote in collaboration with Engels the Communist Manifesto. His popularity cycles through sociology. Rejected Hegel’s philosophical idealism because material goods are so essential to condition of people’s lives. Came up with dialectical (historical) materialism instead that said that classes cause conflict and change. Modes of production: primitive communism, ancient societies, feudalism, capitalism, advanced communism. Wrote Capital analyzing capitalist mode of production; predicted that alienation and exploitation would unite the proletariat and cause revolution. Defined commodities as things with either use value or exchange value. Recognizes that workers sell labour power to capitalists who gets profit from surplus value. Said exploitation was not an injustice, just part of the system. Said that the proletariat will never be in a position to gain capital and that they will become more and more impoverished with the rise of technology, which will provide a reserve army of labourers, and that capitalists will eventually no longer be able to compete with each other leading to a crisis. This will cause workers to band together, wage a revolution, and the state will wither away. *Critiques: Didn’t actually come true (labour unions, state as rescue and state as employer)* Friedrich Engels Said capitalism is productive yet exploitative. Thought revolution was inevitable. Helped Marx come up with: humans must satisfy their needs and how they live coincides with what they produce how. Hegel Came up with philosophical idealism- importance of thought in creating reality. Said human history was a dialectical process of change from forces causing new social situations. Herbert Blumer Symbolic interactionism as the name for the study of small scale interaction. William Wundt Gestures are physical acts carrying social meaning. People are capable of mental communication to regulate social interactions. Charles Hunton Cooley Human social interaction holds society together; allows people to share ideas and understandings and it comes from human communications. The looking glass self as a way of understanding gestures. The self as emergent: children must learn to see themselves as the looking glass self to develop a personality. Consciousness as divided into three parts: self-consciousness, social consciousness (attitudes towards other people) and public consciousness (society as organized into a communicative group). Primary groups as human associations characterized by intimate face-to-face co- operation; basic unit of society and first link between individual and broader social institutions. George Herbert Mead Studied sociology from a social-interactionist perspective. Was influenced by pragmatism from Charles Peirce, behaviourism, Hegelian dialectics, social psychology from William Wundt, and Charles Cooley. Meaning is a conversation of gestures; actions and reactions that are adjusted to each other. Humans use significant gestures or symbols to communicate so we can use the same gesture to evoke the same response in each other. The mind develops out of taking the role of the other; children learn to assume the perspective of others and adjusts her behaviour to reflect the best possible outcome. Mind comes from social interaction and allows an individual to attribute significant symbols and use them as a stimulus, interpret and use gestures, and temporarily suspend responses in order to choose the best one. Said the self was emergent from an individuals ability to use language, understand gestures and make an image of oneself; comes from the judgements of others and responses to these judgements because the individual does not experience himself directly, only from the viewpoint of others. Said the unified self was made of elementary selves, some of which may be visible or not visible in different social interactions. Divided the self into two phases: the I and the me. The I is a direct line of action while the me looks backwards, considers, evaluates responses from the standpoint of others. I impulses are shaped by Me images more often the more an individual is involved in a specific group. Therefore the self is a process of adjustment and adaptation. Said the self is determined by three stages growing up as a development of role taking: play stage (limited capacity to assume perspective of others and will only assume one role at a time), game stage (a specific role is played but the role of other players must be assumed to anticipate their reactions. ex. sports), and the generalized other (assuming the attitudes society holds toward us as the attitude we hold towards ourselves. Could have multiple different generalized others affecting us based on our groups, family, friend, social groups, university.) Society emerges out of ongoing human interactions; the framework that emerges when humans interact with each other. It comes from mutual adjustment and readjustment. It is based on attitudes that are used from the generalized other. MIND SELF AND SOCIETY EMERGE OUT OF HUMAN SOCIAL INTERACTION. Erving Goffman Influenced by Mead. Looked a face-to-face interaction and how individuals reciprocally influence each other during social encounters. People in company of each other become actors with situated behaviour. Used the dramaturgical metaphor to explain social interaction as a performance; social self arises from a scene that is presented. A social performance is designed to influence other actors and present oneself in the best possible light. Performances are usually a team effort, and people try to determine if the performance is genuine. Controlling audiences is key to keeping the self undisrupted; front stage (where audience and performers are present,) backstage (only the performers are present), and outside (where performers and audience are not involved). Backstage is where we relax, but we don’t let other people see anything but front stage. Came up with impression management as a way to guard against unintended consequences of interaction, like control over facial expressions. Said personal front divided into appearance (props used to indicate a status) and manner (role the actor expects to play) Said personal front is often institutionalized (actors learn, not create fronts). Emphasized importance of teams as a set of individuals relying on each other to make sure the performance is smooth. Teams might slip up, so the audience is also involved in smoothing performances by forgiving slip ups. People can engage in role distance if multiple social roles exist or one is in transition between roles. Said face was the positive social value or image a person claims for themselves. Face work is actions taken to make whatever he is doing consistent with face. Must be aware of how a group perceives us and do work to show the image that we want to be show. Corrective behaviour when a mistake is made regarding face is typically ritualistic. Wrote a book about interaction rituals. Randall Collins Interaction rituals are routines in which individual actions are channelled by historical expectations. The provide a sense of belonging. They require two or more persons (allows for emotional entertainment), clear boundaries between insiders and outsiders, focus of attention of all participants on a common goal, and participants sharing a common emotional experience. Said successful rituals causes a person to be confident, energized, enthusiastic and proactive. Failed ones make participants feel depressed, passive and alienated. ex. Greetings show the relationship remained intact and farewells say the relationship will stay intact and if they don’t go as planned, we feel
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