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UT / Sociology / SOC 302 / What is sociology?

What is sociology?

What is sociology?


School: University of Texas at Austin
Department: Sociology
Course: Intro to the Study of Society
Professor: Tetyana pudrovska
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: Introduction to Sociology, sociology, and Society
Cost: 50
Name: SOC 302 Study Guide for Exam 1
Description: These notes cover the lecture material and textbook readings for Exam 1.
Uploaded: 09/22/2018
16 Pages 9 Views 8 Unlocks

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SOC 302 Study Guide Exam #1

What is sociology?

Terms to Know

Sociology - the scientific study of patterns of human interaction within the context of groups, organizations, aggregates, institutions, and entire society

sociological imagination - Ability to see the connection between the larger world and our personal lives

- the application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions. Socialization - the process through which children develop an awareness of social norms and values and achieve a distinct sense of self

Microsociology - interactions within the context of small groups

ex: doctors interacting with patients, mother interacting with her children Macrosociology - interaction within large aggregates of people

What is microsociology?

Ex: how countries interact with one another

social facts - aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals

ex: the state of the economy, the influence of religion

Aggregates - collections of people who share a physical location but do not have lasting social relations

ex: crowd at a football game, people at a concert

Ethnography - immersing yourself into the group you're studying (an example of micro sociology)

sociological perspective - "seeing the general in the specific"

- seeing the relationship between personal problems and public issues and identifying the structural causes of an issue

social structure - characteristics of large groups, organizations, and entire societies. - social structures channel our behavior in the same way physical structures channel our behavior. Important social structures include (1) laws, policies, and norms (2) sex ration (3) population density (4) age structure (5) stratification

Feminist theory emphasizes what?

If you want to learn more check out 6 dialectics of intercultural communication

Sex ratio - the number of men per 100 women, if the sex ratio is 100 the number of women and men is the same

Symbolic Interactionism - Developed by George Mead

- A concept that emphasizes the role of symbols and language as core elements of all human interaction

Functionalism - A theoretical perspective based on the notion that social events can best be explained in terms of the functions they perform - that is, the contributions they make to the continuity of a society. Some of these functions are manifest (intended) and others are latent (unintended). These changes tend toward equilibrium, they try to bring us to a functioning working order.We also discuss several other topics like studysoup credibility

- Functionalism was pioneered by Comte.

- Functionalism emphasizes the importance of moral consensus in maintaining order. ● Manifest Functions - functions of a type of social activity that are known to and intended by the individual involved in the activity. Manifest functions tend to be positive.

● Latent Functions - functional consequences that are not intended or recognized by the members of a social system in which they occur. Latent Functions can have positive or negative effects.

Moral Consensus - Moral Consensus exists when most people share the same values. Conflict theory - a sociological perspective that emphasizes the role of political and economic power and oppression as contributing to the existing social order. It states that people will always compete for resources and using a variety of means some people compete more successfully than others. Those who are more successful in competition try to defend their advantages and pass them down to their children while those who are less successful try to improve their resources and access power. The result is sometimes social conflict. Feminist theory - a sociological perspective that emphasizes the centrality of gender in analyzing the social world and the experience of women. Feminist theory emphasizes that gender patterns and gender inequality are not natural but socially constructed. Rational choice approach - if you could have only a single variable to explain society self-interest would be the best one We also discuss several other topics like zoology final exam review

Postmodernism - the belief that society is no longer governed by history or progress. Postmodern society is highly pluralistic and diverse.

Exchange theory - In order for us to get the things we want we must engage in systems of exchange with other people. Assuming the exchange is voluntary, it won’t be repeated unless the people involved think they’re getting at least as much of what they give. The more voluntary a position is the more likely it will hold. In the absence of restraints cheating most likely will occur. Cheating - taking more than you give or getting away without giving anything. The possibility of losing exchanges dampens the likelihood of cheating. Culture - Culture is the sum total of a people’s mental, material, and digital creations. Cultures influence and are influenced by the social structures. Cultures change over time. ex: language, religion, architecture

Components of culture include (1) values (truth, honor justice, anything important to us) (2) norms (expectations for behavior) (3) statuses and roles (the positions people occupy) Master-Status - the status most important to us and those around us, the two may not be the same. These roles constrain our behavior enough to claim that roles are mechanisms of social control. Roles change over time. We also discuss several other topics like a en 475 class notes

Cultural Change - cultures are constantly changing

● Internal Change - this change occurs in relative isolation without the influence of other cultures

● External Change - this change occurs because of contact with other culture, also known as cultural diffusion.

Cultural Universals - common features of human behavior that are found in virtually all societies. The two cultural universals that stand out are that all cultures incorporate ways of communicating meaning and all cultures depend on material objects in daily life. Role strain - when one expectation keeps you from completing another role in the same status

ex: trying to write a paper and needing to study at the same time both affecting your role as a student

Role conflict - involves two different statuses interfering with one another

Ex: your job getting in the way of class, your status of employee conflicting with your status of student

Anomie - a societal level condition that causes social norms to break down and moves people out of their statuses and into survival mode.

ex: a hurricane, a terrorist attack

Technology - our technology reflects our values. We value being connected so we carry cell phones. Technology can also shape our values and interactions. If you want to learn more check out the following evidence indicates that the crime drop is genuine

ex: the invention of AC caused people to spend more time indoors

Technology can also impact norms.

ex: using cell phones at the table on a date used to be rude, now its mainstream Technological change occurs faster than cultural change.

Culture shock - When we come into contact with a culture unlike ours and experience a feeling of confusion and disorientation. In both anomie and culture shock people experience disorientation however they’re very different because in anomie something has caused the norms to break down.

Cultural Diversity - provides us with multiple cultural scripts. There are both benefits and drawbacks of cultural diversity.

Determinism - would predict that a person’s final standings in life are almost entirely determined by the position into which he or she is born.

Research Methods - The methods of investigation used to gather empirical material. For many purposes, it is useful to combine two or more methods within a single research process. The three main research methods used in sociological research are: ethnography, surveys, and experiments. We also discuss several other topics like mis infrastructure

Quantitative Methods - Approaches to sociological research that draw on objective and statistical data. Computer programs allow sociologists to analyze the vast amounts of data the internet generates. These quantitative methods allow sociologists to process more data than ever before.

Qualitative Methods - Approaches to sociological research that often rely on personal or collective interviews, accounts, or observations of a person or situation.

Pilot study - a trial run in survey research

Semiotics - the study of nonverbal cultural meaning that allows us to contrast the ways in which different cultures are structured.

Linguistic relativity hypothesis - argues that language influences our perceptions of the world because we are more likely to be aware of things if we have words for them. Language also helps give permanence to a culture and identity to a people.

Industrialized Societies - industrialization was the emergence of machine production of goods. Industrial Societies are strongly developed nation-states in which the majority of the population works in factories or offices rather than agriculture and most people live in urban areas. Cultural capital - the accumulated cultural knowledge within a society that confers power and status.

Cultural appropriation - occurs when members of a cultural group borrow elements of another cultural group.

Assimilation - the process by which different cultures are absorbed into a mainstream culture. Countercultures - cultural groups within a wider society that largely reject the values and norms of the majority. They can promote views that represent alternatives to the dominant culture.

People to Know

Auguste Comte

-father of sociology - invented the word sociology to describe the discipline he wished to establish

 - believed that the scientific method could be used to study human behavior and society. - believed sociology should be modeled after physics, initially naming it "social physics". - believed that social order wasn't predicted by a divine power but instead constructed by humans.

Herbert Spencer

- "Survival of the fittest"; Social Darwinism between societies and cultures - believed that privileged members of society enjoyed a high quality of life because they had earned their status

- argued that the state should not assist in improving the life chances of individuals as it would interfere with the natural order

Emile Durkheim

- believed that to have scientific basis sociologists must develop methodical principles to guide their research and must study social facts.

- believed that social facts could be analyzed as rigorously as objects or events in nature.

- He saw society as a set of independent parts the way a biologist sees the human body. And each part must function cooperatively for the body to work.

● Durkheim's division of labor - argues that social structure depends on the division of labor in a society (the manner in which tasks are performed)

● Durkheim and suicide - social factors such as anomie influence suicidal behavior

Karl Marx

- Believed that economics is the only thing that matters; all social patterns and relations stem from the economy

- Stated that in a capitalist system those who own capital (factories, machines, and money) form a ruling class while the mass of the population makes up a class of wage workers. ● Marx's materialist conception of history -

○ social change is promoted primarily by economic influences

○ conflicts between classes (rich vs poor) provide the motivation for historical development

○ capitalism is a class system in which conflict is inevitable because it is in the interest of the ruling class to exploit the working class.

Max Weber

- Believed that economic factors are important but ideas and values have as much effect on social change.

- Analyzed the distinctiveness of Western society compared to other civilizations and concluded that aspects of Christian beliefs had strongly influenced the rise of capitalism. - Weber believed it is misleading to imagine that we can study sociology using the same procedures scientists use.

● Weber's Bureaucracy -

○ - A bureaucracy is a large organization that is divided into jobs based on specific functions and staffed in a hierarchy.

○ - Weber focused on bureaucracy and concluded that its advance was an inevitable feature of our era.

● Weber’s Rational Choice Theory - Max Weber thought that all human behavior could be divided into four categories: (1) behavior oriented toward higher values, such as politics (2) behavior oriented toward habit, such as walking to school on a familiar path or eating the same cereal brand (3) behavior oriented toward affections such as falling in love (4) behavior oriented toward self-interest such as making money. Behavior in this last category is often called “rational action”.

Harriet Martineau - first female sociologist

- credited with introducing sociology to England through her translations of Comte's work

- Martineau was the first to turn a sociological eye on previously ignored issues and institutions such as marriage, children, race relations, feminism, and domestic life. - Argued that sociologist should do more than just observe, they should act to promote good.

W.E.B. DuBois

- 1st black to earn Ph.D. from Harvard

- encouraged blacks to resist systems of segregation and discrimination, helped create NAACP in 1910

- Claimed that one's identity is greatly influenced by historical experiences and social circumstances

George Mead

- Believed that language allows us to become self-conscious beings aware of our individuality - Believed that symbolic thought allows us to be free from the limitations of our senses ● “Taking the Role of the Other” - You need to be able to see cues from another person’s perspective. Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes/having empathy is essential. We tend to do better when we have a positive sense of self than a negative one.

Jean Baudrillard

- Believed that the electronic media created a chaotic, empty world. He asserted that social life is influenced above all things by signs and images.

Charles Cooley

● “Looking Glass Self” Theory - we modify our perceptions of ourselves based on what we perceive others to think of us. Based on the cues a person picks up from others they construct a reality which may or may not accurately reflect actuality. Our sense of self changes as our interactions increase although not everyone’s opinion is valued. We value the opinions of our reference group.

Key Concepts

● Sociology is a science

● As rewards increase, cheating increases. As population increases, cheating increases ● Sociologists often disagree about how to study human behavior and how to best interpret the results.

● The Research process: (1) define the research problem, select a topic for research (2) review the literature, familiarize yourself with existing research on the topic (3) formulate a hypothesis (4) select a research design, choose one or more research methods: experiment, survey, observation, use of existing sources (4) carry out the research, collect data and record information (5) interpret results, work out the

implications of the data collected (6) report the research findings, what is their significance? How do they relate to previous findings?

● Two forms of culture: material culture and nonmaterial culture

● For most of our existence human beings have lived in small hunting and gathering societies. Currently less than .1 percent of the world’s population support themselves through hunting and gathering.

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