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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC102H1
Professor
Lorne Tepperman
Semester
Fall

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May 14 : Probs 1 Social Problems – Chapter 1 What is a social problem?  A condition/pattern of behavior that warrants public concern/collective action  What is sociology  Systematic study of societies  sociology is well- equipped to help us inform ourselves about current problems and their possible solutions  sociology is an engaged, progressive, and optimistic discipline founded on the notion that we can improve society through research and the application of research-based knowledge  No field is more likely than sociology to force us to make connections  sociology has always been about social change, social conflict, and social cohesion—and all of these are connected to social problems  Goal: use knowledge to improve social life ‘progress’ included indus- trialization and urbanization; inventions and scientific discovery; and exposure to new and different ideas and cultures. ‘Progress’ also meant the possibility of social improvement or social ‘amelioration’. Sociologists then believed that social life could be improved through the systematic study of social issues: by applying knowledge and expelling ignorance, superstition, prejudice, and blind custom. They believed deeply in the value of social research as the means for diagnosing social problems and for inventing and evaluating solutions. They believed that social change could be directed to good ends; that social con- flict could be resolved in just ways; and that the social order could be re- established around new principles of organization. Note that an objective of sociology is also to find and test natural laws about these sub- jective beliefs and their consequences. The rise of sociology itself coincided with the rise of modern societies There are two aspects to social problems 1) Objective Elements  Measurable features of a negative social condition (eg crime, sexual abuse, pollution)  This activity is based on a philosophical premise, sometimes called ‘positivism’, of a material reality we can perceive with our senses; and what we call ‘science’ is the systematic attemptto find and test natural laws through measurements of this reality. 2) Subjective Elements  Our evaluations of objective conditions and the processes that influence their evolution (eg moral labels)  and the accounts they give for these acts and situations. These moral or aesthetic judgements reflect people’s beliefs and tastes the beliefs become an aspect of social reality-Beliefs set in motion actions that have social consequences These ‘subjective’ aspects of social problems affect and reflect our emotional reactions to information we receive about the world. econd, our ‘subjective’ or emotional responses often lead to what we call the ‘social construction’ of social problems—including a search for vil- lains, moral panic, crusades for better behaviour, a demand for improved laws, and so on. A central feature in the social construction of social problems is called ‘claims- making’—a process by which people try to capture attention and mobilize public opinion around par- ticular problems and their solutions.\As we will see, our formulation of social problems is influenced both by changes in meas- urable reality and by changes in our perceptions of measurable reality. By bringing together the objective and subjective elements, we can define a social problem as both a condition—an empirically observed condition that threatens the well-being of a significant part of society—and a process—the sequence of events by which members of society come to see a condition as a social problem that warrants and needs collective remedial action.Sociological Imagination  C. Wright Mills  The ability to see connections between one’s life (micro events) and the social world (macro events)  This enables people to distinguish between personal troubles and public issue  This connection is made by closely analyzing reality at two levels o Microsociology: interactions between individ- uals in small groups. This approach studies people’s understanding and experience of social problems at the local, personal level o Macrosociology: major bureaucratic organization and social institutions It explores the ways that social trends occurring within major bureaucratic organizations and social institutions, such as the economy or the govern- ment, affect the population as a whole  The sociological imagina- tion makes a connection between the conditions of our personal lives and the larger social context in which we live. o Present unemployment results in part from so-called ‘globalization’, a process that sends high-wage Canadian jobs to low-wage counries. We need both levels of analysis for a proper understanding of social problems and to see that many private troubles are essentially public issues. Take the case of street youth, or homeless youth, written about in a classic work of sociology by John Hagan and Bill McCarthy (see Box 1.1). Hagan and McCarthy (1998) take a purely objective, positivistic approach to the study of homeless youth. They show no doubt whatever that (1) there are identifiable homeless youth they can study; (2) they can find out all the necessary facts about the lives of these homeless youth; and (3) they can devise explanations or theories about the reasons these young people live on the streets. This is sociology in the traditional, scientific manner. An alternative approach might be to ask the youth to give personal accounts of their homelessness, then analyze and compare their narratives to understand why some youth accounted for homelessness in one way, while others did so in another way. This is called a post-modern approach. Finally, Hagan and McCarthy might have carried out the study a different way: to determine the reasons why few people consider youth homelessness a major social issue, despite the efforts by some to raise public awareness about this issue. This is called a subjectivist or constructionist approach. As you can see, each approach would involve collecting and analyzing different kinds of information. our human efforts to improve society sometimes backfire no other century in human history combined as much technological progress with as much organized killing and environmental destruction as the twentieth century Those soci- ologists who study social problems often think of themselves as engaged in a moral enter- prise whose goal is to improve human societies through social change. Therefore, much of the sociological research on social problems is guided by seven value preferences (Alvarez, 2001): • life over death; • health over sickness; • knowing over not knowing; • co-operation over conflict; • freedom of movement over physical restraint; • self-determination over direction by others; • freedom of expression over restraint of communication. much of the research on social problems simply criticizes the existing social order. Much of the social problems literature aims at change society, to protect the vulnerable and redress the injustices done them. Sociologists identify the social-structural conditions that make people vulnerable to these so-called personal troubles we find the media turning ‘public issues’ into ‘private troubles’. Durkheim, over a century ago in his classic study, Suicide, pointed out that a lack of social integration and social control are likely to cause great men- tal distress. Sociologists also identify social-structural factors that increase the likelihood of prob- lem behaviours—indeed, sequences or cascades of problem behaviours As sociologists, we need to study these problems and find ways of preventing them—controlling them at their source—since efforts to correct them later have proved largely unsuccessfu Social ‘reality’  conditional and temporary  Social reality is a social construct, a set of ideals, beliefs and views that are flexible and open to interpersonal influence  People’s subjective view of reality, not reality itself shapes behavior These stories—however imaginary—lead to actions that are real in their consequences. Thomas dictum: when people define a situation as real, the situation will be real in its effects. Stated another way, people’s subjective view of reality—not reality itself—shapes their behaviour. at least some of the supposed social problems we will discuss are not real problems—they are merely ‘social constructions’ because Lying has become full- time professional work for many of the most financially successful people in our society Social Contructionism:  A sociological research approach that examines the ways people interact to create a shared social reality.  An approach to understanding the subjective aspect of reality  rests on a sociological theory of knowledge stated by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann in their book The Social Construction of Reality Moral entrepreneurs  Those who classify social problems and try to make a change  people who ‘discover’ and attempt to publicize deviant behaviours.  Moral entrepreneurs are crusading reformers who are disturbed by particular types of evil they see in the world and who will not rest until something is done to correct the problem Claims – Making  Anything people do to propagate  involves the promotion of a particular moral vision of social life and, thus, is anything people do to propagate a view of who or what is a problem and what should be done about it.  a procedure that describes, explains, and blames people who are involved with the problem, Often, the social construc- tion of reality involves the work of moral entrepreneurs—elites, interest groups, or even community leaders, who stereotype and classify some situations as problems. Constructing problems also involves claims-making, Berger and Luckmann argue that all know- ledge—including the most taken-for- granted knowledge of everyday life—is created, pre- served, and spread by social interaction. According to the social constructionist approach, any idea, however natural or obvious it may seem to the people who accept it, is an invention of a particular culture or society. Symbols  Gestures, artifacts, and words that represent something else. Roles  The specific duties and obligations expected of those who occupy a specific social status. George Herbert Mead (1934), who wrote that children learn to interact with others by learning a system of symbols, including language, which allows them to share and negotiate meanings among those who share the system. Using shared meanings, they can play together, perform complementary roles, and relate to the social group as a ‘general- ized other’. For Mead, this ability is the basis of all social order. Shared meanings (including shared symbols) make social interaction possible, and interaction allows people to co-oper- ate and influence one another. Social life, for Mead, is the sharing of meanings—that is, the co-operative (social) construction of reality. Erving Goffman: Social life is a set of scripted, directed performances. Inside our social roles we find and express (or hide and protect) our ‘true’ identities. In the view of social constructionists, human beings react not to physical objects and events themselves, but to the shared meanings of these objects and events. The shared mean- ings are not essential features of the objects and events, but are socially imposed or con- structed meanings. The meaning of anything, including a social problem, is the product of the dominant cultural and symbolic practices in a group or society. There are 4 basic assumptions made  The world does not present itself objectively to the observer (but is known through human experience, which is largely influenced by language)  Historical and cultural specificity recognized (The language categories used to clas- sify things emerge from the social interactions within a group of people at a par- ticular time and in a particular place. )  Knowledge is sustained by social process ( How reality is understood at a given moment is determined by the conventions of communication in force at that time.)  Knowledge and social action go together (Within a social group or culture, reality is defined by complex and organized patterns of ongoing actions.) Social group:  A set of people, defined by formal or informal criteria of membership, who feel unified or are bound together in stable patterns of interaction. when people interact, they share their views of reality and act on these shared views. Through discussion, debate, and bargaining, people construct a shared common- sense knowledge of the world. Social constructionism looks at the ways people create and institutionalize social reality. And when people act on their shared knowledge of this ‘reality’, they reinforce it or lock it in. To think in those terms becomes habitual and seems natural, even unavoidable. organization that, unexplored, serve the interests of the dominant groups in society. In this respect, the method is intended to shift sociological research away from the interests of the most powerful to better serve people who are subject to the administra- tion of power. The result would be knowledge useful to anyone in challenging relations of domination. A useful variation of this social constructionist approach is institutional ethnography, a mode of inquiry designed by feminist sociologist Dorothy Smith and intended to help researchers explore the social organization of everyday knowledge. The purpose of this approach is to make the familiar strange and call into question taken-for-granted assump- tions about social A central means of performing this analytical exercise is by questioning the ways in which knowledge is used to manage institutional life—by defining the categories and conceptual frameworks of administration we all learn to use. Often, these categories and conceptual frameworks are not only inappropriate for most people’s everyday lives, they promote ideas about social order that serve the dominant institutions and not ordinary people. Nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of public discourse. The first job of institutional ethnography, then, is to deconstruct the language used to confuse and obscure public understanding of reality. Second, institutional ethnography aims to shine a light on taken-for-granted relations of power, to demystify the relations of ruling, and to point out ways that ruling relations can be modified to better serve ordinary people in everyday life. Do social problems only become real when attention is drawn to them? One goal of ruling classes is to generate social and moral concern about behaviours, such as dissent, they want to control. This means they are likely to use claims-making strategies to provoke intense feelings of pity, concern, and even fear. To bring a perceived problem onto the public agenda, claims-makers usually rely on com- mon rhetorical idioms and styles that reflect core cultural values. Often, the rhetoric used invokes certain types of risk avoidance as pre-eminent goals (Krinsky, 2008). popular perceptions today are more often shaped by media depictions than by firsthand experience; how the media depict a problem plays a crucial part in how the public will respond. For example, the media can influence public opinion by putting stories about a given ‘problem’ on the agenda for repeated discussion in news reports. As well, they can portray the alleged problem in sensational ways, with heroes and villains. Some media manipulation is more subtle, as brought to public attention in television ‘talk’ shows. From these shows, we are meant to infer community standards of behaviour—what is deemed by the talk show host to be ‘deviant’ and ‘normal’, ‘praiseworthy’ and ‘shocking’ is reinforced by the applause of the studio audience. Here, the hosts are moral entrepreneurs and claims-makers, but the audi- ence in the studio and in the home becomes the ‘court of public opinion’.Though moral panics, like fads, are short-lived, they sometimes leave a legacy of laws, stereotypes, cultural beliefs, or changed attitudes. Since our perception of social problems arises out of claims-making, and since claims- making is a social activity occurring within a specific historical context, we must understand social problems, and their construction, within their historical context. Whistle blower  are unusual claims-makers who gain credibility for speaking out contrary to their own immediate interests and those of their employer; but they lack the organizational power to promote their definitions of the social problem.  Employees in a bureaucratic organization who bring forward valid information about wrongdoing or illegal conduct by their organization and who are often punished for doing so. Framing a social problem in a particular way is especially important for influencing public opinion. Moral Panics:  Public expressions of feeling and attitude typically based on false or exaggerated perceptions that some cultural behaviour or group of people (frequently a minority group) is dangerously deviant and poses a menace to society. Some issues grow slowly and hold the public interest for a long time, two examples being domestic violence or school violence (Tanner, 2009). Others grow quickly, peak, and quickly lose public interest, for example, the alleged devil worship and satanic ritual that produced a flurry of concern in the 1990s. Sociologists refer to such short-lived, intense periods of concern as moral panics, and to the people responsible for these sensed threats as folk devils To understand the definitional dilemma, consider race relations and ask why, or under what conditions, racism might represent a social problem for Canadian society (Reitz, 2007a). Various problems might be linked to race relations. First, we might want to discuss unjust differences and inequalities between groups, and the fact that some groups exclude other groups from employment, housing, or social participation (Reitz, 2007b). These inequalities and exclusions are, if nothing else, a moral issue for Canadians, because they cause income inequalities, poverty, and demoralization. So, whenever we study a social inequality (like racism) and ask whether it is a social problem, we will want to decide whether it is exclusion- ary and the source of unjust differences. Second, the lack of intergroup contact, due to exclusion and racism, produces problems of isolation and limited information flow. Excluded people will be ‘out of the loop’, separated from mainstream society. This limits their knowledge about and access to good jobs. It also reduces the development of familiarity between members of the different groups—a source of friendship and mutual understanding known to reduce conflict. Thus, we may want to consider racism a social problem because it encourages separation, segregation, ignorance, fear, and conflict between groups. Third, problems associated with race relations might include second-order outcomes of segregation, exclusion, prejudice, and discrimination such as self-hate. People who suffer exclusion and stigmatization may feel inferior, since they are treated in an inferior manner. This we can view as a form of psychological disability—a way the host society disables vari- ous members of society, making them unwilling or unable to compete effectively for the ‘rewards’ of income, power, authority, and prestige (Moran, 2008). How can we tell if a social problem is real?  Are there differences/inequalities in the groups?  Is there exclusion?  Are there second-order outcomes? Effects:  income  inequalities,  poverty, and  demoralization  their knowledge about and access to good jobs  separation,  segregation,  ignorance,  fear, and  conflict between groups.  , prejudice, and  discrimination such as self-hate.  may feel inferior, since they are treated in an inferior manner.  reduced happiness and life satisfaction;  frustrated,  defeated, and  depressed.  mental illness—depression, for example.  criminal or revolutionary means.  retreat from life, into suicide, addiction, or blind, purposeless conformity to minimalist social expectations. a problem for Canadian society if we can show, with data, that they produce any or all of these outcomes. To put our findings in context, we also need to ask ourselves whether Canada’s problems are worse than those found in other societies, and if so, why? Are these problems unmanageable and get- ting worse, or manageable and getting better? Can these problems be avoided, and if so are Canadians taking suitable steps to avoid them? Social Problems are not the exclusive domain of sociologists natural and social sciences have brought their own unique understandings and perspectives to the study of social problems when we are seeking the truth, disciplines are not competing with one another. he study of social problems is best understood as a complementary, multi-level co- operative activity.  Biological Perspective: focus on genetic, hormonal, neurological factors-uncover the biological bases for socially harmful behaviour. To this end, they focus on individuals and on the genetic, hormonal, neurological, and physiological factors that contribute to their dysfunction in society.  Occasionally, biologists provide us with provocative new ways of thinking about the human condition. However, since they focus on (assumed) universal human traits, their theories are not helpful for explaining historical and cross-national variations.  Psychological Perspective: focus on cognitive, perceptual and effective processes  social psychologists, -study the ways in which social, cognitive, and emotional factors influence social action.  distinguish themselves from sociologists by limiting their research to the thoughts and personalities of individuals as they are influenced by and represented in a social context  , they tend to use experiments to study the influence of particular variables.  This focus on experimentation, rather than on surveys or field studies, is another defining difference between sociologists and psychologists.  insights are useful because we are influenced by cognitive, perceptual, and affect- ive factors. Nowhere is this recognized more clearly than in the symbolic interactionist and social constructionist approaches to social problems.  However, psychological studies—typ- ically carried out in laboratories using undergraduate subjects—tend to overlook the broad mix of social, cultural, and other contextual factors within which humans actually make their social decisions. The laboratory setting is chosen in hopes of controlling and/or testing one factor at a time, but it is far from natural.  sociological researchers focus on group relations and culture. Some prefer macroanalysis at the societal level and others concentrate on microanalysis at the small-group level. The two major macroanalytical approaches in sociology are the structural-functionaland conflict perspectives, while the major microanalytical approach is the symbolic inter- actionist perspective. Ways of looking at society  Structural Functionalism  A Theoretical paradigm emphasizing the way each part of society functions to fulfill the needs of society as a whole  views society as a set of interconnected elements that work together to preserve the overall stability and efficiency of the whole. Individual social institu- tions—families, the economy, government, education, and others—contribute to the func- tioning of the entire society.also called ‘functionalism’; a macrosociological approach that focuses on the societal, as opposed to the individual, level.  Everyone/everything has a function in society including poverty o Manifest Functions: Intended/easily recognizable: The visible and intended goals, consequences, or effects of social structures and institutions. o Latent Functions: Unintended/hidden from participants:Hidden, unstated, and sometimes unintended consequences of activities in an organization or institution. • Elements in society are interconnected and interrelated. According to functionalists, the cause of most social problems is a failure of institutions to fulfill their roles during times of rapid change. This social disorganization view of social problems holds that sudden cultural shifts disrupt traditional values and common ways of doing things. French sociologist Émile Durkheim (see, e.g., 1964 [1893], 1951 [1897], 1965 [1912]) introduced the term anomie, or normlessness, to reflect this condition in which social norms are weak or come into conflict with one another. Norms  The rules and expectations of the society pertaining to appropriate behaviours under various social circumstances. Norms regulate behaviour in different situations and large-scale norm violation often is viewed as a social problem—a problem occurs when traditionally normative behaviour is violated. • Well-functioning societies require value consensus, social cohesion, and social control. • Social change or inequality may create social disorganization and strain, and lead to deviance and crime. • Social problems occasionally strengthen social cohesion by renewing commitment to social boundaries. As traditional norms and relations break down, social control declines and people feel less tied to one another; and as a result they become more likely to engage in non-conforming, devi- ant types of behaviour (crime, drug use, and so on). The general solution to social problems, according to this perspective, is to strengthen social norms and slow the pace of social change.  Conflict Theory  Marx and Engels, emphasize conflict and change as the regular and permanent feature of society  Marx believed in two broad groups o Bourgeoisie: elite owners of the means of production o Proleriat: working class who must sell labour for wage o The capitalists use their great economic power and political influence to ensure that they remain in a position of domin- ance over the workers. o For the capitalist class to uphold its wealthy, privileged status, it must ensure that those below it in power do not have the opportunity—and if possible, even the desire—to encroach on bourgeois power. However, for the bourgeoisie to reap so much economic gain from the system, sizable minorities must live in abject poverty. This poverty of the working and unemployed classes produces conflict and despair. It also leads to many other social problems, including crime, drug use, homelessness, environmental pollution, domestic violence, and racism, as well as physical and mental health problems. o theorists also contend that workers in a capitalist system feel alienated from the processes and products of their labour, which are fragmented and specialized. Because they are powerless and stuck in narrowly defined jobs, they are unable to control or change the conditions of their work. In every sense, they are alienated—estranged—from their work, their fellow workers, the products of their work, and even from themselves. Moreover, they are alienated because they are exploited: denied a fair and just payment for the value they produce through their labour.  a macrosociological research approach that focuses on processes within the whole society.  has its roots in the basic division between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’.  criticize the structural-functionalist explanation of social problems,especially its assumption of consensus among members of society and its limited attention to power struggles and competing interests.  The conflict perspective instead views society as a collection of varied groups—especially, social classes—locked in struggle over a limited supply of assets and power.  argue that social problems stem mainly from the economic inequalities that exist between competing groups  •Conflict and change are basic features of social life.  • Social problems are a result of inequality, conflict, and change.  •Conflicting groups, classes, and individuals routinely struggle  for domination over others.  • The conflict between men and women is a basic feature of all societies  Critics of the Marxian conflict theory approach have noted that, historically, communist well, non-Marxist conflict theories argue that many social conflicts are based on non- class-based interests, values, and beliefs. They point out that the Marxist approach has overemphasized the importance of economic inequality at the expense of other types of inequality and social injustice based on race, gender, age, or other factors linked to inequality. While they recog- nize the value people place on differences in income and social class, proponents of these perspectives believe that other divergent interests and characteristics can also lead to conflict and oppression.  Symbolic Interaction  Paradigm that studies the processes by which individuals interpret and respond to the actions of others, and that conceives of society as the product of this continuous face-to-face interaction o Focuses on small group interactions (microsociological approach )Labeling theory: a social problem is only a social problem once it has been labeled -- labelling theory is a close cousin of the social constructionist view- point discussed earlier o ymbolic interactionist sees society as made up of the shared meanings, definitions, and interpretations held by interacting individuals. In studying social problems, followers of this perspective analyze how certain behaviours and conditions come to be defined or framed as social problems and how people learn to engage in such activities.  •Society is a product of continuous face-to-face interactions.  •Social problems are socially constructed.  •Problematic behaviours are socially learned and practised in social settings.  • Socialization and labelling shape deviant identities and subcultures.  social problems develop in stages. o social recognition, the point at which a given condition or behaviour o , social legitimating takes place when society and its various institutional elements formally recognize the social problem as a serious threat to social stability. o mobilization for action, marking the point at which various social organizations begin planning strategies for remedial action. o develop- ment and implementation of an official plan,  Critics of the symbolic interactionist perspective argue that social problems may exist even when they are not recognized as problems.  Population Health Perspectives  Approach to health with goals of reducing health inequalities  Population health is a sensitive global measure of how well a society is working. • All common social inequalities have significant health consequences. • Social problems are revealed by declines in population health. • The goal in dealing with social problems is always to avoid and reduce harm.  Because of complex interactions among the determinants of health, the population health perspective employs a multidisciplinary approach to theory and research-- it com- bines insights from various government divisions, such as health, justice, education, socialservices, finance, agriculture, and environment, with input from such academic fields as medicine, social work, psychology, cultural anthropology, and sociology. Often, the cause of social problems is a failure of institutions to fulfill their roles during times of rapid change, as functionalists suggest. However, sociologists who support competing explanatory approaches hotly debate this view. In particular, conflict theorists insist that social inequal- ities are the key to understanding social problems. May 16 : Points 9 Starting Points- Chapter 9: Classes and Workplaces  The satisfaction people feel from their work depends on what they want to get out of their work and what they are expecting.  Class: a group of people who share the same relationship to the means of production or to capital (Marx) or a group of people who share a common economic situation based on income, property , authority, etc. (Weber).  Marx→ conflict between classes is an inherent problem for capitalism  Durkheim→ conflict between classes in inherent in industrialism  In our age of capitalism it’s the managers and directors who control capital, not the owners.  Also, state institutions exercise a lot of power in society  Marx → capitalism alienates workers. They become isolated and estranged from the products they make, their co-workers and sometimes even themselves. The anger employees feel can be channelled to other places (violence against women, children, minority groups). Functionalism  Workplace inequalities translate into broader social and economic inequalities.  Functionalists argue that poverty and inequality have an important place in society.  In this case the inequality cause by capitalism is a “graded ladder” where people who are at different rungs have different jobs and incomes. Meaning that poverty is a way to motivate people to move up the ladder.  The jobs at the top of the ladder require the most education but have the most benefits.  Functionalists think that everyone needs work along with hope and love.  Work allows you to acquire material necessities for you and your family.  Work also allows you to satisfy your need (emotional) of wanting to be a productive and valuable member of society, to gain praise and recognition and to interact and co-operate with other people.  Work is a platform for social interaction, social solidarity and cohesion. It’s a place to work out your social and creative impulses. Critical Theory  Relies on ideas from Marx and Weber  Want to know “Who benefits from the way power is organized in society? (Especially the workplace).  In this theory, unemployment is a condition that is manipulated by the capitalists who run things. It allows them to boost profits  Marx→ capitalism is a cycle because you get burst of high productivity which leads to overproduction. Overproduction forces prices down and when prices go down the capitalists stop investing. When investment stops the economy slows causes a recession (where people lose their jobs)  Boom and bust cycle gives you periodic cycles of unemployment.  Reserve army of labour: the people who form the easily mobilized, easily disposable workforce that is at the mercy of the employers. (Their employment situation is like this because they are often unemployed and are therefore impoverished)  Marx→ class relations under capitalism cause all the conflict that happens between societies. Feminist theories  Have a critical analysis of the workplace but they note that women and men, whether of the same class or not, have quite different experiences at work.  Since women get paid less than men, capitalists profit more from the work that women do than from the work that men do.  This creates job dissatisfaction for women, a lack of job control and high rates of depression (and other psychological issues). Symbolic Interactionism  Want to know “ How the labels of wealthy and poor are constructed through social interaction”  Stereotype of the poor: minority member who relies on welfare instead of getting a job. Perhaps is involved in crime and spends their money on drugs, alcohol, etc.  Stereotype of the rich: greedy, snobbish, callous, wasteful. Most likely born into a family that was already well off.  Focus also put on what work and unemployment mean to individuals.  A lot of people see occupational titles as status symbols (basing their assessment on income) Social Constructionism  Ask “How did this arrangement emerge”  Contested Terrain: The Transformation Of The Workplace In The Twentieth Century (Edwards, 1979) tells us that management practices have changed, going from direct control to technological control to bureaucratic control.  Change in management strategies and ideologies is seen in the work that is done and the technology used at work.  Also interested in charting the changes in ideologies about work and the workplace.  ‘50s and ‘60s → worry was that work could become alienating. ‘70s and ‘80s→ concern was for exploitation of workers , computers replacing humans and the need for more leisure time. Labour and Monopoly Capital  Harry Braverman, 1974  Explored the evolution of capitalists over 2 centuries  Saw that works was becoming more degraded and “mindless”  Noted that the separation of skill and knowledge further degrades the meaning of work.  Developed 2 groups of employees needed: the small number of highly skilled employees whose time is valuable (white-collar) and the masses of people doing simple labour whose time is worth next to nothing (blue- collar).  The proliferation of clerical workers led to the application of scientific management techniques (standardization of techniques, subdivision of skills, freezing of pay levels) degraded work even further, even highly skilled jobs. Labour and Classes  Social class: the way people earn a living (Marxian version) or how much money and status people gain from their job (Weberian version).  Classes and the work that people do are fundamentally linked.  Bourgeoisie (the “haves”): the controlling class who owns the means of production (Marx).  Proletariat (the “have-nots”): the subordinate class who work for wages that come from the bourgeoisie (Marx).  Since the two classes have different interests they will always be in conflict, yet they are interdependent (they gain at the expense of each other).  Proletariat have to sell their labour to the bourgeoisie to earn the wages they need to survive. Bourgeoisie buy the labour and gain profit from the goods and services that are created.  But high prices, low wages and poor working conditions are bad for the health of the workers.  Marx → the class struggle is inevitable and never ending.  Class consciousness: a group’s awareness of their common class interest and their commitment to work together to attain collective goals. Very hard to attain because legislators who are sympathetic to businesses create laws that prevent or impede unionization.  Workers may also not want to work with people of different races, union leaders may not know how to best represent workers, etc.  False consciousness: a willingness to believe in ideologies that support the ruling class but that are false and disadvantageous to the working class interests.  Ideological reasons can prevent workers from seeing that they are being exploited.  Exploitations by the bourgeoisie has 3 principles (Wright, 1997), the inverse interdependence principle, the exclusion principle and the appropriation principle.  Inverse interdependence principle: economic well-being of capitalists depends on the economic deprivation and exploitation of workers because the share profits.  Exclusion principle: capitalists have to keep up pressure on workers by excluding them from access to productive resources (ex: capital to create their own businesses, limiting access to jobs, housing, etc.).  Appropriation principle: capitalists take advantage of the workers, taking (appropriating) their labour for a fraction of its worth.  Petite bourgeoisie: the lower middle class, a group of people who own the means of production on a small scale (ex: owners of small shops).  Don’t belong to working class or capitalists (as classified by Marx)  Parties (Weber): associations and organizations that give people economic power and influence (ex: political parties/ formations)  Status groups (Weber): sets of people who share a social position in society (ex: religion, ethnicity)  Weber thought people could gain power via parties and status groups, regardless of economic control.  Post-industrialism: economic system based more on services and information than on manufactured goods or primary production. The Organization of Work Today  Computers have positive and negative effects on work.  But people have to invent, use and fix technology at work.  Non-standard work arrangements: dead-end, low paying. Insecure jobs, a.k.a precarious employment. The fastest growing type of employment in developed countries. Employers have full control over the employment process.  Self-employment is also growing but many people who are self-employed are struggling to make a living in competitive markets because they have to work long hours with few to no employees while building a market share. The Division of Labour in Society  Emile Durkheim, 1933.  Moral evolution has resulted from our adjustment to a larger size, a more complex economy and our increased communication ability.  ‘Moral density” with the growth in division of labour.  2 factors associated with moral density: social volume (total # of people in a society) and material density (frequency of social connections).  Changes in social experience and social communication lead to changes in laws and social tolerance. Changes aren’t smooth though, they weaken the moral fabric that binds us to each other and society, can cause anomie (normlessness).  Without social cohesion and social support, we’re less productive, less secure and less fulfilled. Alienation and Collective Action  Marx saw the disconnection between new industrial workers and the detachment from their own lives as a result of capitalism. Called it alienation.  Workers feel alienated from their products they make, which makes them feel alienated from production (what they create is taken by the capitalists), themselves and finally other workers.  Seeman→ 5 dimensions of alienation: powerlessness, meaninglessness, normlessness, isolation and self-estrangement. Unions  Membership is usually higher in Canada than in the US.  Highly correlated with class awareness.  Give working people strength in numbers for negations about working conditions, job security, etc.  Unionization in decreasing overall but increasing in female-dominated sectors. The Culture of Poverty  Poverty is harmful in our society because it hints at personal failure.  Working poor: those who earn minimum wage.  Culture of poverty: includes a short sighted view of the future, an impulsive attitude and lack of self-discipline, a failure to participate in mainstream culture and accepting their marginalized status. Portrays the poor as naturally lazy/incapable. White Collar Crime  Edwin Sutherland, Principles of Criminology (1961).  Corporations that are convicted of offences have usually offended before.  White collar crimes are deliberate and organized. Moderns Forms of Capitalism  Managers are the ones who have control.  Doctors, civil servants, judges, elected officials, etc. also hold large amounts of power.  Knowledge, expertise and capital are important inputs to wealth production and state craft.  The people mentioned above are part of “the upper middle class”.  Not all inequality is due to exploitation, some comes from inadequate finance laws, tax structure, etc. The Relationship Between Class and Health  The Hidden Injuries of Social Class, Sennett and Cobb (1977).  Class warfare hurts the body and spirit.  Poverty and inequality lead to stress which causes illness. Risk is higher for those living in extreme poverty?  Stress and poverty amplify pre-existing health problems and are manifested in physical illness food, lack of shelter and suitable food, exposure to violence, etc.  The same is seen in those on welfare and those with homes that are unemployed.  Jobs like being a waiter are the works because they are high stress low control jobs.  Job hierarchy is associated with health and longevity. Better jobs= better health. (Whitehall Studies) Social Class and Crime  Crime is an innovation aimed at solving the problem of the gap between ends and means (Merton, 1957).  We are socialized to desire fame and wealth.  White collar criminals are the real innovators, getting friendly, uninformed people to help them with their crimes.  Gerhard Lenski’s work (The Religious Factor, Power and Privilege, Human Societies: An Introduction to Macrosociology) argues that the concentration of power controls the concentration of material wealth.  We see “high Gods” in developed societies and ‘moral Gods” in herding and agrarian societies.  Stress leads to health problems, decreased enjoyment of life, distrust of others and the government and diminished participation in social life. May 16 : RS 7 Chapter 7: What a girl wants, what a girl needs: examining cultural change and ideas about gender equality in relationship self-help  Advice books reflect and speak to the many cultural and structural changes o Changing gender relations, social structures, and ideologies  Sociologist disagree about the nature of relationship advice books’ content and their impact on intimate relationships  Relationships have changed profoundly in the past half century o Later marriage, cohabitation, more egalitarian (power/money), mixed ethnic and socio-economic background, loss of cultural stigma surrounding divorce, increase single-parenting  1960s-1970s o Optimism concerning changes in intimate life, broader social changes, and their impact on heterosexual relationships o Partners should be seen as equals, endorse exploration of new relationship forms, promote couples’ investments in ensuring women’s sexual satisfaction and the need for open and honest communication o Encourage women’s movement and financial independence, break away from tradition  1980s-mid 1990s o Cautionary tales of being burned o Emphasize on the relationship of the self with self, promotion of women’s self-love above all relationship concerns, a vocabulary of dysfunction and pathology for framing relationship challenges , caution to women vis-à-vis emotional investment in relationships and greater sexual conservatism o Stress that a willingness to get to know and love oneself better is a prerequisite to a willingness to fall in love o Women must be their own prince  Mid 1990s-late 2000s o Promote egalitarian relationships but emphasize the need for distinctly feminine and masculine personae within them o Voice displeasure at outcomes of the feminist movement/perceived erosion of family values o Promote romance (chivalry and male leadership) o Emphasize the importance of God, religion, and spirituality in intimate relations o Bracket broader structural issues affecting intimate relations, and considerable tension between authors’ insistence on men/women’s formal equality and their belief that men/women have different roles o Men must be ‘cheetah boy’: leading, providing, protecting o Women must be ‘creatures unlike any other’: hard to get, coy, nurturing  Discussion o The personal is political: even when books are ignoring social context, writing about relationships in individualistic terms, they are still shaped by broader social forced o Each cluster demonstrates tensions between progress/equality, tradition/inequality in gender relations o Cluster 1: alternative lifestyle, fertility dropped, new social movements, mixed promotion of continuity and change o Cluster 2: coincided with reactionary neo-liberalism in NA, women’s movement dropped, women’s work seen has necessity, HIV/AIDS appeared, in-vitro fertilization reduced women’s reliance on men o Cluster 3: political dominated by shift to the right, conservative views on the family were promoted, resilience of religious culture, mainstream promotion for post-feminist ideology, couples tried to move beyond traditional o Advice books always reflect changes in macro-level social structure and ideology May 16 : RS 10 Part 10: Inequality and Stratification: Introduction:  Inequality and stratification is the result of the unequal distribution of strategic resources.  The conditions of inequality are rarely random. They are socially constructed that are used to rank individuals in society; known as traits. o These traits can be biological or socially acquired, but these traits must be imbued with cultural meaning to be ranked.  The Four articles in this Section cover issues of: o 1. Pat Armstrong = distribution of material resources - neo-liberal policies increasingly impoverishing some while enriching others o 2. Jacqueline Kennelly = stratification of social power - the ability of those who are empowered to control and shape the lives of those who lack power o 3. Arlene Tigar McLaren and Sylvia Parusel = distribution of risk - traffic risks are disproportionately experienced by lower-income and female parents o 4. Carlo Fanelli and Justin Paulson = same theme as the 1st (Pat Armstrong)  Overall, this Part is a compilation of Critical Theorists because they are engaging the question "Who benefits from the current social order?" = look to Chp. 9 in Points p. 248 for a summary of Critical Theorists Pat Armstrong:  Key Words: o Pay equity = The term used in North America to refer to equal pay between men and women  "equal pay for equal value"  Is based on comparisons of work predominately done by women with work predominately done by men. It does not challenge the wages paid for men's jobs but does say that women's jobs should be paid on the same basis as men's jobs. It assumes that legislation applied to all employers can create a level playing field.  This failure to challenge the assumed market determination of men's jobs has been one reason some feminists have rejected pay equity strategies.  Key Point: -->Pay equity supports the continuing segregation of the labour force that leaves women doing women's work at women's wages. o Gender Wage Gap = A difference between a man and woman's fixed regular payment earned for work or services, typically paid on a daily or weekly basis.  Based on the notion of need, improved women's wages because women are the majority of those earning the lowest wages.  Minimum wage was introduced to address this, however it was not intended to create equity.  Summary: o historically, equal pay is focused on individuals where the responsibility is on the individual to take the risk of complaining and, if successful, the reward of higher pay is only given to that individual. The challenge was the intent of the employer had to be proven where the employer was not being given "equal pay for equal value." o the challenge was to have gendered wage difference legally recognized as systemic discrimination - discrimination that did not need proof of the employer's intent of discrimination of pay by gender o The main argument against Equal Pay is: it assumes that gendered division of domestic life is natural and does not need equal pay of the "heavier" work of a man's job. Where a women's "lighter" work of domestic cleaning does not merit the same pay as men's work. Thus, it does not separate gender from the workplace. Equal pay laws views the workplace and the individual together. o One argument against Equal Pay = women choose to take low-paying jobs and part-time, precarious employment due to a lack of need for money. o In contrast: Pay Equity does separate gender from the workplace. Pay equity is about the jobs NOT the individual. o To achieve pay equity, the process can't be left to unions alone. o Many women have entered self-employment in reaction to poor institutionalization of pay equity. o The privatization of many government services means women employees are no longer protected by the equity legislation or unions. o Pat Armstong calls for the expansion of the equity legislation into other forms of work not covered by current legislation. Jacqueline Kennelly  Key Words:  Focus Groups o Qualitative method of data collection that involves interactive discussion among a small number of people.  Mega-events o High profile, onetime events of a limited duration hosted by a city that receives global media attention. Mega-events typically circulate among host cities rather than recurring in the same city multiple times.  Zones of Prestige o A culturally impressive institution or space that a city uses to boost its reputation both nationally and globally.  Red Zone o An area that the police have designated as out of bounds to particular youth who have been banished by police for partaking in illegitimate (though not always criminal) behaviour.  Summary: o Olyimpic games event in Vancover 2012 is an example of a mega- event. o Its effects on some lower class local y
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