a. What is Sociology?
Systematic study of human behavior, through organized use of scientific method. “The effect of society on people.
b. What is a social institution?
A complex group of interdependent positions that together form a social role and “reproduce themselves over time” (status quo) Shaped by individuals, also shape individuals.
Media, Economy, Religion, Education, Government.
c. How is sociology distinctive from other social sciences?
It is considered a “broad” social science, along with anthropology. Sociology as opposed to cousin, anthropology, focuses on post industrial/industrial societies. Studies parts of every narrow social science (econ, political science, psychology) d. What is it a combination of?
Combination of theory and research.
e. What do sociologists study?
They study how norms are produced and maintained, as well as what happens when they are broken, or “deviated”. How individuals are shaped by society, and how society shapes individuals. What shapes our interaction with others.
The consequences of isolation from society/human contact. Importance of the relationship between biological makeup and society. The media’s effect on our bodies and minds. Stereotypes.
Explanations of mass murder and suicide.
Reasons for equality and inequality and their consequences.
f. What shapes our interaction with others?
Norms, behavior, language, religion, economic status, education, media… g. What happens when people are isolated from “the social world”? People become mentally unstable.
Feral Children, solitary confinement.
h. How does the media shape our bodies and minds?
h.i. Do we really make our own decisions?
Not really, societal pressures and expectations make decisions for us. Body distortion through advertisements. Makes people want to have a body that is literally unattainable even by the models. Distortion. Stereotypical ads.
h.ii. How does the media permeate with everything? (Do we see everything through the lens of media?) Every social institution uses media to convey messages and to market them. Use ads to effect and connect with society. People usually hear/see/connect with things in relation to the economy, politics, education, religion—through the media (radios, TVs, computers, twitter…). i. What explains mass murder and suicide?
Suicide rates seemed to be highest when people were cut off from society (and media). People who lived very private lives (protestants) and who were single, unmarried, and usually men. Against Durkheim’s hypothesis.
j. What is a norm?
A societal expectation of human behavior. What is expected of someone in a given society. “The normal, expected behavior/action of a person”. A broken norm is called deviance or “deviated norm”.
Norms are hugely noticeable when broken.
j.i. What is a moray?
A very serious norm (not to murder, not to rape, not to have incest). Considered to be obscene if broken (if someone commits murder, rape, etc.…). Deviation from a moray would usually include severe punishment. j.ii. What is a folkway?
A less serious norm (not burping in public, opening a door for someone). Deviation of a folkway would most likely result in a slap in the wrist, or weird looks. k. How do norms shape the way we function in society?
Deviation of norms usually reaffirms the presence of a norm… People are expected to follow these norms some sort of “societal guideline”. Norms are the building blocks of a society in a way.
“Front stage/back stage behaviors”
2. Sociological Imagination
a. What is the sociological imagination?
The ability to see the connections between people’s personal lives and broader societal structures. “Neither the life of and individual nor the history of society can be understood without understanding both.”- Mills The ability to see how our lives shape, and are shaped by the social world. The sociological imagination...
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