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SOCA01H3 (480)
Chapter 1

SOCA01 Week 1 - Notes Chapter 1.docx

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Sheldon Ungar

Sociology Notes – Byrm Chapter 1 pg. 1 - 16 Week 1 Readings Introduction  New Brunswick 1950 – common for Aboriginal women to be hired to clean homes  Aboriginal – Creator of the World – Gluskap  The New World – a Native population, rich in resource  European rulers wanted to control the New World to increase their power and importance  Christians – see New World to spread their religion  Our New World is one of instant long-distant communication, global economies and cultures, weakening nation-states, and technological advances that often make the daily news seem like reports from a distant planet.  AIDS is now the leading cause of death in Africa  500 years ago, the early European explorers of North and South America set themselves the task of mapping the contours of the New World. Theirs physical and ours social. Their maps our geographical and ours are sociological  Sociological maps – Wright Mills – allows us to grasp the interplay of people and society, of biography and history The Goals of This Chapter  Social relations powerfully influence suicide rates  Sociological research has been motivated by a desire to improve the social world  Today, we’re witnessing massive and disorienting social changes The Sociological perspective  Suicide appears to be antisocial and non-social act,  suicide is condemned by nearly everyone in society, typically committed in private comparatively rare The Sociological Explanation of Suicide  end of 19 century, Emile Durkheim (1951) – suicide more than just an individual cat of desperation that results from a psychological disorder. Social forces strongly influence suicide rates  suicide rates tend to be high where rates of psychological disorder are high  suicide rates and rates of psychological disorder did not vary directly and vary inversely because of the difference in the degree of social solidarity  Social solidarity – refers to the degree to which group members share beliefs and nd values, and 2 the intensity and frequency of their interaction.  Durkheim – the greater the degree to which group members share beliefs and values, and the more frequently and intensely they interact, the more social solidarity the group exhibits the more firly ahchored individuals are to the social world and the less likely they are to take their own life  Suicide in high-solidarity settings – altruistic – ex. Soldiers  Suicide in low-solidarity settings is egoistic or anomic  Egoistic suicide – results from poor integration of people into society because of weak social ties. – ex. Unemployed  Anomic suicide occurs when vague norms govern behaviour – high rates among people living in a society lacking a widely shared code of morality  Women less likely to commit suicide because women are more involved in intimate social relations of family life  Jews less likely to commit suicide than Christians because they’re more defensive and tightly knit  Durkheim generalization tells us nothing about why a particular individual may take his or her life  A person’s likelihood of committing suicide decreases with the degree to which he or she is anchored in society Suicide in Canada Today  Suicide rates has been growing since 1950s because shared moral principles and strong social ties have eroded especially for Canada’s youth  Canadians attended religious services weekly in the 1960s, today below one-third  Unemployment is up  The rate of divorce has increased sixfold since the 1960s  The level of social solidarity is now lower than it was just a few decades ago From Personal Troubles to Social Structures  Patterns of social relations after your innermost thoughts and feelings influence your actions, and thus help shape who you are  Social structures – are relatively stable patterns of social relations.  Microstructures – are the patterns of relatively intimate social relations formed during
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