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SOC 1100
Rob Shearer

CHAPTER 1 Seeing the General in the Particular ­ Sociology: the systematic study of human society ­ Sociological perspective: the special point of view of sociology that sees general patterns of society in the lives of particular people ­ Society acts different on different categories of people Seeing Society in Our Everyday Lives ­ Consider the number of children women have ­ Women in poor countries have less schooling -> less likely to use contraception ­ Men had more freedom than women ­ Freedom weakens social ties and thereby increases the risk of suicide ­ The rates are consistently higher for men than for women Seeing Sociologically: Marginality and Crisis ­ 2 situations help people see clearly how society shapes individual lives: living on the margins of society and living through a social crisis ­ The greater peoples social marginality, the better able they are to use the sociological perspective ­ People at the margins of social life: women, gay and lesbian people, people with disabilities, very old people, are aware of social patterns that others rarely think about The Importance of a Global Perspective ­ Global perspective: The study of the larger world and our society’s place in it ­ Sociology shows us that our place in society shapes our life experiences ­ High incomes countries:Are the nations with the highest overall standards of living ­ People in these countries are very well off, not because they are smarter of worker harder but because they were lucky enough to be born there ­ Middle income countries: nations with a standard of living about average for the world as a whole ­ Some people are extremely rich and others are extremely poor ­ Low income countries: nations with a low standard of living in which most people are poor ­ Few people are rich ­ Majority struggle to get by with poor housing, unsafe water, too little food and perhaps most serious of all, little change to improve their lives 1. Where we live shapes the lives we lead ­ Different sized families 2. Societies throughout the world are increasingly interconnected ­ Internet ­ Share many tastes in food, clothing and music 3. Many of the social problems we face in Canada are far more serious elsewhere ­ Women have lower social standing then men 4. Thinking globally helps us learn more about ourselves Sociology and Personal Growth 1. The sociological perspective helps us asses the truth of common sense ­ We take many things for granted ­ Assume that successful people are superior and less successful people are deficient ­ Sociological approach encourages us to ask whether these thoughts are true 2. The sociological perspective helps us see the opportunities and constraints in our lives ­ We have a say in how we play our card, but it is society that deals us the cards 3. The sociological perspective empowers us to be active participants in our society ­ The more we understand how society works, the more active citizens we become 4. The sociological perspective helps us live in a diverse world ­ We tend to define our own way of life as right, natural and better ­ The sociological perspective encourages us to think critically about the relative strengths and weaknesses of all ways of life, including our own Careers: The “SociologyAdvantage” ­ Can learn which categories of people are most at risk of becoming criminals or victims ­ Learn about patterns of health and illness, as well as the effects of race, gender and social class ­ Understanding how various categories of people differ in beliefs, family patterns, and other ways of life Social Change and Sociology ­ In Europe in the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries: Three kinds of changes were important in the development of sociology: 1. Anew industrial economy ­ Inventors used new sources of energy ­ The power of moving water and then stem to operate large machines in mills and factories ­ Instead of laboring at home, workers became part of a large and anonymous labour force, under the control of strangers who owned the factories ­ Weakening the traditions that had guided community life for centuries 2. The growth of cities ­ Enclosure movement: Fenced off more and more farmlad to create grazing areas for sheep ­ Without land, countless tenant farmers had little choice but to head to the cities In search of work in the new factories ­ As cities grew larger many social problems aroused: pollution, crime, homelessness 3. Political Change ­ As cities grew, traditional thinking came under spirited attack ­ Everyone has the freedom of: conscience and religion, thought, belief, opinion, expression, association Science and Sociology ­ Auguste Comte described a new way of looking at society ­ Comte and other pioneers of sociology all cared about how society could be improved, but their major goal was to understand how society actually operates ­ Comte saw sociology as the product of a three stage historical development 1. Theological stage: People took a religious view that society expressed gods will 2. Metaphysical stage: People saw society as a natural rather than a supernatural system 3. Scientific stage: Physics, chemistry and sociology ­ Positivism: a way of understanding based on science ­ As a positivist, Comte believed that society operates according to its own laws, much as the physical world operates according to gravity and other laws of nature Sociological Theory ­ Theory: Is a statement of how and why specific facts are related ­ The job of the sociological theory is to explain social behaviour in the real world ­ In building theory, sociologists face two fundamental questions: what issues should we study? How should we connect the facts? ­ Theoretical approach: Abasic image of society that guides thinking and research The Structural-Functional approach ­ Structural-functional approach: a framework for building theory hat sees society as complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability ­ Social structure: any relatively stable pattern of social behaviour ­ Social structure gives our lives shape ­ Social functions: the consequences of any social pattern or the operation of society as a whole ­ All social structures function to keep society going (ex: handshakes) ­ Structural functional approach owes much toAuguste Comte ­ Robert K. Merton expanded our understanding of the concept of social function by pointing out that any social structure probably has many functions, some more obvious than others ­ Manifest functions: the recognized and intended consequences of any social pattern ­ Latent functions: the unrecognized and unintended consequences of any social pattern ­ Merton also realized that the effects of social structure are not all good, and certainly not good for everybody ­ Social dysfunction: any social pattern that may disrupt the operation of society ­ What is functional for one category of people may well be dysfunctional for another category of people The Social-ConflictApproach ­ Social- conflict approach: a framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change ­ Sociologists investigate how factors such as social class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and age are linked to a society unequal distribution of money, power, education and social prestige ­ People in dominant positions try to protect their privileges while the disadvantaged try to gain more for themselves ­ Children who are provided with good schooling will do better in life ­ The poor’s children will not get good schooling, which will result in a cycle of generations not improving Feminism and the Gender-conflict approach: ­ Gender- conflict approach: Apoint of view that focuses on inequality and conlict between women and men ­ Feminism: the advocacy of social equality for women and men ­ Aware of the many ways in which our way of life paces men in positions of power over women ­ Aware of the importance of women to the development of sociology ­ Harriet Martineau is regarded as the first women sociologist ­ Was born to a wealthy English family, made her mark by translating the writings of August Comte from French into English The Race-ConflictApproach: ­ Apoint of view that focuses on inequality and conflict between people of different racial and ethnic categories The Symbolic-InteractionApproach ­ Macro-level orientation: a broad focus on social structures that shape society as a whole ­ Micro-level orientation: Aclose up focus on social interaction in specific situations ­ Symbolic-interaction approach: a framework for building theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals The PostmodernApproach ­ Postmodernism: an approach of modernism, with a mistrust of grand theories and ideologies, that can have either a micro or macro orientation ­ Proponents argue that they are not trying to create systematic new knowledge but are writing to permit multiple interpretations by their readers ­ Postmodernists seek to observe other societies without applying the conceptual baggage of their own – observe with the goal of achieving understanding and a vision rather than data collection Applying theApproaches: The sociology of sports The structure and function of sports: ­ Providing recreation, a means of getting in physical shape ­ Sports have latent function as well from building social relationships to creating tens of thousands of jobs ­ Sports encourage both competition and teamwork ­ Leagues are structured -> will pass down generations ­ From this perspective the sports complex has functions and is structured Sports and social conflict: ­ Some sports are expensive ­ Children from rich and poor neighborhoods are introduced to very different sports ­ Sports are oriented primarily towards males ­ Physical disabilities also contributes to inequalities Sports as Symbolic Interactions ­ Hockey as a powerful symbol of Canada Chapter 2 Basics of Sociological Investigation • Science:Alogical system that bases knowledge on direct, systematic observation • Scientific knowledge rests on empirical evidence • Empirical Evidence: Information we can verify with our senses Common Sense versus Scientific Evidence • "Poor people are far more likely than rich people to break the law" ◦ Not true ◦ Research shows that police and prosecutors treat the wealthy and powerful more leniently ◦ The poor are more recognizable to police • "Canada is a middle-class society in which people are more or less equal" ◦ Not true ◦ In 2006, 3.5 million Canadians, or 22 percent of the population, had incomes below the poverty line (low income cut-off) • "Poor people don't want to work" ◦ Not true ◦ Employed people who work for low or minimum wages (the working poor) are not people who are avoiding work • "Differences in the behavior of females and males are just "human nature"" ◦ Not true ◦ Most of what we consider "human nature" is constructed by the society in which we live • "People change as they grow old, losing many interests as they focus on their health" ◦ Age does little to change ones personality ◦ Retain their distinctive personalities and interest • "Most people marry because they are in love" ◦ In many societies marriage has little to do with love Scientific Sociology • Scientific Sociology: Is the study of society based on systematic observation of social behavior • Concept: Amental construct that represents some part of the world in a simplified form • Variable: Aconcept whose value changes from case to case ◦ i.e. price changes from one item to the next at a supermarket • The use of variables depends on measurements • Measurements:Aprocedure for determining the value of a variable in a specific case • There are many ways that sociologists can measure a variable, so it is up to them to decide which way will provide more accurate results • Operationalize a Variable: Specifying exactly what is to be measured before assigning a value to the variable ◦ i.e. decide what we are going to measure (social class, income levels) • For a measurement to be useful it must be reliable and valid • Reliability: Consistency in measurement ◦ If repeated measurements give the same result time after time then it is considered reliable • Validity: Actually measuring exactly what you intend to measure • Cause and Effect: Arelationship in which change in one variable causes change in another • Independent Variable: The variable that causes the change • Dependent Variable: The variable that changes • Correlation:Arelationship in which two (or more) variables change together ◦ Can mean that some third factor is at work causing change in both of the variables • Spurious Correlation:An apparent but false relationship between two (or more) variables that is caused by some other variable ◦ Control: Holding constant all variables except one in order to see clearly the effect of that variable • To establish cause and effect: ◦ Ademonstrated correlation ◦ An independent variable that occurs before the dependent variable ◦ No evidence that a third variable could be causing a spurious correlation between the two • Objectivity: Personal neutrality in conducting research ◦ Is useful for all sociologists so that their emotions don't interrupt their research • Replication: Repetition of research by other investigators ◦ Limits distortion caused by personal values ◦ If other researches do the same tests and come up with similar results then we gain confidence in their work Some Limitations of Scientific Sociology • Human behavior is too complex for sociologists to predict any individual's actions precisely • Because humans respond to their surroundings, the mere presence of a researcher may affect the behavior being studied • Social patterns change; what is true in one time or play may not hold true in another • Because sociologists are part of the social world they study, they can never be 100 percent value- free when conducting social research Interpretive Sociology • Interpretive Sociology: The study of society that focuses on the meanings people attach to their social world ◦ Deals with meaning attached to behavior ◦ Sees reality as being constructed by people themselves in the course of their everyday lives ◦ Relies on qualitative data Critical Sociology • Developed in reaction to the limitations of scientific sociology • The study of society that focuses on the need for social change Research Orientations and Theory • Each of the three methodological orientations stand closer to one of the theoretical approaches ◦ Scientific Sociology-Structural FunctionalismApproach ◦ Interpretive Sociology-Symbolic InteractionApproach ◦ Critical Sociology-social Conflict Approach Gender and Research • Sociologists have become aware that research is affected by gender • Gender: The personal traits and social positions that members of a society attach to being female or male • 5 ways in which gender can shape research: ◦ Androcentricity: Refers to approaching an issue from a male perspective ◦ Overgeneralizing: Problem occurs when researchers use data drawn from people of only one sex to support conclusions about humanity or society ◦ Gender Blindness: Failing to consider the variable of gender at all ◦ Double Standards: Judging men and women differently ◦ Interference: Problem occurs if a subject reacts to the sex of the researcher, interfering with the research operation Women as Methodologists • Feminist researchers embrace two key tenets ◦ Their research should focus on the condition of women in society ◦ Their research must be grounded in the assumption that women generally experience subordination Research Ethics • Researchers must ◦ Protect the privacy of subjects ◦ Obtain the informed consent of subjects ◦ Indicate all sources of funding ◦ Submit research to an institutional review board (IRD) to ensure it doesn't violate ethical standards Methods of Sociological Research • Research Method:Asystematic plan for doing research • Experiment: Aresearch method for investigating cause and effect under highly controlled conditions • Hypothesis:Astatement of a possible relationship between two (or more) variables • Experiment steps: ◦ Specify the independent variable (the cause) and the dependent variable (the effect) ◦ Measure the initial value of the dependent variable ◦ Expose the dependent variable to the independent variable (the treatment) ◦ Measure the dependent variable to see what change, if any, took place • Another strategy for experiments is to create an experimental group and control group • The Hawthorne Effect: Refers to a change in a subjects behavior caused simple by the awareness of being studied • Stanford Country Prison (Philip Zimbardo): Where he creates prisoners and guards (Remember from CHACHA) ◦ Prison setting was independent, and violent was dependent Asking Questions: Survey Research • Survey: Aresearch method in which subjects respond to a series of statements or questions in a questionnaire or an interview • Good for studying attitudes-such as beliefs about politics, religion or race • Surveys target some population • Population: The people who are the focus of research • Sample:Apart of that population that represents the whole • Random sampling • Questionnaire:Aseries of written questions that a researcher presents to subjects ◦ Closed-ended format (Forces them to answer in specific ways) ◦ Open-ended format (Subjects can respond freely) ◦ Self-administered survey ◦ Interview: Aseries of questions a researcher asks respondents in person In the Field: Participant Observation • Participant Observation:Aresearch method in which investigators systematically observe people while joining them in their routine activities ◦ Can be long term Using Available Data: Secondary and ContentAnalysis • SecondaryAnalysis:Aresearch method in which a researcher uses data collected by others • ContentAnalysis: Entails the counting or coding of the content of written, aural, or visual materials such as television The Interplay of Theory and Method • Inductive Logical Thought: Reasoning that transforms specific observations into general theory • Deductive Logical Thought: Reasoning that transforms general theory into specific hypotheses suitable for testing Putting It All Together: 10 Steps in Sociological Investigation • What is your topic? • What have others already learned? • What, exactly, are your questions? • What will you need to carry out research? • Are there ethical concerns? • What method(s) will you use? • How will you record your data? • What do the data tell you? • What are your conclusions? • How can you share what you've learned? Chapter 3 WHAT IS CULTURE? (p. 54) CULTURE = is a society’s ways of life. = refers to the ways of thinking, acting and the material objects that together shape a person’s way of life = everything we create with our hands, minds and material things = is our link to the PAST, and our guide to the FUTURE Culture includes: • WHAT people DO (e.g. forms of dance), • WHAT people HAVE (e.g. clothing) • WHAT we SEE on the outside, and • What’s on the inside as well (i.e. thoughts and feelings). • Humans around the world do the SAME things (e.g. eat, sleep, have sex, raise children etc.), they just do them DIFFERENTLY • How do humans manage to survive together? Social scientists believe that this is negotiated through culture (“the values, beliefs, behavior and material objects that constitute a people’s way of life”). Culture is not hard-wired. We humans constantly invent and re- invent our cultures. Nonmaterial Culture = ideas created by members of a society that are largely invisible and taken for granted. (Range from art to the Canadian Constitution) • These are the patterns for, and of, thinking and behaving that we follow unthinkingly because they are ‘right behavior and thought’or ‘human nature.’ Material Culture = physical things created by members of our society • Material culture differs significantly between groups; however, revolutions in travel, communications and technology will allow you to see a mosque in Iran…and Toronto! This represents Cultural Diffusion. Culture Shock = personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life (e.g. Bermuda student moving to Canada for Uni) • Animals around the world behave the same way as they are guided by instinct or biological programming, over which they have no control. • Only humans rely on culture rather than instinct to create a way of life, and to ensure survival Nation = political entity – a state or country OR people who share a culture (including language, ancestry and history) Society = organized interaction of people within a nation, state or other boundary who share a culture • Globally there are 7,000 languages, suggesting the same # of cultures; however, the # of languages is declining worldwide due to electronic communication, increasing international migration, and an expanding global economy THE ELEMENTS OF CULTURE (P. 57) Although cultures vary greatly, they all have common elements: 1. Symbols = things or behaviors that carry a particular meaning, recognized by people who share culture. • Symbolic meanings vary by culture (e.g. a “thumbs up” in North America means “good job” whereas inAustralia it means “up yours”. e.g. The maple leaf symbolizes Canada) • Culture Shock is a 2-way process = it is something the traveler experiences when encountering people whose way of life is unfamiliar, and it is also what the traveler inflicts on others by acting in ways that might offend them (e.g. in Canada a “thumbs up’ means good job, whereas inAustralia it means ‘up yours’) • The world of symbols changes all the time (e.g. Instant Messaging B4N, ur) 2. Language = system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another • Of the 60 Aboriginal languages spoken in Canada a century ago, only 4 are not on the brink of extinction today. This means the loss of vast reservoirs of intellectual knowledge stretching back thousands of years. Each indigenous tongue embodies a unique way of understanding and responding to the world • Human language attaches us to our culture: we transmit our history, our traditions, our common values and norms through language – and changes in language reflect alterations in society (e.g., the use of ‘firefighter’rather than ‘fireman’reflects the fairly recent entry of women into this profession, the changes in women’s roles). • Language allows communication, BUT it is also the key to cultural transmission= process by which one generation passes culture to the next. • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis = people perceive the world through the cultural lens of language 3. Values = culturally defined standards that people use to decide what is desirable, good and beautiful, and that serve as broad guidelines for social living. Values are broad principles that support Beliefs • Values are abstract standards of goodness • Values are a critical part of the morality of a culture (e.g. North Americans value individuality while manyAsian cultures value community over the individual) • In a complex, and multicultural, society such as Canada, there can co-exist competing and complementary values Beliefs = specific statements that people hold to be true or false • Cultural values and beliefs color how we perceive our surroundings, and form the core of our personalities • We learn from, our families, school, religious orgs to think and act according to approved principles, to pursue worthy goals, and to believe in a host of cultural truths while rejecting alternatives • Canadians think of themselves as cooperative not competitive and placid not violent, EXCEPT when it comes to hockey where we are tough and aggressive and like to win as much as theAmericans do. • Lower-income nations value SURVIVAL; higher-income nations take SURVIVAL for granted, and value individualism and self-expression and focus on quality of life. 4. Norms= rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members. Proscriptive Norms = what we should NOT do (e.g. health officials warn us against casual sex) Prescriptive Norms = what we should do (e.g. when our schools teach safer sex) Mores or taboos= Norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance; they distinguish between right and wrong (e.g. adults should not engage in sexual relations with children) Folkways = Norms for routine or casual interaction; they distinguish between right and rude (e.g. ideas about appropriate greetings and proper dress) • Mores and Folkways are the basic rules of everyday life. Norms make our dealings with others more orderly and predictable. • Observing or breaking the rules of social life prompts a response from others in the form of a reward or punishment. The reward – whether a smile or a raised eyebrow – operate as a system of social control= attempts by others to regulate people’s thoughts and behaviors. • As we learn cultural norms, we gain the capacity to evaluate our own behavior. Doing wrong can cause shame (i.e. the painful sense that others disapprove of our actions) or guilt (i.e. a negative judgment we make of ourselves). Ideal and Real Culture (p. 66) Ideal Culture = social patterns mandated by cultural values and norms (e.g. sexual fidelity in marriage) Real Culture = actual social patterns that approximate cultural expectations (e.g. 14% of married men and 7% of married women report being unfaithful at some point to their spouses) Material culture = wide range of physical human creations (i.e. artifacts) (e.g. Chinese use chopsticks rather than forks and knives). • Material culture reflects a society’s values and its technology • Cultural relativity is our goal: this is not a value-less position, but one in which you bracket your own values as you attempt to understand the values and practices of another group. CULTURALDIVERSITY IN CANADA (p. 67) • Canada is a Cultural Mosaic – it has immigrants from Europe,Asia, the Middle East • High Culture = cultural patterns that distinguish a society’s elite (e.g. people who enjoy the music of Mozart • Popular Culture = cultural patterns that are widespread throughout society (e.g. Rap) • Subculture = cultural patterns that set apart some segment of a society’s population (e.g. teenagers, homeless people, hockey fans, police officers etc.) o Everyone participates in numerous subcultures, to which we have various levels of commitment Multiculturalism (p. 69) • Multiculturalism = social policy designed to encourage ethnic or cultural heterogeneity • Multiculturalism generates controversy because it requires rethinking of core norms and values (e.g. Canada is cited as bilingual with French and English being the official languages. However, Canada is composed of people with many different mother tongues, even though their languages are not officially recognized. Therefore, critics say multiculturalism has only symbolic value in Canada. • 4 basic positions about Multiculturalism have emerged by supporters (proponents): 1. Proponents defend multiculturalism as a way to capture a more accurate picture of our past. 2. Multiculturalism helps us to come to terms with our current diversity; 3. Multiculturalism is a way to strengthen the academic achievement of children of immigrants; 4. Multiculturalism is worthwhile preparation for all people in Canada to live in a world that is increasingly interdependent. • Opponents of multiculturalism say that: 1. multiculturalism in any society remains cohesive only when its cultural patterns are widely shared; 2. Multiculturalism fuels the “politics of difference” encouraging individuals to identify with their subcultures instead Canada as a whole. Counterculture Counterculture = cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within society e.g. in 1960’s the youth-oriented counterculture – hippies - rejected mainstream culture as overly competitive, and materialistic. They favored a more cooperative lifestyle where “being” was more important than “doing” and they drew identity from long hair, headbands, and blue jeans Cultural Change (p. 71) Cultural integration = the close relationship among various elements of a cultural system (e.g. when women increased in the labor force, there were changing family patterns, including later first marriage, fewer births, more divorce and more households without fathers) • All elements of a cultural system do not change at the same speed Cultural Lag = cultural elements changing at different rates, causing various degrees of disruption in cultural systems (e.g. when you can allow a woman to give birth by using another woman’s egg that was fertilized in a laboratory with the sperm of a stranger, how do we apply the traditional notions of motherhood and fatherhood?) Cultural change is set in motion in 3 ways: 1. Invention = process of creating new cultural elements (e.g. invention gave us the telephone, the airplane and the aerosol spray can have all had a tremendous impact on our life) 2. Discovery = recognizing and understanding something not fully understood before (e.g. foods from another country, athletic excellence of Cdn Olympic Team) 3. Diffusion = spread of cultural traits from one society to another (e.g. telephone has spread around the world. TV, radio, fax and computer means that cultural diffusion has never been greater) Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrism = practice of judging another culture by the standards of one’s own (e.g. In low- income countries children must work to provide income for their family – it is ethnocentric for people in high-income countries to condemn the practice of child labor) Cultural Relativism = the practice of judging a culture by its own standards AGlobal Culture? Societies have more contact with one another now, involving the flow of information, goods and people: 1. Global economy - Flow of Goods: global economy has spread many of the same consumer goods around the world; 2. Global communications – Flow of Information: Satellite communications enable people to experience the same sights, sounds and music around the world as it happens, making us a “Global village”; and 3. Global migration – Flow of People: knowing about the rest of the world motivates people to move to where they imagine life to be better.Air transportation makes relocating easier than ever. 3 Limitations to the Global Culture Thesis: 1. Global flow of information, goods and people is uneven. Urban areas have stronger ties while rural areas remain unaffected by global movements (e.g. greater economic and military power in NorthAmerica means that this region influences the rest of the world more than the rest of the world influences them). 2. Global culture thesis assumes that people everywhere are able to afford new goods and services. 3. While many cultural practices are found around the world, people everywhere do not attaché the same meanings to them. (e.g. do children in Tokyo and Vancouver draw the same insights from reading the Harry Potter books?) *** In short, people everywhere still see the world through their own cultural lenses. THEORETICALANALYSIS OF CULTURE (p.73) The Functions of Culture: Structural-Functional Analysis Structural-functional approach says: • Culture is a complex strategy for meeting human needs; and • VALUES are the core of Culture, giving meaning to what we do and binding people together. (e.g. Mennonites reject tractors, and electricity because it ensures there is plenty of hard work. Continuous labor outside the home for men, and inside the home for women, maintains the value of discipline, which shapes their way of life. Their rejection of modern technology also forces them to be self-sufficient and minimizes their need to engage with mainstream society) Cultural universals = traits that are part of every known culture (e.g. “the family” functions everywhere to control sexual reproduction and oversee the care of the children( e.g. “funeral rites” are found everywhere because all communities must face the reality of death) Inequality and Culture: Social-ConflictAnalysis (p.74) • Any Cultural trait benefits some members of society at the expense of others • Cultural systems do not address human needs equally, allowing some people to dominate others • Social-conflict theory is rooted in the doctrine of materialism which holds that a society’s system of material production has a powerful effect on the rest of the culture o supports our capitalist economy which teaches us to think that rich and powerful people work harder and for longer hours than others and deserve their wealth and privileges • Strains of inequality erupt into movements for social change e.g. the gay rights and women’s rights movements Evolution and Culture: Sociobiology (p.75) Sociobiology 0000 • Sociobiology is based on Darwin’s theory of evolution which says that living organisms change over long periods of time as a result of natural selection, a matter of 4 principles: 1. All living things live to reproduce themselves; 2. The blueprint for reproduction is in the genes, which carry traits from one generation into the next; 3. Some random variation in genes allows a species to try out new life patterns, allowing some organisms to survive better than others and pass on their advantageous genes to their offspring; and 4. Over thousands of generations a species adapts to its environment and dominant traits emerge as the “nature” of the organism. • All humans are members of a single biological species. It is our common biology that underlies the “double standard” of sexual behavior whereby a man is biologically capable of fathering thousands of children, a woman can only bear a few. The double standard involves more than biology and is tangled up in the historical domination of men over women. But socio-biology suggests that the cultural pattern of domination of men over women has an underlying “bio-logic”. CULTUREAND HUMAN FREEDOM (P.76) • As symbolic creatures, humans cannot live without culture. • Culture is largely a matter of habit, which forces us to make and remake a world for ourselves as seen in our cultural diversity Chapter 4 ­ Socio-cultural evolution: changes that occur as a society gains new technology ­ Hunting and gathering o From the time that our species appeared 3 million years ago until 12000 years ago, all humans were hunter-gatherers o Takes a large amount of land to support even a few people, tend to stay in extended family groups of just a few dozen members o Nomadic, moving on to find new sources of vegetables and to follow migrating animals o Women gather vegetation and fish, small mammals and birds o Simple tools: spear, bow and arrow, bone or stone knife o Likely to believe that many spirits inhabit the world ­ Horticulture: the use of hand tools to raise crops o Using a hoe to work soil, digging stick to punch holes in the ground o First humans to plant gardens lived in fertile regions of middle east o Think of one God as Creator ­ Pastoralism: the domestication of animals o Growing plants and raising animals greatly increased food production, so populations expanded to hundreds of people in one location o Once a society is capable of producing a material surplus, more resources than needed to support the population, not everyone has to work at providing food o See God as directly involved in the well-being of the entire world ­ Agarian Societies o Agriculture: large-scale cultivating using plows harnessed to animals or more powerful energy sources (irrigation, the wheel, writing, numbers, the use of various metals o Greater production meant even more specialization o Extreme social inequality; a large share of the people are peasants or slaves who do most of the work o Raises men to a position of social dominance; women are left with the support tasks (wedding, carrying water to the fields) ­ Industrialism: production of goods using advanced sources of energy to drive large machinery o Around 1750, people used water power, then steam boilers to operate mills and factories filled with larger and larger machines o Soon after, cars and electricity powered full homes o Industrialization drew people away from home to factories situated near energy sources o Workers lost close working relationships, strong family ties, many traditional values, beliefs, and customs that guide agarian life o Greatest effect has been to raise living standards ­ Post-Industrial Societies o Post-industrialism: technology that supports a information-based economy o Production relies on computers and other electronic devices that create, process, store and apply information  Karl Marx Model of Society 1. Ideas and Values 2. Social institutions: politics, religion, education, family 3. The economy o False consciousness: explanations of social problems as the shortcomings of individuals rather than as the flaws of society o Marx believed conflict is the engine that drives social change (either at evolutionary rate or revolutionary rate) o Communism is a system which people commonly own and equally share the food and other things they produce o Industrial capitalism contains two major social classes (ruling class and the oppressed) o Class conflict: conflict between entire classes over the distribution of a society’s wealth and power o Class consciousness: workers’recognition of themselves as a class unified in opposition to capitalists and ultimately to capitalism itself o Alienation: the experience of isolation and misery resulting from powerlessness o Marx noted four ways in which capitalism alienates workers 1. Alienation from the act of working 2. Alienation from the product of work 3. Alienation from other workers 4. Alienation from human potential Max Weber (1864-1920) ­ Ideal type: an abstract statement of the essential characteristics of any social phenomenon ­ Members of pre-industrial societies are bound by tradition (values and beliefs passed from generation to generation) and people in industrial-capitalist societies are guided by rationality (a way of thinking that emphasizes deliberate, matter-of-fact calculation of the most efficient way to accomplish a particular task ­ Rationalization of society: the historical change from tradition to rationality as the main mode of human thought ­ Weber claimed that the key to the birth or industrial capitalism lay in the Protestant Reformation; he saw capitalism as the major outcome of Calvinism, a Christian religious movement founded by John Calvin o One of Calvin’s most important ideas was predestination; the belief that an all- knowing and all-powerful God had predestined some people for salvation and other for damnation ­ According to Weber, rationality is the basis of modern society, giving rise to both the Industrial Revolution and capitalism; he identified seven characteristics of rational social organizations 1. Distinctive social institutions 2. Large-scale organizations 3. Specialized tasks 4. Personal discipline 5. Awareness of time 6. Technical competency 7. Impersonality Emile Durkheim ­ Society is more than the individuals who compose it ­ Society takes on a life of its own and demands a measure of obedience from its creators; we experience the reality of society in the order of our lives or as we face temptation and feel the tug of morality ­ Durkheim believed human beings need the restraint of society because as creatures who can want more and more, we are in constant danger of being overpowered by our own desires ­ Anomie: a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals ­ An individual’s desires must be balanced by the claims and guidance of society ­ In pre-industrial societies, tradition operates as the social cement that binds people together ­ Mechanical solidarity: social bonds, based on common sentiments and shared moral values, that are strong among members of preindustrial societies ­ With industrialization, mechanical solidarity becomes weaker and weaker and people are much less bound by tradition ­ Organic solidarity: social bonds, based on specialization and interdependence that are strong among members of industrial societies ­ Division of labor: specialized economic activity ­ As members of modern societies, we depend more and more on people we trust less and less ­ The technological power and greater personal freedom of modern society come at the cost of declining morality and the rising risk of anomie Chapter 5 ­ Socialization: lifelong social experience by which people develop their human potential and learn culture ­ Personality: a person’s fairly consistent patterns of acting, thinking and feeling Human Development: ­ Nature: Charles Darwin’s study of evolution led people to think that human behavior was instinctive, simply our nature ­ John B. Watson developed a theory called behaviorism which holds that behavior is not instinctive but learned Social Isolation ­ Studies of Non0human Primates o Rhesus monkeys put in complete isolation with adequate nutrition for even six months seriously disturbed the monkey’s development o Second group were placed in cages with artificial ‘mother’made of wise mesh and a wooden head with the nipple of a feeding tube where the breast would be; monkeys survived but were unable to interact with others when placed in a group o Third group isolated with an artificial mesh ‘mother’covered with soft terry cloth’each monkey would cling to its ‘mother’closely and showed less developmental damage than earlier groups Freud’s Elements of Personality ­ Id: human being’s basic drives ­ Ego: person’s conscious efforts to balance innate pleasure-seeking drives with demands of society ­ Superego: the cultural values of norms internalized by an individual ­ As the superego develops, the child learns the moral concepts of right and wrong ­ The id and superego remain in conflict, but in a well-adjusted person, the ego manages these two opposing forces Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development 1. Sensorimotor stage: the level of human development at which individuals experience the world only through their senses - First two years of life 2. Pre-operational stage: the level of human development at which individuals first use language and other symbols - Two-six years old - Identify a toy as their favorite but not what kind of toys they like 3. Concrete operational stage: the level of human development at which individuals first see causal connections in their surroundings - Seven-eleven years old - Focus on how and why things happen 4. Formal operational stage: the level of human development at which individuals think abstractly and critically - Age 12; begin to reason abstractly Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development - Preconventional level of moral development: rightness amounts to what feels good to me - Conventional: teen years; young people lose some of their selfishness as they learn to define right and wrong in terms of what pleases parents and conforms to cultural norms - Postconventional: people move beyond their society’s norms and consider abstract ethical principles Gilligan’s Theory of Gender and Moral Development - Compared the development of boys and girls - Boys have justice perspective, they rely on formal rules to define right and wrong - Girls have care and responsibility perspective, judging a situation with an eye toward personal relationships Mead’s Theory of the Social Self - Developed a theory of social behaviorism to explain how social experience develops an individual’s personality - Self: the part of an individual’s personality composed of self-awareness and self- image 1. Self is not there at birth, it develops 2. Self only develops with social experience 3. Social experience is the exchange of symbols 4. Seeking meaning leads us to imagine the intention of others 5. Understanding intention requires imagining the situation from the other’s point of view 1. Looking-glass self: a self image based on how we think others see us 6. By taking the role of the other, we become self-aware - As children learn to use language and other symbols, the self emerges in the form of play; play involves assuming roles modeled on significant others - Gradually, children learn to take the roles of several others at once - Generalized other: widespread cultural norms and values we use as a reference in evaluating others Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development 1. Infancy: the challenge of trust vs. mistrust - Between birth and 18 months - Establish a sense of trust that their world is a safe place 2. Toddlerhood: challenge of autonomy vs. doubt and shame - Up to age three - Learn skills to cope with the world in a confident way 3. Preschool: challenge of initiative vs. guilt - Four and five year olds must learn to engage their surroundings including people outside their family 4. Pre-adolescence: challenge of industriousness vs. inferiority - Ages 6-13 - Either feel proud of their accomplishments or fear that they do not measure up 5. Adolescence: challenge of gaining identity vs. confusion - During teen years, young people struggle to establish their own identity 6. YoungAdulthood: challenge of intimacy vs. isolation - Challenge for young adults is to form and maintain intimate relationships with others 7. Middle Adulthood: challenge of making a difference vs. self absorption - Challenge of middle age is contributing to the lives of others in the family, at work, and in the larger world 8. OldAge: challenge of integrity vs. despair - People hope to look back on what they have accomplished with a sense of integrity and satisfaction - The family is the most important agent of socialization because it is the centre of the child’s life - The family also confers social position on children – that is, parents not only bring children into the physical world but also place them in society in terms of race, ethnicity, religion and class - Schooling enlarges children’s social world to include people with backgrounds different from their own - As they encounter people who differ from themselves that children come to understand the importance of factors such as race and gender - School is also the first experience of bureaucracy for most children - Peer group: a social group whose members have interests, social position, and age in common - Peer groups also offer the chance to discuss interests that adults may not share or permit with their children (music, clothing, sex, drugs, etc.) - Anticipatory socialization: learning that helps a person achieve a desired position - Mass media: means for delivering impersonal communications to a vast audience - Average Canadian watches 21 hours of TV per week - Years before children learn to read, young children watch about 14 hours per week - Strong link between aggressive behavior and the amount of time schoolchildren spend watching TV and using video games Socialization and the Life Course - Childhood 1. Concept of childhood not in biology but in culture 2. In rich cultures, not everyone has to work so childhood can be extended to allow time for young people to learn the skills they will need in a high-technology workplace - Adolescence 1. We generally link adolescence to the teenage years with emotional and social turmoil as young people struggle to develop their own identities 2. Most young people from working-class families move directly from high school into the adult world of work and parenting 3. Teens from wealthier families have the resources to attend college or university, stretching adolescence into the late twenties or even thirties - Adulthood 1. The time when life’s major tasks, such as establishing a career and raising a family are accomplished 2. During early adulthood until about age 40, young adults learn to manage day by day affairs for themselves, often juggling conflicting priorities 3. In middle adulthood (40-60) one’s circumstances are well set and people become more aware of the fragility of health 4. Growing older means facing a physical decline, a prospect that our culture makes especially painful for women - OldAge 1. Comprises the later years of adulthood and the final stage of life itself, beginning in about the mid sixties 2. Involves leaving roles that provided both satisfaction and social identity 3. Retirement may be restful or rewarding, but it may mean the loss of valued activity and boredom - Death and Dying 1. In Canada the average lifespan is 79 (76 for males; 83 for females) 2. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described 5 distinct stages: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Negotiation 4. Resignation 5. Acceptance Resocialization: Total Institutions - Total institutions: a setting in which people are isolated from the rest of society and manipulated by an administrative staff - Resocialization: efforts to effect radical change in an inmate’s personality by carefully controlling the environment (prisons, psychiatric hospitals) - Two part process: 1. Staff breaks down the new inmate’s existing identity (stripped of personal items, shaving head, etc.) 2. Staff tries to build a new self in the inmate through a system of rewards and punishments (books, TV, etc.) - Over a long period of time, living in a rigidly controlled environment can leave some institutionalized, without the capacity for independent living Chapter 6 • Social interaction -The process by which people act and react in relation to others ◦ Social structure – Any relatively stable pattern of behavior ◦ Status- social position that a person holds ▪ status = "prestige" ▪ ex: Univ. President vs. TA ▪ George Simmel ▪ can deal with anyone but need to know who person is ◦ Status set – All the statuses held at one time ▪ over their lives, people have dozens of statuses ▪ Teenage girl: ▪ Daughter to her parents ▪ Sister to her brother ▪ Student at school ▪ Goalie on hockey team ◦ Ascribed status – The social position a person receives at birth or assumes involuntarily later in life ▪ (ex. Race, class, age group) ▪ little or no choice ◦ Achieved status –Asocial position a person assumes voluntarily that reflects personal ability and effort ▪ examples: ▪ Honor student ▪ Olympic athlete ▪ spouse ▪ computer programmer ▪ thief ▪ each status involves choice ◦ Master Status –Astatus that has exceptional importance for social identity for social identity, often shaping ones entire life. ▪ Occupation ▪ Recognizable family name (Trudeau, McCain, Desmarais) ▪ Gender ▪ Disease, disability ▪ Negative sense: ▪ serious disease acts as master status ▪ lifelong friends avoiding people with cancer, aids, etc ▪ simply don't know how to act/ what to say ▪ dehumanizing people with physical disabilities • • Role – Behavior expected of someone who holds a particular status ▪ ex: attending classes and completing assignments when holding student status ▪ statuses and roles vary by culture ▪ "uncles" are different in N.Avs. Vietnam ▪ Role set ▪ Anumber of roles attached to a single status ▪ (professor is a teacher, researcher, colleague) ▪ professor ▪ teacher + colleague role ▪ Mother ▪ civic + maternal role ▪ Researcher ▪ fieldwork + author role ▪ Wife ▪ Domestic + marital role ▪ Role conflict ▪ Conflict among the roles connected to two or more statuses ▪ when we find ourselves pulled in various directions as we try to respond to the many statuses we hold ▪ (ex. Police officer catches her own son using drugs) ▪ Role strain ▪ Tension among the roles connected to a single status ▪ ex. Manager who tries to balance concern for workers and task requirement ▪ professor being too friendly with his students, leads to unfair assessment ▪ Role Exit ▪ the process by which people disengage from important social roles • • The Social Construction of Reality ▪ process by which people creatively shape reality through social interaction ▪ meaning social interaction amounts to negotiating reality ▪ one are of personal decisions restructuring social reality is that of family formation ▪ 1970 and 1995 the proportion of first unions that were common-law rose from 17-57 percent across Canada ▪ 21-80% in QC ▪ 8/10 chose to cohabit ▪ people choosing to evolve marriages this way while disregarding same sex marriages ▪ The Thomas Theorem ▪ W.I. Thomas ▪ Situations we define as real become real in their consequences ▪ (ex. Interaction with someone and you perceive them as not liking you, you will act in a way that makes them not like you) ▪ (a teacher who believes a certain student to be intellectually gifted may well encourage exceptional academic performance) ▪ reality, although created by our interaction, has real effects and consequences ▪ Ethnomethodology ▪ Harold Garfinkel 1967 ▪ The study of the way people make sense of their everyday surroundings (comments and gestures) ▪ (ex. breaking the rules about responding to “How are you?”) ▪ gf holding bf hand from the front ▪ Reality Building: Class and Culture ▪ Interests and social background affect our perceptions ▪ People who live in different parts of a city experience it in different ways ▪ People around the world have different realities ▪ (short walk in canada means a few blocks vs. mountains in peru = few km's ▪ build reality from surrounding culture ▪ DramaturgicalAnalysis ▪ The study of social interaction in terms of theatrical performance ▪ Erving Goffman ▪ "directors observing the theatre of everyday life ▪ (Front self, the way society sees you vs. Back self, the way only specific people see you) ▪ each individual's "performance" is the presentation of self ▪ The Presentation of Self / Impression management- ▪ Apersons efforts to create specific impressions in the minds of others ▪ Example of going to Dr. ▪ overall message of performance is that Dr will help you, but you must let him take charge ▪ Performances ▪ are the way we present ourselves to others ▪ conscious-intentional action ▪ unconscious- non verbal communication ▪ include: ▪ costume- way we dress ▪ props- objects we carry ▪ manner- tone of voice & gestures • Non-Verbal communication: ▪ Gender & Performances ▪ Idealization ▪ Communication using body movement, gestures and facial expression rather than speech ▪ Demeanour ▪ with greater social power, men have more freedom in how they act ▪ powerful people enjoy more freedom in how they act ▪ Use of space ▪ men command more space than women ▪ sitting on bench ▪ pacing back and forth before audience ▪ more power you have, more space you use ▪ culture measured femininity by how little space women use up (daintiness) ▪ masculinity on how much territory man controls ▪ Personal Space ▪ the surrounding area over which a person makes some claim to privacy ▪ if women enters mans personal space, interpreted as sexual intent ▪ Staring & touching ▪ men to women ▪ men rarely touch men in N.A ▪ Smiling ▪ as a way to please each other, more common from women ▪ due to society being dominated by men ▪ of performances means we try to convince others that our actions reflect ideal culture rather than selfish motives ▪ ex: professions that say they are doing it for greater good; don't talk about salary, compensation, benefits, etc. ▪ use many parts of body to convey info- body language ▪ hand gestures ▪ eye contact is a key element to non-Verbal communication ▪ Body language and deception: ▪ Unintended body language can contradict our planned meaning ▪ We construct performances to idealize our intentions ▪ Embarrassment ▪ Discomfort following a spoiled performance, ▪ Goffman, embarrassment is "losing face" ▪ temporarily losing some of the prestige associated with a status ▪ audience often overlooks a flaw in performance ▪ which allows for avoided embarrassment ▪ ex: "excuse me sir, you're fly is down" ▪ Tact – is helping someone save face ▪ Goffmann, although behavior is often spontaneous it is more patterned than we think. ▪ ex: "you didn't just say that, did you.." when someone says something stupid ▪ saving an embarrassing moment because it is awkward for both parties • Interaction in Everyday Life: ThreeApplications ▪ Emotions ▪ the social construction of Feeling ▪ what we do matters less than how it makes us feel ▪ Paul Ekman- 6 basic emotions: ▪ happiness ▪ sadness ▪ anger ▪ fear ▪ disgust ▪ surprise ▪ allow us to create interaction/ form connections ▪ biologically rooted into our bodies (facial expressions) ▪ culture determines trigger for emotion ▪ when to be happy, insulted, sad ▪ provides rules for display of emotions ▪ kids express emotions to parents but not other way around ▪ express emotions at home more than on the job ▪ Language ▪ the social construction of Gender ▪ defines men & women differently in terms of power and value ▪ buying a motorcycle: ▪ "isn't she a beauty" ▪ shows a sense of ownership for men to talk like that ▪ women taking mens last names ▪ in QC it is different ▪ "hysterical" comes from latin hystera meaning "uterus" ▪ virtuous meaning morally worthy or excellent comes from vir= man ▪ Reality Play (HUMOUR) page 140 ▪ the social construction of Humour ▪ using humour is playing with reality ▪ FOUNDATION OF HUMOUR ▪ arises as people create and contrast two different realities ▪ conventional: ▪ what people in a situation expect ▪ unconventional: ▪ unexpected violation of cultural patterns ▪ joke is well told if teller creates sharpest possible opposition b/t realities ▪ key to humour lies in collision of realities (punch line) ▪ THE DYNAMICS OF HUMOUR: "GETTING IT" ▪ to "get" humour = understand conventionalAND unconventional realities well enough to appreciate the difference ▪ complex ex: ▪ Q: "What do you get if you cross an insomniac, a dyslexic, and an agnostic?" ▪ A: "A person who stays up all night wondering if there is a dog" ▪ Must know: ▪ insomniacs can't sleep ▪ dyslexics reverse letters ▪ agnostic doubts God's existence ▪ our enjoyment of joke is increased with "getting it" ▪ makes us an "insider" ▪ if not, fear of being judged stupid ▪ excluded from shared pleasure ▪ THE TOPICS OF HUMOUR ▪ smiling and laughing (Humour) is universal element of human culture ▪ jokes don't travel well however due to different cultures ▪ Newfie's, Quebecers, Inuit,Albertans, all have different brand of humour ▪ for everyone: ▪ topics that lend themselves to double meanings or controversy generate humour ▪ controversy usually walks a fine line in humour b/t what is funny and what is "sick" ▪ ex: outrunning your buddy, not the bear joke ▪ "humours" latin word humidus meaning moist ▪ 4 bodily fluids thought to regulate temperament, and therefore their health ▪ confirming: ▪ "Laughter is the best medicine" ▪ some jokes aren't worth making ▪ 9/11 attacks ▪ THE FUNCTIONS OF HUMOUR ▪ found everywhere b/c works as safety valve for potentially disruptive sentiments ▪ masking seriousness to discuss sensitive topics ▪ "it was just a joke! I didn't mean it!" = easy way to diffuse situation ▪ Making jokes to avoid awkward situation ▪ ex: making joke with doctor to ease own nervousness ▪ as Canadians- we use humour to express our common identity ▪ laughing at ourselves or putting ourselves down = reinforce common bond ▪ Michael J. Fox- Maclean's magazine "As Canadian as…." to counterbalance "As American as apple pie" ▪ Winner = "As Canadian as possible under the circumstances" ▪ Jokes play on Canadian insecurity about who we are ▪ "Canada is a nation without a punch line" ▪ HUMOUR AND CONFLICT ▪ Humour may be source of pleasure ▪ can also be used to put down others ▪ men making jokes about women typically are expressing hostility towards them ▪ gay jokes reveal tensions about sexual orientation ▪ real conflict can be masked by humour in situations where one or both parties choose not to bring the conflict out into the open ▪ "Put-down" joke make one category of people feel good at expense of another ▪ Christie Davies (1990) ▪ ethnic conflict is one driving force behind humour in most of the world ▪ FRE vs ENG in Canada ▪ Newfies in eastern Can ▪ Irish in England ▪ Sikhs in India ▪ Turks in Germany ▪ Kurds in Iraq ▪ Peter Berger (1997) ▪ ppl in cultural minorities turn jokes on themselves ▪ Jews jokes have become part of largerAmerican repertoire ▪ “jokes can summarize an often complex situation in wondrously economical ways, simplifying and illuminating and definitely providing some cognitive benefit.” (p.141- 142) ▪ Feelings of Quebecers believing they exist on an island of French in an English speaking ocean ▪ “little girl sees Virgin Mary and starts complimenting her in French, Mary replies: I don’t speak French." Chapter 7 SOCIALGROUPS • Asocial group is defined as two or more people who identify and interact with one another. • While we each have our own individuality, the "us" feeling that can only be achieved in social groups is central to our existence as human beings. • Not all collections of individuals are social groups. People who share a status in common are defined as a category, but the vast majority never interacts with one another. E.G. A bunch of teachers. • Acrowd is a temporary cluster of individuals who may or may not interact. • Ordinarily they are too transitory to qualify as a social group, although occasionally they may become group-like. Primary and Secondary Groups • Charles Horton Cooley studied the extent to which people have personal concern for each other in social interaction settings. • He distinguished between primary and secondary groups. • Primary groups are defined as a typically small social group in which relationships are both personal and lasting. • They are characterized as ends in and of themselves, they are critical in the socialization process, and members are considered unique and not interchangeable. - spend time together, wide range of activies together, know each other well, prividdes a sense of security + identity. • Secondary groups are defined as large and impersonal social groups usually based on a specific interest or activity. o They are typically short term with narrowly defined relationships and are seen as a means to an end. The distinction in real life is not always as clear as these definitions might suggest. - e.g. students in a large class (don’t all know eachother, status of student, moving in and out of secondary groups all day) - weak emotional ties and little personal knowledge of eachother - only occasionally think of themselves as “we” - what YOUARE, what you CAN DO are important Group Leadership • Leadership plays a critical role in group dynamics. Secondary groups are more likely to identify formal leaders. • Two Leadership Roles o Research reveals that there are usually two types of leaders in social groups. Instrumental leadership refers to group leadership that emphasizes the completion of tasks. - instruments allow you to do something. E.g. student using pencil. In this case, WEARE the instruments o Expressive leadership emphasizes collective well-being. This differentiation is
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