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Soc 1 Week 1 & 2 Notes

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by: Priscilla orellana

Soc 1 Week 1 & 2 Notes Sociology 1

Priscilla orellana
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Soc 1 weeks 1 & 2 in class notes & week 2 discussion notes
Intro to Sociology
Chuck O'Connell
Class Notes
sociology, soc1




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"I love that I can count on (Priscilla for top notch notes! Especially around test time..."
Joanie Armstrong

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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Priscilla orellana on Monday January 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Sociology 1 at University of California - Irvine taught by Chuck O'Connell in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 607 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at University of California - Irvine.


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Date Created: 01/18/16
Soc 1 Winter 16 Lecture 2 – Week 1 Thursday 1/7  Objectives of the course: o To learn to think “sociologically” o To acquire factual information o To stimulate critical thought  Sociologically: to see how human behavior is shaped by culture which itself is shaped by the needs of human groups (social groups)  Example: consider the cultural rule known as the incest taboo. Only people in the family allowed to have sexual relations are the parents. Some people give a religious explanation for it, but atheists and societies who don’t have a general religion also practice this. Others give biological answers, saying that if two people from the same family have a baby it will have genetic defects. Others give psychological reasons, saying it gives “mental scarring” to children. Structural reason: could it be that the taboo is necessary for the structural integrity of the family? If you violate the taboo, you could disorganize the family  Top 20% of the population owns 85% of the nation’s wealth (not just $$, stocks, bonds, jewelry, etc.). Next 20% owns 9-10%, next 20% owns ~4-5%, last 40% owns 0.3% of the nation’s wealth. o Theory: the more you concentrate wealth, the more you concentrate political power aka more oligarchy, less democracy  “Courtesy of the red white and blue” Toby Keith: has a positive nostalgic view of the war, pride in his dad fighting in it  US Army Iraq war veteran Mike Prysner’s speech on the war and occupation of Iraq: had to take families from their homes, not “terrorists” as he was told that he would be fighting. Feels that racism was the primary motive of this war, not terrorism. Feels the government convinces soldiers/US citizens to support these wars so that they can keep their power and wealth, and troops & citizens gain nothing. “poor working people from this country are sent to kill poor working people from that country to support the wealthy of the US”. Lecture 3 – Week 2 Tuesday  Overview for today 1. Sociology: what, why, how 2. Difficulties in doing sociology research  EPA  Bush expand the social security programs L  Ford support the equal rights amendment L  Reagan gives women greater access to abortion L  Increase gun control L  Nixon increase the regulation of business L  Nixon abolish the military draft L  Nixon propose gov’t sponsored universal healthcare L  Society: a group of people living in a defined territory sharing the same culture and subject to the same political authority.  Why do we study societies? (Why sociology?) 1. People are interesting, see how the same word/gesture can mean different things in different cultures 2 2. Societies periodically experience revolutions and political power changes.  How do we study sociology? Methods of Research: 1. Observation: watching what people do. 2. Surveys: ask questions about behavior and reasons for their behavior, written or phone or door-to-door. 3. Documents: emails, wills, gov’t records, 4. Experiments: we manipulate, hard to use because it’s heavily regulated and costs a lot of money  Ethnomethodology: subfield of sociology, study of how people recreate social order when the social order has been disrupted.  Harold Garfinkel: had his grad students engage in experiments where they disrupt the regular social order. Came up with an experiment, told his students to go onto UCLA campus, find a table where someone is sitting eating and ask if you can also sit at the table, without saying anything take out a paper and draw a tic tac toe grid and slide it over to the other person. Take eraser and erase their mark so that you win. Found a pattern in reactions of the other person: F-F, M-F, M-M all responded saying that’s not how you play. F-M took it as a flirtatious move. Difficulties 1. The problem of reaction (reactivity): if the people you are watching know you’re watching, then they often react to the observation itself and change their behavior which gives unreliable results. 2. The problem of ethics, people have a right to privacy and to be free from harm, can be harmed from direct observation or through the publication of the research 3. The problem of deviance, not everyone follows the “rules” of society 3 4. The problem of power: involves two aspects, have few sociological studies on top 20% of people because they can use their wealth to hide themselves from prying eyes. Discussion Week 2  Power: the capacity of ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. There are 3 types (can overlap, but have unique mechanisms): 1. Cultural  Intellectual: reproducing the knowledge that the members of a social organization share (pg. 65)  Values: delineating criteria for judging what is appropriate, correct, moral and important (pg. 27). Example: in the educational system correct answers are valued, so people who do not give right answers are seen as bad students, not paying attention, maybe lazy etc.  Norms: establishing the behavioral expectations that members of a group share  Culture is institutionalized, norms, values, and roles expectations are passed on through institutions. Institutions are social arrangements that channel behavior in prescribed ways in the important areas of life. 2. Political 3. Economic  Institutions: 1. Family: have a structure (i.e. parents  children  grandkids). Structure is reinforced by certain things such as parents having economic power, cultural power, “political” power 4 2. Educational: can influence social behavior because it is seen as bad if you give a wrong answer 3. Religious: example: confession instills power in you through confession, if you confess your sings you should feel better and be prevented from repeating the act again 4. Political: terms “illegal immigrant” vs. “legal immigrant”  Sources of data:  Sample: representative part of a population. Random and must be fro the population under investigation  Variable: an attitude, behavior, or condition that can vary in magnitude & significance from case to case  Surveys: systematic means of gathering info. about people’s behaviors, attitudes, and opinions.  Longitudinal surveys: same persons, over many years  Theoretical Framework: Conflict Theory o The mass acceptance of values as a form of cultural tyranny that promotes political conservatism, inhibits creativity, and gets people to accept their lot because they believe in the system, rather than joining to it (pg. 86).  Order Theory o Functionalist theory, these ideas that maintain structure of power are functional. In order for institution of education to function, it needs to separate TA’s & professors in order to work. Sees this separation as necessary 5 Lecture 4 – Week 2 Thursday 1/14  From last lecture: difficulties in doing sociological research 1. People reacting to you watching them if they realize you’re watching them. If they figure that out, they change their behavior which presumably is not what you want to study. 2. Ethical problems: you’re studying people, they have right to privacy and to be free from harm, might need to ask for people’s permission. 3. Deviance: most human behavior is orderly because we learn rules of behavior through experience and observation; we are socialized to cultural rules. Most people follow them, but also most of us do not follow all the rules all the time. If the rule is considered really important, then you are more reluctant to tell people you break this rule, therefore affecting the accuracy of sociological research. 4. The problem of power: Powerful, wealthy people have the ability to make obstacles in conducting sociological research on them. In addition, people in power have the resources to hire intellectuals to write stories justifying the rule of the powerful. It’s easier to use intellectuals to control people through their minds, rather than controlling people by force using warriors. Intellectuals convince people that the concentration of wealth is beneficial for everybody and that there is no real, viable alternative to this. Minimizes rebellion.  Modern example: Slavery in the US, people nowadays see that it was clearly not just, but the intellectuals back then (teachers, newspaper writers) said slavery was justified. This shows that intellectuals are the product of their society. 6  Raises the question, if it happened to smart people back then, how do you know that this is not happening right now? 5. Our research minds are social products. In other words, we don’t know logic, we know what our society tells us aka bias. We can never be fully impartial because we have ingrained cultural biases.  Film about Southeast Asia: “The Secret War (BOMBIES) America’s War on Laos!” o Country: Laos. U.S. sent out bombs not to destroy physical property, specifically used to hurt people. Theory was that rebel forces in Laos were supported by local people, so if you damage local people (not kill them), they won’t be able to support the rebel forces because they’ll have to spend time & energy caring for these wounded people. Went on 1965-1973, bombing ended in ’73 but the detonation of bombs did not end there, still continues today. o Was kept secret from Congress and the American people. Cluster bombs, left millions of unexploded bombs there. Scattered everywhere from roots of bamboo trees, to houses to school playgrounds. Since the end of the war, there have been 20,000 casualties because of these exploding “bombies”. People in this community meet with mining advisors to prevent more casualties in separate groups of women, men, and children. o Arrogance of power, disrespecting these people’s rights to decide what is good for their country.  Culture and Personality 7 o Culture is something that is created by people (personalities). Once created, culture becomes a system that shapes personalities o Definition of culture: shared ways of doing things. These shared ways involve values, beliefs, and rules of behavior. o Definition of personality: consists of your tendencies to think, feel, and behave in certain ways (culturally approved ways). o To a certain extend, we are “programmed beings”, not robots but we are not completely in control of ourselves. Our thoughts, emotions, behaviors are products of culture and social interactions. 8


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