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Sociology Notes Through 2/3/2016

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by: Elizabeth Schill

Sociology Notes Through 2/3/2016 101

Marketplace > University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire > Sociology > 101 > Sociology Notes Through 2 3 2016
Elizabeth Schill
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About this Document

These are lecture notes from the first lecture all the way until 2/3/2016.
Intro to Sociology
Dr. Jeff Erger
Class Notes




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elizabeth Schill on Monday February 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 101 at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire taught by Dr. Jeff Erger in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.


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Date Created: 02/01/16
Lecture Notes 1/27/2016 I) Sociology A) Old definition: study of social facts II) Theory and Metatheory A) Metatheory 1) Assumptions about the world that cannot be proven false or true 2) Examples (a)Structural-functionalism believes society is run by consensus and cooperation (b)Conflict believes society is based on conflict and domination (c)Symbolic-interaction believes that our beliefs create our reality (d)Carl Marx believed it’s our material world that shapes our beliefs B) Theory 1) A set of interrelated causal statements that can be proven false 2) Example (a)A B, B  C, C D 3) Two main reasons for why we prove false not true (a)Logic: theory of crows (i) All crows are black easier to prove false because if you can find one crow that is not black then your theory is false (b)Psychological (i) We see what we look for and we like to be right, not wrong 4) Good theories are… (a)Simple rather than complex (b)Explain a lot rather than a little (c)Are not tied to a specific time or place III) Sociological Theory Example A) Emile Durkheim’s Study of Suicide 1) Noticed that around 1900 more Protestants in Europe committed more suicide than Catholics in Europe 2) His theory (a)The higher the level of social obligations in a group, the lower the suicide rate in a group (b)Higher social obligations  lower suicide rates 1/29/2016 I) Methods of Research A) Theories lay out what we think is going on, methods of research gather data to test theory B) All methods need to set up an opportunity for the theory being tested to be wrong C) Key to methods is that they allow for comparison and control of variables II) Method 1: Experiment A) The Contrast Sensitivity Experiment 1) One variable: how many times someone changes their mind: P(c) 2) Second variable: gender of who they think they are working with (a)With only 2 variables, changes in one must result from changes in the other 3) Third variable: ethnicity of who they think they are working with III) Experiments are… (positive) A) Great for testing causal relationships among a few variables, while controlling all other variables that might have an effect B) By giving up some control, we can do experiments in a “natural” setting and not just a lab C) Experiments are limited… (negative) 1) Not all questions can be tested with an experiment 2) Multiple variables soon make experiments costly in terms of time and money 3) Hawthorne Effect (a)When people do what they think you expect based on that they know you are watching them IV)Method 2: Surveys A) Variations on variables from answers to questions B) Control comes from sample selection: ideally random selection C) Online, paper, verbal interview in person or on the phone are all survey methods V) Benefits of Surveys A) Large numbers of people B) Attitudes and non-observables can be tested C) Survey data over time can show trends leading to more detailed research and theory VI)Drawbacks (costs) of surveys A) Low response rates bias the sample B) Some questions and topics make it hard to get honest answers C) Actions and attitudes don’t always line up D) Question wording is critical, bad wording makes for bad results VII) Method 3: Secondary Analysis A) Using already gathered data to test a hypothesis, also know as “going to the library” B) Good for cross national research, where gathering the data would be costly C) Can use quantitative or qualtitative data VIII) Benefits of Secondary Analysis A) Fast to gather data B) Cross-national comparisons to test cultural level theories IX)Cost of Secondary Analysis A) Different nation’s numbers might not mean the same thing B) Data needed is often not present X) Method 4: Participant Observation A) Go hang out with people 1) Can be totally without any participation 2) Can be totally open about it with full participation 3) Can be anything between these two extremes XI)Participant Observation A) Laud Humphries “Tea Room Trade” XII) Costs of Participant Observation A) No control B) Ethical problem XIII) Benefits of Participant Observation A) The only way to get some data B) Great at looking at “new” social realities 2/1/2016 I) Structural Functionalism A) Metatheoretical assumptions 1) Society is based on consensus (agreement) an cooperation 2) The focus is on societal processes, with individuals being subject to large scale social functions II) Major SF Metatheoretical Concepts A) Structures 1) The parts and the arrangement of the parts B) Functions 1) What the parts do C) There are many tradeoffs D) Evolution 1) Structures undergo “adaptive upgrading” over time III) What are necessary functions for all societies? A) Class List 1) Reproduce and teach children/educated 2) Provide rules and enforcement 3) A way to make rules most people agree 4) Culture: shared beliefs 5) Ability to compromise 6) Adequate resources: food, shelter, clothing, etc. B) List on Slide 1) Reproduction 2) Socialization 3) Shelter 4) Food 5) Clothing 6) Law enforcement IV)Talcott Parson’s Function of Society (AGIL) A) Adaptation 1) Adapt to change B) Goal Attainment 1) Set goals and achieve C) Integration 1) Socialization D) Latency (aka Pattern Maintenance) 1) Patch things up V) Robert Merton’s Functional Analysis A) Middle range theory, designed to look at smaller than entire societies B) Step 1 1) Identify the social structures involved in what you are looking at in society C) Step 2 1) Look for the functions and dysfunctions of the social structure D) Step 3 1) If the dysfunctions outweigh the functions, should we attempt to end them? VI)Robert Merton’s Functionalist Analysis of the Homeless A) What is the social structure involved in homelessness 1) Stratification (a)The differential distribution of resources in a society B) If it’s in every society it’s probably important Functions Dysfunctions Manifest Intended or expected Obvious or expected benefits costs Latent Unintended or Emergent or unexpected benefits unexpected costs Homelessness/Stratification Functions Dysfunctions Manifest *Motivation*  Unequal  To rise higher opportunities not based on merit  Certain crime is higher  Poverty Latent  Jobs (police,  High ER health social workers, care cost etc.)  Unsafe feeling =  Charity lower social  Recycling bonding  Canaries in coal  Fewer public mine restrooms 2/3/2016 I) Structural Functionalism A) Crime and Deviance 1) Crime (a)Violation of a law (i) Going 5 mph over speed limit 2) Deviance (a)Violation of a norm (i) Smoking cigarettes II) Durkheim- Four Functions of Deviance A) Affirms cultural values and norms 1) When someone does something bad, only highlights what they should have done right B) The response to deviance clarifies moral boundaries C) The response to deviance promotes social unity D) Deviance encourages social change Strain Theory: Merton Cultural Goals Cultural Means Deviance Type Accept Accept Conformity Accept Reject Innovation Reject Accept Ritualism Reject Reject Retreatism Reject but seek to put Reject but seek to put Rebellion or in new goals in new means Revolution Topic = Car Stereo Theft structure = norms and laws about property Functions Dysfunctions Manifest Durkheim’s functions Lower confidence in 1-3 society, weaker social bonds, loss of property Latent More purchases Car alarms at night = (alarms, upgrade loss of sleep and loss installations) and of productivity more jobs More advanced crime redistribution of wealth *UNDERSTAND MANIFEST AND LATENT FUNCTIONS AND DYSFUNCTIONS*


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