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Notes the week of 11/2-11/4

by: Paige Notetaker

Notes the week of 11/2-11/4 SOCI 1101

Marketplace > University of Georgia > Sociology > SOCI 1101 > Notes the week of 11 2 11 4
Paige Notetaker

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Intro to Sociology
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Paige Notetaker on Wednesday November 4, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOCI 1101 at University of Georgia taught by Cooney in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 11/04/15
Sociology 11/2 ***Race in America -“race” refers to genetically distinct populations, arranged hierachially -in fact, there are no biological distinct races -physical differences between races (e.g., skin color, hair texture) conceal genetic diversity within, and similarity across, the groups -any genetic differences between groups (e.g., susceptibility to diabetes) are far less numbers than genetic similarities -so “race” is a word, not a real thing with clearly defined boundaries **Social construction -sociologists often say race is a “social construction” -but that could imply that we create racial categories out of nothing -I prefer to think of race as “social reflection” -racial categories reflect strong socio-economic differences between cultural groups (e.g., Black-white) **Ethnicity -“ethnicity” is a better term- refers to culturally distinct groups and does not imply any biological differences. -however, it is less often used -Jennifer Lee **U.S. Census Categories -ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino and not Hispanic or Latino -race: 1. White 2. Black 3. Asian 4. American Indian 5. Native Hawaiian + Pacific Islander -these categories and names have changed a lot over time -e.g., “Black”, “Negro”, “African-American”, have been used at different times in the census **White—non-white -traditionally, there was a very clear racial hierarchy in the U.S., especially in the South -whites were the dominant group, everybody else was inferior, especially blacks -much discrimination against minorities, esp. blacks **old classification -white * * -non-white (African-American, Asian, Hispanic) **discrimination -since civil rights era, less racial discrimination (e.g., no lynching) -but has it disappeared? -how could we know for sure? -perhaps majorities fail to see when it exists -or minorities see it when it does not exist **experiment -racial discrimination is best measured with an experiment -experiments hold everything else constant, allowing the effect of race alone to be analyzed -most social experiments done in lab -but the lab is an artificial setting **field experiments -field experience are done in the real world -harder to control everything, but more realistic than the lab -Devah Pager did a field experiment on effect of a criminal record on job prospects for black and white men **Pager’s results -those with criminal records received fewer callbacks -so too did black applicants -the disadvantage of being black is a about the same as the disadvantage of a criminal record **trends in race and ethnicity -until 1965, immigration largely confined to European whites -there after, America became much more multiracial -now Mexico, China, and India provides the largest # of immigrants -blacks (13%) no longer the largest minority -hispanics (17%) are growing fast -Asians (5%) are increasing rapidly -non-hispanic whites (62%) expected to be less than 50% by 2043 (vs 85% in 1960) **racial intermarriage -intermarriage is increasing, esp. hispanic-white and asian-white -2.5% now classify themselves as multi-racial, especially hispanics and asians **2 possible directions 1.) Racial and ethnic distinctions become increasingly blurred and indistinct— multi-racialism 2.)new divide emerges:not white vs non-white, but black vs not-black **new classification? 1. -non-black 2. * -multiracial * -black **race and ethnicity -whether 1 or 2 prevails will likely depend on the economic and social fortunes of blacks -racial classifications are continuing to evolve and change -biologically distinct races don’t exist -racial classifications reflect socio-economic standing -racial discrimination is real -racial categories vary across time and place -the future of racial classification will depend on the socio-economic fortunes of the different groups             Sociology 11/4 ***Test Friday ***same format at before ***50+ T/F and MC ***Topics 5 and 6 ***Success **No. 1 hits -why did Avatar etc. become so successful? -can success be predicted in advance? -this is what Salgaulk and Watts (S & W) studied in experiments in an ingenious web-based experiment at Columbia University **Experiment -visitors to a teen-oriented website were invited to participate in a study of musical taste -participants were given a menu of 48 songs by bands they had never heard of -invited to listen and, if they wished, to download the songs -which songs would be downloaded the most often- would be hits? **Q1 1. Does a song become a hit because it is good, or because it is popular? *to answer this question, over 12,000 listeners were randomly assigned to 2 groups **2 groups 1. Independent group: listeners could see only name of the band and song 2. Social influence group: listeners could see name of band and song and how many times it had been downloaded. **results -listeners who knew how often songs had been downloaded were more likely to download those popular songs -therefore, social influence (popularity) mattered -and social influence made hits bigger hits **song quality -what about song quality? -“good” songs they defined as those downloaded with no information -these songs also did better when there was information **social influence -but social influence had greater impact than quality -a song in the top 5 in terms of quality had a 50% chance of finishing in the top 5 of success when there was information -so the quality of the song matters, but so does even a small amount of social influence **Q2: Same Hits? -S & W then looked at another issue- this is the really cool part -2. Does social influence always produce the same hits? *you can’t measure this question in the real world- cannot re-run history *but you can in the lab **8 worlds -they divided he social influence group into 8 parallel “worlds” -listeners could only be in one world -people in each world could listen to all 48 songs -but they only saw which songs had been downloaded by people in their own world **Same hits 2 -did the same songs rise to the top in all 8 worlds? -no—each world produced different hits -e.g., one song was no. 1 in one world and no. 40 in another -this has profound implications **two implications -1. hits are unpredictable *we simply can’t tell in advance whether a song, movie, book, etc. will be a hit or flop *even if we do the market research for consumer preferences *why? because consumer preferences change as people learn of other people’s preferences -2. if we could re-run history, we might never have heard of big stars like the Beatles of Kanye or Brad Pitt or J.K. Rowling *we might have a different roster of stars (e.g., Carly Hennessy) **hindsight -success looks inevitable because we always look at it in hindsight -but this research allows us to see success and failure before and as they occur -success is far from inevitable—much depends on small initial advantages, such as who likes what early on. **cumulative advantage -cumulative advantage (aka “the Matthew effect”…the rich get richer) -CA= small initial differences in success can get translated into large long-term differences -CA applies in other fields as well— sports, the arts, the professions -technology: e.g., QWERTY keyboard, microsoft software -Ashley Mears found that nobody knows who will be next top model -but as somebody begins to be favored, others jump on bandwagon -CA does not mean long-term success is guaranteed -or that talent and hard work are unimportant -it means that among people who are approx. equally talented and hardworking, CA can make the difference between getting and not getting that initial break that can lead to long-term success **Summary -success of both popular culture may be largely a matter of luck -small variation in initial conditions can lead to radically different outcomes (CA) -had things been even slightly different, we might be listening or watching different artists.  


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