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59 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
People who interact with one another within a limited territory and share a similar culture.
The beliefs, values, behaviors, and material objects shared by a particular people.
Marc and Marque-Luisa Miringoff
have tabulayted an annual index "The Index of Social Health" for the US that includes measurements on sixteen major social problems, among them unemployment, percent of children in poverty, the gap between the rih and the poor, average weekly earnings, levels of child abuse, and health insurance coverage
Subjective nature of social problems
what is defined as a social problem differs by audience and by time.
What are the problems with agreeing with an adequate definition of a social problem? (two)
1st: sociologists have difficulkty agreeing on an adequate definition of social problems.
2nd: continuing debate over the unit of analysis: is the focus of inquiry individuals or social systems?
objective reality of social problems
there are conditions in society such as poverty that induce material or psychic uffering for certain segments of the population.
In looking for objective social problems, what must we guard against?
the tendency to acccept the definitions of social problems provided by those in power. Because the powerfull, agencies of the government and budiness, provide the stat data (crime rates), they may define social reality in a way that manipulates public opinion, thereby controlling behaviors that threaten the status quo (and their power).
book examines what two types of social problems?
1. the acts and condition that violate the norms and values present in society
2. societally induced conditions that cause psychic and material suffering for any segment of the population.
Abraham Maslow
all humans have a set of basic needs in common: the need for shelter, secutiry, group support, esteem, respect, and self-actualization (the need for creative and constructive involvement in productive, significant activity). When these results are messed with individuals will be hostile to society and its norms.
institutionalized deviance
such a condition exists when the society and its formal organizations are not meeting the needs of the individuals.
What is the key to understanding social problems?
The distribution of power.. The powerless, because they are dominated by the powerful, ar elikely to be thwarted in achieving their basic needs. The interests of the powerful are served because they control the institutions by which the perceptions of the public are shaped.
C. Wright Mills
a. his classic "the sociological imagination" wrote that the task of sociology is to realize that individual circumstances are inextriably linked to the structure of society.
b. If a situation such as unemployment is a problem for an individual or for scattered individuals, it is a "private trouble," bbut if unemployment is widespread, affecting large numbers of people in a region or the society, it is a "public issue" or a "social problem"
The sociological inagination
a. a willingness to view the social world from th perspective of others.
b. focusing on the social, economic, and historical circumstances that influence families, groups, and organizations
c. questioninh the structural arrangements that shape social behavior
d. seeing the solutions to social problems not in terms of changing problem people but in changing the structure of society.
William Wilson
Contends that the ghetto poor endure becaue of the disappearance of hundreds of thousans of low skill jobs,
William Graham Sumner
Proponent of Social Darwinism. Believed that the poor and the rich each deserved what they got. Opposed social reforms such as welfare because it rewarded the weak and interfered with natural ability.
Folkways, mores, laws, and taboos
The least significant of the norms.
For example: A man wearing two different colored socks.
Moral violations. You are pushing closer to the envelope.
For Example: A student who went to class naked.
Encoded norms. Enacted in reaction to some kind of social problem, or something people perceived to be a problem. For example: before there were cars there were no laws for them, but now we have speeding so we have to make laws.
You have blown through laws. For Example: Incest is a taboo.
First Stage of a Social Problem
First stage of a social problem is defining the problem.
•People have to view some object decision as a problem.
•That means there has to be a shift in viewpoint or values, it doesn’t mean the problem wasn’t already there; there was just a shift in opinion.
•We tend to not think about problems unless they pertain to us.
•First Stage: The emergence of leaders and experts.
•Generally these are the people who are addressing the problem.
They tend to organize. “Moms Against Guns”
Second Stage of a Social Problem
•The second stage: known as the official response.
•Community leaders come out with a decision (part of second stage)
•The official response from officials was background checks now on guns.
Third Stage of a Social Problem
•Stage Three: The reaction to the official response.
•The most vocal reaction came from the NRA. The reaction is often problematic.
Fourth Stage of a Social Problems
•Fourth Stage: Developing alternative strategies.
•The most extreme alternative reaction came from the Lunatic Fringe (a category that gives a bad name to everybody).
•Environmentalists that will blow up cars.
•These people are just extremists.
Money used in resistance
Money: You pay people off to get your perspective.
•Downside: Only if you have money can you do anything, sometimes people don’t have enough, or sometimes people won’t be bought off.
Force used in resistance
•Force: You coerce people into doing what you want them to do.
•There are other ways of force than violence, like through the legal system.
•For example: The people’s homes were taken away around the Cowboy’s stadium.
•Downside: most effective if used sparingly, if you force people too much it pisses them off, if you apply to much you might kill them.
•Solidarity: Group Unity.
•For example: If you can get people to agree as part of a group, then they will do what you want them to do.
Social Behavior Way One
•First: Determine the extent of the social problem by measuring the objective condition.
•For example: Look at numbers and extent of abortions.
Social Behavior Way Two
•Second: Measure the subjective concerns. What are people’s attitudes about the problem?
•For example: How many people think parking is a problem? You take into consideration how many people actually think it’s a problem.
Social Behavior Way Three
•Third: To apply the sociological imagination. Putting something in its broader social context
•For example: Prof. was on board that would give education to people about birth control, etc. In that society, the birth control has to go to the husbands first.
Social Behavior Way Four
•Fourth: Sociologists can identify different ways to intervene in a social problem.
•For example: Men going through villages trying to find insurgents.
Social Behavior Way Five
•Fifth: Can evaluate likely consequences of social policies.
Statistical Perspective of social deviance
Situation where there is a minority
Absolutist Perspective of social deviance
Says that there are certain behaviors that are morally wrong. A religious undertone in this example.
Reactivist Perspective of social deviance
Perceives something as deviant only if it is reacted to. For example, speeding will happen unless police react to it.
Normative Perspective
A behavior is deviant if it violates a social norm.
Deviance Factors (Five)
•First, When a behavior occurs
oFor example, it used to be legal to drive around with an open beer in your car, but now it is different.
•Second, Where the behavior occurred
oFor example, assisted suicide is legal in Oregon.
•Third, the context or situation where the behavior occurs
oFor example, Tyson was in a car wreck and punched the person, but they weren’t in the ring.
•Fourth, Who engaged in the action does matter
oFor example, a child molester was arrested for violating a little boy. The mother killed the child molester in court. As an individual she was not allowed to do that.
•Fifth, Who observes the behavior
oFor example, at a party who is there matters if it is deviant or not, i.e. parents vs. friends
Biological Explanations for Deviance
• The intelligence theories: Looks at whether people are intelligent or not and if they act badly.
• XYY or Chromosal Theories: Certain men have an extra chromosome, and that leads them to engage in crime.
• Body Type Theories – Lombroso – said he could look at a person and tell whether or not they were deviant. He could tell information from physical characteristics
Psychological Explanations
Psychological Explanations for Deviance (Personality Disorders)

• Bad Toilet Training: resulted in the person being deviant.
• Overbearing Parents (Specifically Mothers): The absence of a father figure
Sociological Explanations
• Search for explanations outside of the individual
o Contend that social influences may cause people to break social norms.
Differential Social Interaction Theory
people learn to be deviant from the people they associate with.
Control Theory
Says there are two control systems that work either against or motivate us to be deviant
o Internal controls: Help you withstand deviance (prevent you from being deviant like morality, fear of punishment, and simply the desire to be good.
o Outer Controls: Often involve your attachments like your family and friends. If you robbed a bank what your mother say, what would your father do? Fear of authority in general, like TCU.
Affects a person’s self image or self-concept. If you label someone as a thief they will steal.
Neutralization of deviance concept
People try to rationalize or neutralize deviance and deviant behavior. They make it seem less bad then it really is. Five ways of doing this.
o Denial of Responsibility: “I didn’t do it”
o Denial of Injury: “Who really got hurt? No one really did” Generally victimless crimes
o Denial of Victim “She/He deserved it” Seen with domestic violence.
o Condemnation of the condemners: “Who are you to talk?” “You’re no better than I am”
o Appeal to a higher loyalty: “Who would not steal to feed their family?”
Functionalist Perspective
• Deviance contributes to social order
o It affirms cultural norms: For example, homelessness does this by making people wanting to hold on their home and expectation.
o Deviance Clarifies Moral Boundaries: What is morally acceptable in a society is made clear by being able to identify that which is not acceptable.
o Deviance Promotes Social Unity: when you have extreme social deviance you have an outcry that creates groups. For example, post 9/11 we came together as Americans
o Deviance encourages social change: When we get to topic of family cohabitation people saw it as deviance, but overtime people living together became more normal
Conflict Theory
• Laws and other norms that define what is deviant, reflect the interests of the powerful in society.

o Crimes committed by the poor generally aren’t affected by many people.
o Society has not taken big crimes of higher up people as more important, and not victimless because it impacts possible thousands of people (Enron)
o Those who threaten the status quo are often defined as deviant. Our approach to deal with deviants is not necessarily a good one.
New Guinea, they have puberty rights that involve homosexual behavior.
o Young boys are initiated into manhood through sodomy.
o During the following year he plays a passive role in same sex relations.
o After that year until he marries, he participates in sodomizing other young boys.
Sambia: New Guinea
o Believe a boy will be weak and small if he does not ingest human semen.
o Young boys engage in oral sexual behavior with older men not for sexual pleasure but to become stronger.
Stonewall Riots
Greenwich Village, NY on June 27, 1969.
• The history of the event was rocky; it was common for police raids.
• On that day, people decided not to go quietly they put up a fight.
• This social movement grows and declines.
is the first stage; a number of people unhappy.
o Characterized by a level of dissatisfaction among a significant number of people.
is the second stage.
o Involves the development leadership, formulating policies, recruiting new members, collective action, and promoting public awareness.
o An important point is having mass media present because that’s how you let the world know what’s going on.
o This is when the social movement takes on the characteristics of a formal organization.
o If this is not done correctly it can destroy your movement.
o Typically people are college students.
Third Stage
Decline is the final stage: 5 reasons it can go into decline.
o First, the social movement is successful.
o Second, the social movement is failure (lack of leadership, money, or purely organized beauocracy)
o Third, leaders may sell out (helping leader with career, but not the movement).
o Fourth, government repression (The government makes efforts the end the organization).
, the movement becomes established
o People use it when necessary (Teacher’s Union)
Civil Unions
a new category of law that extends rights to same sex couples.
o The catch is that civil unions are only valid in the state in which they occur.
o Only valid as long as you live in that state.
Domestic partnerships:
New category of law
o Extend rights to unmarried couples regardless of their sexuality.
o Covers heterosexual or homosexual that don’t want to get married or can’t.
The work of Bell & Weinberg
o Looked at the homosexual lifestyle.
o The information they looked at can also pertain to heterosexuals.
o “Closed Couples:” couples who are closely bound together. They would identify themselves as happily married if they could.
o “Open Couples:” consist of couples who may be in a relationship but they aren’t happy and seeking emotional and physical satisfaction outside of the marriage.
o “Functionals:” Couples who have a wide variety of sexual activity and sexual partners.
o “Disfunctionals:” People who are tormented by their homosexuality. They have problems with it and they are upset about it.
o “Asexuals:” People who deny their sexuality.
o They did a study in the 1980s, they interviewed 1500 gays and almost 1/2 of the white males interviewed, and 1/3 of the black males interviewed had at least 500 sexual partners.
o About 28% of the white sample reported over 1000.
Vivian Cass
o Identified the different stages about homosexuality.
o She is not making an argument that it is nature or nurture
o 1st Stage: Identity Confusion. They see their feelings and behavior at odds with the world around them. (Turmoil and Confusion). Phrase: Who am I?
o 2nd Stage: Identity Comparison. The person feels alienated, different, like they don’t belong. Phrase: I may be a homosexual.
o 3rd Stage: Identity tolerance. Person turns head away from heterosexuality to homosexuality. Phrase: I am probably a homosexual.
o 4th Stage: Identity Acceptance. The individual becomes more tolerant of the homosexual identity. Phrase: I am homosexual.
o 5th Stage: Identity Pride. The individual begins to think of homosexuality as good and heterosexuality as bad. May become politically active. Trying to change policy. Phrase: I am a homosexual and proud of it.
o 6th Stage: Identity Synthesis. The individual sees their homosexuality as part of who they are. I am gay but I am other things. Phrase: I am homosexual, but I am also a lot of other things in life.
o Takes about five years for the process. The flip side is that many gay people may have been gay their whole life.
o Studied situational homosexual behavior.
o Some people can be gay in certain places but not others
o He looked at prisons (specifically male).
o Identifies three types of participants.
o First type: Consist of “Queens.” Male inmates who prefer male sexual partners. It is not situational for them, because they would be gay outside of prison. Tend to exaggerate their female sexuality. Accentuate their sexuality: grow their hair long. Men find queens acceptable.
o Second type: punk. It’s a lower social status. Generally not homosexual before prison, but the situation forces them to against their will. There are two types.
• The first is the Cantine Punks, they engage in homosexuality to obtain something (cigs, candy, food, etc).
• Pressure Punks: They become punks because they are threatened of they have a fear of violence. Upon entry to prison, you play a card game, and you lose because they are rigged so you have to pay in sexual favors.
o Jockers, Wolf, or Daddy: These are the prison rapists. These are the super men, and the more violent the rape, the more masculine the man is. They are often the pimps. They own the punks and the queens and prostitute them out.
o Once they leave prison, they no longer engage in sexual behavior.