Chapter 4 Reading and Lecture Notes
Chapter 4 Reading and Lecture Notes SOC 1300 - DORSEY
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SOC 1300 - DORSEY
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Chloe Lall on Friday February 20, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 1300 - DORSEY at University of Houston taught by Patricia Dorsey in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 240 views. For similar materials see SOC 1300 in Sociology at University of Houston.
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Date Created: 02/20/15
Lecture notes from 217 Social Structure 0 Concept of Free Will What are the limits of indiv Free will I Free will able to do what we want to when we want To make our own choices Ex choosing electives times days and professors to take class Why can39t we do what we want Social structure Laws Formal and informal things Social norms Environment What is Individual Agency Ability and capacity to make choices and assert will How far does social structure impacting our behavior 0 Social Structure forces that shape the background conditions of society Forces of background conditions Government Limitations on the background conditions Can limit interaction You don39t see social structure until you see it being doing wrongly Not easy to change Social structures are created by humans Humans creations that influence of pressure people to Act behave lt guides limits constrains and also enables opportunities Slow to change Key components 1 Social hierarchies how people rank in society 2 Institutional environments a Laws rules organizations and the government Involve important social relationships Give you certain opportunities Give us different identities within the hierarchies Tied to inequalities Why are social hierarchies important to the social structure Determines our standing life chances Long term possibilities and potential who can you become what identities are allowed for you 0 Power and Privilege in Social Hierarchies Power the ability to influence Privilege The access to different opportunities Who is well connected and has opportunities to different privileges in society Discrimination Dominate group seeks to monopolize opportunities Subordinate group subjected to inferior status 0 Demography study of people39s population in a place population size and composition Immigration Jobs and types Can impact hierarchies gt groups start to form clubs religious groups organizations Find stores music styles clothing styles based on immigrant group Critical mass when groups reach a recognizable size 0 Enduring Customs as Institutions How do institutions emerge Formalize social relationships Organized religion Schools and educational systems CHAPTER 4 READING NOTES Social Structure 0 lnge Deutschkron was a socialist Believed that modern society could be best understood as shaped by a struggle between 2 class 1 Owners of capital 2 The bourgeoisie 0 Margaret Thatcher quotThere is no such thing as societyquot 0 Georg Simmel quotsociety is merely the name for a number of individuals connected by interactionquot What is Social Structure 0 Social structure gt fundamental to the way sociologists understand the human world 0 EX born into poor family more likely that you will be a poor adult vice versa with the a rich family The rich children are more likely to have more opportunities for growth Able to travel and attend private schools obtaining tutors etc The poor child has little access to these resources Therefore the rich child benefits from their place in the social structure while the poor kid does not o In the background of everyday life are forces or structures shape constrain and enable everything that we do When social structure is not present we notice it39s importance 0 Social structures persist over time Historical changes happen slowly and modestly 0 Social structures are mysterious Have multiple interlocking parts Components are not directly observable Research in sociology involves looking at small pieces of social structure not the whole thing 0 The concept of social structure is essential to the sociological imagination because through the social structure is that society imposes its will on individuals and groups 0 Breaking down the concept down to 2 components 1 The social hierarchies can be found in any society in which some of the groups or individuals have greater advantages than others 2 The institutional environments which are made up of laws rules organizations and the gov in which individuals navigate These components make up what sociologists mean by social structure How Do Social Hierarchies Shape our Life Shoices and Relationships 0 Social structures contain a set of important social relationships or also known as a social hierarchy which provides individuals and groups with different statuses Can be based on any way that people divide themselves into groups Critical source of what give social structure its meaning Hierarchies arise and persist in any situation in which members are able to use their possession of some asset as the basis for granting them special privileges over others who do not have that asset The asset can be something individuals are born with skin color gender Born into membership to relgious denomination Acquire at birth or attain later in life start a business and hire others Most common hierarchies today are based on Class Race Ethnicity Religious Educa on Region Gender 0 Study of inequality differences in endowments and valued goods held by individuals or families such as Income Wealth Status Wellbeing 0 Social hierarchies are important components of any society39s structure Where we stand in society will have huge bearing on our lives and life chances Hierarches shape our social lives and relationships 0 Life Chances individuals39 longterm possibilities and potential One key conclusion Where you stand in relation to the important social hierarchies in society will have a major impact on your chancesinl e o If you are a member of a more powerful group then you will have greater life advantages over others will help determine where you end up in life 0 lntergenerational social mobility movement of individuals from the social position of their parents into their own social position as adults 0 When dominant groups get more things than subordinate groups subordinate groups want to challenge their exclusion Gender has been a basis for exclusion I Glass ceiling metaphor which is used to describe the lack of progress women have made moving into valued executive positions Corps Hire women to work in the lower ranks of management but when the promotion times come the women are still disadvantaged Also think of women having the right to vote Women getting paid less than men in the same demanding work in the jobs 0 2 key issues which hierarchies raise 1 Power I Power The ability to influence the behavior of others I Privilege ability or right to have special access to opportunities or claims on rewards dominant group seeks to monopolize opportunities and control rewards Subordinate groups are treated to inferior status and limited opportunities Privilege is maintained through discrimination when a dominant group uses either legal or informal means to control opportunities and reduce or eliminate challenges from the subordinate groups Rules of social hierarchies become the most seen and have the biggest impactresult when they are explicit and clear to everyone and when the actions for violating them are the most clear I Social movement when subordinate groups challenge the laws rules to bring about some kind of change Civil rights movement Women39s movement Legal barriers prevent racial ethnic or religious minorities and women from voting competing for admission to college occupations or serving in the armed forces They prevent dominant groups from monopolizing opponunMes Remaining exception is women being placed in combat roles in the US military Dominant groups can still assert their power through informal means that don39t rely on legal advantages Development of negative stereotypes faulty generalizations about a subordinate group being applied to all the members in the group EX groups that are lazy unintelligent prone to criminal activity etc These justify continuing discrimination against subordinate groups even if formal legal equality is achieved Laws can be passed that require employers to consider all applicants for jobs equally Employers can hold negative stereotypes and make favored decisions on who to hire 2 Demography size of key groups Demography study of population size Changes in overall size of different roles can become a critical source of overall social change Citizens may not notice until the changes reach a critical mass a point where everyone becomes aware of changes and they are large enough to sustain an important activity The most common way population changes over time is Immigration when individuals and families move to take up residency in a new country Often encourage other family members and friends to join them Competition for jobs housing places in schools and other forms of conflict may begin to occur The presence of immigrants are said to reach a critical mass because there has been a noticeable change First waves of immigration occurred between 1880s and 1920s The US became a destination for immigrants from Central and Southern Europe Drawn to America because of economic opponunny quotGreat Migrationquot of African Americans from the South Another population change Millions of black families moved to the northern cities for better life opportunity They changed the racial composition of the cities that they moved Chicago Detroit New York Pittsburgh Cleveland Tensions and conflicts over race grew with the population shift in the cities Changes in economy influence the patterns of immigration Data sources provide statistics of the overall structure of a given country region or locality Can draw a census population count and other data to determine the distribution of employment across different sectors of work Like in agriculture industry education healthcare Can divide up the numbers and distinguish between who is selfemployed and who has a job in the private sector and also those who work for the gov These trends allows us to trace 2 long term trends that have transformed societies around the world 1 Long term decline in agricultural production and employment Late 19th and 20th centuries Social structure was dominated by the central role of the agriculture in the economy American politicians and party leaders used to actively appeal to the quotfarm votequot policies that would appeal to farmers In the 21st century the farm vote is almost completely forgotten The shift away from farming was because of the rapid rise of technology used in farming which can now replace people with machines for some tasks Dramatic rise in employment in white colar based occupations gt began in the second half of the 20th century and is still ongoing in the 21st century Manufacturing jobs were primary jobs at the end of Civil War and the 1960s Entire communities were built around large factories or manufacturing industries Opportunities for employment in the manufacturing market were important factors of causing Europeans to move to America Most famous industrial center was the automobile industry in Detroit Prospered for demand Declined in 1970s because major technological advances replaced human workers and made it possible for manufacturing companies to produce efficiency New jobs are the quotservice sectorquot Lawyers doctors sales jobs Rise of the quotbad jobsquot Service and maintenance work Janitorial work Farm labor Fastfood restaurant work As the result of the shifts immigration to America is now dominated by 2 different migrants Those who have limited skills and occupy the quotBadquot jobs that little Americans desHe Those who have high level skills who are in short supply for fields such as Computing Engineering Science Having the wrong set of skills becomes a problem for individuals The decline in manufacturing jobs meant that higher education was important in obtaining good employment The size of different population groups is important for individuals39 chances in life When unequal groups become more equal in size the competition between them for things like jobs housing relationship partners will grow If a subordinate or immigrant group is small there will be less of a threat to a dominant group When a subordinate group grows large it can threaten a dominant group in various ways A minority group can sometimes have control over a dominant group EX Apartheid in South Africa Why Do Institutions Influence Social Life lnstitutions enduring customs of social life Like religion or marriage along with formal organizations like schools or gov agencies Individuals are also involved with a range of social and political institutions Enduring Customs as Institutions 0 Institutions emerge when groups of people begin to try to formalize social relationships and ensure that they will continue over time EX Organized religion When ideas were passed down from one generation to another the ideas began to be accepted by others thus making them institutionalized or formalized when the beliefs became systematically spread People wrote these religious ideas down in public places and they began to spread which made the religion become organized Organized into religious traditions Denominations Individual places of worship churches temples etc Development of schools and educational systems is another place of institutionalization Parents would teach their children basic survival skills Now civilizations got the idea that learning could be taught by grouping children and following a curriculum structure of coursework and content of a sequence of courses making up a program of study in a school or school system When schools became institutionalized Institutions are reinvented over time gt evolves 0 Organizations and Governments as Institutions Organizations social networks that are unified by a common purpose including the government agencies Most important organizations are Schools Economic institutions of society The government all of it military Religion Government policy can influence many other institutions which makes in important in determining the overall social structure Sociologists refer to the gov as the state which refers to all the agonies and offices of government the legal system the military and the constitution Have the power to determine how wide the gap between individuals is Welfare state when government policies have a bundle of policies and programs that provide social insurance and assistance which can reduce the amount of poverty and inequality in society or to allow high levels of it Typically impose higher taxes on affluent cMzens Set limits on how wealthy individuals or families can become Provide benefits to poor families and children Also benefit older people who cannot continue working Provide health insurance for all citizens not in US Older people get Medicare gt poorer get Medicaid The state changes conditions of social life How is Social Structure Linked to Social Interaction Harvey Molotch O O O Suggests individuals define themselves through the identities required for social interaction Role position to occupy certain things you do for your team Organizations establish roles because it is an efficient way to organize things People know what they are supposed to do at a given time Roles overlap Efficient to where people take on multiple tasks and responsibilities outside of their role Life course when we shift from one stage to another we are supposed to transition as we age through our lives expected to grow up Expected to alter our behavior to fit new roles that we acquire Social roles create one type of clues for individuals there is a wider set of constraints are known as social norms the basic rules of society that help us know what is appropriate to do and what is not Not written down anywhere We follow consequences when we violate the social norms Social structures provide processes or mechanisms that reinforce roles and norms Socialization process through which we are taught and trained to behave in society or in particular social settings How we come to understand the social norms and expectations of our groups Begins with our families where parents teach their children norms and rules Don39t pick your nose Don t ye in public places unless it is appropriate to Continues at every stage during the life course Learning from different people Teachers classmates Bosses Priests Political and civic organizations Pierre Bourdieu Argued that socialization works the most powerfully through our development of a set of specific habits or our habitus Our understandings of rules and norms become so ingrained it becomes a routine in our lives Guides us how we act in the world and how we respond to situations which include our Tastes Preferences Skills Dispositions Reflects the outcome of the socialization processes we go through in our lives Depend on family background and particular kinds of institutions Different economic and social groups also known as classes teach members about different ways of living The differences between the middle and upper classes include all those things contained in their habitus 0 Structures are not all powerful people39s free will and choices shine through EX Uprising in supporting democracy in the Middle East 0 One person may act differently in the same situation People will respond different and unpredictable ways 0 Structuralism emphasize the ways in which social structure primarily determines our individual lives and behavior Places power in the hands of the larger society 0 Agency capacity to make free choices and exert their own wills Connected with freedom 0 EB Du Bois Race may be more important an influence than class People inhabit multiple roles and are located in different hierarchies Structures are not just constraints on action but they are things that enable action Why Are Social Structures Slow to Change 0 Joseph Schumpeter The rooms of the hotel stay the same while the specific occupants change The separation of individuals from the various positions that exist 0 EX A professor retires but the role of the professor does not end with their retirement 0 Path Dependency Path dependency developments and institutionalization make it easier for individual to work within them than to try to rip them apart The ways in which outcomes of the past impact the present making some of the choices logical and some other illogical When paths are once adopted it is hard to reverse them o The Constitution gives an example of how a single decision at one point in time by a group shaped some institutions of American society greatly Others have evolved over time 0 Social structures persist over time for a variety of reasons 1 Political Generates own interest groups organizations established to promote the concerns of a group or business corp Will fight to protect their social ideas when they are beneficial to their members
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