Midterm Sociology Study Guide


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Midterm Study Guide

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Midterm Sociology Study Guide

  1. 1. What is the purpose of sociology?
  2. 2. The purpose of sociology is to • Look at interactions with people and the phenomenon that those interactions create: social structure, institutions, stratification, collective behavior. • Study human social behavior. • Note: Anthropology and sociology are closely related in that they both look at traits and beliefs of groups. But anthropology focuses on preliterate society, while sociology focuses on modern, industrial societies.
  3. 3. Define the sociological imagination.
  4. 4. Sociological Imagination is • The ability of individuals to see the relationship between events in their personal lives and events in society. • Focus on the history and biography of people in a given time and place, then make the connection , personal troubles as public issues. • Example: • Divorce in your family is a very personal issue, but also has a societal impact (changes status of women in society, increases the need for government funding for families with dependent children, and alters housing patterns.
  5. 5. Auguste Comte • 1798-1857 • French • Positivism - sociology a study of what is sure • Social static - stability and order in society • Social dynamic - the study of social change
  6. 6. Harriet Martineau • 1802-1876 • English • Translate Comte's book • Feminine Theorist
  7. 7. Herbert Spencer • 1820-1903 • English • Explained social stability by comparing it to a body (parts working together to promote well being and survival) • Social Darwinism - social change leads to progress as long as people do not interfere (natural selection ensures the fittest society so opposes reforms to help poor)
  8. 8. Karl Marx • 1818-1883 • German • Bourgeoisie - owners (means to produce wealth) • Proletariat - laborers (worked for owners) • Saw class conflict as inevitable • Thus leading to communist (classless) society
  9. 9. Emile Durkheim • 1858-1917 • French • Mechanical solidarity preindustrial society dependent of family and tradition, so strong pressure to conform • Organic solidarity - industrial society interdependent because of specialized roles
  10. 10. Max weber • 1864-1920 • German • Verstehen - understanding social behavior by putting yourself in the place of others • Rationalization - the mindset emphasizing knowledge, reason, planning
  11. 11. Jane Addams • 1860-1935 • United States • Hull House - a refuge for poor, sick, aged, immigrants in Chicago • 1931 Nobel Peace Prize • Focused on women's suffrage, peace movements, and problems caused by the imbalance of power among social classes
  12. 12. W.E.B.DuBois • 1868-1963 • United States • Addressed the "Negro Problem" - a racist policy that assumed blacks were inferior • Founded the NAACP
  13. 13. Theoretical Perspectives Functionalist, Conflict, Symbolic Interactionist
  14. 14. Theoretical Perspectives • Functionalism - parts of society are an integrated whole, so a change in one part leads to changes in another (focus on cooperation to achieve common goals) • Latent Functions - unintended and unrecognized • Manifest Functions - intended and recognized • Conflict Perspective - focuses the disagreement among various groups in society (those with the most power have the most wealth, prestige, privilege and use it to constrain/limit the less powerful) • Symbolic Interactionist - focuses on the actual interaction among people based on mutually understood symbols
  15. 15. Research Methods
  16. 16. Survey • Survey - people are asked to answer a series of questions (population = all the people, sample = limited number from the population, representative sample = has the same basic characteristics as the general population) • Interview - spoken • Questionnaire - written • Closed Ended - limited predetermined choices • Open Ended - answered in own words
  17. 17. Secondary Analysis • Using information that someone else has already collected (Census Bureau, corporate records, voting lists...) • Pros - Cheap, easy, less bias • Cons - Can be outdated, no exactly on topic
  18. 18. Field Research • Looks at aspects of life that cannot be measured quantitatively (with numbers), so must be observed in the natural setting for more accurate qualitative (descriptive) data • Case study - investigate a single group, incident, or community • Participant observation - researcher becomes a member of the group studied
  19. 19. Experiments • Research occurs in a laboratory setting with minimum contamination • Not suited to sociology because the environment artificial • Used to establish causation (why it happens), rather than correlation (how are things associated) • Sociologists look for multiple causation, because human interaction is to complicated to be explained by a single factor
  20. 20. Procedures and Ethics • Identify the Problem, Review the literature, Formulate a Hypothesis, Develop a Research Design, Collect Data, Analyze Data, State Findings and Conclusions • Ethics - respect the rights of research subjects and avoid deceiving or harming them
  21. 21. The Sociology of Culture Heredity, Language, Diversity
  22. 22. The Sociology of Culture • Culture is knowledge, customs, values, language, physical objects • Instincts - genetically inherited patterns of behavior • Relex - reaction to stimuli • Drives - impulse to reduce discomfort
  23. 23. Language and Culture Humans can create and transmit culture. The symbols of language play a role in determining people’s views of reality
  24. 24. Essential Components of Culture - Norms • Norms - Rules defining appropriate and inappropriate behavior • Folkways - Customary was of thinking, feeling, behaving • More - morals, conduct related to right and wrong, foundation for laws • Taboo - a norm so strong that its violation demands punishment by the group • Sanctions - punishment (formal jail, informal - shunning)
  25. 25. Essential Components of Culture - Values • Values - broad ideas about what most people in society consider desirable • Achievement and Success • Activity and Work • Efficiency and Practicality • Equality • Democracy • Group Superiority
  26. 26. Diversity • Cultural Universals are traits that exist in all cultures. • They include: sports, cooking, courting, educations, etiquette, family, government, hospitality, inheritance, music, religious ritual, sexual restrictions, property rights, tool making... • Subculture and Countercultures belong to the broader culture but differ in particular ways (dress, worship, job).
  27. 27. Ethnocentrism - a strong commitment to the culture you live in and learn, that causes you to judge other cultures using your own cultural standards
  28. 28. Socialization • Socialization is the cultural process of learning to participate in group life. • Socialization plays a role in developing our attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors. • Isolation causes an inability to develop emotional ties, as well as developmental deficiencies (talk, walk, interact with others, learn)
  29. 29. Socialization and Theoretical Perspectives • Functionalist - groups work together, so family and school teach basic norms, values, and beliefs • Conflict Perspective - views socialization as a way of perpetuating the status quo (preserving the current class system) • Symbolic Interactionist - uses key concepts to explain socialization (self-concept, looking-glass self, significant others, role taking, generalized other), and believes that socialization is the major determinant of human nature
  30. 30. Social Structure • The patterned interaction of people in social relationships • Status is a person’s position in the structure (ascribed, achieved, status set, master status) • Roles are the expected behaviors associated with a status (role conflict, role strain) • Status and Roles are a reflection of the culture, as well as the time period.
  31. 31. Hunting/Gathering, Pastoral, Horticultural, Agricultural, Tradition, Family Tradition, Family Preindustrial
  32. 32. Industrial Society Machines, Labor, Urbanization
  33. 33. Postindustrial Service, Technology, Interdependent Relationships
  34. 34. Groups and Organizations • Group - people who share features (contact, thinking, feeling, behavior, interests, goals) • Social Category - share a social characteristic (seniors) • Social Aggregate - happen to be in same place at same time • Primary Group - emotionally close, know each other well, seek each other’s company (family, friends), small group with face to face contact • Secondary Group - impersonal and goal oriented (employer/worker, doctor/patient, waitress/customer)
  35. 35. Social Interaction • Cooperation - individuals or groups combine efforts to reach a goal • Conflict - individuals or groups work against each other for a large share of the rewards • Social Exchange - when one person voluntarily does something, expecting a reward • Coercion - forced to give in to the will of others • Conformity - behavior that matches group expectations
  36. 36. Bureaucracy • Advantages: division of labor, rules/procedures, written records, promotion based on merit/qualifications, rationalization (the mindset emphasizing knowledge, reason, planning over tradition and superstition) • Disadvantages: undervalue people (rules/procedures cause impersonal treatment of people), red tape (too much paperwork)
  37. 37. Formal and Informal Organizations • Formal Organization deliberately created to achieve one or more long term goals (high schools, colleges, hospitals, corporations) • Informal Organization - a group within a formal organization in which personal relationships are guided by norms, rituals, sentiments (book club after work, teachers walking after school, coffee club at work)
  38. 38. Deviance and Social Control • Deviance: behavior that departs from societal or group norms • Social Control: ways to encourage conformity to society’s norms
  39. 39. Positives and Negatives of Deviance • Positive: clarifies norms by exercising social control to defend its values (defines, adjusts, and reaffirms norms) • Positive: act as safety valve (teens music, clothes, TV...relieve pressure caused by authority figures) • Negative: erodes trust • Negative: if not corrected it spreads • Negative: expensive
  40. 40. Major Theories of Deviance: Functionalism • Strain: Innovation (accepts goal but has illegal means of achieving), Conformity (accepts goals and means of achieving), Ritualism (acts as if wants success but doesn’t exert effort), Retreatism (rejects goals and effort), Rebellion (substitutes new way to achieve new goal) • Control: conformity depends on the presence of strong bonds between the individual and society
  41. 41. Deviance: Symbolic Interactionism • Differential Association Theory: individuals learn deviance in proportion to the number of deviant acts they are exposed to • Labeling Theory: society creates deviance by identifying certain members as deviant
  42. 42. Major Theories of Deviance: Conflict • Victim Discounting: process of reducing the seriousness of the crimes that injure people of lower status • White Collar Crime: job related crimes committed by high status people
  43. 43. Major Approached to Crime Control • Deterrence: discouraging criminal acts by threatening punishment • Retribution: punishment intended to make criminals pay compensation for their acts • Incarceration: a method of protecting society from criminals by keeping them in prison • Rehabilitation: process of changing or reforming a criminal through socialization
  44. 44. Social Stratification • Social Stratification: the creation of layers (strata) of people who possess unequal shares of scarce resouces. • The most important of these resources are income, power, wealth, prestige. • Each layer represents a social class • Social Class: a segment of the population whose members hold similar amounts of scarce resources and share values, norms, and an identifiable lifestyle.
  45. 45. Theories on Social Stratification • Functionalist: inequality exists because certain jobs are more important than others, and that these jobs involve special talent and training. • Conflict: inequality exists because people are willing to exploit others. • Symbolic Interactionism: children taught that social class a result of talent and effort, causing people to accept the existing system.
  46. 46. Characteristics of Major Social Class • Upper = investors, heirs, chief executives • Upper Middle = Managers, professionals, owners of medium sized businesses • Lower Middle = Semi-professional, craftspeople, foreman, non-retail sales, clerical • Working = Low-skill manual, clerical, retail sales • Low /Underclass = unemployed, part-time menial, public assistance
  47. 47. Poverty in America • Absolute Poverty: absence of enough money to secure life’s necessities - food, shelter, clothes • Relative Poverty: a measure of poverty baed on the economic disparity between those at the bottom of society and the rest of society • Feminization of Poverty: a trend in the US society in which women and children make up an increasing proportion of the poor
  48. 48. Social Mobility • Social Mobility: the movement of individuals or groups between social classes • horizontal: a change in occupation within the same social class • vertical: a change upward or downward in occupational status or social class • intergenerational mobility: a change in status or class from one generation to the next
  49. 49. Minority, Race, Ethnicity • Minority: a group of people with physical or cultural traits different from those of the dominant group in society • Race: people sharing certain inherited physical characteristics that are considered important within society • Ethnic Minority: group identified by cultural, religious, or national characteristics
  50. 50. Racial and Ethnic Relations • Assimilation: the blending or fusing of minority groups into dominant society • Cultural Pluralism: desire of a group to maintain a sense of identity separate from the dominant group • Genocide: the systematic effort to destroy an entire population • Subjugation: process by which a minority group is denied equal access to the benefits of society • De Jure Segregation: denial of equal access based on law • De Facto Segregation: denial of equal access based on everyday practice
  51. 51. Prejudice and Discrimination • Prejudice: widely held negative attitudes toward a group (minority or majority) and its relative members • Racism: an extreme form of prejudice that assumes superiority of one group over others • Discrimination: treating people differently based on ethnicity, race, religion, culture • Hate Crime: criminal act motivated by prejudice • Stereotype: a distorted, exaggerated, oversimplified image applied to a category of people
  52. 52. Theoretical Perspectives on Race And Ethnicity • Functionalists: focus on the dysfunction caused by prejudice and discrimination • Conflict: a majority uses prejudice and discrimination as weapons of power to control a minority • Symbolic Interactionist: members of society learn to prejudice, much in the same way they learn to be patriotic
  53. 53. Sex, Gender, and Gender Identity • sex - classification of people as male or female based on biological characteristics • gender identity - a sense of being male or female based on learned cultural values • biological determinism principle that behavioral differences are the result of inherited physical characteristics
  54. 54. Sociological Perspectives on Gender and Age • Functionalists - any pattern of behavior that does not benefit society will be unimportant • Conflict - it is to the advantage of the majority to prevent the minority from obtaining political, economic, political status • Symbolic Interactionism learned behavior
  55. 55. Inequalities of Sex and Gender • Sexism - a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify sexual inequality • Ageism - a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms and values used to justify age-based prejudice and discrimination