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SOC 302 Notes, Week Two

by: Paula Tattoni

SOC 302 Notes, Week Two SOC 302

Paula Tattoni
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Here are the week two notes for SOC 302!
Sociological Theory
Chenoia N. Bryant
Class Notes
sociology, sociological theory




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Paula Tattoni on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 302 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Chenoia N. Bryant in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Sociological Theory in Sociology at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 02/08/16
Emile Durkheim Thursday, January 28, 2016 11:12 AM A Society: Moral Order a Durkheim was interested in the question of social (moral) order i How social order is achieved and maintained amidst social and economic change ii Views society as a complex system of component parts: 1 Parts independent 2 Parts interrelated ii All parts necessary for the functioning of society as a whole iii Structural functionalism B Scientific Sociology a Sociology as science of civilization b Sociology as the study of social facts c Social Facts: social phenomena that are external to the individual, collective, independent of the individual d Beliefs, tendencies, and practices of the group taken collectively e Not just statistical facts; social facts more encompassing f Ways of acting, thinking, and feeling shape, structure, and constrain individual and social behavior B Sociology: Study of Society a Society is greater than the sum of individuals who comprise it i Society has its own reality - social relations, organizations, collective social forces ii These comprise a distinct collective reality; a sui generis reality B How Should We Study Society? a Study social facts b Study social facts by considering social facts as things c Social facts have an objective (thing-like) existence in society i They can be studied objectively ii Their objective manifestations can be observed iii Indicators of a thing - of any social phenomenon - can be substituted when the phenomenon itself cannot be directly observed B Studying Social Facts a Following Durkheim, sociologists use measures or indicators of various phenomena in their research b We cannot directly see social integration, but it can be measured using indicators assessing individuals' social ties to others, their frequency of interaction with others, and their participation in various social/community groups B Social Facts and Social Problems a All social facts are amendable to objective study b All social facts can be studied independent of the sociologist's attitudes toward the phenomenon being studied c Social facts include marriage, divorce, religion, crime, homelessness, education d Social "problems" are sociologically "normal" e They are part of social life; have a collective existence; impact the collective social reality f Some social problems, though normal social facts, can become pathological and threaten social order if the comparative incidence of a particular phenomenon (unemployment, etc.) becomes abnormally high B Human Nature and Society's Nature a Human appetites are individualistic or self-centered b All humans have basic selfish biological drives that we seek to satisfy c Life in society means the individual appetites have to be curbed; social life necessitates our responsiveness to others d Social life requires that we attach ourselves to "something other than ourselves" e Attachment to others - social ties, social bonds - produces solidarity (social morality); solidarity with the group/society f Solidarity maintains society; maintains its order and cohesiveness B Societal Constraints a Socialization: teaches individuals the norms and expectations of the collectivity b We habituate to the obligations and customs of the collectivity c Society imposes its expectations and norms on individual and collective behavior d "When I perform my duties as a brother, a husband or a citizen.." e The rules of behavior are society's rules; they come from society and constrain social behavior f Rules, norms, customs, expectations, are all socially inherited; the collectively exist and are external to, and independent of, individuals g The collective force exerted by existing social facts makes social change can only emerge from society B Societal Transformation a Different types of societies produce different societal conditions, social facts, and different forms of social organization b Traditional v. modern society B Traditional Society a Pre-industrial or rural society/community i Sameness in social structure and relationships ii Occupational breadth, not specialization iii Shared backgrounds, family, occupational, and cultural histories iv Overlapping social ties and relationships b Strong collective conscience c Deeply felt shared attachments and beliefs d Regulated expectations and behaviors e Low level of individualism f Social control exerted through repressive sanctions (e.g. gossip) g Mechanical Solidarity: a social cohesion produced by shared overlapping relationships/beliefs B Modern Society a Different character, structure, and intensity in modern urban society than in traditional or rural communities/societies B Characteristics of Modern Society a Industrialization/urbanization/population density b Geographical and social mobility c Cultural diversity d Specialized division of labor e Requires individualism f Produces interdependence g Organic Solidarity: social cohesion from interdependence rather than sameness B Division of Labor a Division of occupational labor as a mechanism producing worker/social interdependence B Social Interdependence a Contractual, but also moral b Contracts alone do not regulate and produce interdependence c Contacts are expressions of social morality; of how society defines expectations and obligations d Contracts: i Do not have power independent of society ii Have legitimacy because they reflect and affirm societal expectations and customs iii Originate in society iv Function to protect social relations, society B Social Conditions and Suicide a Social fact b Varies inversely with the degree of social integration c Durkheim's sociological study of suicide highlights the significance of social interdependence, how social structures attach individuals to society, how different social conditions produce different social consequences B Suicide in Tightly Bound Societies a Altruistic Suicide i Produced under societal conditions in which individuals are excessively tied to the society; over-attachment to social groups ii The strong press of the collective conscience/community norms iii Becomes obligatory due to loss of honor in the community (Japanese society) B Modern Egotistical Conditions a Egotistic Suicide i Societal conditions with a high emphasis on individualism; self- oriented achievement ii Focus on the self leaves little room for the development/maintenance of social groups iii Social Relationships and Social Groups 1 Function as constraints against individualist (egotistic) appetites 2 Protect the individual from detaching from society B Constraining Individualist Tendencies a Some social structures/forms of social organization more likely than others to exert a constraining-integrating force on the individual (marriage, parenthood, church, etc.) B Anomic Social Conditions a Anomic Suicide i Produced by societal conditions of upheaval, rootlessness ii The norms and anchors in place are disrupted and overturned by some unanticipated occurrence, event, crisis (terrorist attacks, natural disasters, rapid economic change) B Anomie and Social Cohesion a Societal anomie, societal disturbance, is not solely linked to suicide b Societal anomie can also produce new bonds of cohesion: people want to be with other people, they unite around a shared grief/common cause c Independent of social anomie, social abnormalities, or social "problems" (excessive inequality, excessive individualism) can threaten social cohesion B Religion a A social fact b Interest in the relation between religion and social integration c Broad definition of religion, of the sacred d All societies divide things into two categories: i Sacred: all things set apart as special; have high symbolic value; society demands reverence/awe toward them ii Profane: ordinary or mundane with not special symbolic significance B The Sacred a The sacred and the profane are defined by society b What makes a thing holy/sacred is the collective feeling attached to it c Each society/community designates the sacred through symbols; collective representations d Symbols are collective representations of a society's/community's shared beliefs/attachments e Societies/communities unify around shared sacred symbols B Beliefs and Rituals a The sacred can be identified by: i Collectively shared beliefs ii Collectively shared rituals 1 Church: the collective coming together of people with shared beliefs and rituals 2 A moral community; shared solidarity 3 The affirmation and regeneration of social ties B Science and Religion a Religion compels us to act in unison together; compels us to be social b Religion attaches us to something other than ourselves; strengthens our individual and collective life c Science: creates knowledge d Religion: creates action, the moral-social remaking of society; creates solidarities e Science and Religion: separate, interdependent functions; not incompatiable


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