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notes for all of sociology 2106 (summer session)

by: Pampam Akinyemi

notes for all of sociology 2106 (summer session) Sociology 1101: Introductory Sociology

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Pampam Akinyemi
Georgia Tech

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this covers all the notes in the semester.
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Date Created: 07/16/16
Introduction to Sociology Summer 2016 th Monday June 20 What is sociology? The study of human behavior and society 1. Behavior that is mundane 2. Why people eat in a certain way 3. Unique events 4. Rodney King beating o March 3, 1991, in Los Angeles, CA. 5. Sociologists study a whole range of phenomena o from small group interactions and the meaning of cultural symbols to large-scale economic shifts o Connection between the individual and society o Micro- vs. Macro-sociology I. Micro- the way whites and blacks interact, Rodney King beating II. Macro- larger scale than above 6. C. Wright Mills- “the sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. o How we understand our individual lives in the context of large, powerful social forces. 7. Human behavior is shaped by social interactions in the groups that we belong to. o If one wants to understand the Rodney King beating I. You need to look at the broader context in which those individuals exist How do we explain behavior? 1. Behavior is patterned and ordered. 2. Rule guide our behavior. 3. Meaning is assigned to behavior by actors. Example Classroom setting: 1. Expecting the same thing to happen day after day, everybody will show up at the same time 2. Raising your hand before you speak, no socializing, no cheating 3. There is meaning assigned to where you sit a. So if you sit at the back of the class people might think you are a slacker Social distance rules 1. How close to others do we get? 2. Where we are supposed to stand? 3. How much noise to make? Homework notes Body ritual among the Nacirema  Nacirema culture is heavily centered on the body rituals and a highly developed market economy  Large part of the fruits of the labor are spent in ritual activity  They believe that the body is ugly o The only way to change these characteristics is through the ritual  The rituals aren’t family ceremonies, but private  Center of the ritual is a box that is built into the wall with charms and magical potions  Each member of the family goes to the shrine room and mingles different sorts of holy water in the front  They have an intense fascination with the mouth o Believe if not for the rituals of the mouth, their teeth would fall out and their gums would bleed o There is a link between oral and moral characteristics  There is a mouth ritual that is performed daily o Putting hog hairs into your mouth with powders o Moving the bundle in a series of gestures  In addition, people seek out a holy-mouth-man once or twice a year o Enlarges holes in the teeth and fills them with magical materials o Gleam in the eye as he jabs an awl into an exposed nerve (sadism)  There are some masochistic tendencies within the culture o Men scrape their faces daily with sharp instruments o Women bake their heads in ovens for about an hour  The medicine men have a latipso which is also a temple where they treat very sick people o Children believe that’s where you go to die  Bathing and excretory acts are performed in private and only in the shrine. o This all changes in the shrine, because they get completely naked in front of people  Even though these practices may not cure, and even kill the people, it doesn’t decrease their faith in the medicine man  The listener has the power to exorcise the devils that lodge in the heads of people who have been bewitched  Women’s breast size is a big deal, and if a woman has the required size she can make money by going from town to town and letting people look for a fee.  Sex is schedules as an act  Childbirth takes place in secret If Hitler asked you to electrocute a stranger, would you? Probably  we all do things we prefer not to  we feel social pressure and do things that conflict with our morals  the Shirer thesis, Germans have a basic character flaw which explains the whole thing o the readiness to obey authority without question  Stanley Milgram- obedience in Germans o Teacher and learner experiment o Electric shock o The learner reads word pairs and then they try to remember the matching word for the first word. o If they get it correct, nothing happens o If it’s wrong, they get a buzzer o The objective is to find the shock level at which you disobey the experimenter and refuse to pull the switch o People do what they are told when they feel like it come s from a legitimate authority  We respond to authority figures better than we respond to regular people The sociology of the vaginal examination  We are all taught about the sacred nature of our genitals  There are different scenes of the examination 1. The personalized stage a. Typical interaction that occurs between patient and doctor b. Casual conversation c. General inquiries 2. The depersonalized stage (transition from person to pelvic) a. The doctor exits and the nurse comes in b. The patient changes in the absence of the doctor c. Doctor is no longer dealing with a person but a pelvis. d. The patient faces an issue of where to put her underwear e. Patient will hide their underwear in a secret place 3. The depersonalized stage (the person as pelvis) a. Doctor uses gloves as a barrier between private area of patient and himself b. triadic scene i. nurse, doctor, and patient involved in the performance 1. The nurse’s role is to be a chaperone (assure no sexual acts take place) c. face-to-pubic interaction 4. The repersonalizing stage (transition from pelvic to person) a. “I’m so glad it’s over with” 5. The personalized stage (the patient as person once again) a. The patient is allowed to interact as a person within the role of patient b. Informs the patient about the results Police accounts of normal force  Police violence is no random matter but is a regular part of the occupation.  Aggressiveness is encouraged o especially for women just because they are naturally seen as weak  police normalize the use of force by two types of accounts o excuses o justifications st Tuesday June 21 The social construction of reality  The process through which people create their understanding of their environment. o The rules and meanings that shape our behavior are the basic elements of this process o We take the social construction of reality for granted  Anything outside the social construction now comes to be seen as odd.  Nacirema culture (focus on the body) o Engage in rituals to prevent the body from decaying o From the outside, a social construct of reality can seem very odd The social construction of reality 6. Behavior is patterned and ordered. 7. Rule guide our behavior. 8. Meaning is assigned to behavior by actors. 9. Rules are collectively enforced. 10. Rules are symbolic. 11. Rules are cemented by our emotions Our social reality strongly influences our behavior Police accounts of Normal force  In the police community, “aggressive” behavior is encouraged  There are rules that guide the use of force by police o Formal vs informal use  Only use the amount of force require to detain the suspect  No hitting in the head or the neck because of the damage  In academy there are given certain weapons and taught to use in a very minimal way Rodney King Beating 1. The police live by a set of rules that differs from those of society 2. The behavior is “normal”- it’s patterned and ordered How is race part of the rules that guide the use of force by police?  Category of people that deserve a certain amount of force used against them What happens when two social realities collide? Is the beating of Rodney King right or wrong? Eating behavior What are some rules guiding our eating behavior? Family Behavior  The biology rule o Parents are determined by biology o Who contributes 50% of DNA o If a parent leaves (divorce), the child still experiences a lot of problems  Aggressions  Trouble in school  Insecurity  Depression o Children of divorces parents have trouble because of how we define family. Not all cultures have this issue  Matrilineal society  Ghana  Hopi Indians  Trobriand islanders (New Guinea)  It’s not the act of the parent leaving, it’s the meaning we assign to the act o Adopted children  Often feel incomplete o Social judgements are the consequences of social reality Giving birth the American way  Our way of giving birth has become a lot more technological, when compared to people from other cultures  Our deepest beliefs center on science, technology, and stuff like that  A rite of passage- a series of rituals that move individuals from one social status to another  There are different symbols that make it seem like we are dependent upon the institution to be able to survive child birth  Technocratic and holistic model represent opposite ends of a spectrum of beliefs about birth and of about cultural life  The cultural treatment of birth is one of the most revealing indicators about the status of women in a given society Stages of rites of passage 1. Separation of the individuals from their preceding social state 2. Transition in which they are neither one thing nor the other 3. Integration through rites of incorporation where they are absorbed into their new social state India’s sacred cow  Religion is one of humanity’s fundamental social institutions  The Hindu would rather start to death than eat his cow or even deprive it of food  Their cow worship even carries over into politics  Cow slaughter is severely punished.  There is a Hindu belief in the unity of all live, and that is the spiritual justification for the restriction.  The cow provides the milk that the Indians consume sometimes but not all the time  Losing the cows is a very big deal o Spiritual loss o Loss of farm  The cows are not exactly treated in the best way  Harris argues that there was a spiritual explanation behind why the cow had become deemed a sacred animal. As far back as 200 A.D., Brahmin priests had began stressing the divine nature of the cow and had started instructing followers to not engage in anything that would demean the animal. Even prior to that, Harris argues that the sacred Hindu texts, the Vedas, had expressly written in them passages that strictly forbade the consumption and mistreatment of the animal. As Hinduism became more prominent in the region, its belief of the interconnectedness of consciousness (what Harris terms as "Ahimsa") dictated that consumption, abuse, and mistreatment of the cow would be a sin revisited upon the individual for time to come and would be a bad reflection on their karma. Harris also argues that the adoption of a strict worship of the cow might have been done to create stark division between themselves and foreign invaders who did not hold such beliefs. Frequent clashes with Muslims, who are not bound by the sacred cow conventions, and presumably greater clashes with the British invaders, represented moments where the Hindus were able to define themselves in opposition to "the other" with their strict worship of the cow and its reverence. In this light, spirituality and political identity converged into what is now a fairly dominant national one. The saints and the Roughnecks  The saints o Drinking o Wild driving o Theft o Vandalism  Nobody was ever arrested  The roughnecks o In trouble with police  The saints major concern was getting out of school as early as possible  On the weekends they were usually very drunk and high. Construction sites and road repairs were the main areas of their mischief.  The saints were very successful in school and they held several offices in the school.  The roughnecks were not as rich and nicely dressed as the saints so they were seen in a worse light  The roughnecks fought a lot.  They weren’t too bad in school, but they didn’t really make great grades  The saints were surprisingly more delinquent that the roughnecks because the saints had more money, so they had greater access to several things  The saints were able to manipulate the system because they were very respectful and they never were rude when they got caught  Visibility, demeanor, and bias are variables that explain the day-to-day operations of the police  The saints went on to be successful and went to good colleges  Only two of the roughnecks carried on to be successful in life Eating your friends is the hardest  Most of the worlds cultures understand that it is wrong to eat human flesh  There was a plane crash  They eventually ran out of resources and had to eat people  They ate the crew (strangers) Wednesday June 22 nd Norms, status, and Roles How do norms shape our behavior? How do status and roles shape our behavior, identity, and social interaction Self-fulfilling prophecy  When an expectation leads to behavior that then causes the expectation to become a reality  How our perceptions about reality can shape our behavior o Believe it is real o Act as if it is real o It becomes real  Placebo effect  Pygmalion effect  Teachers expectations of students can affect student performance  Bank Panic of the early 1930’s o Belief that banks were failing o People rush to get their savings o Banks indeed began to fail  An outside force is needed to end a self-fulfilling prophecy o Roosevelt declared a bank holiday  Created the federal depository insurance corporation  Norms o Rules concerning appropriate and inappropriate behavior by which people are judged. o Eating your friends is the hardest o Eating became relatively easy  Status (the status is only the position) o A social position (not all equal) o A position that a person occupies within a social structure o The statuses that each of us have determines where we fit in society o We don’t choose most of our statuses  Ascribed status  Statuses that we are born with  Is assigned to us  You don’t have to do anything to get o Child o Race o Gender o Age  Achieved status  Statuses that we earn or choose o Parent o Spouse o Engineer o College graduate  Status symbols: o Symbols that indicate a person’s status  We have many statuses at once o Master status  Our most significant status o Status inconsistency  Having two or more statuses that appear contradictory  Roles o Roles are the expectations for behavior in a position  Right and obligations attached to a particular student  The part played within the institution Student status vs student role  Status o Someone is a learner  Role o That you are a learner Priest/minister  Status o Don’t commit sin o They are holy o Have a spiritual standing  Role o They lead congregations o To be able to provide assistance when needed Being sane in Insane places  Normality and abnormality are not universal  Can the sane be distinguished from the insane  Do the characteristics that lead to diagnoses reside in the patients or in the environments and contexts in which observers find them  8 sane people stayed at 12 different hospitals for insane people  the pseudo patients were nervous at first o but eventually they grew into it o and just started doing what they normally did during the day  the patients were labeled schizophrenic  the failure to recognize sanity has nothing to do with the quality of the hospital or the time used to observe the patients by rather the traditions within psychiatric hospitals  the patients were able to recognize the sane people  once designated abnormal, all other behaviors and characteristics are colored by that label  the doctors intentionally warped the summaries of the patients to make it seem like they actually had the issues  He talks about the way that the label sticks with a person even after they are released, and that if the patient in his mind truly believes that there is something wrong with him it is likely that upon release he will revert back to his old behaviors. Handing the stigma of handling the dead  Study examine how morticians and funeral directors handle the stigma associated with their work  People usually think that the people who have the job are usually lower class and they were forbidden from touching the living  Back in the day, people died at home and friends and family prepared the body for burial  They always have a taint of death surrounding them  People don’t understand how they can get rich of off other people’s grief and handling the dead  Many embalmers concealed their occupation from their neighbors and others with whom they were not intimately acquainted Ways they handle the stigma of their job 1. Symbolically negating it as much as possible a. Not using the word death but loss instead b. It’s always important to use the appropriate terms 2. They practice role distance a. Emotional detachment i. They detach themselves from the body of the work ii. They don’t think about the person they are working on b. Humor i. Must be hidden from the family and friends of the family c. Countering the stereotype i. Being female ii. Try to be upbeat around people iii. Not wearing black suits iv. Speaking softly d. Emphasize professionalism i. Educational requirements ii. Exams iii. Boards e. “shroud of service” i. emphasis on service 1. grief counseling f. enjoy a high socioeconomic status i. buying fancy thing ii. living lavish lifestyles in private The pathology of imprisonment  Stanford prison experiment o Being in position of power, makes you abuse it o A lot of dehumanization  A man is kept in solitary confinement o He doesn’t feel like he deserves the type of treatment he got o He feels like he’s coming out of the prison as a changed person  Prisons are being run badly o They turn thieves into monsters o Breeding ground for hatred rd Thursday June 23  Attached to every status is a role  Almost all of us stay within the confines of our roles  We want the parts that society assigns to us o Roles determine who were are as well as what we do Roles have two dimensions 1. Action dimension a. Roles guide our behavior/tell us how to act i. Roles are learned through the process of acting in the roles b. Roles created a sense of personal organization i. Create pattern and structure to our lives ii. Lack of roles leads to personal disorganization 2. Identity dimension a. Roles shape our identity and emotions i. They carry certain emotions and attitudes ii. The emotions and attitudes give us identity b. They give us identity in two ways i. Behaving in the role 1. By behaving in the role, we take on the emotions and attitudes of the role ii. Responses of others 1. Identity is socially bestowed a. We become that which we are addressed 2. Identity is socially sustained  When we interact with other people, we do so on the basis of their status and roles  Roles organize the behavior and emotions of individuals Anybody’s son will do  The strongest social institution is the military  It is very separated from the rest of society  How does the military teach people how to become killers?  People are taught that murder is a very heinous crime o So the first time that they shoot they feel very disgusted and sick with themselves o Helpless to disobey  Armies create a sense of brotherhood in a peacetime environment  Easier to train younger men to be in the army o The older ones are good soldiers but they don’t love the sport  The training when it starts seems impossibly demanding for most of the recruits  The most interesting point about this article is that it talks about molding the marine corps. at Parris Island and how to most people they are building a mentality that is actively about protecting your country and passively about a building a strong bond between the group.  The writer of this excerpt seems to believe that these kids take all of this ridicule and punishment, mental and physical, and mostly become stripped of individuality. Sexuality and gender in children’s daily worlds 9-11 year olds are beginning the transition from the gender system of childhood to that of adolescence Daily separation o How they choose seats o Who to play with o More gender segregation than race Interaction among boys o Rule breaking  Cursing o Sports o Testing the limits Rule transgression: comparing girls’ and boys’ groups o Boys’ are greater risk takers o They are happy when they break rules together o Boys are more likely to show aggression The tie to sexuality in males o Boys like reading playboy and stuff like that o They start to call people “fags” o They don’t touch each other that often Interaction among girls o “best friends” stage o “nice” and “mean” stage o they are more intimate Implications for sexuality o More focused on constructing intimacy and relationships o They use less dirty words o They are all about romance Third parties are central to the structure of heterosexual teasing  Kindergarten as an academic boot camp  Conformity is a primary goal in the education system  Specific people are to teach children certain types of acceptable behavior  Children are induced to learn the role of student  They give an example of a very organized class o There is hardly any free time for free open individual action  Kindergarten can be seen as preparing children for participation in the bureaucratic organization of large modern school systems and large-scale occupational bureaucracies of modern society. Extreme isolation  Anna o Deprived from normal contact o Minimum human care o Had been shifted around in different homes and had a lot of diseases at about 4 months o Eventually ended up in her grandfather’s house where she received absolutely no attention  Was hardly fed (only cow milk)  Didn’t know how to talk, walk or do anything that showed intelligence o Two years after her situation had improved  She could walk and feed herself  But she hardly ever talked o She eventually got better and started speaking and doing things for herself o Died from hemorrhagic jaundice  Her isolation prevented a considerable amount of mental development that was part of her capacity.  Isabelle o Pretty similar cases o She didn’t know how to communicate with strangers o Eventually she started learning how to communicate  She learnt very fast Monday June 27 th  Ways in which our social reality influences us o Social judgements affected by societal definitions o Biological processes affected by social processes o Emotions and feelings are socially created o Self-fulfilling prophecies o Statuses and roles (social structure) o Non-actions  Socialization and the Self o How do we develop the ability to interact with others? o What is socialization? o What is the self? o How do we develop self-esteem?  Feral children *children who grew up in isolation and don’t have the skills to interact* o 1790’s, Aveyron, France  a wild boy was found  didn’t have the skills to interact  jean itard took the boy in to try to socialize him o children brought up outside of society are not social or human  Social interaction is a relation between two mins o AB o BA  A double reciprocal structure o We try to discern what’s on our own mind and the minds of others  Socialization is the process of learning what’s on our minds and those of others Self  the self is the set of skills and abilities that allow people to account for what’s on their own mind and the minds of others o the ability to see our ourselves for the outside  to perceive, evaluate, and observe ourselves  reflexive behavior  the process of socialization is synonymous with the development of the self  socialization also gives us the ability to interpret what others think as well as what we think  Georgia Herbert Mead o An epistemologist who studied children  The study of knowledge and how we know things  How people become aware of what’s on their own minds o Our minds lay “outside” of us and confront us o Our ability to understand what is on our own mind comes from other people telling us what is on our own mind o Mead wanted to understand how children learn to interact socially through this process of socialization Mead’s stages of socialization 1. Preparatory stage a. Birth -3 years b. Children mimic and imitate the behavior of adults c. No meaning attached to the behavior d. The activity helps the children prepare for role-taking 2. Play stage a. From 3-6 years b. Children begin c. Children begin to take the role of the “other” d. Children play at being others, at taking on the roles that others have e. Children develop the ability of understanding what’s on the minds of others, as well as account of their own mind f. Children start to develop a self 3. Game stage a. Age 6 and up kids become fascinated by the rules i. If someone breaks the rule everyone gets upset b. They spend a lot of time planning to play the game c. Children begin to take the perspective of the “game” or the rules d. If somebody breaks the rules, they’ve ruined the game for everyone e. Taking the role of the “generalized other” f. They begin to develop a sense of morality On becoming male  Men dominate our social institutions  Our masculinity of femininity are our orientations and how we behave as a male of as a female  From birth girls and boys are already split up into separate groups o Parents enforce certain behaviors on boys o They are allowed to be more dirty o They are allowed to curse more o They are allowed to break the rules o Even as infants their clothing displays sexual significance  They learn to deny, avoid, to deceive, and to involve themselves in other sorts of subterfuge rather than to admit violations that might restrict their freedom of movement  Encroachment o Tomboys  Erosion o Sissies o They feel like sissies don’t belong in their world  At certain points they realize that they have no choice but to act different around girls because they want to be accepted On becoming female  Attractiveness has long been part of the construction of femininity  Cheerleading tryouts at a school o The girls had to look a certain way o Act a certain way and that was equal to the amount of stunts o Thinness is also required  Even when girls are alone the conversations are often dominated by gossip and cultural standards  Girls are also evaluated on their body weight and type o Not only fat girls but skinny ones too  They also make fun of people who try to be cute and wear makeup  So it just ends up confusing everyone on what is actually good  In high school it gets even worse with o Prom queen o Homecoming queen  Girls are cast as sexual objects at an early age But what do you mean? Women and men in conversation  Women and men often have different ideas about what is appropriate to say o Women take the others feelings into account o Men try to one-up each other Biggest areas of miscommunication 1. Apologies a. Women are told they apologize too much b. “I’m sorry” doesn’t always mean I’m sorry c. When both parties share blame, it’s a mutual face-saving device d. Those who don’t apologize are seen as hard-edged 2. Criticism a. Women are usually softer when giving criticism and b. They generally get easily offended 3. Thank-yous a. Many women use thank you as an automatic conversation starter and closer i. When the other speaker doesn’t reciprocate they feel hurt b. Men don’t really say thank you 4. Fighting a. Men express their ideas in the strongest way possible b. They want to see who will challenge them and when someone does they will “rise to the occasion” c. Many women take the attack as a personal attack d. Some women find it easier to learn how to argue i. Being the only woman amongst a group of male engineers 5. Praise a. Men and women have different habits in regards to giving praise b. Women are more likely to give out praises than men are 6. Complaints a. Commiserating is common among women b. Men are likely to see it as a request to solve the problem 7. Jokes a. Types of humor among men and women typically is different i. Women 1. Self-mocking 2. Mistaken men humor as hostile ii. Men 1. Razzing 2. Teasing 3. Mock-hostile attacks  If you want to get your message across you have to use the language that’s shared or at least understood Attacking nicely  Women and men tend to show distinct approaches to life’s tasks  Throughout the social structure of car sales interactions there is little trust  Working under the conditions is problematic for women because they have been socialized as mothers and caretakers and to maintain honesty in relationships  Women take on stereotypical male or female roles to adapt to a structure in which they experience inherent role conflict  Most women had traditional low paying jobs before they got into the car selling system  Men are able to easily fit into the car salesman group o But women find it a lot hard because they are often rejected of harassed  Even with customers, women are often ostracized. o If they don’t know much about cars, people usually don’t do dealings with them  Women start to change with the job o They think screwing people is fun  Selling a car for much more than it is worth  Innocents use ignorance to sell cars o And they ignore the bad things going on around them  If you don’t want to be an innocent, you can be a “lady” o Use your sweetness to sell a car o Use their maternal role to sell cars o “attacking nicely”  Some women prefer to adopt the “tough guy” repertoire o They felt pressured to toughen up o Handle verbal abuse to become one of the guys o Good customers  Are the ones who give them a lot of money o Bad customers  The ones that try to bargain  Many women have to change their family and social life in order to fit into the male work world and make a living wage.  Reformers o Want a job that does divide work from home so drastically o More centered on the client o They don’t even try to mother the sales men anymore  Most retreaters left the field because they felt the customer deserved better th Tuesday June 28 Socialization and gender Socialization is an on-going process continuing after childhood Self-esteem Two important aspects of self-esteem  judgement about oneself  based on others evaluations of us looking glass self 1. we imagine how we appear to others 2. we interpret others’ reactions 3. we develop a sense of self esteem a. positive or negative  social interaction determines our self-esteem  significant others o those individuals who make a difference or who matter in our lives o people who significantly affects some else’s life  objective conditions do not determine self-esteem socialization and gender  boys and girls tend to exhibit different attitudes and behaviors as children  girls o neat o tend to form close relationships o passive o timid o equal  boys o rougher style o tend to break rules o aggressive o hierarchical o adventurous  why do girls and boys develop such different behaviors and attitudes? o Agents of socialization  Family  School  Peers  Media  Boys and girls are socialized into different roles  Underlying the different roles and statuses of men and women The sociology of God  You either believe in religion or you don’t  Utilitarian’s and rational reformers tended to look on religion as an archaic irrational force o Source of superstition  Legal reformers saw religion o An institution of inquisitors and heresy hunters o Burning people at the steak for their beliefs  Radicals o Saw religion as the upholder of the status quo  Rational intellectuals o Regarded religion as a relic of the dark ages o Something that would eventually die away  For a while retain religions lost most of the hold they had over people. o Churches became more tolerant o Because saw it as mostly a chore  Many other religions other than Christianity have become more prevalent in the world today.  Key to religion is not its beliefs but the social rituals that its members perform.  You do not have to be either religious or politically active to experience the relevance of social rituals o They permeate modern life The common basis of religions  Durkheim’s assumption is that religion represents something real.  Something in which people have believed so strongly could hardly be based upon nothing but a mistake in reasoning.  There must be something that corresponds to these religious beliefs, something real that people have symbolically seen in the guise of the gods.  Religion represents something much more powerful than the individual  What all religions have in common o Certain beliefs held by all adherents o Certain rituals that the believers collectively perform  Basic religious belief is that the world is divided into two categories o The sacred  Spirits  Invisible gods  Animals or trees  Altars  Crosses  Holy books  One must approach the sacred with respect o The profane  The rest of the world  All the other things you can deal with, with whatever mood you wish  Basic religious action o Ritual  Procedures by which people must conduct themselves in the presence of things that they believe to be sacred  Very strictly determined behavior  It’s the forms that count  Saying prayers  Singing a hymn  Performing a primitive dance  Making the sign of a cross  Society is a force greater than any individual o Has tremendous power over us o Our whole material and symbolic world is given to us from society o God is a symbol of society  Our name, identity, come from the ways we relate to other people and from the way they relate to us  We think usually think of ourselves by our own names, but we seldom created these names for ourselves.  Society is both outside us and within the very core of our consciousness. o This is what makes the symbolism of religion so powerful: it expresses the essential facts of our human existence  Since societies are never totally unified, religion must always describe the existence of rival gods, heretics, evil spirits, or the devil. Why do people have moral feelings?  Religion is a moral force  It is offensive to a believer for someone to spit on the Bible, for example but only because the group has made the bible into sacred object.  Moral righteousness is what makes you a member in good standing of the group o The secure sense of belonging constitutes its reward  Which group one wishes to belong to will determine what kind of moral feelings they will have.  The energy and moral force of an assembled group is very powerful and potentially very dangerous  A powerful way to gain confidence and energy is to participate in intense group situations A general model of social rituals  If we look at the elements that go into producing a religious feeling, we arrive at a general model of social rituals  Components of the machine o The group must be assembled  Physical presence of other people starts the energies flowing o Actions must be ritualized  People must carry out a patter, coordinating their gestures and voices o Emblem or symbolic object that focuses the group’s idea of itself  The power of the group is its energy and its moral force o Reify it  They come to believe it is a real, almost physical thing  Thus they conceive of the spirit that moves and unites them as a sacred object  The underlying reality of any symbol is the group itself, and the mood its members feel when they assemble and carry out their rituals  People who share a common symbol feel a moral tie amongst themselves and a righteous anger against outsiders who violate the respect they feel The type of God corresponds to the type of society  If God represents society, then it should follow that different types of societies should have different types of Gods.  In certain societies women take an important part in religious ceremonies o Fertility rites The rise of the individual self  The sociological theory of religion has been applied to the macro novel questions of the structure of entire societies and their historical changes th Wednesday June 29 What happens when women take on non-traditional positions in society?  Cathryn Johnson- social psychologist o What has a great influence on behavior, status or gender socialization?  Gender socialization (in favor)  The way boys and girls are raised from birth, give women a certain set of distinctions/ attitudes that are different from men  Status  The roles that people have o Male and female managers behave similar to one another  Female managers were more like male managers than like female subordinates o The position or status exerted more influence over their behavior than did their gender Society as ritual: Religion  How does religion fit into society as an institution?  How do sociologists study religion? What do religions have in common?  Sacred text  They all have certain beliefs  Generally, believe in a higher power  There is a lot of ritual involved o Collectively o Trust comes from rituals o Rituals have to be done at a particular: place, time, and in certain way or “it doesn’t count.” o Rituals build trust by building solidarity  Feelings of morality  They tackle the questions about life after death Why has religion not died out?  Many philosophers and scholars thought that science would lead to the demise of religion?  Religion represent an awareness of something much more powerful that the individual  Religion symbolizes society o Religion is a reflection of society  Society o Society and individual o Society is a force larger than any individual o Everyone depends on society o Society is outside of us o Society is inside of us  When alone we still adhere to social norms  Ideals of society are ingrained in us  Religion o Sacred and profane  Sacred are the things pertaining to God o Characteristics of gods Religion and Gods are symbols of society  Conflict in society is represented by god vs. the devil in religion  Religion expresses the essential facts of our human existence  Society has the characteristics that people attribute to the diving If religion and gods represent society, then different types of societies have different types of religions  Simple hunting and gathering societies o Eskimos, African societies o Tribal societies o Characteristics of society  Weak political system  Simple economy  Relatively equal, little inequality o Characteristics of religion  Lots of gods (relatively weak)  Boundaries between gods and people are permeable  All totems are religiously equal  Agrarian societies o American Indians, Aztecs, Mayans o Settlements, centered around agriculture, matrilineal o Society  Built around agriculture  Women have a high economic status o Religion  Built around female images and fertility rites  As societies engage in more complex agricultural production, their organization become more complex o Political and economic institutions  The more levels of political organization and greater complexity of economic organization o The more hierarchy there is within the realm of religion  Empires o Society  Built around powerful centers with numerous colonial areas  A distinct and complex division of labor o Religion  A hierarchy of gods with a center god and weaker gods  Tend to be really c  Modern societies o Organized centralized state o Society o Monotheism o Aims to be universal Thursday June 30 th Deviance and Crime  Deviance is not the breakdown of social norms  Sociological explanation of deviance differs from “common sense” explanation  Conservative perspective o People are born deviant (its inherent) o Offenders deserved to be punished o Crime is genetic or biological  Cesare Lombroso  Certain body types lead people to be deviant and criminal  Measuring skulls o Solution  Lock up people with features  Public execution  Long prison terms o Problems  Recidivism can be better explained by other processes  The rate at which people end up back in jail after serving their sentence  There is no evidence of systematic proof of the inherent nature of deviance or crime o Liberal perspective o Focus on the social environment  Something wrong with the social environment that makes people deviant  Poverty  Peers  Poor education  Broken homes  Solution  Job training  Education  Alcohol, drug rehabilitation  Changing the social environment  Anti-poverty programs  Problems  This view is not supported by statistical evidence  The prescriptions do not work to reduce crime o Recidivism still remains high  Ex-convicts can’t find a job  It is difficult for them to make social connections  They can only connect with ex-convicts which can lead them back to prison The elements of deviance 1. A society or a group defines the act as deviant. 2. Most people commit crimes, but very few are “deviant”. 3. Few people who commit crimes are caught 4. Most deviants are rarely deviant  Deviance is not the breakdown of society or norms  Deviance is an integral part of social reality o If there are norms, then some behavior will be outside of the norms Deviance and crime Functional theory of deviance  Functional theories view society as a living organism o Each part has a function that contributes to survival 1. Deviance is functional for society a. Provides professional occupations for people b. Learning experience 2. Society tends to focus on the deviant person, not the action/behavior 3. Societies construct those kinds of deviance that they fear most 4. Deviance can never disappear 5. Crime waves a. Periodic increases and then decreases in crime /deviance are a normal process of society. b. During a crime wave, a sense of danger permeates society i. Salem Witch Trials Societies and economic systems  Market economic, is an economy directed by market prices and nothing but market prices.  No society could naturally live for any length of time unless it possessed an economy of some sort.  Until the 19th century economy was not primarily controlled by markets, even in the time of Adam Smith. But one hundred years later it dominated everywhere.  But Adam Smith's suggestions about the economic psychology of early man were wrong -- markets based on barter and exchange just weren't that prevalent in early societies. Division of labor is certainly old, but it doesn't imply that there was a barter economy as well. The most recent discovery is that man's economy, as a rule, is submerged in his social relationships.  He does not act so as to safeguard his individual interests in the possession of material goods, he acts so as to safeguard his social standing, his social claims, his social assets.  He values material goods only in so far as they serve this end. Thus the economic system is run on non-economic motives. Economic motives spring from the context of social life. Self-Regulating Market and the Fictitious Commodities: Labor, Land, and Money  Until our own time markets were never more than accessories of economic life. The economic system was embedded in the social system. Furthermore, the market and regulation grew up together, and the notion of a self-regulating market is very recent and actually a reversal of the trend of economic development at that time.  A market economy is a self-regulating system where everyone is assumed to behave in a way that maximizes money gains. It assumes that in the market supply price will equal demand price.  Money is assumed to exist, and the market sets prices. There are markets for everything from goods and services to labor, land, and money. In this ideal system there is not external regulation of prices, demand, or supply.  In medieval societies land was the pivotal element, and its status and function were determined by legal and customary rules. The mercantile system also reduced the gild system to statute to protect labor.  A self-regulating market splits society into an economic and political sphere. Labor, land, and money must be considered commodities in a market economy, even though they are not. Activity cannot be ultimately divorced from life. Land is a product of nature, not man. This commodity fiction is central to the dominance of the market system.  But to allow the market to be the sole director of the fate of human beings ..would result in the demolition of society.  The environment would be destroyed and exploited. Thus in the 19th century "the extension of the market organization in respect to genuine commodities was accompanied by its restriction in respect to fictitious ones. th Wednesday July 6 Crime waves  Periodic increases and then decreases in crime/deviance and are a normal process of society.  During a crime wave, a sense of danger permeates society o Salem witch trials o McCarthyism in the 1950’s  Spotlight effect (ask questions)  When a central institution becomes threatened  Halloween sadism was a crime wave beginning in the 1970’s o A threat posed to children on Halloween o What were the effects of this crime wave?  Parents were worried about letting their kids go out  Parents took more control of what their kids ate  A lot of focus on Halloween and they ignored the other things that might have been threatening to children  Schools trained children to inspect their treats for signs of tampering  States passed laws against Halloween sadism  Safe trick-or-treating in shopping malls  Hospitals would x-ray children’s candy  Some communities tried to ban Halloween o How widespread was Halloween sadism?  No cases of Halloween sadism o Why did Halloween sadism emerge as a crime wave in the 1970’s?  The divorce rates increased by a lot  Addressing crime waves makes the fear society feels more manageable, but at what cost? o Diverted resources from things that might have helped to protect children  After school programs o Children will grow up less sociable Economy and society  What is the social structure of the market economy? o We seem to believe there is something natural about the economy o The economy is the dominant institution in contemporary society  Capitalist society o The economy seems to be the least social institution o The concept of economic man  People have a natural or inherent instinct to act in our self- interest on economic matters  People are naturally self-interest and motivated by individual gain  This belief about economic behavior leads to the view that  Our market economy is natural and legitimate  There is no viable alternative to this economic system o Polanyi argues that the idea of economic man is a myth  In the sense that it makes people believe that people are naturally motivated by individual gain.  He saying that it’s not human nature  Economic behavior is the function of norms  Norms and institutional patterns guide our economic behavior  The organization of the economy tells us how to act  Polanyi demonstrates that the economy can be organized around other values  Reciprocity o Matrilineal societies  Redistribution o Production in society going towards a central group and then being redistributed out o Feudalism o  Household production  The idea of profit does not exist within such economies  How is the market economy organized? o An economy is a set of rules and norms for the production and distribution of material goods o Again our economy is a market economy  A “free market” capitalist economy o What is the central rule for production in a market economy?  Whether a profit can be made o What is the central rule for distribution in a market economy?  Who has the ability to pay  Market economy and society o With a market system, the economy is the central institution in society o A market economy permeates all other areas of life  Adulthood  Economic status  Our income is “personal”  Social structure of the market o Buyer  Has money to purchase the good o Seller  Has the property rights to the good  What is commodification?  What is the market morality? The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism The argument of the protestant ethic In modern times, protestants are more likely to be businessmen, as well as skilled workers, than are Catholics. Research shows that American Protestants dominated business and the skilled working class trades until about 1960. Capitalism was not invented by the reformation; it existed in many societies throughout medieval and ancient history. Capitalism wasn’t lacking, what was lacking was the spirit of capitalism. Two types of capitalism o Traditional capitalists  Interested in making profit but nothing about it was regarded as a social ethic  Based on luxury trades o Modern capitalists  Mass production of the commodities of everyday life  Accumulation of small gains  Believe that hard work and saving one’s money are an ethical obligation and a way of making more money Main article  In conclusion, Weber mentions some of the areas that a more complete study would have to explore.  First, one would have to explore the impact of ascetic rationalism on other areas of life, and its historical development would have to be more rigorously traced.  Furthermore, it would be necessary to investigate how Protestant asceticism was itself influenced by social conditions, including economic conditions.  He says, "it is, of course, not my aim to substitute for a one-sided materialistic an equally one- sided spiritualistic causal interpretation of culture and of history." Over the counter at McDonalds  The heart of McDonalds success is its uniformity and predictability  The company uses centralized planning, centrally designed training programs, centrally approved and supervised suppliers, automated machinery, and other specially designed equipment. McFacts  The extreme standardization of McDonald’s products and its workers is closely tied to its marketing  The image promoted in the company’s advertising is one of o Fun o Wholesomeness o Family orientation Conditions of employment  The company has tried to attract employees under 20 as well as senior citizens and house wives  Traditionally they’ve payed employees minimum wage  The lack of tangible benefits is linked to the organization of employment at McDonalds as part-time work.  They want both managers to dedicate themselves to the values summed up in its three-letter credo o Quality o Service o Cleanliness Taking hamburgers seriously: training managers  Its name, hamburger university captures the thoroughness and intensity with which McDonald’s approached management training.  The full training program requires approximately 600-1000 hours of work  Training focuses on building commitment and motivation as on extending knowledge of company procedures.  They work on o Personalities of the managers o Encouraging both  Personal flexibility  Rigid adherence to routines o Pride in McDonald’s Learning the job  The crew training process is how McDonalds standardization is maintained, how the company ensures that Big Macs are the same everywhere in the world  They also have a station operation checklist o A short but highly detailed job description that lays out exactly how the job should be done The routine  McDonald’s has routinized the work of its crews so that decision making had practically been eliminated from the jobs o They break it down so it’s almost idiot proof  The interactive part of window work is routinized through the six steps of window service  Additional cues about expected customer behavior are provided by the design of the restaurants.  McDonald’s routines work most efficiently when all customers accept their products exactly as they are usually prepared. Overview  McDonald’s pioneered the routinization of interactive service work and remains an exemplar of extreme standardization Thursday July 7 th  In the transaction (buyer-seller), there is a commodity o Which is a material or resource that can be bought and sold o Use value  Utility  The benefits of using it o Exchange value  Price  Commodification o The process through which a good is defined as something to be bought and sold  Commodification of people o Slavery o Surrogate motherhood  Over time, everything can become a commodity o We cannot imagine a time when a good was not a commodity  The self-regulating market implies o All production is for sale on the market o All incomes derive from such sales  Polanyi’s fictitious commodities o Labor and land  Land as a commodity o The enclosure movement in England, during the 1500’s and 1600’s  Increased demand for wool  Most land was “commons”  Capitalists tried to buy the commons  The English civil war  King and peasants versus Cromwell and yeoman o Cromwell won and land became alienable  The economy is a social construct o Socially constructed  A market economy is not the inevitable result of human nature  Norms, rules, and meanings guide behavior  Commodification o Social structure of capitalism  Buyers-seller  Material good= Commodities- price  Human activity=Labor - wages  Land=real estate- rent Market morality develops and commodification  The market processes are the right ones  The market construction of reality is natural  Even the commodification of sacred or revered items becomes commonplace and seems natural o Declaration of independence  Signed on July 4 th  Symbol of American democracy  Only about 25 original copies remain o Who should own American History o Tv producer Norman Lear bough one copy at auction for 8.1 million dollars o London bridge  A symbol of Britain’s world dominance and power in the 1800s  Symbolized the power that was Britain  Robert McCulloch brought the bridge to the Arizona desert for 2.4 million dollars.  The origins of the market o Why do we have an economy with this particular structure?  Karl Marx (materialism)  A materialist theory o Look for the root causes in the material conditions o Increased long distance trade o A large influx of gold and silver specie into Europe o Increased agricultural production o Increased population  Max Weber (changed meanings)  Merely changing the material conditions will not create capitalism o The system is grounded in cultural change o A change in the social construction of reality  For capitalism to emerge, there had to be a change in the meaning of economic activity  Compared northern and southern Europe o The north was more wealthy, industrial, and urban  Observed a connection between capitalism and Protestantism  Something about the shift from Catholicism to Protestantism that prompted a change in the meaning of economic activity.  What is it about protestant teachings that changed economic activity? o A calling o Predestination o Asceticism  Self-discipline o Self-control


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