Sociology 101 Rogers and Yan Essay

What makes you, you?
We Study:
What is sociology?
1. The study of human society
2. Examines the relationship between history and biography
3. Uses the scientific method
4. Looks at social structures, patterns, and meaning
Original Founders of Sociology
Augste Compte 1798-1857
One of the first people to try to understand society and morality using science rather than theology He thought there could be a kind of “social physics” used to understand the social world in the same way physics understand the physical world Harriet Martineu

Wrote how to observe morals and manners
Said this is the best way to observe society
Sociological Imagination?
Term coined by C Wright Mills
It allows us to see connection between our personal experiences and the larger forces of history

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Where you live, background, opportunities do not determine who you will become It just effects the degree of difficulty that you must face
Where you live, country? City? Community?
Economic system, conditions?
Who are you? Man/woman, rich/poor, social class, etc.
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Theory of what drives history, historical materialism, primarily the conflicts between classes that drove social change throughout history Max Weber (1864-1920)
Wrote “The Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism.” Looked at political, religious, and other cultural factors as important to social developments—not just economic class

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)
Focused on how societies hold together. Studied suicide and showed how individuals acts are conditioned by social forces, known as the term Anomie— a sense of normalness after great social change

Max Weber and Durkheim, though later than Comte and Martineau, are often considered the founders of sociology.

Theories of the Self
Charles Horton Cooley
Argued that the “looking glass self” comes from social interaction You define yourself by what you think others think you are
George Herbert Meade
The “Self” as developed over the course of childhood as the individual learns to take the point of view of specific others in specific context

A social institution is a complex group of interdependent position that perform a social role and reproduce themselves overtime.

Informal stories told of an institution are important. The sum of the stories about a person/organization is known as the grand narrative. Grand narratives are shaped informally, ex: what you say about someone will shape their grand narratives.

Randall Collin’s “Book About College” says that anyone can get a degree, but people only go to college for the credentials.

Modern Sociological Theories
Functionalism: society is like a living organism. To understand it we must identify different roles and aspects that play in keeping society working

Conflict Theory: to understand society, identify the power relationship that create different aspects in/ of society

Symbolic Interactionism: focuses on how face-to-face interactions create the social world
Review: what is sociology?
The sociological Imagination
C Wright Mills
History and biography
Social institutions
Historical development of sociology is traced through major theorists including: Auguste Comte
Karl Marx
Max Weber
Emile Durkheim
Major Theories
Functionalism- society works as a whole, each part contributing something important (Macro) Conflict Theory- society is the aggregate of political struggles among different groups (Macro) Symbolic Interactionism- by looking at everyday interactions you can discover larger social structures (Micro) Facts cannot be observed without guidance of some theory

Quantitative Methods: statistical analysis to examine data about the social world already in, or that can be converted into numerical form
Ex: surveys, or coded interviews
Qualitative Methods: information about the social world not in numeric form
Ex: interviews and participant observation

Two Types of Reasoning
Deductive: starts with a theory, forms a hypothesis, makes empirical observations and then analyzes data to confirm/reject/modify the original theory Inductive: starts with empirical observations then works to form a theory

Participant observation aims to uncover the meanings people give to their action by observing those actions in practice Helpful when studying something people cannot tell you:
Children on a playground
Men on a street corner
How social classes impact success in a school
Learning how people make meaning and understand the world
Doesn’t force a choice; like a survey
Permits the researcher to find out what is important rather than assume they know Surveys
Good for showing frequencies and percentages
Easier to use to test a hypothesis
Can cover more people than an interview
Correlation does not prove causation
We can correlate that people who eat berries everyday are more healthy than others because since they are healthy they could do other things to be healthy too like exercise


Chapter 3: What is Culture?
Culture can be loosely defined as a set of beliefs, traditions, and practices Sociologist Clifford Geertz- making the familiar strange
To question why something was done rather than taking it for granted The concept of culture has evolved and expanded throughout history As Europeans came in contact with non westerners cultures evolved Material vs.
Nonmaterial Culture

Material culture is everything that is a part of our constructed environment, such as books, fashion, and monuments Non-material culture includes values, beliefs, behaviors, and social norms Cultural Relativism

Ruth Benedict
Idea that we should recognize differences across cultures without judgment Cultural Scripts
Modes of behavior and understanding that are not universal or natural, but that may strongly shape beliefs or concepts held by society Subcultures

Values and Norms
Values are moral beliefs
Norms are how these values tell us how to act
Socialization is the process by which a person internalizes the values, beliefs, and norms of society and learns to function as a member of society Reflection Theory
Reflection theory states that culture is a projection of social structures and relationships A Marxist version of reflection theory argues that cultural objects reflect the material labor and production relationships that went into making them

Culture and Media
Culture= Human- Nature
Key concepts:
Values are moral beliefs
Norms are values put into play
Socialization is the process by which we become accustomed to our environment and those around us (how we learn to follow norms) Most socialization is not direct; we learn through observation of people, the media, mistakes, corrections Norms vary from place to place, and persons to person

Language, Meaning, and Concepts
According to the Sapir-Whorf thesis in linguistics, the language we speak directly influences (and reflects) the way we think about and experience the world Developmental windows? Specific time periods to be able to learn language or other things

Chapter 4: Socialization and the Construction of Reality
The Rules of the Game
Social Construction
People give meaning or value to ideas or objects through social interactions Its an ongoing process that is embedded in our everyday interactions Its real just like the rules of baseball
It highlights the fact that people give meaning or value to objects through the use of social interaction How do we do this? Ex: a diamond is a rock but why is it so valuable to us? Because someone of a higher authority deemed diamonds to be valuable so we all continued to think so Social construction ideas can change over time

Agents of Socialization
Families, schools, peer, media, and total institutions, are all important socializing agents or environments A total institution is an institution in which one is totally immersed that controls all the basics of day-to-day life Statuses and Roles

A status is a position in society that comes with a set of expectations (the expectations are the roles) An ascribed status is one we born with that is unlikely to change- it is given to you An achieved status is one we have earned through individual effort or that is imposed by others –can be negative Ex of an achieved status: Sandusky is a child molester, but this does not mean an achieved status is appositive thing. He achieved this status through his actions. Roles

Roles are the behaviors expected from a particular status
What is expected of you based on your statues?
How did you learn your “role”?
Does the same status—for ex daughter—have the same role attached to it in every culture? Master status a status that affects all others (ex: president of he US; Obama) Statuses and Roles
Role conflict occurs when the roles associated with one status clash with the roles associated with a different status Role strain occurs when roles associated with a single status clash Either of these may lead to role exit (quitting your role and not taking responsibility for it) Ex: you are a student, so you have a test. And you are a friend so you must be at your friend’s parent’s funeral. And you have a job so you must be at work. All of these events will be happening on the same say, so which role do you fulfill? This is a role conflict An ex of a role strain is a Basketball player. He is expected to shoot the ball in order to be a star player, but to pass the ball in order to be a good teammate. So what does he do? The Social Construction of Reality

Ethnomethodology is an approach to studying human interaction that focuses on the ways in which we make sense of our world, convey this understanding to others, and produce a mutually shared social order Symbolic interactionism is a micro level theory based on the idea that people act in accordance with shared meanings, orientations, and assumptions Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical theory view social life as a theatrical performance in which we are all actors on metaphysical stages with roles, scripts, costumes, and sets Social Interaction

Robert Merton’s role theory provides a way to describe social interaction ** KEEP THIS IN MIND YOU WILL NEED IT TO UNDERSTAND SOCIAL STRUCTURE

Chapter 5
Social Groups
Form the building blocks of society and for the most part social interaction Gregor Simmel argued that the key element in determining the form of social relations in a group, is the size of the group Looked at dyads and triyads

Triyads are one of the most unstable social groups
As a group sixe increases, the number of possible relationships increase In a group of three, three possible relationships exist
But in a group of four six possible relationships exist
As groups size increases, the so does the number of possible relationships (exponentially) The Asch Test is an experiment developed in the 1940s that shows how much people are influenced by the actions or norms of a group Simmel: small groups, parties, large groups

C.H. Cooley: primary groups, secondary groups, other
From Groups to Networks
A social network is a set of relations –a set of dyads—held together by ties between individuals A tie is a set of stories that explains our relationship to the other members of our network, while a narrative is the sum of the stories contained in a series of ties Embeddedness refers to the degree to which tis are reinforced through indirect paths within a social network A structural hole is a gap between network clusters (or even between two people) that would benefit from having the gap closed A structural gap in networks exists when one network needs connections to another but the head of the social network cannot provide that need, but one member of another group is able to associate with another network of people who can provide that need The most advantageous type of relationship to have in a network is to have lots of loose connection to a vast number of different types of groups Social Capital

The information, knowledge of people or ideas, and connections that help individuals enter preexisting networks or gain power in them High amounts of social capital in a community generally means that the community is tightly knit and can come together to face challenges and make improvements We can tell what social class people are from based on the way they dress, talk, act, etc. Network Analysis in Group Research

Network analysis researchers use the basic concepts about groups and social networks that we have discussed to investigate hoe group life shapes individual behavior Social capital’s Role in Job Distribution

People with social mobility are able to use their loose connections to find jobs and make money They adapt well to better allow themselves to advance socially

Social norms: what society deems is acceptable
Social control: who society enforces those social norms

The Wonderful World of Deviance
Crime vs. Deviance
Informal Deviance: the recognized violation of social norms
Ex: letting a door slam in some ones’ face
Formal Deviance (crime): the violation of society’s formally enacted criminal laws A subcategory of deviance—all those ‘deviant’ acts for which the law will punish you Ex: robbing a bank
Theories on Deviance
Robert Merton- Strain Theory
What social forces contribute to deviance
Society holds the same goals to all of its members, but does not give them all the equal opportunity to achieve these goals…the “American Dream” Strain occurs when there is discontinuity between the MEANS and the ENDS (they don’t match up) Merton’s Typologies

Conformity: accept goals and means
Innovation: reject the means and accept the goals
Ritualism: reject the goals and accept the means (doing the bare minimum) Retreatism: reject all the means and goal of society
Rebellion: reject all means and goals of society as well s attempting to redefine them Cloward and Ohlin
“Differential Opportunity Theory”
Cloward and Ohlin
Expand of Merton’s “Strain Theory”
Essentially, deviance depends not just on lack of legitimate means, but also availability of legitimate means Social networks
ACESS to alternative means (knowing people)
Policy Implications
Reflected in social policy—harsher penalties designed to DETER criminal behavior Negative consequences
“3 Strikes” Laws, Rockefeller Drug Laws
“Broken Windows Theory”
Social context and cues of disorder impact whether individuals act defiantly-whether informal social norms allow such acts More Policy…
Led to Giuliani’s “zero tolerance” policy in NYC—no tolerance for petty crimes (ex: public urination) Is this what can lead to a decrease in crime?


What is deviance? Breaking a social norm
Examples include: formal, informal deviance
Formal: anything that there is a law or policy against (tickets) Informal: breaking a social norm (saying you hate someone’s cooking) If there is an official way to deal with it, it is a formal type of deviance Informal deviance includes doing something the wrong way socially Primary: is when you commit an act of violating the norm (can be formal or informal) Secondary: what happens once you have been labeled as deviant (consequences) Different social groups will have different norms: rules apply differently for everyone Just because something is a norm does not mean it is the ONLY acceptable thing to do, it just means it is accepted within a group How can we understand why people have different patterns of behavior? What we do, are expected… Not all deviance is bad, there can be good deviance within a group Gangs are existent because they are accepted in certain communities, but not in the larger scale Deviance is not always based on norms; based on opportunity and means Ex: you want to buy something. You can either work for it, or steal it We approve of working for it, but disapprove of stealing it

Opportunity theory: one major reason why we have a job force (a version of strain theory) Conflict between different groups can also cause deviance
Anomie a sense of aimlessness or despair that arises when we can no longer
reasonably expect life to be predictable; too little social regulation. Ex: if you get caught stealing a car you are more likely to become a criminal because once you are put in jail you are labeled and put into the criminal system Broken windows theory of deviance: theory explaining how social context and social cues of disorder impact whether individuals act deviantly: specifically, whether local, informal social norms allow such acts Labeling theory the belief that individuals unconsciously notice how others see or label them, and their reactions to those labels, over time, come to form the basis of their self-identity. Once you are labeled as something, people look for those traits in you to identify you with How can the labeling theory fit in with the conflict theory? Conflict theory: the idea that conflict between competing interests is the basic, animating force of social change and society in general Marx; social class and power struggle

Deviance reflect the values of a culture
What makes social deviance ok is when we change our norms
We attach different social meaning to events which influence our norms and self image (ex: “The Looking- Glass Self Music video) What children see on TV. Makes them think that it is the norm, and therefore okay to copy and reflect in their own identity What is social control? How we keep order within society (how we reasons to deviance whether formal or informal) and effects socialization Ex include: the police and military both exercise social control Normative compliance abiding by society’s norms or simply following the rules of group life. Formal control/sanctions: mechanisms of social control by which rules or laws prohibit deviant criminal behavior. Informal control/sanctions: the usually unexpressed but widely known rules of group membership, the unspoken rules of social life.

Who are the fathers of sociology?
What was Weber’s main work? “Protestant Ethic and the spirit of capitalism” What was Marx know for? The conflict theory; there is an inherit class conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat (those who work and those who benefit) Durkheim? Anomie, and suicide

Dependent and Independent variables
Correlation does not prove causation
Values and Norms
Values are the moral beliefs
Norms are the rules in play that go hand in hand with values Methods of socialization: institutions
Strain Theory: discontinuity between the means and the ends; Robert Morton What are the 5 typologies of strain theory?
Conformity: accept goals and means
Innovation: reject the means and accept the goals
Ritualism: reject the goals and accept the means (doing the bare minimum) Retreatism: reject all the means and goal of society
Rebellion: reject all means and goals of society as well s attempting to redefine them Differential opportunity theory: you need access to certain networks to be offered different opportunities; Cloward and Ohlin

Types of Capital: primary, social
Networks: strong and weak ties (weak more likely to get you a job) I, Me, Self
I: think of things as in I am hungry, I am tired
Me: when you are hungry mom makes you food, others do the labor for you Self:
What is the big spectrum: Macro sociology and micro sociology What is the midrange theory?
Primary deviance- breaking the rules of the norms
Secondary deviance- recognition that comes from breaking the primary deviance Labeling theory- what you are labeled based on your norms and roles As a result you fulfill certain roles. Self-fulfilling prophecy Social construction: genders (learned behavior), sex is biological Reflection Theory: culture is a projection of social structures and relationships into the public sphere Hegemony: dominant structure

Ethnomethodology (Howard Garfinkel) vs. symbolic interactionism (interactions between people with a focus on how the people talk, dress, and use body language) Sociological imagination: make the familiar strange



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