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Resourcd File


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Resourcd File

  1. 1. What is sociology? • The systematic study of human groups and social life in modern societies • Week 1. community_line_drawing.png Accessed 11.11.2013. The sociological Imagination, you tube, 5 minutes. 1
  2. 2. Common Sense versus Sociological Explanations • Based on opinion • May be individualistic (moral censure) or naturalistic • Takes situations at face value • Tend to be subjective /lacking objectivity • Attempts to be objective • Based on particular theories & may have been tested through research • Attempts to be objective & acknowledges the role of values in theory • Challenges taken for granted assumptions What Makes us Human? Horizon, BBC 1, 4/7/13 programme. Show from 5-21 minutes ,1 HOUR). 2
  3. 3. Nature versus nurture Wk 2. The debate in sociology focuses on how human behaviour is determined. dna-structure.jpg,23.09.13 family_131902826.jpg, 23.09.13. Are we the sum of our genes or our environment/experiences? 3
  4. 4. Norms, values & roles in societies • Norms: Informal & formal rules which guide our behaviour (what’s considered normal) • Values: things we believe to be important – justice, toleration, competitiveness, various freedoms • Roles: the parts we play in society- parent, carer, hunter, lover, prison officer. The positions come with expected behaviours. 4
  5. 5. How do we learn the norms & values of society? Agents of socialisation • • • • • • • What values and norms? Family Education system Media Employment/work Peers Religion 5
  6. 6. Nature/nurture: socialisation • Sociologists recognise the importance of biological influences on our lives, but they are generally more interested in the role played by social influences. • Social behaviour is so diverse between different cultures that it cannot be explained by genetic inheritance. • The absence of socialisation: Oxana Malaya (5min) : • Feral kids- myth or reality ? ( 9 min): 6
  7. 7. Comparisons of gender roles Men Women Traditional view in industrialised societies Arapesh Active, competitive, independent Non-aggressive, caring, cooperative Passive, cooperative, caring Mundugumor Aggressive, Aggressive, impatient, irritable impatient, irritable Tchambuli Artistic, gentle Non-aggressive, caring, cooperative Competitive, assertive 7
  8. 8. What’s a sociological theory? wk 4 • A framework to explain how society works. • It helps us understand how societies develop and change. • It is the analysis of behaviour and social structures. • It attempts to explain the fundamental reality of human ‘being’. 8
  9. 9. Structure & Action theories Structural Theories Action Theories • Determinism: Focus is on how the individual is shaped by society and its social structures. • Free Will: Focus is on how the individual shapes society and its social structures. • Proposes human beings have little choice and are coerced by the system’s priorities/ those with power. • Proposes human beings decide their own fate through choices they make. 9
  10. 10. Functionalism : a structural-consensus theory • Examines social structures. • Identifies that functional prerequisites exist for the survival of society. • Emphasises harmony, integration and stability. • Assumes everyone shares the same norms and values – they have a collective consciousness. 10
  11. 11. Emile Durkheim: the ‘godfather’ of functionalism, 1858 - 1917 His analysis of the advent of the industrial era: • The division of labour caused major social upheaval as people took on new roles /occupations – became interdependent. • Saw this social upheaval as destructive to the previously existing moral / religious values. • This led to ANOMIE – a symptom of the uncertainty of modern life : people despair - life lacks meaning. • ‘The Division of Labour’ (1893) Emile+Durkheim.jpg Accessed 14.10.13 11
  12. 12. Social Facts: institutions, beliefs and values of society… Durkheim believed we should ‘consider social facts as things’ which have 2 characteristics – • They are external to the individual – they have their own reality. • They direct and control the individual – laws, morals, social acceptance. • Functionalism re role of education (4 min): 12
  13. 13. Durkheim’s functionalist analogies • Primitive societies are ‘mechanical’ – gelled by sameness – no-one had anything of worth, which encouraged people to work together for the greater good. • Modern societies such as UK are ‘organic’ and have interdependent ‘social systems’ – Each structure has a specific role in society and they work in harmony to maintain social order. Durkheim likens this to the organs of the body. 13
  14. 14. Talcott Parsons 1902 – 1979. Socialisation & value consensus • Argued that social institutions are responsible for the socialisation of their members. • That members of society adopt and conform to prescribed codes of behaviour. • Mainly interested in the function of families. talcott-parsons.jpg Accessed 14.10.13 14
  15. 15. Strengths & Weaknesses • Logical and systematic analysis of society and its inter-related institutions • Shows the importance of social structure & its affects on individuals • Explains how societies maintain existence over time – value consensus & solidarity • Shows the individual as having little/no control over his/her actions • Society treated as something separate from its members • Just because a ‘social system’ exists doesn’t mean it’s functional • Does not explain conflict in society 15
  16. 16. Marxism : a structural – conflict theory. Wk. 5 • ‘Objectivity’. There is a conflict of interests – employers/employees • Class-struggle is starting point. From here comes ideas to change society • The values and norms of society related to relations of production • The vast majority( w class) have to end wage slavery so we can all be human. • Failure : no sign of this happening young-marx.jpg, 23.09.13. 16
  17. 17. Neo – ‘Marxism’ gramsci.jpg, 23.09.13. • Total rejection of marxian belief that the majority can develope socialist consciousness within capitalism (heirs of Lenin) • Only an elite vanguard can lead the unconscious masses to socialism/communism • Gramsci : w class seduced by baubles – supports capitalism. Its cultural grip has to be subverted by an intellectual vanguard. • W class is no longer seen as the agent of social change. 17
  18. 18. Marxism : Strengths & Weaknesses • Strong on analysing society as a whole – base (infrastructure) & superstructure • As a conflict theory strong in analysing power/conflict in society, esp inequalities in wealth and power • Viewed as very strong in analysing economic factors and objectively defines class re relationship 2 means of production • Allegedly over-emphasises economic factors shaping society • Failure of the majority to show any interest in change • Can’t explain workers’ attraction to capitalism • Downplays role of individuals in shaping society 18
  19. 19. Neo – ‘Marxism’ : Strengths & Weaknesses • Strong in recognising changes in the 20th century • Recognises the importance of culture as a factor in determining society which Marxism downplays. It emphasises the determining role of ideas etc (superstructure) in social change • Recognises that the ruling class can only rule with the support of other classes – workers accept their exploitation • It rejects marxism for being irrelevant so by implication neo-’marxism’ is also irrelevant • If as they claim cultural factors determine social relationships they stand accused of failing to decide the relative importance of various aspects of the superstructure. • Criticised 4 using term as they seem far removed from classical marxism 19
  20. 20. Feminism: a structural – conflict theory Oppression and domination through patriarchy: • Women are oppressed by men who hold the power. • The family is a key agent in maintaining male power and patriarchy. • Liberal feminists seek legal changes to remedy gender pay inequalities etc. Wk. 6. ELT200802251200276521970.GIF, 23.09.13. 20
  21. 21. Feminism cont’d • ‘Marxist’ – feminists concerned with w.class women & men - want ‘socialism’. Exploitation of women specific to capitalism • Radical feminists argue men control by force. Women should detach from male society – reproduction can be managed with sperm banks and technology – men can eventually be phased out. Patriarchy • A culture through which men dominate, exploit and oppress women • Life chances are unequal, as they are influenced by the (ascribed) status of being a woman because of male power • This allows men to create and maintain group privileges 21
  22. 22. Social construction of gender roles • Ann Oakley (1974) studied the ‘sexual division of labour’ and argued that in some societies sex has little bearing on the activities of men and women • Mbuti Pygmies of the Congo rainforest, hunt and gather food together - share responsibility for the care of children. 0902lukas_mbuti.jpg 23.09.13. 22
  23. 23. Socialisation of Gender Roles. What understanding do we have of … Masculinity • stud • ‘Jack the Lad’ • expressive • leader quality • focused • A ‘new man’ Femininity • slut • slag • trollop • emotional • bossy • scatter-brained 23
  24. 24. Gender and employment Employment patterns in Britain are deeply gendered: • 66% of women aged 16-64 are in employment compared with 79% of men • Female employees working full-time earn around 85% of the average hourly earnings of male fulltime employees • for women who work part-time, the gap in pay relative to full-time men is 38% per hour. Equal Opportunities Commission, 2007. 24
  25. 25. Sexist jokes –harmless fun? • Yesterday scientists suggested that beer contains female hormones. To test the theory 100 men were fed 6 pints of lager. It was observed that 100% of the men gained weight, talked excessively without making any sense, became overly emotional, couldn’t drive, failed to think rationally, argued over nothing and refused to apologise when wrong. No further testing is planned. 25
  26. 26. Strengths & Weaknesses • Raised awareness of gender bias & gender issues • Strong on the social construction of gender roles • Brought more balance to sociological studies • Gave a voice to the underrepresented half of the population • Gender is considered a weak basis to form a theory • Narrow & excludes other factors such as class/ economic & social system • Ignores categories such as ethnicity • Blames 50% of humanity for all the ills suffered by the other 50% 26
  27. 27. Symbolic Interactionism & Weberian social action wk 7 •Weber saw sociology as a science which could explain human behaviour. • Argued that social structures e.g. politics and culture, affected how individuals and groups behave. weber.jpg Accessed 13.11.13 • Believed people looked for meaning in all things; language, interpretation, behaviour etc 27
  28. 28. Key features of Weberianism • Emphasises interaction between social actors. Founding ‘father’ of social action/interpretive sociology • Increasing rationalisation/growth of bureaucracy is crucial. Disappearance of trad forms of action – religion etc. Bureaucracy & managers have power. • Verstehen ( putting one’s self in others’ shoes) . Understand society from an individual’s point of view in order to explain interactions & the motives behind such actions 28
  29. 29. Weber • Society should be • Weber made an studied objectively: important distinction Value-free approach – between the concepts Weber was interested in of ‘behaviour’ and descriptive ‘action’. understanding – not to • ‘Behaviour ‘ only skew meaning with becomes ‘action’ when subjectivity. it is directed towards • Particularly concerned other people in such a with social structures; way that it takes organisations, power account of how others and religion. act. 29
  30. 30. Social action Patterns of social action New forms of social action • Traditional Action where people carry out daily tasks or act in a particular way because they have always done so. • Goal Oriented (or Rational) action is driven by principles of efficiency and science. • Formal Rationalisation calculating to achieve ends replaced tradition, emotion and values as motivators for human action • Bureaucracy is the ‘technically superior’ form of org needed in industrial society. But also views it as a threat to responsible government • Affective Actions are driven by powerful human emotions such as hate, rage or love. • Value Oriented Action refers to actions where behaviour is motivated by a higher purpose. 30
  31. 31. ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’ (1930) *1905+ (Trans Talcott Parsons) .Or an Idealist Conception of History. • The ideas & motives of Calvinist protestants led to intro of Capitalism in 17th Century • John Calvin : only an ‘elect’ group would get to heaven. This had been pre-destined by God no matter what good deeds done on earth • Weber: Calvinists had a psychological problem- they didn’t know if they were among the ‘elect’. • In order to convince themselves that they were they reasoned that only the ‘chosen’ would be able to live a good/successful life on earth The ascetic protestant’s Good Life • Self-discipline, austerity, hard-work, thrift, career ‘calling’. But also financial success. • This is the mentality of the entrepeneur – profits & reinvestment. • Making money became a religious & business ethic. • Weber: Calvinism encouraged 2 key features of capitalismstandardisation of production & specialised division of labour. • Calvinism encouraged modernity: rationalisation (secular process) that undermines all religions 31
  32. 32. Social action & social change • Transition from feudal, pre-industrial society to modern capitalism is seen by Weber in terms of a shift in the typical meanings that individuals give to their actions. • So capitalism, is the result of rational action irrationally enacted by Calvinist sects with psychological problems concerning predestination! • frankfurt_pogrom.jpg Accessed 14.10.13. Marxists claim capitalism predates Calvin, & Protestantism was used as an ideology by the capitalist class to legitimise/enhance their position. 32
  33. 33. Weberian social action Strengths & weaknesses • First to emphasise importance of social interactions • Focus on people & what happens between them – verstehen • Acknowledgement of perspective of individual gives kudos to qualitative research methods • Weber seen as bridge between (inter-) action & structural perspectives • Also seen as an influence on post-modernism. • Open to accusations of just ‘common sense’ and ‘subjectivity’ • How one feels is difficult to analyse and generalise to society as a whole • Hugely pessimistic about society or social change • Difficult to see how human agency prevails in an age of bureaucratic rationalisation • Fundamental to action theory is that we consciously interpret the meanings behind our actions /others. Doubtful! 33
  34. 34. Revision on theories wk 9. Compare & contrast functionalism & feminism Similarities Differences • Both are structural theories stressing the importance of structures (eg education) in shaping individuals • Both analyse society as a whole with interconnected parts, eg, family, legal system • Func is a consensus theory emphasising shared values as basis of society. Fem is a conflict theory emphasising social division • Func argue many levels in society ‘mini’ social systems- fem say only 2 – base & superstructure • Func argue 4 value-consensus – holds society together. They defend the system. Fem- there are more than one set of values. Values of the powerful domn8 34
  35. 35. Compare & contrast structural & action theories Similarities Differences • Both recognise there’s • Struc theories: structure shapes 1s action/behaviour. Action: 1s a relationship actions/interpretations shape between society. Macro v micro theory. system/structures & individuals. Difference • Struc theories see roles & values as inflexible limits on individuals : is over where action theory regards them as emphasis is placed. open to interpretation. • Overlap is so great • Struc theories macro favour that distinction is quantitative research methods. small/meaningless Action study small scale interactions tend 2 use qualitative research methods 35
  36. 36. Research methods wks 10-13 Quantitative Qualitative • Surveys (generic term 4 all kinds of questionnaires, structured interviews, polls, counts of preferences) • Questionnaires • Structured interviews • Official statistics (secondary) • Unstructured interviews • Participant observation • Non- participant observation • Case- studies • Written evidence -other people’s letters, diaries etc. (secondary) • Visual resourcesdocumentaries, newsreel, pix and paintings (secondary) 36
  37. 37. Case – study in Gender development David Reimer; boy – girl – man. • Informed & dangerous psychology on the nature of gender development. • Highlights huge problems of subjectivity in the researcher. • Examines ethical issues. • Dr Money & the boy with no penis, Horizon BBC (1 hr) david_reimer_as_brenda.jpg Accessed 13.11.13. 37
  38. 38. Describe main features of a postal questionnaire • It’s a primary method & a quantitative research method • It’s a set of uniform questions which people respond to & return to the researcher (usually in pre-paid, addressed envelope • Generally they are brief & contain closed questions, eg asking for a yes/no answer 38
  39. 39. Task re questionnaires • Let’s design the worst questionnaire ever written. It can be on: • the college refurbishment • the library • the expansion of cafe spaces • But it must break all the rules 39
  40. 40. Describe main features of participant observation • Primary method of research & a qualitative method • The researcher takes part in the activities of the individual/group on which the research is based (can be overt/covert). • Researcher then records what’s observed either immediately or asap after the observation’s complete. • May occur over a long period of time. 40
  41. 41. On participant observation • Participant/Observation - A Digital Story by Wynne Maggi: women & childbirth etc in a rural Pakistan village (4 min) • MacIntyre Undercover: the Chelsea Headhunters (54 min): football gang violence- probably the greatest participant observation study • Donal MacIntyre talks about a revenge attack & being hunted by the headhunters (7 min): 41
  42. 42. Explain the advantages of structured interviews • Usually gets good response as questions have to be answered there & then. • Questions generally pre-set so the findings are relatively easy to quantify & analyse • Because they are face to face interviews the respondents can ask for clarification if there is any difficulty interpreting the meaning of a question 42
  43. 43. Clips Interviewing clips • Poor interview skills….‘Boemerang’ (‘in de gloria’, Belgium, 4min) • Bad ‘unstructured’ interview. Michael Parkinson interviewing actress Meg Ryan on the Parkinson show, BBC (3 min) Crime & Deviance • The Long Firm (lenny’s story). Harry Starks: “deviancy theory is as dead as a dodo” (2 min) Various Statistics • Summary of official statistics on crime & deviance: The Dark Figure (8 min) Documentaries & cultural stereotypes • The Scheme (Best bits) BBC (5 min) • London riots- one night in Hackney (4 min): Case studies Secret of the wild child pt 1 (Genie, 9 min) 43
  44. 44. The Research Process : a cyclical model Research is an on-going process: When results are processed, more questions are raised and researchers may be prompted to revisit the theory and may start all over again. 44
  45. 45. Stage 1 : Theory Literature Review: What the theory is built on • This is a key part of the research process and should be carried out prior to any research undertakings. • By doing so, the researcher can understand the history and theoretical underpinnings of their particular area of study. • This stage frames the researcher’s hypothesis within current knowledge. • This allows the researcher to critique other work and propose developments. 45
  46. 46. Stage 2 : Hypothesis • Involves working out a clear formulation of the research focus and making a clear prediction about the relationship between two variables, or not. In sociology it is more likely to be an aim of intention or a statement. • Alternative Hypotheses (One-tailed (part)and twotailed hypothesis): 1: ‘Giving children sugar will make them hyperactive’ 2: ‘Giving children sugar will affect their behaviour’ • Null Hypothesis: Sugar will make no difference to the children’s behaviour, or change is coincidental. 46
  47. 47. Stage 4 : Fieldwork • Having finalised operational plans, data is collected by the chosen method • Research must be undertaken following strict ethical guidelines – failure to follow guidelines means research may be considered invalid. • Follow the design & collect necessary data 47
  48. 48. Stage 5: Processing & presenting results • Raw data is collected and collated. • Data is logged and categorised • Data is checked for accuracy • Data is entered into the computer. • Data is analysed – this allows the researcher to make sense of it and draw conclusions. This stage deals with the way in which we present the findings. • Summary tables • Graphs (bar charts, pie charts, histograms) • Written reports e.g. journal articles An integral part of the research process: allows the researcher (and anyone else) to see patterns at a glance. 48
  49. 49. Describe the Theory stage & the fieldwork stage of the research process Theory • The start when the sociologist chooses field of study. The existing set of ideas which forms the basis of the study • May be a new area or an area already studied. Fieldwork • Carrying out the research from the methods chosen, eg conducting questionnaire, participant observation etc • Goal is to follow the general research design to get the necessary data 49
  50. 50. Describe the hypothesis & processing of results stages of the process Hypothesis Processing of results • It’s a statement which is a starting point for a piece of research • This statement can be proved or disproved on the basis of the research carried out • The final stage where data is tallied up & analysed • Data is collated and may involve summarising and interpreting statistics. • Results are written up and formally presented 50
  51. 51. Various clips Feminism • Animation :Some men can’t take a hint (5 min) Resources • Site for various resources: • Conservative black woman on feminism (5 min) • The Simpsons. Skinner v the feminists (3 min) • Women & equal pay: Ford (Dagenham) sewing machinists strike 1968 (9 min) 51