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Week 2 Lecture & Reading Notes

by: Margaret Guenther

Week 2 Lecture & Reading Notes SOC-S 100

Marketplace > Indiana University > Sociology > SOC-S 100 > Week 2 Lecture Reading Notes
Margaret Guenther
Introduction to Sociology
Eric Wright

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About this Document

Lecture notes as well as notes from the assigned readings.
Introduction to Sociology
Eric Wright
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Margaret Guenther on Tuesday February 3, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC-S 100 at Indiana University taught by Eric Wright in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 55 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at Indiana University.


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Date Created: 02/03/15
Week 2 Lecture Notes 2012015 Sociological Theory Structure amp Agency Agencies behaviors what we want to do with our lives Structure policies things that exist without just one person doing the constraining Social Constraint hold people back money social class constrains our agencies Theories Levels of Theory 0 MetatheoryTheoretical Perspective general thoughts of why things happen meta beyond far away 0 Grand Theory theory of everything uncommon why do social movements happen 0 Theories of the Middle Range common why do social groups start 0 Specific Theory Why I tripped on the rug Why did Occupy Wall Street happen when it did Fanctionalism society has parts that each serve different functions look at it like a body government body education heart etc Things look the way they do because it s the best way it can be Metatheoretical Con ict Perspective different groups competing for resources Meta Symbolic Interactionism exchanging symbols through social interactions Meta Classical Theorists Karl Marx 0 Con ict theorist Con ict between the owners amp workers Social class is the most important thing in society Two social classes middle class owns means of production amp working class Theory of history Primitive Communism I Slave Society I Feudalism I Capitalism I Socialism I Communism 0 Division of Labor different people to make certain things assembly line Marx thought the DL was alienating because you don t see yourself in the end product 0 What makes this sociological Marx is looking as the world around him amp trying to figure out why it looks the way it does Weber 0 Protestant Ethic amp Spirit of Capitalism 0 Why is Capitalism so prevalent in the US compared to Europe Durkheim 0 Functionalist 0 Elementary Forms of Religious Life 0 Role that religion plays in society 0 Religion sacred amp profane beliefspractices that unite into a single moral community 0 Why things become sacred in certain places Rationalism Create techniques so that everything is done the same way amp looks the same way Calvinism God decided who is destined to go to hell amp heaven 22012015 Research Methods Quantitative Research Survey Population random sample assignment not selection Qualitative Research Ethnography Participant Observation Interviews Experimental Research Experimental Group vs Control Group Ethnography study of people through observation amp interviews Participant Observation experimenter participates in the observationresearch Ethno Go to Bonaroo Participant Observation Participate at Bonaroo interact with others Generalized Ability applicable ability to use knowledge of one thing amp apply it to other things Random Assignment equal chance to be put in experimental group as control group Research Ethics 0 Belmont Report 1 Respect for persons children mentalphysical handicaps amp prisoners 2 Beneficence Do no harm maximize benefits amp minimize harm 3 Justice actually giving benefits to participants ie if a cancer patient was doing a trial that had success that patient would be given the successful treatment Week 2 Reading Notes 2012015 Sociological Theory Giddens 1025 Agaste Comte Invented the word sociology thought this new field of study could produce knowledge of society based on scientific evidence Initially called social physics Felt that sociology should contribute to the welfare of humanity by using science to predict amp control human behavior Emile Durkheim He thought that many of the other sociologists ideas were too speculative amp vague Social Facts according to Emile Durkheim the aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals Durkheim believed that social facts could be studied scientifically 0 Example State of the economy or the in uence of religion Durkheim thought that social life can be analyzed as rigorously as objects or events in nature Durkheim saw society as a set of independent parts each of which could be studied separately Organic Solidarity Emile Durkheim The social cohesion that results from the various parts of a society functioning as an integrated whole Durkheim argues that the continuation of a society depends on cooperation Social Constraint The conditioning in uence on our behavior of the groups and societies of which we are members Social constraint was regarded by Emile Durkheim as one of the distinctive properties of social facts Division of Labor The specialization of work tasks by means of which different occupations are combines within a production system All societies have at least some rudimentary form of division of labor especially between the tasks allocated to men and those performed by women With the development of industrialism the division of labor became vastly more complex than in any prior type of production system In the modern world the division of labor is international in scope Anomie The concept first brought into wide usage in sociology by Durkheim referring to a situation in which social norms lose their hold over individual behavior Karl Marx 0 Marx sought to explain social changes arising from the Industrial Revolution Much of his writing focuses on economic issues 0 Materialist Conception of History the view developed by Marx according to which material or economic factors have a prime role in determining historical change The con icts between classes rich vs poor provide the motivation for historical development 0 Capitalism An economic system based on the private ownership of wealth which is invested and reinvested in order to produce profit Max Weber 0 His writing focused on the fields of economics law philosophy and comparative history as well as sociology 0 Bureaucracy a type of organization marked by a clear hierarchy of authority and the existence of written rules of procedure and staffed by fulltime salaried officials 0 Weber didn t believe it was possible to study people using the same procedures as we use to study physics or biology Rationalism A concept use by Max Weber to refer to the process by which modes of precise calculation and organization involving abstract rules and procedures increasingly come to dominate the social world Symbolic Interactionism A theoretical approach in sociology developed by George Herbert Mead that emphasizes the role of symbols and language as core elements of all human interaction Symbol One item used to stand for or represent another as in the case of a ag which symbolizes a nation Functionalism A theoretical perspective based on the notion that social events can best be explained in terms of the functions they perform that is the contributions they make to the continuity of a society 0 To study the function of a social activity is to analyze its contribution to the continuation of the society as a whole To study an organ such as the heart we need to show how it relates to other parts of the body Manifest Functions The functions of a type of social activity that are known to and intended by the individuals involved in the activity Latent Functions Functional consequences that are not intended or recognized by the members of a social systems in which they occur Marxism A body of thought deriving its main elements from the ideas of Karl Marx Power The ability of individuals or the members of a group to achieve aims or further the interests they hold Power is a pervasive element in all human relationships Many con icts in society are struggles over power because how much power an individual or group is able to achieve governs how far they are able to put their wishes into practice Ideologies Shared ideas or beliefs that serve to justify the interests of dominant groups Ideologies are found in all societies in which there are systematic and ingrained inequalities between groups The concept of ideology connects closely with that of power since ideological systems serve to legitimize the power that groups hold Feminist Theory A sociological perspective that emphasizes the centrality of gender in analyzing the social world and particularly the uniqueness of the experience of women Ther3e are many strands of feminist theory but they all share the desire to explain gender inequalities in society and to work to overcome them Rational Choice Theory Behavior divided into four categories 1 Behavior oriented toward higher values such as politics 2 Behavior oriented toward habit such as walking to school on a familiar path 3 Behavior oriented toward affect emotions such as falling in love 4 Behavior oriented toward selfinterest such as making money Rational Choice Approach more broadly the theory that an individual s behavior is purposive Within the field of criminology rational choice analysis argues that deviant behavior is a rational response to a specific social situation Postmodernism The belief that society is no longer governed by history or progress Postmodern society is highly pluralistic and diverse with no grand narrative guiding its development The more wideranging and ambitious a theory is the more difficult it is to test empirically Microsociology The study of human behavior in contexts of facetoface interaction 0 Macro analysis is essential for understanding institutional background of daily life because people s lives are affected by the broader institutional framework Macrosociology The study of largescale groups organizations or social systems 0 Micro studies illuminate broad institutional patters Facetoface interaction is the basis of all forms of social organization no matter how large scale 2212015 Research Methods Giddens 3045 The Research Process 1 Defining the Research Problem 0 All research starts with a research problem 0 Best sociological research starts with problems that are puzzles too 0 No piece of research stands alone every project can turn into another and so on 2 Reviewing the Literature 0 Look at other researcher s ideas and results to help clarify your own 3 Formulating a Hypothesis 0 Hypothesis ideas or guesses about a given state of affairs put forward as bases for empirical testing 4 Selecting a Research Design 0 How to collect the research different research methods 5 Carrying Out the Research 0 Difficulties may occur that cause bias and false interpretations in the research 6 Interpreting the Results 0 Many investigations aren t fully conclusive so the researcher has to work out the implications of the data 7 Reporting the Research Findings 0 Journal articles and books 0 Identifying unanswered questions for further research Research Methods The diverse methods of investigation used to gather empirical factual material Different research methods exist in sociology but the most commonly used are fieldwork or participant observation and survey methods For many purposes it is useful to combine two or more methods within a single research project Ethnography The firsthand study of people using participant observation or interviewing Participant Observation A method of research widely used in sociology and anthropology in which the researcher takes part in the activities of the group or community being studied Survey A method of sociological research in which questionnaires are administered to the population being studied Population The people who are the focus of the social research Example US citizens with Smart Phones Pilot Study A trial run in survey research Sample A small proportion of a larger population Example 100 US citizens with Smart Phones from each State Sampling Studying a proportion of individuals or cases from a larger population as representative of that population as a whole Random Sampling Sampling method in which a sample is chosen so that every member of the population has the same probability of being included Experiment A research method in which variables can be analyzed in a controlled and systematic way either in an artificial situation constructed by the researcher or in naturally occurring settings Statistical Terms Measures of Central Tendency The ways of calculating averages Correlation Coef cients The measure of the degree of correlation between variables Mean A statistical measure of central tendency or average based on dividing a total by the number of individual cases Mode The number that appears most often in a given set of data This can sometimes be a helpful way of portraying central tendency Median The number that falls halfway in a range of numbers a way of calculating central tendency that is sometimes more useful than calculating a mean Standard Deviation A way of calculating the spread of a group of figures Degree of Dispersal The range or distribution of a set of figures Comparative Research Research that compares one set of findings on one society with the same type of findings on other societies 0 Most in uential comparative research is through historical research Science In the sense of physical science the systematic study of the physical world Science involves the disciplined marshaling of empirical data combined with the theoretical approaches and theories that illuminate or explain those data Scientific activity combines the creation of bold new modes of thought with the careful testing of hypothesis and ideas One major feature that helps distinguish science from other idea systems is the assumption that all scientific ideas are open to criticism and reVision Empirical Investigation Factual inquiries carried out in any area of sociological study


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