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Sociology Readings for SY101

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Dana Sawchuk

Sociology Week 1 Social solidarity: refers to the degree to which group members share beliefs and values, the intensity and frequency of their interaction. Values: Ideas about what is good and bad, right and wrong. Theory: A tentative explanation of some aspect of social life that states how and why certain facts are related. Altruistic suicide: Occurs in settings that exhibit very high levels of social solidarity, according to Durkheim. Results from norms very tightly governing behaviour. Egoistic suicide: Results from poor integration of people into society because of weak social ties to others. Anomic suicide: Occurs in setting that exhibit low levels of social solidarity. Results from vaguely defined norms governing behaviour. Social Structure: Relatively stable patterns of social relations. Sociological imagination: The quality of mind that enables one to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures. Microstructures: The patterns of relatively intimate social relations formed during face to face interaction. Macrostructures: Overarching patterns of social relations that lie outside and above a person’s circle of intimates and acquaintances. Patriarchy: The traditional system of economic and political inequality between women and men. Global structures: Patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level. Functionalism: Theory that human behavior is governed by relatively stable social structures. It emphasizes that social structures are based mainly on shared values or preferences. It suggests that re establishing equilibrium can best solve most social problems. Conflict theory: It shows how major patterns of inequality in society produce social stability in some circumstances and social change in other. It suggests that eliminating privilege will lower the level of conflict and increase the sum of total human welfare. Class conflict: struggle between classes. Class consciousness: Awareness of belonging to the social class of which one is a member of. Week 2 Emotion Management: The act of obeying “feeling rules” and responding appropriately to situations. Emotion labour: Emotion management that many people do as part of their job and for which they are paid. Dramaturgical analysis: Views social interaction as a sort of play in which people present themselves so they appear in the best possible light. Role distancing: Involves giving the impression that we are just going through the motions and that we lack serious commitment to a role. Status cues: visual indicators of a person’s social position. Bureaucracy: A large, impersonal organization composed of many clearly defined positions arranged in a hierarchy. Social network: A bounded set of individuals who are linked by the exchange of material or emotional resources. Social group: a group composed of one or more networks of people who identify with one another and adhere to defined norms, roles, and statuses. Social category: a group composed of people who share similar status but do not identify with one another. Primary group: social groups in which norms, roles, and statuses are agreed upon but are not put in writing. Social interaction leads to strong emotional ties. It extends over a long period and involves a wide range of activities. Reference group: a group of people against whom an individual evaluates his or her situation or conduct. Formal organizations: Secondary groups designed to achieve specific and explicit objectives. Week 3 High culture: Culture consumed mainly by upper classes. Abstraction: The human capacity to create general ideas or ways of thinking that are not linked to particular instances. Material culture: the tools and techniques that enable people to accomplish tasks. Non material culture: non tangible elements of culture. Folkway: The least important norms, norms that evoke the least severe punishment when violated. Mores: core norms that most people believe are essential for the survival of their group or their society. Taboos: The strongest norms, when someone violates a taboo, it causes revulsion. Postmodernism: Culture characterizes by an eclectic mix of cultural elements from different times and places, the erosion of authority, and the decline of consensus around core values. Week 4 Socialization: The process by which people learn their culture. They do so by entering into and disengaging from a succession of roles and becoming aware of themselves as they interact with others. Role: set of expected behaviors, or the behaviour expected of a person occupying a particular position in society. Self: a set of ideas and attitudes about who one is as an independent being. Looking glass self: cooleys description of the way our feelings about who we are depend larg
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