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Intro to Sociology, Week 1 of Notes

by: Katherine Wester

Intro to Sociology, Week 1 of Notes SY 221

Marketplace > Jacksonville State University > Sociology > SY 221 > Intro to Sociology Week 1 of Notes
Katherine Wester
Jacksonville State University
GPA 3.9
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About this Document

These notes cover the relationship between individual and society, troubles vs. issues, Durkheim's Functionalism, Rational Choice Theory
Intro to Sociology
Erin Rider
Class Notes
sociology, Intro to sociology




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katherine Wester on Saturday February 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SY 221 at Jacksonville State University taught by Erin Rider in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at Jacksonville State University.

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Date Created: 02/06/16
SY 221 One Week of Notes- January 11- January 20 Sociology: Intro to the Relationship between Individual and Society • Sociological Imagination- a tool that can interconnect the relationship between individuals’ motives and actions, and how they inform, respond, and interact with social institutions • Key dilemma to the sociology discipline: relationship between individual (micro) and society (macro) • Social structure/institutions- ex: families, all families operate similarly; education systems all operate similarly • Social institutions are like an interconnected web, they are all similar because they are what keeps society stable • Micro (agency or individual action) • Macro (structure/social institutions) • Actors- everyone is an actor in terms of how much they choose to perform social norms and to what degree • Agency- your ability to act, to make your own decisions; we all have agency, but some have more agency than others o Example, someone born into upper-class privilege will have more than those born into a lower class o Social inequalities- can everyone who works hard overcome these? These are tied to the macro Agency Structure Total control Totally dictated by society People are in the middle of this arrow: no one has total control of their decisions, but they are not totally dictated by society either • Rational Choice Theory- micro; every actor will make a choice on what will benefit him or her; cost/benefits • Conformity is a part of agency • Functionalists (Durkheim)- for any of our actions to work, we have to trust each other; doesn’t believe in the Rational Choice theory • Troubles vs. Issues o Troubles: individual problem § Ex: job loss, victimization (victim of domestic violence) o Issues: societal problem § Ex: unemployment, violence against women • Social location: what situation are you born into • Marx- a conflict theorist, believes that inequalities are present that shape lives of individuals o Bourgeoisie- owners of capitalist system, have the power o Proletariat- controlled by the bourgeoisie o Marx is critical of capitalism o How companies continue to make profit: 1.) cheaper labor 2.) increase the value of the product • Commodity fetishism- companies always coming out with new products that consumers “just have to have” o We neglect relationships because we overvalue products • Durkheim o Functionalism- all social institutions work as a whole o What holds society together? o Mechanical solidarity (society)- earlier society based on sense that there’s no individuality, everyone is group based; maintain social norms, everyone is the same- homogeneous


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