Textbook Notes (362,895)
Canada (158,081)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA01H3 (480)
Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1 notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Andrew Mc Kinnon

CHAPTER 1 - social relations powerfully influence suicide rates - sociology > improve social world - suicide > individual v.s society and patterns of social relations - suicide rates varied as a result of differences in the degree of social solidarity - Durkheim: high solidarity groups have lower suicide rates than low solidarity groups o More beliefs and values a group’s members share > the more they interact > more social solidarity - married adults less likely than unmarried - women less likely > women are more involved in the intimate social relations of family life - Jews are less likely than Christians > persecution turned them into a group that’s defensive and tightly knit - Elderly ppl more likely > lonely - Level of social solidarity is now lower than a few decades ago (esp for young ppl) …young ppl in canada more likely to commit suicide than decades ago - Social structures = relatively stable patterns of social relations - 3 levels of social structure: o 1. Microstructures  patterns of intimate social relations  face-to-face interactions (families, friendship circles, and work)  weakly connected to > likely to know different groups of ppl  strength of weak ties o 2. Macrostructures  patterns of social relations that lie outside and above your circle of intimates and acquiantances  class relations, bureaucracies and patriarchy o 3. Global structures  international organizations, patterns of worldwide travel and communication, economic relations btw countries - Sociological Imagination = state of mind that enables a person to see the connection btw personal troubles and social structures [C. Wright Mills] - ^ 3 modern revolutions where Sociological Imaginations was born out of: o 1. Scientific Revolution:  conclusion that the workings of society must be based on solid evidence, not just on speculation  science of society was possible o 2. Democratic Revolution:  ppl are responsible for organizing society and that human intervention can therefore solve social problems  ppl could replace unsatisfactory rulers..ppl control society  much of S.I arose out of this revolution  ppl could intervene to improve society o 3. Industrial Revolution:  Presented social thinkers with a host of pressing social problems crying out for a solution - Auguste Comte & Herbert Spencer = coined and founder of word sociology; first social thinkers to assert that society operates on laws - Auguste > wanted to preserve traditions/ slow change - Herbert > societies were comprised interdependent parts just as biological organisms did (familes, governments, economy) ; society evolves same way species do; known as Social Darwinism - Theory = tentative explanations of some aspect of social life that state how and why certain facts are related o Hunch qualifies as a theory if it suggests how and why facts are related o Theories are only tentative explanations - Research = process of carefully observing social reality, often to “test” a theory or asses its validity - Values are ideas about what is right and wrong Functionalism: 1. stress that human behavior is governed by relatively stable patterns of social relations or social structures 2. show how structures maintain or undermine social stability 3. emphasize that social structures are based mainly on shared values or preferences 4. suggests that re-establishing equilibrium can best solve most social problems - Durkheim says: if more ppl could agree on wanting less, social solidarity would rise and there would be fewer strikes, fewer suicides *Main question: how do the instiutions of society contribute to social stability? *Image of Ideal Society: A state of equilibrium Functionalism in North America: - Talcott Parsons > functionalism > identifying how various institutions must work to ensure the smooth operation of society as a whole > argued that society is well integrated and in equilibrium - Robert Merton > propose that social structures may have different consequences for different groups of ppl > consequences = dysfunctional o Some functions are manifest = visible and intended effects of social structures o Some are latent = are invisible and unintended effects of social structures o Dysfunctional consequences = are effects of social structures that create social instability Conflict Theory: Focuses on large macrolevel structures and show how major patterns of inequality in society produce social stability in some circumstances and social change in others 1. focuses on large macrolevel > class relations, patterns of domination, submission 2. shows how major patterns of inequality in society produced social stability in some circumstances and social change in others 3. stresses how members of privileged groups try to maintain their advantages while subordinate groups struggle to increase theirs 4. leads to the suggestion that eliminating privilege will lower the level of conflict and increase total human welfare - originated from Karl Marx - class conflict > center of his idea o = the struggle btw classes to resist and overcome the opposition of other classes - believed that workers would ultimately become aware of belonging to the same expl
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