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Krista Kamstraa

WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY Society as a structure: • -need structure where behind the scenes can be accomplished as well • -group have to set rules and see that members follow them • -although membership is always changing, the structure stays the same • -sum is always more than the individual parts • -structure and rules must be accomplished in order to have rules • -society – describes the structure of our social worlds, • -culture- describe its contents • Society, social sciences, culture used interchange within the social sciences • Sociocultural system : combo of society, social sciences, culture • -must be careful to not oversimplify abstract concept of society into a concrete entirety with human-like traits ex : society teaches men how to behave” or “society led her to a life of crime” RELATIONS OF POWER: • -power: ability of the person or group to carry out its will even when opposed by others and although we all feel its effects, its hard to actually locate both what it is and where it is o -result of the control people or groups have of a society’s resources, including its “human resources” • -proximal relations of power: within personal relationships • -distal relations of power: abstract level in society as a whole • Ex. children learn that parents have more control over us than we do over them, and they also have greater control over the family resources…”you’re not the boss of me!” • Status: positions in society that can be ranked in relation to each other o -the higher the status, the more power the person has • -distal relationships of power often have more serious consequences for our lies, they are very hard for us to see and therefore oppose • -we live in a society that teaches us to look inward to our own individual failings or to nearby proximal relations of power when we experience the negative consequences of distal relations of power, rather than outward to the broader social system ex. applying for job and failing to get it, we are more likely to blame ourselves than to link it to such abstract things like government polices, discriminatory hiring practises, or corporate globalization • -key job for sociologists: examine relations specifically to the distal sphere and to link them to the life experiences of people • -American sociologists C. Wright Mills (19-62 differentiated what he termed :personal troubles of milieu” from “public issues of social structure” • -sociological imagination: ability to go beyond the personal issues we all experience and connect them to broader social structures • -ex. if one person is barely getting by that’s there problem, but if there’s millions in Canada lving in poverty = social issues SOCIETY AS A PROCESS: • -data will be collected and then analyzed, so that ocnclusionsa bout these behaviors can be drawn • -real world is not a snapshot but more like a moving picture • -at the same time they display a constancy and set of recurring patterns, • -daily life we experience repetitive patterns and a high degree of consistency • -yet at the same time our social world is ordered, it is simultaneously in flux and change • 0new tech regularly alter the way we work and way we live; new values and beliefs arise and come into conflict with older ones; governments create new laws and reorganize structures of governed; social institutions such as families and schools change their from • -in pre-industrial societies, change happened slowly; today changes even given some time WHERE DOES THE PERSON FIT IN? • -behavior without our realizing leave the impression that humans are simply robots controlled by unseen and unknown forces • -any one of us, at any time can act in ways that go against the expected patterns, norms • -data indicate: human behavior is astonishingly patterend • -sociologists study on the basis of paste patterns they try to predict future behaviors • -think: about people around you behaving differently • -nonconforming behaviors can become the basis for broader social change • -we can speak of a society as a system and social behavior as having predictable patterns, while at the same time acknowledging the possibility for people’s behaviors or what is referred to as human agency • -all societies display a certain degree of coherence, they also have many stresses and strains -> tensions = change • -change can occur at an extremely slow pace, other times it happens quickly ex. uprisings by mostly young people that took place in what was called the “Arab Spring” of early 2011 took most social analysts by surprise along with the protest “Occupy Wall Street” in N.Y.C SOCIETY and INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM: • -constraints of society that limit what we can do also limit what others can do • -most people will act as they can to reduce levels of insecurity and allow us to get on with our lives • -commonly shared rules of our social aworld allow us to functn as peple in our dialy lives • -social expectations are as much a comfort as a constraint by the fact theat so many of us cling to them ex. xmas • -in the real world, rights, beliefs, values of various groups and people are always coming into conflict and must be resolves either informally or formally ex. supreme court of Canada and the Canadian government were forced to grapple with the complex questions of whether gays and lesbians should have the right to civil marriage • -one one side Canadians who wanted marriage to keep traditional definition on the other side, those who argued that all people regardless of their sexual preference, should have the right to marry • -there can be no qu
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