Sociology Test 1 Study Guide (Chapters 1-4)
Sociology Test 1 Study Guide (Chapters 1-4) 1101
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This 15 page Study Guide was uploaded by Hayden Barrow on Thursday February 11, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to 1101 at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months taught by Lisa Holland-Davis in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 90 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months.
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Date Created: 02/11/16
Chapter 1 – The Sociological Perspective Sociology is the systematic and scientific study of society. Auguste Comte (17981857) argued that Sociology is a science, not a philosophy. Therefore, it is exempt from the whims of opinion and is subject to the scientific method. Karl Marx (18181883), the author of The Communist Manifesto, sought to find out what caused conflict. He ultimately decided that class conflict, or problems between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, was the vehicle that propelled society from one epoch to the next. Emile Durkheim (18581917), in the midst of immense change due to the industrial revolution, questioned what held society together. He noted that industrial cities had a tendency toward anomie, or a lack of morals. While preindustrial societies are characterized by mechanical solidarity (system of social ties based on uniform thinking and behavior) industrial societies are geared more toward organic solidarity, or a system in which people become known for their role in the division of labor. Max Weber (18641920) explored motivations for social action in the post industrial world: 1. Traditional – a goal is pursued because it was pursued in the past 2. Affectional – a goal is pursued due to the emotions of people 3. Valuerational – a goal is pursued with an awareness that anything must be done to achieve it. The actions taken are based on a code of conduct rather than emotion. 4. Instrumental rational – a goal is pursued by the most efficient means, regardless of consequences. W.E.B Dubois (18681963) created the color line, a barrier that separated nonwhites from whites in regard to their roles in labor. Jane Addams (18601935) was the first female sociologist. She created the Hull House in Chicago and advocated for sympathetic knowledge, firsthand knowledge gained by living and working among those being studied. Sociological imagination – a perspective that allows us to consider how outside forces shape our life and biography. Issues v. troubles – troubles refer to the individual struggles of individual people, while issues refer to widespread struggles due to large social forces. Egoistic – a state in which the ties integrating an individual to others in society are weak. Altruistic – a state in which the individual is excessively integrated into the larger group Anomic – a state in which the forces that regulate social ties are disrupted by dramatic changes in circumstances Sociological Perspectives Functionalist – society is a stable, orderly system (Comte and Durkheim). A function is the contribution a part makes on society as a whole, be it manifest or latent. Conflict – conflict theorists ask, “who benefits?” Conflict is an inevitable fact of life, and classes compete for resources. Conflict theorists work to expose the façade of legitimacy, an explanation to justify social arrangements that benefit some and disadvantage others. Symbolic Interaction – Symbolic interactionists focus on social interaction and how it shapes who we are, as well as the symbols we attach to names, meanings, and values. Feminist perspective – feminists give central focus to the unequal distribution of power based on gender. They believe that gender is the most prominent and persistent medium for inequality. They do not accept essentialist philosophy, or the belief that men and women are inherently different. Chapter 2 – Culture Culture is a way of life of a people. Cultural universals are those things that all cultures have in common. Cultural particulars include the specific practices that distinguish cultures from one another. Cultural Components Material Culture – physical objects, either invented or borrowed, to which people have assigned a name and attached a meaning (within a people group). Nonmaterial culture – intangible human creations. It consists of: 1. Values – shared conceptions of what is good, right, desirable, or important with regard to personal characteristics, ways of conducting the self, and other desired states of being. 2. Beliefs – shared conceptions about what is true concerning how the world operates and the place of the individual in relation to others. 3. Norms – written and unwritten rules that specify appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Folkways – norms that apply to the details of daily life Mores – norms that mandate a code of conduct be followed because adhering to that code is believed essential to one’s well being. 4. Symbols – anything to which people in a culture assign meaning. Language is the most important collection of cultural symbols; it attaches meaning to words and sounds. Cultural Diversity Groups occupying the same space can adapt differently to their environment. It refers to the extent of variation in material and nonmaterial culture within a social setting. Cultural capital includes all the material/non resources a person possesses or has access to that are considered useful and desirable (or not) in a particular social setting. Objectified cultural capital consists of physical/material objects that a person owns outright or has direct access to. Embodied cultural capital consists of everything that has been consciously and unconsciously internalized through the socialization process. It shapes a person’s character and outlook. Institutionalized cultural capital consists of anything recognized by the larger society as important to success in a particular social setting. Subcultures and Countercultures Subcultures are groups of people who: Are still part of the dominant culture Share a distinctive set of cultural beliefs and behaviors Differ in some significant way from that of the larger society Countercultures are groups of people who challenge, contradict, or outrightly reject aspects of the mainstream culture Encountering cultures Ethnocentrism is a point of view in which people use their home culture as the standard for judging the worth of another culture’s ways. The dominant culture is the yardstick by which we measure the behavior of others. Cultural relativism is the belief that no culture is superior to any other culture; it is just the way people have adapted to their environment. Culture shock – a mental and physical strain that people experience as they adjust to the ways of a new culture. Cultural Diffusion – learning from another group and adapting elements of its way of life. It is less complete than assimilation. People can still retain old world traits but replace elements with new cultural traits. Selective borrowing – borrowing from other cultures is often selective. People in one culture do not borrow ideas from another indiscriminately. The Diffusion Process Cultural diffusion is a process that generates change in the borrowing society. It can occur to any extent and at any speed. Chapter 3 – Socialization Nature and Nurture Nature is the human genetic makeup, or biological inheritance. Nurture refers to the social environment, or the interaction experiences that make up a person’s life. The Effect of Social Isolation Complete social isolation of a person results in extreme issues in development, proving the importance of the “nurture” aspect of socialization. Nature and Nurture work together to create the facets of the psyche. Socialization Socialization is the process by which we learn the ways of society. It allows us to: 1. Acquire a sense of self – the ability to step outside the self and see it from another’s point of view. 2. Develop human capacities – the ability to act as a human (stand upright, speak, etc.) 3. Learn expectations for behavior – the “rules of life,” an expectation of how things should be based on early observations 4. Internalize – accept learned ways pf thinking, appearing, and behaving. The Social Self How do we fit in? We need to take note of the “other” And recognize the “self” Role taking – stepping into another person’s shoes and imagining what things look like from that person’s perpetual field. The preparatory stage (under age 2) We have not yet developed the ability to role take We mimic others although we do not know what we are doing The play stage (ages 26) We act out the roles of significant others and are not subject to practical constraints like time or place. The game stage (7 and older) We refer to the “generalized other” – a system of expected behavior and meaning. We follow expectations, imaginatively take the roles of all participants, and see how their role fits in relation to an established system of expectation. Significant Symbols Significant symbols are gestures that ideally convey the same meaning to the persons transmitting and receiving them (although this is not always the case). Gestures entail people interpreting their meaning before responding. A key moment in development occurs the moment children begin to use selfreferent terms like “I” and “me.” The “self” is separated into those two parts – the I being the active and creative aspect of the self, and the me being the social self – the self that fits into an established system of roles and expectations. Looking Glass Self The self is a product of interaction experiences (Charles Horton Cooley). The Looking Glass Self refers to the sense of self we develop that is sensitive to the appraisals others make of us, and acts according to that sensitivity. Cognitive Development Sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2) – children are driven to learn how things work through a trial and error method of exploration that involves shaking, throwing things about, and putting things in their mouth. Preoperational stage (27) – children assign human feelings and attributes to inanimate objects, cannot grasp changes in forms of matter, and focus on one thing, resisting contradictions to their conceptions. Concrete operational stage (711) – children can take the role of the other, but go into this stage with trouble thinking abstractly. Formal operational stage – children learn to plan for their future, think through hypothetical situations, and entertain normal moral dilemmas. The world is not so black and white now. Primary and Secondary Agents of Socialization Agents of socialization – significant people, groups, and institutions that shape our sense of self and social identity, help us realize our human capacities, and teach us to negotiate the world in which we live. The family unit comprises the primary agents of socialization, as well as anyone who, while we are young, gives us our social identity and preconceived notions for us to go into the world and be socialized. Agents of secondary socialization include all other entities that give us an identity for roles outside the home, such as “employee” or “athlete.” Resocialization In the midst of a transition, we undergo resocialization – the abandonment of old norms, values and attitudes in order for them to be replaced by new ones that suit the new situation. We break away from outdated or inappropriate behaviors or ways of thinking in order to replace them with new behaviors or perspectives. The resocialization experience varies depending on the extent to which change is welcomed, the extent to which relationships are adversely affected, and a number of other factors including past experiences, beliefs about the possible self, and whether the new identity is considered normative. Voluntary socialization – a person chooses to put himself in a new situation, and has to adjust accordingly. Involuntary socialization – a person is put in a new situation against his will, and is forced to adjust accordingly. Total institutions – settings where people are isolated so they can undergo systematic resocialization – or a complete reindoctrination where the sense of self is completely changed. Chapter 4 – Social Structures Social structure: Invisible systems that coordinate human behavior in relatively predictable ways and can shape: Behaviors, relationships, identities, and barriers preventing access to resources. Similar to what Durkheim called social facts: “collectively imposed ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving.” We rarely consider social facts; we conform to them by habit. Human agency: our ability to resist the constraints of social structure. Social structure: the theater in which culture gets played out. Social structure provides the framework within which we interact with others and experience socialization. The characters are always the same, but the actors are different. Think of each generation as a new set of stock characters. Social structure is an orderly, fixed arrangement of parts that together make up the whole group or society. It gives us the ability to interpret social situations we encounter. It also may limit our options and place us in categories over which we have no choice. Human agency still gives us the ability to resist. Key Components of Social Structure 1. Social status 2. Social role 3. Social groups 4. Institutions Status An individual’s prestige position in relation to others in his social group. Statuses exist independently of the specific people occupying them. Further, you occupy more than one status at a time – this is called a status set. Categories of Status Ascribed – automatically/involuntarily placed upon an individual as a consequence of: Biological characteristics such as sex or age Some relationship characteristics such as sister or nephew Vicarious characteristics (for example, the wealth of one’s parents) Achieved – a social position assumed through personal effort Education, occupation, marital status, parenthood, friendship Can be either positive or negative (rapist and priest are both achieved) Achieved status is often steered by social class – the prestige group a person belongs to Master status – that which cuts across all other statuses that you hold. It is often visual. Status symbols – material signs informing others of a person’s status. Social roles A role is a set of behavioral expectations that accompanies a particular status It is the dynamic aspect of status Each status provides guidelines for how we are to act and feel We occupy a status, and we play a role Expectations and Performances Role expectations – norms governing how a role should be enacted relative to other statuses. Role performances – the actual behavior of someone occupying a role. Sometimes these performances do not meet expectations. Sometimes we use our human agency to resist expectations. Role Conflict and Role Strain Role conflict – incompatible role demands are placed on a person by two or more statuses. To deal with this, we prioritize our roles and choose the role that accompanies the status we feel to be most important. Role strain – conflicting expectations associated with a single status Groups Remember, sociology is the study of people in groups (2 or more people who interact frequently and in largely predictable ways, share a common identity, norms, and expectations, and a feeling of interdependence). We all participate in a large number of groups throughout our lives. Categories of Groups Primary Groups A small, less specialized group with shared identity. Members engage in face to face emotional interaction over long periods of time. Family, close friends, etc Secondary groups Larger, more specialized Members engage in more impersonal, goaloriented behavior. For a limited period of time Institutions Relatively stable and predictable social arrangements. They consist of statuses, roles, and groups. Created and sustained with the purpose of coordinating human activity to meet a need. Institutions are interdependent Institutions rely on standardization to maintain stability and predictability What do the founding fathers of sociology think about how people are connected in society? Durkheim – We are connected via the division of labor – work is broken down into specialized tasks, each performed by a set of workers trained to do that task A complex division of labor results in strong ties in society – people are reliant on one another for survival Disruptions in the division of labor can impact social ties Weber – how do institutions/organizations meet goals in the most efficient way? Bureaucracy Weber’s concept – “a completely rational organization, one that uses the most efficient means to achieve a valued goal.” Characteristics: clear division of labor Authority is hierarchical Written rules and procedures Objective criteria for hiring Authority belongs to position (not person) Customers treated impersonally and objectively The Iron Cage Organizations increase instrumental rational actions to achieve greater efficiency Weber points out that at some point increased rationalization becomes dehumanizing and irrational The iron cage of irrationality Marx – what happens when the division of labor is highly specialized and more efficient? Alienation. Increasing division of labor and rationalization diminish control humans have over their social world Workers are alienated: From the process and product From family, friends, and fellow workers From the self
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