Soc-S 100 Week 2 Notes
Soc-S 100 Week 2 Notes Soc 100
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jordan Pimental on Tuesday January 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 100 at Indiana University taught by Professor Felicia Helvey in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introductory Sociology in Sociology at Indiana University.
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Date Created: 01/26/16
Lecture Notes for January 20, 2016 Learning Topics for Today 1. What is the sociological imagination? 2. How do we distinguish between private troubles and public issues? 3. How can we use coffee to understand cultural phenomena? The Sociological Imagination C. Wright Mills “Being able to look at the social world from different, imaginative perspectives, a scientific approach to ‘putting yourself in someone else’s shoes’ or looking at your own life from a different perspective *Promise of Sociology: We’re able to use tools to understand the social world-from a scientific standpoint Personal Trouble VS Public Issues Sociological Imagination bridges the gap between personal troubles and public issues Personal Troubles are things that people go through- issues that people face as individuals Public Issues are problems on a societal leve- numerous people are affected. The Micro-Macro Link Sociological research lies in the realm of micro|(meso)| macro Micro: Small-scale social phenomena; individuals and their thoughts and actions Macro: Large-scale social phenomena; groups, organizations, cultures, society and relationships Structure: constraints within which individuals live their daily lives Agency: an individual’s capacity to think and make decisions within a social structure. Coffee & Culture Creating a culture of coffee drinkers began with: -Emergence of specialty coffee in a time of declining coffee sales -Cultural drive toward productivity -It has become a sort of status symbol Coffee as a Status Symbol What can one tell about a person if they have a cup of coffee? -One might make assumptions about their productivity, their income, their employment status and various other things What does the “brand” of coffee say about a person? -One might make assumptions on geography, income, time availability and various other things What can you tell about American Culture by its obsession with coffee? -One might assume based solely on this that we have an obsession with productivity, that we value the quantity of work over other aspects of the work we accomplish, such as quality, and that it is a competitive culture- therefore requiring fuel to be the most productive one can be so as to not fall behind Reading Notes (Ritzer Ch 4 P. 106-115) Emerging Issues in Culture -Culture is continually in the process of change, as well as continually being transmitted from one generation to the next Global Culture -The global diffusion of nonmaterial culture is difficult The Globalization of Values Some say that global values exist because all people share a biological structure that produces several universal tendencies, including common values *However, most persuasive argument for global values is traceable to the process of globalization -There’s been a wide-ranging global shift form valuing economic prosperity and material success to valuing more quality of life issues like lifestyle and self-expression. Other emerging global values: egalitarianism & liberalization of sexuality. -While there are global values, there is no “global value system.” These emerging values are not a reality for all countries- especially underdeveloped parts of the world with vastly different societies Cultural Imperialism Cultural Imperialism: the imposition of one dominant culture on other cultures- it tends to destroy local cultures Americanization: the importation by other countries of a variety of cultural elements that are closely associated with the United States- Example: American Movie Industry However, some local cultures are quite resilient. Anti-Americanism: an aversion to the US in general, as well as to its influence of its culture abroad. Many cultures have ancient histories & are therefore likely to resist changes that threaten their basic values & beliefs These local cultures modify inputs & impositions from other cultures by integrating them with local realities producing cultural hybrids that combine elements of both. *Cultural imperialism needs examined in the context of the counter reactions to it, counter flows from elsewhere in the world, and the combination of global and local influences to produce unique cultural elements. Consumer Culture Conspicuous consumption: focused on the wealthy and their desire to demonstrate their wealth -Inconspicuous consumption is valued today in some circles -Consumption is highly valued in the United States Consumer Culture: one in which the core ideas and material objects relate to consumption and in which consumption is a primary source of meaning in life -Meaning is found in goods and services bought, in the process of buying them, in social aspects of consumption, and settings in which consumption takes place *There are also norms for consumption* -In 1970’s there was a shift form people deriving meaning from work to deriving meaning from consumption-in developed societies. -The rise of consumer culture was linked to the rise of the Modern World in the West Children in a Consumer Culture In a consumer culture: it is important that children be socialized into and become actively involved in consuming. -Consumption by children used to have strong norms against it, as children were originally deemed incapable of making informed consumption decisions and more susceptible to exploitation. -This began to change when department stores added children sections to their stores, and soon there were baby and children stores separate of department stores. Then media began to market towards children, through radio, tv, and eventually the internet Nontraditional Setting for Consumption -Consumer Culture has spread beyond economy to other aspects of society Example: Higher education. Students used to be passive recipients of what educational systems had to offer. Now they are active consumers of education, shopping around for the best choice school A new key site of consumption is The Internet -Contextual advertising: Advertisements are woven seamlessly into the content of internet sites & many websites carry targeted pop-up ads. A Postconsumer Culture? The great recession technically lasted from 2007 to 2009, but its economic effects are still being felt: Payment for low-mid class still depressed, housing market week, Stock Market unpredictable -The depth of these effects have people questioning the durability of a consumer culture -Due to the recession, consumers lost their ability or desire to consume & They continue to have reason to spend carefully: Unemployment, low income, decline in value of retirement funds and of homes, and a fear of their economic situation -There’s more to this lost desire and ability to consume than a lack of money. Consumers are described as “more socially conscious and embarrassed by flashy shows of wealth” -Consumption centers (Vegas, Atlantic City, Dubai) are hurting or going bankrupt (shopping malls) -Many consumers are saving money and using less of it to consume. Less consumption is indicative of a decline in Consumer Culture, even if only temporary. Postconsumer Culture -Buy less & save more -renting items -taking pride in buying less expensive and/or recycled items -buying less showy brands -dining more at home and less at restaurants -showing greater concern for environment with what we do and don’t buy. Culture Jamming Culture Jamming: radically transforms mass media messages, often turning them on their heads completely- a form of social protest aimed at revealing underlying realities The hope behind it: once people are made aware via Culture Jamming, they will change their behaviors or perhaps band together to change those underlying realities Cyber Culture Cyberculture: the internet as a whole has the characteristics of all culture, including distinctive values & norms Distinctive values within Cyberculture: openness, knowledge sharing, and access -These values are rooted in open source software that emerged before computing was an attractive opportunity, knowledge sharing that was practice when computer professionals survived on reciprocity -Norms: Not supposed to hack, spam, unleash viruses, and erroneously edit user generated sites like Wikepedia Cyberculture is more fluid than other culture in general because the internet is so new and the changes to it are happening so rapidly. Reading Notes on Scientific American: “The Culture of Coffee Drinkers” Are you a morning person? Morning commuters fall into 2 categories: Caffeinated and the Un-caffeinated These identities and associations have been honed by the coffee industry over the last 30 years. Only Grown Ups Drink Coffee In the 1970s, coffee drinking was on the decline. Waning customer interest drove the price of beans higher & consumer groups called for a boycott. The market grew smaller in the 80s because young adults associated coffee with their parents and grandparents. This group preferred soda or pop. The “Me” Generation The Coffee industry needed to change market strategy to survive in a ‘me’ generation. They shifted to emphasize value, quality and image- and so they made the customer more aware about what made coffee worth the price- specialty coffee was born. The movement to specialty coffee was mostly taken up by small roaster- bigger brands followed. Many roasters dress up less impressive coffee with fancy names. The Office Brew Coffee became more personal- netted the young adult market they thought they’d lost. We are surrounded by coffee & caffeine because we live in a society that demands productivity during certain hours. Time is managed and not our own. The time of day greatly affects a person’s attentiveness and productivity without coffee. With coffee as a stimulant, It helps us get through non-optimal periods for productivity when we are compelled to be productive anyway Coffee: It’s Personal The number of people in coffee houses solely for social purposes seems very small. We are identified by the brand, the coffee houses we frequent and by the process by which the beans are grown and harvested. “Free-trade” and “organic” These individual choices are cultivated by a market system- it’s not as personal as we’d like to think Flow Chart from The Oatmeal: “Should you put coffee in your face right now?
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