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Sociology 101 Week 2 Notes

by: Sam Hipe

Sociology 101 Week 2 Notes SO101

Marketplace > Arcadia University > Sociology & Anthropology > SO101 > Sociology 101 Week 2 Notes
Sam Hipe
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These notes covered what we talked about what was lectured in class as well as a short outline about what was in the Conley textbook for Chapter 1. This also includes what we talked about for the 2...
Introductory Sociology
Pinsky, Dina
Class Notes
sociology, Mills, promise, imagination, institution, Identity, structure
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sam Hipe on Friday September 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SO101 at Arcadia University taught by Pinsky, Dina in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Introductory Sociology in Sociology & Anthropology at Arcadia University.


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Date Created: 09/09/16
Conley Chapter 1/Week 2 Notes “Asking questions about something you may have previously taken for granted is the first step” Paradox: “A successful sociologist makes the familiar strange Cultural ideologies vs. reality What is Sociology?  Study of human society  It’s a broad field of study  ASA = American Sociological Society Sociological Imagination  Sociological imagination is the ability to connect the most basic, intimate aspects of an  individual’s life to seemingly impersonal and remote historic forces  C. Wright Mills wrote the Sociological Imagination in 1959 after WW2 o “The individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by  locating himself within his period, that he can known his own chances in life by  becoming aware of those individuals in his circumstances.” o Connect our personal experiences to society at large and greater historical forces o “make the familiar strange” or to question habits or customs that seem “natural” to us  We are not alone in experiences  Getting that piece of paper o Getting the degree and having a particular career, or working your way up into the career o Randall Collins  The Credential Society: a Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification What is a Social Institution?  Social institution is a complex group of interdependent positions that, together, perform a social  role and reproduce themselves over time; also defined in a narrow sense as any institution in a  society that works to shape the behavior of the groups or people within it. o Networks of structures in society that work to socialize the groups of people within them  Examples:   Legal system  Labor market  Educational system  Military  Family   The social role is a narrative that unifies people and stories in a network  Have to think of them as constructed within a dense network of other social institutions and  meanings  Many stories contribute to a social identity of a person or place o Examples:  Your mom  Educational testing service and ACT  English  Or any other language Social Identity  The way individuals define themselves in relationship to groups they are a part of (or in a  relationship to groups they choose not to be a part of  Structure and Agency: Individual’s life is determined by social context, social forces larger than  self. Even though there is free will, social forces determine choices  Identities change through life  Make choices as individuals but strained and restricted by institutions The Sociology of Sociology  Job of the sociologist: to develop a secular morality  Auguste Comte o 3 historical stages  Theological stage  Society was of divine will  It was in God’s plan  Metaphysical Stage  Enlightenment thinkers  Jean­Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, & Thomas Hobbes  Human behavior driven by natural instincts  To see how things worked, we needed to strip away layers of society  Scientific Stage  Physics   Harriet Martineau o English social theorist (1802­1876) o First methods book in sociology (How to Observe Morals and  Manners)  Considered one of the earliest feminist social scientists  Classical Sociological Theory o Founding fathers of sociological discipline  Karl Marx  Marxism  Conflicts between classes drive social change  Each economic system had its own fault lines for conflict  Max Weber  Criticized Marx for focusing on economy and class  Advocated for social analysis of culture, politics, AND economics  Verstehen ­ German for understanding. Basis of interpretive sociology  in which researchers imagine themselves experiencing the life positions  of the social actors they want to understand rather than treating those  people as objects to be examined  Emile Durkheim  The division of labor  Specializing jobs  The beginning of time with the hunter/gatherers had a low division of  labor while the USA has a high division of labor today  Anomie – a sense of aimlessness or despair that arises when we can no  longer reasonably expect life to be predictable; too little social  regulation; normlessness  Positivist sociology – a strain within sociology that believes the social  world can be described and predicted by certain describable relationships akin to a social physics  Sometimes Georg Simmel  Established formal sociology – sociology with numbers  Influential in urban and cultural sociology  American Sociology o Chicago school  Humans’ behaviors and personalities  are shaped by social and physical  environments – social ecology  Social self  Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead o W. E. B. Du Bois  First African American to earn a PhD from Harvard  First to take ethnography to the African American communities  Double consciousness – a concept conceived to describe the two behavioral  scripts, one for moving through the world and the other incorporating the  external opinions of prejudiced onlookers, which are constantly maintained by  African Americans  A sense of looking at one’s self through the eyes of another o Jane Addams  Founded the first American settlement house, the Hull House  Link the ideas of the university to the poor  Regarded as a social worker  Modern Sociological Theories o Functionalism – the theory that various social institutions and  processes in society exist to serve some important or necessary  function to keep society running o Conflict Theory  The idea that conflict between competing interests is the basic animating force of social change and society in general  Also known as the Marxist theory  Inequality exists due to political struggles among classes  Competition, not consensus is essential  Nowadays sociologist say both are necessary o Feminist Theory  Shared ideas with Marxist theory  Wanted equality between men and women o Symbolic Interactionism   A micro­level theory in which shared meanings, orientations, and assumptions  form the basic motivations behind people’s activities  Herbert Blumer  People act as a reaction based on social signals and signs  Erving Goffman  Used theatre to describe the social façade through gestures, script, props,  and frontstage.  o Postmodernism  A condition characterized by a questioning of the notion of progress and history,  the replacement of narrative within pastiche (using a style that imitates that of  another’s), and multiple, perhaps even conflicting, identities resulting from  disjointed affiliations  Social construction – an entity that exists because people behave as if it exists  and whose existence is perpetuated as people and social institutions act in  accordance with the widely agreed­upon formal rules or informal norms of  behavior associated with that entity  Meanings aren’t objective, as they could be different in different cultures o Midrange Theory  A theory that attempts to predict how certain social institutions tend to function Sociology and Its Cousins  Sociology focuses on making comparisons across cases to find patterns and create hypotheses  about how societies work  Looks at how individuals interact with oen another as well as how groups interact with one  another  History and Anthropology o Tend to focus more on particular circumstances o Use different theories  Psychological and Biological Sciences o Genes and IQ vs. SES (socio­economic status), parental educational level, school factors,  social networks  Economics and Political Science o Quantitative side of sociology Divisions Within Sociology  Microsociology o Branch of sociology that seeks to understand local international contexts; its methods of  choice are ethnographic, generally including participant observation and in depth  interviews o Local; face­to­face; small group; how we make meaning  Macrosociology o Branch of sociology generally concerned with social dynamics at a higher level of  analysis o Whole societies; statistical analysis The (Mis)education of Karen and Monica Structure + Agency Lead to inhibiting the ability to succeed in school: Institutional factors = high costs of education and rushing for Greek life Cultural = pressure to drink ­flagship campus vs. regional campus ­solidly middle class vs. working class 1. What structural/institutional + cultural factors make it difficult? ­Easy majors with no jobs ­fashion statements  ­no internships  ­bad advising 2. Other factors that make it difficult for working and lower middle class? ­Previous HS education  ­parents unable to take loans  ­sports/art/music ­Lack of technology  ­social exclusion  ­less personal with professors  The Promise  “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without  understanding both” ­Mills  Sociological imagination is the framework needed to understand our own life  Main points o Stems from larger issues o Intersection of biography and history o Troubles vs. issues o Can’t focus on the individual alone to understand the world o Examples of war, marriage, and urban living o Look beyond the social milieu  “Don’t miss the forest for the trees” 


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