Sociology 241 Exam 1 Notes
Sociology 241 Exam 1 Notes SOCI 241
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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Popular in Sociology
This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Nadeera Mohamed on Friday February 19, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SOCI 241 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette taught by Dr. Candace May in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 64 views. For similar materials see Social Problems in Sociology at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
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Date Created: 02/19/16
EXAM 1 Secondary Analysis: Using Available Data A common major research method that is based on collection of data originally collected by others Paradigms: Truth, Science, and Politics Positivism “valuefree” approach Purpose of societal control Gives information to government or other positions of power Interpretivism Verstehen empathic understanding Purpose of useful knowledge for people Understanding of experiences is a representation of the truth they live in Critical Is “objective” research even possible? Purpose is to change the world They think verstehen is not accurate because people’s perception of reality is distorted Truth and Statistics Check how terms are defined Numbers are subject to error People often “spin” off numbers Responding to Social Problems: Social Policy Social policy refers to formal structure Evaluation of Social Policy How is success defined? Tends to be shaped by culture Conservatives: seek to limit the scope of societal change (focus on short comings of individuals, not society) Liberals: favor more sweeping change in society (see problems in the organization of society) Radicals: support policies that go beyond mere reform Can be either ultraliberal or ultraconservative Politics: Constructing Problems and Defining Solutions The Political Spectrum: a continuum representing a range of political attitudes from “left” to “right” Social Issues: political debates involving moral judgements about how people should live Economic Issues: political debates about how a society should distribute material resources Who Thinks What? Two good predictors of political attitudes are education and wealth – both of which are elements of social class The fact that social class affects social and economic attitudes differently means that most people have some combination of liberal and conservative attitudes CHAPTER 2: POVERTY AND WEALTH Economic Inequality in the US Social stratification The system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy Power, prestige, and wealth Stratification produces social classes Categories of people who have similar life chances: access to resources and opportunities Income Salary or wages from jobs plus earnings from investments or any other source Wealth The value of all the economic assets owned by a person or family minus any debts The wealthiest 5% of families in the US own 60% of all wealth The wealthiest 20% control 85% of all wealth 50% of all families in the US have no wealth at all Any discussion of problem such as poverty most include income and wealth Taxation is a common device used by the government to reduce economic inequality Taxes become very controversial Taxation: Fiscal Policy Progressive The more you make, the more you pay Regressive The less you make, the more you pay Sales tax, gas tax, excise taxes Proportional Everyone pays the same percentage Sales tax, gas tax excise taxes Rich pay nearly the same as the middle classes The Rich and the Poor: A Social Profile “The Rich”: those families who fall within the top 10% of income distribution The “poverty line”: a standard set by the US government for the purpose of counting the poor, referring to the level of annual income below which a person or family is defined as poor and this entitled to government assistance The “poverty gap”: How much does it cost to live vs. where the poverty line actually is The Poor: A closer look Profile of the US Poor: Age: at greatest risk are children Race: African Americans and Hispanics Proportional to group size Gender: women Family Patterns: single mothers Region: the South and the West Rural and urban areas have the highest rates of poverty Working vs. Nonworking Poor Working Poor 18% of the heads of poor families work full time Remain below the poverty line NonWorking Poor May have bad health and/or Lack of skills or selfconfidence The Underclass Poor people who live in areas with high concentrations of poverty (40% below poverty line) and limited opportunities Persistent poverty vs temporary poverty Problems Linked to Poverty Poor health The link between poverty and health is evident from birth to old age The infant mortality among the poor is twice the national average Death comes earlier to the poor, more likely to die from disease/violence. Social Problems Linked to Poverty Substandard Housing or Homelessness About 500000 people are homeless in the US on a given night Up to 3.5 million people are homeless at some point during the year Limited Schooling Poor children are less likely than rich children to complete high school Tracking – poor children seen as less able Crime and Punishment Poor are more likely to face arrest, trial, conviction, and prison Political Alienation Voters in 2012: 54% of people earning less than $40,000, 80% of people earning at least $100,000 Responding to Poverty: The Welfare System Social welfare program An organization effort by the government to [help those who can’t help themselves] Large governmentrun welfare programs have three characteristics: Benefits depend on what/who is defined as worthy They benefit most people (the elderly, veterans, students, and farmers) They do not significantly change income disparity Brief History of Welfare The Colonial era – 1600s and 1700s th The earlier Industrial era (19 century) Attitudes toward the poor became more negative The 20 Century Soaring immigration and the 1929 Great Depression, and FDR’s “New Deal” Changes in the welfare system Began when President Clinton pledged in 1992 to “end welfare as we know it” The result was the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 The public remains divided over whether people deserve help Welfare Reform Act 1996 Replaced federal aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) program with a new state related program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) New Rules require ablebodied people receiving benefits to find a job Or enroll for job retraining within two years Max of 5 years to receive benefits Theoretical Analysis: Understanding Poverty Structural Functionalism Some Poverty is Inevitable Symbolic Interactionism Defining the Problem Social Conflict Analysis Poverty can be Eliminated Structural Functional AnalysisSome Poverty is inevitable Social Pathology theories Personal deficiency Social disorganization theory Too much change Recent functional theory Davis and Moore inequality actually helps society function efficiently Herbert Gans – poverty exists because many people benefits from it Symbolic Interaction Analysis: Defining the problem Highlights the social construction of problems and solutions Explores the meanings that people attach to those who are poor How these views lead to a particular understanding of who/what are responsible Social Conflict Analysis Marxist Theory: poverty and capitalism Cultural Capital: poverty involves more than money Multicultural theory: poverty, race, ethnicity Feminist Theory: poverty and patriarchy Intersection Theory: Multiple disadvantages
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