Sociology 105

Culture Components
-Language
-Beliefs
-Norms
-Behaviors
-things passed on in the family
Culture
Framework of an individual
the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors, and even material objects that are passed from one generation to the next
Material culture
includes items that you can taste,
touch or feel(food,buildings,cars)
Nonmaterial culture
includes the nonphysical
products of society (language,values,laws)
Language
a system of speech and/or written
symbols used to convey meaning and communication
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
says that the structure of a language influences a native speaker’s perception and categorization of experience
*For example, the US has many words for advanced
communication
Values
represent cultural standards by which we
determine what is good or bad, right or wrong
Value clusters
two or more values that support each other
Norms
rules developed for appropriate behavior
based on specific values that are conditional, they can vary from place to place
Mores
norms that represent a community’s most
important values
Folkways
are informal norms. They are based on
social expectations
Symbols
represent, suggest or stand for something
else.
Examples of symbols are:
national flags Wedding rings
Sanction
a prize or punishment you receive
when you either abide by a norm or violate it.
Socialization
The Process of Fitting into Society
a process in which we learn and internalize attitudes, values, beliefs, and norms of our culture and develop a sense of self
Social interaction
the process by which people act and react in relation to others.
Status
a social position that an individual occupies.
Every status is part of our social identity.
A status set
all of the statuses a person holds at a given time.
Ascribed status
a social position a person receives at birth or assumes involuntarily.
Achieved status
a social position a person assumes voluntarily that reflects personal ability
A master status
a status that has special importance for social identity.
Master Status examples
For most, one’s occupation is a master status.
Serious illness such as HIV/AID or disability may also operate as a master status
Role
behavior expected of someone who holds a particular status.
Role Set
a number of roles attached to a single status.
Role conflict
conflict between roles corresponding to two or more statuses.
When we experience being pulled in several different directions.
Role strain
tension between roles connected to a single status.
Performing various roles attached to one status feels like a “balancing act.”
Social construction of reality
the process by which people creatively shape reality through social interaction.
Dramaturgical analysis
the study of social interaction in terms of theatrical performance.
Deviant behavior
behavior that violates the social norms and values
*An act in itself is not deviant; it is how the act is treated which makes it deviant
Crime:
a violation of official, written criminal law
Theories on Deviance
Essentialist: deviance is innate, biological
Constructionist: deviance is product of the social system; depends on time, place, circumstance
Biological Deviance Theory
testosterone levels, for example, to explain why some people are deviant
Psychological Deviance Theory
-Look at individual development, personality traits to explain deviance
-Individualistic explanations
Sociological Deviance Theory
-Everything in society exists for a reason
-Deviance has purposes:
*Teaches proper behavior, defines boundaries
*Rewards conformity
*Creates jobs
Strain Theory
Looks at cultural goals and cultural means
To Merton, anomie (or strain)is the gap between means and goals
Anomie often leads to deviance
Anomie
state of normlessness, alienation
Functionalist Theories: Strain Theory
Looks at cultural goals and cultural means
To Merton, anomie (or strain)is the gap between means and goals
Anomie often leads to deviance
Conflict Theory
Norms are defined by those with power
Conflict Theory:Class
Deviance is created by dominant class
All deviance comes from the capitalist system
Two Groups:
Crimes of domination: higher classes
Crimes of survival/rebellion: lower classes
Conflict Theories: Race/Class
Incarcerated population is disproportionately minority/lower class
social reaction theory
deviance is concerned with social reaction
shifts perspective from the individual to the group or audience
looks at the effects of labels
stresses relativity of deviance (time, place, circumstance) and how society controls deviance
Shift from rule breakers to rule makers
Labeling Theory
deviance is concerned with social reaction
shifts perspective from the individual to the group or audience
looks at the effects of labels
stresses relativity of deviance (time, place, circumstance) and how society controls deviance
Shift from rule breakers to rule makers
Deviant career
as a result of deviant labels, people become forced to limit their contact to non-normal, which in turn becomes normal to the deviant
Differential Association
-Criminal Behavior is Learned
-Criminal behavior is learned through intimate interactions
-Someone becomes deviant because of an excess of definitions -favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of law
-Differential Associations vary in frequency, duration, intensity
-While deviant behavior is an expression of general needs and values, it is not explained by those general needs and values
Conformity
is an expression of the same needs and values
Medicalization of Deviance
Deviant behavior is often classified as medical disorder
Deviance is…
-EVERYONE deviates sometimes
-Not deviant in itself; instead, it is the reaction.
-Rule/norm breaking
-Time, place, circumstance
-Social, happens in the social context
Socioeconomic status (SES)
reflects money (income, wealth & power), occupational prestige and schooling.
Dimensions of Class
Income
Earning from work or investments
Wealth
The total value of money and other assets,
minus any debt
Power
The ability to control, even in the face of
resistance
Occupational prestige
Job-related status
Schooling
Key to better career opportunities
The difference of class
Health
Amount and type of health care
Values and attitudes
Vary with class position
Politics
Conservative or liberal
Family and gender
Type of parental involvement
-Socialization practices
Relationships and responsibilities
Social Mobility
Upward
College degree or higher-paying job
Downward
Drop out of school, losing a job or divorce
Structural social mobility
Changes in society or national economic trends
Intragenerational mobility
Change in social position during a person’s
lifetime
Intergenerational mobility
Upward or downward movement that takes place
across generations within a family
Structural social mobility
Changes in society or national economic trends
Intragenerational mobility
Change in social position during a person’s
lifetime
Intergenerational mobility
Upward or downward movement that takes place
across generations within a family
Poverty
A cultural definition: views poverty not only in terms of how many resources people have, but also in terms of why they failed to achieve a higher economic level.

An absolute definition of poverty:establishes a fixed economic level below which people are considered poor, and this level does not necessarily change as society on the whole becomes more or less affluent.

Income Inequalities
The Functionalist Perspective(ECONOMY)
Normal and sometimes desirable
changes in the economy affect the level of poverty, such as inflation and technological innovation.
These kinds of changes are necessary
for a healthy economy but their cumulative impact is to increase rates of unemployment and poverty, which is called structural unemployment.
Benefits:
-ensuring that society’s “dirty work” will be done
-subsidizing many of the activities of the affluent
-creating jobs for people who serve the poor
-creating a market for inferior goods
-using the poor as symbols of the “underdog”
Benefits to society from poverty
-ensuring that society’s “dirty work” will be done
-subsidizing many of the activities of the affluent
-creating jobs for people who serve the poor
-creating a market for inferior goods
-using the poor as symbols of the “underdog”
Income Inequalities
The Conflict Perspective
Marx viewed society as involving
constant struggle between social
classes over scarce resources.
The affluent are merely using the
resources available to protect their own position.
Once people become successful they
tend to pass on their success to their children and this makes it more difficult for people on the bottom to move up.
Income Inequalities
The Interactionist Perspective and Cultural Analysis
The cultural analysis of poverty
focuses on the psychological orientations that may emerge among groups of people who live under conditions of poverty.
*People who live in poverty develop a
cultural orientation that helps them adapt to their life circumstances in a way that enables them to feel good.
Criticisms of this perspective include
“blaming the victim” and its limited applicability.
Income Inequalities
Social Psychological Factors
Many poor believe that poverty is
inevitable
Disparagement and Discrimination
The non-poor tend to disparage the
poor
Self-fulfilling prophecies
The Ideology of Wealth and Poverty
body as machine approach
Biologically‐determinist theories of sex and sexuality reduce it to an effect of biology or
nature
Sociobiology
argues that there is continuity between human behavior
and social organisation and the behavior and organisation of other animals and insects.
Social Structure:
the way in which a society is organized into predictable relationships.
Example: a prison’s social structure influences how guards and prisoners interact.
Sociology
the scientific study of social behavior and human groups.
Sociological Theory
set of statements that seeks to explain problems, actions, or behavior in a comprehensive manner (also events, forces, materials, ideas etc.)
Social Institutions
organized patterns of beliefs and behavior centered on basic social needs. Example: preserving order (government)
Social Groups
any number of people (more than two), with similar norms, values, and expectations who interact with one another on a regular basis.
Social Actor(s)/Individual
Actor means people. Often discussed within the context of human agency (degree of ability to act independently and make choice).
Social Identity
One’s sense of self in relation to social groups
Social Interaction
ways in which people respond to one another
Microsociology
focus on small group
interaction (everyday life as experienced)
Macrosociology
focus on broad social trends
(historical changes often outside view of individual)
POVERTY Functionalism
functional: when it makes sure that “dirty work” is done
dysfunctional: when it intensifies social problems such as crime and health care
POVERTY Conflict Theory
focus on how poverty is based
on exploitation based on the unequal structure of society (who has power and who doesn’t)
POVERTY Symbolic Interactionism
focus on how the label
of poverty developed into a deviant label
(Symbolic) Interactionist Perspective
Includes sociologists such as Charles Horton
Cooley, George Herbert Mead, Manford Kuhn, and Herbert Blumer
Uses a Micro perspective and looks at how
individuals interact
Believes that we construct reality by attaching
meaning to symbols
Essential point: every social relationship can
be analyzed in terms of the construction and manipulation of symbols.
Conflict Perspective
Critique
Focus on conflict makes this theory more dynamic—
change occurs due to conflict.
Conflict perspective has difficulty explaining
consensus and stability (except as false consciousness)
Some conflict theorists (Marx) believe that perfect
equality will eliminate conflict. Others (Weber) more pessimistic & believe effects of conflict can only be minimized.
Conflict Perspective
Draws on theorists such as Karl Marx, Georg
Simmel, Max Weber, Lewis Coser, Randall Collins, and Erik Olin Wright
A Macro approach to society
Believes that conflict occurs between groups
as they compete for scarce resources; power determines who wins and loses in these competitions
Essential point: social processes must be
analyzed in terms of “who decides/who benefits”.
Focus on Power – the ability to control others’
behavior, even against their will (Weber)
Society is held together by groups who have
enough power to enforce their values institutionally
Examples: patriarchy, class, racial dominance, elite
dominance.
Functionalist Perspective
Critique
Useful for describing the larger picture of society and
identifying the purpose of structures that make up society.
But how do we know how society is “supposed” to
work? Tendency to assume that status quo is the “norm”.
Often accused of being “conservative”
Because it assumes social consensus, this
perspective
cannot explain change very well
Fails to see where exploitation may occur
Essential point: every social institution
must be analyzed in terms of the “good of the whole
macro approach
Functionalist Perspective
Functionalist Perspective
Functions are provided by institutions to
maintain social balance. When the consequences of an institution are negative, it provides dysfunctions that hinder the balance of society.
Manifest functions – intended consequences
(ex: school – to learn)
Latent functions – unintended consequences
(ex: school – socialization to preferred values)
Sometimes latent functions are more important Rain dance, crime.
The “Big Three”
Structural-Functional
Social-Conflict
Interpretive Sociology (Symbolic-
Interactionism)
Theory
set of assumptions, interrelated concepts,
and statements about how various (social) phenomena are related to one another
Contemporary Sociology
Critical theory
Use of mass culture to indoctrinate & control
Feminism
Effect of patriarchy
Postmodernism
Societal shift to importance of imagery
Pessimism
all knowledge is manipulation
Social Darwinism:
“survival of the fittest” institutions and peoples that are “unfit” should be allowed to die out.
Economic determinism
ultimate interests defined by control of the “means of production”
Class Conflict
Interests of dominant groups vs. interests of the
subordinate
Dialectical Materialism
History as a dynamic process of struggle and change
Social Facts
what happens between individuals
Verstehen
need to understand subjective meanings for action
Ideal Type
focus on principal characteristics of something in order to compare: i.e., bureaucracy.
Value-free sociology
Sociologists should be “neutral”
Critical theory
Use of mass culture to indoctrinate & control
Feminism
Effect of patriarchy
Postmodernism
Societal shift to importance of imagery
Pessimism
all knowledge is manipulation
Control Theory
both inner and outer controls work against deviant tendencies.
Historical Materialism
identifies class conflict as the primary cause of social change
Interaction (Study and analysis)
study interactions : seek to understand the larger social forces that bring people together in interaction and that shape the content and direction of that interaction.

analyzing interaction : sociologists identify the elements of that interaction and how they structure the interaction of the participating parties.

Dramaturgy
Dramaturgy is Impression Management
that scenery is divided into two regions, the Front and
Back Regions.
Scenery
is divided into two regions, the Front and
Back Regions.
Regions
defined as any place that is bounded to
some degree by barriers to perception
Dramaturgical Approach to the Social World
the self is divided by perception.
“Front Stage” and “Back Stage,”
also known as the Front and Back Regions of Behavior
Front Region
This Refers to a place where the performance is given.
In this regions the actor engages in, and performs his/hers role for the audience.
While the Self is in the Front Region of behavior the performance of the individual embodies certain standards.
Standards of the “Matters of Politeness” and “Decorum.”
“Matters of Politeness”
Relates to the way in which the performer treats the audience while engaged in talk or gestural interactions.
Standards of the “Matters of Politeness” and “Decorum.”
“Matters of Politeness”
Relates to the way in which the performer treats the audience while
engaged in talk or gestural interactions.
Decorum
Refers to a set of behaviors that have to do with the way the
performer conducts himself in the visual or audio range of the audience
Decorum has two sub-groupings referred too as the “Moral” and the “Instrumental’
Moral
Moral Requirements refers to rules regarding non-interference and non-molestation of others.
Ex: Sexual Propriety, and rules regarding sacred places etc.
Instrumental Requirement
-Refers to duties that are task oriented and secular
Ex: An employer might demand his employees to care of property or engage in maintenance within work areas.
Back Region
Def: A back region or backstage may be defined as a place, relative to a given performance, where the impression fostered by the performance is knowingly contradicted.
Back Region(ID)
This area is where the suppressed facts make an appearance.
Here the performer can relax; he can drop his front, relinquish
speaking his lines, and step out of character.
It is here where illusions and impressions are openly constructed.
The back region is a place where the performer can reliably expect
that no member of the audience will intrude.
The back region or back stage is kept closed from the audience, the
entire region is meant to be kept hidden.
Ex: Perfect examples of back stage regions are kitchens within restaurants, this area is not meant for customers to enter.
Transition
In between the Front and Back Region, there is a phenomenon called the “Zone of Transition”
Goffman argues that this is one of the most interesting times to observe impression management
At these in between moments one can detect a interesting putting
on and taking off of character.
The Outside
The Outside region is a residual one, everything that is
not covered in the Front or Back Regions are in “The Outside.”
Those individuals who are on “The Outside” of the social
interactions we may call outsiders.
If we shift our considerations from the front or back
region to the outside, we tend to shift our reference from one performance to another.
Impression Management
implies that there are attributes that are required of a performer in successfully staging a character.
The Performer must Act with “Expressive Responsibility”
Expressive Responsibility
Illustrates the idea that actors must consciously choose the manner
in which they behave and interact with others
It is Imperative that the audience understand that a performer is
“Acting” his part and that is does not necessarily reflect the dispositions an individual may hold privately.
Unintentional Disruption
are a source of embarrassment and dissonance for the performer, these disruptions are seperated into three catagories, unmeant Gestures, inopportune Intrusion and faux pas.
Unmeant Gestures
These are inadvertent acts that convey an impression that is
inappropriate at the time.
The individual held responsible for contributing an unmeant gesture
may chiefly discredit his own performance
Inopportune Intrusion
This Occurs when an outsider accidentally enters a region in which a
performance is being given or when a member of the audience inadvertently enters the backstage.
Ex: An example of this, is when a student walk into the classroom while the professor is giving a lecture. We have Inopportune Intrusion (this coming from the outsider approach)
Ex: Another example is when a customer runs into the kitchen of a restaurant where the chefs resides. We have another Inopportune Intrusion (from an audience approach)
Faux Pas
Def: As Disruptions in projections of the self
These facts may involve well-kept dark secrets or negatively-valued
characteristics that everyone can see but no one refers too.
Gaffes & Boners
Are types of Faux Pas
Gaffes & Boners
Are types of Faux Pas where a performer unthinkingly makes an intentional contribution which destroys his own team image
Bricks
Here, a performer jeopardizes the image of self projected by the other team.
White‐collar crime
committed by high‐status individuals during the course of business, tends not to appear in the Uniform Crime Report. ex: embezzlement, bribery, criminal price‐fixing, insurance fraud, Medicare theft, and so forth.
victim‐precipitated murder
the victim even unintentionally prompts the murderer to attack, by making verbal threats, striking the first blow, or trying to use a weapon
victimless crime
all parties consent to the exchange of illegal goods and/or services.
Organized crime
refers to groups and organizations dedicated solely to criminal activity.
Social stratification
refers to the unequal distribution around the world of the three Ps: property, power, and prestige.
Capitalists (bourgeoisie)
those who own the methods of production and employ others to work for them.
Workers(proletariat )
are those who do not own the means of production, do not hire others, and thus are forced to work for the capitalists.
Small capitalists (petite bourgeoisie )
are those who own the means of production but do not employ others. These include self‐employed persons, like doctors, lawyers, and tradesmen. According to Marx, the small capitalists are only a transitional, minor class that is ultimately doomed to becoming members of the proletariat.
Elite theorists
argue that a few hundred individuals hold all of the power in the United States.
Conflict theorists
hold that only a small number of Americans—the capitalists—hold the vast majority of power in the United States.
pluralist theorists
hold that power is not in the hands of the elite or a few, but rather it is widely distributed among assorted competing and diverse groups.
Patriarchy
Social system in which men control majority of power and exert authority over women and children
Matriarchies
No pure matriarchies exist in the world Some women may seem to have more influence than men
Feminism
Philosophy based on political, social, and economic equality of sexes
Feminism Waves
First wave started by early feminists:
-Protested legal inequality
-Led to passage of the 19th Amendment ratified in 1920
Second wave began in the 1960s with rise of women’s liberation movement
Betty Friedan: The Feminine Mystique
Introduced idea that a woman could and should seek personal fulfillment outside home and family
Third wave began in early 1990s
Branched out to protect rights of minorities and
underprivileged women