Chapter 1: Sociology: Perspective, Theory, and Method
- Do we simply “pick” our marriage partners?
• 77% choose partners within a 5 year age range of themselves
• 78% choose partners around the same education level
• 93% choose partners of the same race/ethnicity
- Why do you believe and behave the way you do? Why do other people believe and behave differently from you? What are the consequences of the answers to those two questions?
- 4 Perspectives on human life (ranked from 1-4 in order from least abstract to most abstract)
- Sociological perspective- sociology’s special point of view that sees general patterns of society in the lives of the particular people
- Biological (1)
- Psychological (2)
- Social Interaction (the way we interact in a certain way to achieve the same goal) (3) - Cultural (4)
- Emergence- each lower level effect the level above it, meaning that they are not independent but that they interact with each other
- Interpenetration- each higher level effects the levels below it
- Autonomy- they don’t need each other always Don't forget about the age old question of What does routine activities theory suggest to reduce crime?
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- Global perspective- the study
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- The Sociological Imagination
- Putting on a set of glasses that you may not have put on before
- “The ability to see the relationship between individual and the larger society” - “Many of our particular problems (and our success as well) are not unique to use but are the result of larger social trends” (page 9) Don't forget about the age old question of How can you tell if a graph is a polynomial function?
- Personal problems are transformed into public issues (box on page 9) • what are the factors outside of ourselves that effect our actions
- Theoretical Approaches
- Functionalist- a society is viewed as a stable, orderly system
- Conflict- groups in society are engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources
- Symbolic Interactionist- focuses on the specific interaction among people and interpersonal communication
- Ways of knowing
- Belief/ Faith
- Science Don't forget about the age old question of What is difference between risk and uncertainty?
- Assumptions of science
- All perceptions are achieved through the senses
• scientific proof comes though the senses, not all truth does
- People can trust their perceptions, memory, and reasoning (as reliable agencies for acquiring facts) Don't forget about the age old question of How do you find the parent graph?
• We can make mistakes but scientist take step to improve their memory and perception
- Question: Scientist seek ultimate truth
• Answer: False
- Science in Sociology
- The study of society base on a systematic observation of social behavior - Scientific truth is based on information
- Question: Do scientist believe that people’s perceptions, memory, and reasoning are infallible?
• Answer: No
- Criteria for a cause
- Establish a correlation between the independent variable and the dependent variable • Just because you have a correlation doesn't mean you have a cause - The independent variable must occur earlier than the dependent variable
- The relationship cannot be explained away by a third variable (can we wash the connection way with a third variable?)
- Some Correlations
- Playboy circulation—> rape rate is higher, alcohol consumption is higher, suicide rate is higher
- % of Hunter in state—> Homicide rate is higher, rape rate is higher - NFL Football players—> Homicide rate is higher
- Spurious Correlation- A trivial or meaning less correlation
- Science is just one of may was that people attempt to make sense of their words - Sociologist use science to establish scientific truth, not ultimate truth - we said causes and consequences of peoples beliefs and behaviors Chapter 2: Culture
- Culture- The ways of thinking, acting, and material objects that together form a people’s way of life
- Components of Culture
- Material Culture- the physical creations that members of a society make, use, and share
- Non material culture (symbols, language, values, norms)
- Just being there doesn’t make it a part of our culture we have to add meaning to the object
- Symbol- anything that meaningful represents something else
- Language- A set of symbols that expresses ideas and enables people to think and communicate with one another
- Sapir -Whorf Hypothesis- language shakes the view of reality of its speakers • “The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same worlds with different labels attached.” - Sapir, 1929
• Learning new concepts will help you see the world differently
• New concepts give different meaning to things
- Values- Ideas about what is right or wrong, good or bad, and desirable or undesirable in a particular culture
• Most important aspect in culture because it defines the goals of a society by showing us what is important to them & what they value
• Freedom, Equality, Achievement & Success, Racism and group superiority - Norms- established rules of behavior
• Mores- norms that may not be violated without serious consequences • There are different levels of norms
• Folkways- norms that may be violated without serious consequences • Laws- Written norms
Article 1: Values- Take Care of Myself
• Individual achievement and success- competition is encouraged so that when one is successful it reflects personal merit.
• Freedom- Although we have the responsibility to others, we are free to pursue our personal goals because individuality is favored over conformity
• Equality- Everyone is entitled to an equal starting point or opportunity • Racism and group superiority- In our society thought we don’t like to admit it, and we have strong views on individualism there is a lot of judgment based on race, gender, social class, etc.
- Alternative Values- Take care of others
• Group achievement and success- A successful person puts the good of the group before his or her own needs. They succeed together which is why cooperations are encouraged
• Freedom- Pursuing ones personal goals and freedoms over another’s or the groups is greedy and
• Equality- People should have equality in areas such as condition, access to food, shelter, and health care regardless of their talents or efforts
• Equal Treatment of everyone- treat everyone equally regardless of race, age, gender, ethnicity, wealth, etc.
Article 2: Conservative VS Liberal Beliefs
- Liberals-Believe in equality, believe that it is the duty of the government to product civil liberties and individual human rights, believe that the government should solve all the problems
- Conservatives- believe in limited government control. personal responsibility (not equality), strong national defense, and that the government should allow individuals to pursue their own goals
• Liberal- It is the women’s right to choose what happens to her body because the fetus does not have individual rights.
• Conservative- The fetus is a human and has individual rights. Abortion is considered murder and tax payer money should not help women receive abortions if they cannot afford one.
- Affirmative Action
• Liberal- Racism set minorities back as far as education and opportunity. We have a duty to make up for that and an affirmative action law is necessary. As a racist society there are still unequal opportunities for minorities compared to whites.
• Conservative- Individuals should be admitted to schools and given opportunities based on their skills and other abilities. Reverse- racism is not the solution to our problem because society as a whole is not racist only certain individuals are. Affirmative action is wrong.
- Death penalty
• Liberal- Death penalty is considered inhumane and “cruel and unusual”. Execution risks killing an innocent person.
• Conservative- The death penalty is an appropriate punishment for taking an innocent life and is neither cruel or unusual.
• Liberals- The economy should be regulated by the government because they have public interest in mind and will protect the economy from the greed of big business. • Conservative- The economy should not be run with excessive government regulation because it doesn't allow for competitive capitalism, and the best opportunities. Free market provides more jobs and a higher standard of living.
• Liberals- Public school is the best education option for students. Vouchers take money from public schools and the government should focus on improving current schools, increasing teacher salaries, and reducing class size.
• Conservatives- Vouchers allow for competition and encourage schools to get better. Parents want the right to choose where their children attend school, and allow private schools to enroll students who can’t necessarily afford it.
- Embryonic Stem Cell Research
• Liberals- support embryonic stem cell research because it can help researchers find cures for diseases as well as treatments. The embryos have no human features therefore it is not murder. This research has been shown to be effective.
• Conservatives- Believe that it is morally and ethically wrong to experiment with embryonic stem cells. However, think that it is only to do research with adult and umbilical cord stem cells. Research on the embryonic stem cells is considered murder because it requires the embryo to be destroyed. Embryonic stem cells have not been successfully used to help cure disease.
• Liberal- Believe that oil is a depleting resource and the government should explore alternative types of energy like wind and solar. They support government control of gas ad electric industries.
• Conservatives- Oil is abundant and there will not be enough wind and solar energy to provide energy. They believe that drilling should be increased and support private ownership of gas and electric industries.
- Euthanasia and Physician assisted suicide
• Liberal- Euthanasia should be legalized because a person should have the right to choose whether or not they want to end their pain and suffering if they are terminally ill. Permitting this could reduce health care funds and allow more funds for those who can benefit rom them.
• Conservatives- Neither should be legalized because it is immoral and unethical to deliberately end someones life. Many religions prohibit this stuff and these would devalue human life.
- Global Warning and Climate Change
• Liberal- Global warming is caused by increased production of carbon dioxide. Laws to reduce these emissions need to be enacted immediately in order to save our planet.
• Conservative- There is no proof that humans affect permanent change to the earth’s temperature. Laws to decrease emissions will not help the environment and will raise prices for all.
- Gun Control
• Liberal- The second amendment does not allow citizens to bear arms only allows for a national guard. Individuals do not need guns for protection that is why we have local federal government. More guns means more violence.
• Conservatives- The second amendment allows individuals to bear arms to defend themselves. More guns in the hands of good citizens mean less crime - Health Care
• Liberal- The government should provide health care to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.
• Conservatives- All Americans have access to health care however the government controlling the payment of it is making health care cost higher for everyone. Healthcare should remain privatized.
- Homeland Security
• Liberal- Passenger profiling is wrong and extra screening should be about more than race and ethnicity. It is offensive to many people.
• Conservatives- Profiling should be allowed, however there should be more that goes into it other than race and ethnicity. There should be an intelligence that uses other criteria that then requires passengers extra screening.
• Liberal- Support legal immigration and blanket amnesty for those who are illegal. Believe that all immigrants (legal or not) should be allowed the sae education and health benefits as everyone. It is unfair arrest millions of undocumented immigrants.
• Conservatives- Support legal immigration only. Illegal immigrants do not have the same rights as those who are legal. The boarders should be secured by the federal government and should enforce current immigration law.
- Private Property
• Liberal- The government has the right to seise even on private property to accomplish a public end.
• Conservatives- Believe that the government and citizens should respect private ownership and property rights. Seizure is wrong in most cases and eminent domain should not be used for private development.
- Religion and Government
• Liberal- There should be a separation between church and state. The government should not support any religious expressions.
• Conservatives- The first amendment only prevents the government from establishing a national church/denomination. However, God and other symbols of other Christian heritage should not have to be removed from federal buildings and in schools. The government should not interfere with religion and religious freedom. - Same Sex Marriage
• Liberal- Support same sex marriage because marriage is the union of people who love each other.
• Conservatives- Believe that marriage is the union of one man and one women. Requiring citizens to recognize same sex marriage violates moral and religious beliefs of millions.
- Social Security
• Liberal- Social security should be protected at all costs. Reductions in the system will cause potential harm to those who are poor and needy and would reduce the benefits of those who rely on the program.
• Conservatives- The system needs revisions to make it more efficient and financially sustainable. Would be more effective if it was privatized and allowed individuals to manage their own savings
• Liberal- Higher taxes for the wealthy is necessary to address many financial issues. These taxes should go to helping the poor and needy. These taxes enable the government to create jobs and provide welfare programs for those in need.
• Conservatives- Want lower taxes and a smaller, limited government. This will increase the standard of living and encourage people to work, save and invest. Money spent by the government on welfare systems encourage laziness and being dependent on these programs.
- United Nations (UN)
• Liberal- The United States has a moral obligation to support the UN because they support the greater good for the global community. They have a responsibility to maintain international peace. United States troops should submit to the UN command if needed.
• Conservatives- The UN has repeatedly failed. The United States should never subvert its national interests to those of the UN. The military should not be under command of the UN ever. Varying opinions on whether or not the United States should withdraw from the UN.
- War on Terror/Terrorism
• Liberal- Terrorism is the result of arrogant United States foreign policy. Relying on military force to end terrorism creates hatred and leads to more violence. Captured terrorists should be tried in civilian court.
• Conservatives- Terrorism is one the biggest threats to the United States. Terrorists must be stopped and destroyed. Intelligence gathering and military force is the best way to defeat terrorist around the world. Captured terrorists should be treated as enemy and tried in military courts.
• Liberal- Support the safety net that welfare provides for the poor. This is necessary for fairness in the American economic life.
• Conservatives- Oppose long term welfare because there should be opportunities for those in need to become more independent and self- reliant. This is more effective and won’t allow them to remain dependent on the government.