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SOC103H1 (103)
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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC103H1
Professor
Taa
Semester
Winter

Description
STARTING POINTS- LORNE TEPPERMAN CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCING SOCIOLOGY Sociology: the systemic study of social behaviour, or the study of society Society: the largest-scale human group, whose members interact with one another, share a common geographic territory, and share common institutions Macrosociology: the study of social institutions (ex. Roman Catholic Church or marriage) and large social groups (ex. Ethnic minorities or college students) Microsociology: the study of the processes and patterns of personal interaction that takes place among people within groups Sociological imagination: an approach to sociology that situates the personal experiences of individuals within the societal context in which these experiences occur Social institution: one kind of social structure, made up of a number or relationships. People use institutions to achieve their intended goals, as students use schools, or patients use hospitals Role: the expected pattern of interaction with others Interaction: the processes by which, and manner in which, social actors-people trying to meet each other's expectations-relate to each other, especially in face-to-face encounters Expectation: a shared idea about how people should carry out the duties attached to a particular status Status: a socially defined position that delineates people's rights and responsibilities Social structure: any enduring, predictable patterns of social relations among people in society; the subject matter of sociology. All social structures control us, change us, resist the efforts of individuals to bring about social change and produce social change Negotiation: the ways in which people try to make sense of one another, and make sense to one another ex) bargaining, making arrangements, compromising etc CHAPTER OUTLINE – macroanalytical approaches: structural functional theory and critical theory – microanalytical approaches: symbolic interactionism, feminist theory, postmodern theory FUNCTIONALTHEORY – views society as a set of interconnected parts that work together to preserve the overall stability and efficiency of the whole – Robert Merton's Social Theory and Social Structure - social institutions perform both manifest and latent functions - Manifest functions are those that are intended and easily recognized ex) education for learning - Latent functions are unintended and often hidden ex) education as a 'babysitter' – Durkheim: crime is universal so it perhaps serve as latent function as well - term 'anomie' or 'normlessness'-> social norms are weak or in conflict with one another – every social institution has a 'purpose' – functional theory helps us understand why changes in one part of society brings about changes in other parts – sudden cultural shifts disrupt traditional values and common ways of doing things – for functional theorists, the best way to deal with social problems is to strengthen social norms and slow the pace of social change CRITICALTHEORY – 'haves' and 'have-nots' – unequal distribution of power – about domination of one group by another – views society as collection of varied groups especially social classes that constantly struggle with each other to dominate society and its institutions – Karl Marx - social problem arise from capitalism, an exploitive economic system - bourgeoisie; owners of the means of production - proletariat; working class – Marxist solution to social problems-> abolishing the bourgeoisie – Marx Weber later shifted the focus of critical theory from classes to status groups SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM – focuses on small-group interactions – focuses on the 'glue' that holds people together in social relationships; the shared meanings, definitions, and interpretations of interacting individuals – Labelling theory - any given social problem is viewed as such simply because an influential group of people define it so - Becker's 'moral entrepreneurs'- people who make a point of changing other people's thoughts and actions make it one – Herbert Blumer: social problems develop in stages that include: - social recognition, social legitimating, mobilization for action, development and implementation of an official plan (ex. War on drugs) – symbolic interactionists are interested in the processes of interaction by which people make and use symbols to construct a society, every single day FEMINIST THEORIES – domination of women is not a result of biological determinism but is a result of socio-economic and ideological factors - Weber's closure and usurpation – feminist theories focus on: 1. the gendering of experiences 2. problem of victimization 3. intersectionality POSTMODERN THEORIES – interested in unmasking ideologies that protect the dominant social order – Modernism argues that through science we can discover 'the truth' about reality, and there is only one 'truth' per situation.Also, it should be possible to change improve society through social engineering, using discovered 'truths' or natural laws about the social order – Postmodernism argues that rationality is neither sure nor clear and that our knowledge is situation-specific- always limited to particular times, places, and social positions. These and other factors shape the way people construct their unique views of knowledge – concept of objectivity; postmodernism denies on objectivity and rejects claims based on purported objectivity – reality is fragmentary - any claim that there is a single knowable and known truth, or that any one account is 'the truth' is false and illusory – mass media and cultural production-> largely responsible for framing and transmitting conventional ideas about normality, gender, class, and even science – Michel Foucault's analysis of prisons and imprisonment-> panopticon - power is diffuse and internalized- controlling people far more completely than any despot could do before - modern 'disciplinary' society are 3 primary techniques of control: hierarchical observation, normalizing judgment, continual examination - control over people can be largely achieved merely by watching and examining them – Jeremy Bentham-> domination afforded by 'technologies of power' Emile Durkheim's suicide – group suicide rates not only reflect individual behaviours, they reflect something that is compelling individuals to certain behaviours – 4 types of suicide due to insanity- maniacal, melancholic, obsessional, and impulsive – if suicide were strictly psychological, the sign of a person's insanity then it would show no social patterns – social patterns are visible in the suicide rates – suicide has 3 main types: egoistic altruistic and anomic - egoitic suicide: occur when people fall out of the social groups they belong to, or when the groups' bonds are weakened by excessive individualism - married people have lower rates of suicide, women benefit significantly less than men when married - altruistic suicide: motivated by a sense of societal duty ex) soldiers - anomic suicide: resulting from an absence of social regulations and norms often results from sudden social shock or disturbance such as financial crisis – rates of suicide in any society correlate inversely with a person's degree of integration into domestic, religious, and political society – people need to 'stake in conformity' MODERN FUNCTIONALISM – emerged out of Durkheim's work on social trends – society as a set of interconnected elements that operate together to maintain the overall stability and efficiency of the society – each part of society contributes to the whole and keeps it in equilibrium – social institutions often fail to fulfil their manifest functions-> Durkheim's anomie – solution to social problems-> strengthen social norms and slow the pace of social
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