TERMS & IMPT DEFINITIONS TERMS & IMPT DEFINITIONS
LECTURE#1 – – SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES
Definition of Sociology: Definition of Sociology:
The systematic study of theThesystematic study of the
relationship between the individual relationship between the individual and society
and society and of the consequences and of the consequences of different types of
of different types of relationshipsrelationships (( Berger,2007)
Is the systematic study Is the systematic study of humanof human society
society ( Macionis,2003)( Macionis,2003)
Is the systematic study Is the systematic study of socialof social behavior and human groups behavior and human groups (Schaefer,2005)
(Schaefer,2005) Sociology focuses on: Sociology focuses on:
How social relationships influenceHow social relationships influence people’s attitudes and behavior people’s attitudes and behavior
How major social institutions How major social institutions affectaffect us
How we affect other individuals,How we affect other individuals, groups, and organizations
groups, and organizations Origins of Sociology:
Origins of Sociology:
The rise of a factory-based industrialThe rise of a factory-based industrial economy.
The emergence of great cities inThe emergence of great cities in Europe.
Political changes, including a risingPolitical changes, including a rising concern with individual liberty and concern with individual liberty and rights. (The French Revolution rights. (The French Revolution
symbolized this dramatic break with symbolized this dramatic break with political and social tradition.)
political and social tradition.) Founders of Sociology:
Founders of Sociology:
Aguste ComteAguste Comte
-- System of Positive Polity, orSystem of Positive Polity, or Treatise on Sociology, Instituting Treatise on Sociology, Instituting the Religion of Humanity.
the Religion of Humanity.
Emile DurkheimEmile Durkheim
-- The Division of Labor in SocietyThe Division of Labor in Society -- The Elementary Forms ofThe Elementary Forms of
Religious Life Religious Life -- SuicideSuicide
Karl MarxKarl Marx -- Das KapitalDas Kapital
Max WeberMax Weber
-- The Protestant Ethic and the RiseThe Protestant Ethic and the Rise of Capitalism
-- The Sociology of ReligionThe Sociology of Religion -- The theory of Social andThe theory of Social and
Economic organization Economic organization Aguste Comte (1798-1857)
Aguste Comte (1798-1857)
“T“The major goal of sociology was tohe major goal of sociology was to understand society as it actually understand society as it actually operates
Three-stage historical development:Three-stage historical development: -- The theological stage, in whichThe theological stage, in which
thought was guided by religion. thought was guided by religion. -- The metaphysical stage, aThe metaphysical stage, a
transitional phase. transitional phase. -- The scientific stageThe scientific stage
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) - French Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) - French
Studied the ties that bind the societyStudied the ties that bind the society together
Mechanical solidarityMechanical solidarity
-- Traditional societies are unitedTraditional societies are united by social similarities
by social similarities
Organic solidarityOrganic solidarity
-- Modern societies are united byModern societies are united by interdependence
-- Rapid social change leads to lossRapid social change leads to loss of social norms and produces of social norms and produces many social problems
Karl Marx (1818-1883) - German Involved in social change “Social scientists should help
Struggle between owners and workers
Capitalist owners will oppress ordinary people
Eventually, people become alienated
People lose control over their lives Max Weber (1864-1920) - German
Studied impact of industrialization on people’s lives
Supports value free studies and objective research
Traditional societies emphasize emotion and personal ties
Modern societies emphasize calculation, efficiency, self control
Personal ties decline and people become “disenchanted”
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) – British
Society evolves over time in a similar fashion to biological evolution.
All of the parts of society are interdependent
He coined the term” the survival of the fittest” and became known for “social Darwinism”.
The Sociological Perspective
The sociological perspective helps us to see general social patterns in the behavior of particular individuals. It allows or forces us to look beyond
the outer appearances of our social
world and discover new levels of reality
It also encourages us to realize that society guides our thoughts and deeds — to see the strange in the familiar
Sociology also encourages us to see individuality in social context.
The Sociological Imagination
Provides the ability to see our private experiences and personal difficulties as entwined with the structural arrangements of our society and the times in which we live
Understand social marginality, the state of being excluded from social activity as an “outsider.”
“An awareness of the relationship between an individual and the wider society, and …the ability to view our society as an outsider might, rather than relying only on our individual perspective, which is shaped by our cultural biases (C. Wright Mills) Theory
A statement of how and why specific facts are related. The goal of
sociological theory is to explain social behavior in the real world. Theories are based on theoretical
paradigms, sets of assumptions that guide thinking and research.
3 Theoretical Perspectives
Structural-Functionalist Perspective Parts of a social system work
together to maintain a balance - Functions are actions that have
- Dysfunctions are actions that have negative consequences - Manifest functions are intended - Latent functions are unintended A framework for building theory that
sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. - It asserts that our lives are
guided by social structures (relatively stable patterns of social behavior).
- Each social structure has social functions, or consequences, for the operation of society as a whole.
- Key figures in the development of this paradigm include Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Herbert Spencer, and Talcott Parsons and Robert Merton
Robert Merton’s 3 concepts of social function:
- Manifest functions, the recognized and intended consequences of any social pattern
- Latent functions, largely
unrecognized and unintended consequences and
- Social dysfunctions, undesirable consequences of a social pattern for the operation of society. The Conflict Perspective
Society is held together by who has power at a moment in time
- Power allows some to dominate others
- Dominance leads to conflict - Conflict and change are
- Conflict holds society together as new alliances are formed and others fail
A framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of
inequality that generates conflict and change.
Sociologists attempt not only to understand society but also to reduce social inequality
Key figures in this tradition include Karl Marx, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Wright Mills
- It ignores social unity based on mutual interdependence and shared values.
- Because it is explicitly political, it cannot claim scientific
- Like the structural-functional paradigm, it envisions society in terms of broad abstractions. The Symbolic Interaction Perspective
Individuals construct the nature of their social world through social interaction
- Social life is possible only because humans can
communicate through symbols - All human communications take
place through the perception and interpretation of symbols - How people define situations is
- There is a general consensus on how situations are defined
- We do not respond directly to reality but to the symbolic meanings we attach to the real world
A framework for building theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals. symbolic-interactionism has a
micro-level orientation; it focuses on patterns of social interaction in specific settings.
Key figures in the development of this paradigm include
- George Herbert Mead - Erving Goffman
- George Homans - Peter Blau
Symbolic interactionism attempts to explain more clearly how individuals actually experience society.
However, it has two weaknesses: - Its micro-orientation sometimes
results in the error of ignoring the influence of larger social structures.
- By emphasizing what is unique, it risks overlooking the effects of culture, class, gender, and race.
LECTURE #3 – CULTURE Culture
It is defined as the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors and even materials, hairstyles, etc.
Is the totality of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects, and behavior. (Giddens, 2005)
Is a way of life. (Tischler, 2008) Components of Culture
Symbols - anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who shared culture
Language - a system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another
Values and Beliefs - culturally defined standards by which people assess desirability, goodness, and beauty, and that deserve as broad guidelines social living
Norms - a rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members
- Folkways – norms that are not strictly enforced
- Mores – norms that are believed to be essential to core values and we insist on conformity
Laws - These are formalized norms enacted by people vested with legitimate authority
Taboo - a strong social prohibition (or ban) relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or
forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs
Dietary restrictions (Halal) Sex
Nudity Profanity 2 kinds of Mores
Positive Mores - refers to the behavior, which must and ought to be done because they are ethically and morally good
Negative Mores - refers to societal prohibitions on certain acts which must not be done because they are not only illegal
How is culture transmitted?
Characteristics of culture Organized
Transferable Universal Varied
Product of Human Creativity Adaptive Relative Learned Symbolic Continuous Borrowed
Stable yet dynamic Culture is learned and acquired
Culture is learned and acquired not instinctive
acquired through the senses and from experience
may be acquired through imitation, conditioning
Culture is shared and transmitted transmission through ideas passed on to generations using
language and other symbolic means of com
Culture is social
it’s a group product
it’s social due to man’s natural tendency to socialize
Culture is ideational
Man forms ideas and uses them to assign meanings to his environment and experiences
Culture gratifies human needs Culture’s provision to satisfy
biological and sociological needs of people i.e. food, clothing, shelter, protection, love, security, sex, etc.
The patterns of culture continue to persist if they continue to persist if they continue to satisfy man’s needs.
Culture tends toward integration elements or traits that make up
culture are (customs) mostly adjusted to or consistent with one another
Integration implies that the person equally embraces ethnic as well as dominant culture.
Culture is adaptive
culture is dynamic
Culture change over time
The culture of any society is the people’s adjustment to the various conditions of life which include their physical, social, and supernatural environment.
Culture is cumulative
Through the ages, the people of any given place are able to retain certain features of their culture that are significant in their relationship and interaction with their fellow
Assimilation - A process in which an individual entirely loses any awareness of his/her previous group identity and takes on the culture and attitudes of another group.
Types of Culture
Material Culture - refers to the concrete and tangible things that man creates and uses
Nonmaterial culture - ways of using material objects as well as customs,
beliefs, government, ideas patterns of communication, laws, techniques, lifestyle, and knowledge
Functions of Culture
Serves as trademark or special feature that distinguishes one
society from another.
It brings together, contains, and interprets values of a society in a more or less systematic manner. It provides social solidarity . Serves as the dominant factor in
establishing the social personality It provides meaning and direction of
his existence. Cultural Variation
Subculture - segment of the society that shares a distinct pattern of mores, folkways and values that differs from the pattern of the larger society
Counterculture -a subculture that
deliberately opposes certain aspects of the larger culture.
Culture shock - the feeling of
surprise, disbelief and disorientation that people experience when they encounter cultural practices
different Cultural Variability
Cultural Universal - meaning that every culture has the same customs but it varied how they execute and perform such customs
Attitudes toward Cultural Variation Enthnocentrism - the tendency to
assume that one’s own culture are superior to all others
Cultural Relativism - the viewing of people’s behavior from the
perspective of their own culture Xenocentrism - the belief that the
products, styles, or ideas of one’s society are inferior to those that originate elsewhere
Culture Lag - inability of a given society to adapt to a culture immediately
Other Symbolic Uses of Culture
Culture of Poverty - refers to the learned ways of life of the poor, a vicious cycle of deprivation and want transmitted from one generation to another
Culture of Opulence - refers to the ways of life of the rich and the famous in their world of glitz and glamour
Culture of Corruption - refers to the established patterns of illegally amassing wealth and obtaining power or concessions in the government or private office
Pop Culture - refers to the popular ways, practices and interests of contemporary society
Culture of Silence - refers to the individual or group attitude to keep silent response to authority
LECTURE #4 – DEVIANCE
Deviance – violation of norms, It is not the act itself, but the reactions to the act, that makes something deviant
Relativity of Deviance
Deviance is defined within a group’s framework.
What is deviant in one group may not be in another
What causes a person to be deviant? Biological - medicalization of
deviance, a physical illness
Psychological – personality disorder Sociological - socialization into
deviance (social perspectives) Physiological/Biological Theories
Most physiological theories argue that particular individuals are more prone to deviance than others because of their genetic make-up Genetically inherited characteristics
either directly cause or predispose them towards deviance
one of the first to link crime to human biology
argued that criminals were
throwbacks to an earlier and more primitive form of human being identified a number of genetically
determined characteristics which were often found in criminals
- Large jaws
- High cheekbones - Large ears
- Extra toes and fingers - Extra nipples
- Insensitivity to pain
Mesomorphs (i.e. stocky, rounded body type) tend to be more active and aggressive and are therefore more likely to commit crime (Sheldon & Glueck)
Genetic Predispositions Alcoholism Suicide
Other deviant and criminal behavior XYY Theory
Based on studies of inmates “super-male”
Problems with XYY Theory Violent and criminal behavior
Problems with the physiological approach Lomboso’s research was carried out
amongst inmates in Italian prisons - he was studying very poor
people whose physical development had been affected by poverty, poor nutrition etc.
Also, not everyone who commits crime ends up in prison
Any association between physical characteristics and deviant behavior can be explained in other ways Psychological Theories
Psychological theories see the deviant's sickness as lying in mental processes
John Bowlby explained deviance in terms of a child’s upbringing
- If a child was deprived of motherly love during the early years, a psychopathic personality could develop Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis has lead some psychologists to argue that crime can results from an imbalance between
different parts of the mind- unconscious consisting of irrational thoughts and feelings causes us to commit deviant acts Problems with Psychological Theories
Sociologists often dismiss available psychological explanations of deviance because psychological theories often neglect social and cultural factors
Psychoanalytic theories are criticized for being unscientific
Functions of Deviance: promotes solidarity
affirms cultural values and norms teaches normal behavior by
providing examples of rule violation Offers society’s members an
opportunity to rededicate
themselves to their social controls. Promotes Solidarity
take for granted one another meaning of their social
reawakens their group attachments it represents a threat to the moral
order of the group
Affirms Cultural Values and Norms
focuses people’s attention on the value of the group
needed to define and support morality
without periodic violations of the norms , it would become less clear and thus less strongly held
The deviant act focuses people’s attention on the value of the group. Deviance is needed to define and support morality.
Teaches Normal Behavior
It helps teach society’s rules by providing illustrations of violation Knowing what is wrong is a step
Symbolic Interaction Perspective Differential Association Theory Self-Esteem Theory
Control Theory Labelling Theory
Differential Association Theory (Edwin Sutherland)
argues that people learn to be
deviant when their associates favour deviance more than they do
conformity Self-Esteem Theory
Suggest that people choose
deviance or conformity depending on which will do the most to
enhance their self-esteem. Control Theory
Our inner controls involve morals. Our outer controls consist of people
who influence us not to deviate (e.g., parents).
When these controls are weak deviance results
Argues deviance occurs when individuals
lack the ties to conventional society that are
necessary Labeling Theory
Labels become a part of our self-concept, they set us on paths that propel us into or divert us from deviance.
Labels open and close doors of opportunity.
Functional Theory Perspective
Deviance is natural and functional for society.
Deviance clarifies moral boundaries and affirms norms.
Deviance promotes social unity Deviance promotes social change Types of Strain Deviance
Conformists - are generally considered to be persons whom believe both in the established cultural goals of any given
society as well as the normative methods of attaining those goals. A self-assured and successful investor would be a primary example of a conformist under Merton's theory.
Ritualists - are persons who do not believe in the established cultural goals of his contemporary society but yet believe in, and abide by, the "correct" behaviors
necessary to fulfill or at least pay lip service to that same cultural goal. A
middle-management worker who cares little for wealth or influence but continues to participate
Innovators - are persons whom accept the cultural goals of a society but reject the conventional methods of attaining those goals are known as. A drug dealer, a thief, a
pornography artist, all of these typologies could in many ways be seen as innovative Retreatists - typically reject both the established cultural goals as well as the traditional means of attaining that goal – a somewhat dark and somber attitude but one many persons are possessed of. A true nihilist might be an example of a retreatist. Rebels - not only reject the established cultural goals as well as the normative means of attaining those goals; but they also substitute a new schema of goals and acceptable means of attaining those goals individually. A revolutionary, political activist or even a punk or extreme metal musician may fulfill the role of rebellion against the norm.
A situation where the norms of a society
are unclear or no longer applicable to
Durkheim believed that it was a major
Cause of suicide in industrialization. Strain Theory (Robert Merton) Suggests that deviance occurs when
culturally-approved goals cannot be reached by culturally-approved means
Conflict Theory Perspective (deviance = power struggle)
proposes that competition and class conflict within society create
Those at top use power to create laws to maintain social inequality
Laws are often instruments of oppression.
The powerful are more able to bypass the court system.
Forms of Social Deviation
Crimes - Acts that are subject to legal or civil penalties
Types of Crime 1. Street Crime - Murder -Rape -Robbery Assault 2. Professional Crime -Burglary -Safecracking -Hijacking of Cargo -Pick pocketing -Shoplifting
3. White Collar Crime - Illegal acts committed in the course of business activities, often by affluent,
4. Organized Crime - Secret,
conspiratorial activity that generally invades law enforcement.
5. Political Crime - The abuse of a government or political office of position
Refers to social processes used to minimize deviance from social norms
is the forces and processes that encourage conformity, including self- control, informal control and formal control
Types of Social Control
Self Control - Occurs because individuals internalize the norms and values of their group
Informal Social Control - Self-restraint exercised because of fear of what others will think
Control -Administrative sanctions such as: fines, expulsion, and imprisonment Conclusion
Sociologists have looked at the available physiological and psychological explanations for deviance and believe that they do not tell the whole story
Sociologists therefore want to look at broader explanations for crime & deviance
Sociological explanations are influenced by the different perspectives
LECTURE 5v2 – SOCIALIZATION Socialization
The lifelong process in which people learn the attitude, values, and
behaviors appropriate for members of a particular culture. (Schaefer, 2005)
Refers to the lifelong social experience by which individuals develop their human potential and learn culture. (Macionis,2003) The role of Socialization
Nature vs Nature
I. Social Environment: The Impact of Isolation
A. Feral Children B. Isolated Children
C. Institutionalized Children II. The Social Development of the Self,
Mind, and Emotions
A. Charles H. Cooley: concluded that human development is socially created – that our sense of self develops from interaction with others. He coined the term “looking-glass self ” to describe this process. The Steps: 1. we imagine how we look to others 2. we interpret other’s reactions 3. we develop a self-concept A favorable reflection in the “social mirror” leads to a positive self-concept, while a
negative reflection leads to a negative self-concept.
B. George H. Mead: He agreed with Cooley, but added that play is critical to the
development of a self. In a play , we learn to take the
role of others: to understand and anticipate how others feel and think.
1. children are first able to take only the role of significant others ; as self develops, children internalize the expectations of other people,
eventually the entire group
2. Stages of self development
- imitation (mimic-gestures, words)
- play (starts in age three -Cinderella)
- games (involves in a team game and must learn the - role of each member of the
C. Jean Piaget: The Four Stages a child goes through in
1. The sensorimotor stage (
0-2):understanding is limited to direct contact with the environment
2. The preoperational stage ( 2-7):children develop the ability to use symbols which allow them to experience things w/o direct contact. 3. The concrete operational stage (7-12): reasoning abilities become much more developed-understand numbers, causation, and speed but have difficulty with abstract concepts such as truth. 4. The formal operational stage ( 12 +): capable of abstract thinking, and
can use rules to solve abstract problems Children pass through these stages at different speeds; children
everywhere go through them in the same order. An individual’s cognitive development can be limited by social experiences.
D. Sigmund Freud: The Three Elements of Personality
1. TheId : (inherited drives for self-gratification) which demands fulfillment of basic needs such as attention, safety, food and sex.
2. TheEgo: ( in normal people) balances
between the needs of the id and the
demands of the society
3. TheSuperego: (the social conscience) we have internalized from social groups, giving us feelings of guilt or shame when we break rules, and feelings or pride and self-satisfaction when we follow them. E. Erik H. Erikson: 8 Stages of
Development 1. Stage 1- Infancy o the challenge of trust (vs mistrust) o from birth -18 months
o establishes a sense of trust that the world is a safe place
2. Stage 2- Toddlerhood o the challenge of
autonomy( vs doubt and shame) o learn new skills
to cope with the world in a
confident way o failing to gain
self-control leads children to doubt their abilities 3. Stage 3- Preschool o the challenge of initiative ( vs guilt) o 4-5 years old o experience guilt at failing to meet the expectations of parents and others 4. Stage 4-Preadolescence o the challenge of industriousness (vs inferiority) o 6-13 years old o children enter school o make friends o they feel proud of
their accomplishment 5. Stage 5- Adolescence o the challenge of gaining identity ( vs confusion)) o during teens years
o struggle to establish their own identity
o want to be unique 6. Stage 6- Young Adult
o the challenge of intimacy (vs isolation) o to form and maintain intimate relationships 7. Stage 7- Middle Adulthood o the challenge of making a difference (vs self-absorption) o middle age o focus is to contribute to the lives of others( family, at work and larger world) 8. Stage 8- Old Age
o The challenge of integrity ( vs despair)
o Near the end of our lives
o people hope to look back on what they have accomplished with a sense of integrity and satisfaction Agents of Socialization
1. Family - experiences with the family have a life-long impact on us laying down a basic sense of self,
2. School - serves many manifest / latent functions like teaching skills and values
3. Peer Groups - next to the family , peer group is the most powerful socializing force in the society 4. Religion - influences morality but
also about dress, speech, and manners
5. Mass Media - influence our attitude values, and other orientations of life 6. Workplace - is a major agent
socialization agent among adult, matching of values and attitude Social Interaction
I. Levels of Sociological Analysis A. Macrosociological
1. Social Structure: refers to the patterned
relationships between people that persist over time. Major components: culture, social class,
social status, roles, institutions, and groups
Culture refers to a group’s language, beliefs, values, behaviors, and
Social Class is based on income, education, and occupational prestige
Social Status refers to the positions that an individual occupies
Ascribed Status are positions an individual either inherits at birth or receives involuntary later in life
Achieved status are positions that are earned, accomplished, or involve at least some effort or activity on the individual ‘s part.
Roles are the behaviors, obligations,
and privileges attached to a status
Groups consists of people who regularly and consciously interact with
one another and typically share similar values, norms, and
Social Institutions are society’s standard ways or meeting its basic needs (family, religion, law, politics, economics, education, science, medicine, and military)
II. Microsociological Perspective: Social Interaction in Everyday Life
1. focus on face-to-face social interaction or what people do when they are in the presence of one another.
2. interested in symbols
3. Dramaturgy is an analysis of how we present ourselves in
everyday life (drama or stage) LECTURE #6v2 – SOCIAL STRATIFICATION Social Stratification - defined as a system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy
Class System - is a social ranking based primarily on economic position in which achieved characteristics can influence mobility
Social mobility - Is the movement up or down in the social class ladder
Estate System feudalism
Required peasants to work on land leased to them by nobles in
exchange for military protection and other services.
Marxian Theory of Stratification Developed by Karl Marx
In which social stratification was explained primarily in economic terms.
Max Weber view of Stratification He identified three analytically
distinct components of stratification. 3 Ps property prestige power
Class - people who have a similar level of wealth and income.
Status group - refers to people who have the same prestige or lifestyle, independent of their class positions.
Power - is the ability to exercise one’s will over others.
Social stratification is universal
Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore claimed that stratification is inevitable
a) society must make certain that its position are filled;
b) some positions are more important than others;
c) the more important positions must be filled by the more qualified people;
d) to motivate the more qualified
people to fill these positions, society must offer them greater rewards. Gaetano Mosca argued that every society will be stratified by power for 3 reasons
a) society cannot exist unless it is organized, thus, there must be politics to get the work of society done;
b) politics results in inequalities of power because some people take leadership positions and others follow;
c) it is human nature to be
self-centered, thus, people in position of power use their positions to bring greater rewards to themselves.
Conflict theorists stress that conflict is the basis of social stratification
a) Every society has only limited
resources to go around, and in every society group struggles with one another for those resources.
b) The dominant group takes control of the social institutions.
c) Groups “within” the same class compete for scarce resources, resulting in conflict between many groups.