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SOCY 100 -- Week 2

by: Amanda Stavisky

SOCY 100 -- Week 2 SOCY 101 - 0201

Amanda Stavisky
Introductory Sociology
Dr. Nancy Forsythe

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About this Document

Notes on all topics covered during the second week of Sociology 101. Includes notes on supplementary readings and textbook readings relevant to information covered in class.
Introductory Sociology
Dr. Nancy Forsythe
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda Stavisky on Saturday September 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOCY 101 - 0201 at University of Maryland taught by Dr. Nancy Forsythe in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 69 views. For similar materials see Introductory Sociology in Sociology at University of Maryland.


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Date Created: 09/12/15
Sociology 100 Intro to Sociology Week 2 Notes Science amp Sociology cont gt Comte s approach known as positivism scientific approach on knowledge based on positive facts as opposed to mere speculation gt Comte believed that society functioned as according to its own laws gt Early sociologists like Marx hoped sociology would lead to greater social justice gt Adam Smith studied the social origin of the human order with Wealth of Nations where he highlights the arbitrary distinctions bt fields of study Sociological Theory gt Theory a statement of how amp why specific facts are related gt Sociological theory exists to explain social behavior in the real world Ex Emile Durkheim in the late 18003 studied correlation bt suicide social standing religion time of the year etc gt 2 questions asked in building theory What issues should we study How should we connect the facts gt Sociologists then use a theoretical approach or a basic image of society that guides thinking and research of which there are 3 major approaches seen below 1 The StructuralFunctional Approach Structuralfunctional approach framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability gt Comte Durkheim Spencer pivotal to this approach gt Points to social structure or any relatively stable pattern of social behavior gt Looks for structure s social function the consequences of any social pattern for the operation of society as a whole gt Manifest functions are the recognized and intended consequences of any social pattern gt Latent functions are the unrecognized and unintended consequences of any social pattern Not all effects of social structure are good social dysfunction any social pattern that may disrupt the operation of society Ex Globalization to some extent bc of implementation of Western norms and values onto other societies that said whether social patterns are beneficial or harmful is disagreed upon 2 The Social Conflict Approach Sociology 100 Intro to Sociology Week 2 Notes gt Social conflict approach framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change gt Includes gender conflict amp race conflict approaches gt Focuses on how society benefits some people while hurting others examines age race gender status etc gt Analyzes the keeping of privilege of those who benefit most Ex School system studied by Bowles Gintis Marx tracks in school like Gifted amp Talented programs gt wealthy families in high track poorer families in the lower track Rich families are then more successful in school which they use to justify their power and place in soc however school should be used to change society and not to further injustices 3 The SymbolicInteraction Approach gt Macrolevel orientation broad focus on social structures that shape society as a whole gt Microlevel orientation closeup focus on social interaction in specific settings gt Symbolicinteraction approach framework for building theories that sees society as the product of everyday interactions of individuals Application of Sociological Theory through Sports Structuralfunctional view on sports sports lead to jobs are a pastime and a source of entertainment gt sports are valuable to our society Socialconflict view on sports Sports promote violence and corruption in our society FIFA scandal violence of football Genderconflict women are paid less in sports and are given less attention in sports than men Raceconflict the number of players and positions of players depends highly on race Many thinking positions like pitcher in baseball are given to white players while nonwhite players are more often in the outfield Also disparity bt money made by players and money made by coaches who are most often old white and rich Classconflict certain sports golf sailing tennis require more material and are therefore reserved for the wealthy gt Why is there a high number of African Americans in some pro sports esp football basketball Athletic performance is more objectively measured in sports and is not as influenced by prejudice Sports like basketball football provide immediate resources that sports like baseball don t provide until much later Sports also make college more accessible Sociology 100 Intro to Sociology Week 2 Notes Research Method further explained under Research Methods p5 Sociological research starts w a question gt then a literature review must occur to find out if q is meaningful and to see what others have said on topic gt continues w hypothesis gt finding variables gt specifying indicators gt data collection gt verification of data gt dissemination Three ways to do sociology Positivist Sociology Positivist sociology the study of society based on systematic observations of social behavior gt assumes that objective reality really exists out there Concepts variables and measurements gt Concept a mental construct that represents some aspect of the world in a simplified form Ex the family the economy gt Variable a concept whose value changes from case to case Ex price upper class gt The use of variables depends on measurement a procedure for determining the value of a variable in a specific case It can be hard to measure variables when there are multiple options to be considered Defining Concepts measurement always a bit arbitrary bc value of variable depends on how it s defined gt good research requires that sociologists operationalize a variable by specifying exactly what is to be measured before assigning value to a variable Ex Instead of measuring success measure income level Reliability amp Validity For a measurement to be useful it must be both reliable amp valid Reliability consistency in measurement Validity actually measuring what you intended to measure Relationships among variables Cause amp effect a relationship in which one change in variable causes change in a another gt variable that causes change independent variable gt variable that changes dependent variable Correlation relationship in which 2 variables change together Sociology 100 Intro to Sociology Week 2 Notes Spurious correlation an apparent but false relationship blt two variables caused by another variable Interpretive sociology Interpretive sociology study of sociology that focuses on the meanings people attach to their social world Weber pioneer of this method argued that focus of sociology is interpretation or understanding the meaning that people create in their everyday lives The importance of meaning Interpretive sociology differs from positivist sociology in four ways Positivist Sociology Interpretive Sociology Focuses on actions based on Focuses on people s what we directly observe understanding of their actions Claims that objective realities Counters that reality is exist out there constructed by people in their everyday lives Favors quantitative data Favors qualitative data Best suited to research in labs Claims we learn more from with experiments careful people focusing on a subjective measurements meaning amp learning how they make sense of their everyday lives Weber s concept of Verstehen gt Phonetic fairSHTAYin German word for understanding gt Observing not only what people do but also why they do it Focuses on the thoughts and feelings of subjects which scientists have previously diminished bc of difficulty to measure Critical Sociology Marx founds critical orientation rejected ideas that sociology exists as a natural system w a fixed order Accding to Marx to say that society is fixed is to say it can t be changed gt Critical sociology study of society that focuses on need for social change Sociology 100 Intro to Sociology Week 2 Notes The importance of change gt Critical sociologists ask questions like how does society work amp why can t our society have less inequality gt Answer society should not exist as it does gt Claims that the point of sociology is notjust to research the social world but to change it in the direction of democracy and social justice provide voice for less powerful amp advance political goal of social equality Research Orientations and Theory Positivist Orientation has important factors in common with StructuralFunctional theory Interpretive Orientation SymbolicInteraction theory Critical Orientation SocioConflict theory Research Methods Research method systematic plan for doing research 1 Testing a Hypothesis the Experiment experiment a research method for investigating cause amp effect under highly controlled conditions gt typically explanatory explaining the why gt experiment tests a hypothesis statement of a possible relationship blt 2 variables gt 4 steps used 1 State which variable is the independent variable cause of change dependent variable things that change 2 Measure initial value of dependent variable 3 Expose dependent variable to independent variable 4 Measure dependant variable to see if anything s changed The Hawthorne effect gt Based on experiment in Hawthorne factory the Hawthorne effect a change in a subject s behavior caused simply by the awareness of being studied Illustration of an experiment the Stanford county prison gt Philip Zimbardo suspects prison itself causes violent behavior led to Stanford County Prison exp gt Treated prison setting as independent variable prisoners as independent variable gt Halted experiment because of danger to well being of subjects Sociology 100 Intro to Sociology Week 2 Notes 2 Asking Questions Survey Research Survey research method in which subjects respond to a series of statements or questions in a questionnaire or in an interview gt yield descriptive findings painting picture of people s views on issues Population and sample gt Surveys target some population the people who are the focus of the research Ex Lois Benjamin studied the African American elite gt Researchers collect data from a sample a part of the population that represents the whole Random sampling allows an increased chance of representing the population as a whole Using questionnaires gt Questionnaire series of questions a researcher presents to subjects gt Closedended format multiple choice gt Openended format Conducting Interviews gt Interview series of questions a researcher asks respondents in person gt important that questions worded correctly amp retain neutrality balance uniformity amp rapport 3 In the Field Participant Observation aka Fieldwork Participant observation research method in which researchers systematically observe people while joining them in their native activities gt Edwoozie s study of homelessness in Jackson Miss where he lives in the town for an ext period of time to bond w the population 4 Studying Available Data to Draw New Conclusions gt Ex studying the census to draw conclusions about the US population


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