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Sociology. The study of people in groups Groups in the process of self-formation through the actions of individuals through the actions and forces of the groups themselves. The Study of People in Groups. The “Scientific” study of groups and group formation

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  • The study of people in groups
  • Groups inthe process of self-formation
  • through the actions of individuals
  • through the actions and forces of the groups themselves
the study of people in groups
The Study of People in Groups
  • The “Scientific” study of
    • groups and
    • group formation
  • Groups, as collections of people in the process of self-definition
scientific study of groups
Scientific Study of Groups
  • Involves Methods of Study
  • Involves Theories of Study
methods of study
  • Observation (obtrusive and unobtrusive)
  • Surveys
  • Experiments
  • Historical Comparison
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Archival Research
suspending judgement
Suspending Judgement
  • A key attitude in the study of society is the research approach called cultural relativism
  • This is in contrast to the common approach, which views other cultures and societies from the point of view of one’s own values and beliefs-- otherwise known as ethnocentrism
theories of study
Theories of Study
  • Functionalism (and variations)
    • structuralism
  • Social Conflict Theory
  • Symbolic Interactionism
  • Gender Theory (Feminist Theory)
  • Social groups and society are viewed like “living organisms”
  • groups and group processes are studied as parts of a functioning whole
  • aspects and behaviors of society may have obvious (manifest) functions or “hidden” (latent) functions
functionalism durkheim
Functionalism: Durkheim
  • Emile Durkheim: French Sociologist
  • (1858-1917)
  • Considered one of the “fathers of modern sociology”
social conflict theory
Social Conflict Theory
  • Society is created from the ongoing conflict between key groups
  • According to some theorists, these groups are the main economic “classes” of society
  • these are made up of those who own the main wealth of society, and those who own little but their ability to labor
social conflict theory marx
Social Conflict Theory:Marx
  • The main theorist representing this approach is Karl Marx (1818-1883)
  • He saw society as being built out of the conflicting interests of the “owner class” and the “working class”
  • In his view, the ensuing struggle between classes would lead to a classless society
symbolic interactionism
Symbolic Interactionism
  • “Symbols” are the basis of social life
  • Individuals and societies develop through people’s interaction through symbols
  • Individuals develop a sense of themselves as they learn to use symbols
  • Individuals develop a sense of themselves as they learn to see themselves the way they believe others see them
symbolic interactionists
Symbolic Interactionists
  • Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929)
  • George Herbert Mead (1863-1947)
  • Erving Goffman
    • “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life”
culture and society
Culture and Society
  • Material and Non-Material Culture
  • Culture as “Webs of Meaning”
  • ...As “Blueprint of/for society”
  • Made up, as well, of norms, values, mores and folkways
  • The culture of a society is passed on from one generation to the next
culture and society1
Culture and Society
  • The culture of any group is passed on from one generation to the next through ongoing, lifelong processes of socialization
  • A related concept is enculturation
  • Social members may even be resocializedin their lifetime if they do not “conform” to the values, mores, norms etc. of their group
  • Socialization (enculturation) is a life-long process, that begins at birth
  • We are first socialized by those who are closest to us in our early months and years
  • This first development is called primary socialization
  • Later we are socialized through our wider society, and this is called secondary socialization
  • Sociology is the study of groups of people in process of self-definition asgroups
  • A group is a collection of people (but not all collections of people are groups!)
  • Sociology studies, among other things, how individuals impact and shape groups
  • Sociology studies, as well, how groups impact and shape individuals
groups common terms
Groups: Common Terms
  • aggregate
  • category
  • voluntary and involuntary groups
  • reference groups
  • peer groups
  • primary and secondary groups
groups more terms
Groups: More Terms
  • status
    • achieved
    • ascribed
  • roles
  • in-group
  • out-group
formal organizations
Formal Organizations
  • Formal organizations are usually large-scale groups that have a planned focus and a clearly defined structure
  • Such organizations are often referred to as bureaucracies
  • Max Weber studied bureaucracies as ideal organizations of complex, modern society
  • According to Weber, bureaucracies represented the ideal organization of large-scale, modern society
  • ....with such characteristics as the complex division of labor
  • ...with a hierarchical structure of authority
  • ...and a complex system of clear and predictable rules
social inequality
Social Inequality
  • A persistent character of groups throughout the world is that of stratification
  • Stratification is the unequal division of societies
  • This division can be based on a variety of factors including:
  • Class...
  • Race...
  • Gender...
  • Power...
  • Prestige...
class marx
Class: Marx
  • According to Marx (and other social conflict theorists) class is the division of societies into several main groups, including:
  • ...those who own the productive wealth of society
  • ...those who own only their labor (the workers)
class marx1
Class: Marx
  • In this theory, this was the fundamental difference between the classes of industrial society
  • ...and this division would eventually disappear as workers struggled for the power of the owner class
class weber
Class: Weber
  • According to Weber, the stratification of society was based on a broader range of factors, including
  • ....wealth
  • ....power
  • ....prestige
  • And one could have any one of these to be in a “higher” class..... (examples?)
poverty among the stratified
Poverty Among the Stratified
  • Poverty is a persistent feature of stratification throughout the world
  • While many would argue about its very definition
  • And many would argue about its real cause(s)
relative and absolute poverty
Relative and Absolute Poverty
  • Much of poverty in the world is what could be termed “relative poverty”....
  • While much of the world lives in “absolute poverty...
  • ...the latter being a state in which one’s very survival is threatened by the lack of resources (eg. food, clothing, medical care etc.)
causes of poverty
Causes of Poverty
  • Why does poverty persist in the world?
  • Functionalist view....
  • Social-conflict theory...
  • Social-interactionist theory...
  • Gender/Feminist theory...
other divisions race and ethnicity
Other Divisions: Race and Ethnicity
  • Race and ethnicity are also dividing factors in our society (and our wider world)
  • Race is the social definition of people based one biological characteristics
  • Ethnicity is the social definition of people based on cultural ties (like language, dress, customs, beliefs, etc.)
race key terms
Race: Key Terms
  • Prejudice
  • Discrimination
  • Racism
  • Social definition of Race
  • Institutional Racism
  • Minority Status
race more key terms
Race: More Key Terms
  • Genocide (“ethnic cleansing”)
  • Expulsion
  • Segregation (apartheid)
  • Assimilation
  • Amalgamation
  • Cultural pluralism
other divisions gender
Other Divisions: Gender
  • Sex: biological characteristics
    • xy/xx, hormones, primary and secondary sex characteristics
  • Gender: the social definition of groups based on biological characteristics....
  • (sound familiar? see the variation of this theme under “race”)
gender nature vs nurture
Gender: Nature vs. Nurture
  • How much of what we are as “masculine” and “feminine” is
  • .....learned through socialization...
  • .....or “built-in” to us through our genes, hormones and brain-structure?
gender biological destiny
Gender: biological destiny?
  • How much of the stratification of our society along gendered lines is “natural”--based on our biological make-up....
  • ....and how much is the result of social definition of opportunities etc. based on biological makeup....?
gender biological destiny1
Gender: biological destiny?
  • the “glass ceiling”...
  • female job-ghettos
  • the “feminization of poverty”
  • Are these “natural divisions” of the world?
social institutions
Social Institutions
  • Society is in process of self-definition...
  • As social practices of groups become familiar, accepted and expected they become what sociology calls institutions
  • This refers to organized practices and relationships of society, rather than to physical places...
social institutions include
Social Institutions Include...
  • ...religion
  • ...economics and politics
family the way we never were
Family: The way we never were...
  • The sociological study of family:
  • historical comparison...
    • Kodachrome...”the good-old days”...
  • cross-cultural comparison...
    • “family values” around the world...
  • family today: the “ideal” vs. “the real”
religion primitive science
Religion= Primitive Science?
  • The “enlightened view” of “religion”...
    • “science” replacing “religion”
    • the emergence of “rational” explanation of the world
  • Classifying the world’s cultures : from “savagery” to “civilization”?
  • Sociologists get involved.....
    • Durkheim et. al
religion vs science
Religion vs. Science?
  • Is there necessarily any conflict between religion and science?
  • examples of conflict in history....
    • the earth is the center of the universe
    • there is no such thing as a vacuum
    • “God” created “man” on the 7th day... not through “evolution”....
religion vs science1
Religion vs. Science?
  • Why did such scientific assertions challenge religion?
  • Do they necessarily undermine, or contradict religious beliefs and tradtitions?
  • Today, does the sociological study of religion necessarily mean the rejection of religion?
sociology and religion which theory would say
Sociology and Religion:Which theory would say...
  • “Religion dulls people to the reality of class conflict...”
  • “Religion should be studied for the things it does for the cohesion of society...”
  • “Religion should also be studied for its gendered character in history and contemporary society...”
deviance and social control
Deviance and Social Control
  • Remember... “Sociology is the study of.....”
  • Groups in “self-definition” set boundaries...
    • who belongs
    • who does not
  • This is done by the way people talk, dress, behave etc.
deviance and social control1
Deviance and Social Control
  • “Deviance” is relative to values of the wider society.... How is this so?
    • or.... if a “deviant” fell in the woods, and nobody was around to hear this....
  • “Deviant” behavior and beliefs often find their way, eventually, into “mainstream” society:
    • or... underwear as outerwear....
deviance and social control2
Deviance and Social Control
  • “Deviant behavior” today may also have been accepted social practice in the past...
  • spare the rod and avoid the DCYF
  • no smoking! you @#@[email protected]!##@
  • opium under the Pastor’s porch...
which theory would
Which theory would....
  • ...See “deviance” as the definition of the powerful in a society?
  • ...See “deviance” as learned through processes of seeing oneself in relation to others and their expectations?
  • ...See “deviance” as having some “positive” functions in society, as well as being a sign of the malfunction or dysfunction of society?
a rap on deviance
A Rap on Deviance
  • The “latent” and “manifest” functions of “parental advisory”stickers
  • But isn’t Rap just “missing a C”?
  • Rap... In context of history....
  • A conflict of power in history and contemporary society?