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Bradford sp 2014 week1 2 sorting peer influence

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Bradford sp 2014 week1 2 sorting peer influence

  1. 1. Welcome to INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY (SOC 211) John Bradford, Ph.D.
  2. 2. What is Sociology? • Socius (Latin) = ‘associate’ as in society; • logy (Greek) = ‘study’ of SOCIO-LOGY = the study of SOCIETY.
  3. 3. What is Sociology? • Definition: Sociology is the scientific study of interactions and relations among human beings. – Sociology studies and explains how people influence one another. – Sociology studies and explains the intended and unintended consequences of human interaction.
  4. 4. Unintended Consequences Unintended Consequences of Actions Traffic jam Intended actions
  5. 5. “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.” Karl Marx (1818-1883)
  6. 6. The Sociological Imagination “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” C. Wright Mills (1916-1962)
  7. 7. What is Sociology? • Sociology studies the PATTERNS that people generate as they interact, influence, and relate to one another. • In short: THINK PATTERNS, NOT PEOPLE! (at least not individual people)
  8. 8. HOMOPHILY • HOMOPHILY is the tendency for more similar people to interact more frequently, and for people who interact more frequently to become more similar. Similarity Interaction
  9. 9. HOMOPHILY • HOMOPHILY = SIMILARITY: Like Attracts Like • People *like* those who are *like* themselves. • “Birds of a feather flock together”
  10. 10. HOMOPHILY • NOTES: – Similar in what respect? How do we measure similarity? – Homophily is based on perceived similarity. People tend to gravitate towards others that they perceive as similar to them in some important or salient characteristic.
  11. 11. HOMOPHILY • Examples: – 1987 Study, only 8% of people in US have someone of another race that they “discuss important matters with” – 2006 study: Interracial marriages. 1% of white marriages, 5% of black marriages, 14% of Asian marriages. – Closest friend: 10% of men name a woman; 37% of women name a man.
  12. 12. Two paths to Homophily • SORTING- occurs when people actively seek out and socialize with people who are similar to them in some respect. SELECTION. • PEER Influence- occurs when people become more similar to the people they spend the most time with, over time. INFLUENCE. SORTING Similarity Interaction INFLUENCE
  13. 13. SORTING
  14. 14. High School Friendships
  15. 15. Online Blogs Image by Frank Paynter
  16. 16. Boston
  17. 17. Baltimore
  18. 18. New York
  19. 19. Houston
  20. 20. DETROIT
  21. 21. New Orleans
  22. 22. Unintended Sorting? • Neighborhood Sorting: Thomas Schelling (2005 Nobel Prize winner) showed that macro-level segregation would arise from micro-level tolerance, so long as individuals prefer to live adjacent to some neighbors similar to them. Thomas Schelling
  23. 23. Unintended Sorting? • Imagine a city as a giant checkerboard, and suppose each piece wants 30% of its neighbors to be the same kind. • A few, with more than 30% of its neighbors of a different kind, will move. • Two effects of initial relocations: 1. other checkers of the same color from old neighborhood will also want to move 2. other checkers of different color in new neighborhood will want to move
  24. 24. PEER INFLUENCE
  25. 25. Soda or Pop?
  26. 26. Water Fountain or Drinking Fountain?
  27. 27. Political Affiliation U.S.
  28. 28. Religious Affiliations U.S.
  29. 29. Religious Diversity U.S.
  30. 30. World Religions
  31. 31. Social Influence There are many types of social influence. Consider a standing ovation… • We usually do not decide whether to stand or sit based on our own independent evaluations… • Instead, we often imitate what others are doing!
  32. 32. Social Influence Consider applause more generally… • Here the goal is to coordinate with others so that everyone is clapping at the same time and people are not clapping by themselves.

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