Presentation on theme: "Groups and Relationships: A Sociological Sampler"— Presentation transcript:
1 Groups and Relationships: A Sociological Sampler Stark--Chapter 1Groups and Relationships:A Sociological Sampler
2 Science: Theory and Research Science: A sophisticated and precise method for describing and explaining why and how things work.Theory: An abstract statement that explains why and how certain things happen, or are as they are. (An explanation)Research: Making appropriate empirical observations or measurements.Test knowledge, or gather sufficient information about some portion of reality.
3 The Discovery of Social Facts Que’telet, Guerry--Founders of Moral Statistics.Studied The Compte . Noted the stability of crime, suicide ratesStable from year-to-yearVaried greatly from place to placeConcluded powerful forces outside the individual cause stability and variation.
4 Suicide rates in Europe (Morselli) Morselli extended work of Que’telet, GuerryWhy the variations in suicide, and a general increase?
5 Suicide rates in Europe Morselli: It’s due to the shift from a society based on small town, rural life to a modern, industrialized society.Cities: Huge, impersonal, disorderlyMorselli: some nations had higher rates b/c they were more modernized; Modernization was taking place throughout Europe
6 Suicide Rates in Europe (Durkheim) Durkheim called himself a Sociologist; expanded on Morselli’s thesisDurkheim: Modern societies are deficient in the warm/secure personal relationships typical of traditional rural life.Result: People lacked social resources to carry them through times of trouble/despair.
7 Suicide Rates in Europe (Durkheim) Durkheim: Suicide reflects weaknesses in the web of relationships among members of society.Suicide, for Durkheim, was not a weakness of character or personality.
8 The Sociological Imagination The ability to see the link between incidents in the lives of individuals and large social forces. (C. Wright Mills)Peter Berger: Sociology is devoted to discovering the general in the specific.
9 What is Sociology?Sociology is one of several social sciences (among them anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, history).Sometimes difficult to distinguish among them--even some psychologists do "social" science.Sociology is "The scientific study of patterns and processes of human social relations."
10 Units of AnalysisUnits of Analysis--the "things" being observed by researchers.Units of Analysis can be: individuals, groups, cities, counties, advertisements, countries, cultures.Sociologists aggregate these units--a collection of a type of unit of analysis (usually larger numbers) in which the search for patterns is made.
13 Macro and Micro Sociology Two Kinds of Sociology:Micro SociologySmall Groups, IndividualsMacro SociologyLarger Groups, Structures
14 Scientific Concepts Concepts: Names used to identify some set or class of things said to be alike.Are the building blocks of theories--we link them together to illustrate relationships between conceptsExample: Groups are “Any set of two or more persons who maintain a stable pattern of social relations over a period of time.”
15 Groups: The Sociological Subject Groups are not aggregates.Aggregates come together only briefly and accidentally.Examples?
16 Types of GroupsDyad2 PersonsTriad3 PersonsCoalition formation
17 Is Chivalry Dead?Chivalry: "...a readiness to help the weak and protect women."Examples of Chivalrous behavior: Men helping women with their chairs or coats, opening doors for them.How might we study this?
19 Is Chivalry Dead?Why would the environment make a difference as to how people behave?What was different between McDonald's and The Embers?The emergent quality of groups
20 Effects of Size of Groups What happens to groups as they grow?Groups of size 7 or more have a tendency to break into cliques.How big should committees be?
21 Primary and Secondary Groups Primary GroupsCharacterized by great intimacy among membersPeople in primary groups know each other well; strong emotional ties.Secondary GroupsLess intimate social networksInvolved in collective goal pursuitNo powerful sense of belonging
22 Solidarity and Conflict What binds us together?What separates us?Social Solidarity: Density and emotional intensity of attachments within a group.Solidarity: “Glue”
23 Analyzing Social Networks Network: Pattern of ties or connections between some set of units.Social Network: Pattern of social links or relationships among some set of social units.Social Relationship: Repeated actions between social units or the persistence of stable, shared features among units.
24 Social NetworksThe pattern of social relations among members of a groupSociograms
25 Depiction of a Social Network = Person= Social Link
26 Studying Self-aware Subjects The difficulty of studying people.Reactiveness in researchUnobtrusive Measures: Methods which gather information without disturbing the objects of research.
27 ValidationValidation Research: Sociologists will use this ensure that they are getting accurate information.Self-Report dataChecking against other recordsUsing multiple measures to see if they return the same results.
28 Reducing and Eliminating Bias Essence of Scientific Method: Systematic SkepticismTry to disprove thingsMany things we “know” turn out not to be true. That’s where science comes in.Science is a control for bias, for if we follow the methods correctly there is much less likelihood of our fudging the results, either intentionally or not.The public nature of science.
29 The Social Scientific Process WonderConceptualizeTheorizeOperationalize
30 The Social Scientific Process, Cont’d HypothesizeObserveAnalyzeAssess
31 Sociology and Free Will Are we robots whose behavior is preordained? No.People make choices; people will attempt to do the most reasonable thingMaximizing rewards, minimizing costsIt's only because people's choices are predictable that it's possible to claim people have free will.
32 Sociology and Free Will If behavior is not predictable, it must be random, and thus people wouldn't be making choicesDuBois: Sociology is the Science of Free Will.Humans make choices; Sociologists study why people make the choices they do