Sociology Videos and Concepts | Section 3
SlideShow: Union of Concerned Scientists
--Shows the reality of disinformation and what tactics are being used.
--Information laundering… using seemingly independent organizations to present information in a way that seems objective, in order to confuse the public and make information seem legit. --Numerous companies also make disputing claims… creating an “Echo Chamber”
Video: AGU Chapman Conference—Climate Science: Richard Alley (YouTube)
--Shows the effects on crops on really hot days
--As we go to warmer temperatures… at first, nothing happens, & suddenly almost everything drops off. --It doesn’t take many hot days to ruin the crops, regardless of other factors (e.g. pesticides, water, etc.), if it’s too hot, productivity drastically declines. We also discuss several other topics like ru mis
--Using real world data, it’s not just predictions.
Documentary Film: “How to Survive a Plague” (2012”
--Overview: About the AIDS/HIV epidemic
--6 year long epidemic… without drugs, there’s almost 100% fatality rate. ~2 years to live after diagnosis. --Symptoms: night sweats, weak immune system (pneumonia), dry, patchy skin, skin lesions, etc. We also discuss several other topics like ps 101 uiuc
-Grievances (things people were unhappy about)…
--Need to address the epidemic of AIDS crisis.
--AIDS being diagnosed in the hospital… also incentive for hospitals not to diagnose it. --Security guards beating up AIDS patients.
--People who died… funerals wouldn’t accept people who died from AIDS
--Too much complacency with finding the cures.
--DHPG failure to legalize as over-the-counter drug… until ACT UP pushes actions. --Writing up a treatment agenda… describes how the cure should be found, tested, and administered. There wasn’t a guide for the treatment by the FDA, so ACT UP wrote one. --Need more access and effective drugs!
If you want to learn more check out psychology 101 sensation and perception
--Lack of response from NIH… and other research committees.
--Immigration problems… gay immigrants denied on basis of “health problems” & blatant discrimination.
--Solving the structure of HIV protease… could we prevent HIV from replicating & stop it? --Fear within the organization ACT UP… leads to division within the group. If you want to learn more check out WHAT IS THE MOLAR MASS OF ACETATE?
--Crixivan… seemed to work at first, but then failed… EXCEPT in patient 143. His levels dropped and stayed down… now they had to figure out how to get everyone cured.
--Defining the problem… why is collective action the solution?
--Need a huge, group effort to bring real attention with real power to real problems that are KILLING millions world-wide.
--We need a NATIONAL level research plan of action
--Targets of collective action
--Provide power to individuals
--Be able to get government institutions to make more advances in finding the cure, the treatment of the gay community and other AIDS victims, and funding for clinical trials. --Getting the government to work with the AIDS community to develop treatment. --Get more attention.
--Learn about NIH, FDA, etc. to work better to finding treatments & funding.
--Sit-ins/Kiss-ins to get meetings and statements from public institutions.
--Letter-writing… campaigning to recognize non-traditional families in terms of housing --New drugs being tested on HIV-positive volunteers. (AZT is the drug ($10,000 / year) --Target the FDA… “Encourage” them to research more quickly and efficiently. If you want to learn more check out karl backs uta
--Make AIDS a part of the federal campaigns… make it a political debate.
--Funeral on Washington march…. Pouring ashes all over the White House lawn. --TAG group put less pressure on timing… they want to make sure that the drugs actually work. --Social movement organizations
--AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)… take over city hall in New York, trying to get Ed Koch to address the AIDS epidemic and declare a state of emergency. We’re the most influential group at solving the AIDS crisis.
--People With AIDS Help Club… importing drugs from international countries to test treatments. --AIDS Conference… finally open up science meetings, committees, etc. to AIDS community members & have them actively apart of the research. A part of MERCK Research Company. --Treatment Activist Group (TAG)… split off group from ACT UP. Much more formal & focuses more on legislation. Wanted complete reorganization of research b/c drugs out were useless. --Intended audience and messages communicated We also discuss several other topics like utsa math
--Lawmakers… declare a state of emergency. Allocate funds.
--Science researchers… find a cure!!
--General population… want to get people to understand what activists are doing and why. --Drug companies… drop prices of drugs, make them more available and effective. --Catholic church… the church condemns the use of condoms. The AIDS community must fight against this to prevent the further transmission of the HIV virus.
--President George Bush… he was very complacent about addressing the AIDS issue. --Jesse Holms… congressman who needed to stop fighting against the AIDS community. --A Japanese research company… were dragging their feet on developing drugs that could save cancer patients (breast cancer) and AIDS patients.
--Conclusion: Combination was the way to go! Crixivan + two other drugs ???? cure HIV within 30 days. 6,000,000 lives saved because of the drugs. Yet, 4 people die every minute because they still can’t afford the drugs.
Sociology 1101 Midterm 3 Study Guide Highlight = key term Highlight = key concept Highlight = key person
--Paradox: We think of family as a haven in a harsh world, but in fact, inequality begins at home. --Harry and Ozzie… typify the American “ideal family,” owned a home, had two kids, Harry worked outside the home, Ozzie was full-time homemaker. But they were transracial, transnational, cross-class, and interfaith… they only shared the fact that they were both males.
--By post-war, males being the breadwinner was the dominant, normative, and mythical model (“how things ought to be”) of domestic life. In the 1950s, 86% children lived in two-parents families, 60% were born into homes with male breadwinner and female homemaker.
--Sociologists see this traditional family look more like an ideological construct, not a universal norm. The ideas of family are NOT universal.
Family Forms and Changes
--Before 1967, it was still illegal in 22 US states to have an interracial marriage.
--Endogamy: marriage to someone within one’s social group. Legally forced in India. --Exogamy: marriage to someone outside one’s social group. (E.g. Michael Jackson & Lisa Marie Presley) --Total exogamy… occurs when people from completely different social categories get together – much more rare.
--Monogamy: the practice of having only one sexual partner or spouse at a time. --Polygamy: the practice of having more than one sexual partner or spouse at a time. --Polyandry: the practice of having multiple husbands simultaneously. Occurs in some rural areas of Asia. --Polygyny: the practice of having multiple wives simultaneously. Practiced in Islamic & African cultures. --“Traditional Family”: a heterosexual couple lives with their dependent children in a self-contained, economically independent household. Usually patriarchal, with wife and children dependent on male. --Bronislaw Malinowski… 1913… researched Australian Aboriginals and suggested that although they were engaging in non-discriminating sexual promiscuity, they recognized family relations and kept them distinct from other forms of social connection. They still had a home base where family gathered ???? dispute is settled: the family must be a universal human institution.
--Also, Malinowski said family was a necessary institution for childrearing.
--Neurogeneticists are researching monogamous-mating voles to see if humans share the same genes that create the mechanisms for partner preference.
--Nuclear Family… coined by Talcott Parsons… said that the family with breadwinning father, dependent mother and kids was a functional necessity in modern industrial society because it fulfilled society’s need for productive workers. Were supposedly universal, BUT suggested other institutions or methods couldn’t fulfil that need as well.
--Successful cultures that go against the Nuclear Family model:
--Mandurucu Village of South America…. Men and women do everything on opposite ends of the house, and only interact to have sex.
--Na people of southern China… marriage isn’t an institution children usually raised by uncles. No fatherhood. Sex is anonymous & spontaneous. No restrictions on sex partners.
--Zambia… mothers do not provide usual nurturing for girls. Suggests that a mother’s unconditional warmth is not necessarily a biological given.
Male-Bread Winner Model
--Arose as new middle-class cultural ideal in the early 20th century. Few families actually corresponded to this ideal in the early 20th century.
--Millions of Americans still lived on farms.
--In working-class urban families, women and children often worked in paid employment—child labor was widespread until WWII.
--Extended family households were common before social security and private pensions gave seniors an independent income after WWII. American’s weren’t as mobile and self-supportive. --After WWII, also the incomes for the bottom 80% were flourishing faster and more than the upper 1%. --A 30-yearold man with a high school education could by a house with 15% of his income and support an entire family on his income alone in this period. Job discrimination also prevalent for women. --Media during the 1950s showed tons of “Nuclear Family Ideals” (e.g. Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best), and portrayed the “ideal family” as having a wise, hard-working father, a homemaking wife, and some young kids. Father is head of the family.
--Men and women were expected to promptly marry in their early 20s. If males didn’t ???? marked as odd, or homosexual. If female didn’t ???? expected to frantically worry about becoming a “spinster.” --Media in the 1950s often focused on the “Battle of the Sexes”
--Men sought sex, and women expected to “hold out” for marriage.
--Strong norms ???? premarital sex was seriously taboo. Even though it still as frequent as today. --Premarital sex was VERY risky (especially for women) in 1950s… Birth control not available until 60s. Accidental pregnancy ???? hurried marriage or dangerous illegal abortion. Discovery = scandal and extreme social disapproval.
--The “double standard”… men expected/normal to play the field before settling down, but sexually active women received a lot more criticism and bad reputation.
--Birth control and the sexual revolution???? reduced risks of premarital sex and loosened the link between sex and marriage. Youth movement of 1960s challenged these norms. --Women’s movement challenged the “double standard” (see above).
--By the 1970s, media portrayal of the “traditional 1950s-style marriage” were split between nostalgia and hostility. Looking back to 1950s as a “simpler, innocent time” (e.g. Happy Days) or ridiculed for its double standards & huge commitments made to lifetime partners based only on momentary attraction
Why Male-Breadwinner was Instable
--The dissatisfactions of women in the 1950s:
--Economic dependence of women on men… Penalties of failing to find a husband ???? lead to loneliness and poor. Penalties of not finding a wife (for men) ???? only maybe lonely, or called gay. --A man’s emotional dependence on his wife may not outlive her economic dependence on him. --Woman have education & potential, yet they’re stuck in the domestic home.
--The dissatisfaction of men in the 1950s:
--Men actually resented women’s economic dependence on them!
--1950s masculinity required being a successful breadwinner = my wife doesn’t have to work --Men come home from work and just want dinner and to be left alone… but women seek companionship… very dysfunctional.
Family in the Western World Today
--Extended family: kin networks that extend outside or beyond the nuclear family. --Other possible family arrangements (besides Nuclear): families with no children, “empty nesters”, dual-earner families, blended stepfamilies (~16% of US families), adopted families, etc. --Only 1/5 of American households consist of married couple with their own kids, and 61% of households only have one or two people in them.
--~40% of all marriages end in divorce… ¾ of divorced men and 2/3 divorced women remarry. --Marriage will not disappear ???? eventually, 86% of men and 89% of women are projected to marry. --Cohabitation: living together in an intimate relationship without formal legal or religious sanctioning. 2/3’s of cohabitates either break up or get married within three years.
--40% of US women born in the 1980s will never be married with children. 25% of US households headed by single moms. 20% of women remain child-free after marriage.
--Women marry at ~27 years old. Have children at ~25.6 years old.
--Multiple births (twins or triplets) has increased immensely as a result of delaying childbirth and is compounded with the widespread use of fertility treatments.
--Adoption rates are also decreasing.
--Globally, ~1/5 of all families were headed by single women. (2007)
The Historical Divide between Public and Private
--The “traditional family” model is ONLY referencing the 1950s nuclear family, and it’s actually deviant from families 50 years before and after that time.
--The preindustrial family of 1800s was a site for both production and consumption, where work was done in the home and the home was considered work—families make and used their own food, clothes, and good without much surplus. Division of labor wasn’t as prevalent, so men and women both worked and cared for the kids. Children = “small adults” without much of a nurturing period.
--Kinship networks: strings of relationships between people related by blood and co-residence (marriage). These members relied on one another during hard times, rather than government or other services. Relationships w/n generations endured more than b/twn different generations.
--Industrial Era families experienced a split between work & home into separate spheres. Men left to work for wages outside the home. Home/family becomes the site for consumption with women in charge of what & how much the family would consume. “Women’s work” became related to private, domestic sphere, went unpaid, & depended on the man’s wages ???? gender inequality rises.
--Ties with kinship networks broke down because of physical distances and changed the relationships to being much more vertical (between parents and kids) rather than horizontal (between extended family and nuclear family).
--Because of declining fertility and higher life expectancies, mothers more likely to have to care for their parents just as their children are leaving the home.
--Cult of domesticity: the notion that true womanhood centers on domestic responsibility and child rearing. Ideas about the “nature” of a woman sprang up to support her role as housewife.
--Families after WWII experienced a decreasing gap in the ideal and real income made to support the ideal nuclear family model of the 1950s. Many families just couldn’t afford to live solely off the man’s income, but it was more possible for white middle- and upper-class families. Economy and baby boom aided in keeping divorce rates at a low, but the teenage birthrate was twice as high in 1957 as in the 1990s. Marital ages were at their youngest, average of women ~20, and men ~22.
The Family and Work Not-So-Subtle Revolution
--Kathleen Gerson (1985) called the way of organizing work and home a “subtle revolution.” --Women’s participation in the labor force has soared and fertility rates have plummeted. Today 65.9% of all mothers, married or not, are working. Marriage rates have declined. Birth rate is near low point. --Some suggest that having a working mother can lower cognitive achievement and increase behavioral problems if mother works in their early years. Others suggest that for moms with lower income levels, leaving kids in day care while at work is beneficial. Conclusion: family situations are just too complex & diverse to generalize, so no one is “right.”
--Dalton Cooley found that if mothers worked while raising children, the daughters were more likely to graduate college and earn more similar incomes to their brothers. If the mother’s didn’t work, the daughters earned ~$8000 less than their brothers later in life.
--Sarah Fenstermaker Berk (1985)… characterized family as a “gender factory” of sorts, were women and men learn to take on distinct roles paralleling the divide between the public and private spheres. Family is where people first learn how to “do gender” in conformity with the norms.
--Marriage rituals are gender stratified: brides are given away & take the last name of their husbands. --Home is where the social construct of women and men being “fundamentally different” begins. --Betty Friedan (1963)… The Feminine Mystique... Women’s domestic labor went almost invisible ???? identity crisis for middle-class housewife. Led to various dysfunctional coping behaviors: affairs, obsessions, unhealthy attempts to live through children.
--Distinguishing head of family = POWER. Who determines the collective decisions made with money? Women’s earnings used for extras and nonessentials. Men’s earning used for essentials. --Viviana Zelizer (2005) notes that the distinctions between household incomes help protect the man’s status and sense of masculinity when the wife also takes on a breadwinner role in dual income families. Family isn’t immune to social constructs of gender.
--Sibling “rivalry” is becoming more physically aggressive, husbands and wives use force to control each other, and adult children plunder their elderly parent’s life savings.
--Most frequent form of family violence is sibling on sibling. Strongest predictor of sibling-on-sibling violence are dads with short tempers and moms who get physical when it comes to punishment. --Abuse transmission is NOT genetic, and only about 1/3 of all people who are abused as children go on to have seriously neglectful or abusive relations with their own children. It’s more of a “monkey-see, monkey do” phenomenon. Broad social factors like poverty, single-parent homes, and low levels of education are associated with higher levels of all types of domestic abuse.
--Intimate Partner Violence (IPV): violence that occurs within a couple. More than 1/3 of women and ¼ of men have been raped, physically attacked, and/or stalked by an intimate partner at some point. --Elder abuse usually occurs in the likelihood order of financial, emotional, physical, & sexual abuse.
The Chore Wars: Supermom Does it All
--Arlie Hochschild (1989)… coined the term second shift: women’s responsibility for housework and child care AFTER working a paid job. Women are more likely to think about divorce with comprehensive reasons because they are bitter and fed up with being “supermoms” who work and do the second shift. --In dual-income households, men and women spend separate and unequal time on tasks. --When men do housework it’s “helping out around the house” and wives zealously thank them. Men, however, never report feeling lucky or extremely thankful when their wives do the housework. --Men are usually in charge of outdoor activities, and women disproportionately do the work inside. Men’s chores aren’t usually on a daily basis (e.g. changing oil, lawn mowing), where women have routines. Men also get to pick their chores, and women do what’s left. Men spend more special recreational time with kids, usually on the weekends, where mothers do mundane activities. --Adult daughters more likely to care for the homes for aging parents than adult sons. --As long as women’s income contributes some to the household (without surpassing) the husband will help out with the second shift. BUT if she exceeds the husband’s earning, he will drop his share of the domestic work and there is a tension created from the “de-masculinity” of the man. --“Reproductive Labor” argument made by radical feminists of the 1960s stressed the value of social reproduction, all the activities that women perform daily to keep their working husband’s lives running smoothly, and shouldn’t be discounted just because there’s no income being made.
--US government established the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund in order to administer $7 billion to settle ~5000 death and injury claims. Distributed by attorney Kenneth Feinberg to families to make up for unpaid “future incomes” made by deceased workers, but the feminists were able to allow case-by-case compensation review for people who lost the “economic value of household services” that would have been provided by deceased moms.
--Blumstein and Schwartz (1983)… suggested that gay and lesbian couples are more likely to have a more shared division of labor, and also pay much more care and attention to household chores than heterosexual couples???? possibly explained because it may legitimize and validate their households. --Divorce disproportionately affects women harder than men b/c they earn about .81 c/$ made by man. --Barbara Risman (1998)… found that “fair families”, where husbands and wives divided the roles of breadwinner and homemaker equally led to happier marriages and individuals, and found these couples are more often close friends as well as partners.
--Dr. Benjamin Spock… Baby and Child Care (1948, other editions released later)… studies found that men are just as capable of doing the second shift as women, and can benefit in terms of happiness, health and longevity if they contribute and are involved, but they tend not to live up to their potential as often when women are around to handle to second shift.
Non-white American Families
--African American Families
--Black and poor women have come to rely on extra-familial female networks in order to manage childcare and work responsibilities, often working another extra shift because she is often the primary or only breadwinner.
--Daniel Patrick Moynihan… The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (1965)… found that 25% of black wives out-earned their husbands, versus only 18% of white wives. Creates a “pathological matriarchy” that undercuts the role of the father in black families and leads to other problems such as domestic violence, substance abuse, crime, etc. He claimed that
matriarchy is the root to these problems and that they’re stereotypically bad black mothers that are domineering and unfeminine, doesn’t supervise her kids, and emasculates her man. --W.E.B. Du Bois… argued that black female-headed families were the outcome, not the cause of racial oppression and poverty. They HAVE to work to pay rent, put food on the table, and take care of the kids because most black males are either un-employed or incarcerated. --Kathryn Edin… found that in poor African American communities, the presence of poor-quality schools, lack of jobs, and sometimes substance abuse, make it difficult to undertake a traditional progression of dating, love, marriage, and child-bearing. Often childbearing proceeds marriage, but the fathers-to-be often tend to strengthen their commitment to the mother ???? the issue lies in staying together until the couple feels financially secure enough to marry.
--Latinos make up the largest minority group in America (16% of the population). --Defined as a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish cultures or origin regardless of race.
--Because it’s so diverse racially and geographically, there are only a few common threads: --Family > individual. Families rely on each other and kinship networks are strong. --There is a strong sense of community and allegiance to the family.
--Women listen to the men, and children listen to their elders, in a clear-cut hierarchy. --Usually practice Catholicism. Leads to high marriage rates, low divorce rates, young aged marriages, and lots of out-of-wedlock births (no birth control, condoms)
--Is the decline of marriage an important reason for growing economic inequality? Not really. --There’s a positive correlation in the amount of income inequality and the adult population that’s married. Meaning, the more people that are married ???? MORE inequality in the country. --On the other hand, single-parent families are more likely to be poor than two-parent families, even if both parents have low income.
--States have spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decade on marriage promotion among the poor…. TOTAL FAILURE. Poor families have different ideals because they don’t have the economic stability that helps marriage. Many put off marriage until “they’re ready” economically. Stability = prerequisite for marriage.
--Single mothers and poverty often go hand in hand. Plague non-whites more than whites. Must rely on welfare, family, luck, etc. to make ends meet. Many women are working hard (often off the books) and still need the welfare to make it by. In other countries, the range of social policies that can assist mothers for parental leave, mandatory “part-time work, full-time pay”, etc… but NOT in the US. --Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein… did research on poor single mothers in the US and found all 379 preferred self-reliance over welfare. Found that mothers on welfare could cover about 3/5 of expenses, & low-wage jobs INTENDED to cover everything else. Almost impossible to save money up. --Barbara Ehrenreich… a sociologist and writer who tried to make ends meet with low-wage work in 1998. She worked two jobs ~$6 or $7 an hour, paid high rent weekly, ate for less than $9 a day, had to get food from charities and still couldn’t afford to live off her wages.
--Welfare moms are forced to enter the workforce and give up providing adequate child care, encouraging women to abandon their children in an unsupervised home. Being a responsible worker requires being an irresponsible mother. Many mothers have to rely on cash assistance from family or boyfriends, bartering with neighbors, take side jobs, going to relief agencies, or resort to criminal activity
Inequality Starts at Home
--Dalton Cooley… The Pecking Order (2004)… described the pecking order that exists among siblings in the form of a status hierarchy that ignites competition, struggle, and resentment. The Clinton’s are a great example???? Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar who became president while his younger half-brother was a college dropout who became a coke dealer. Why such disparity?
--Birth order only matters in families of 3+ children with limited resources. Children born first or last fare better socioeconomically than those born in the middle.
--Pecking order emerges but is conditioned by society. Sibling disparity much more common in poor or single-parent homes because the success of one sibling often generates negative backlash among the others ???? leads to parents putting all hopes and dreams into one kid.
The Future of American Families
--Dip in divorce after WWII because people hastily got married before they left for war. --However, they KEPT declining b/c of the dissatisfaction w/ the expectations & experiences in marriage. Number of marriages also went down.
--Why is the rate so high?
1. Stress… high demands to provide economic and emotional support. There’s less help from extended family & communities. Divorce comes, in part, from expecting too much. 2. Changing role of women… rejection of intolerable relationships by women (and men).
3. Sexual permissiveness… allows sex to happen without marriage ???? more divorce. --Cultural incoherence: ideal of lifelong marriage BUT we also want divorce to be easy. --People have much more freedom to define their own ideas of family.
--Paradox: Americans highly value marriage, but have highest divorce rates of any comparable western country.
--Andrew Cherlin… sociologist who noted the paradox above, and explained that personal economics, not personal values, may be the contributing factor to divorce. Couples who cannot provide themselves with a middle-class lifestyle often question the utility of their marriage. Younger people are delaying marriage so they can find jobs first.
--Divorce effects on children are not usually generalizable. Most children adjust well, but others end up with stress, depression, and lower future socioeconomic success.
--Blended Families… step-family
--1/3 of the US falls into this category. Cherlin estimates that more than 25% of US children today experience at least two maternal partner changes and ~8% experience three or more. --Gay and Lesbian Couples
--They’re just as successful as hetero-couples in producing well-adjusted, successful offspring. --Opponents are often strongly religious conservatives who argue that this nontraditional family arrangement will wreak social havoc, and also claim that marriage has the purpose of procreation (biologically determined) and since gay marriage doesn’t produce biological children of both parents it’s not functional, right, or natural.
--Views are changing though. Gay marriage is now legal in all 50 US states.
--Miscegenation: the technical term for interracial marriage, literally meaning “a mixing of kinds”, but because the term is politically and historically charged, sociologists prefer exogamy.
--In the 1960s, nearly 80% of Americans were opposed to white-black marriages, but by 2009, It dropped to 17%. Attitudes vary greatly by location, religion, etc.
--In 2010, Asian Americans had the highest rate of outmarriage (28%), followed by Latinos (28%), blacks (17%), and then whites (9%). Also varies by gender within these groups.
--The US General Accounting Office has identified more than 1000 legal rights and responsibilities attendant to marriage. Ranges from continuation of water rights upon death of spouse, to the ability to take funeral leave. States and localities have their own provisions.
--Marriage rights and responsibilities need to be broken down to better suit nontraditional families. --Maybe instead of having ALL legal rights go to ONE person (the spouse), individuals should be allowed to apply the rights to specific and different people based on individual circumstances.
Conclusion: Families today take on many shapes and sizes that best fit their members’ needs, and they are not defined by blood ties, but by the quality of relationships.
Paradox: Although school is supposed to be the institution in society that provides equal opportunity, it ends up sorting and stratifying students by the backgrounds from which they come. --Patrick Bernard Ehidonye-Johnson… a man who was born in Liberia, but currently goes to school online while working jobs and supporting his family and saving up for his education and one of his sister’s. Takes online classes (MOOCs), and represents who the online education should be reaching, but he’s rare because of his access to internet, computers, etc. that are needed for the classes.
Functions of Schooling
--Education: the process through which academic, social, and cultural ideas and tooks, both general and specific, are developed.
--Unfortunately, ~14% of US age 16+ is functionally illiterate (can’t write or read well enough to be a functioning member in society) and ~22% age 16+ is innumerate (not enough math to function well). --Almost all students go through more or less the same socialization process because public school is free and mandatory up to high school.
--Hidden curriculum: the nonacademic and less overt socialization functions of schooling. -- Pitirim Sorokin… Power and Morality (1959)… Argues that many schools sort students through testing and then teach them different skills and socialize them differently in the ways deemed appropriate for their futures (e.g. gifted programs or vocational school).
--However, others argue that school stratify the students, not by merit, but by class— disproportionately sending the lower-class students more often into vocational classes. --Why Public Education? Critical for many reasons….
--Upward mobility in the US… education should be the ticket out of poverty, right? --Democracy depends on an educated, informed citizenry.
--21st century technology requires highly-educated workforces in order to compete globally. --Education needs to be a part of solving civilization issues.
Does School Matter?
--Not all schools are created equal ???? affects educational outcomes of the students. --James Coleman… The Coleman Report… commissioned by the government 10 years after Brown v. Board of Education to see if the reason the achievement gaps between black and white schools was remained high was measurable (e.g. textbook availability, class size). Results: Resources between schools did NOT matter. The contributing factors of educational achievement were family background and the peers with whom students attended school. Composition of the school has significant effects.
--Black students = better in majority-white schools. Low-income better in middle-class schools. --Links between students’ achievement outcomes and school characteristics.
--Class size… schools with smaller classes significantly benefited in terms of fewer behavior problems and significantly higher achievement test scores. Long-lasting effects ???? more likely to graduate, more likely to take ACT or SAT, etc.
--Private schools… Catholic schools are best at preparing academically.
--Private schools have higher attendance rates, more homework completion, higher academic program enrollment, etc. which could explain the achievement differences. --Also, Catholic schools stem from large amounts of social capital: the information, knowledge of people, and connections that help individuals enter, gain power in, or otherwise leverage social networks. These relationships are conductive to learning. --Are the schools failing in the US?
--Conventional wisdom… America is falling behind other industrialized countries. --OECD Pisa 2012 results: US tied for 17th in reading literacy among 15 y-olds. Tied for 27th in mathematics literacy among 15 y-olds. 20th in science literacy among 15 y-olds. --But what is the nature of the problem?
--Dominant view: public schools are subject to too much gov control and bureaucracy. They are ineffective because they lack incentives to do better. Also, bad teachers protected by unions. --Standards are too low, & families (especially low income) are locked into failing schools where no one cares & opportunities are limited.
--Answers to the dominant view:
--Accountability: rigorous national standards with rigorous testing to meet global standards. Adding merit pay and funding incentives ???? successful teachers and schools should be rewarded and failing teachers and schools held accountable.
--Choice: students should be able to leave failing schools for better ones. Charter school movement???? anyone who wants to can manage a school that receives government funds. New markets in education ???? schools should compete for resources & students.
--Dominant view expresses a consensus that includes both political parties, education reform philanthropies, for-profit education corporations and entrepreneurs, and numerous education experts. As a result, the education landscape is changing rapidly.
--The differences among students WITHIN schools is > differences among students BETWEEN schools. --Tracking: a way of dividing students into different classes by ability or future plans (e.g. different preparation-- academic, vocational, or general). Intended to create a better learning environment. --Predicts graduation rates & whether students attend college or not (Gamoran & Mare, 1989)
--Vocational track students more likely to be employed in skilled jobs (Arum & Shavit, 1995) --Parents, however, may often step in and have students places in academic tracks, despite mediocre test scores???? overrepresentation of higher-class whites over minorities & low-income. --Stephen Morgan… studied non-Catholic students at Catholic schools. Found these students were particularly ambitious & their parents’ goals for them may play a large role in kid’s educational success. So is tracking really important?
--Some students may suffer hugely because of the stark differences in quality of teaching and content of materials between tracks. Jeannie Oakes (1985) interviewed students and those in higher tracks were able to identify valuable lessons learned from class, while lower track students admitted to learning almost nothing useful or helpful.
--Teachers… students can experience extremely differed types of instructions that vary in their quality. Teachers have a social intimacy with students because of the huge amount of time spent with them. --Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson (1968)… found that teacher’s expectations had significant impacts on student achievements. Pygmalion Effect: a self-fulfilling prophecy, and in this case, teachers expect more from the student????the student does better. Works vice versa. --Peers… who attends class sets a tone for classroom environment. More behavioral problems in one student ???? more behavioral problems with other students and all reduce test scores. --Raising average ability of the classroom will raise the individual student’s ability. Vice versa. --No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002.
--Was supposed to be a reform map for school system on basis of accountability & choice. --Major provisions:
--Mandatory annual testing of reading and math, grades 3-8 and once in high school. --All states required to ensure 100% of students reach “proficiency” by 2013/14. “Proficiency” as defined by each state (NOT NATIONALIZED).
--Every school required to make “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) toward the goal. “AYP” also as defined by each state.
--Schools failing to make APY designated “schools in need of improvement” and received penalties. Schools reaching goals ???? rewards (i.e. money).
--The appeal of NCLB
--Increasing standards, back-to-basics (reading-writing), is always popular reform themes after trying to “enrich” schools with extracurricular (e.g. arts and sports) --Expertise in education not required of the reformers ???? the schools will improve in response to incentives (i.e. rewards/punishments).
--The results of NCLB
--25% of schools failed to make AYP. These were concentrated in high-poverty districts. --School choice… <5% of eligible students are transferring to successful schools. The voucher that families “save” on public schools can’t compete with wealthy families in terms of sending students to private schools. Inequalities reproduced, not undone. --Tutoring… 80% of eligible students turned it down.
--School restructuring… mediocre results. Some large school districts brought in directors, but most schools still didn’t improve.
--Harsh sanctions for failing to improve ???? led to cheating scandals nationwide. --Goal of 100% proficiency by 2013-14 not met.
--As of 2015, 42 states have waivers allowing them to not comply with the NCLB.
The Charter School Movement
--Argues that NCLB fails b/c of bureaucratic public schools, where bad teachers protected by unions. --The solution is eliminating public schools ???? replacing with charter schools. Replace unionized teachers with nonunionized teachers. There are 5000 charter schools currently nationwide. --Research on charter school performance:
--CREDO study (one of many with similar findings)
--17% of charter schools have better results (test scores)
-- 46% of charter schools have no difference in results
--39% of charter schools have worse results
--All in comparison to matching traditional public schools.
--Note: most charter schools did NOT do any better than public schools.
--The results vary WIDELY on impact of charter schools. Charter schools are less regulated, have more reign. They don’t usually report things they’re supposed to b/c not government controlled. --Some charter schools fail and have to close half way through the year, leaving students w/o educational opportunities.
--Some kick students out, and/or are more selective on admittance.
--Charter school movement is one of the educational fads promising to cure society’s ills.... but it has the relationship between education and poverty exactly backwards:
--Education CANNOT eradicate poverty.
--Poverty CAN prevent people from taking advantage of education as an upward mobility strategy. It rarely happens.
--In 1910, only 3% of US age 25+ had college degrees, in 2012 jumped to 30.1%. --Functionalist Perspectives…
--Believe the rise of education boils down to simple supply and demand. Jobs are more technical and require more educated workforce???? therefore, people go to school. (NOT well-backed) --In fact, most American’s have too much education for the occupations they end up in. --Conflict Perspectives…
--See education as badge of elite status.
--As education expands, the elite have to obtain more education to set themselves apart. --Credentialism: an overemphasis on credentials (e.g. college degrees) for signaling social status or qualifications for a job.
--Skills in jobs aren’t changing, but the requirements are being raised by employers in order to screen out people ???? people overqualified for their jobs.
--Students stratified within the schooling system as they try to attend better schools, get on higher tracks, etc. just to stand out against others.
--The SAT: Meritocracy and the Big Test
--They’re supposed to predict a student’s potential for college success better than high-school GPA and class rank (because these two can vary among students from different schools). But other studies show it’s not as significant of a predictor.
--Research shows that SAT accurately predicts freshman year GPA, class rank, likelihood of graduation, and changes of obtaining an advanced degree. Only for WHITE students, though! --SAT is biased toward certain groups who can afford to learn the information that’s being tested (e.g. practice classes), despite whether it’s actually important knowledge. --Affirmative Action: Myths and Reality
--Affirmative action: refers to a set of policies that grant preferential treatment to particular subgroups w/n the population—typically women & historically disadvantaged racial minorities. --Myth: Levels the playing field for historically underrepresented groups. Reality… schools give preference based on many characteristics, not just race or ethnicity, such as being a legacy, an athlete, where you grew up, leadership skills, or unusual life circumstances. Often, these preferences are equal or higher than those given to black or Hispanic students. --Myth: affirmative action takes away from deserving white students. Reality… Abolishing affirmative action would only improve white’s chances of acceptance by 0.5%. Asian students would benefit the most because they’re not considered as an underrepresented minority. --Myth: African Americans and Hispanics are underprepared and will flounder at elite schools. Reality… there are mixed results???? lower GPAs, but higher graduation rates.
--Eliminating affirmative action would decrease black and Hispanic acceptance rates by 1/2--2/3. --Intelligence or IQ?
--IQ tests only measure one kind of intelligence… do not include thinking creatively or understanding complicated scientific concepts.
--Also criticized for having bias that is commonly taught among white, middle-class. --DON’T measure innate intelligence, but intelligence developed after interacting w/ environment.
Inequalities in Schooling
--There are many out of control, background characteristics that affect educational outcomes. --Social Class or socioeconomic status (SES): an individual’s position in a stratified social order. Composed of any combination of parental educational attainment, parental occupational status, family income, and family wealth. Higher on any ???? generally, better educational opportunities.
--More money = afford tutoring, prep courses, move to better areas, go to better schools, etc. --More parental education = more help in classes from the parents.
--Higher SES = more likely to see teachers as equals (or inferiors) and gain advantages for their students. Lower SES = more likely to not feel as empowered over the teacher/school. --Cultural Capital: the symbolic and interactional resources that people use to their advantage in various situations. Coined by Pierre Bourdieu. Three types:
1. Embodied… skills that rest in our body (e.g. learning to play piano)
2. Objectified… objects that require a significant investment in time and money to acquire (e.g. the piano itself)
3. Institutionalized…skills become legitimized through a formal system (e.g. being accepted into an elite school because of your piano-playing abilities).
--What is considered useful in one time/place may not be in another.
--Schools also tend to reward middle-class knowledge obtained outside school. Often having more social networks and cultural capital from families allows white students to succeed. --Race
--Does the responsibility of the educational gap lie on the shoulders of African American families or are larger societal forces more important contributors?
--Blacks are lower on all of the SES indicators on average. ~30% live below the poverty line, compared to only ~10% of whites. ~40% of black children under 18 live below the poverty line, compared to only ~17% of white children.
--The typical black family has only 5 cents to every dollar of wealth of a typical white family. --Class Intersections
--When controlling for SES, the black-white educational gap narrows significantly. --Upper-class children are being exposed to educational opportunities that encourage learning and growth, while lower-class children tend to lose some educational ground during the summer because of lack of opportunity.
--Alternate explanations for the gap besides class:
--Blacks fear of being accused of “acting white”—school and book learning is associate with white behavior, so many blacks downplay their intellect and disengage from school (Fordam and Ogbu). Others (Tyson, Darity, and Castellino) found limited support for this. --The inversion of dominant values is prevalent among underprivileged youth, regardless of race… causing kids to act out and see achievement as negative. (MacLeod and Willis) --Blacks feel socially isolated in honors and advanced placement classes, so they may not reach for those. Good news, if they are placed, most succeed in the rigorous track! --Stereotypes
--African Americans may have internalized the negative stereotypes, which are resulting in the achievement educational gaps. Almost like the Pygmalion Effect (self-fulfilling prophecy). --Stereotype threat: when members of a negatively stereotyped group are placed in a situation they fear they may confirm those stereotypes.
--Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson (1998)… black and white Stanford undergrads were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Each were given verbal tests similar to the SAT. Group one was told it was assessing intellectual ability, group two was told it was a simple problem-solving task. Blacks in “test” group scored significantly lower than blacks in the “problem-solving” group, and scored lower than all whites. “Activation” concept explains that when people are aware of the negative stereotypes they perform worse. --Gene Movement
--Contrary to masses of evidence, many still believe in the idea that racial differences in intelligence are genetic.
--In 1900s, many biased IQ tests were given ???? claim whiter skin led to high innate intelligence. --Stigmatized minority groups in all countries, even when they are of the same “race,” have lower IQ scores and lower educational/occupational outcomes (e.g. Buraku in Japan). --Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray… The Bell Curve Thesis (1994)… claimed that everything was genetic, so blacks did worse educationally because it was because of genetic tendencies.
--Others reviewed their techniques and found they used intelligence tests to show what they learned in school, NOT measuring innate intelligence.
--Hispanics suffer from the highest dropout rates, and have lower SAT scores, higher rate of repeating grades, and suspension/expulsion than white students. They are also a target of negative stereotypes and targeted for explaining inequalities that stem from genetics.
--Asians = “model minority” even though when they first arrived they suffered from huge amounts of discrimination and oppression, they now consistently score higher on math, have higher GPAs, and higher college attendance rates than non-Asians.
--How’d they do it? Portes and MacLeod (1996) suggested that they have more social capital than other immigrants within their communities because of close ties and support for each other’s parenting rules.
--Boy-Girl Achievement Gap
--30 years ago girls lagged behind in educational outcomes, but now girls are surpassing boys. --Girls: are less likely to repeat a grade or drop out. They outperform on reading and writing, attend college in higher numbers, and more likely to graduate than boys.
--More than half of all graduate degrees awarded are earned by women, yet still doesn’t pay off in the workplace ???? women = 80 cents/$1 a man makes w/ equal education. --Boys: more likely to engage in risky behaviors and experience serious problems at school. They also make up larger proportion of those taking calculus and science AP tests and score higher than girls on these tests.
--Girls have started doing equally well across all SES at the same time boys from lower-SES started doing worse. The crisis has limited effects on middle- & upper-class children. --The family at home
--Growing up with same parents ≠ siblings will end up with similar educational outcomes. --Resource Dilution Model: hypothesis stating that parental resources are finite and that each additional child gets a smaller amount of them. Especially true for kids born close together. Resources include economic (e.g. money) and amount of interaction.
--Only children do better educationally ???? have a monopoly on parental resources. --Middle children = do the worst off, particularly boys, in families of three or more children. --Later-born children = better chance of getting parental financial support for college than older siblings ???? possibly because of improving parental financial status.
--Biological take… babies with smaller birth weight have lower educational outcomes than their heftier siblings. Also low birth weight has been correlated with poor classroom behavior.
Research in the Sociology of Education
--The Charter School movement’s diagnosis of the problem is simply wrong:
--Teacher quality only accounts for 10-15% of variability in student achievement gains (but, it is the most important factor IN the school).
--Non-school factors account for ~60% of variability in achievement
--Student SES/family income, is the single most important factor in school performance. --Kids who are poor, hungry, homeless, or abused have more difficulty learning relative to kids who are not.
--Why are we rewarding improvement and punishing failure of teachers when most of the factors aren’t under teacher control?!
--Creating perverse incentives (e.g. cheating) and discouraging good teachers to go to bad districts because they’re paychecks rely on the students’ test scores. Counter-productive because we need good teachers to improve those districts.
--Practice, feedback, proper training, etc. is what drives improvement! NOT incentives. --The idea that schools of concentrated low-scoring students are designated as failing… but why?
--Schools with predominantly middle-class… kids are prepared before school (e.g. kindergarten, preschool, etc.). Continue learning over the summer.
--Schools with predominantly lower-class… they learn at the same rate as the middle-class kids while in school, they are just less prepared before school. Additionally, students regress during the summer because of stress, environment, etc.
--Outside process are making the gap bigger, NOT the schools themselves.
--The idea behind the voucher movement is that for schooling to be equal, students should be able to choose where they want to go, regardless of whether they can pay for it.
--Proponents want government vouchers for students that can be redeemed at any school, public or private. Students take the dollar amount on the public school they would have spent and apply it to the tuition at another school.
--Benefits… students can choose better schools, competition in schools will improve all-around standards, etc.
--Issues… do the schools have the right to limit in number of students? Would it make the school less effective? Not all parents could or would choose to send their kids to other schools. --Currently, voucher programs being tested around the US.
--Results so far… Although findings vary, overall there is NO consistent benefit found and has made no difference to child achievement scores.
Revisiting the Education Problem
--Question: So why are US Pisa test scores so mediocre against international competition? --Answer: The US has some of the largest concentrations of impoverished schools. --Nearly 25% of children in the US are poor. The child poverty rate is HIGHER than the total poverty rate. --US has a HUGE range of schools that are either stellar or extremely impoverished. --Education isn’t our problem… CHILD POVERTY IS OUR PROBLEM.
--Since were not committed to ending or reducing child poverty, it’s reasonable to ask what schools can do to REDUCE the effects of poverty on achievement.
--Poor students need more school resources than affluent students.
--Current public school funding is opposite! Students in wealthy districts enjoy MORE educational opportunities than counterparts in poor communities.
Chapter 11—Health and Society
--Paradox: What causes people to die changes over time, but the group at greatest risk of dying from these afflictions, those low in socioeconomic status, stays the same.
The Rise of the Medical Profession
--Doctors have enormous social power, political power, and prestige. Comes from the ability to offer “health and longevity” (or, at least, claim to offer it). They’re intimate AND objective with patients.
--Medical schools are limited in strict numbers and are limited with how many doctors can graduate each year ???? contributes to the prestige and selectivity of the field.
--Doctors are assumed to answer to a higher moral calling (e.g. the Hippocratic Oath)???? obligates them to help in emergency situations, and only in the patient’s best interest.
--“Quack” = a professional who violates the unstated ethic of getting the approval from peers (i.e. other doctors) by seeking the make a client happy at the expense of the esteem of his/her peers. --Ex. / If a professor cancels the final and gives everyone an A ???? students = happy. Other colleagues = angry, feel undermined… may kick professor out of profession.
--Trust is the most important factor in patients rating their doctor (David Mechanic and Sharon Meyer). --“Supplier-Induced Demand” …. Doctors may create excess demand for their services on the basis of knowing the more the patient comes in, the more money the doctor receives. The patients trusts that the doctor knows more about “what’s best” (asymmetry of information) & keeps returning. --Doctors set their own pay, control demand for services, have prescription authority, & self-regulate. --American Medical Association (AMA)… in charge of judging, indicting, and jailing doctors. Very reluctant to take away licenses, though, because of the (self-induced) shortage of doctors in the field. --Medicalization: the process by which problems or issues not traditionally seen as medical come to be framed as such. Ex. / alcoholism… used to be a problem of self-control, now accepted as a disease with genetic tendencies and biochemical aspects.
Culture of Biomedicine
--In ancient Rome, medicine was a low-level occupation. Only recently has medicine held such great power ???? the power comes from being able to actually offer health and longevity. --Technology and knowledge advances helped doctors go from observing to examining patients. --Licensing allowed the states to define what types of medicine could be practiced, gave doctors some legal power to sue for missed payments, etc., & created limits on degrees awarded ???? higher wages and guaranteed constant employment for doctors.
--Doctors gained power in social institutions (i.e. hospitals) because they came to supply the patients.
--By 1990, doctors’ authority began to decline because…
1. Market forces infiltrated medicine… healthcare became a political issue.
2. Rise of external regulation… Medical “bill of rights” now exist on top of AMA rules. Also 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act = ER must treat/stabilize patient, regardless of his/her ability to pay for services.
3. Heterodoxy (non-traditional medicine) may be challenging authority of traditional medicine as more people explore alternatives such as acupuncture, chiropractics, and herbal medicine. 4. Rise of technology… many procedures no longer require a steady hand. Drug companies also challenge medical community. Doctors are victims of own technological innovation & success. 5. The internet… patients can search their symptoms and become active consumers of health care, challenging and questioning the opinions and judgments of the doctor.
The Sick Role
--Sick role: the concept describing the social rights and obligations of a sick individual, including:
1. Right not to perform normal social roles (depending on severity of illness).
2. Right not to be held accountable for his or her condition.
1. Obligated to try and get well.
2. Obligated to seek competent help and comply with doctors’ orders.
--Those who meet all rights & obligations cannot be morally judged if they don’t work when sick. --However, today we put more emphasis on the individual rather than the social context. We tend to hold the person at least partially responsible for their diseases, rather than unaccountable as is presumed under right #2 (e.g. notice if the person, diagnosed w/ lung cancer, continues to smoke) --BUT, how many patients have access to help and resources to obtain it? Unlimited time and money ???? more likely to seek treatments. If you can’t seek treatment because of lack of resources, do you lose your rights as a sick person because you didn’t fulfil your obligations?
--What it means to be sick or healthy varies across time and place.
--Ex. / A Hmong immigrant family has a daughter who was diagnosed by Western doctors as having epilepsy. However, in Hmong culture, the seizures are seen as a high honor because they view them as periods in which her soul visited the spirit world.
The US Health Care System
--Fee-for-service model: current model of insurance in which you pay a co-pay (small sum) on the services you need, and the insurance covers the rest of your bill.
--Causes perverse incentives ???? doctors encouraged to over-treat (supplier-induced demand) --Drives up medical costs for everyone as insurance gets repeatedly billed.
--HMOs: medical provider receives a capitation (a fee per person) as opposed to a fee per treatment. Was an attempt to hold down costs of insurance by paying doctors salary based on number of patients. --Patients still pay a co-pay each time they go to the doctor, but the doctor has more incentive to keep you healthy so that you require less treatment and less visits ???? under-treatment of patients, because they don’t get much extra money each time you come in.
--Employee-based health insurance system… dominates the US market. Insurance acquired through employers. Insurance company’s guess at how much health care a given firm’s employees will consume and calibrate their premiums (monthly charges), co-pays (patient’s share of the bill), and deductibles (portion that patients have to pay all by themselves before the insurance kicks in) accordingly.
--If insurance company overshot ???? lose business to competitor with lower rates. --If they underestimated ???? suffered losses within the insurance company.
--Easier to adjust for age and family composition in larger companies than smaller ones. --Adverse selection: an issue that arises when it comes to individual insurance. If one is healthy, there is no incentive to get insurance, but if one is ill, or knows he/she will need a lot of health care resources for that year for another reason, he/she might want to buy the best possible plan for that particular year.
--So when individuals have choice, they tend to sort themselves out by their own risk, which they know better than the insurance company ever could. Result: the individual insurance market goes into a death spiral because only the sickest people by insurance ???? increased prices ???? further drive away healthy potential buyers. Insurance can’t work if only sickest participate.
--Medicare and Medicaid: given to the poorest and the oldest people. Gives them health insurance, but limited b/c these people may not have access to the technology & resources to take advantage of the insurance. Also did not help spread risk for insurance companies. --State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP): effective in the late 90s to provide more money and state-level assistance for children’s health care. Federal government matches state provided funding while allowing states to set own eligibility and control disbursement of funds. --Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”): requires everyone to have medical insurance ???? ensures that the risk will be spread for insurance, ensures a healthy pool of buyers, and lowers costs for all buyers. Eliminated the variation in pricing or rejection from coverage based on preexisting medical conditions. Intended to help the individualized insurance market.
Social Determinants of Health and Illness
--Medical care & health systems are NOT very important in predicting mortality rates, life expectancy, and quality of life.
--Factors like nutrition, clean water, lifestyle choices, and social position are what better predict! --Whitehall Study (1967)… British researchers study the health of civil servants. Examined the difference among men of different social classes in similar occupations (civil service sector).
--In the initial 10 years, men with lower SES had much higher rates of common illnesses and ailments ???? higher mortality rates. Lower SES men had more risk factors (e.g. obesity), higher stress, and lower levels of physical activity.
--Even factoring out for prior health status, men in lowest SES were twice as likely as men in higher SES to suffer from heart problems (shows lower SES is the cause of issues, not an effect). --NOTE: This society has open access to healthcare for everyone, and none of the participants were poor or undernourished, and ALL have a sufficient salary to survive.
--Interpretation of results: who you are, where you live, how much you earn, and what you do for a living all play a major role in determining your health. Shows that social forces effect… --Morbidity: illness in a general sense. Whether you get the chicken pox (acute condition) or have lower back pain (chronic condition) will be affected by social forces. --Mortality: death. Social forces affect likelihood of an individual or group dying. --Social stress ???? poorer outcomes. The lower SES ???? more social stress ???? poorer outcomes through direct (e.g. stress hormones released by body) or indirect (e.g. behavioral responses such as overeating and smoking) means as related to their social position.
--Whitehall study is controversial… it doesn’t address the possibility that underlying personality differences and skill sets could have led to both occupational and health differences, or that health could directly determine the rank a person rose b/c its effects on productivity.
Height: the Relationship between Health and Society
--“The Height Gap” (2004)… New Yorker magazine article that discussed how tall men benefit from their height. They have higher income, more political power, and are luckier in love.
--Height is determined by both genetics AND environmental conditions during infancy and childhood. --Ex. / Mayan populations… study done where some Mayans immigrated to US (had more access to better diet), and after 15 years, avg. ~4 inches taller than Mayans who stayed in Guatemala.
--Equality may be the key factor in height ???? the Netherlands have some of the best equality among their populations and better access to better healthcare ???? leading to most nutrients being maximized ???? tallest populations.
--Inequality ???? creates stress ???? indirectly effects behavior ???? poor diet choices ???? not as much height.
Prenatal and Early Life Determinants
--Amniocentesis: process of inserting a needle into the uterus to extract fluid from amniotic sack surrounding the fetus. Used to collect fetal DNA and run genetic screening for diseases before birth. --Ethical issues…. Should mother abort the child if it has incurable conditions, like Down’s syndrome? What if knowing the sex of the baby will cause mothers to abort girls because males are more likely to return the investments when they grow up?
--Birth ratio of boy: girl may be off at birth because the sperm with Y chromosome can travel faster than the ones with X chromosome. This usually evens out because males have higher infant mortality rate, and eventually flips because women outlive men in old age.
--Some countries, like China, where they have a one-child policy are running the risk of having lack of marriage partners because there birth ratio is much higher from boys: girls. --Twins and Triplets and higher-order births… happening because women are doing in vitro fertilization, where several zygotes are inserted into the uterus in hopes of increasing the chance of implantation. Also, women are taking more ovulation-inducing drugs.
--Ethical issues… does a mom abort some of the embryos because of the risks that come with multiple-births? What about the risk for the low birth weight and prematurity with multiples?
Postnatal Health Inequalities
--Low birth weight = 5lbs, 8oz or less at birth. In 2011, rate of low-birth-weight babies = 8.1%. Can result from inadequate growth (intrauterine growth restriction) or prematurity. Contributing factors: --Parental birth weight
--Mother’s health and nutritional status,
--Indirectly, the parental income (e.g. mother needs resources to stay healthy)
--Low-birth-weight babies suffer from lower average educational attainments, lower SES, and greater chance of giving birth to low-birth-weight babies.
--Race in the US
--Life expectancy…Whites = 79.0 years, African Americans = 75.3 years.
--Infant mortality rates… Whites & Hispanics = 5.3%, blacks = 12.4%, Asians = 4.4%, American Indians = 8.5%.
--What accounts for the differences?
--Blacks are disproportionately poor in the US ???? higher stress levels ???? poorer health. --Blacks are more likely to be victims of overt and subtle forms of prejudice ???? high stress ???? high blood pressure and psychological issues ???? poorer health.
--“John Henryism”… theory that suggests that the story of a man winning a race, but then dying from exhaustion, symbolizes the hardworking African American man. Many blacks work extra hard to battle the negative stereotypes ????more stress???? health issues. --Socioeconomic Status (SES)
--Higher income ???? longer life expectancy. Higher education ???? longer life expectancy.
--WHY? Resources and information leads to healthier habits (e.g. smoke less, eat healthier). Also have more knowledge of healthcare system & how to make choices that will affect their health. --BUT, could better health have led to attaining higher education (i.e. didn’t miss as much school, so better prepared for higher education)?
--Selection Theory: The relationship between lower income & higher morbidity is false, not actually causal, because other factors such as genetics & biology affect both health & SES. --Drift Explanation: Health causes social position. If you don’t have good health, you may not be able to work, so higher morbidity would lead to lower SES.
--Social Determinants Theory: social status position determines health. Being of lower SES causes higher morbidity and lower general health.
--What factors could make this happen?
1. Psychosocial interpretation… relative status to those around you ???? leads to feelings of inadequacy, low worth, and stigma ???? stress, poor choices ???? higher morbidity. 2. Materialist interpretation… socioeconomic factors cause differences in access to a healthy life ???? can’t access healthy food, gyms, etc. ???? higher morbidity.
3. Fundamental Causes interpretation… multiple and ever-changing mechanisms exist by which SES affect health, & what the causes have in common = the greater ability of high SES individuals to make use of new information & health resources available.
--Adriana Lleras-Muney… economist at Princeton University… Found that an extra year of schooling decreased individuals’ chances of dying by 3.6% in a given 10 year period. --Snyder and Evans… studied elderly as Social Security Administration choose an arbitrary date for people to receive larger social security packages than those born after a certain date. Found that those who received smaller packages compensated by working part-time longer ???? increased longevity b/c of the mental & physical benefits of being more socially connected. --Marital Status
--Married people (men especially) tend to live longer.
--But being married doesn’t necessarily CAUSE longer lives… maybe healthier people do better on the marriage market ???? more marriages, even though they would live long regardless. --Maybe marriage lowers risk for risky or unhealthy behavior ???? better health.
--Women in the US outlive men. Women = ~81.1 years. Men = ~76.3 years.
--The gap is decreasing as more women seek higher education and better (more stressful) jobs. --Women are more likely to seek healthcare than men.
--Interactions between race and gender
--Life expectancy…. White women = 81.3 years. Black men = 72.1 years.
--Nonwhites are more likely to face racism, have low SES, and work more dangerous jobs. --Family structure
--Larger family ???? higher child mortality rates. Could be caused by division of resources or lack of supervision (e.g. Western cultures suffer more from child accidental deaths than food scarcity). --Kids spaced more closely together ???? higher child mortality. Parental resources are more taxed when the children are born closely together.
--First-borns… more likely to die young. Possibly b/c lack of parental experience, or because they are usually unintended pregnancies, so mom wasn’t making the best choices when the fetus was developing because she didn’t know she was expecting.
--First-borns that are also only children… suffer from higher risk of death only because if the first born is severely ill or dies in infancy, mom is less likely to have more children.
Sociology of Mental Health
--Used to be “sane” vs. “insane,” but now is seen as a spectrum.
--American Psychiatric Association… created Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) in varying editions in order to standardize the canon of mental disorders and their definitions so that one person in Maine with certain symptoms would receive the same diagnosis as a person in Texas with those same symptoms.
--First and second edition were a little vague, and usually attributed causes, such as life events, to the diseases. Only had about 60 diseases.
--Third addition was largely atheoretical: diseases were not attributed to certain causes. Making it primarily used for diagnosing, and it was largely adopted as the medical model rather than a psychological model.
--Today, have the fifth edition. Contains ~400 distinct mental illnesses because of the insurance industry needing to have a diagnosis that “fits” into a category.
--Dynamic Psychiatry: focuses on identifying the internal conflicts that produce a mental illness. Was replaced by the diagnostic psychiatry: focuses on identifying symptoms of specific underlying diseases. --Sadness vs. Depression… symptoms of depression last longer than 2 weeks and often interfere with daily life and functioning.
--What if the depression is the result of a huge life event (e.g. September 11, 2001)? Wouldn’t depression be a normal reaction to life’s trauma?
--Over-diagnosing depression and lumping appropriately-saddened individuals with those who suffer from a serious mental illness may dilute attention and resources.
--Power of a Pill?
--Now that mental illness is seen as an organic disease, all you need is a pill to fix it, right? --Drugs can and do help people, but often drugs are over- or miss-prescribed.
--Some illnesses would be treated better with therapy, but insurances don’t usually cover the therapy. So many patients just get prescribed a drug to treat the symptoms.
--Poverty and Health: Cause vs. Effect
--US is tied for 33rd place in terms of life expectancy on the global scale, with Colombia & Qatar. --Waterborne illness = leading cause of death worldwide. More than 780 million don’t have access to clean water, and 1.6 million die/year from diarrhea alone, majority under age 5. --There’s an effective feedback loop… poor countries have more health problems because they’re poor, and they are poor because they have so many health problems.
--Malaria… eradication of this disease is number one on the World Health Organization’s list. Before antibiotics its morbidity rates were so high it could wipe out entire villages. --African mosquitoes target humans, they’ve evolved this way ???? more of an issue in Sub-African regions b/c they are population-dense, & lack an animal-crop mixed system. --Malaria has fatally drained out productivity in Africa ???? stop in development. So, controlling & eliminating malaria are prerequisites for further economic development.
--Issue… anti-biotic-resistant strains of malaria, gonorrhea, etc. are reemerging b/c of the practice of adding antibiotics to animal feed, & failure to finish prescribed course of antibiotics. --Vaccines… development of vaccines is important to eradicating diseases.
--The Age of AIDS
--Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) had first case reported in 1981, and thought to be a disease of gay men (not true, though). AIDS killed more than 25 million people worldwide within 25 years after the first case.
--African Americans (men and women) & homosexual men are at highest risk of infection. --HIV is carried in bodily fluids, so can be transmitted through shared needles, unprotected sex, and mother-to-infant exchanges.
--More prevalent among poorer populations, especially on the global scale.
--Drugs are available to prevent HIV from becoming full-blown AIDS, but access is limited and the resources such as good nutrition and clean water affect its effectiveness.
Housing for Health
--Could providing homes to the mentally ill actually improve their condition?
--Sam Tsemberis… New York University psychiatrist who pioneered the Housing First project and Pathways to Housing project that provided housing to individuals w/o having them jump through hoops. --Permanent housing leads to individuals making better choices for themselves. Forcing them to “get clean” in order to keep housing ≠ a sense of “permanency” ???? individuals don’t feel incentive to change. --Perlman and Pavensky (2006)… studies participants that have permanent housing and those who did not. The ones who had housing had less ER visits, less incarceration, & improved psychologically with their conditions. Specific to this study was alcohol???? they drank a lot less by the end of the study. --Money spent on housing and counseling actually saves money in the long run
Chapter 17—Science, the Environment, and Society
--Paradox: Society invents technologies to minimize dangers from nature but those same inventions create new risks that need to be managed.
--Angelina Jolie… had a bilateral preventative mastectomy ???? led to other women getting tested for BRCA alleles that increase risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
--This case shows that human genetic sequences shouldn’t be patented because the effects of genes are fluid and subject to change because of ever-changing social practices. So the BRCA genes may not eventually predict breast cancer, but mastectomies.
--Edward Saunders… great example of social adaptation. Found that when everything else is equal, the prices of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange increased with sunny weather in Manhattan, and vice versa with rainy weather. He then published his work publically, Wall Street found out, changed their statistics and prices according to the weather and – poof! – No more phenomenon.
Science and Society
--Thomas Kuhn… scientist and scientific historian… says that periods of “normal science” are ruptured every so often by scientific revolutions that shift the paradigm of a given science. --Paradigm: the framework within which scientists operate. The ideas, practices, and conventional knowledges shared about a specific area. Ex. / Plate Tectonics… we all believe that
the Earth’s crust is broken up into large plates and this is why we have volcanic patterns, earth quakes, etc. It’s a paradigm about how the Earth works.
--Normal Science: science that’s conducted within an existing paradigm. Basically adding to or clarifying existing knowledge, and not overturning paradigms.
--Paradigm shift or scientific revolution: when enough scientific anomalies accumulate to challenge the existing paradigm, showing that it is incomplete or inadequate to explain all observed phenomena. Pretty infrequent. Ex. /Copernicus… Earth is NOT the center of the universe… not even the center of its own solar system.
--Normative view of science: the notion that science should be unaffected by the personal beliefs or values of scientists but rather follow objective rules of evidence.
--Not practiced, though, because science is constantly influenced by political and social factors. --Scientists study what interests them… making it bias from the start.
--Scientific research needs funding… this is where political influence matters. Money decides what gets studied and what gets ignored.
--Nonscientists often make decisions that affect the course of science.
--Ex. / President George W. Bush… limited research on Stem cells by adding funding stipulations based on pressure from religious conservatives and his own personal moral beliefs. --All science claims to promote knowledge, but sometimes different sources reveal different things. Who is credible? What’s actually true? Science holds a privileged place in relation to knowledge and truth… so the “science seal of approval” is what we look for when we stand behind something (Thomas Gieryn). --Alternate theory to Darwin = Intelligent Design. Claims that life to too complex to have evolved through natural selection, rather, an “intelligent designer” had a hand in creating and selecting various species. Michael Behe, a tenured biochemistry professor = big proponent of this theory. --Boundary work: work done to maintain the border between legitimate & non-legitimate science within a scientific discipline or between legitimate disciplines. Referring to the instances in which divisions between fields of knowledge are created, advocated, attacked, or reinforced. --Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar… Laboratory Life… studied the Nobel Prize-winning physician Jonas Salk’s laboratory to observe how scientists conducted experiments, reviewed papers, and interacted with one another in a laboratory setting.
--Social scientists often go out into real world to study, but natural scientists often bring things into lab settings to study, which is why the lab plays an important role in the scientific process. --Study showed that scientific discovery has its own language, own system of promotions, and own hierarchy that decides which results or explanations receive attention.
--Latour challenges scientists by saying that facts are “created,” NOT discovered. Scientists dismiss this claim and stick by the belief that scientific facts preexist and are discovered. --Matthew Effect: a term coined by Robert Merton (1986) used to describe the notion that certain scientific results get more notoriety & influence based on the existing prestige of researchers involved.
Agriculture and the Environment
--Global warming: rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, resulting in higher global average temperatures. The biggest environmental challenge we face --Greenhouse gases are trapped in the atmosphere, naturally warming the earth. This process enables the planet to remain at comfortable temperatures, however, in recent years, the concentrations of these gases has skyrocketed, as is the raising average global temperature.
--All the world is in agreement: Climate change is real, it’s observably happening NOW, and human activity is the primary driver of rapid climate change
--NO scientific body standing currently disagrees with these conclusions.
--Possible causes: Deforestation and burning of coal, fossil fuels, natural gas, and oil. --Deforestation… burning forests releases CO2, and deforested trees can’t absorb atmospheric carbon once they’re gone.
--Burning of resources… emissions of huge amounts of CO2 as a result.
--Climate is in a precious cycle of ice ages and warming periods. Caused by changes in the earth’s orbits which lead to small changes in amount of light in the northern hemisphere. --Very likely impacts:
1. Rising sea levels… destroy civilizations living on the coast.
2. More extreme weather… large and sudden rainfall changes in rainfall patters ???? changing crop productions. Extreme draughts and floods. Prolonged heat waves have already lead to catastrophic death!
--Ex. / US lost 739 individuals during Chicago 1995 heat wave, most of which
were African American, elderly, and poor residents because they were socially isolated and couldn’t get the help and assistance they needed.
3. Further rapid increase in rate of species extinction
--Temp rises incompatible with continuity of human technological civilization (+ 11.5 degrees F by 2100 is realistically possible)
--Potential worse-case scenario:
--Push the earth into a new geologic period
--Global ecosystem collapse… mass extinction.
--Science and Food
--rBST-free products = products from cows not injected with hormones.
--Organic = pesticide-free, no genetically modified ingredients, and at least 70% of the ingredients are certified organic.
--Certified organic = pesticide-free, no genetically modified ingredients, and at least 95% of the ingredients are certified organic.
--non-GMO = not made with genetically modified ingredients.
--Eating organic has become a way of life and a political statement about farming, food production, and consumerism. It doesn’t necessarily mean healthier, though, or that they come from small, local farms. The certification of being organic is expensive, so large corps are currently the ones who can afford it. The crops themselves are more expensive ???? limits access. --Genetically Modified Crops… benefits: can yield more produce, lower costs for consumers, and have better resistance to insects, disease, etc. while increasing quality of the food. They may stay fresh longer, too, which reduces waste. Risks: could it disrupt food chains? What are the ripple effects of modifying a primary food source?
--Ingo Potrykus… professor in Switzerland… invented golden rice, which could help solve Vitamin A deficiencies in children all over the world, which causes blindness.
--Risk society: describes a society that both produces & is concerned with mitigating risks. --External risks: problems that derive from nature (e.g. hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.) --Manufactured risks: problems that derive from human activity.
--Charles Perrow… The Next Catastrophe (2007)… argues that although we can’t avoid the risks that come in life, we can reduce their impact by distributing risk. Making disasters less disastrous, even as they remain inevitable.
--The Green Revolution (1950)
--Refers to the introduction of high-yield crops in developing countries and the improvements in agricultural technologies (e.g. irrigation, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.)
--Africa has been a late beneficiary b/c of its type of crops & high dependence on rain-fed crops. --Reshaped farming from being individual based to group and company based in order to coordinate costs and efforts more effectively.
--However, it has also depleted biodiversity in areas and puts farmers at higher risk because their fields are more susceptible to disease or predators because they’re all the same crop. Also, creates too large of a demand on water… and depleting soil nutrients.
Sociology and the Environment
--Three ways environmental issues are social issues…
1. Environmental degradation is caused by industrialization, consumption, & population growth. 2. Environmental degradation impacts societies and institutions.
3. Social institutions play roles in solving or blocking solutions to environmental degradations. --Sociological causes
--Example: Logic of the capitalist firm:
--Competition with other firms ???? powerful drive to lower costs
--Bureaucratic organization = systematic examination of all costs
--Externalization of costs wherever possible… cut corners in order to save money. --Prices do not usually reflect environmental costs… what is it costing the environment? --Social Impacts
--Health effects in humans
--Airborne particulates… lead to respiratory disorders, lung cancer, heart disease, birth defects, etc. ~50,000 deaths/year in US alone
--Industrial chemicals in environment… “legal until proven dangerous.” Ingested or absorbed via skin and lungs. Some very toxic chemicals accumulate over our lifetime (e.g. mercury, lead, and pcbs). Health effects can take decades to manifest and are very difficult to link to chemicals that cause them, hard to isolate the effects.
--Leaded gasoline… added into gas in the 1930s, despite known health effects. Took several decades to solve the problem ???? huge amounts of lead in the
atmosphere = poisoning the human race globally. Now we have unleaded gas.
--Depletion of critical resources
--E.g. Industrial agriculture in much of North America
--Draining the aquifer’s to provide irrigation
--Erosion of topsoil… not replaceable
--E.g. Global deforestation (extractive industries, large scale ranching, and agriculture) --Half of world’s tropical forests gone, estimates ~90% gone by 2030
--Destroys livelihoods for the world’s poor
--Loss of biodiversity (and potentially useful species)
--Negatively affects global warming, water cycle, soil erosion, and local rainfall.
--Social Institutions and Environmental Solutions
--Clean Air Act (1963, 1970, 1990)… qualifies by important success story.
--Response to problems caused by particulates, ozone (smog), and sulfur (acid rain) --US Air quality before CAA was significantly worse than today
--Limits emissions, impose fines & penalties for violations, & new enforcement agencies. --Clean Water Act (1972)
--Response to widespread pollution of US waterways
--Limits emissions, impose fines & penalties for violations, & new enforcement agencies. --Important successes (though challenges still remain):
--% of US waters safe for swimming/fishing rose from 1/3 to 2/3
--Dramatically reduced rate of wetland destruction
--Americans w/ modern wastewater treatment from 8 million ???? 175 million.
--Future of Global Warming Regulation
--Multinational effort required
--Agreed in 1997, took effect in 2005
--Set county-by-country targets for CO2 emission reductions relative to 1990 levels. --US target was a decrease of 7% relative to 1990
--US only major country to NOT ratify the treaty.
--US has been the number one releaser of CO2 until recently (2nd now to China). --US per person has a HUGE carbon footprint. But, there are ways we can change without noticing a change in our living standards.
--Why is this an institutional problem and not just an individual problem?
--As an individual I can only change my footprint a little (unless I make huge lifestyle changes – no more car, no more comfy 72-degree house in winter, etc.)
--The key is that if we change our society’s energy infrastructure—something we can’t do as individuals—we won’t HAVE to make big individual lifestyle changes.
--Global Warming denialism in the US
--Aims to cast doubt on the science of global warming and confuse the public.
--Promoted and funded by industry groups. Use the same tactics as big tobacco companies. --It’s working…. In the US, only 65% of public believe climate change is a serious problem, and this number is falling.
--Carbon Tax… tax items that emit CO2.
--“Cap and Trade” legislation… if you’re under your cap, you can sell your leftover amounts of CO2 use to other companies ???? rearranges the incentives
--Experiment—Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)… 9 northeastern US states, took effect tin 2009, results very encouraging ???? Half of reductions in emissions were a direct result of this legislation! And without little notice or effect on public lifestyle.
Sources of Climate Despair
--Industries don’t want their pockets damaged so they claim change will hurt the economy --People claim we can’t do anything without getting rid of capitalism
???? Both of these claims are wrong. There are policies that can fix these issues that can change incentives, making firms innovate, w/o HUGE changes the lifestyles of the people. Scientists from all fields are all in agreement that we HAVE to do something soon…
Biotechnology and the Human Genome
--Human Genome Project… launched in 1990… scientists seeking to understand the building blocks of DNA, which are adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine. Found there’s only between 20,000 to 25,000 genes in the human DNA.
--If we discover causal genes for health issues, should we screen people?
--3 major concerns: privacy, stratification, and stigmatization!
--Who has the right to this information from the testing?
--Should we tell people all about the chronic, debilitating illnesses they may eventually get, so they know this information ahead of time?
--What do we use the genetic information for?
--Gay gene controversy leads to huge investigation in the 90s by scientists to find the genetic sequences that may lead to gay-ness. Some showed results, but failed to replicate consistently. --Some explanations supporting gene theory:
--Family solidarity… gay uncles/aunts needed to help raise their nieces and nephews. Not much support, though.
--Group selection… some individuals make reproductive sacrifices for the wider community. Not widely accepted among biologists.
--Antagonistic Pleiotropy… meaning same genes causing women to be more fertile also may cause men more likely to be gay. Still needs more testing.
--Prenatal causes… in utero chemicals & hormones may influence likelihood of being gay --Race and Genetics
--Companies selling kits to “trace ancestry” based on genetic codes.
--Concerns: accuracy of the test, privacy, accuracy, and possible unintended social, economic, or psychological consequences.
--There are NO definitive genetic markers for race! They merely find similar genetic codes to the ones sent in by the person. They do NOT have an exhausted data base either ???? inaccuracy --PBS Documentary: The Lost Tribes of Israel (2000). Genetic testing was used to confirm that a group of Jewish South Africans called the Lemba were most likely direct descendants from the original tribes of Israel.
--Race is a social construct… BUT, with all of the negotiating over genetic testing, its biological results have an impact on the sociological outcomes and actions of the person as a result.
Chapter 18—Collective Action, Social Movements, & Social Change --Paradox: What makes you an individual is your affiliation with multiple group identities. --Dalton Conley meets the Yes Men, who, for satirical purposes, publicly impersonate and shake up government officials and corporations. They even described Conley as a consultant on corporate crime to presidential candidate George W. Bush. He learned it is possible to be swept up in a social movement INVOLUNTARILY.
--Collective action: action that takes place in groups and diverges from the social norms of the situation. --Crowd collective action: face to face presence with other members in the action group (e.g. rally, protest)
--Mass collective action: action that occurs when not all members are physically together (e.g. letter writing campaign)
--Theories of collective action
--Convergence Theory: people with similar views and habits naturally find each other. Ex. / Riots at a soccer match… people who like soccer usually go to the matches. Sometimes, if they’re too overzealous (and/or drunk), the game may end in a riot.
--Issue: Doesn’t explain the inconsistency of group action. Why do they sometimes riot at the games and other times go home peacefully?
--Contagion Theory: people who are in close contact naturally develop similar outlooks and behaviors. Ex. / when you’re at a football game and they start the wave, you may feel obligated to do the wave when it gets to your section.
--Especially true under the encouraging influence of a charismatic leader.
--Issues: downplays freewill, treats individuals as mindless sheep, and doesn’t explain inconsistency between situations and why some people are more prone to imitation than others. Why do some do the wave, while others resist?
--Emergent Norm Theory: personality and circumstances turn some individuals into leader-like people called “keynoters” who promote new behavioral norms, especially in unusual situations for which established norms are inadequate. Their actions become, intentionally or not, the behavior copied by an entire group.
--Ex. / during a plane evacuation, one person may start directing people in an orderly fashion. That person wasn’t elected to be the leader, but people start copying and behaving the way they want, so that person is a keynoter for that unusual situation. --Issues: doesn’t always explain why particular people emerge as leaders, doesn’t explain why particular people set terms for new behavior, why one behavior is followed over another, or why new behaviors only sometimes emerge and not every time.
--Value-added theory: collective action is a response to a problem that requires a collective solution. There are six conditions that are required for a movement to coalesce & be successful: 1. Must be social strain present that existing powers are unable or unwilling to alleviate. 2. Folks must agree on a definition of the problem.
3. Folks must be free to act on their grievance (s).
4. There must be a spark to ignite the controversy.
5. There must be mobilization for action, people gathering together in organized way. 6. There is a failure of social control by established power holders.
--Identity and collective action
--What makes us an individual is all of the multiple group identities. Group affiliation with others help us develop emotional attachments to that person. Not only does your identity determine the groups you belong in, but the groups you belong in also determine your identity. --We have multiple identities, because we belong to multiple groups. Can cause conflict! Leads to ambiguity & poorly defined lines between the multiple identities ???? role strain, role conflict
--Social movement: collective behavior that is purposeful, organized, and institutionalized, but NOT ritualized – it doesn’t happen over and over. Usually motivated by a social or political aim. --Types of social movements (4)
--Alterative: seek the most limited social change, and target a specific group (e.g. MADD— success!) (e.g. Models with Conscience—not success, dissolved when founder left) --Redemptive: seek radical social change, and target a specific group (e.g. Covenant House— success, want people to have a day-to-day routine instead of drug-abusing lives) --Reformative: seeks limited social change, and targets entire society (e.g. Critical Mass— success, want everyone to ride bikes to work)
--Revolutionary: seek radical change, and target entire society (e.g. Weather Underground— failure, wanted to overthrow gov. through armed attacks)
--United Democratic Front (UDF) in South Africa sought to overthrow the apartheid gov. South Africans were classified into white, colored, Indian, and black. Segregation was rampant. In early 1980s, the UDF coalesced after the African national Congress (ANC) had been banned. Successful movement ???? new elections ???? Nelson Mandela=president --Tea Party movement… seen as false grassroots movements because they received money from political influences to run the organization.
--Occupy Wall Street movement… unsuccessful because they didn’t have leadership or a single message across the group.
Limited social change
Radical social change
Target particular subgroups
Target entire society
--How do social movements arise?
--Classical Model: there is a structural weakness in society that results in the psychological disruption of individuals which leads to the social movement. Social strain from many different places can lead to collective action and movements.
--Issues: there is always some sort of strain in societies… so what kinds and what magnitudes lead to a movement? Individuals are made into mindless creatures, and it overemphasizes psychological tensions.
--Resource-mobilization theory: tried to add more to the Classical model of social movements but rather emphasizes political context and goals buy also states that social movements are unlikely to emerge without the necessary resources. Or if they do without the resources, they don’t succeed.
--Issues: Seems like the rich should be the ones leading the movements, but
more often than not it’s the ones who are powerless and poor. Also, if the
movement becomes too dependent on outside resources, it usually will
eventually fail because of conflicting demands. Lastly, unclear where the social
grievances came from.
--Political Process Model: model of social movements that focuses on the structure of political opportunities. When these are favorable to a particular challenger, the chances are better for the success of a social movement led by this challenger.
--Conditions influencing: expanding political opportunities, indigenous organizational strength (e.g. from churches, etc.), and certain shared cognitions among the group (e.g. beliefs of injustice being suffered, sense of self-empowerment, etc.)
--Sustainability of the movement depends on responses from other groups in society. --Widely accepted model of social movements! But, some argue it downplays cultural or emotional components, which can sometimes play a major role.
--Townsend movement… began in the early 1930s. Organized ~2 million elderly Americans into Townsend clubs to all demand pensions from the government ???? pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed Social Security and there request was answered. Successful movement! --Three Stages of Social Movements
1. Emergence… occurs when the social problem being addressed is first identified. 2. Coalescence… resources are mobilized, that is, concrete action is taken, around the problems outlined in the emergence stage (e.g. donations, lobbying, etc.)
--Many movements fade now b/c of demands for resources or they reach objectives. 3. Routinization or Institutionalization… a formal structure develops to promote the cause. Usually sets up a headquarters from which to organize its activities and coordinate efforts.
--Social movement organizations: develop to recruit new members & coordinate participation. The groups also often raise money, clarify goals, and structure participation in a movement. --Types of organizations:
--Professional movement organization: have full-time leadership staff dedicated to the movement and a large membership base that plays a minor roles. Leaders speak on behalf of the group & often lobby for policy influence. Ex. / NARAL Pro-Choice America --Participatory movement organization: Rank-and-file membership is directly involved. This can be further divided into mass protest organizations and grassroots organizations. --Mass protest organization: advocate for social change through protest and
demonstrations. Relies heavily on member participation.
--Grassroots organization: relies heavily on community-based membership
participation to promote change. Work through existing political structures.
Often use letter-writing campaigns and local political organizing.
--Alexis de Tocqueville… Democracy in America (1830s)… called America a “land of joiners” meaning that Americans frequently came together to join voluntary associations. He noted that in democratic societies, like the US, they enjoy greater equality than in aristocratic societies.
--Also makes us independent and weak because without voluntary organizations were basically politically powerless. What good is one vote?
--Why are Americans so likely to join groups? Ideas…
--Democracy makes us more likely because were, in theory, relatively classless and individualistic ???? need voluntary groups to gain power & make change
--Unique pattern of settlement… early town square culture had people come together to discuss & debate current civic issues ???? long-lasting culture of voluntary association
--America’s identity as a land of immigrants who formed voluntary organizations to unite with other immigrants who shared similar culture & values.
--Social Movements and Social Change
--Social change: refers to the transformations in social institutions, political organizations, and cultural norms across time.
--Change happens whether a movements causes it or not (e.g. immigration and social evolution) --US changes over time… early 1930s – 1980s
--High immigration to American urban centers from Europe ???? WWII ???? Rapid development of suburbs ???? Baby boom! ???? Civil Rights Movement ???? High immigration from Latin American and Asian countries ???? Cold war with the Soviet Union.
--Some changes affect the demographic structures, political issues, or culture.
--Ex. / 1900 Census = 4.60 people/ household in America; 1970 = 3.14 people/ household; 2011 = 2.60 people/ household.
--Ex. / Civil Rights movement ???? eliminate overt discrimination against African Americans and banned segregation.
--Ex. / Hippie fashions (e.g. tie-dyed T-shirts) came into play because of the peace movement during the Vietnam War.
Premodern, Modern, and Postmodern Societies
--All of these terms refer to social change across longer periods of time, such as historical periods, in order to indicate particular ways of understanding, framing, and conceptualizing society. --Premodern Societies… used to be called “primitive”
--Premodern: individuals live in small groups, there is a low degree of literacy, low division of labor, and technology is relatively underdeveloped. The individual doesn’t control what groups they’re in & they’re the center of their social world.
--Ex. / Me ???? family ???? village ???? kingdom ???? religion
--Premodernity: social relations characterized by concentric circles of social affiliation, a low degree of division of labor, relatively underdeveloped technology, and traditional social norms. --Rely on myths or stories to explain the world around them, and may have a spiritual leader who passes knowledge from the gods to the people.
--Modernity: social relations characterized by rationality, bureaucratization, and objectivity—as well as individuality created by nonconcentric, but overlapping, group affiliations. --Some point to the Renaissance or the Enlightenment or Industrial Revolution as its origin. --Common theme is the notion of progress –a rational, linear notion of advancement in a single direction of betterment. Central to progress is technological innovation to manage nature. --Some point to the demolition of Pruitt-Igoe Houses in St. Louis, a symbol of modernity, as the end of the modern period.
--Postmodernity: social relations characterized by a questioning of the notion of progress and history, the replacement of narrative with pastiche, and multiple, perhaps even conflicting, identities resulting from disjointed affiliations.
--Pastiche: taking a little bit from one culture and a little bit from another to make a collage of sorts.
--Grand struggles (e.g. capitalism vs communism) that defined the modern period = abandoned. --All about multiculturalism and blending of different narratives.
--Philip Johnson’s Sony Building in New York (1984) is a good ex. of postmodern architecture --It’s paradoxical, de-centered affiliations, with a lack of self.
Causes of Social Change
--Social change can result from new technology, new ideas, and changes in cultural identities, and conflict between social actors.
--Computers and internet ???? huge influence on the organization of social & economic life --New ideas ???? lead to social change. New information on health, dangers, & politics have changed many behaviors and societies.
--Conflicts can have huge impacts. Ex. / WWII lead to differing developments between East and West Germany, the Cold War, the establishment of Israel, the founding of the UN, etc. --Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)… says conflict drives history as follows: each idea (thesis) has an opposite (antithesis), and when they come into conflict they result in a resolution (a synthesis). This resolution becomes the new thesis that has its own antithesis which will need its own synthesis eventually.
Policy: Is Activism Dead?
--The buildup to US invasion of Iraq in 2003 triggered the largest antiwar rallies since Vietnam, yet the chants of the protestors had little effect in Washington. Should they have used the Internet instead of in-person marches?
--There’s less expenses online, and organizing can be much more efficient. However, politicians and policy makers can easily ignore online social movements ???? they value it less.
--It’s so much easier to fundraise online with the click of a button. However, it’s hard to take advantage of the personal social networks because you lose the compelling nature of face-to-face interactions… people won’t feel as compelled to do much about an email as compared with someone in-person asking them and explaining their cause.
--Groups using the internet to their advantage
--Electronic Disturbance Theatre (EDT), a group that organizes virtual sit-ins by publicly distributing an app called FloodNet that will send automatic browser “reload” requests to the targeted website every few minutes. Hope to “disturb”, (i.e. shut down), the website. --Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT), archives phone calls and other information against the government that will be available to the public as stark contrast to the way the government is increasingly collecting secret information about the public.
--These internet groups still say that nothing can replace the power of face-to-face protest.
--Technology allows global influence on social change.
--Identity and its emotional impulses both result from and form the basis of collective action ???? social movements ???? social change.
--Movements are NOT individual efforts and NOT just when people have resources. --Paradox: A successful social movement should end up destroying itself, because it will have solved the problem that motivated its very existence.
Sociology Lec Week #15
Causes of social change
1. Drift (unplanned): unplanned events, such as population growth, technology, and globalization a. Also have unintended consequences, such as pollution from industry.
2. Planned Action:
a. Actions of rich and powerful people
b. Planned government policy initiative
c. Social movements
--Social change almost always causes conflict b/c some gain and some lose (materially or symbolically) --Social movement: large #s of people who join together to bring about or resist some social or cultural change.
--1950s… mass behavior theories. Protests seen as irrational!
--Partly a reaction to the labor movement… class conflicts lead to these irrational protests because they normal means should be able to accomplish the goals.
--1960s—70s… Resource mobilization theories. Protests seen as an organized attempt by excluded groups to achieve political goals.
--Grievances aren’t irrational. They are real issues (e.g. black voting rights).
--1980s—90s… Political process theories. Movement successes explained by political opportunities, organizational resources, and effective issue framing.
--Social movements are seen as rational.
Social Movement Waves
--Social institutions can be understood, in part, as the legacies of past waves of social movement organizing and protest ???? one wave inspires the next!
--Each wave leaves behind new institutions that become part of mainstream, taken-for-granted background of everyday life (e.g. Equal Rights Protection Agency, ensures non-discriminatory housing selection, but we don’t think twice about it) (e.g. Human Resources department, result of the labor movement ???? “no need to form unions because out company has a great HR department to deal with conflicts and issues”
Sociological Aspects of Social Movements
--Grievances… issues that the group has with the current norms. People always have these. Grievances don’t always lead to social movements.
--Mobilization… amount of materials, resources, and people being put to work on organizing, planning, and implementing the movement. Why do grievances sometimes lead to collective protest and sometime not? Perceived threats & perceived opportunities are key to mobilization! --Targets of protest… figuring out who can fix the problems and also who can help support the cause.
--Messages conveyed via protest & media… audience very important in this aspect. Have to inspire hope in participants & convince the broader audience/targets that it is necessary to make change. Having the targets feel responsible is important. Providing ideas for improvement & making the movement legitimate is extremely important. Also need to ensure that the CORRECT intended messages are being reported by the media.
--Movement strategies/tactics, internal conflicts… avoiding conflict WITHIN the movement is important for legitimacy. Keeping a strong base is important for keeping a movement going. Must define the goals and appropriate strategies, as defined by the group.
--Social movement organization(s)… Defining membership roles and expectations to ensure everyone knows their part within the group. Organized movements accomplish a lot more than disorganized one. Spontaneity needs organization, as paradoxical as it may sound. If you want to accomplish anything, movements have to be organized.
--Social movement outcomes… victories, defeats. Reaching the goals of the movement (big and small), or failing to meet the goals as a result of lack of resources, etc.
--Labor Movement… biggest success! Has accomplished so many things including: 8-hour work days, better pay, better working conditions, right to organize & protest, end child labor, health and safety regulations, minimum wages, overtime rules, social security, unemployment compensation, etc. --Environment Movement… helped clean up and protect water and air. Also help conserve forests! Lastly, help protect endangered species.
--Civil Rights movement… changing culture and many norms. Still has a lot of changes to come. --Women’s movement… getting more equal rights for all women. Gaining more control over reproduction (birth control access), and changing social attitudes and norms.
Downsides of social movement society
--Astroturfing… grassroots support can lend legitimacy to the agendas of vested interest! So many will hide the investors of the group to make it seem that the common/ordinary folk are the ones interested in making the changes, NOT corporations. Which are genuine and which are top-down from corps? --Genuine but misguided movements… e.g. Anti-vaccine movement. Misguided fears about vaccinations have led to needless new outbreaks of contagious disease. Having wrong information leads to misguided movements.
--Social movements have pushed the US to live up to its founding values
--BUT competing visions of what these values mean in practice:
--Counter-movements push back
--Astroturf ‘movements’ confuse important issues
--some movements well-meaning but misinformed
--Thus, crucial to movements is detecting what is real and false in terms of issues. --Major social institutions are fields of contending, opposing forces.
--We can’t assumes our dominant institutions will identify, address, and solve the problems were facing.