SOC 1160 Exam 1 Study Guide
SOC 1160 Exam 1 Study Guide SOCI 1160 030
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SOCI 1160 030
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Amber Levister on Saturday January 30, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SOCI 1160 030 at Georgia State University taught by Mindy Stombler in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 283 views. For similar materials see Intro to Social Problems in Sociology at Georgia State University.
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Date Created: 01/30/16
Social Problems Concept List for Exam 1 There will be approximately 10 questions from the articles assigned listed for this exam in the syllabus. The other approximately 30-‐40 questions will come from the material identified below: SYLLABUS -‐Email protocol (and how NOT to email me) email@example.com (Put “9:30 Social Problems” in the subject line) -‐Do NOT email her or TA through D2L (Brightspace) -‐Name of instructor -‐Mindy Stombler -‐Name of T.A. -‐Molly Harmon -‐Basis for Grade (and percentage breakdown) -‐4 exams (78%) -‐Focus on Social Problems Photography Project (12%) -‐10 In-‐Class Social Change Essays (10%) -‐Make-‐up Exam policy -‐NO makeup exams besides those required by the university -‐Exam drop policy -‐You can drop the lowest of your first 3 exams; May NOT drop exam 4 -‐Focus on Social Problems Photography Project (topics eligible for each photo, when the photo must have been taken, who must take the photo, whether or not the photo should be candid or staged, late policy, voting and awards, whether or not posting illegal activity is allowed) -‐ 4 Photos depicting social problems we’ve discuseed in class/ articles -‐ Must be a candid photo taken this semster by YOU (no screen shots/ pics of computer or tv screens) -‐No illegal activity to be shown in the picture; no late photos will be credited -‐In-‐class Social Change essays—late arrival, early leaving, make-‐up policy, how to get full credit, what is each one worth -‐There are NO makeups if you are absent or arrive late -‐You may NOT leave the room during 5-‐7 minute essay if you want full credit -‐In-‐class electronics, phone, laptop Policy -‐Turn off electronic devices that make sounds (phones, iPods, etc.) -‐Laptops and tablets to be used for notes only INTRODUCTION -‐Definition of Sociology -‐Sociology= A systematic study of society and social interaction -‐3 Fundamental assumptions of the sociological perspective 1) Individuals are a product of their enviroment -‐Ex: affluenza & the Zimbardo Prison Experiment 2) We examine the structure of society -‐Ex: social institutions (media, family, education, justice system) establish patters of reoccuring relationships 3) Sociologists adopt a critical stance toward all social forms -‐Ex: crack Vs. Cocain issue -‐Zimbardo prison experiment (know findings and what this is an example of) -‐mock prison created to see hoe being a “prisoner” or “guard” affected behavior -‐the men ultimately locked into their roles and it became real-‐life for them -‐VIDEO: Wealth Entitlement (know findings and what this is an example of) -‐ADHD, know the structural reasons we covered for increases in diagnoses (know findings and what this is an example of) -‐ There has been a subtantial increase in ADHD diagnosis -‐What’s causing this increase?: -‐Advancement in technology, profit for pharmaceuticals/ advertisement to consumers, changing in defintion, education system (crowded classrooms, individuals W/ disabilities needing tutors) -‐C.Wright Mills’ sociological imagination -‐“Sociological Imagination”= the ability to appreciate the structural basis for individual problems -‐Illegality/harm of certain drugs, sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine before and after Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, retroactive application of the new FSA Sentencing Guidelines and what it would mean (know findings and what this is an example of) -‐Sociologists have been studying the drugs Crack and Cocain to see: -‐who uses which (Black people= Crack, White People= Cocaine and -‐ who gets more felony convictions and longer prison sentences (black people do) Prior to 2010 the ratio was 100:1, after 2010 the ratio was 18:1 Definition of a social problem (know well and ALL details) -‐Social Problem= social phenomenon that affect large #s of people negatively -‐Must cause phsychic/ material suffering for a segment of society -‐Must be recognized or perceived as unacceptbale by an (influential) group(s) of people -‐Conditions must be indentified and targeted for social change/ action The subjective foundation/component of a social problem -‐based on our own beliefs Ex: our varying thoughts on poverty in the world The objective foundation/component of a social problem -‐measurable aspect/ proof Ex: amount of pollution in the air/ # of unemployed -‐Social construction of a social problem (including example of domestic violence) -‐Social constructionist approach to social problems -‐ focuses on how a social problem is constructed/ the process of it -‐How definitions can change over time -‐Process for convincing people a problem exists: Claimsmaking, Counterclaims -‐Claimsmaking= process of convincing the public and important public officials that a particular issue/ situation should be defined as a social problem -‐Counterclaims= the argument in direct opposition to the original claims -‐How success is measured in the process of constructing a SP (results of claimsmaking—what is success?) Success is shown in the form of Policy Changes -‐Person-‐blame versus system blame—know how to apply -‐Person-‐blame= social problems come from the pathologies of the individual in the problems Ex: in poverty-‐ poor people are poor by their own fault; in the school system-‐ students have no drive, parents are poor role models, bad teachers -‐System blame= social problems emanate from the situations in which the individuls are involved Ex: in the school system-‐ lack of funding, poor curriculum/ poorly paid teachers, parents working 2+ jobs, federal policy -‐Critique of person-‐blame perspective -‐required a person-‐change treatment program; frees all of the institutions from blame -‐Critique of system-‐blame perspective -‐by looking at the system, you’re ignoring the possibility of individuals being problematic -‐individuals have agency (ability to act) Structure/agency dialectic -‐agentsà create structureà structure impedes THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY: BIAS IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM Power elite occupy power roles in society Who are the power elite—where is their power concentrated/what do they control (2 main areas) -‐The Power Elite (ex: president, key members of congress, Federal reserve members, Supreme Court members) control 1) Corporations & 2) Goverment Who benefits from how power is concentrated in U.S. society? -‐Those in power will be disproportionately benefited, especially stockholders Examples of how the wealthy benefit disproportionately from decisions of power elite (such as what types of favorable treatment do corporations receive? Such as tax breaks, low-‐interest loans, infrastructure improvements, etc.) -‐CEOs, Board of Directors receive tax breaks, incentives, low-‐interest loans -‐hold on to money from campaign financing -‐Conclusions of Princeton study that examined 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981-‐2000 -‐Government decisions are often based on “trickle down” philosopy—know what it is, and whether or not it is working well -‐ corporations sell the “trickle-‐down structure” to the public; says that everyone benefits from the success; people trust these corporations but never reap benefits Major way the power elite’s power is reinforced (how they influence politics) -‐Campaign financing funds them, and the people elect officials into position -‐4 ways the massive influx of money into politics sabotages democracy 1) makes is harder to solve any social problems we have that would make us more equal as a culture 2) have-‐nots (non power elite) arent represented among decision makers 3) requires politicians to chase after money during times they should actually be govrning and making laws 4) voting: many people are discouraged from voting and civic participation bc they feel like their vote is unimportant -‐VIDEO: Citizen’s United vs. FEC -‐corporations are using their pull to get officials elected that favor their values rather than those of the citizens; corps have TOO much power in democracy -‐the goal of all corporations is to make as much profit as possible -‐2010 Supreme Court Case= ruled it unconstitutional to put any limits on how much money corporations can spend on influencing elections -‐Democracy is generally ideologically about equality. Capitalism generally generates inequality. Know this and why it is a problem. Examples? -‐Capitalism generates inequality because of conflicts of interest when it is driven by profit Ex: Prison Industry -‐Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration -‐private prisons have been built with haste with a profit motive to incarcerate masses of people; convicts essentiall bought and sold n the prison market -‐U.S. incarceration rate compared to other developed countries -‐America’s rate is much higher than most other countries -‐Relatively recent trend—since 1980 change in incarceration rates in U.S. (was 150 per 100,000 and now what?) 710 prisoners per 100,000 citizens -‐Major causes of change in incarceration rate 1) War on drugs (convictions went up 10x from 1980-‐1996) 2) Mandatory minimum sentencing -‐Proportion of America’s federal inmates in prison for drug convictions -‐Who is responsible? Democrats? Republicans? Independents? Tea Party members? -‐The Power Elite defines what a criminal is and who gets to profit from it -‐And what did they decide to do regarding sentencing? -‐Correctional Vendors Association lobby for minimum sentencing Knowing what we know about the power elite, we should assume their solutions augment their own status -‐Why states want private prisons -‐private prisons take away some of the expense prisons have on the government (private prisons generally don’t have to pay wages, pensions, or insure employees) -‐Money spent on prisons vs higher education in the past 20 years (general trend) -‐Largest private prison corporation -‐Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) -‐What distinguishes CCA from most other publicly traded companies -‐Occupancy requirements -‐states have to fulfill occupancy rates in the prisons or they are charged fees -‐Profit motive of private prisons and how that affects rehabilitation programs and recidivism -‐the system is designed to fail felons so they are sent back to prison and perpetuate the cycle so private prisons can make money off of their incarceration Convicts as commodities -‐modern day prison industrial complex comparative to slavery as private prisons buy and sell them to other prisons for profit Who else profits besides the corporate prisons and in what ways? (Investors, vendors, etc.) -‐Companies providing phone services, clothing, soap, bail bonds, private parole offficers, and -‐Political impact in terms of representative government -‐Felony disenfranchisement and voting (and stats on disenfranchised voting population) -‐the system set up totake away voting rights and essentially the voice from formerly convicted felons -‐Consistency/distribution of felony disenfranchisement laws -‐The “flesh” of the prison industry -‐Black people are the bulk of prisoners in the prison industry -‐African Americans= 13% of U.S. population; 40% of U.S. prison industry -‐Crack use data (percentage of White and Black Americans who have used crack) -‐ African Americans =4.5%; White Americans= 3.6% -‐Crack use data in sheer numbers (percentage of crack users who are white, black) -‐Black= 17%; White = 69% -‐Percentage of those convicted in crack cases that are black 83% -‐African American sentencing for drug offenses compared to white sentencing for violent offenses More blacks are jailed for minor drug offenses like Marijuana than white ppl are for violent crimes -‐Percentage difference in length of sentences for similar crimes (black v white) -‐Black men do 20% more time than white men for the samw offense POWER, INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY 4 conditions that must be present for “ideal” capitalism to exist 1) “ideal type”= private ownership of private property 2) pursuit of the maximum personal profit 3) competition 4) Principle of Laissez Faire (government is hands-‐off of economy) -‐Which is associated with intergenerational mobility and the American Dream -‐“ideal type”= private ownership of private property -‐Our mobility compared to comparable nations -‐Location of our “stickiness” in terms of mobility -‐Why Adam Smith and other economists believed capitalism was a good fit for humans and creating social order -‐Capitalism seemed like a good fit because the government didn’t have much influence in economic affairs and couldn’t take advantage of the market -‐First major discrepancy between ideal capitalism and our current system -‐major corporations control the bulk of the market -‐Examples of how that discrepancy plays out (creating and controlling demand) -‐Monopolization (huge companies that already have pull on the public supply excessive products/ services to create demands) -‐Manufactured demand (and examples) -‐creating and controlling demands for the market/ we don’t NEED it but they make us WANT it Ex: Snuggies -‐VIDEO: Bottled Water (content included and what it was illustrating) -‐The bottled water industry feeds into consumerism and maufactured demand because they advertise “purified water” to make it seem better so we want it ex: Figi -‐Shared monopolies -‐4 or fewer companies that supply 50% or more of a market Ex: cereal (General Mills, Kellogs, Post) -‐Inevitability of monopolies (Marx) -‐State of monopolies in media (how much controlled—know how many companies control 90% of the media) -‐Megamergers -‐Large corporations join to create one giant corporation hat controls a large percentage of the market in an industry -‐Result of megamergers (and monopolization) -‐Loss of jobs, Reduced competitionà increased prices, incredible power, increase in profit goes to CEOs, lawyers and bankers -‐Why the competition that does exist among mom-‐and-‐pop stores does not have a large impact on the market -‐The profit is miniscule compared to larger companies -‐Result of increasing globalization of megamergers -‐U.S. corporate power increased -‐shifts assets to other countres, thus drying up skilled and unskilled jobs in U.S. -‐multinational corporations in U.S. control world economy -‐medalling in foreign affairs
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