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Terms in this set (56)
¥ What is the sociological imagination?
o Capacity to think systematically about how things we experience as personal issues are really social issues shared by others living in the same place as us
C. Wright Mills
coined Sociological imagination
Making a good research question
♣ Do I know the answer
♣ Is the question researchable
♣ Is the question clear
♣ Does the question relate to existing research
♣ Does the question balance specific and general
♣ Do I care about the answer
factors that explain some outcome of interest
fluctuates dependent on other variables
o Tentative prediction you have about what you think you will discover before doing research
- relationship between two variables
o change in one variable causes a change in another variable
o Intervening variables
- something that impacts the relationship between an independent and dependent variable
o two factors move in the same direction but are caused by different factors
o Empirical generalizability
apply conclusions of a finding to a larger group of people
o Theoretical generalizability
- apply conclusions to a larger sociological group of people
-can make a theory from it
♣ benefits- quick, large group of people, affordable, generalizable
♣ limitations- close ended- can't know why people think the way they do, reliant on respondants answers and people lie
o . In-depth interviews
♣ benefits- open-ended so questions can be spontaneous and meaning centered questions aka finding out why
♣ limitations- difficult to develop a representative sample, reliant on people being honest and peoples trust
• data based on direct observation
• produces rich accounts of what actually happened
• difficult to gain access and trust of participants
• difficult to generalize
• could be biased
o Historical-comparative methods.
• Can show trends overtime
• difficult to gain access to different cultures and find reliable information about different time periods
• comparisons could lack detail in comparisons to the time they are being compared to
¥ What is the basic insight of symbolic interactionism? How does this differ from the view that human personality/selfhood is purely natural/biological?
o People understand their worth through others "double consciousness- looking at one's self through anothers eyes"
o Nothing is biological, it is learned. They are shaped through communication with others
looking glass self
George Herbert Mead
some people's opinions of us are more important than others
Life's a stage
o Humans are motivated by approval
o We tailor our actions to meet others expectations of ourselves
people who we are close to and we care about their opinions of us such as close friends and family members
group of people that one aspires to be like such as a fitwoman
member of a reference group who becomes a model for your behavior
people who we try and impress at certain times
¥ What is social structure? How does it 1) enable and 2) constrain individuals' behavior?
Social forces that constrain or enable individual or group action
♣ Enable- provide regular patterns that we can count on in our daily lives
♣ Constrain- do not control behavior- yet make some choice easier or more difficult to make
What are the two main components of social structure
roles and heirarchies
norms and institutions
what are roles
positions held in societies that come with certain expectations
ascribed- man and woman
achieved- doctor/ teacher
What is role conflict
when two roles conflict with each other
¥ What is a social hierarchy? Why do hierarchies persist?
unequal relationships between groups giving more power to one group- race/class
Persist because of power
¥ What are norms? How do they compare to rules?
o Unwritten rules of societies
o Different from rules because you must follow rules- norms you don't have to follow but most people do
¥ What are the two different meanings of institution?
o Norms which solidify into customs or organizations
o Custom= marriage
o Organizations= schools
¥ How does social structure shape social interactions? Consider examples.
o We play different roles and have different statuses which shape how we act in certain situations
o Clifford Geertz
♣ Culture- collection of symbols, beliefs and knowledge shared within each social group- reveal societies values
tastes preferences and skills that depends on our upbringing- enables one to act appropriately in different situations
different ways of behaving "toolkits" using different sets in different situations
money and economic assets
o being able to like multiple cultures and be able to talk in depth about multiple cultures
o most widely shared systems of meaning and cultural toolkits in society
- smaller groups with shared beliefs preferences and practices which distinguish themselves from mainstream culture
- groups whose ideas attitudes and behaviors are in direct conflict with mainstream culture or who actively contest the mainstream culture
o Antoine gramasci- cultural hegemony
♣ Powerful groups gain legitimacy and hold power based on establishing and reinforcing widely shared beliefs values and practices resisting those that challenge their authority
o James Hunter- Culture war
- ongoing struggle between those who seek to protect traditions and those who seek to progress
- mainstream culture is blended from multiple cultural groups
• What is a social theory?
Systematic ideas between the relationships between individuals and societies
• Why did sociology and social theory develop when they did?
o Developed ways to understand how whole societies hold together and organize themselves and impact lives of individuals
o Developed in the 19th-20th century because
♣ There as a shift from agricultural to industrial
♣ Shift from rural to city living
♣ Shift from monarchies to democracies
♣ Declining influence on religion in public life
• What were two of the major social changes that late-19th and early-20th century social theorists sought to better understand?
o Grand theory- social interaction
Specific issues such as race gender and religion
• What are the three common themes that most social theorists are concerned with?
o How does an individual act in context of a society
o What is the basis for social order and what holds a society together
o What are the circumstances and conditions under which societies change
• What was the big question he sought to answer?
• What was the big idea that formed the basis for his theory of social revolution?
• How does Marx describe the two major social classes in a capitalist society? What is the difference between these classes? How does he predict these groups will interact over time?
o What are the conditions that lead to revolutionary change
o All societies produce more than the need which creates an economic surplus
o This surplus is split between two groups
o The groups will forever be in conflict until the dominated class overthrows the dominant class
o Bourgeoisie are the owners and keep the surplus
o Proletariat- exploited- must sell their time to make money and meet their basic needs for survival
o The proletariat will eventually overthrow the bourgeoisie
• What was the context in which Durkheim developed his ideas about social life?
• What was the big question he sought to answer?
• What does he mean by social solidarity?
• What is the difference between mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity? Which kinds of societies tend to exhibit each kind of solidarity?
• What kinds sacred beliefs does he believe people in advanced societies share? How do these become a basis for social solidarity?
o Major economic and technological changes in society
o How do societies maintain cohesion and feelings of social solidarity/belonging
o How people maintain a feeling of belonging
o Mechanical- built around extended families (primitive socities)
o Organic- extensive division of labor and mutual dependence on people (advanced societies)
o People have a commitment to freedom
o Religious and political notions of sacred also play into this role
. MAX WEBER
• What were the big questions Weber sought to answer?
• What is the difference between power and authority?
• Under what condition do people voluntarily consent to authority?
• What are the three types of legitimate authority? How do they differ? Provide examples of each.
• What is a status group, and how do these relate to the stratification system in society?
• What is the mechanism through which groups close off access to opportunities by other groups? Provide an example of how this works.
o How do groups gain political power
o How do they maintain the status peacefully
o Power- persons ability to achieve their objective even if someone else wants to prevent it
o Authority- making people do what you want them to do because they feel like it is in their best interest
o When they feel like it is in their best interest
o Traditional- it is natural and the way things have always been done
o Charismatic- they have qualities that set them apart
o Legal rational authority- system where you follow rules because you believe they are legit and fair (rules are legit so you have to follow them)
o Status groups- people with the sAME attributes identities
o People with the same identities will get jobs closely related but it can also limit people from getting things
o Social closure
• What was the big idea that formed the basis for Simmel's social theory?
• Rose is taking a survey. The survey researcher asks her to describe how she feels about various social groups by assigning a "temperature" from "hot" to "cold" to each group. The groups include Christians, Muslims, Jews, Southerners, Midwesterners, New Englanders, legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, and many others. What are the researchers attempting to measure?
• According to Simmel, is a "stranger" an "insider" or an "outsider" in a social group?
o Groups are defining things of society- not individuals
o Social distance
o Stranger- member of a group not fully accepted
o Insider- someone part of the group
o Outsider- someone not part of the group at all
W.E.B Du Bois
double consciousness- seeing yourself as people see you
the status of african americans is not natural- it is do to the social forces that limit african americans opportunities
¥ How does Steven Lukes's theory of power compare to Max Weber's?
o Max weber belied that power is a persons ability to achieve their objective even when another person wants to prevent that from happening, and authority is when people voluntarily submit to one's power because they believe it is legit
Steven lukes believes both forms of power are occurring simultaneously
¥ What are the three dimensions of power, according to Lukes? How do they differ? a. Which dimension of power is most visible to observers? Least?
o 1st dimension- something you can see this is observable and one can see the outcome
o 2nd dimensionnot always that visible- but it prevents the subordinate party from raising issues
♣ this happens by the person setting the agenda in ways in which the things they do not want to talk about are not mentioned
o 3rd dimension- power is invisible- this is produced by the media and happens when the person in charge convinces the subordinate groups that they should not be challenged
¥ b. When is power most effective, according to this theory? How do people resist power?
o Power is most effect when it is least visible
♣ One must make the power visible in order to resist
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