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Intro to Sociology
social interaction and social structure // groups and organizations // deviance
Terms in this set (61)
Human society is a system of social interaction that includes both culture and social organizations.
refers to the order or patterns established in social groups. Social organization is the order that brings regularity and predictability to human behavior.
microscopic: focus on the smallest, most immediately visible parts of social life, such as specific people interacting together.
"macroscopic" like wide-angle lens, they try to comprehend the whole of society, how it is organized and how it changes.
what are the primary elements of social organization
groups, status, roles
are collections of individuals who:
• Interact and communicate with each other
• Share goals and norms
• Possess a subjective awareness of themselves as a distinct social unit ("we")
are those statuses occupied from the moment a person is born (e.g., race, sex, family SES).
are those statuses attained through individual effort and circumstance. Most occupational statuses are achieved.
is an established position or rank within a group or institution that carries with it varying degrees of prestige or social value (e.g., president, mother, student).
is the expected behavior associated with a particular status.
- We occupy statuses and play roles.
occurs when two or more roles involve contradictory expectations (e.g., work/family and student/work).
refers to conflicting expectations within a single role (student)
is an established and organized system of social behavior with a recognized purpose.
Examples of social institutions
Family, education, economy, government, religion, health care, mass medial, sports, military.
Functionalists argue that social institutions are
organized to meet societal needs.
-The socialization of new members of society (education)
-The production/distribution of goods and services (economy)
Conflict theorists argue that
the institutions of society do not provide for all of its members equally.
refers to the organized pattern of social relationships and social institutions that make up society.
The Social Construction of Reality
Is the idea that we know the world only as we perceive it and that our perception of what is real is determined through social interaction, through the subjective meanings that we attribute to our experiences.
is the study of how rules and norms (consensus) make social interaction possible. Without the rules and norms that shape social interaction, it would be difficult to make sense of people and their actions.
goal of ethnomethodology
to uncover the hidden and taken for granted rules and norms that shape social interaction.
Social exchange theory
holds that social behavior is in large part determined by rewards and punishments.
principles outlined in the form of theoretical propositions.
Success, Deprivation-Satiation, Aggression-Approval:
For all actions taken by persons, the more often a particular action of a person is rewarded, the more likely the person is to perform that action.
The more often in the recent past a person has received a particular reward, the less valuable any further unit of that reward becomes for him.
When a person's action does not receive the reward he expected, or receives punishment he did not expect, he will be angry; he becomes more likely to perform aggressive behavior...
The Principle of Least Interest (Power)
The person who has the greater power in a relationship with another person is the one who gets the least out of the exchanges taken as a whole.
are groups that consist of two people.
are groups that consist of three people
is the tendency for triads to separate into a coalition of a dyad against an isolate.
consist of intimate, long lasting relationships (e.g., Family). Members of primary groups tend to be significant influences in each other's lives.
consist of larger, less intimate relationships that last for shorter periods of time (e.g., Coworkers). Although secondary groups may take on some of the characteristics of primary groups, influence tends to be less significant.
The Asch Conformity Experiment
showed that even simple objective facts cannot withstand the distorting pressure of group influence.
The Milgram Obedience Studies
showed that social pressure could lead some people to deliver "dangerous" and "severe shocks".
The Fundamental Attribution Error
is the tendency to over-estimate internal factors (dispositional factors) and under-estimate external factors (situational factors) when explaining the behaviors of others.
people join in order to pursue goals that they consider personally worthwhile (service, charitable organizations).
is mostly involuntary (prisons, mental hospitals).
are large organizations, either for profit or nonprofit, with specific purposes (corporations
are large formal organizations that are characterized by clear divisions of labor, hierarchies, rules, impersonality, and efficiency.
Weber's Characteristics of Bureaucracy
Division of labor, Hierarchy of authority, Impersonal relationships, Efficiency
Problems with Bureaucracies
Ritualism & Alienation
refers to rigid adherence to rules. Rules are merely rituals with no reference to ends or goals.
• Fill the shift
• Put in your time
occurs when one feels separated from the organization and its goals and the ends of one's labor.
refers to the increasing and ubiquitous presence of the fast-food model in organizations that shape daily life
Ritzer's Dimensions of McDonaldization
Efficiency, Calculability, Predictability, Control
Biological Theories of Deviance
Lombroso believed that some people were born deviants and that deviant or criminal tendencies were associated with certain physical traits, such as small cranial capacity, thinning hair, and large ears.
Psychoanalytic theory of deviance
explains deviance as the product of deeply rooted psychological problems, which typically originate from conflicted relationship with one's parents or other authority figures during childhood.
is a theoretical perspective that interprets all parts of society, including those that may seem dysfunctional, as contributing to the stability and continuance of the whole.
Durkheim's Study of Suicide (Functionalist)
Durkheim emphasized the importance of social factors in producing deviance.
o Durkheim argued that suicide rates are affected by the social contexts in which they emerge.
oHe proposed that low levels of social integration and social regulation may result in higher suicide rates.
Hirschi's Social Control Theory
theory emphasizes the importance of the socialization process in producing conformity to social norms.
oAccording to social control theory, people accept and follow social norms because of their attachments to others.
four types of social bonds that keep people from committing deviant acts
Attachment, Commitment, Involvement, Belief
Conflict Theories of Deviance
theory links the study of deviance to social inequality—the unequal distribution of power and resources in society.
o According to Marx, dominant classes control the resources of society and exercise power to create the institutional rules and beliefs that support its power.
is created by dominant classes to protect the interests of dominant classes.
Merton's Strain Theory (conflict theory)
theory traces the origins of deviance to the tensions caused by the gap between cultural goals and the means that people have to achieve those goals.
o According to Merton, culture establishes goals and expectations for people in society; social structure provides, or fails to provide, the means for people to achieve those goals.
Symbolic Interaction Theories of Deviance
Argues that people behave as they do because of the meanings people attribute to situations.
Sutherland's Differential Association Theory (symbolic)
association interprets deviance, including criminal behavior, as behavior one learns through interaction with others.
o Sutherland argued that becoming a criminal is a matter of learning criminal ways within the primary groups to which one belongs.
Sutherland's Differential Association Theory argues
people become criminals when they are more strongly socialized to break the law than to obey it.
Becker's Labeling Theory
suggests that deviance occurs when deviant definitions are applied to individuals by society.
oThe social response is the most important factor in understanding how deviance is created and sustained.
oBeing labeled deviant by social institutions can have significant social consequences.
Labeling theory identifies three general forms of deviance:
Primary deviance , Secondary deviance, Tertiary deviance
is any act of deviance before a label is assigned.
deviance is the behavior that results from being labeled deviant, regardless of whether the person has previously engaged in deviance.
occurs when the deviant fully accepts the deviant role, but rejects the stigma associated with it.
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