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Chapter 5

Sociology 2152B Chapter 5 - Hiller.docx

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Sociology 2152A/B
William Marshall

Sociology 2152B Chapter 5 – Hiller • Ferdinand Tonnies termed Gemeinschaft • Geminschaft = those social relationships that included neighborliness and informal social control and that valued the needs of the group over the individual = was described as a sense of togetherness based on commonality, physical proximity, and stability • In a small village or town, Geminschaft relations predominated • Emile Durkheim used mechanical solidarity to define the same homogeneous, pre- industrial society = developed out of common beliefs and sentiments within a group • The concept of Geminschaft and mechanical solidarity represent what many consider to be the “ideal community” • At the start of the 21 century, Canadians were faced with complex societal changes o We live in rapidly changing, globalized, post-industrial society • Tonnes believed that social relations were increasingly less characteristic of Gemeinschaft and a growing characteristic of Gesellschaft • Gesellschaft = a direct result of the transformation from the folk-type society to a modern, urban, capitalist society • Gesellschaft = formal, impersonal, and individualistic in nature • Gesellschaft = organic solidarity (Durkheim agreed with Tonnes) • Urbanization and Community o There was a concern about the fate of community as a result of urbanization o Human Ecology = the relationship between humans and their environment o Robert Park suggested that the modern methods of urban transportation and commination have silently and rapidly changed in recent years the social and industrial organization of the modern city o Primary relations/groups (Charles Cooley) = as those intimate associations characterized by face-to-face association important in forming group norms and ideals o Secondary relations = interactions, NOT relationships (example: strangers, customer and store clerk) o Chicago School was pessimistic about the city affected social relationships o Louis Wirth argued that city and rural life are complete opposite o The size of the urban environment made it impossible for all urban residents to know each other and result = secondary relations o Urbanites interacted not as individuals, but within roles (example: store cashier or cab driver) o People were incapable of developing deep, personal connections o Wirth observed that the density and heterogeneity of the urban environment led people to live in homogeneous groups (natural areas) o Wirth argued that mixing across groups were difficult and people were highly segmented • Studies of Urban Communities o Urban Ethnography (Chicago School) = relies heavily on anthropological methods = sociologists blend into the society that they are studying (share the same experiences as their subjects) o Everett Hughes = first sociologist to adapt the urban ethnography method (cantonville, QC) o Suburbanization  Seeley, Sim, And Loosely’s study of the Toronto suburb of Forest Hill, Crestwood Heights (1956)  Important role of children played in the decision to move to the suburbs (for their education)  Lose of existing kinship, friendship, and institutional ties as a consequence of the suburban move  Importance of automobile  Herbert Gans’s study of The Levittowners (1967) most famous study on suburban life = found out residents were devoted to family life  Gans found out that people who moved to suburbs came from environments that frustrated their desire for certain behaviors such as apartment buildings that lacked sufficient neighboring  People moved to the suburbs in the expectation that a suburban setting would support behaviors that they valued  The suburban environment DID NOT directly determine the behavior of its residents  William Michelson found that people self-select neighborhood and housing type based on stage in life cycle and expectations for how different housing environments would support specific behaviors  People’s behaviors were not directly determined by their environment = played a significant role in Chicago School reducing the dominance of the human ecology approach o Community and Social Networks  In the late 1960s, urban sociologists began to examine social structure from a social network perspective  Social relations in the modern urban world = IS NOT THE FOLK-TYPE COMMUNITY IDEALIZED BY TONNES  Transportation/communication technology changes have contributed to a decentralization of social relations  The social network perspective explores the extent to which supportive social ties exist between individuals regardless of locality  Social network analysis = examines the relationships between social actors = people, organizations, and institutions  Rather than looking at community in terms of groups – social relations clustered together based on a shared neighborhood or work-place – community is defined as a network of social relations  Subcultural Theory (Claude Fisher)  Explores why in the urban environment, social relations tend to be more physically dispersed, not neighborhood based  Fisher suggests that it is precisely the urban environment’s ability to attract diverse people that facilitates the formation of dispersed social ties  The size of the urban environment frees the individual to explore beliefs and interests that would not have been supported in a smaller setting  Studying Social Networks  Social network analysis is a useful way to study community without assuming that it is confined to a local area  Concerned with nodes and actors and the ties between them  Social networks can also be studied on a more macro level, such as those between countries and organizations  Social network has 9 dimensions of network variation  1) Network Size = the number of actors in a network or the number of actors connected to the central actor under study  2) The frequency of contact between actors  3) Spatial proximity or availability of network members  4) Duration of social tie = how long one actor has known another actor  5) The multiplexity of a tie = the number of different resources or types of support exchanged between actors  6) Density = the number of ties present within a network based on the total number possible  7) Range or diversity = related to both the size and the heterogeneity of a network = a measure of network composition  8) Centrality = a measure of actor or network control over the flow of information or resources  9) Tie strength = the closeness or intimacy of a tie between actors  Each dimension is accompanied by a theory, which attempts to explain the effect of a dimension on an outcome, and a method for observing and analyzing variation  Social netwo
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