The social science discipline that looks at the development and structure of human society(institutions) and how they work. Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behaviour. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. Status: is the term used to describe our position within an institution. Sociology studies interactions and conflicts within groups to determine how a society functions. Deviance:
any behaviour that is different form the societal norm. It is deviant, because we as a society do not accept it. Rehabilitation:
Trying to re-educate and re-socialize inmates so that they can grow to accept society’s values and norms. A fundamental component of modern imprisonment.
Karl Marx: Social change is the result of competition and the conflict that arises between social classes battling for power and economic resources. Max Weber: Culture is the predominant force in shaping human actions and society. Rationalization: The process whereby all aspects of human behaviour and social relationships are subject to administration. As societies change and become more diverse sociologists need to consider cultural diversity when considering sociological issues. Neo-Marxism:
The key to understanding societies is that economic power leads to political power. The struggle for economic power means that society is not static, but ever-changing social change is the result of a change made to the economic system. If we want to understand society, we must understand the economic system in place. Neo-Marxists believe that social institutions (churches, schools, prisons etc.) have been created to perpetuate the diversion between the powerful and the powerless. Symbolic Interactionism:
They believe humans have complex brains, and little instinctive behaviour. Feminist Theory:
Feminist Theorists focus on sex and gender issues, believing that women have traditionally been disadvantaged in society because men have discriminated against them. They believe that men have made the decisions in society and they tend to favour men. Marxian Feminism:
They believe that women’s unpaid and undervalued domestic work has made it possible for industrial owners to pay lower wages to male workers. They believe that the continuation of lower paid jobs has enabled the dominant class to retain their control.
The claims of women for equal rights is seen in the context of a general opposition to various forms of oppression and discrimination, independently of other political convictions. They emphasize social policy to open up professional, better paid and prestigious jobs to women and the elimination of laws discriminating against the political, property and social rights of women. Radical Feminism:
They believe that their natural child bearing role has led to a systematic oppression by men. They believe they live in a patriarchal society in which men dominate most of the institutions and are so entrenched that women cannot break in to these. Socialist Feminism:
Socialist Feminists try to separate issues of oppression that are the result of the patriarchy which is a result of capitalism. Inclusionism:
They recognize that conflict could take place in a society between ethnic, racial and religious groups as well as between economic classes. Before WW2, most sociologists took an assimilationist view of race believing the cultural majority would eventually absorb the minority(melting pot). How does Social Change come about?
Decay: a decline or degeneration(inevitable fall from grace). Cycles of Growth and Decay.
Reductionist or Determinist
Is the study of social encounters, experiences, roles, and interactions of individuals and small groups in society. It emphasizes how change occurs in an individual’s life depending on the social and environmental stimuli that surrounds that person. Many people convince themselves that actions are justified even when we know that they are wrong, or in conflict with personal values. Cognitive Consistency:
is the tendency to seek out stimuli that are consistent with your thoughts, attitudes and behaviours and limit exposure to those that are inconsistent. Individuals will consciously change actions to avoid conflict with the group. Cognitive Dissonance:
The feeling of discomfort or unease with the predominant group action or attitude is known as cognitive dissonance. An individual that experiences cognitive dissonance, stands in direct opposition and conflict with what he or she thinks or believes. They must change their behavior to fit the attitudes or change their attitudes to get out of this feeling/make amends.
Deviance and Robert Merton’s Social Strain Typology:
Deviance: behaviour that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society. Subculture: An alternative system of values and beliefs that does not conform to the mainstream cultural and social beliefs of a society. Typology: A system of classification designed for the understanding of types. Conformists:
Conformists are people who accept the cultural goals of their society as well as the means by which to attain those goals. Ritualists:
Ritualists will accept the means or standards necessary to achieve the end goal but may not necessarily accept the cultural goals of society. Innovators:
Innovators strive to fulfill the goals of their society through alternative means; they envision different ways of reaching them. Retreatists:
Retreatists are people who have chosen to disengage from mainstream culture altogether. They do not agree with the common cultural goals of their society and, as a result, prefer to live among groups of like-minded individuals. Rebels:
Rebels share much in common with retreatists because they too openly reject the cultural goals of their society, as well as the means by which one is expected to attain those goals. Rebels, do not isolate themselves as the retreatists do.
They attempt to change the society in which they live.
Adolescents and Technology:
Social and group belonging is an intrinsic need in all humans. Maslow called it human motivation. Social Networking:
Adolescents are more technologically inclined than their predecessors. Texting and social networking have become the norm for adolescent peer communication in today’s society. Technology facilitates greater understanding and connection to the global community. Cyberbullying:
Adolescents conduct some or most of their personal relationships under the very public eye of computer audiences. Many adolescents post personal pictures and comments about their personal lives online, this leaves them exposed to the cruel responses, outright insults, or harassment by members of their peer group. When an individual is being bullied or harassed through technology, it is known as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can begin quite innocently but may escalate quite rapidly into criminal behaviour.
Someone who does not share the major values of society and feels like an outsider. Reasons for alienation vary:
Discrimination that excludes a member of a visible minority from participating in society. Dissatisfaction of an unhappy teenager.
Few even set about trying to destroy the society in which they live through armed struggle. These people hope to build a purer society on the ruins of the old one. These extremely alienated individuals are called Anarchists. Conformity:
People tend to adapt the values of the society that they live in. Virtually all people believe that their attitudes are right and proper (Subjective Validity). We like being with people who share our subjective validity. Without subjective validity most of us would experience uncertainty, a feeling that most people do not welcome. Informational Influence:
Human desire to accept information that another, admired person tells us is valid. Normative Influence:
Pressure to conform to the positive expectations of others.
Alienation and Conformity as Forces of Social Change:
Alienation can be an extremely positive force
Women in the 1960’s
Lead to the women’s movement
Conformity generally has a tendency to discourage social change People tend to do the same thing the same way year after year.
Claims that changes in adolescent attitudes are important markers of long-term social change. The ideas and values established will inform and shape that person’s world views well into adulthood. Observation of shifts in societal norms of adolescence, could predict social norms of future. Something they should endure.
School of Thought |Main Belief |Application | |Structural functionalism |Social Structures exist to serve the needs of society and its members. |Adolescents accept their role as students in the education system, which serves the important function of transmitting knowledge, skills, and values necessary in adult life. | |Conflict Theory: Karl Marx |Power(wealth) is the basis for relationships among groups and individuals in society and is the source of certain forms of social conflict. |Socio-economic status varies among teens, influencing their purchasing power, role as consumer, and post-secondary choices. | |Feminist Theory |Social Conflict is created by inequality related to gender issues and roles. |Female teens may face barriers to pursuing their chosen career paths. | |Symbolic Interaction |The individual’s role and function in society is determined by his or her interpretation and reaction to it. |Adolescents are faced with the developmental tasks of determining their identity and forging an individual perspective. Adolescents are learning to see themselves as more than just a member of a group(such as family) | |Social Exchange |Weighs the costs and benefits of belonging to and participating in personal relationships and social groups. |Social and peer pressure force many adolescents to conform to group behaviour without adequately weighing the benefits and costs to themselves. | |
Comparison of the Disciplines: |Main Focus: |Methods Listed: | |Anthropology: |The development of the human species and human cultures throughout the world. |Living with the cultural group for extended periods; observing rituals and group behaviors. | |Psychology: |Individual behavior, to discover the underlying triggers or causes of human behavior. |Studying people’s feelings, thoughts, and personality development through interviews to determine past influential experiences; conducting animal experiments. | |Sociology: |How people act in group situations; the development and structure. | | | Merton’s Deviance Typology: