Intro to Sociology Study Guide
Intro to Sociology Study Guide Sociology 101
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Madison Pamfilis on Sunday March 6, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Sociology 101 at Towson University taught by William Tsitsos in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 195 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at Towson University.
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Date Created: 03/06/16
Intro to Sociology Study Guide What is Sociology? Sociology: systematic study of society and social interactions (socius= companion, logos= the study of) Society: a group of people in which members interact, reside in a discernable area, and share a culture Pioneer sociologist= C. Wright Mills Sociological imagination: how individuals understand their own and others' pasts in relation to history and social structure Cultural patterns and social forces pressure individuals to make one choice versus another, therefore sociologists believe that personal choice is nonexistent, and is rather a matter of your environment Figuration: the process of simultaneously analyzing the behavior of individuals and the society that shapes them The History of Sociology During the Age of Enlightenment (18th century), philosophers developed general principles that could be used to explain social life Industrial Revolution (19th century) changed society greatly, due to increased mobility, new employment, urbanization, etc. (caused the development of Capitalism in many nations) The father of sociology: Auguste Comte (reinvented the term sociology, which was actually coined by EmmanuelJoseph Sieyes in 1780) o Comte believed that society could be studied by using the same methods which were used to study the natural sciences o Believed in the potential of social to work towards the betterment of society by discovering the laws that governed society o Positivism: the scientific study of social patterns (so named by Comte) Karl Marx: German philosopher and economist, coauthored the Communist Manifesto o Rejected Comte's positivism, instead he believed that societies grew and changed as a result of the struggle of the social classes over production (industrial revolution created a wage gap between those who worked in and those who owned the factories) o Predicted that the inequalities of capitalism would become extreme, leading to the collapse of capitalism in favor of communism o Communism: economic system under which there is no private or corporate ownership, everything is owned communally and distributed as needed o Marx had the idea that Idea that social conflict leads to change, which is still a major theory in modern society Herbert Spencer: rejected much of Comte and Marx's philosophies, favoring a form of government in which market forces were allowed to control capitalism Emile Durkheim (18581917): helped to establish sociology as a formal academic discipline o People rise to their proper level in society based on their merit o Believed that by studying "social facts", you could know if a society was "healthy" (stable), or "pathological" (undergoing the breakdown of social norms) Max Weber: prominent German sociologist, made major contribution to the methodology of sociological research (he believe that it was difficult, if not impossible, to use standard scientific methods in order to understand the behavior of groups, as they function differently than the natural sciences do) Verstehen (German word): meaning "to understand deeply", or attempting to understand the social view of an insider in the culture being studied Antipositivism: proposed by Weber and other sociologists; the idea that sociologists should strive for subjectivity as they worked to represent social processes, cultural norms, and societal values (rather than objectivity as seen in studying the natural sciences) in order to gain an indepth understanding of what was being studied Quantitative sociology: using statistical methods (such as surveys) to analyze data and uncover patterns of human behavior Qualitative sociology: attempting to understand patterns in human behavior by conducting interviews, focus groups, and analyzing different sources Functionalism: one of the main "macro" perspectives in sociology o Functionalists argue that all social institutions serve the function of maintaining the health of the "social organism" Social institutions: "stable set of roles, statuses, groups, and organizations… that provide a foundation for behavior in some major area of social life" (Newman) o Ex: education, family, politics, religion, healthcare, the economy o Anthropology vs. sociology: sociology is concerned with social institutions, whereas anthropology is concerned with groups that were not complex enough to form institutions o Ex: crime? "without crime there can be no society" (Durkheim) Serves a function within society Solidifies community of noncriminals by a moral code Manifest vs. latent functions o Manifest functions: the intended, obvious, consequences of activities designed to help some part of the social system o Latent functions: unintended, unrecognized, consequences of activities that help some part of the social system o Ex: manifest and latent functions of educational institutions (MF= pursuing education, obtaining diploma; LF= developing friendships, independent thinking) Emile Durkheim: French sociologist o Functionalist, studied many social institutions (crime, religion, etc.) o The main way which social institutions serve the health of the social organism is by creating and reinforcing "social solidarity" within a society o Social solidarity: community/unity o Durkheim on religion: definition= belief and practice oriented to the sacred, around which a community forms (social solidarity component) o Sacred (versus profane) objects or places: Rules around use, associated with "extraordinary" times of life, awe inspiring, symbolic, no instrumental use (meaning their use has nothing to do with their sacredness) Ex: religious texts, diploma, crucifix, flag, wedding ring, trophies, art/museums/statues, national parks, national anthem o Profane: mundane, no rules around use, ordinary times of life, have instrumental use o Collective effervescence (CE): the experiences of "group excitement" when an individual forgets self and becomes immersed in group affiliation (social, NOT individual); CE is associated with sacred places/objects o Ritual: a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order o Ritual: a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order How do rituals create or reinforce social solidarity? o Goffman’s theory of dramaturgy is a theory of interaction rituals (scripts, aligning actions) o Symbolic interactionalism (SI): microperspective, concerned with small group interactions and attaching meaning to different symbols Seeks to understand society by examining day to day interactions of people with a focus on language, gestures, and symbols, and the meanings they assign to situations (create social meanings; interpretations) SI often focuses on the social forces which influence the formation of identity and self (environment influences social aspects) Examples: reality, identity, self Assumptions of SI: Reality is a “social construction” (ex: identity) Cooley’s “Lookingglass self” (1902): humans use verbal and non verbal responses of others to fashion a mosaic image of who they are Selffulfilling prophecy: a prediction that, purely as a result of having been made, causes the expected result to occur, thus confirming its own “accuracy” Ex: if you tell a child that it is stupid consistently, they will begin to believe it and, as a result, perform as a lower rate in academia o Structural vs. Individualistic expectations: Philip Zimbardo: The Psychology of Evil (psychology professor at Stanfordà looked into the mentality of guards/prisoners) Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) Adu Ghraid Prison Scandal (20034) à in Iraq, the prison was used for prisoners of war (showed American guards performing sadistic punishments on prisoners, etc.) Structural: power of the situation is stronger than the power of the individual (Zimbardo’s belief) Individual: “sadistic, bad people” (Public belief) o Impression formation (IF): Process by which we define others based upon observable cues (ex: age, race, sex, appearance, verbal and nonverbal expressions) This is not the same as stereotyping (although stereotypes may influence the impressions which we form of others) Stereotypingà everyone in a group is essentially the same IF: combinations of observable cues and messages formed of the individual o Impression Management (IM): People form impressions of others and manage impressions of themselves at the same time Social group membership (ex: gender, age, social class) suggests culturally defined expectations of behavior and values Observable characteristics (ex: appearance and clothing) verbal and non verbal communication are all taken into account Ex: cosmetic surgery Erving Goffman (1959): THE Presentation of Self in Everyday Life IM is the process by which people attempt to present a favorable public image Primary goal: increase the likelihood of obtaining favorable outcomes (ex: get a job, get a date, get a promotion) There is still a “core self” that influences these identity portrayals o Dramaturgy: the study of social life as a theatre (Goffman) “performing” when in social interactions via IM Terms have parallels in theatre Examples: role: image being projected (or attempted) audience: people who observe our behavior script: communication with others props: objects used to present image frontstage: where appropriate appearance is maintained backstage: where preparation for performance is made and where IM can be relaxed and the “core self” can emerge o Impression Mismanagement (IMM): Spoiled identities; when we fail at IM, we follow different tactics to re establish order and regain our identities Aligning action: to restore order and repair damaged identity Ex: “I don’t want to sound____, but ___” or “no offense _____” o Socialization: process through which one learns how to act accordingly to the rules and expectations of a particular culture o Structure vs. Agency: (similar to structural vs. individualistic) Social structures and forces influence and constrain our behaviors, as well as our life outcomes “agency”: our ability to influence our own life outcomes, much like the philosophical concept of “free will” Status: named social position that people can occupy (ex: mother, student…) Can be ascribed or achieved Ascribed status: acquired at birth or taken on involuntarily Achieved status: social position entered based on personal accomplishments o Role: set of rights, obligations, behaviors, duties, etc. associated with a particular status Role conflict: the frustration that people feel when the role demands of one status that they are expected to fill clash with the demands of another status This forces us to prioritize and makes our different statuses particularly salient (relevant to a particular situation) o Agents of Socialization: Family: primary source of personal socialization Social class: similar experiences of power, prestige, wealth, etc. Lead to similar ways of perceiving life and social structure Peers: peers can strongly influence beliefs and behaviors Media: transmit messages about the type of people we “should” be; subtle and not so subtle messages Education: transmission of knowledge, Also latent functions which are forms of socialization o Socialization of Gender: Sex: biological maleness or femaleness Gender: psychological, social, and cultural aspects of maleness or femaleness (masculinity/femininity= role) Ex: Elizabeth Lambert (how does this demonstrate the concept of role conflict?) Athlete (seen in common society as inherently “male”) vs. woman (socially constructed roles associated with femininity) Environmental factors Adult behavior often differs with children labeled as “boys” or “girls” Greater encouragement of motor activity with boys More interpersonal stimulation and vocalization and nurturing with girls Gender specific terms of endearment (sweetie, cutie, princess vs. slugger, tough guy…etc.) Gender specific toys (domestic vs. mechanical) Encourage creativity, nurturance, and physical attractiveness in girls Encourage education, science, war, invention, exploration, competition, and aggression in boys Sex and Gender Sex and gender are not the same! Sex: biological maleness or femaleness Gender: “psychological, social, and cultural aspects of maleness and femaleness o Sociologists often speak of “doing or performing gender” Social construction of sex: not the same arguments as for the social construction of race; the two category (M/F) system is a social construction that does not reflect the variety of human sexual diversity o By this argument sex should be viewed as a spectrum o Babies born of “indeterminate sex” (“intersex”, hermaphrodite, sexual dimorphism) Social construction of gender: femininity/masculinity is enforced by social forces (media, parents, other agents) and traits do not reflect genetic dispositions Gender inequality: o In the media: portrayal of women as inconsistent (perfect wife/mother/career woman); sexualization of female athletes and reporters; “catch 22” of gender in media and pop culture (ex: women who care too much about their appearance are shallow, but if they do not care enough their sexuality is questioned) o In families: much of the inequalities that women face today are centered around their traditional family role; working women essentially work two jobs (work and family) seen as a “second shift” o Economy: gender segregation (about half of all US workers are female, this increases in male dominated fields); women still make up the majority of traditionally “female” jobs [administration, childcare, teaching] The Gender Wage Gap: o Full time working women earn 77% of their male counterparts o The wage gap is wider for women of color (intersectionality of race and gender) Relevant Links: William Julius Wilson (See interview clip) Why Are White Death Rates Rising? School & residential segregation in the US: individualistic vs. structural explanations What is the general size of the gender wage gap “digital divide” What challenges does lack of broadband access pose? Sherry Turkle: Alone Together: Goffman’s front & back stages Women’s Economic Opportunity Index: How common are laws mandating paid maternity leave? What is “ ape culture?” How does socialization influence the creation of this type of culture? The “ Bechdel test”: Does this illustrate institutional sexism (similar to insitit. racism) in film? Phillips book: Be prepared for an essay question asking you to discuss how two concepts (excluding symbolic interactionist concepts, including Goffman) that we have covered this semester are illustrated in the book.
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