Chapter 1 – 3 Sociology And Social Life
This chapter covers sociology and social life, idea and value.
Scientific study of human social life, groups and societies with an emphasis on modern, industrial systems.
Have to be detached from a certian problem in order to try to fix it. Looking at things in a bigger picture.
Charles Wright Mills
Came up with the idea of sociological imagination.
Coined the term sociology, also known as the father of sociology.
Comte’s Science of Society
Two branches, 1. Static, 2. Dynamic.
Sociology should contribute to the welfare of humanity by using science to understand and predict human behavior.
Thought of society as an organism. Interactive parts contribute to the whole. Government should leave social problems alone.
Studied suicide. Social integration prevented suicide.
The degree to which people are tied to a group.
Human history marked by class conflict. Economic systems determine beliefs and values. Capitalism breeds conflict.
Ideas and values impact social change as much as economy. Versteken. Bureaucracy inevitable. Society is more efficient but no more democracy.
Individuals give meaning to their own behavior.
Founded the Hull House in Chicago. Dealt with many social ills but one at a time. Social security, child labor, workmans comp. Nobel peace prize 1931, used formal scientific methods.
W.E.B. Du Bois
First African American to receive a doctorate at Harvard. Worked on racial equality and created the NAACP.
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
Microview of society. Language is crucial. People assign meaning to others words. All interactions involve symbols. Response is due to our subjective interpretation. Behavior is fluid.
Society is made up of interdependent parts that perform functions for society as a whole. Society is held together by social consensus. Social change is harmful.
Majority agree on what would be good for everybody, maintaining order and stability in society.
Portrays society as always changing and marked by conflict. Different groups compete with each other for scarce resources. EG. Men vs Women, Black vs. white.
Explains human life in the terms of the experiences of women. Different from men, women’s position in most social situations is unequal to that of men, women are oppressed by patriarchy.
Male dominated society.
7 Theories of Perspective
Conflict, Feminism, Functionalist, Marxism, Symbolic Interactionism, Rational Choice, Postmodernism.
Class conflict between the working class and the ruling class. Macro perspective. Capitalist societies will eventually lead to a revolution.
Rational Choice Perspective
Among the different variables, self interest could be the number one variable to explain society. Cannot explain emotions like love.
HIstory leads to progress idea is dead. We are run by “New Media”. Pluralistic, diverse and disconnected from the past.
1. Problem 2. Background 3. Hypothesis 4. Research Method 5. Experiment 6. Interpret 7. Report
Study of people first hand, using participant observation, or interviewing. A- Detailed information. D- Small group
Assembling biographical material about individuals.
Comparing various groups in different societies
Studying past events directly or through written record.
Combining many research methods to check and supplement material obtained from the others.
Helps us determine which common sense beliefs are myths and which are reality.
19th Century Social Philosophers
Influenced by the natural sciences because those sciences served as a model to understand and control the social world.
The main function of going to college is to get an education.
The expectations one should fulfill to be helpful and contribute to society.
The expectations one should fulfill depending on the association of specific profession.
Having two obligations but having to neglect one over the other depending upon the severity of the consequences.
Mostly found in large, industrial societies.
Collection of people that share some characteristics, interact with each other, and have some feelings of unity.
Less faith in science to provide answers, increasing power and freedom to individuals, impersonal relations, shallow lives, greater gender equality and more people move away from big cities.
Sapir- Whorf Hypothesis
Language shapes the ways in which people perceive the world.
Have been more beneficial to the U.S. society than other countries with different values.
Practices that are found in all cultures.
A research method that involves asking questions about opinions, beliefs or behaviors.
Durkheim’s terms for struggle between the capitalists, who own the means of production and those who do not.
Socially shared idea about what is good, desirable or important.
Reward for conformity to norms or punishment for violation of norms.
A set of widely shared beliefs.
How you interact with others in accordance with your role/status.
What you do in your status
Your position in society, the prestige that goes along with it.
Different roles that go along with one single status.
Two conflicting roles from two different statuses.
Two conflicting roles from the same status.
The process of changing from a simple to a complex society.
Modern World Societies
Based on using food provided by nature-gathering, fishing and hunting every day. Used simple tools. The oldest and most egalitarian societies. Small societies. Nomads.
Example of Hunting-Gathering
Kung in South Africa.
A person who believes in the equality of all people, most equal society.
Based on the domestication of animals and use their products as main source of food. Groups move where there is foods but they are more settlers than nomads. Independent and warlike.
Example of Pastoral
Deserts of North and East Africa and the Middle East.
The cultivation of domesticated crops in small gardens using hand tools. Slash & burn the field system. Sexual division. Permanent settlements. Surplus of food= prestige. Warfare common. 1st social inequality and sexual division.
Example of Horticultural
Tropical forests of Asia, Australia, South America and Africa.
Moore labor, use of fertilizers, control of water supply, use of animals. Use of the plow—agricultural revolution—larger crops. Permanent settlements, larger population, central government and great inequalities.
When did industrial societies appear?
250 years ago
Production of goods through mass employment in business and commercial operations. Based on industrial production and mostly they are free enterprise; technological advances occur more faster. Urban, social life is impersonal, politics more developed. Nation states.
Move away from cities, do not believe in science, technology for marketing, biotechnology, Increasing power and freedom to individuals but impersonal relations; shallow lives; instant gratification.
Greater gender equality.
The language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors and material objects that are passed on from one generation to the next. The way of life of individual members or groups within a society.
The material objects or goods that distinguish a group of people from others.
A group’s way of thinking and doing.
A system, a collection of interrelationships that connects individuals sharing the same territory.
Used when a person fails to conform to the culture. Members of a culture are supposed to learn in childhood.
A collection of objective ideas, facts about the physical & social worlds.
Subjective and unverifiable ideas.
Abstract ideals shared by a group. Socially shared ideas about what is good and desirable in life.
Principles or rules of social life people observe.
written and unwritten rules to control a society’s behavior. Society enforces these norms through sanctions.
Weak norms that specify expectations about proper behaviors, but if someone does not follow we don’t send them to jail, we just raise our eyebrows. Hipsters.
Norms that constitute demands on our behavior. Mores are often turned into laws.
If there is no normative support the laws are hard to enforce (e.g. teenage drinking).
That language predisposes us to see the world in a certain way.
Diverse cultures within a society. Different languages or cultural patterns. Offer opportunities for creativity and change such as the following:
Can reject prevailing values and norms.
Can promote alternatives to dominant culture.
Can act as force of change.
The process by which different cultures are absorbed into the mainstream culture.
Respecting cultural diversity and promoting equality of different sub-cultures within the culture.
Judging other cultures in terms of one’s own standards. Is the attitude that one’s own culture is superior to those of other peoples.
Judging a society by its own standards. Is the belief that culture must be understood on its own terms.
Common features of human behavior found in all societies.
Examples of Cultural Universals
Food-getting technology, Housing, Language, Marriage, Art, Incest taboos, Cooking, Medicine, Joking ect.
Increased global communications and economic interdependence represent more than the growth of world unity.
Forces for Global Culture
Television, unified global economy, global citizens, international organizations, electronic communications.
totality of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material and behaviors. It includes the ideas,values and artifcatcts( ex. DVD, comic books, birth control devices, etc)
farily large number of peoplewho live in the same teritory are relatviely indepedent of people outside their area and particpate in a common culture
1.largest form of human group
2. share common heritage and culture
globally the primary effct of popular culture is to limit people’s choices. (German philopher)
the worldwide media industry tht standardizes the goods and services demanded by consumers
all societies have devloped certain common practices and beliefs (ex: need for food, shelther and clothes)
Anthrolopologist – complied list of cultural universals ( athletic sports, cooking, dancing, visiting, personal names, marriages, medicine, religion rituals, funneral ceremonies, sexual restricitions, trade list same, but how to express them varies from culture to culture
the tendency to assume that one’s culture and way of life represent the norm or are superior to others
viewing people’s behavior from the perspective of their own culture It places a priority on understanding others cultures rather than dismissing as strange or excotic.
the systemic study of how biology affects human social behavior. Asserts many cultural traits juman display are not learned by te rooted in genetic make up.
founded on sociobiology Theory of Evolution – natural selection
process of adaption to the environment through random gentic variation. Assumed that particulat forms of behavior become genetically linked to species if they contribute to its fitness of surfe
process of introducing a new idea or object to a culture.
involves making known or sharing the existence of an aspect of reality
results when existing cultural items are combined into a form that did not exist before.
refer to the process by which a cultural item spreads from group to group or society to society
cultural information about the ways in which the material resources of the environment may be used to satisfy human needs and desires
physical or technological aspects of our daily lives inccluding food, houses, factories, raw materials,
ways of using material objects as well as customs, beliefs, philosphies, governments, and patterns of communication (Ogburn’s work)
period of maladjustment when the nonmaterial culture is still struggling to adapt to new material conditions. (Ogburn’s work)
is a segment of scoiety that shares a distinctive pattern of customs, rules and traditions that differs form the pattern of the larger society. Sometimes emerge when the dominant society unsucessfully tries to support a practice such as the use of illegal drugs
specialized language used by members of a group or subculture
when a subculture conspicuously and deliberately opposes certain aspects of the larger culture
anyone who feels disoriented, uncertain, out of place or even fearful when immersed in an unfamiliar culture
an abstract system of word meanings and symbols for all aspects of culture. It includes speech, written characters, numerals, symbols and nonverbal gestrues and expressions describes reality and serves to shape the reality of a culture
Sapir- Whorf hypothesis
hypothesis concerning the role of language in shaping our intepretation of reality, It holds that langage is culturally determined.
gestures, objects and words that form the basis of human communication
use of gestures, facial expressions an other visual images to communicate
are established standards of behviors maintained by a society
generally have been written down and specify strict punishments for violators Ex: diploma, medal, firing from job, jail sentence
generally are understood but not precisly recorded. Ex: dress code, smile, frown, bullying, etc
norms deemed highly necessary to the welfare of a society often because they embody the most cherished principle of a people.
norms governing everyday behavior
penalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social norm
collective conception of what is considered good, desirable and proper or bad, undesirable and improper in a culture
polarization of society over controversial cultural elements
set of cultural beliefs and practice that help to maintain powerful social, economic, and political interests.
use of 2 languages in a particular setting (work or school) teaching each language as equally legitimate.
cultural variation -functionalist perscpective
subcultures serve the interesrs of subgroups, ethnocentrism reinforces group solidarity
cultural variation – conflict perpective
contercultures questions the dominant social order, ethncentrism devalues groups
cultural variation – feminist perpective
cultural relativism respects variations in the way men and woman are viewed in different societies.
cultural variation – interactionist perpective
customs abd traditions are transmitted through intergroup contact and through media
norms – functionalist perpective
reinforce societal standards
norms – conflict perpective
reinforce patterns of dominance
norms – feminist perpective
reinforce roles of men and women
norms – interactionist perpective
are maintained through face to face interaction
values -functionalist perspective
are collective coneptions what is good
values – conflict perspective
may perpetuate social inquality
values – feminist perspective
may perpetuate male dominance
values -interactionist perspective
are defined and redefined through social interaction
culture and society – functionalist perspective
culture reflects a society’s strong central values
culture and society – conflict perspective
culture reflects society’s dominant ideology
culture and society – feminist perspective
culture reflects society’s view of men and women
culture and society – interactionist perspective
a society’s core culture is perpetuated through daily social interactions
Walmart – functionalist perspective
provides food and services to customers
Walmart – conflict perspective
opposes labor unions; slow to provide employee health benefits, promote women
Walmart – feminiist perspective
limits role of women in leadership
Walmart – interactionist perspective
history of insensivity to cultrual variations in store customer relationships