Sociology employs three major theoretical perspectives Functionalism Conflict Symbolic interaction
Takes the view that various segments of a society serve a purpose for the society as a whole. Like the organs of a body, each has a unique role or function. Focuses on order and stability. Views society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system.
Focuses on elements that create competition, power relations and change Feminist perspective: A version of the conflict perspective that describes inequalities based on gender. looks at class, race, and gender struggles.
Karl Marx (1818-1883). Studied class conflicts throughout history. Conflict Theory expresses the view that power, not function, holds a society together. Society is seen as groups acting in competition. This competition may erupt to bring about change through conflicts and tensions. Order is maintained by restraint or restriction of power.
Focuses on the interaction of individuals with one another in everyday life. Symbolic interaction – examines how group members use shared symbols as they interact. All social interaction involves an exchange of information via symbols. This exchange may be through language, but may also be non- verbal or may be conveyed by setting. We learn about ourselves and the world through this meaningful interaction.
George Herbert Mead looked at language and communication styles Humans are the only ones that use language and so you can plan, think and communicate experiences We grow to use symbols and give these symbols meaning thereby developing a sense of self in reaction to others.
The basic assumption of symbolic interaction include: We learn the meaning of a symbol from the way we see others reacting to it. We base our behavior (interactions) on those symbols. We then use the meanings of symbols to imagine how others will respond to our behavior.
How do sociologists view what goes on in your school?
Sociologists employ two levels of analysis: Macrosociology: The study of large-scale systems or societies as a whole in order to determine how they affect the lives of groups and individuals The study of long-term problems Microsociology: Focuses of small-group settings in order to understand how they affect the larger patterns and institutions of society. The study of everyday interactions among group members. … there is also Globalization A process of creating a world-wide system of interactions, larger than any one society.
Global interactions are a new topic of study for sociology. Studying the spread of hip-hop music reveals aspects of global interactions. Hip-hop began as a movement among American youth. Hip-hop has spread to all points of the globe along with movies, sports, and fashion. Big business has spread aspects of the hip-hop lifestyle, but adherents understand it as a method to question mainstream values. Local youths have put their own spin on the music. Some consider hip-hop to be the sound of the world’s streets.
Socialization: The lifelong social experience by which people learn culture. Social Stratification: A system by which a society ranks and categorizes people in a hierarchy. Groups at different spots in the hierarchy have different experiences and outcomes.
Socialization occurs when we absorb values and norms into our social consciousness/awareness. Agents of Socialization are the sources from which we come to learn about social life and how to “fit” into society.
Some agents of socialization are: Schools Peers Family Media Religion.
The most important and influential agent of socialization is the family. Families provide so much social stimulation and education for life. Siblings have been found to be the most influential social relationships in your life because of how much communication occurs between you and them. They serve as role models and force you to handle conflict situations on a regular basis.
Authoritarian: “That’s it, there is no more TV this week! I will teach you two to get along alright.” This style takes a black and white stand on issues and sets strict boundaries with no real flexibility. Authoritative: "If you two can work out a way to share your TV time, you can watch it. Otherwise, the TV goes off." The style emphasizes negotiation and helping children to figure out their own problems. Permissive: "I'm not dealing with this, it's your problem, I don't know what to tell you cause you never do what I say anyways." This style has weak boundaries and no command.
Draw a picture on one sheet of paper of your family using symbolic imagery. Include all members. Identify each member of your family and proceed to describe in a few sentences why you depicted them that way. How did growing up in the family as you depicted it affect you (or is affecting you)?
Social Norms: They are the means by which society is maintained and the needs of others are fulfilled. Norms help to make social decisions automatic in nature EX: When a friend extends a hand -- you know that you are expected to shake it.
Cooley come up with the idea of a looking glass self The idea is that we see ourselves as in a mirror where we perceive ourselves to a large extent the way others perceive us You will have high self-esteem and confidence in who you are IF your opinion of yourself matches the opinions and perceptions of others.
Class UpperMiddleWorkingLower Race WhitesMinorities Gender MenWomen A system by which a society ranks and categorizes people in a hierarchy. Groups at different spots in the hierarchy have different experiences and outcomes.
Upper Class Working Class Classes are often in conflict politically (social conflict) People born into different classes tend to take different occupations, making society work (structural functional) Classes in society have different cultures (symbols, values, beliefs, norms, etc.) Classes have different socialization experiences (different parental styles, different educational experiences)
Patterns and Institutions Groups Discrimination (pattern) Fashion (pattern) Internet use (pattern) Sexual behavior (pattern) Educational system (institution) A religion (institution) The family (institution) The economy (institution) Races Ethnicities Classes Religious Groups Subcultures – single mothers in Toronto, college students who are full time workers
People form a clique based on the need to have close relationships in life Usually consist of 2-12 members Significant time is spent with the people in the clique They have a strong sense of solidarity Share things in common and are there for each other Usually contain members of the same sex, but not always
Similar to cliques but members have more anonymity because they do not bond emotionally with each other -- they NEED each other but not by choice necessarily Gang acts as a source of belonging and protection thus serving a role for the member Reputation matters in a gang more than a clique because it determines your status. Depends on how "bad" you are. Anti- social behavior is expected. Leaders can become like parental figures Many members
Asch Experiment – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyDDyT1lDhA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyDDyT1lDhA Asch Experiment -- showed that at least 1/3 of subjects would conform to give the groups mistake. This reinforced the idea that when a group sees something one way, we individually will be less likely to stand up and disagree.
Stanley Milgrim Experiment -- shock experiment. The participant would often give even the highest shock value despite the recipient complaining of heart pains because it was required of the authority figure (the experimenter). Showed that we conform to the power of authority figures most of the time, even if it sometimes challenges our conscience.
Run by Phillip Zimbardo in 1971 The goal was to see how prison guards related to their prisoners All participants were randomly selected to play either prisoners or guards The guards overplayed their role as though it was real and the prisoners did the same by submitting to their authority
The Zimbardo experiment demonstrated the power of authority and the social rule to conform to authority when it is perceived as legitimate. Sometimes we let our darker selves out when it seems we have permission to do so and someone else is taking responsibility (i.e. in this case Zimbardo and his research team) Prisoners were inhumanly treated and disrespected...stripped of dignity. This is illegal but because none of the prisoners chose to leave the experiment they carried on. Even the experimenters can get carried away with their own research.
1922-1982 Believed we all present ourselves in social relationships in different ways that are pre- planned and socially programmed into our psyche Fronts: The way you "act" when in communication with others -- a social construction of who you are. It changes minute by minute depending on who you are with. Like a stage, we are all "actors" in life
Back Stage: This is where you can more freely be yourself and drop the pressure of keeping up appearances. The "social masks" are off and you open up your personal self to someone. Usually only the closest of friends (or marital partners) will ever see this true self. In some cases, this version of self is never revealed publicly. Time is sometimes used in the back stage to prepare your social performances in life.
Introduction to Sociology: What is Sociology?38 __________ is the level of analysis that studies face to-face and small-group interactions in order to understand how those interactions affect the larger patterns and institutions of society. a. Microsociology b. Macrosociology c. Sociology d. Social science
Can be grouped into two broad categories: Quantitative and Qualitative. Quantitative research uses statistical analysis to create general conclusions. Quantitative research relies on observation, communication with participants, or analysis of texts.
Ethnography, or participant observation, is a method frequently used to study people in their own settings. Surveys are a more structured research method where specific, carefully constructed questions are asked to specific, carefully selected individuals. 43
Because sociologists are dealing with real people in their everyday lives, we must be very cautious in our work. All research that directly involves human subjects must first be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Study participants must give informed consent prior to agreeing to participate and must be debriefed after. 44
Better understand social situations and diverse perspectives Be able to collect data and evaluate problems Understand the intended and unintended consequences of social policies Reveal the complexities of social life Learn more about ourselves and our biases Develop useful job skills
Introduction to Sociology: What is Sociology?47 __________ is the level of analysis that studies face to-face and small-group interactions in order to understand how those interactions affect the larger patterns and institutions of society. a. Microsociology b. Macrosociology c. Sociology d. Social science
Introduction to Sociology: What is Sociology?48 __________ is the level of analysis that studies face to-face and small-group interactions in order to understand how those interactions affect the larger patterns and institutions of society. a. Microsociology b. Macrosociology c. Sociology d. Social science
3. The social contexts of our lives consist of more than just random assortments of actions or events; there are regularities in the ways we behave and in the relationships we have with one another. This patterned nature of social contexts is what sociologists refer to as which one of the following? a. structuration b. functionalism c. macrosociology d. social structure 49
6. Which of the following best reflects the definition of ethnography? a. the study of ethnicity, race, and urban social relations in multicultural contexts b. questions that relate to the knowledge produced when sociologists link a current phenomenon to historical forces c. the study of something with a historical basis (e.g., the Russian Revolution) and involving the analysis of documentary sources such as government statistics, newspapers, and so on, to explain a type of human behavior during a certain time in history. d. a way of studying people firsthand using participant observation or interviewing 50