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CLEMSON / Sociology / SOC 2010 / What is the definition of a beginner’s mind?

What is the definition of a beginner’s mind?

What is the definition of a beginner’s mind?


School: Clemson University
Department: Sociology
Course: Introduction to Sociology
Professor: Mary barr
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: Introduction to Sociology, sociology, Culture, research methods, and theoretical perspectives
Cost: 50
Name: Sociology 2010 Exam 1 Study Guide
Description: This is the study guide for the first exam, over chapters 1-3 in the Ferris & Stein sociology textbook.
Uploaded: 09/14/2018
13 Pages 101 Views 2 Unlocks

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What is the definition of a beginner’s mind?

Sociology 2010 Exam 1  

Understanding Sociology 

- sociology: the systematic or scientific study of human society and social behavior,  from large-scale institutions and mass culture to small groups and individual interactions

- social sciences: disciplines that use scientific method to examine the social world,  in contrast to natural sciences, which examine the physical world

- approaches to developing a sociological perspective: Don't forget about the age old question of What is the classical school of criminology?

• beginner’s mind: approaching the world w/o preconceptions in order to see  things in a new way We also discuss several other topics like What are the top four elements of cell?
Don't forget about the age old question of What is the role of democracy as the foundation of america?

• culture shock: a sense of disorientation that occurs when entering a radically new  social or cultural environment

What is the definition of a culture shock?

• social imagination: a quality of the mind that allows us to understand the  relationship b/w our individual circumstances & larger social forces Don't forget about the age old question of What is the latin word for east?

• key points made by King: 

- social context helps shape one’s perspective & opportunities

- the place we live in shapes who we meet, where we work, what we eat & what  interests we pursue

- explains how geographical context affected his career decision 

• key points made by Mills: 

- differentiates b/w trouble & an issue

• trouble: private matter

• issue: public matter

What are the key points made by mills?

- “neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood  without understanding both” We also discuss several other topics like What is the definition of proximal stimulus?

- micro sociology: the level of analysis that studies face to face & small group  interactions in order to understand how they affect the larger patterns & structures of  society If you want to learn more check out What is the definition of the hard sciences?


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

• this perspective assumes society’s larger structures are shapes through individual  interactions

- macro sociology: the level of analysis that studies large scale social structures in  order to determine how they affect the lives of groups & individuals

• this perspective assumes that society’s larger structures shape individual  interactions

- Ibn Khaldun 

• coined the term “as sabiyah”—translated as “social cohesion” or “solidarity” • proposed discipline of ilm alumran or “science of civilization

• neglected from sociological canon bc of Eurocentrism: the practice of favoring  European or Western histories, cultures, & values over those of non-Western  societies

- Auguste Comte 

• proponent of positivism: the theory that sense perceptions are the only valid  source of knowledge

- aka: accurate knowledge must be based on the scientific method • felt society needed positivist guidance toward both social progress & social order • coined the term “sociology”

• some say he was the “father of sociology”

- Harriet Martineau  

• endorsed labor unions, abolition of slavery, & women’s suffrage

- Herbert Spencer  

• promoted Social Darwinism: application of the theory of evolution & the notion of  “survival of the fittest” to the study of society

• believed gov’t shouldn’t intervene in society to address inequalities • played a major role in establishing sociology in Britain & America - Émile Durkheim

• played a role in theoretical perspective of sociological functionalism 2

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

• mechanical solidarity: type of social bonds present in premodern agrarian  societies, in which shared traditions & beliefs created a sense of social cohesion

• organic solidarity: type of social bonds present in modern societies based on  difference, interdependence, & individual rights

• m comes before o

• theorized that suicide is 1 result of anomie: a sense of disconnection brought  about by the changing conditions of modern life

• suggested religion is a powerful source of solidarity: the extent to which  individuals feel connected to other members of their group

- Karl Marx

• critic of capitalism: an economic system based on the laws of free market,  competition, privatization of the means of production, & production for profit

- believed it resulted in unjust social inequality b/w:

• proletariat (workers): those who have no means of production of their own &  so are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live

• bourgeoisie (owners): the class of modern capitalists who own the means of  production & employ wage laborers

- encouraged the proletariat to develop a class consciousness: the recognition  of social inequality on the part of the oppressed, leading to revolutionary action

- believed in alienation: working for people who own means of production - Max Weber 

• rationalization: application of economic logic to human activity; the use of formal  rules & regulations in order to maximize efficiency **w/o consideration of  subjective or individual concerns**

• proposed that modern societies were characterized by efficient, goal oriented, rule  governed bureaucracies  

- was critical of this view—thought it was inefficient

- believed success was made up of prestige, power, & wealth

- Georg Simmel  


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

• concerned w/ social interactions—viewed society as the sum of individual  interactions  

- studied how the size of a group impacts interactions (social geometry) • a dyad—a 2 person group

• a triad—a 3 person group

- tragedy of culture theory states that over time collective culture grows only  marginally, & our individual capacities can’t keep pace w/ collective culture

• based on distinction b/w:

- collective culture: objects people produce that become part of culture (i.e.  art, science, and philosophy)

- individual culture: capacity of individual to produce, absorb, & control  elements of collective culture

- Ida B. Wells-Barnett 

• part owner/journalist of The Free Speech and Headlight of Memphis • launched global anti-lynching campaign in 1893

• encouraged praxis & her work influenced critical race theory

• founding member of NAACP in 1909

- George Herbert Mead  

• curious about how the mind developed but didn’t believe it developed separately  from its social environment

• symbolic interactionist

• believed that society & self are created through speech & gestures— ways in  which ppl use bodies to communicate w/o words; actions that have symbolic  meaning

• influential work on socialization—process of learning & internalizing values,  beliefs, & norms of social group, how we become functioning members of society  

• micro-level focus

- W.E.B. Du Bois  


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

• pioneer in study of race relations

• examined color line—division of black & white society into 2 different & unequal  worlds

- “..the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line” • firm believer in utility of scientific research to address social problems • founding member of NAACP  

- Jane Addams  

• one of 1st proponents of applied sociology

• in 1889, established Hull House: offered shelter, medical care, legal advice,  training, & education to new immigrants, single mothers & people of lower socio economic status

• considered a pioneer of social work

• founding member of American Civil Liberties Union in 1920

• won Nobel Peace Prize in 1931

- Erving Goffman 

• claimed self is created through interaction w/ others & hence ever-changing w/in  various social contexts

• developed dramaturgy—social life is analyzed in terms of similarities to theatrical  performances

- front stage (in front of an audience) & back stage (not in front of an audience)—>  difference in how they act

- claimed humans undergo impression management- an effort to control  impressions we make on others so they form a desired view of us & the situation  

• contributed to symbolic interactionism

- Patricia Hill Collins  

• believed experiences of oppressed groups provided valuable sociological insight

• promotes intersectionality—concept that identifies how different categories of  inequality (race, class, gender, etc) intersect to shape lives of individuals & groups


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

• served as first African-American woman President of American Sociological  Association in 2009

- Theoretical Perspectives: 

• structural functionalism  

- society is a stable, ordered system made of interrelated parts/structures - each structure has a function that contributes to stability/equilibrium of unified  whole

- structures are identified as social institutions: family, education system,  economy, & religion

- structures meet society’s needs bc they perform different functions & every  function is necessary to maintain social order

• dysfunction: a disturbance/undesirable consequence of the system  

• manifest function: obvious, intended function of a social structure for social  system

• latent function: less obvious, unintended functions of social structure • conflict theory

- sees society as system of inequalities

• social inequality: unequal distribution of wealth, power, or prestige among  members of a society

- conflict & tension are basic facts of social life

- ppl are involved in struggles for resources & power

- structures perpetuate inequality, providing some groups w/ privileges/ advantages & oppressing/disadvantaging other groups

• those in oppressed positions should challenge current systems & seek change • symbolic interactionism

- sees interaction/meaning as central to society & assumes meanings aren’t  inherent but created through interaction

- micro-level interactions among/b/w individuals are primary focus 6

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

- symbols contribute & are created through interactions

• symbol: sound, gesture, image, or object that has significant representation/ meaning

Research Methods 

- quantitative research: translates social world into #s that can be treated  mathematically; this type of research tries to find cause & effect relationships

- qualitative research: works w/ non-numerical data such as texts, field notes,  interview transcripts, photos, & tape recordings; this type of research tries to  understand how people make sense of their world

- scientific method: procedure for gaining knowledge that emphasizes concrete data  through observation & experimentation

• 1. identify a problem/ask a question—think about a plan to answer that question • 2. literature review: a search through already published studies on the topic • 3. hypothesis: theoretical statement explaining relationship b/w 2+ phenomena  

- independent variable (x): factor that is predicted to cause change - dependent variable (y): factor that’s changed (or not) by IV

• 4. design method

• 5. collect data

• 6. analyze data

• 7. disseminate findings

• limits to scientific method: 

- can’t always distinguish b/w correlation: relationship b/w variables where they  change together & may or may not be casual

• & causation: relationship b/w variables in which a change in one directly  produces a change in the other

- could be an intervening variable: a 3rd variable, sometimes overlooked, that  explains relationship b/w 2 other variables


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

• creates spurious correlation: appearance of causation produced by  intervening variable

- Research Methods 

• ethnography: naturalistic method based on studying ppl in own environment in  order to understand meanings they attribute to their activities; written work that  results from study

- participant observation: researcher observes & becomes part of social setting - rapport: mutual trust 

- field notes: notes taken by researcher, become basis of analysis - auto-ethnography: feelings/actions of researcher become focus of study - grounded theory: inductive method of generating theory from data by creating  categories to place data into, then looking for relationships among categories

• interviews: person-to-person conversations to gather info through questions  - must identify a target population & obtain a sample

- focus groups: process for interviewing a # of participants together; allows for  interaction among group members

- surveys: based off questionnaires administered to a sample of respondents  selected from target population

• existing sources: materials that have been produced for some other reason but  can be used as data for social research

- sociologists can conduct a content analysis: method in which researchers ID &  study variables/themes that appear in text, image, or media

- Experimental Methods 

• experiments: formal tests of specific variables & effects, performed where all  aspects can be controlled

• social network analysis: tool for measuring & visualizing structure of social  relationships b/w 2+ ppl (questionnaire)

- objectivity: impartiality; ability to allow facts to speak for themselves 8

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

- Values

• debate w/in the discipline over basic & applied research

- basic research: search for knowledge w/o agenda or goal in mind - applied research: gathering knowledge used to create social change - reactivity: tendency of ppl & events to react to the process of being studied

• Hawthorne effect: example of reactivity where desired effect isn’t the result of the  IV, but of the research itself

- Milgram’s obedience study 

• A volunteer was rigged to be a teacher who administered shocks if the learner  (actor) got a memory question wrong; shocks went up to deadly 450v—would  easily kill a person; actor was not actually receiving shocks

• wanted to answer the question:  

- How far would people go to follow obedience to authority?

- Institutional Review Board: group of scholars w/in a university who meet regularly  to review & approve research proposals of colleagues & make recommendations for  how to protect human subjects

- Kaufman’s Views on Ethnographies:

• believes they are very helpful in bringing insight into field of sociology, however,  they do evoke many ethical questions


- culture: the entire way of life a group of ppl (including material & symbolic elements)  that act as a lens through which one views the world & is passed from one  generation to the next

• learned through socialization: process of learning & internalizing values, beliefs, &  norms of our social group, by which we become members of society

- Ways In Which Sociologists Study Culture:

• focus on culture closer to home, often in same societies to which they belong 9

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

- ethnocentrism: principle of using one’s own culture as a means or standard of  evaluating another group/individual, leading to view that cultures other than one’s  own are abnormal/inferior

• can be a source of xenophobia: unreasonable fear & hatred for foreigners or ppl  from other cultures

- cultural relativism: principle of understanding other cultures on their own terms,  rather than judging or evaluating according to one’s own culture

- material culture: physical objects associated w/ a cultural group that are given  social meaning

- nonmaterial culture (symbolic culture): ideas associated w/ a cultural group,  including ways of thinking & ways of behaving

- Communication 

• signs: symbols that stand for/convey an idea

• gestures: ways in which ppl use their bodies to communicate w/o words; actions  that have symbolic meanings

• language: system of communication using sounds, gestures, or written symbols;  basis of symbolic culture & means by which we communicate w/ each other

• Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: idea that language structures thought & that ways of  looking at the world are embedded in language

- Values 

• values: ideas about what’s right/wrong, good/bad, desirable/worthy in a group - Norms 

• norms: rules or guidelines about what kinds of behavior are acceptable &  appropriate w/in a culture

• folkway: loosely enforced norm involving common customs, practices, or  procedures; ensure smooth social interaction/acceptance

• mores: norms that carry great moral significance; are closely related to core  values of a culture; often involve severe repercussions for violators


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

• taboo: norm engrained so deep that even thinking about violating them evokes  strong feelings of disgust, horror, or revulsion

- Sanctions 

• sanctions: positive or negative reactions to ways that ppl follow/disobey norms,  including rewards for conformity & punishment for violators

- help establish social control: formal & informal mechanisms used to elicit  conformity to values & norms & thus promote social cohesion

- multiculturalism: a policy that values diverse racial, ethnic, national & linguistic  backgrounds & so encourages retention of cultural differences w/in larger society

- dominant culture: values, norms & practices of the group w/in society that’s most  powerful (in terms of wealth, prestige, status, influence…)

• can produce cultural hegemony: cultural aspects of social control where ideas of  dominant group are accepted by all

- subculture: group w/in society differentiated by distinctive values, norms, & lifestyle  - counterculture: group w/in society that openly rejects or actively opposes society’s  values & norms  

- culture wars: clashes w/in mainstream society over values & norms that should be  upheld  

- cultural diffusion: dissemination of material & symbolic culture (tools & technology,  beliefs & behavior) from 1 group to another

- cultural leveling: process by which cultures that were once unique & distinct  become increasingly similar  

- cultural imperialism: the imposition of one culture’s beliefs & practices on another  culture through media & consumer products rather than by military force

- Ways Theoretical Perspectives View Culture: 

• Structural Functionalism:

- values & norms are widely shared & agreed upon

• they contribute to social stability by reinforcing common bonds & constraining  individual behavior


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

- subcultures serve the interest of subgroups

• Conflict Theory:

- values & norms are part of dominant culture & tend to represent & protect the  interests of the most powerful groups in society

- countercultures question the dominant social order

- ethnocentrism devalues certain groups

• Symbolic Interactionism  

- values & norms are social constructs that vary over time & in different contexts - meaning is created, maintained & changed through ongoing social interaction - subcultures use unique signs, gestures, & words to communicate - Method Used by Lori Delale-O’Connor 

• studied adoptee culture camps as a participant observer  

• key findings:

- culture camps’ identity construction often reflects an Americanized version of  national or ethnic cultures

- there’s little evidence that children connect projects to own identity  - camps create a space for children & parents to network & support e/o & to  normalize international adoption

• camps function to create an adoptee culture

- kids didn’t feel closer connected to culture, camps weren’t constructed very  accurately

- Wynn 

• we often think that our tastes are individual decisions

• sociological perspective allows us to see that tastes develop through interactions  w/ others

• subcultures & countercultures may form based on tastes

• ppl are becoming increasingly omnivorous  


Tuesday, September 11, 2018


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