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* Focus on cooperative interaction in social life, emphasizing how different elements that make up a society’s structure contribute to its overall operation.
* Focus on how society creates and maintains stability. Society is a complex system of many interrelated parts (families, schools, the economy) that work together to produce social stability.
*Include manifest and latent functions
*the recognized and intended consequences of social phenomena. Goals set out by society
* largely unrecognized and unintended consequences
* Example: going to college. Manifest function: to earn a degree, Latent Function: find future spouse
* Focus on issues of power and inequality, highlighting the competition for scarce resources
* Power is the core of social life, enables some to gain an advantage over others
* With social inequality, some people benefit at the expense of others
* Example: feminism from conflict perspective: Male dominance keeps women in restricted roles and prevents them from pursuing ambitions
* Focus on how people use shared language, words, and symbols and construct social reality as a result of their everyday interactions
* Micro-level dimensions of social life
* Concerned with social meanings and definitions
* Example: “man up” means to do something properly. “acting like a girl” has negative stigma
* As the dominance of the Catholic Church began to erode during the Middle Ages, scientific research exposed the shortcomings of religious explanations of the natural world.
* Enlightenment – 18th century intellectual movement that combined a belief in individual freedom and respect for individual rights with calculated logic of the natural sciences
* Industrial Revolution – a collection of major developments that transformed rural agricultural societies into urban industrial societies. Industrialization is the use of large-scale machinery for the mass manufacture of consumer goods
* During peak of Industrial Revolution, many people left their rural homes and traveled to newly emerging cities for job opportunities, contributed to urbanization – the growth of cities.
* Auguste Comte coined the term sociology in early 19th century. Sought to establish a science of society and identify the laws that govern human behavior. Theorized new age of positivism – a belief that accurate knowledge must be based on scientific method
* Karl Marx analyzed capitalism and the role of conflict in society, advocated radical change to advance the interests of workers
* Max Weber worked on the rationalization of society, including the rise of bureaucracy
* Emile Durkheim focused on social solidarity, the collective bonds that connect individuals
* Developed by C. Wright Mills
* Ordinary people do not relate their personal struggles to those of their societies. They don’t realize the connection between the pattern of their lives and the course of world history
* Example: classes rise or fall, and an individual becomes employed or unemployed
* Most important part of sociological imagination is the difference between personal troubles and public issues.
* Example: for one divorce, we focus on that couple’s person troubles. But for ¼ marriages ending in divorce, we focus on the problems with the institution of marriage.
* To understand one person’s social environment, you must focus on the structural changes throughout that society’s history as a whole
1. Identifying and understanding patterns in social life
2. Gathering empirical evidence
3. Explaining how the evidence was collected and analyzed
4. Reviewing the resulting research claims as provisional knowledge
* Symbols - Anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture
* Language - a system of symbols that allows communication, key to cultural transmission
* Beliefs - definitions and explanations about what is assumed to be true
* Values - social agreements about what is good and bad, right and wrong; influence behavior
* Norms and Sanctions - guidelines for behavior and expectations of the behavior of others
Cultural transmission is the language and ideas that are ingrained in us and seem natural
* the physical objects produced by people in a particular culture, including tools, clothing, toys, works of art, and housing
* the ideas of culture, including values and beliefs, accumulated knowledge about how to understand and navigate the world, and standards or “norms” about appropriate behavior
the process by which values and social structures bind people together within a society. Example, social functions of work:* Jobs provide daily routine that lend stability and predictability to life.* Work nurtures a sense of responsibility and the ability to get along with others.* Work teaches self-discipline, and working adults are better able to teach their children the values of effort and self-discipline
Social integration is a functionalist theory
* Subculture – cultural patterns that set apart some segment of a society’s population.
* Counter-culture – champions values and lifestyles distinctly opposed to those of the dominant group
* Multiculturalism – recognizes the cultural diversity of the US and promotes respect and equal standing for all cultural traditions, 311 languages spoken in the US
* Exaggerated, distorted, or untrue generalizations about categories of people that do not acknowledge individual variation.
* Often perpetuate unfair negative images of people
* Stereotypes are shared definitions that create a sense of reality and have serious consequences
* is the interaction or integration among various aspects of social life, including economies, cultures, political systems and populations
* Many cultures are experiencing a media-driven globalization of culture. Example: only Western, programs are played on the broadcasting channels in Kenya
* Example: people more easily identify color differences when they have a language to describe different shades of similar colors. Words such as scarlet, crimson, rose, magenta, and maroon help us to see those different colors
* Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is controversial because languages adapt to changing circumstances and speakers absorb or invent new vocabulary for things as they become culturally important
means influencing others and producing an outcome closely linked with inequality.
* The amount of ____ you have influences what you achieve in life
* We must understand ____ to understand how society operates
* Education – people must be given a vision of what needs to be done, and obtain the training and skills they need to reach their goal
* Organization – bringing people together to identify common goals and work to achieve them
* Networking – reaching outside your immediate circle of contacts to find allies
* Persuade – convince opposers of the correctness of your position and goals
* Reward – offer a positive incentive
* Coercion – force by threatening
is the unequal distribution of resources among groups of people
* socially constructed; it varies according to the culture and social structure of a society
* Social inequality is multidimensional; different forms of inequality coexist within a society
Life chances are opportunities offered by a person’s economic position. A class is a group of people who share a roughly similar economic position, and consequently share a similar lifestyle
Privileges are special benefits or advantages that not everyone gets to enjoy
hightlights the connections and interactions between various forms of inequality, especially race, class, and gender
* Example: white families enjoy privileges because of their race, but white families trapped in poverty face hurtles because of their class
questions taken-for-granted assumptions about society by looking at it from multiple viewpoints, especially from the perspective of people in subordinate positions.
* A “standpoint” is the place from which a person views the world
* A person’s standpoint is structured by his/her social location, which includes race, class, gender, and sexual orientation
the process through which people learn their culture’s basic norms, values, beliefs, and appropriate behaviors
* Socialization is an ongoing, lifelong process
* It is more a matter of nurture than nature
* Social experience is the basis of personality - a person’s fairly consistent patterns of acting, thinking and feeling
* Agents of socialization are people and groups that teach us about our culture. Examples: family, school, peer group, media
The process by which individuals practice for a future social role by adopting the norms or behaviors associated with a position they have not yet received.
* Example: when children play with dolls to simulate being parents
contends that culture and the social environment almost completely shape human behavior
* Humans have biological differences, but these are insignificant compared to the cultural differences that distinguish societies
contends that biology, specifically our genetic makeup, almost completely shapes human behavior
* Biology explains most types of human action, such as crime, violence, or addiction
* Childhood – Concept of childhood grounded in culture, not biology. This intense period of socialization is experienced differently over time and varies by culture
* Adolescence - a time of “social contradictions.” Youth are near physical maturity and are no longer considered children but have not yet taken on the rights or responsibilities of adulthood
* Adulthood - changing definitions of adulthood. Adulthood is marked by a variety of milestones that require resocialization. Ex. Working full time job, getting married
* Old age – death and dying, the Greying of the US
Roles are the sets of expected behaviors that are associated with particular statuses. Example: student.
* Role conflict occurs when the expectations associated with different roles clash. Example: work vs. school
* Role strain occurs when the expectations associated with a single role compete with each other
Sociologists maintain that “reality” is what we learn from our society; it is socially constructed. Constructed through 3 steps:* Externalization – people create society through an ongoing process of physical and mental activity. Ex. Becoming friends with another person by spending time together* Objectivation – social arrangements come to seem objectively real. Ex. You can call each other friend, and others recognize your relationship as real, Internalization
that situations that are defined as real are real in their consequences.
* Example: a rumor of an expected shortage of toilet paper spreads around a society. Citizens stockpile on supplies of toilet paper, causes a shortage
presented the study of social interaction in terms of theatrical performance. Also known as dramaturgical analyses.
* Status – part in a play
* Role – script; dialogue and action
* Designed Settings
Bureaucracy is a hierarchal administrative system with formal rules and procedures used to manage organization. Commonly shared features of bureaucracy:
A division of labor – people are responsible for narrowly defined tasks
A hierarchy of authority and accountability – pyramidal structure
Impersonality – power is located within an office, not in the person who happens to hold that position. People are hired, promoted, fired, or retired, but the bureaucratic structure remains
* Increasingly organizing our everyday lives. The effect is to impose the standardized, efficient structure of fast food restaurants on all aspect of our lives, including school, work, travel, and leisure
* An extreme form of rational action motivated by calculations of efficiency
* Rational action claims to enhance human experience through a commitment to efficiency and progress
* Ritzer suggests that the extreme rational action he calls McDonaldization may be both inefficient and ultimately, dehumanizing
* McDonaldization is an example of the way human action is shaped by the broader structural patterns of society, in this case the commitment of efficiency in business
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