Textbook Notes (362,734)
Canada (158,032)
Sociology (534)
SOC 103 (110)
Teppermann (15)


15 Pages
Unlock Document

Ryerson University
SOC 103

Chapter 2- Material Settings Introduction • Differences between Urban and Rural life 1. Populations of cities are much larger and denser that those of small towns and villages 2. Technology in cities (Transit) will not be found in rural areas 3. Built environment of a city conflicts with the natural environment in many harmful ways, where as the built envirounment of smaller communities does not 1) Pop larger 2) tech in cities better 3) cities destroy natural environment Ways of looking at population Functionalism • Thomas Malthus- Was the first person to raise the issue that the Earth would become overcrowded - This was the world's first functionalist analysis • Malthus said: That the Earths available food supply increases additively (slow), while the population increases exponentially (rapid) • The food supply is limited by the land and technology that is available to human beings • This will result in the food per capita to decline, which could potentially lead to world hunger • To overcome this problem, Malthus proposed that checks be put into place to measure the population growth V.S. the food supply • Positive Checks: Prevent over population by increase the death rate (war, famine, disease) • Preventive Checks: Prevent overpopulation by limits the number of live births (abortion, delayed marriage, sexual abstinence) • Malthus said, to use preventive checks so that they would not have to suffer the horrible consequence of positive checks. • FunctionalAnalysis- looks into conditions that maintain social equilibrium and the dangers associated with losing equilibrium (war, famine, epidemic) • Says that nature will reach social equilibrium through positive checks, therefore, we should take the initiative and do preventative checks • As population grows, the food supply also grows, however current growth as declined as compared to previous year's growth (64% now it is only 25%). This is because the irrigated area is decreasing and water is become scarce. Critical Theory'sApproach to Malthus • Critical Theory: Sociologist who take the critical theory approach deny that social equilibrium is attainable. However, they sat that people in power takes actions to benefit themselves first • Critical Theorist Say: That the problems poor countries face are not from over population, rather from an uneven distribution of the worlds wealth. Therefore, they argues that the recent famine that has taken place is not a result of overpopulation, but rather the result of improper land use, civil war and political factors. • Political issue: Developed nations pay farmers not to grow anymore food (that could be used in under developed countries) just so they can keep the food prices balanced • Contrary to what Malthus argued, studies show that famine has not historically been a significant positive check on population size • Poverty and Inequality: often cause problems that are similar to those caused by overpopulation and may also contribute to overpopulation (exp farmers) • Farmers- have a lot of kids for old age security, however in cites more kids is more expense . Therefore, in poor countries the problem is not too many people, but shortage of capital and lack of markets for their agricultural products. Therefore, large rapidly growing populations merely compound the problems of poverty, dependency, plague and famine. • Zero population growth- birth equal deaths, this will help reach equilibrium Ways of looking at urban life Functionalism • Functionalist: Social problems in the city as resulting naturally from growth and specialization (wealth leads to robbery) • Functionalist focus on other tendencies of the city- size, variety which leads to social disorganization and distress. Therefore, crime addiction and mental illness are foreseeable consequences of urbanization. These are the prices to be paid for city life. They illustrate the function problem of finding a new social equilibrium in the context of rapid social change. • Robert Merton- argue that crime, addiction and mental illness are functional "adaptations to anomie" • Emile Durkheim called COMMON CONSCIENCE- Pre-Industrial communities- were mainly small, rural settlements in which members had the same experiences, norms and identity. • Mechanical Solidarity-The lives of (pre-industrialized) people were often interconnected in a tight, homogeneous social order. • Urban-Industrial society- was based on interdependent, though not necessarily intimate, relationships. • Organic Solidarity: members of this new society were not longer self-sufficient, all were dependent on one another for survival and prosperity. • Functionalist approach: Look for universal laws of social development and, especially, for the ways that particular institutions or arrangements, like cites, help society move to anew equilibrium, with a higher level of functioning Critical Theory • Critical Theorist: always ask whos interest are served by the action of the dominant groups in society and thier ideologies. • They blame urban problems ( poverty and homelessness) to the working of capitalism and not the size of the city. • They say cities suffer urban problems because no powerful group is interested in preventing this from happening. They say solving urban problems require more than just housing. • Problem of cities: is a problem of economic inequality (uneven distribution of urban wealth and poverty) • The rich people segregate themselves from the poor by moving to suburbs. When this happens they do not care about the issues faced by the poor in the urban centres Symbolic Interactionism • Symbolic Interactionists: Study how people experience city life on an everyday basis. • George Simmel: was one of the earliest writere to take this approach. Simmel, says that the city life is so quick-paced that inhabitants need to reduce thier senitivity to events and people around them • Symbolic Interactionists: tend to doubt that everyone in the same setting (city) has the same experience • Herbert Gans: focuses on how the meaning of city life varies among groups and sbuclutures. • Subculture: is a group of people who share some cultural traits of the larger society but who as a group, have their own distinctive values, beliefs and behaviours. • Urban Subculture: allow individuals to form connection with their neighbours (ethnic groups) Ways of looking at the environment Functionalism • Believe that everyone is implicated in the pollution of the environment • Modern people: have a consumerist agenda, which results in pollution and over harvesting of resources. • Cornucopia view of nature: They think of nature as a storehouse of resource for human use • Growth ethic: believes in the ability of technology to easily solve all the problems including those that were caused by technology itself. Believe everything will get better therefore promote production and consumption of new items • Individualism: promotes personal goals and desire over collective interest • Garrett Hardin Tragedy of the commons: refers to the unwelcome results of actions by many self-interested individuals, acting independently, that taken together deplete a shared limited resources, even though non intended to have this effect. Critical Theory • Say that environmental problems hurt the poor more than they hurt the rich • Natural disasters cause more deaths in developing countries as compared to developed countries. • Sociological research: Shows that disaster results more from the spread of capitalism than from the effects of geophysical events. Solutions: involves the redistribution of wealth and power in society to provide access to resources that to apply technology to control nature Symbolic Interactionism • Study shows: that the meaning and thought patterns learned in social interaction affect environmental problems, with a particular focus on how they influence peoples perception of these problems • Sociologists: ask how certain environmental problems enter the public consciousness • Clay Schoenfel, Robert Meier and Robert Griffin: looked at hose environmental issues have become a problem in the public eye. • Symbolic Interactionists: look at how the environmental polluter manipulate symbols to protect themselves from criticism. Companies are becoming "GREEN" Feminist Theory • Questions the capitalist believe of growth, unlimited resources and unregulated commerce. • Ecofeminism: emerged as a social movement that linked the exploitation of marginalized groups with the degradation of nature in Western cultural values. Have central belief in the convergence between women and nature. It encourages political analysis that explores the links between androcentrism and environmental destruction. • They argues that domination over nature leads to environmental destruction. They say this is the same as women being exploited in previous times Classic Studies (The Limits to Growth) • World3Model: was a computer software, whose goals were to track how complex human systems have changed and will change overtime. It was build to investigate five major trends of global concern: Accelerating industrialization, rapid population growth, widespread malnutrition, depletion of non-renewable resources and a deteriorating environment. MEDIP • Researchers: Assumed that the five variables grow exponentially, while the ability of technology to provide food grows linearly. Therefore, humans have a tendency to demand too much from nature, more than it can supply • The limits to Growth: examines how exponential growth affects finite resources • Two key conclusion of the report: First: if population, industrialization , pollution and ffod production continues at the current rate humanity will reach the limit to growth in the next 100 years. • Second: It is possible to change these current growth patterns to bring about a state of environmental and economic stability. Slowing growth, would ideally mean achieving a state of global equilibrium, so that all human basic material needs are fulfilled and every person can reach his or her individual human potential . However, it is not possible to achieve this equilibrium at the highest current levels of human consumption. Cutbacks in spending, buying and consuming would be needed. • Limits to growth: this book says that in the next 70 years, environmental decline is inevitable. Now the Challenge will be containing and limiting damage to the Earth and to humanity. The author says it is to late for sustainable development • Now we have to choose between unrestrained collapse and Harm reduction • Harm Reduction: a conscious reduction of the energy and material we consume Why Demography • Demography: the study of population • Population processes and social processes are closely intertwined • Population Size: First: large population puts more pressure on the natural environment than a small population. Second: large population is more likely to innovate. Third: large societies need the systematic production of food. • Industrial societies: do not need large populations to thrive, therefore population growth decrease until populations start to shrink • Large populations are mainly Urbanized • Large populations invent new social and econo
More Less

Related notes for SOC 103

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.