Intro to Sociology Study Guide Exam 1
Intro to Sociology Study Guide Exam 1 Introduction to Sociology
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1 SOC 101 – Exam I Study Guide Sociological Imagination (Week 1) Basic unit of analysis in sociology Sociology: study of society and human behavior Literally means, “the study of companionship” o Factors: social, economic, power (formal power – politics and the state – VS informal power), and culture Society: macro sociology (organizations, institutions, networks, culture, and power) o Human Behavior: micro sociology (face-to-face interactions) Individuals VS Groups o Sociologists focus on social groups as unit of analysis Groups range from friendships, families to nations, societies Study individuals, but how behavior is shaped by group contexts Society (definitions; cultural/material aspects) “A group of people who shape their lives in aggregated and patterned ways that distinguish their group from other groups.” “People who interact, usually in a defined territory, and share a culture. o Cultural Objects: laws, ideas, and values o Material Objects: technology, the “built” environment Micro, Meso, Macro (know examples of research at each scale) Micro: “Patterns of relatively intimate social relations formed during face-to-face interaction.” Meso: “Patterns of social relations in organizations that involve people who are not usually intimately acquainted and who do not often interact face-to-face.” Macro: “Overarching patterns of social relations that lie outside and above one’s circle of intimates and acquaintances.” Agency “The ability of the individual to act freely and independently.” People face constraints Focus on choice, desired action Structure Recurring patterns that shape inter-relationships Constraints on behavior; “social forces” Ex. gender, race, age, social class Social Construction 2 Emphasis that society is actively created by humans (its current or future shape is not inevitable) Reality “seems real” because of shared understandings and common practice Thomas Theorem o If something is perceived as real, it is real in its consequence Sociological Imagination Personal troubles Social issues “The quality of mind that enables one to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures.” Personal Troubles vs. Social Issues o Personal Troubles: are individualized, refer to events in a person’s life o Social Issues: affect large numbers of people, reflect institutional problems Patterns become apparent Our biographies intersect with social structures Research Methods (Week 2) Quantitative Literacy The ability to understand numbers in context Stereotypes vs. Generalizations Stereotypes o Fixed, narrow “pictures in our head” o Resistant to easy change o Ex. men are more effective leaders than women Judgmental, absolute (blunt), overshadowing, don’t change, carelessly created, shuts off understanding Generalizations o Statements derived from evidence, generally true across many different cases o Often the goal of social scientific research o Ex. top positions in economic and political organizations are far more likely to be filled by men than women Reserves judgment, rarely absolute, individuals not reducible to one category, created through evidence, subject to change, intended to understand causes of categories (expand knowledge) The Research Cycle Formulate research question 3 Review existing literature (open-system) Select appropriate method Collect data Analyze data Report results Deductive vs. Inductive Research Deductive Research o Starts with theory, confirms/modifies/rejects theory based on empirical observations o Abstract -> Concrete Inductive Research o Starts with empirical observation, works to form a theory o Concrete -> Abstract Types of Research Questions Factual Questions o What happened? Comparative Questions o Did this happen everywhere? Developmental Questions o Has this happened over time? Theoretical Questions o What underlines this phenomenon? Vocabulary Concepts o Classifications of observed or inferred phenomena o Ex. conformity, violence, happiness, discrimination Theories o Systematic explanations of conceptual relationships o Help make sense of empirical relationships we observe (abstract) Variables (definition; Independent vs. Dependent) o Attributes that vary across individuals/groups Ex. age, race, attitudes o Represent concepts of interest to the researcher Ex. education (varies from person to person); income (varies from person to person) o Independent: what affects the outcome (the cause) o Dependent: the outcome being explained (the effect) Hypothesis o Assumptions about how variables are related (concrete) Operational Definitions o How a concept is measured in the form of a variable Correlation 4 o Measure of how closely variables are related to one another Correlation is not causality! Just because two variables are related does not mean that one causes the other Spurious correlations o A correlation between variables without any causal link o Some other (unobserved) variable provides explanation Ecological fallacy o Assuming that correlation at macro scale implies causal link at micro scale Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research Qualitative o Aims to reveal intergroup dynamics, social meanings, and relationships using non-numerical data o Participant observation, interviews, case studies, discourse analysis Quantitative o Aims to generalize across large number of people using numerical data o Surveys, content analysis, social network analysis, statistical analysis Experiments (experimental vs. control groups; randomization) Controlled situation that allows researchers to isolate hypothesized causes and measure their effects o Experimental Group: exposed to the independent variable o Control Group: not exposed to the independent variable o Randomization: experiment/control groups assigned by chance Breaching experiments Method where researchers intentionally violate social norms to assess reactions o Ex. elevator experiment Surveys (populations vs. samples; types of interviews; open vs. closed questions; Ask people questions about their knowledge, attitudes, or behavior o Populations: the entire group that researchers want to generalize about Ex. all American adults; households in Winnebago County o Samples: the part of the population selected for research analysis; represents the larger population o Design is important for generalizability 5 Interviews o Face-to-face, telephone, mail, online o Focus groups – detailed, follow-up questions Questions Closed-ended: respondents choose from list of options Open-ended: respondents answer in their own words response rates; question wording) o How many people contacted for the survey actually responded? o How is most likely to respond to survey? o Are they a good representation of the population? Question wording can greatly affect results Ex. adults who love each other should have the right to marry VS Marriage is a Biblical right held between a man and a woman Ex. I believe that climate change is happening VS Global warming is caused by human activity Secondary Data Date collected by someone else o Existing Statistics: data reported in the aggregate o Secondary Data: raw data made public by another researcher; provides researchers with more flexibility to do new analysis Field Research (detached observation; participant observation) Observation of people in their (natural) social settings o Detached Observation: classifying and counting behavior o Participant Observation: observing interactions and participating in subjects’ lives for a period of time Strengths & Weaknesses of different methods (experiments; surveys; secondary data; field research) Validity vs. Reliability Validity: how well a study measures what it is intended to measure Reliability: likelihood of reproducing results using the same procedure Hawthorne Effects When subjects change their behavior because they know they are being observed Reflexivity Accounting for the role of the researcher in affecting research results 6 Sources of error in research Based in data collection o Inaccurate observation o Selective observation (think of car insurance commercials) Based in data interpretation o Overgeneralizations o Illogical reasoning (think of spurious correlations, ecological fallacies) Ethics (subjects’ rights; informed, voluntary, anonymous, confidential) Researchers must respect subjects’ rights o Right to safety o Right to privacy o Right to confidentiality o Right to informed consent Informed and Voluntary o Agree to participate under free will o Subject can quit at any time without punishment Anonymous and Confidential o Researcher doesn’t collect identifying information on subjects o If known, researchers will conceal identity of subjects Harm to Subjects o Subjects must be reasonably protected from anticipated physical or emotional harm o Researchers should inform subjects of the content they will ask subjects to reveal o Deception only tolerate if it reasonably does not result in physical or emotional harm Institutional Review Board (IRB) All research directly involving human subjects must seek IRB approval IRB approves (or disapproves) research projects on ethical standards Theory (Week 3) Major theoretical paradigms (Functionalism; Conflict theory; Symbolic Interaction) Functionalism o How is order maintained in society? o Macro sociology Conflict Theory 7 o How does society change through conflict? o Macro sociology Symbolic Interaction o How is behavior shaped by shared symbolic meanings of everyday social interactions? o Micro (and meso) sociology Functionalism Types of functions (manifest, latent, dysfunction) Manifest o Intended consequences of an action o Ex. go to college, earn a degree Latent o Unintended consequences of an action o Ex. go to college, meet a spouse Dysfunction (defeats the purpose) o Latent functions that undermine manifest functions (not graduating, student debt) Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) Structural-Functionalist theory Focused on what kept societal order, not what drove conflict Key questions & goals o Questions: Where does individualism come from? Why is it more pronounced in modern society? Can we be individualistic and ethically concerned for other members of society? o Goals: Show that in order to be an individual, you have to depend on others Understand morality as objective (not just abstract idea) Social facts o Individuals make up society, but to study society, we have to study social facts Forces that exist outside of the individual They are “objective” Social facts do not require the participation or belief of an individual in order to operate Ex. racism It does not matter whether you “participate” or “believe” in racism, its reality lies beyond any given individual 8 For Durkheim, studying a society = studying its social facts Collective conscience o Collection of beliefs, morals, and attitudes that define normal and acceptable behavior o Violations result in social isolation (conformity) Normality of crime o Communities need crime (to some extent) Crime is functional for community o Why? The act of punishment reaffirms values, pulls community together Social solidarity (definition; mechanical vs. organic) o Extent and mechanism of social integration in a society Ex. religious rituals, punishment of deviant behavior o Mechanical Solidarity Based on similarity (of consciousness, values) Minimal division of labor (based on gender and age) Collective conscience holds society together Individuals behave like gears in a clock o Organic Solidarity Based on differentiation, individuality, and interdependence Complex division of labor Interdependence holds society together Allows for development of individualism Individuals behave like organs in a body (body cannot be healthy unless they function) Anomie o “without law” o Weak social integration due to lack of shared values, norms Individuals cannot find their “niche” o Solutions? Develop new institutions of integration (new communities) Professional associations, e.g. Conflict Theory o Societies change via conflict between social groups Ex. conflict between social classes o Order is maintained via dominance of privileged group over marginalized group o Eliminating systematic privilege will produce stability in society 9 o Macro sociology Feminist theory o Often considered a type of conflict theory Emphasizes lives and experiences of women Historically, theories have typically neglected this perspective o Focus on how gender categories -> inequality o Micro and Macro sociology Karl Marx (1818-1883) Materialism Basis of society are material relationships – of property, technology, labor, resources, etc. Non-material institutions (law, culture, education, e.g.) are shaped by material relationships, serve to maintain material institutions Social conflict (what drives it?) Social change results from a clash of material interests between classes Base-Superstructure model of society Base Forces of production (technology) Relations of production (economic relationships) Superstructure Refers to political, cultural, and intellectual institutions of society Superstructure is ultimately determined by the Base Ex. education Socializes citizens to accept alienating workplace Legitimation via appearance of meritocracy Represses critical thinking and radical ideas Social class (what defines it? Bourgeoisie vs. Proletariat) Class reflects a material relationship Class is defined by one’s relationship to ownership Class is NOT defined by income Capitalism tends toward class polarization Bourgeoisie (owners) and Proletariat (workers) Alienation Alienation from product of labor Produce of labor becomes alien objects not controlled by the workers producing it Alienation from the process of labor 10 Labor becomes means to an end, rather than an end in itself (expression and development of self) Alienation from the other workers Workers relate to each other as competitors rather than fellow human beings Alienation from one’s self Workers unable to harness their creativity into their identity Ideology o Conceived as form of consciousness Dominant ideology reflects interests of ruling class o Common forms of ideological consciousness Hide or deny inequality; claim that rulers and masses have the same interests Morally justifies inequality Ex. poor people deserve their poverty (they didn’t work hard enough) Define inequality as inevitable Critiques of Marx o Did not foresee growth of service or creative sectors o Lives of working classes improved by bether wages, welfare state benefits throughout 20 Centuth But, is all this reverting back to 19 Century conditions? (some argue this today) o Politics and religion are also important sources of social change Post-marxism o In agreement that conflict exists between oppressor and oppressed o Social conflict not restricted to class conflict o Gender, race, sexual orientation, ecology can all be grounds for resistance to subordination W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) Conflict theorist First African American PhD from Harvard NAACP co-founder Differences with Marx o Focus not exclusively on economic class o Instead: racial privilege, conflict o Similarities with Marx: agreed that capitalism causes systematic social problems (racism) Double consciousness o Marginalized groups must always look at themselves through the eyes of privileged groups 11 o Self-identify difficult to reconcile with identity of the dominant group Symbolic Interaction Social behavior shaped by the symbolic meanings of everyday social interactions o Symbols include language, gestures, objects, etc. o Behavior is contextualized by subjective meaning People both create and react to their social circumstances Helps us understand a diversity of lived experiences, perspectives, motives Action vs. Behavior Social action motivated by significant meaning is distinct from behavior o Meaningful action is behavior directed towards others and to which we attach subjective meaning Ex. praying alone in church would be considered a meaningful action, not behavior Max Weber (1864-1920) German sociologist Influenced both conflict theory and symbolic interaction Differences with Marx o Not everything economically determined Power o The ability of actors to impose their will on others Legitimacy o The property of power that gives it moral grounding o Sense of duty to obey authority regardless of personal interest Authority o Legitimized power Types of Legitimate Authority (traditional; legal; charismatic) o Traditional: habitual conformity o Legal: rationally created rules o Charismatic: unique qualities of an individual leader Rationalization (substantive vs. instrumental) o Societies become increasingly “rational” (calculated) over time o Why? Societies become more complex (economics, politics, technology) Larger nations/communities/organizations = larger goals 12 Efficiency and planning get emphasized; ends over means o Rationally (calculation) eventually spreads to all spheres of life Hallmark of modern society Pre-modern societies focused more on immediate needs o Substantive Rationality Aimed toward some ultimate value o Instrumental Rationality Aimed toward immediate tasks Disenchantment (The “iron cage”) o Instrumental overcomes substantive rationality o Leads to disenchantment Loss of spontaneity, meaning, inspiration Culture (Week 4) Definition of Culture Set of beliefs, traditions, objects, and practices System of shared symbolic meanings Socially transmitted Surface vs. Deep Culture Surface Culture - emotional load: relatively low Deep Culture – emotional load: very high, intense Values Moral beliefs defining what is right and wrong (abstract) o Ex. nonviolence, respect for authority, hospitality Norms (mores vs. folkways) Definitions of appropriate behavior May be implicit or explicit o Ex. giving others cars space on the highways; eye contact during conversations; offering a drink to guests Mores: norms with moral underpinnings (use of violence, e.g.) Folkways: norms without moral underpinnings (shaking with right hand, e.g.) Ethnomethodology (breaching experiments) Studying how people make practical sense of their everyday life Breaching Experiments o Method where researchers intentionally violate social norms to assess reactions o Purpose is to objectify the cultural scripts of everyday life 13 o Ex. shopping from other peoples’ carts at grocery stores; tipping friends/family for a meal they prepared; turning your back to an elevator door Material vs. Nonmaterial culture Material Culture o Objects that are part of the built environment Nonmaterial Culture o The values, beliefs, behaviors, and social norms o Often facilitated through material culture Cultural scripts Modes of learned behavior and understanding that are not universal or natural Tie values, norms, and roles together “High” culture vs. “Pop” culture “High” Culture o Perceived as sophisticated; typically enjoyed by upper classes Ex. opera, ballet “Pop” Culture o Cultural objects enjoyed by mass audiences Ex. Hollywood movies; American Idol Subculture vs. Counterculture Subculture o Distinct cultural values and behavioral patterns of a particular group Ex. Packer fans Counterculture o A subculture whose values and behaviors deviate from those of mainstream society Ex. hippies Ethnocentrism Belief that one’s own culture is superior to others Viewing other cultures from perspective of one’s own Often a basis of prejudice Cultural relativism Accounting for behavior by standards of the culture where it takes place o Not passing judgement or assigning values from own culture Ethical relativism Belief that nothing is inherently right or wrong, but defined by the dominant culture Deviance (sanctions; stigma; institutional regulation) Transgression of socially established norms 14 Sanctions o Enforcing behavioral conformity Positive (rewards) or negative (punishment) Formal (legal, e.g.) or informal (verbal abuse, e.g.) Stigma o Experience of devaluation due to violation of social norms Institutional Regulation o Religion o Law o Medicine Merton’s Typology of Deviance (conformist; innovator; ritualist; retreatist; rebel) Cultural Goals Institutional Means Conformist + + Innovator + - Ritualist - + Retreatist - - Rebel ± ± Socialization (Week 4) Definition of Socialization The process by which individuals internalizes the values, beliefs, and norms of a given society Learning how to function as a member of society Primary vs. Secondary agents of socialization Primary Agents o People responsible for initial socialization of a child o Families (typically) Introduce basic values to their children Secondary Agents o People who supplement additional or different types of socialization (schools, peers, media, co-workers) Schools: spends a lot of time in school Peer Groups: important part of socialization; teens report peers as most intimate relationship Religion: also provide important site of socialization for many people (family and religion overlap) Mass Media: communicate values and norms to consumers Charles Cooley (looking-glass self) 1902 15 The self emerges through interaction with others o We envision ourselves the way we think others perceive us o We change how we present ourselves based on this George Herbert Mead (role taking) 1934 Four Stages of Human Development 1) Children imitate significant others 2) Children pretend to be other people 3) Children learn to take on multiple roles at once (around age 7) 4) Children take on role of generalized other (ability to imagine others’ expectations) Dramaturgy Analyzing human behavior as though people are on a stage, acting out roles Impression management o Efforts to control the impressions we make on others Ex. dressing up for an interview Front of Stage (exhausting) o The self we intentionally present to others Back of Stage (recharge) o Who we are behind closed doors Status (ascribed vs. achieved; master status) A recognizable social position o Ascribed Status (cannot change) Statuses we are born with (race, sex) o Achieved Status Statuses we enter into (professional) o Master Status One status that overrides all others (people constantly bringing it up) Roles (definition; role strain vs. role conflict; role model) The expected duties and behaviors of someone who holds a particular status o Role Strain Incompatibility of expectations within a single role Ex. a student with multiple exams to study for o Role Conflict Tension caused by competing demands between two or more roles Ex. working for a long shift the night before a final exam (student VS employee) o Role Model A person whose behavior is emulated by others Anticipatory socialization 16 Taking on the norms of an aspired (but not yet achieved) role Resocialization Process by which one’s sense of values, beliefs, and norms are redesigned after a major change Can be voluntary or involuntary Ex. marriage, divorce, parenthood, career Total Institutions Institutions that totally immerse individuals, control the basics of everyday life o Care for harmless (orphanage or nursing home) o Care for the incapable (mental hospital) o Protect community against perceived danger (prisons) o Intended to pursue difficult task (military) o Designed as retreats from wider world (convents) Marriage and Family (Week 5) Sociological definitions of Marriage and Family Legally recognized social contract between two people o Expectation of sexual monogamy (usually) o Expectation of permanence o Basis for the family (traditionally) Monogamy; Serial monogamy; Polygamy Monogamy o Marriage exclusively between two individuals Serial Monogamy o Married to multiple partners, but only one at a time Polygamy o Marriage where one partner is married to multiple other partners Typically a male married to multiple females Not commonly practiced, even in polygamous societies Endogamous vs. Exogamous marriages Endogamous Marriage o Marriage where the couple comes from similar social background Exogamous Marriage o Marriage where the couple comes from very different social backgrounds Cohabitation Two individuals living together in a sexual relationship, but not married 17 Divorce Rates of divorce have stabilized (or slightly declined) What leads to divorce? o Biggest factor: financial stress (most pronounced immediately after birth of first child) Newest trend: elderly divorce Same sex vs. Opposite sex couples (demographic trends) Same sex couples are demographically similar to married opposite sex couples o Age, race, income, education o Exceptions: More likely to be inter-racial Less likely to have children in the household o Overall, more likely to have both partners working VS opposite sex couples Types of Families (be familiar with general trends re: changes over time) A socially recognized group of emotionally connected individuals that forms the basic unit of society (often related by blood) Nuclear Family o Two-parent family with biological children o The (modern) historical norm Cohabiting parents (~3% of U.S. children) Single parent families (~30% of U.S. children) DINK (Double Income No Kids) o Used to be not so common (more money) Relationship between Marriage & Economic Inequality Single and Unequal o Unmarried individuals suffer economically VS their married counterparts More pronounced today than in the past Particularly true among parents Groups and Organizations (Week 5) Groups vs. Crowds Groups o Any collection of people interacting with frequency Ex. members of a local organization Crowds 18 o Any collection of people sharing time and space, but not interacting Ex. fans at a music concert Primary vs. Secondary Groups Primary Groups o Intimate face-to-face interactions, meets the expressive needs of the individual Ex. family, close friends Secondary Groups o Non-intimate interaction, meets the practical needs of the individual Ex. classmates, co-workers, political party members In-groups vs. Out-groups In-group o The social group you feel you belong to o “My people” Out-group o A social group you do not feel you belong to o “Not my people” Conformity The extent to which an individual complies with the group norms Reference Groups A group an individual compares themselves to Not necessarily a membership group “Keep up with the Joneses” Relative Deprivation Our “happiness” shaped by the gap between our reference group and our lived experience o Not directly shaped by objective conditions o Ex. a millionaire whose reference group is an elite set of billionaires may feel relatively deprivation Group Sizes (dyads; triads; large groups; know basic trends that accompany changes in group size) Dyad: 2 people Triad: 3 people Large Groups o Time shrinks o Emotional bonds weaken o Groups become more stable Formal Organizations A type of secondary group o Large, impersonal 19 o Bureaucratic o Differentiated roles Division of labor Individuals in different roles may perceive different organizational goals Ex. A doctor who disagrees with her HMO’s policy to first pursue cheapest available treatment for patients Bureaucracies Characteristics o Hierarchy of authority o Clear division of labor (specialized tasks) o Explicit rules o Impersonal o Meritocratic (by design) Voluntary, Coercive, and Utilitarian Organizations Voluntary o Membership based off of shared affinity, reap intangible benefits o Ex. October Lovers Club Coercive o Required membership intended to provide corrective benefits o Ex. prison Utilitarian o Contractual membership, reap tangible benefits o Ex. place of employment, school Organizational Culture Values, norms, common actions that characterize social life within a formal organization Integrates individuals from plural social systems Organizational Reach & Power Organizational Culture o Characteristics of organizational power as a network of relationships and actions Extensive, Intensive, Authoritative, and Diffuse power (Be able to recognize examples of organizations that combine different types of power) o Four Components Extensive Power Ability to coordinate large numbers of people across territory for minimal cooperation Intensive Power 20 Ability to mobilize high level of commitment from participant Authoritative Power Actions willed by groups through conscious commands and obedience Diffuse Power Actions that spread through decentralized, spontaneous ways
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