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157 Cards in this Set

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the scientific study of human behavior and society
Sociology
An immediate goal of sociology is to develop what
The sociological imagination, which enables us to see ourselves and others in a broader social context. Ex.: Personal troubles and social issues; standards of beauty, morality, etc. are not absolute, but relative to social norms and values
Who Termed: "The sociological imagination"
C. Wright Mills
Sociology is interested in Nature or Nurture?
Nurture, how external (rather than internal) forces shape behavior
the systematic study of behaviors and structures through observation and experimentation. It is testable and its findings can generally be reproduced
What is science
What are the 3 goals of science?
(1) explain, (2) generalize, and (3) predict
typically describes the natural and physical fields, which deal more readily with absolutes and laws
Hard Science
typically describes the social sciences, which deal with generalizations
Soft Science
3 main events that set the stage for the emergence of sociology
1. The Industrial Revolution forced people off of their land and into the city,
breaking their ties with tradition
2. Political revolutions like the American and French Revolutions swept away the existing social orders and brought new questions to the fore, such as notions of equality and inalienable human rights
3. Imperialism introduced European powers to radically different societies
Inspired by the scientific method used in natural and physical sciences, he applied it to the social world, Who is he and what is this process called?
Auguste Comte, positivism
credited as the founder of sociology and coined the term “sociology”
Comte
sought not only to discover social principles, but to apply them to social reform, beginning the tension between basic/pure and applied sociology
Comte
His idea or research was less rigorous and more based on casual observations
Comte
• Disagreed with Comte about sociology guiding social reform, largely due to his belief that societies go through a natural evolution from lower (barbarous) to higher (civilized) forms, whereby the fittest members of society survive and the less capable die out. Interfering via social reform would upset the natural process
Herbert Spencer
“Survival of the fittest” is a perversion of Darwinian principles (has nothing to do with natural selection and reproduction)
social Darwinism
• Did not identify himself as a sociologist
• Introduced conflict theory
• Class struggle is the engine of human history
Karl Marx
Karl Marx introduced what theory to sociology
Conflict theory
Sought to develop sociology and differentiate it from economics and history
Emile Durkheim
Believed human behavior cannot be understood only in terms of the individual; we must always examine the social forces that affect people’s lives
Emile Durkheim
Study on suicide was groundbreaking, as it identified the influence of social integration, norms, and values on what is often perceived to be a highly individualistic act
Emile Durkheim
Much of his work was inspired by Marx, though he claimed that superstructural elements like religion can be just as decisive as the base in regard to social change
Max Weber
Stressed the importance of objective, value free sociology
Max Weber
Stressed the use of Verstehen—people’s subjective interpretations and meanings:
1. Ethnomethodology and participant observation are two forms of research based on Verstehen
Max Weber
What is the term for: people’s subjective interpretations and meanings
Verstehen
what are two forms of research based on Verstehen?
Ethnomethodology and participant observation
What minority sociologists were not given the proper respect in the field due to the racism and sexism of the era?
W. E. B. DuBois and Jane Addams were two such individuals, as well as Marianne Weber, Max Weber’s wife
large- and small-scale patterns in society, respectively:
Macro- and micro-level analysis
3 primary theories—general explanations of how two or more aspects of society are related to one another—in the world of sociology:
1. Conflict theory interprets society at the macrosociological level, examining institutionalized/structured bases for conflict between different social groups
2. Functionalism interprets society at the macrosociological level, examining latent and manifest functions—unintended and intended beneficial consequences—that create social cohesion and consensus
3. Symbolic interactionism interprets society at the microsociological level, examining symbols—things to which we attach meaning—and how we define ourselves and others
theory interprets society at the macrosociological level, examining institutionalized/structured bases for conflict between different social groups
Conflict theory
interprets society at the macrosociological level, examining latent and manifest functions—unintended and intended beneficial consequences—that create social cohesion and consensus
Functionalism
interprets society at the microsociological level, examining symbols—things to which we attach meaning—and how we define ourselves and others
Symbolic interactionism
is the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors, and material artifacts that characterize a group and are passed from one generation to the next
Culture
the material objects that distinguish a group and a group’s ways of thinking and doing, respectively
symbolic culture
disorientation when coming into contact with a fundamentally different culture, which upsets our taken-for-granted assumptions about normalcy
culture shock
• Due to the extent to which we unconsciously internalize culture, we have a tendency to judge other societies by our own cultural standards, which is known as
ethnocentrism
the practice of judging a society by its own cultural standards
cultural relativism
something to which people attach meaning and that they communicate with one another
symbols
include gestures, language, values, norms, sanctions, folkways, and mores
symbols
are movements of the body to communicate shorthand without words
Gestures
is a system of symbols that can be combined in any number of ways to represent objects as well as abstract thought. It allows culture to develop by freeing people to move beyond their immediate experiences
Language
are standards by which we define what is desirable/undesirable, good/bad, beautiful/ugly, etc.
Values
are expectations or rules of behavior that reflect and enforce values
Norms
reflect approval/disapproval for following/breaking norms
Positive/negative sanctions
are norms that are not strictly enforced. Ex.: Idling on the left side of an escalator, passing people on the right, etc.
Folkways
are norms that are strictly enforced because they are thought essential to core values. Ex.: Murder, rape, theft, etc.
Mores
are norms so strong that the thought of violating them brings revulsion. Ex.: Cannibalism, incest, etc.
Taboos
• Groups of people who focus on some activity or who occupy some small corner in life tend to develop specialized behaviors and values that distinguish its members from the dominant culture, creating a
subculture (a world within a world) • US society contains thousands of subcultures, distinguished in relation to everything from ethnicity to occupation
In some instances, however, a group’s values, norms, and related behaviors place its members in opposition to the broader culture, creating a
counterculture (ex. Hell's angels)
What type of society is the US?
Pluralistic
there are core values at the heart of US culture that are shared by the majority: What are they and who identifies them?
• Robin Williams identified 10 such values:
1. Achievement and success
2. Individualism
3. Hard work
4. Efficiency and practicality
5. Science and technology
6. Material comfort
7. Freedom
8. Democracy
9. Equality
10. Group superiority
that material culture usually changes first, with nonmaterial culture lagging behind—a phenomenon known as
cultural lag
Who described cultural lag?
William Ogburn
Especially in this era of globalization and imperialism, different cultures influence and adopt traits from one another in a process known as
cultural diffusion
Groups are more open to changes in material or non material culture?
Material. (ex. Indians fought Europeans while wearing their clothing)
the process by which cultures become similar to one another. This can strip cultures of their uniqueness
cultural leveling
the process by which people learn the characteristics of their group
socialization
the unique human capacity to objectify oneself by seeing oneself “from the outside,” by which we develop an identity according to how we interpret others to see us:
the development of the self
coined the term looking-glass self
Charles Cooley
refer to processes by which we develop the self by internalizing others’ reactions to us:
1. We imagine how we appear to those around us
2. We interpret others’ reactions
3. We develop a self-concept
looking-glass self
He taught that we develop the self by learning to take the role of the other:
1. First, we learn to take the role of the significant other—those who significantly influence our lives
2. Later, we learn to take the role of the generalized other—the group as a whole
George Mead
 Being able to take the role of the other enables us to cooperate with one another and modify our behavior in a way that is commensurate with reaching social goals
 3 stages to developing the ability to take the role of the other:
1. Imitation—birth to 3 years old—mimicry of others
2. Play—3-6 years old—pretend to take roles
3. Team games—6+ years old—take multiple roles
Who's stages of development conclude that children go through a 4-stage natural process as they develop their ability to reason, moving from the concrete to the abstract:
Jean Piaget
What are Jean Piaget’s stages of development
1. Sensorimotor stage (birth-2 years old): understanding is limited to direct contact
2. Preoperational stage (2-7 years old): ability to use symbols
3. Concrete operational stage (7-12 years old): ability to concretely reason
4. Formal operational stage (12+ years old): ability to abstractly reason
 Attributed behavior primarily to inborn and subconscious motivations (which is at odds with the principles of sociology and its examination of external influences)
Sigmund Freud
refers to inborn, basic drives for self-gratification
Id
refers to the balancing force between the id and the demands of society that suppress it and between the id and the superego
Ego
refers to conscience—internalized norms and values
Superego
the behaviors and attitudes that a society considers proper for its males and females—for example, has led to a narrow conception of what is expected of males and females:
The social construction of gender
Where does gender socialization begin and where is it later reinforced?
Begins in the family, is later reinforced by peer groups.
groups of individuals of roughly the same age who are linked by common interests
peer groups
 Being able to take the role of the other enables us to cooperate with one another and modify our behavior in a way that is commensurate with reaching social goals
 3 stages to developing the ability to take the role of the other:
1. Imitation—birth to 3 years old—mimicry of others
2. Play—3-6 years old—pretend to take roles
3. Team games—6+ years old—take multiple roles
Who's stages of development conclude that children go through a 4-stage natural process as they develop their ability to reason, moving from the concrete to the abstract:
Jean Piaget
What are Jean Piaget’s stages of development
1. Sensorimotor stage (birth-2 years old): understanding is limited to direct contact
2. Preoperational stage (2-7 years old): ability to use symbols
3. Concrete operational stage (7-12 years old): ability to concretely reason
4. Formal operational stage (12+ years old): ability to abstractly reason
 Attributed behavior primarily to inborn and subconscious motivations (which is at odds with the principles of sociology and its examination of external influences)
Sigmund Freud
refers to inborn, basic drives for self-gratification
Id
refers to the balancing force between the id and the demands of society that suppress it and between the id and the superego
Ego
refers to conscience—internalized norms and values
Superego
the behaviors and attitudes that a society considers proper for its males and females—for example, has led to a narrow conception of what is expected of males and females:
The social construction of gender
Where does gender socialization begin and where is it later reinforced?
Begins in the family, is later reinforced by peer groups.
groups of individuals of roughly the same age who are linked by common interests
peer groups
Individuals and groups that affect one’s self-concept, attitudes, behaviors, and other orientations toward life are known as
agents of socialization. Ex.: The family, peer groups, mass media, etc.
the intended beneficial consequence—of a formal education is to teach knowledge and skills
The manifest function
the unintended beneficial consequence—of a formal education is to broaden students’ perspectives beyond the family, the neighborhood, and peer groups
The latent function
a school’s cultural message that is not explicitly taught
hidden curriculum
 Students are also taught racism, sexism, and other dysfunctional behaviors outside of the classroom. This is an example of
corridor curriculum
a place that is cut off from the rest of society and almost totally controlled by those who run it—on socialization
total institutions
He explored the influence of total institutions
Erving Goffman
Upon entering a total institution, one is greeted with a ___________, during which s/he is stripped of his or her identity and a new one is stamped in its place.
degradation ceremony
This is an extreme form of resocialization
degradation ceremony
Life course—the stages of life from birth to death:
1. Childhood (birth-12): Biological characteristics are universal, but social experiences are not. Ex.: Child labor, formal education, “little adults,” etc.
2. Adolescence (13-17): Adolescence is a social construct borne by economic developments (industrialization yielded material abundance) that dictated that youths were no longer immediately needed in the workforce. Adolescents “find themselves” in a stage when they are no longer children but not yet adults. Subcultures abound
3. Transitional adulthood (18-29): Transitional adulthood is also a social construct borne by economic developments (service economies require a more specialized education). Young adults experience a period of extended youth in which they are dependent economically, but formally independent from their parents. They are neither psychological adolescents nor sociological adults
4. The middle years (30-64): Establishment of permanent careers and life choices (stability). Reorientation of thinking of life as time since birth to time left to live, which can influence the evaluation of one’s life as s/he compares what has been accomplished with what s/he had hoped to achieve (sometimes resulting in a mid-life crisis). Responsibility not only for oneself, but sometimes for children and even elderly parents
5. The older years (65-death): Industrialization brought improved nutrition, medicine, and public health, lengthening people’s lives significantly enough that many conceive of their 60s as an extension of their middle years. However, retirement and the death of one’s colleagues and friends can lead to anomie and even anomic suicide (people 65+ have the highest suicide rate in the US)
Two levels of analysis, the first views the broad features of society, the second focuses on social interaction.
macrosociology and microsociology
refers to the framework or typical patterns of a group, consisting of the relationships between members and members/non-members. These patterns guide our behavior.
Social Structure
refers to group membership on the basis of education, income, and occupational prestige
Social class
refers to the position that one occupies in a social group
Social status
refers to all the statuses or positions that an individual occupies
Status set
refers to a position one either inherits at birth or receives involuntarily later in life
Ascribed status
refers to a position that is earned, accomplished, or involves at least some effort or activity one’s part
Achieved status
refer to items used to identify a status. Ex.: Badges, insignia, rings, etc.
Status symbols
refers to a status that cuts across the other statuses that an individual occupies
Master status
refers to when one’s position ranks them high on some dimensions of social class and low on others
Status inconsistency
refer to the behaviors, obligations, and privileges attached to a status. Unlike status, which one occupies
Roles
refers to people who have something in common and who believe that what they have in common is significant.
Group
refers to the organized, usual, or standard ways by which society meets its basic needs
Social institution
Functionalist perspective: All societies establish social institutions in order to meet basic needs. Every society has 5 functional requisites:
1. Replacing members
2. Socializing new members
3. Producing and distributing goods
4. Preserving order
5. Providing a sense of purpose
the degree to which members of a groups or a society feel united by shared values and other social bonds—and solidarity:
social cohesion/integration
 Durkheim argued that smaller groups operate by what he called
mechanical solidarity
the unity that people feel as a result of performing the same or similar tasks
mechanical solidarity
complex division of labor—the splitting of a group’s or a society’s tasks into specialties—found in larger societies necessitate
organic solidarity
the unity formed by interdependence that results from the division of labor.
organic solidarity
also analyzed social cohesion, referring to the mechanical solidarity of “intimate communities” as Gemeinschaft and the organic solidarity of “impersonal association” as Gesellschaft.
Ferdinand Tönnies
Means "intimate communities” in German
Gemeinschaft
means "“impersonal association” in German
Gesellschaft
He observed 4 “distance zones” for North Americans:
Edward Hall
The 4 distance zones for North Americans
1. Intimate distance: About 18 inches from our bodies. Reserved for comforting, protecting, hugging, intimate touching, and lovemaking
2. Personal distance: About 18 inches to 4 feet. Reserved for friends and acquaintances and ordinary conversations
3. Social distance: About 4-12 feet. Reserved for impersonal or formal relationships. Ex.: Job interviews
4. Public distance: Beyond 12 feet. Reserved for even more formal relationships. Ex.: Public speakers
refers to an approach in which social life is analyzed in terms of drama or the stage
Dramaturgy
Microsociological approach to symbolic interactionism pioneered by Erving Goffman
Dramaturgy
refers to our efforts to control the impressions that others receive of us
Impression management
refers to the places where we give our performances,
front stage
refers to places where we rest from our performances, analyze them, and plan future performances
back stage
refers to the ways in which one performs a role within the limits that the role provides, showing a particular style
Role performance
refers to conflict between roles because the expectations attached to one role are incompatible with the expectations attached to another
Role conflict
refers to conflict within a single role
Role strain
refer to how people use social setting, appearance, and manner to communicate information about the self
Sign-vehicles
refers to the collaboration of two or more people to manage impressions jointly
Teamwork
refers to techniques used to salvage a performance that is going badly so that it can continue
Face-saving behavior
is the study of how people use background assumptions—deeply embedded common understandings of how the world operates and of how people ought to act—to make sense out of life
Ethnomethodology
Founded by Harold Garfinkel
Ethnomethodology
 A particularly poignant way to analyze the extent to which background assumptions influence our behavior and understanding of the world is to perform this type of experiment, whereby norms are consciously violated in order to examine people’s reactions
breaching experiments
theorem states that “If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.” What this means is that while there is an objective reality, it is our subjective, socially constructed interpretations of phenomena that influence our corresponding behavior.
Thomas theorem
relied on armchair observations and common sense to study sociological phenomena
Comte
If sociology is to be considered a science, it must be treated with the same scientific rigor used in the natural sciences. Thus, we have a number of research methods upon which to rely
The ideal research model
The ideal research model:
1. Select a topic: What do you want to know about?
 Deductive reasoning draws inferences from a general law or theory. Broadnarrow. Ex.: Men eat steak. Professor McCord is a man. Therefore, Professor McCord eats steak. This example is valid because it follows the logical premises, however it is unsound because the premises are false
 Inductive reasoning draws general inferences from an observation. Narrowbroad. Ex.: Professor McCord is a vegetarian. Therefore, all professors are vegetarians. This example has a sound premise, but a false conclusion
2. Define the problem: What aspect(s) of the topic do you want to know about?
3. Review the literature: What has/has not already been researched?
4. Formulate a hypothesis—a statement of how variables—factors thought to be significant which can vary from one case to another—are expected to be related to one another. Hypotheses will need operational definitions—stated ways in which a researcher measures a variable: How do you expect a change in an independent variable to affect a dependent variable?
5. Choose a research method: Which of the 7 basic research methods—surveys, participant observation, case studies, secondary analysis, documents, experiments, and/or unobtrusive measures—should be used?
6. Collect the data: Is your data both valid—the extent to which an operational definition measures what it is intended to measure—and reliable—the extent to which research produces consistent or dependable results when using the same operational definitions?
7. Analyze the results: What can be learned from your research?
8. Share the results: Write a comprehensive report on your research so that it can be studied and replicated—repeated to test its findings
draws inferences from a general law or theory. Broad to narrow
Deductive Reasoning
draws general inferences from an observation. Narrow to broad
Inductive Reasoning
7 basic research methods
surveys, participant observation, case studies, secondary analysis, documents, experiments, and/or unobtrusive measures
are the collection of data by having people answer a series of questions. Begin
Survey
a group intended to represent the population from which it was drawn.
sample
a sample in which every member of the target population has an equal chance of being included
random sample
2 basic techniques for administering surveys:
1. Self-administered questionnaires are filled out by respondents—people who respond to a survey
2. Interviews are conducted by researchers. The main disadvantages to interviews are that they are more time-consuming and run the risk of interviewer bias—effects that interviewers have on respondents that lead to biased answers. Structured interviews use close-ended questions—questions that are followed by a list of possible answers to be selected by the respondent—which make answers more easily comparable and quantifiable. Unstructured interviews use open-ended questions—questions that respondents answer in their own words—which allow the interviewer access to the full range of people’s opinions, but are difficult to compare and quantify
is research in which the researcher participates in a research setting while observing what is happening in that setting:
Participant Obervations (• Participant observers face the dilemmas of not being able to generalize their findings and being affected/biased by the people they are observing (“going native”)
are analyses of a single event, situation, or individual that can potentially yield great depth and detail, but may not be generalizable
Case studies
is analysis of data that has been collected by other researchers:
Secondary Analysis
• Lack of resources sometimes make secondary analysis a necessity
• Researchers face the problem of being unsure whether data was systematically collected and whether the research methods employed suit the conceptual/theoretical design of their study
is analysis of recorded sources of data such as books, newspapers, video, and audio recordings:
Documents, • Access to documents can prove to be problematic for the researcher
factors introduced and expected to cause change
independent variables
factors expected to change with the introduction of the independent variable:
dependent variables
are ways of observing people so that they do not know they are being studie
Unobtrusive measures, (ironically dilemmas regarding monitoring / surveillance and privacy)
Deciding which method to use is largely influenced by 4 factors:
1. Access to resources
2. Access to subjects
3. Purpose of the research
4. Researcher’s background and training
are the collection of data by having people answer a series of questions. Begin
Survey
a group intended to represent the population from which it was drawn.
sample
a sample in which every member of the target population has an equal chance of being included
random sample
2 basic techniques for administering surveys:
1. Self-administered questionnaires are filled out by respondents—people who respond to a survey
2. Interviews are conducted by researchers. The main disadvantages to interviews are that they are more time-consuming and run the risk of interviewer bias—effects that interviewers have on respondents that lead to biased answers. Structured interviews use close-ended questions—questions that are followed by a list of possible answers to be selected by the respondent—which make answers more easily comparable and quantifiable. Unstructured interviews use open-ended questions—questions that respondents answer in their own words—which allow the interviewer access to the full range of people’s opinions, but are difficult to compare and quantify
is research in which the researcher participates in a research setting while observing what is happening in that setting:
Participant Obervations (• Participant observers face the dilemmas of not being able to generalize their findings and being affected/biased by the people they are observing (“going native”)
are analyses of a single event, situation, or individual that can potentially yield great depth and detail, but may not be generalizable
Case studies
is analysis of data that has been collected by other researchers:
Secondary Analysis
• Lack of resources sometimes make secondary analysis a necessity
• Researchers face the problem of being unsure whether data was systematically collected and whether the research methods employed suit the conceptual/theoretical design of their study
is analysis of recorded sources of data such as books, newspapers, video, and audio recordings:
Documents, • Access to documents can prove to be problematic for the researcher
factors introduced and expected to cause change
independent variables
factors expected to change with the introduction of the independent variable:
dependent variables