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Chapter 5: Groups & Networks

by: Amelia Notetaker

Chapter 5: Groups & Networks SOC 100

Amelia Notetaker
GPA 3.88

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About this Document

These are my notes for the 5th Chapter. All required readings for the course are outlined as well as the lecture. The file says Chapter 11 Notes, but I am 100%s sure it is Ch.5 because I just misna...
Intro to Sociology
Dr. Christina Steidl
Class Notes
sociology, uah, groups, networks, notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amelia Notetaker on Tuesday December 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 100 at University of Alabama - Huntsville taught by Dr. Christina Steidl in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Art History at University of Alabama - Huntsville.

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Date Created: 12/01/15
Chapter 5 Lecture Notes • Social groups ○ Help to define who we are § Groups have their own culture - hence their own social norms § Research shows pressure to conform to group opinions: Asch effect • Networks ○ The 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon ○ Connection someone else with Kevin Bacon ○ What makes a tie weak or strong § Strong: frequent contact, emotional closeness, and history of reciprocal favors ○ Embeddedness: the degree of which ties are reinforced through indirect paths § Relationship with someone gets strong if you have friends in common □ Strong ties make strong communities • Social capital ○ The info and connections that help individuals enter, gain in, or otherwise leverage social networks to access resources § Can trade for emotional or economical capital ○ People and resources to which you have access through your social networks ○ The strength of weak ties § Allows more branching of ties § Get more info for more people (second degree resources) • C.W Mills - The Power Elite ○ Increasing centralization of power into 3 major overlapping groups of elites § Economic elites § Political elites § Military elites • Network analysis ○ Many brands can be traced back to several corporations § Very diverse brands per company • Corporate networks ○ Interlocking directorates: connected nature of today's corporate boards of directors § Same people on multiple boards • Ideal types ○ Weber: great way of studying society ○ Abstract categories § Not everyone completely falls into one category, but gives on an idea of what's whaat • Weber: Rationalities of Action ○ Instrumental rationality § Social actions that's goal oriented § Cost-benefit analysis ○ Value rationality § Action based on some conscience belief in ethical truth § Even if path isn't efficient, we base our actions off of values/morals ○ Affective (emotion-based) rationality § Not always considered rational § Being so angry you throw something ○ Traditional rationality § Action based on habit or tradition § Social norms ○ Actions aren't always based only on one rationality ○ In modern society instrumental rationality is increasing more § Why we think affective rationality isn't rational, but it is ○ Ideal types for comparison • Social institution ○ Complex group of interdependent positions that together form a role and reproduce themselves over time ○ Any in a society that works to shape the behavior of the groups or people within it ○ Isomorphism: constraining process that forces 1 unit in a population to resemble other units that face the same set of environmental conditions § Social institutions look similar • Irrationality ○ Weber's iron cage: caught upon efficiency and speeding up process that one becomes irrational ○ Sometimes as we employ more instrumental rationality, we can become trapped ○ When we focus of improving the process by which we achieve our goal, we lose sight of original goal Textbook pg. 161-180 • No time for face-to-face activities but we do donate and join organizations more than ever ○ Maybe due to our working hours • Old people live a sadder life when alone, but middle-aged people don't • A "teachable moment" happened on 9/11, it was said to have shown us how interconnected we all are • Some say we never lost connections, it just became more informal • Not all social capital is equal ○ Resources linked to you through networks is the important part § Kids in low-income families with mentors were more likely to succeed than those who did not • Abstinence pledge suggested by George W. Bush delayed the onset of sexual intercourse among teens, but increased the likely hood of one getting an STD due to unsafe sex • Organization: any social network that is defined by a common purpose and has a boundary between its membership and the rest of the social world ○ Formal: set of governing structures and rules for internal arrangement ○ Informal: like a fan club, has some rules but not a rule for everything • Organization culture: shared beliefs and behaviors within a social group, often used interchangeably with corporate culture ○ Like working in a slaughter house, there's low pay, workers wear protective gear, etc • Organizational structure: the ways in which power and authority are distributed within an organization ○ Affects organization culture • Interlocking directorates: whereby members of corporate boards often sit on boards of directors for multiple companies ○ Select group of people control decisions made for thousands of companies • Institutional isomorphism: why so many businesses that evolve differently, still end up with similar organizational structures • Isomorphism: constraining process that forces 1 unit in a population to resemble other units that face the same set of environmental conditions “McDonalization of Society” Ritzer • Rationalization has a powerful impact in many parts of the US • Society characterized by rationality, emphasizing efficiency, predictability, calculability, substitution for nonhuman technology, and control over uncertainty ○ Efficiency: in production and distribution systems ○ Predictability: people want to know what to expect ○ Calculability: quantity over quality § Most defining characteristic ○ Substitution of non human technology: robots replace humans ○ Control: same process used to prepare food, but are the same at all fast food restaurants within a chain • Rational systems aren't reasonable systems


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