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Chapter 22

SOC101Y1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 22: Social Statics, Human Conditions, Social Inequality

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Christian O.Caron

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Hybrid communities on borders of sociology - economics, etc.
Product of particular human conditions
Looking at world around us, through sociological eye
World is arena of discovery
Everything can become a larger clue to society
“The Sociological Eye,” in Commit Sociology, vol 2 p355-357
Makes sense of human action, what they think / feel as it appears in
particular historical, cultural, economic, social context
Our relations with other people not only create opportunities for us to
think and act, but also set limits on thoughts and actions
What accounts for regular patterns, factors that impact individuals and
groups to act and think the way they do
Agency: ability of individuals to make choices
Structure: how our social locations enable or constrain types of
opportunities we have / influences choices
Inequalities are the outcomes of decisions made by families and
individuals -> responsible for own lives / actions
World entirely made of agency, no structure
Neoliberal subject: idea that every subject as the same political,
economic, and social opportunities
Shares with economics, philosophy, politics, psychology, history,
Concerned with real (ontology) and knowledge (epistemology)
Sociology and other Fields
Structure and Agency
Enlightenment: people could use their reason to shape history
Knowledge obtained through scientific method
Need for increased knowledge about the workings of individuals
and groups
Democratization: power to citizens to affect the makeup of society in
new ways
Comte: term "sociology" - sociology is a science that should investigate
elements of social order that hold societies together over time (social
statics) and element of conflict and change
What factors hold society together? --> social solidarity, social ties
that bind people to one another
Evolved from being based on shared moral beliefs / values to
specialized division of labour - creates interdependence
Durkheim: interested in social order / stability
Each historical period is defined by different types of confrontation
between those with and without power
Marx: focused on explaining historical change / conflict
Politics and religion - process of rationalization and growing
dominance of bureaucracies as forms of social organization
Emergence of Sociology
Into Sociology (stand-alone chapter)
Reading 2.11: Commit Sociology
April 5, 2017
12:00 PM
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dominance of bureaucracies as forms of social organization
What motivates individuals to act as they do
Interaction is key to understanding society
Society is a process rather than a product, something individuals
do and are influenced by each other
Emerged to explain / understand / affect industrialization,
Industrialization: process by which society moved from agriculture-
based to manufacturing and service based economy
Urbanization: how an increasing proportion of individuals came to
live in cities rather than rural areas
Secularization: how secular institutions came to take over certain
functions formerly performed by religious institutions
Rationalization: social interaction / institutions are increasingly
governed by methodical procedures and calculable rules, values,
traditions and emotions are displaced by bureaucracy
Globalization: an increasingly homogenous world where a certain
set of values / ideals are replacing previously distinct economic,
political, and cultural practices
Sociology for a Changing World
Risks created by innovation elude control and protective
institutions of industrial society
Risk society - society's main concerns have shifted from production
and consumption of goods to regulation and allocation of "bads" -
Generally accepted ways of doing things which consistently
influence attitudes and behaviours
Taken for granted habits / practices
Depend on how widely people accept them, how much they are
enforced, and how they are transmitted
"feeling rules" how some behaviours come to be defined as
unwelcome or punishable
People's sense of self (qualities, beliefs, conduct)
"impression management" - attempting to influence the way
others see us
Vertical mosaic, meaning that ethnic groups are vertically
arranged according to income, power, and prestige
Virtually everything in society is gendered - integral part of daily
"doing gender" - all conscious and unconscious activities that
people undertake to manage their conduct in a manner that is
consistent with what is considered appropriate
Anything from personal appearance and grooming to demeanor
and disposition, interests and tastes
West and Zimmerman
Learned from social environment
Sex: not innate, but something we learn in adulthood
Mass media helps to shape vision of the world, values
Sociological Inquiries
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