What Is Sociology? The study of human interaction and organization.
Why Should We Learn About Cda? To acquire self-knowledge who we are; what are our life chances, etc To prevent false conceptions of ourselves To develop realistic solutions to unique Cdn problems and constellations of problems
National Unity, Nation- Building & Societal Integration Introduction a) Meaning of National Unity b) Paradox c) Soc’gical Artificiality of Cdn Society Means Used by The State to Promote Ntl Unity a) Policy & Legislation (name the law) b) Institutions c) Other State Means Non-State Factors Contributing to Ntl Unity
Policy & Legislative Means Used by The State to Promote Ntl Integration Unity Bill/Clarity Act, 2001 National Energy Policy, 1980 Constitution Act, 1982 Charter of Rts & Freedoms Recognition of Aboriginal Rts Sec. 28: Gender Equality (to here 02Sept13) Official Languages Act, 1969 Creation of Cdn Flag Adoption of National Anthem & Currency Immigration Laws & Procedures CRTC Canadian Content Regulations Macdonald’s National Policy Residential Schools Cda Health Act
Nation-Bldg (cont’d.): Additional State Policy & Legislative Means
Institutions Created by The State to Promote Ntl Integration CBC & NFB & Mint CNR Cdn Council for the Arts Social Safety Net (e.g. CPP; EI) Military (incl. Coercive integration) RCMP Festivals and Honorific Awards Parks Canada Cdn Olympic Association
Non- State Aspects of Cdn Society That Promote National Integration Sport Shared Myths, Symbols & Instit’ns Shared Values Inertia based on fear and conservatism Cross-cutting cleavages Displacement of aggression & escapist responses of some oppressed peoples/ limits challenges to the system Cumulative Exper. Conflict Resoln exceptionsSpread of Nationalistic Ideology in Face of External Threats (Notable exceptions are conscription crises of WWI and WWII.)
What is “The Social Fabric” A set of taken-for-granted social expectations, based on common understandings, ideals, and norms that define what individuals can count on when dealing with others and with institutions (and those institutions’ agents) In assessing the state of societal cohesion, we need to assess - how well these expectations are being met - peoples’ sense of indebtedness to society - norms of reciprocity (sense of obligation)
The Implicit Social Covenant: Expectations Comprising the ‘Social Fabric’ Implicit social covenant defines what individuals can expect from society & what society can expect from them. Full acceptance: sense of belonging to larger whole Respect Fair treatment Trustworthiness of others Recognition of the contributions made to community or society Thus, membership in society entails OBLIGATIONS – members owe something to each other.
Social Change and the Social Fabric Some social change strengthens the social fabric; some weakens it. The social fabric is particularly vulnerable to weakening during periods of rapid social change. i.e., when it produces frustrations, social tensions, & status anxieties Those who see little chance of winning become alienated and marginalized.
Social Changes Affecting the Social Fabric Emergence of a ‘market’ culture. Society as simply a set of individuals engaged in economic transactions as consumers of goods & services, as taxpayers buying services from govt, as entrepreneurs competing for markets, etc. Quiet Revolution in Quebec Multiculturalism Policy Immigr’n Policy & Incr. In ‘Visible Minorities’ Emergence of Indigenous Isolates Women’s Movement Globalization & Major Technological Change Multiplication of Interest Groups
Concept: Social Capital “Social capital” refers to certain properties of relationships and networks, including: trust, norms of reciprocity, norms prohibiting anti-social behaviour, and norms compelling beneficial action.
Angus Reid (pollster) : “Canada’s reserves of social capital are at risk of being quickly depleted by the mean- spirited individualism of the new economy and undermined by one- dimensional arguments that focus solely on the need for greater economic freedom.” Charles Taylor (The Malaise of Modernity) Concern that people have lost the broader view and feel less a part of the larger social order because they focus on their individual lives. Sociologists’ Concerns About the Market Culture (p. 1 of 2)
Sociologists’ Concerns About the Market Culture (p. 2 of 2) Market Culture Emphasizes Self-Interest & Self-Reliance - might discourage the sense that we owe something to others & to the community (sense of indebtedness to society) - encourages a sense of self-worth based on economic success Market Culture Endorses a Business Framework as the Main Template for Social Relations & Institutions - What counts is the “bottom line”. e.g., universities’ business plan students as customers i.e. market culture as a de-stabilizing force that strains the social fabric.
How Fragile is the Social Fabric? Research Findings Sense of Belonging Strong re: communities in which we live and the larger society. Feeling of Indebtedness to Society Strong Sense of Obligation to Help Others Strong, and we “walk the talk”. Sense of obligation to help anyone in need is much stronger than our sense of obligation to the social groups of which we are members Strong commitment to common good Sense of Mutual Dependence Strong Diversity Seen as Source of Strength
Disquieting Trends & Cleavages Generation Gap Regional Differences esp. in sense of trust, commitment, & recognition Social Class Cleavages Gulf Between Elites & Masses
How Can We Reinforce the Social Fabric? Encourage countervailing forces to the individualism of the market culture. Eliminate unfairness in distribution of opportunities and in practices of institutions Bridge social boundaries Achieve fairness in social recognition Narrow the gap between citizens and leaders Foster community involvement