Introduction to Sociology 20213
In order to prepare sufficiently for the exam, you should review all your class notes, lecture material, and review the concepts in your text. In addition, you should know and understand the following concepts:
Know how to distinguish sex from gender.
Sex: a person’s biological maleness or femaleness
Gender: designates masculinity and femininity: the psychological, social and cultural aspects of maleness and femaleness
**male-female difference in behaviors or experiences do not spring naturally from biological differences between the sexes
Understand the concept of socialization.
-how we learn what’s expected of us in our families, our communities, and our culture and how we learn to behave according to those expectations. -through socialization, the needs of the society become the needs of the individual
If you want to learn more check out What is groupthink?
Know Melvin Kohn’s study. Be familiar with the differences he found between how working class parents and middle class parents socialize their children.
-interviewed 200 working class and 200 middle class couples who had at least one child of fifth grade age
-middle class: promote values such as self-direction, independence, curiosity -recognize kids talents through organized leisure activities
-their kids success will depend on their kids assertiveness and initiative -working class: promote conformity, be neat clean and follow the rules -the occupational success of their children depend on their children’s ability to obey authority
Know about gender socialization and how parents socialize their children.
-starts them moment a child is born
-focus on injuries and safety with girls and disciplinary issues with boys -household chores differ with sexes We also discuss several other topics like What marketing strategy is undifferentiated target strategy?
-gender stereotype boundaries are stricter for boys growing up We also discuss several other topics like How do you find the marginal cost?
-what parents buy their children (toys, clothes)
-clothes provide visible marker of gender and also direct behavior -frilly skirts aren’t good for rough play
Know about gendered-type activities.
-boys: mow lawn, shovel snow, take out garbage, yard work -girls: clean house, wash dishes, cook, babysit
Know how parents and teachers contribute to gender socialization.
teachers may assign different "tasks" to girls like watering the plants and may allow boys to run the film projector.
Often times, teachers unconsciously reinforce gender norms and gender stereotypes without realizing it.
Know the role that various social institutions like education, religion, and the mass media play as socializing agents.
-huge role, second after family
-primary role is to socialize children
-teach students important social, political, and economic values -teach kids what they can expect for themselves in the world (tracking) Religion
-serves as a major source of cultural knowledge
-developing ideas of right and wrong
-provides coherence and continuity to events in life
-define what is and is not important
-tell us what we “should be We also discuss several other topics like What is accelerated depreciation?
-provide avenue of new attitudes and trends
-children’s books instill gender socialization
Know about the concept of tracking in schools and the effects it has on students.
-children are grouped into different programs based on an assessment of their academic abilities
-students in the higher tracks go to prestigious universities
-lower tracks may not go to college at all
-Tracking ultimately affects employment opportunities, income levels, and overall quality of life
Know how socialization practices vary across racial and ethnic lines.
white children- learning about their racial identity is less about defining their race than it is about learning how to handle the privileges and behaviors associated with being white
-“you can do anything you want as long as you work hard”
-types of socialization include
-their minority status in society
-their history and cultural heritage of their ethnoracial group -asian americans have over come discrimination so they can just focus on the values of their culture of origin We also discuss several other topics like What is orientalism?
-African americans, native americans, latino: prepare their children for prejudice, ethnic hatred,
-they may be taught that hard work alone may not be enough to get ahead in society We also discuss several other topics like What does an informal care mean?
Understand the concept of impression management.
Impression formation: the quick picture of the other person’s identity -age
-race and sex (ascribed statuses)
-physical appearance (individual attributes)
-verbal and nonverbal expressions
Impression management : the process by which people attempt to present a favorable public image of themselves
Primary goal: project a certain identity that will increase the chances of obtaining favorable outcome from others in particular social situations
How we do this:
-strategically furnish or conceal information
-may need to advertise/exaggerate our positive qualities
-conceal things we believe other swill find unappealing
Know about the importance of physical appearance in society and the importance our society places on body weight.
There is a certain importance of physical appearancee because they observations are readily perceivable
Way we dress/decorate our bodies communicates feelings, beliefs, and group identity to others
In the US we are constantly reminded that if we don’t look a certain way we have fallen short of an attractiveness threshold
We automatically link traits such as kindess, strength, sexual responsiveness with more attractive people
At the individual level- the emphasis on physical appearance devalues a person’s other attributes and accomplishments
At the institutional level- its huge for nation’s economy by sustaining several multibillion-dollar enterprises, including the advertising, fashion, cosmetics, and weight loss industries
Know Erving Goffman’s use of Dramaturgy.
Analyzing social interaction as a series of theatrical performances
Audience - people who observe the behavior of others
Roles - images people are trying to project
Script - content of their communication with others
Know the difference between front stage and back stage.
front stage -where people maintain the appropriate appearance as they interact with others -restaurant ex: dining room where customers are present
back stage - where people can knowingly violate ether impression management performances
-restaurant ex: kitchen area where the servers can yell or act how they want Know about the use of props.
objects that convey identity
ex: replacing beer cans with textbooks for parents
can be used to reinforce someones authority over others
or just to make them look good
Know what happens when people fail at impression management.
Embarrassment: the spontaneous feeling we experience when the identity we are presenting is suddenly and unexpectedly discredited in front of others practical jokes are ways to disrupt someone’s impression management
Know what is meant by a spoiled identity.
While impression management is universal, it’s not always successful -For example, we may mishandle props, blow our lines, mistakenly allow the audience to peek back stage, or otherwise destroy the credibility of our performances.
-when we tarnish our reputations or make others see us in a lesser light we spoiled our identity
BOLD QUESTIONS ARE ONES SHE SAID WERE IMPORTANT IN CLASS Study the discussion questions that were distributed to each group in class.
Group 1 : Family Life
1). Discuss how the historical role of the family has changed over time.
2). Why did the role of the family shift? What caused this shift?
3). What was the universal family form in the early 19th and 20th centuries? The universal family form in the early 19th century was many single family households due to the short life expectancy of adults. Even if there were two parents the children would leave home early to work as apprentice type jobs. In the 20th century, father’s being the main bread winner and mothers staying home has not always been the case because 1/5 of women worked outside the home by the early 1900’s. Upper class
women could enter and exit the workforce because their income was not always needed by the family. Women who were from lower socioeconomic households though were forced to work long hours.
4). Discuss the role of American women. How did the experiences of working women vary along class and race lines?
5). Discuss what the research shows about the pervasive myth of the primacy of the extended family?
6). What is the real cause for the reduction in average household size?
The United States does not have a history of multigenerational families living together. People didn’t live as long as they do today, so most people died before seeing their grandchildren. In the 1700s, the typical family consisted of a husband, a wife and about three children. When households in the past were large because of all of the nonfamily members in the house. There were servants, apprentices, boarders and visitors. The decline that we see is because of the reduction of nonfamily members living in a household, a reduction in the number of children in a family and an increase in young adults living alone.
Group 2 : The Culture of Intimacy and Family
- Cultural Variation in Family Practices
- The U.S. Definition of Family
1). In the United States, what type of marriage is considered the cultural standard against which all other types of intimate relationships are judged?
2). What is polygamy? How widespread is this practice in U.S. culture? polygamy: several spouses, illegal
3). How do child-rearing philosophies vary cross – culturally?
4). What is the official definition of family used by the U.S. Bureau of the Census? -a family has 2 or more people including householders and they need to be legally married
-monogamy is the core building block of society
-no other relationship recognized like this
5). The author says that having living arrangements legally recognized as a family has
many practical implications. Why are some of these practical implications?
6). Discuss the attempts that have been made to give legal recognition to same-sex unions over the years? What is the law currently?
Group 3 : Family and Social Structure
- Institutions Influencing Family
- Law and Politics
- Dual –Earner Parents
1). Discuss the relationship between the family and the law?
-sam sex marriage, how assets are divided
2). Discuss the relationship between the family and politics?
-abortion is a controversial topic between family and politics 3). How does the text define the traditional family? How does this definition change when discussed in political terms?
Traditional family: 2 or more persons related by birth who live together as one household (legally married)
-when it comes to financial benefits/inheritance/divorce things get blurry in homosexual marriages
-40% of US homes are nontraditional families
4). Discuss the role that religion plays in family life?
-morality, responses to death, sexuality
5). How does the world of economics affect the family life?
-when someone has economic security, they are more likely to invest in a family commitment
-unemployed people stay single
6). What is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? According to the text, what role does this Act play in helping or hindering families?
-says you have 12 workweeks off
-this is helping families because child birth, serious injury to a family member or yourself
-helps with job security and stable home life when life events happen
Group 4 : Social Diversity and Intimate Choices
- Religious Background
- Race and Ethnicity
- Social Class
1). Discuss the difference between the rules of exogamy and the rules of endogamy?
Exogamy: marrying outside your social circle only (not marrying family, coworkers) Endogamy: marrying within your social or religious circle only (marrying in the same race or social class)
2). Discuss why racial and ethnic endogamy is an especially emotional issue in the U.S. society?
-lack of emotional support from their parents
-some judges don’t marry interracial couples because they think they are protecting the children from the instability of those marriages
3). Based on the readings, why is social class a powerful factor in whom we choose to marry?
-People of these classes (neighborhoods, activities) are more likely to interact -they share values, views
-if you are in a higher social class = higher education
4). How does the U.S. education system play a important role in bringing people from similar class backgrounds together?
-people attend same school of socioeconomic similarities
-higher end goes to a better university
-working classes go to community college
-this is important because college is mostly likely where you will find your spouse -this is how social classes can get reproduced
-A person with a college degree will want to marry another person who has a college degree
-high school degree with high school degree
5). Discuss how changes in technology (i.e. social media, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook,etc.) have changed the way we establish and maintain close relationships in the last ten years? Give data to support your answer.
-message a new stranger
-also some friendship can be false
-may lead to depression
Group V. Family Challenges
- Children, Divorce, and Single Parenting
- Remarriage and the Reconstructing Family
1). According to the readings, what are the causes of the high divorce rates in Western societies?
-great depression caused housing scares so no one could afford to split up -strong religion and religion is against divorce
2). Discuss the ways that people’s overall attitudes towards divorce have become more accepting over the past several decades.
-everyone is more focused on personal happiness and they think its worth it for both people to split
-more forms of marriage or alternatives to marriage
3). Discuss the role that no-fault divorce laws play in the normalization of divorce.
-now marriages can be declared as unworkable and this makes it more casual, no blame -they can sometimes assign cooling off periods
4). Discuss the long term effects of divorce on children.
-they may have academic issues
-kids become more dangerous and act out
-more likely to get divorced when they grow up
-it truly isn’t the divorce itself, its the conflict within the family that creates these effects
5). Based on the readings, discuss some of the reasons why the divorce rate for remarriages is actually higher than the rate for first marriages.
-after someone gets divorced, they don’t spend enough time fixing what went wrong in the last one, they just go and quickly jump into another relationship and the cycle continues
Group VI. Family Violence
- Public Tolerance of Domestic Violence
- Family Violence in Cultural Context
- Personal and Institutional Responses to Abuse
1). The author asserts that “intimate-partner abuse and child abuse – not to mention elder abuse and violence between siblings – occur in ever culture, class, race, and religion.” However, in order to fully understand domestic violence, we must take a look at some important characteristics of the society in which it occurs. Discuss what this means as it relates to the pervasiveness of domestic violence in our culture?
2). In what ways does public tolerance of domestic violence exist at the organizational level?
1. Many incidents of domestic abuse are dismissed by police
2. It is tolerated by some homes such as in cultures where males are dominate. -masochism
3. Social organization and institutions designed to help battered women don’t
ex: in ER, the nurses and doctors interview the women about their injuries in front of husbands
ex: courts treat special abuse less seriously
-80% victims don’t have lawyer to guide through process ex: no training is required for policemen, lawyers, and judges that work with domestic violence people
4. Sometimes the resources designed to help these women are inadequate.
ex: There are long waiting lists for the counseling that is needed by these women. ex: If the nearby shelters are full, then the women are bussed hundreds of miles away. This wrecks work lives, endangers welfare checks, takes the women away from family and friends, interrupts kids schooling.
ex: In some rural areas, there no services to help the women at all. ex: Shelters can be inaccessible to women w/o cars.
ex: In small towns, there is no confidentiality. If a women wants to report abuse, then the she will probably know the person she is reporting it to, and the whole town will soon know.
3). The author asserts that families by their nature, have several characteristics that, while promoting intimacy also increases the probability of conflict and violence. Discuss why this is the case?
4). Discuss how the role of male dominance has sometimes led to a double standard of acceptable violence.
Review the following readings:
Scott N. Brooks, “Fighting like a Ballplayer: Basketball as a Strategy…” Emily W. Kane, “No Way My Boys Are Going …”
Hallinan & Oakes, “Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Grouping: The Tracking Debate.” Andrew J. Cherlin, “The Deinstitutionalization of American Marriage”
(extensive notes on all of these can be found on Study Soup as regular notes)