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SOC 302 Exam 2 Study Guide

by: Paula Tattoni

SOC 302 Exam 2 Study Guide SOC 302

Paula Tattoni

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About this Document

Here the study guide for Exam 2 of Sociological Theory, covering 3 chapters.
Sociological Theory
Chenoia N. Bryant
Study Guide
SOC 302, Exam 2, Study Guide, sociology, sociological theory
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Paula Tattoni on Wednesday March 2, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to SOC 302 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Chenoia N. Bryant in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 93 views. For similar materials see Sociological Theory in Sociology at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 03/02/16
Exam 2 Study Guide Thursday, February 25, 2016 11:45 AM A Weber and Social Action A Weber: Sociology's Task a Study of subjectively meaningful action b Interpretive understanding of social action/behavior (individual, group, organizational, national, etc.) c Causal explanation of the course and consequences of social action i Social Action: action that is meaningfully oriented toward the behavior of others B Social Action a Many diverse motivators/sources of social action b Meaningful action can be rational or non-rational c 4 ideal types: 2 types of rational action and two types non-rational action i Value-Rational Action 1 Commitment to a particular value (e.g. commitment to god, family, the poor, country) motivates deliberate, methodical rational action in the service of that value (e.g. the Calvinists acted rationally in regard to their beliefs about god/salvation) 2 Rationally bound to the value-motivated behavior irrespective of the costs of executing behavior consistent with the value-commitment ii Instrumental Rational Action 1 Calculating strategic action 2 Driven by a rational assessment of the costs and benefits of selecting particular courses of action 3 Rationally weigh/strategically assess the goals/ends pursued (e.g. career success versus family time), the means for achieving the goals (e.g. efficiency over friendship) ii Emotion iii Tradition B Social Action - Multidimensional a Replacing toll collectors with digitalized technology is an instrumentally rational cost-saving initiative b Motorists and collectors also motivated by i Emotional: face-to-face personal connections ii The value of socialability, preferring a slower ride but an opportunity to chat with others iii The tradition of the ritualized handing over of the toll/chatting with the toll collector B Weber and Protestantism A Culture and Economics a Links 2 domains of activity: culture (beliefs/values/worldviews), economics b The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism c How religious beliefs/other-worldly concerns shape this-worldly material practices B The Protestant Ethic a Protestants more likely than Catholics to have business occupations b Spirit of (early) modern capitalism distinguished by hard work and asceticism (frugality); not by greed or self-indulgence c What accounts for this - what historical-cultural explanation can illuminate these patterns d The Reformation - 1517 i Martin Luther (1483-1546) ii Rejected the hierarchal authority structure and doctrines of the Catholic Church iii Emergence of Protestantism B John Calvin and Calvinism A Calvinist Beliefs a John Calvin (1509-1564) b Purpose of the-world activities; to serve god diligently c Individual stands alone before god (no mediating sacraments) d God's will cannot be known (no priest, etc. can interpret god's will for the individual believer) e Predestination: one's salvation already decided/pre-ordained by god; cannot change god's mind B From Belief's to Action a Individual concern with salvation (heaven/hell); what should the individual god-fearing believer do? i Idea of the calling ii Labor in a calling/a vocation; dedicated this-worldly activity to glorify god iii "rationalization" - success in this world a sign of salvation in the next world B Rationalization a The Calvinist took it as his/her duty to demonstrate proof of his/her salvation b Do this through rational, methodical self-control, self-discipline c "every hour lost to labor for the glory of god" d Avoid spontaneous enjoyment; avoid anything that would distract from work e Inject everyday life with rational methodicalness B Puritan Ethic a Hard work, combined with asceticism, produces money/profit accumulation b Save and invest the profits of labor c Expand Capitalism i Expansion of capitalism an unintended consequence of Calvinists' religious beliefs and their rationalization of those beliefs ii Expansion of individualism B Ideal Types A Conceptual analytical devices B Accentuated characteristics/behavior we would expect to find in looking at social phenomenon in its "pure" form C We can devise ideal typical constructs of any social phenomenon D Aids in comparative analysis (e.g. the ideal typical Protestant compared to the ideal typical Buddhist) B Instrumental Rational Action and Non-Rational Action A Non-Rational Action a Not all meaningful action is rational action b Meaningful social action also includes non-rational action: i Emotional Action: behavior driven by positive or negative emotions ii Tradition: action based on social habits, customs b Empirically, social action does not always or necessarily correspond to only one (ideal) type social action c Modern Society: while instrumental rational action may dominate in several spheres, there are also many instances characterized by the coexistence of varying, multiple drivers of social action B The "Iron Cage" A Term coined by Max Weber B Increased rationalization inherent in social life, particularly relevant in Western Capitalist societies C "iron cage" traps people in systems that based on efficiency, calculations, and control B Weber and Authority A Rational Legal Authority a Bureaucracy: formal organizations b Bureaucratic authority pervades modern society c Evident across all institutional spheres i Government ii Universities iii Economic Corporations iv The Military v Churches vi Sports Organizations b Bureaucracy: a rational, efficient way of organizing and accomplishing tasks in a modern, complex society B Charismatic Authority a Non-rational authority b Con co-exist alongside legal rational and traditional authority c Charisma: resides in the individual, personal grace/charm, charismatic personality; the charismatic individual persuades people to do things - has authority over them d Charismatic Community: unified by members' shared emotional attachment to the charismatic leader B Routinization of Charisma a Charismatic authority is temporary; resides in the individual (not in bureaucratic office/occupation) i The charism dies with the individual's death/scandal, etc.) b Charisma can be routinized through the establishment of a bureaucratic organization designed to continue the charismatic individual's legacy/mission B The Nation-State A Form of political organization in which a group of people who share the same history, traditions, or language live in a particular area under one government B Characteristics of Bureaucratic Organizations A Impersonal criteria in social relations; obligations of office B Hierarchy of offices/divisions/personnel C Division of labor, specific competencies D Contractual relationships; open recruitment E Technical qualifications; certified expertise; merit; appointed not elected F Fixed salaries/benefits G Office is primary occupation H System of promotion; seniority; impersonal criteria I Workers do not own means of administration J Systematic discipline in the conduct of office/rank obligations B Weber's Analysis of Stratification/Inequality A Social Stratification a The processes determining individuals' and groups' objective location in the system of social classes b Weber, unlike Marx, sees multiple sources/gradients of inequality/stratification: i Class: economic resources ii Status: social status/prestige/honor iii Political power B Weber and the Class System A Class a Class Group: individuals who have similar life chances a result of property, income, and labor market opportunity b Property ownership a major determinant of economic resources/class c Multiple Classes: working class, lower middle class, middle class, professional/managerial/business class B Status a Legitimate claims to social esteem: family ancestry, education, club membership, style of life/consumption b Social status analytically independent of economic class; economic resources do not guarantee honor/prestige i Though class and status closely interrelated, they are not the same ii Contexts of economic transformation: dominance of class (economic resources) iii Economically Stable Societies: dominance of honor/social status B Value Neutrality A Duty of sociologists to be impartial and overcome their biases as they conduct their research B Weber and Sociological Analysis A Core dilemma of modern society: tension among conflicting values: which values to pursue? B Scientific knowledge/progress cannot answer the core questions: what shall we do? How shall we live? C Science, including sociology: value-neutral D Sociologists study society with passion and objectively; attentive to "inconvenient facts" a Objective analysis of social phenomena from within the specific historical and cultural context being studied B Parson and Society A Society as a Social System a Society, a self-contained, social action system b Comprised of 4 sub-systems of action (social institutions) whose functions maintain the system i Adaptation to the environment (economy) ii Goal attainment (politics) iii Integration (law) iv Pattern maintenance (socialization) B Parson and Social Action A Voluntarist; actors make choices B Actors have freedom to act within certain cultural constraints C Choices are always constrained by societal values and norms B Parson and Pattern Maintenance A Pattern Variables a Institutionalized values orientations b Contrasting Orientations: i Universalistic v. Particularistic ii Specificity v. Diffuseness iii Achievement v. Affectivity iv Self v. Collectivity B Pattern Variables a Norms characterizing professional occupational relationships differ from family relationships b Similarly, the institutionalized norms in modern societies differ from those in traditional society B Societal Integration A Socialization a Critical to motivating social action b Transmits a society's shared values/norms/behavior expectations c Integrates individuals into a society's functionally requisite social relationships and roles B Characteristics of Modern Society A Modernization Theory a Driven by economic/industrial development and institutional differentiation b Modernization includes urbanization of education, secularization or religious decline, changing norms favoring achievement over ascribed or inherited family status B Modernization a The US as the exemplar of modernization b All economically developed societies alleged to show similar modernization characteristics i Instances of uneven modernization and cultural lag B Critical Theory A Use of reason to critique the ways in which reasoned, critical thought is suppresses in culture and in institutional practices B Reason used to dominate rather than to liberate individuals/groups C Highlights the irrational character of the established rationality B The Enlightenment A Technological Rationality a Enlightenment Thought: use of science to advance social progress b These values have been replaced with a technical ethos that uses science for strategic rather than normative gains c Technological Rationality: use of science and technology to expand instrumental domination B Dialectic of Enlightenment a Instead of the progress promised by the Enlightenment understanding of science and progress, we have its opposite: control and domination rather than freedom and equality b Science/technology harnesses to economic profits and to the control of society and of nature B Technology in Society A Technology as Social Control a Scientific management b GPS Technologies c Electronic Readers/Tracking Devices d Automated Procedures/Technologies e Technology forms a system of domination (notwithstanding its positive uses in everyday life) B Critical Theory and Mass Media A Mass Media as Business a Politics and culture appropriated by the culture industry; entertainment as business i Concern with profit maximization b The news is now entertainment, not politically relevant information and analysis c The is content that helps the new organization's own "brand" as a media company B Legitimation Crisis A Interrelated economic and political steering problems in the capitalist system/society B Political Dependency: citizens look to the state to solve problems C Failure of the state to respond adequately a Legitimate crisis b State unable to sustain the mass loyalty of it citizens B Public Sphere A Freedom to engage in political discussion and informal communication core to democratic society B Civil Society: private individuals/citizens coming together in, and as a, public C Today, public sphere colonized by economic interests; communication restricted B Communicative Action A Retrieve Reason: a As a communicative tool for action b For non-instrumental purposes c To advance democracy/equality d To resist the colonization of the lifeworld; resist institutional domination in everyday life B "False-Needs" A Consumer Culture a Creation of "false needs" b Restricted choice c Culture of imitation d Authority of celebrity e "Cultural Totalitarianism" i Critical theorists tend to overstate the manipulative power of the culture industry


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