Sociological Perspectives (SYG 1000)
Chapter 5 Social Interaction, Groups, and Social Structure
∙ Social aggregate: A collection of people who happen to be together in the same place at the same time
not considered a group
Example: people in a restaurant
∙ Social category: people who share a common characteristic
not considered a group
Example: people who share the same eye color, people who are born in the same place, etc.
∙ Ingroups: any group or category in which people feel they belong Example: religions, cultures, age groups, sports team, etc.
∙ Outgroups: any group or category in which people feel they do not belong Example: sports teams that aren’t your own, people of different ages of you, someone of a different religion, etc.
Don't forget about the age old question of What are some benefits of orienting employees?
∙ Primary groups: small group categorized by intimate, facetoface association and cooperation
Goal: the relationships
Example: Close friends and family
∙ Secondary groups: formal, impersonal groups in which there is little social intimacy or mutual understanding
Goal: exchanges in explicit commodities such as labor for wages, and services for payment
Example: university classes, athletic teams, groups of coworkers, etc. ∙ Reference group: any group that individuals use as a standard for evaluating themselves and their own behavior If you want to learn more check out What is postcolonial literature?
Example: families, peer groups, labor unions, etc.
∙ What is conformity? Going along with a group or following orders from authority ∙ Weber’s characteristics of bureaucracy:
We also discuss several other topics like What are the benefits and costs of specialization and trade?
1. Division of labor
2. Hierarchy of Authority
3. Written Rules and Regulations
5. Employment based on technical qualifications
o Efficiency: achieving the maximum results with a minimum amount of effort o Predictability: a desire to predict what will happen in the future
o Calculability: a concern with numerical data, i.e. statistics and scoring o Dehumanization: employing technology as a means to control human behavior Don't forget about the age old question of What are the four perspectives on politics and sport?
We also discuss several other topics like What are the characteristics of perfect competition?
If you want to learn more check out What is an illegal practice of trading on the stock exchange to your advantage through having special access to confidential information?
∙ Ritzer’s McDonaldization of Society (see text and lecture) – know his main argument (all aspects of human life, not just fastfood restaurants, are becoming increasingly regulated / rationalized / impersonal)
Chapter 7 Deviance, Crime, and Social Control
∙ Deviance: behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society
∙ Deviance = social constructed
what is defined as deviant varies across time and place
Example: tattoos, were once unacceptable but are now becoming more common and more acceptable
∙ External social control: sanctions
Example: individuals conform because an authority figure threatens sanctions if the individual disobeys
∙ Internal social control: generalized other
Example: an individual’s own sense of right or wrong
∙ Sociological Explanations of Deviance:
o Strain Theory:
probably going to do something deviant when you feel strained
o Control Theory:
more likely to do something deviant when
o Cultural Transmission Theory
can be involved with not only friends but family
example: falling in with the wrong crowd
o Labeling Theory
deviance exists when some members of a society or group labels someone as deviant
1. Primary Deviation: first deviant act (first mess up)
2. Secondary Deviation: you are caught, you are labeled by people around you as deviant, and over time start to believe that the label is true
3. Selffulfilling Prophecy: go on to do more deviant behavior
Example: good kid starts to get in with the wrong crowd, gets in trouble for stealing things off of cars, gets caught by a police officer, other kids start to say things about this kid for doing these things and getting caught, kid slowly starts to go downhill and do worse and worse.
∙ Crime in the US
FBI Uniform Crime Reports: data are volunteered by police departments across the US (is not the most reliable because it is voluntary)
o Street Crime
included in the FBI UCR
street crimes = crimes committed against a person or their property examples: burglary, assault, rape, murder, arson, sexual assault, etc. o White Collar Crime
NOT included in the FBI UCR
white collar crimes = crimes committed by people in the upper class, usually has to do with their business activities
example: insider trading illegally obtaining information about a company going down and getting rid of you stocks
o Corporate Crime
NOT included in the FBI UCR
corporate crimes = crimes committed by businesses
example: firing someone for being a certain race, selling faulty products, hazardous working conditions
∙ What is the problem with focusing primarily on street crime? It results in an inaccurate image of criminals
∙ Which costs more (money and human life) – street crime, or white collar and corporate crime? White collar crime and Corporate Crime
∙ Prison in the US:
How does the U.S. compare to other nations in the number of people relative to the population it imprisons? The U.S. is the worlds incarceration leader Does prison work? i.e., does it help prevent crime? No, prison should help prevent crime in the first place, should help prevent future crime, which it does not How do you know this? (i.e., what is recidivism, and what is the rate of recidivism in U.S. prisons?): Recidivism is the rearrests and sending back to prison. The rate of recidivism is 3/4
What are some possible reasons why prison does not seem to be an effective method of crime control? Insufficient resocialization (beating, rape, assault, etc.), transitioning from one environment into another, insufficient rehabilitation, and the labeling of a criminal
* Alternative to prison: victimoffender mediation programs
how do these programs work? It addresses the issues and concerns they have or have had surrounding the crime they committed, and there consequences
∙ Stratification: structured systems of social inequality
∙ Official poverty line: annual income in which people are considered officially poor ∙ How does the government compute this line?
Government computes the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet and multiplies by three
∙ What are some criticisms of the poverty line?
Formula outdated, ignores that fact that cost of living varies geographically
Ignores health care cost differences between people
Misses entire groups of people
Does not successfully adjust from inflation
∙ According to the poverty line, how many Americans are considered officially poor? 43 million people officially poor in the US (13.5%)
∙ Who are poor in the U.S.?
race/ethnicity: blacks, Hispanics, Asians, whites (in order)
family structure: married (6%), single dads (14%),
age: children and young adults