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Sociology Textbook notes chpt.1

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCA01H3
Professor
Sheldon Ungar
Semester
Fall

Description
Sociology Textbook notes: Part1 Chapter 1: Sociological Compass The sociological perspective:  Suicide: o It is condemned by nearly everyone in society o It is typically committed in private o It is comparatively rare o Focus on their state of mind over society The sociological explanation of suicide:  More than just an individual act of desperation on that results from psychological disorder(EMILE DURKHEIM)  Social forces, strongly influence suicide rates  Four male suicide rate for every female suicide  Social solidarity: o The degree to which groups members share beliefs &values o The intensity & frequency of their interaction Durkheim’s Theory of Suicide:  Married adults are half as likely as unmarried couple to commit suicide o Marriage creates social ties and moral cement that bind the individual to society  Argued that suicide rate declines and rises as social solidarity increases Types of suicide:  Altruistic: o Suicide in high solidarity  Ex. Soldiers who knowingly give up their lives to protect comrades  Egoistic: o Suicide in low solidarity o poor integration of people into society because of weak social ties  Ex. someone who is unemployed is more likely to commit suicide  Anomic: o Suicide in low solidarity o When vague norms govern behaviour  Ex. People living in a society lacking a widely shared code of morality Suicide in Canada Today:  Men are more likely to commit suicide than women  The level of social solidarity has decreased than it was a few decades ago, especially for youth o Less rooted in society and to share moral standards(more chances to take their life) Box1.1: It’s your choice: Suicide & the Innu of Labrador:  The Canadians with the highest suicide rate are Aboriginal peoples  Innu most suicide-prone in the world  Over the past six decades, the Innu’s traditional norms and values have been destroyed  Prevented from participating in stable and meaningful patterns of social interactions o Social solidarity among the Innu has been cut to a dreadfully low level From personal Troubles to Social Structures:  Patterns of social relations affect your innermost thoughts feelings, influence your actions, and thus help shape who you are.  social relations is a level of social solidarity  Social Structure: are relatively stable patterns of social relations Three levels of social structure:  Microstructure: are the patterns of relatively intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interactions.  Ex. Families, friendship circles, and work associations  More likely to find a job faster if you understand “the strength of weak ties “in microstructural setting. Over someone you know able to get a variety of options.  Macrostructures: are overachieving patterns of social relations that lie outside and above your circle of intimates and acquaintances.  Ex. include classes of bureaucracies, and power systems, such as patriarchy  Patriarchy: is the traditional system of economic and political inequality between men and women  In a marriage when a spouse shares domestic responsibilities equally, they are happier and less likely to divorce(patriarchy)  Global Structures: are patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level.  Ex. International organizations, patterns of worldwide travel and communication, and the economic relation between countries  Figuring out ways to end world poverty The Sociological imagination:  Is the quality of mind that enables a person to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures Origin of the sociological Imagination:  The sociological imagination was born when three modern revolutions pushed people to think about society in an entirely new way  Scientific revolution: Sound conclusions of society must be based on solid evidence, not just on speculations(1550)  Democratic revolution: people are responsible for organizing society and that human intervention can therefore solve social problems(1750)  Industrial revolution: large scale application of science and technology to industrial processes, the creation of factories, and the formation of working class(1780s) Theory, Research, & Values:  Theories: are tentative explanations of some aspect of social life that state how and why facts are related.  Ex. Durkheim related facts about suicide rate to facts about social solidarity  A hunch qualifies as a theory  Research: is the process of a systematically observing reality to assess the validity of a theory  Ex. Durkheim collected suicide stats from various government agencies to see whether the data supported or contradicted his theory  Values: are ideas about what is good and bad, right and wrong  Ex. Durkheim, Marx, and Weber stood close to the origins of the major theoretical traditions in sociology: functionalism, conflict theory ,and symbolic interactionism Sociological Theory and Theorists: Functionalism:  Durkheim’s theory of suicide is an early example of what sociologists now call functionalism Four features: 1. They stress that relatively stable patterns of social relations, or social structure, govern human relations: a. Ex. Emphasizes on social solidarity influence suicide rates (E.D) 2. Functionalist theories show how social structures maintain or undermine social stability: a. Ex. analyzed how growth of industries an cities lowered the level of social solidarity and contributed to social instability, increase in suicide (E.D) 3. Emphasizes that social structure are based mainly on shared values and preference’s: a. Ex. Frequency and intensity of social interaction; social solidarity binds people together(ED) 4. Suggest re-establishing equilibrium can best solve most social problems: a. Ex. more people could agree on wanting less, social solidarity would rise and there would be fewer strikes, fewer suicides, and so on(E.D) Functionalism in North America:  Dysfunctional consequences: are effects of social structures that create social instability  Manifest functions: are visible and intended effects of social structure  Ex. school is to transmit skills from one generation to the next  Latent functions: are invisible and unintended effects of social structures  Ex. school is to encourage the development of spate youth culture that often conflict with parent values Conflict Theory:  Conflict Theory: generally focuses on large macro level structures and shows how major patterns of inequality in society produce social stability in some circumstances and social changes in others  Ex. Eliminating privileges will lower the level of conflict and increase human welfare Marx:  Class Conflict: is the struggle between classes to resist &overcome the opposition of other classes  Ex. Moving up a level in classes (working class, etc.) Symbolic Interactionism:  Protestant Theory: is the belief that religious doubts can be reduced, and a state of grace ensured, if people diligently and live ascetically (Weber)  Symbolic Internationalism:  Focus on interpersonal communication in micro level social settings distinguishes it from both functionalist and conflic
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