Study Guide 1
Popular in SOC 150B- Social Issues in America
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HIST 1200 (History, Steven Watts, Survey of American History Since 1865)
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This 10 page Study Guide was uploaded by Amanda Hatch on Sunday October 11, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to 90069 at University of Arizona taught by Hein, James in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 44 views. For similar materials see SOC 150B- Social Issues in America in Sociology at University of Arizona.
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Date Created: 10/11/15
Origins of Sociology One of the youngest of academic disciplines sociology has its origins in powerful social forces 0 Social Change ndustriaization urbanization political revolution Separated families weakened tradition Ordinary people gained a voice in social affairs 0 Science Positivism a way of understanding based on science What is Sociology The systematic study of human society Sociologists try to understand the changes in society Systematic Scienti c discipline that focuses attention on patterns of behavior Human Society 0 Group behavior is the primary focus 0 How groups in uence individuals and vise versa parents in uence on children At the quotheart of Sociologyquot The sociological perspective offers a unique view of study The Life Cycle of Social Problems Stage 1 De ning the problem Advocates and activists promote the idea that an existing social condition is detrimental to society and something needs to be done about it Stage 2 Acceptance and Legitimacy The issue transforms into a public issue possible media exposure Stage 3 Debating Causes and Solutions Policies are formulated and programs implemented to provide solutions solutions can be voted on 0 Casual interpretations are interpreted as either systemic or personal Sociological Approaches to the Study of Social Problems Theoretica paradigm a set of fundamental assumptions that guides thinking Three major approaches Functionalism 0 Con ict Symboliclnteractionism Functionalist Approach 0 Society is a system of interactive and distinct parts that work together to promote solidarity and stability 0 Social problems can produce dysfunction and disrupt the social system resulting in social disorganization Social norms from the dominant culture organize society Socia systems function smoothly when people accept these norms and ful ll their appropriate social roles cooperating with and respecting authority Functionalism Social function refers to the consequences for the operation of society as a whole 0 Functions Actions having positive consequences Manifest functions intendedrecognized Latent functions unintended Dysfunctions Actions having negative consequences Parts of a social system work together to maintain balance Con ict Approach 0 A macrooriented paradigm Society is composed of groups that are in con ict with on another over power and scarce resources 0 Con ict is inevitable between competing classes races ethnic groups and genders all of which are linked to inequality 0 Society is structured in ways to bene t a few at the expense of the majority Wings of the Con ict Perspective Marxist Theory Society s political and social behavior is based upon its economic system Struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat Feminist Theory Focuses on the role of gender and the unequal treatment of women belief that women and men should be treated equally Stresses the role of a patriarchal social order in suppressing and exploiting women Symbolic Interaction Approach 0 Society consists of individuals who constantly interact They use symbols to communicate values and thereby create social consensus Social problems are learned from others through social interaction 0 Learning Theory people learn troublesome attitudes and behaviors from others around them 0 Those who do not meet the shared consensus are stigmatized or labeled as deviant Labeling Theory Race vs Ethnicity Race a socially constructed category composed of people who share biologically transmitted traits that members of a society consider important 0 Usually based on physical characteristics 0 Pure races do not exist 0 De nitions shift over time Ethnicity a shared cultural heritage Common ancestors Common language 0 Common religion RaceSocial Construct The First Irish and Italian immigrants were not considered white The U5 Constititution Article 1 Section 2 counted blacks as three fths of a person One drop rule meaning anyone with one drop of black blood is considered a black person adopted in the 20th century in some states like Tennessee in 1910 Many southern states legally de ned colored as having 132 African ancestry well into the 20th century Florida Utah Kentucky Minority Group Minority any category of people distinguished by physical or cultural traits that a society subjects to disadvantages Membership is not voluntary Physicalcultural traits held in low self esteem by the dominant group 0 Group size not always a factor Women in America out number men Subordination Often saddled with lower status Stereotypes stigma and labeling Stereotypes vs Prejudice Stereotype unreliable generalizations about all members of a group that do not recognize individual differences within a group Preiudice negative attitude towards an entire group of people Often a result of ethnocentrism Racism is one example Discrimination Discrimination denial of equal rights and opportunities because of prejudice Action vs attitude 0 Individual Discrimination One person mistreating another person 0 Institutional Discrimination Built into the social system Redlining pattern of banks and nancial institutions refusing to make any loans in innercity areas de ned as high risk Steering showing homebuyers only homes in neighborhoods of their racial group Policies Enacted by Dominant Groups 1 Pluralism cultural differences permitted and even encouraged eg black history month 2 Assimilation absorbing minority group into mainstream culture 3 Segregation physical separation 4 Internal Colonialism exploitation 5 Population Transfer removal eg transferring American Indians to their historical land to isolated reservations Nazi Germany 6 Genocide extermination eg the amount of Native Americans has reduced tremendously Nazi Germany Policy Options 0 Encouraging cultural pluralism Contact Hypothesis 0 Legal enforcement of antidiscrimination laws Estabish more jobs and provide job training Af rmative Action 0 Way to combat institutional discrimination Coectivey bene ts 23 of society s members Attempt to over come historical racism Probems creates burden that you only got jobposition because of AA 0 Why does af rmative action exist in the rst place To correct past wrongs against minority groups Segregation still exists educational and housing segregation is still a problem Functionalist Perspective 0 Culture affects social standing for racial groups Some place more or less value on education 0 Culture of poverty becoming fatalistic low selfesteem limited aspirations and a sense of powerlessness eg majority of AfricanAmericans grow up with 1 parent 0 American Indians are more cooperative and nonentrepreneurial Oppositional Culture Discourages blacks from excelling in school since it is de ned as quotacting whitequot Symbolic Interactionism Race and ethnicity affect the way we evaluate ourselves and others US society makes whites the standard by which others should be measured WEB Du Bois most people consider race a basic element of social identity to the disadvantage of people of color 0 Race can become a master status that devalues people Con ict Perspective 0 The unequal standing of minorities re ect the organization of society itself 0 The elite divide the workers by playing up racial and ethnic differences US culture provides privileges to the dominant white majority while pushing minorities to the margins of society Racial hierarchy should be eliminated Systems of Strati cation 0 Social inequality Condition in which members of society have different amounts of wealth prestige or power Strati cation Structured ranking of entire groups of people that perpetuates unequal economic rewards and power in a society Savery Caste hereditary rank eg caste system in India based on birth social life is restricted to your own caste you cannot get a job or socialize with people who are not of your caste Estate peasants working their way in Cass what we and other capitalist society s currently have Social Strati cation 1 A trait of society 0 Does not re ect individual differences but society s structure 2 Persists over generations 0 Social mobility happens slowly 3 Universal but variable 0 While universal it varies in type eg wealth prestige 4 lnvolves not just inequality but beliefs Ideologies justify existence of social strati cation Class Systems 0 Social ranking based primarily on economic position in which achieved status can in uence social mobility Social strati cation based on both birth and individual achievement 0 Social mobility for people with education and skills Meritocracy based on personal merit 12815 Max Webers View Multidimensional view of strati cation based on o 1 Class lncome wages Tota economic assets including real estate stock and bonds and other assets as well as money 2 Status Group Prestige Lifestyle 3 Power Economic to corporate Miitary PoHUca Income Vs Wealth Income Salary and wages from a job plus earnings from investments and other sources Richest 20 of US families earn almost as much income as the remaining 80 combined US has the most unequal distribution of income and wealth in the industrialized world Wealth The value of all the economic assets owned by a person or family minus any debts Richest 5 of families control 63 of the country s wealth The widening gap rising CEO pay Important dimension of increasing economic inequality In 2012 to 10 highest paid CEOs in the US averaged 60 million each in annual earnings CEO earnings 1970 40x more than avg employee 1990 96x more than avg employee 2001 411x more than avg employee 2012 423x more than avg employee RagstoRiches Myth Idea that America is a land where everyone has limitless opportunities Hard work can lift anyone into the middle class The poor ack resources that give the af uent advantages for success Better schools networks more money Shrinking Middle Class o Declining opportunities to those with little education 0 Global competition and technology advancement Growing dependence on temporary work Decline of unions Unemployment Cyclical unemployment Tied to the rise and fall of the business cycle ex Great Depression 0 Structural unemployment Due to longterm changes in the economic system Manufacturers getting low cost labor abroad Peope being replaced with machines Economic growth or recession don t necessarily affect job opportunities Poverty 0 Official poverty line Developed by the SSA in 1962 Calculated a low level food budget and multiplied by 3 Adjusted annually for in ation 9573 for one person under 65 2003 14680 for a family of three 18810 for a family of four 13015 Absolute Poverty Absence of basic necessities for survival such as food clothing shelter and health care Relative Poverty living below standards in relation to other groups in society Changing Perception of Poverty Early US poverty not a social problem lndustrialization poverty declined Great Depression poverty believed to be largest problem in the US 0 FDR Social Security and Workers Progress Administration War on Poverty 19605 0 Increased government programs successful at alleviating the problem 1980 s Programs scaled back poverty believed to be less of a concern Poverty and Gender Feminization of poverty Women more likely to be poor than men 57 196025 of poor households headed by a single woman 201250 of poor households 11 headed by a single man Poverty and Health Healthier food and best healthcare is more expensive Infant mortality among poor is 2X higher the national average 4X higher amongst the very poor Same level in countries like Vietnam and Nigeria Poor are more likely to die young from disease violence and natural disasters Life expectancy is 5 years higher for the rich A health gap that has doubled since 1980 Out of 21 high income nations the US was last in terms of life expectancy at birth As American as Apple pie By the time Americans have reached the age of 75 59 will have spent at least a year below the poverty line during adu hood 68 will have faced at least a year in near poverty Most poverty is temporary Usually 1 2 or 3 years Frequently involves job loss illness and family changes like divorce By age 65 23 of Americans will have received government assistance for at least a year Why is the risk of poverty so high Unanticipated events nancial emergencies Divorce lost jobs family becomes seriously ill The Labor Market Jobs are increasingly lowpaying parttime and without bene ts Flimsy safety net Far fewer resources to assist the economically vulnerable in the US Solutions income Inequality Taxa on Progressive taxation raises tax rates as income increases Raise the poverty line Social welfare programs Assistance to people considered worthy of assistance 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act Most welfare does not go to the poor Functionalist Approach Social strati cation is crucial for the operation of society and has positive functions DavisMoore Thesis The greater the functional importance of a position the more rewards society attaches to it Unequal rewards attracts the most suitable people to society s most important positions Ensures that major societal positions are lled Unequal rewards motivate people to work harder and more efficiently Symbolic lnteractionism Middle class schools and the media constantly tell the poor that they are less talented and less worthy people throw quotwhite trashquot parties Ryan 1976 society can de ne people as responsible for their own poverty Blaming the victim nding the cause of a social problem in the behavior of people who suffer from it 1 Pick an issue that you see as a social problem 2 Decide how people who suffer form the problem differ from everyone else 3 De ne these differences as the cause of the problem 4 Respond to the problem by trying to change the victims not the larger society Con ict Approach Inequality is the result of a social system designed to maximize pro ts by keeping costs and wages low Exploits those at the bottom Few rich and many poor
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