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Intro to Sociology

by: Hannah Notetaker

Intro to Sociology SO 1003-03

Hannah Notetaker

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These are from a previous textbook. These are the notes for the first exam.
Intro to Sociology
David Lay
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This 11 page Bundle was uploaded by Hannah Notetaker on Sunday April 17, 2016. The Bundle belongs to SO 1003-03 at Mississippi State University taught by David Lay in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at Mississippi State University.


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Date Created: 04/17/16
Chapter 1- The Sociological Perspective  What is Sociology?  Systematic  Scientific discipline; patterns of behavior  Human society  Group behavior is primary focus; how groups influence individuals and vice versa  At the heart of sociology  Sociological perspective; unique societal view  Why take Sociology?  Education and liberal arts  Well-rounded as a person  Social expectations  More appreciation for diversity  The global village  Enhanced life changes  Micro and macro understanding  Increase social potentials and awareness  Development of Sociological Perspective  Benefits of the Sociological Perspective  Helps us assess the truth of common sense  Helps us assess both opportunities and constraints in our lives  Empowers us to be active participants in our society  Helps us live in a diverse world  Importance of Global Perspective  Where we live makes a great difference in shaping our lives  Societies are increasingly interconnected through technology and economics  Many problems that we face in the US are more serious elsewhere  Although we have PLENTY of problems, we also need to maintain perspective  The Sociological Perspective Peter Barger  Seeing the general in the particular  Sociologists identify general social patterns in the behavior of particular individuals  Seeing the strange in the familiar  Giving up the idea that human behavior is simply a matter of what people decide to do.  Understanding that society shapes our lives  There is no greater force on behavior than society  Durkheim’s Study of Suicide  Emile Durkheim’s research showed that society affects our most personal choices  More likely to commit: male Protestants who were wealthy and unmarried  Less likely to commit: male Jews and Catholics who were poor and married  Why?  One of the basic finding: Why?  The differences between these groups had to do with “social integration”  Those with strong social ties had less of a chance of committing suicide  C. Wright Mills’ Sociological Imagination  Sociological perspective lies in changing individual lives and in transforming society  Society, not people’s personal failings, is the cause of social problems  Poverty is a social problem  Racism is a social problem  Affects a large number of people  Persists over a long period of time  Rooted in social structure  Can be remedied only by collective action  The Origins of Sociology  Sociology has its origins in powerful social forces  Social change  Industrialization, urbanization, political revolution, and a new awareness of society  Science  3 stages: theological, metaphysical, and scientific  Positivism  A way of understanding the world based on science  Gender and Race  These important contributions have been pushed to the margins of society.  Sociological Theory  How and why facts are related  Explains social behavior to the real world  Theoretical paradigm: fundamental assumptions that guides thinking (merely a lens)  Structural-function (functionalism)  Social-conflict (conflict theory)  Symbolic-interaction  Structural-Functional Paradigm  The basics  A macro-level orientation  Society as a complex system; parts work together to promote solidarity and stability  Social function refers to the consequences for the operation of society as a whole  Who’s Who in the Structural-Functionalism  Auguste Comte  Importance of social integration during times of rapid change  Emile Durkheim  Helped establish sociology as a discipline  Herbert Spencer  Compared society to the human body, strongly supported social Darwinism  Conflict Paradigm  A macro-oriented paradigm  Views society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and social change  Society is structured in ways to benefit a few at the expense of the majority  Factors such as race, sex, class, and age are linked to social inequality  Who’s Who in the Social-Conflict Paradigm  Karl Marx  The importance of social class in inequality and social conflict  WEB DuBois  Race as the major problem facing the US in the 20 century  Symbolic-Interaction Paradigm  A micro-level orientation, a close-up focus on social interactions in specific situations  Views society as the product of everyday interactions of individuals  Society is a shared reality that people construct as they interact with one another  Society is a complex, ever-changing mosaic of subjective meanings  Who’s Who in the Symbolic-Interaction  Max Weber  Understanding a setting from the people in it  George Herbert Mead  How we build personalities from social experience  Erving Goffman  Dramaturgical analysis  Critical Evaluation  Structural-Functional  Too broad  Ignores inequalities of social class, race, and gender  Focuses on stability at the expense of conflict  Social-Conflict  Too broad  Ignores how shared values and mutual interdependence  Symbolic-Interaction  Ignores larger social structures, effects of culture, factors, such as class, gender, and race  Apply the Approaches: The Sociology of Sports  The Functions of Sports  A structural-functional approach directs our attention to ways sports help society operate  Sports have functional and dysfunctional consequences  Sports and Conflict  Social-conflict analysis points out games people play reflect their social standing  Sports have been oriented mostly toward males  Big league sports excluded people of color for decades  Sports in the US are bound up with inequalities based on  Gender, race, and economic power  Sports as Interaction  Following symbolic-interaction approach:  Sports are less a system than an ongoing process  This includes the athletes as well as the spectators  Collective effervescence Chapter 2- Sociological Investigation  “Common Sense” vs Scientific evidence  “The US is a middle-class society in which most people are more or less equal.”  “Most poor people don’t want to work.”  “Differences in the behavior of females and males are just ‘human nature’.”  “People change as they grow old, losing interest as they focus on their health.”  “Poor people are far more likely than rich people to break the law.”  “Males and females often behave differently due to a myriad of social factors.”  Three Frameworks for Sociological Investigation  Scientific sociology  The study of society based on systematic observation of social behavior  Empirical evidence- Information we can verify with our senses  Interpretive sociology  The study of society that focuses on the meaning people attach to their social world  Critical sociology  The study of society that focuses on the need for change  Causation  Cause and effect  A relationship in which change in one variable causes change in another  Types of variables  Independent: variable that causes the change  Dependent: variable that changes (value depends upon the independent variable)  Correlation  A relationship by which two or more variables change together  Spurious correlation  An apparent, false, relationship between two or more variable caused by some other variable  Scientific Sociology Terminology  Concepts: Mental construct; represents some part of the world in a simplified form  Variables: Concepts whose values change from case to case  Measurement: Procedure for determining the value of a variable in a specific case  Operationalizing a variable  Specifying what’s to be measured before assigning a value to a variable  Reliability: Consistency in measurement  Does an instrument provide for a consistent measure of the subject matter?  Validity: Precision in measuring exactly what one intends to measure  Does an instrument actually measure what it sets out to measure?  Correlation Does Not Mean Causation  Conditions for cause and effect to be considered  Existence of a correlation  The independent (causal) variable precedes the dependent variable in time  3 variable is not necessarily responsible for a correlation between two original variables  Scientific Sociology Terminology  Objectivity  Personal neutrality in conducting research  Value-free research  Sociologists as dispassionate and detached  Replication  Repetition of research by other investigators  Limit distortion caused by personal values  Limitations of Scientific Sociology  Human behavior is too complex to predict precisely any individual’s actions  The mere presence of the researcher might affect the behavior being studied  Social patterns change  Sociologists are part of the world they study, making value-free research difficult  Gender and Research  Androcentricity  Approach topic from a male-only perspective  Gynocentricity  Approach topic from a female-only perspective  Overgeneralizing  Using data collected from one sex and applying the findings to both sexes  Sociological Research Methods  Experiment: Research method for investigating cause and effect  Under highly controlled conditions  Hypothesis: Unverified statement of a relationship between variables  An educated guess  Placebo: A treatment that seems to be the same but has no effect on the experiment  Hawthorne effect: Change in subject’s behavior  Caused by the awareness of being studied  Ethical Guidelines for Research  Must strive to be technically competent and fair-minded  Must disclose findings in full without omitting significant data  And be willing to share their data  Must protect the study, rights, and privacy of subjects  Milgram Experiment  How far will people go when they are trying to submit to authority even when it hurts someone else?  Obtain informed; subjects aware of risks and responsibilities and agree  Must disclose all sources of finding and avoid conflicts of interests  Must demonstrate cultural sensitivity  Steps in the Ideal Experiment  Specify dependent/independent variables  Measure the dependent variable  Expose dependent variable to independent variable  Re-measure dependent variable to see if predicted change took place  If no change, modify hypothesis and re-test  Control  Be certain the change in the dependent variable was due to the exposure to the  Independent variable, the researcher must keep constant other factors the might intrude  Make experimental and control groups  Experimental: exposed to independent variable  Control: is exposed to a placebo  Survey Research  Population  The people who are the focus of the research  Sample  Part of the population represents the whole  Random sample  Draw sample from population so every element has an equal chance of selection  Questionnaire  Close-ended and open-ended:  Close: A series of fixed responses; easy to analyze but narrows range of responses  Open: Free response; broadens responses; harder to analyze  Most surveys are self-administered; pre-testing can avoid costly problems  Interviews  Participant observation  Interplay between Theory and Method  Inductive logical thought  Transforms specific observations into general theory; “increases” from specific to general  Deductive logical thought  Reasoning that transforms general theory into specific Chapter 3- Culture  Culture  Nonmaterial culture  Material culture  Culture shock  Language  Cultural transmission  Sapir-Whorf Thesis  Terminology  Values: culturally designed standards to decide what is good, etc.  Beliefs: specific thoughts or ideas people hold to be true  Norms: rules and expectations that society uses to control people  Sanctions: consequences used to conform to norms  Social control  Mores: norm with strong moral significance (right and wrong)  Folkways: casual norms that comes through common practice (right and rude)  Subculture  Involve differences and hierarchies  Counterculture  Cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society  Cultural changes  Cultural integration- close relationship between elements in cultural system  Cultural lag- Ex. Technology and laws- some elements change more quickly than others  Causes of cultural change  1. Invention- creating new (non) material culture  2. Discovery- recognizing/ understanding something that already exists  3. Diffusion- spread of cultural traits from one society to another  Theories of culture  Structural-functional  Strategy for meeting human needs  Social conflict  Benefits some more than others  Sociology  C. Darwin  Human biology effects the way we create culture  Organizes change and adapt according to their environment  1. All living things reproduce  2. Biological traits are transmitted from one generation to the next  3. Some are able to adapt more to their environment. Either thrive or die off.  4. Dominant genetic patterns eventually survive over many generations. Chapter 4- Society  Gerhard Lenski  More technology society has, the faster it changes  Sociocultural evolution  Hunting and gathering societies  Horticultural and pastoral societies  Agrarian societies  Industrial societies  Postindustrial societies  Limits of Technology  We worry about things our ancestors didn’t  Nuclear weapons  Environmental impact of technology  Doesn’t provide a quick fix for social problems  May actually make them worse  Karl Marx  Bourgeoisie (merchant and working class) and proletariat  Class conflict  False consciousness  Exploitation  Alienation  Human potential  Other humans (workers)  Art of working  Art of producing  No individuation or creativity  Been happening since machines replaced humans  Exploitation  Basis of capitalism  Extension of Adam Smith’s belief that “self-interest” is driver of capitalism  Hidden but appears natural  Labor is a creative force that unlocks human potential  But only when we own it  Class conflict  Between bourgeoisie and proletariat  Polarization of society  False consciousness  Thinking your blue-collar (working class), when you’re actually broke  Benefits of capitalism  Necessary  Freed people from freedom  Lasting Impact of Marx  Creation of labor unions (protection and empowerment of workers)  Increased understanding of the important of social programs  Society as more than one-dimensional  Epic beard game  Criticisms of Marx  Never fully explained the utopia  Workers resist communism (class consciousness)  Ignored gender  Focus on production, not consumption  Max Weber  Tradition vs. rationality  The Protestant Ethic  Iron cage  Bureaucracy  Rational product of social engineering  Reflects science and rationality  Has defining features  A way to manage  Efficiency through specialization and organization  Rational Social Organization  Has 7 characteristics  1. Distinctive social institution  2. Large-scale organization  3. Specialized tasks  4. Personal discipline  5. Awareness of time  6. Technical competence  7. Impersonality  Marx vs. Weber  Weber offered no alternatives to capitalism and bureaucracy  Weber was very pessimistic about the future of bureaucracy, seeing them as inevitable  He didn’t have really one grand theory of socialization.  Alienation is caused by bureaucracy’s rules and regulations  Idealism  Says capitalism is rational  Didn’t really have a big theory (big picture)  Emile Durkheim  Solidarity  Mechanical solidarity- similar, common goals  Organic solidarity- specialize = interdependence  Social facts- norms that external but coercive  Material- structures and institution (schools, work places)  Immaterial- values, norms  Very powerful in society  Functional  Suicide  Integration vs. Regulation  Most important factors  Integration- connections (family, friends, things to work for)  Regulation- how much control society has over you; how free you are  You can have too high and too low of either  Lottery winner curse  Kid so spoiled that he didn’t have moral compass  Anomic suicide  Society provides little moral guidance  Durkheim vs. Weber  Key to change in a society is an expanding division of labor.  Functional independence  Most optimistic  Large societies give people more privacy than small towns  Anomie is dangerous  Modern societies specialize to become efficient  Moral consensus determined rule  What holds society together?  Lenski- united by share culture (technology)  Marx- social division based on class position  Weber- society shares a worldview  Durkheim- focused on solidarity  How have societies changed?  Lenski- technology  Marx- conflict is out in the open  Weber- people’s perspective of the world  Durkheim- different kinds of solidarity  Why do societies change?  Lenski- technological innovation  Marx- highlights class struggle  Weber- ideas  Durkheim- expanding division of labor End of notes for Exam 1


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