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what did early european sociologist find about patterns of suicide in europe?
- the rates remained stable from year to year
- the rates varied from place to place
- the rates were increase over the period of a century
what does "social fact" mean:
patterns that exist at the group level; external to an individual actor's will
how did emil durkheim explain the patterns of suicide in europe:
- he explained the variations by examining the strength of group ties in their social settings.
- suicide rates tended to vary according to how well a group share common beliefs (integration) and how strong a society puts external constraints on people (regulation).
what is the "social imagination"?
the ability to see the link between incidents in the lives of individuals and larger social forces
when and where did sociology emerge:
when we say sociology is an emperical science, what do we mean?
- emperical: mostly built on sense data
- study the behavior
what is uniquely difficult in acheiving a science of social life:
- the study of human beings can make them self conscious and react to the fact that they are being studied
- social scientist may have their own biases
to gain information without disturbing the object of research; studying people without them realizing it:
a way to assess validity is to test data against some independent standard of accuracy; cross checking different sources for the valididty of a finding:
social scientists must report not only what they found but also how and where they found it, this allows for others to check the results, even repeat the research to see if they get the same results:
public nature of science
a collection of people lacking social relations; they have come together only briefly and accidentally. ex: pedistrans waiting at a stop light
any set of two or more persons who maintain a stable pattern of social relations over a period of time:
groups whose members have a close and intimate emotional attachments to one another:
groups whose members only have a limited emotional attachments to one another:
what is the difference between micro and macro sociology:
- micro: "small", works with small groups and focus on the patterns of face to face interactions between humans
- macro: "large" concentrate on larger units of analyasis
what is "units of analysis" and why should we care?
the "thing" on which a set of research observations are based. sociolgoists use many different units of analysis among them are indivuduals, small groups, large organizations, countries, citites, and nations
what is the "free will" issue and how did stark (author) approach this issue:
- free will issue: mistankenly led to the conclusion that if humans possess free will, it is impossible to construct scientific theories to predict and explain thier behavior
- stark: social scientists have used the same arguement to "prove" that humans do not posses free will; humans posses the ablity to reason and selet different lines of action; learn from experience and respond to the world around them
what is positivism:
a belife that only knowledge acquired through science is the true and authentic knowledge.
What is Comte's contribution to the founding of sociology as a discipline:
- best known for coining the two terms: positivism and sociology
- Sociology, Comte's mind, would be the highest development of the positive stage: that human social world can be studied by adapting natural science methods, namely emphasizing observation and experimentation
what were the concerns of Emile Durkheim about modern society:
what is mechanical solidarity:
what is organic solidarity:
- a rapid increase in a division of labor that leaves people more dependent upon each other; however what would unite people in a diverse urban city?
- mechanical solidarity: social solidarity of a group by a shared common belifes
- organic solidarity: society united by the awareness of interdependence among themselves
what are the concerns about modern socitey for karl marx:
what is exploitation:
What did Marx consider the root of human misery in capitalist societies?
inequality between rich and poor classes as a result of private property ownership; alienation of workers as a result of expolitation: workers work for their own pay and income, as well as for the profit of the employer
what are the concerns about modern socitey for max weber?
what is rationalization:
- humans driven by the prusuit of economic gains; efficiency and effectiveness in structure
- rationalization: calculable and predictable ideas which were once governed by chances or intution
what is the rational choice principle:
within the limits of their information and available choices, guided by their preferences and tastes, humans will tend to maximize; when faced with choices humans try to select the most rational or resasonable option
what are Homan's 3 laws:
- law of liking: participation in common activies (exchanges) causes people to like one another
- law of inequality: emotional attachments among members of a group will be weaker among members of different ranks than those of similar rank
- law of agreement: the more the members of a group linke one another, the more apt they are to agree with each other
identify how the functional theroy provide different ways of understanding social phenomenon:
- overwheleming concern with social order and social solidarity
- tendency to understand parts of society by exploring their contribution (function) to the social order/social solidarity of the whole society
identify how the conflict perspective theory provides different ways of understanding social phenomenon:
- in most social arrangements, there is a winner and there is a loser
- conflict sociologists see "inequality and oppression."
- an explanation of social structures and cultural patterens based on conflicts between classes ans status groups, each seeking to gain the most benefits
identify how the symbolic interatciton therory provides different ways of understanding social phenomenon:
- regards interaction among humans beings as the fundamental social process but places far more emphasis on how people influcence one another and communicagte that it does on the exchange process
- focusing on the process whereby people define the meanings of their group conditions.
the unequal distribution of rewards ( or of things preceived as valueable) among members of a soceity; the class structure;
a position assigned to individuals or groups without regard for merit but because of certain traits beyond their control, such as race, sex, or praently social standings:
a position gained on the basis of merit ( in other words by achievements)
ideals or ultimate aims; general evaluative standards about what is desirable:
rules that define the behavior that is expected, required or acceptable in particular circumstances
a set of expectations governing the behavior of persons holding a particular postition in soicety; a set of norms that defins how persons in a particular postition should behave:
negative or hostile attitudes toward and beliefs about a group
a group a person uses as a standard for self-evaluation
actions taken against a group to deny its members rights and privileges available to others:
a change of position within the statrification system:
understand what 'wonder/curiosity' of the 8 steps of social inquiry means:
- science always begings with someone wondering why
- translate the wonder into an emperical question one can explore
understand what "conceptualize" of the 8 steps of social inquiry means:
- define what they are wondering about
- isolate and define their key terms or concepts
- the process of abstraction: to create concepts and categories
understand what "theorize" of the 8 steps of social inquiry means:
- to explain how and why some set of concepts are related
- theory must be vulnerable to disproof
- theory must predict and prohibit certain things that can be checked
- theories must be testable
understand what "opertationalize" of the 8 steps of social inquire mean:
- process where we find empirical indicators for abstract concepts.
- apply the theory to some observable thing
- select an observable measure of inequality
- measure emotional attachments
- make it possible to preform observational operations
understand what "hypothesize" of teh 8 steps of social inquiry means:
- to formulate predictions about what will be observed in the connections (or relationships) among the indicators of the concepts
- make specific statements about observable things
- a statment about the expected relationship
understand what "observe" of the 8 steps of social inquiry means:
use approproate research to gather observations
understand what "analyze" of the 8 steps of social inquiry mean:
compare what we observe with what the hypothesis said we would see
understand what "assee" of the 8 steps of social inquiry mean:
- make adjustments that are necessary in a theory on the basis of analysis
- change theories to fit the evidence
what are the 8 steps of social inquiry:
anything that varies or changes:
the consequence (or the thing that is being caused).
something we might think to be the cause of something else:
something that never changes or varies:
what constitutes a causal relationship:
- 3 criteria
- correlation: when A changes, B changes with it
- time order: a cause must occur before the effect
- non-suprious: appear to reflect causation, but they dont
what is correlation (postivie or negative)?
- positive: as one variable increase, the other variable increases, too
- negative: as one variable increase, the other variable decrease
what does random sampeling mean?:
each person in the population would have equal chance to be selected into the sample.
What is the major strength and weakness of survey research?
- strength: you can feel more confident to make generalizations, the ultimate reason being that the gods in the statistics department are able to back up our generalizations if we did it the right way.
- weakness: it is often insensitive to the context under which a respondent is answering the questions.
what is margin of error?:
statisticians can tell us exactly how much mistake we are making
What is the major strength and weakness of field research:
- strength: to explore something that few people know about, often to study a process of a social event;
- learn a lot about a specific situation and generate theories from the study for further testing
- weakness: we cannot generalize much from these studies
What is the major strength and weakness of experimental research:
- strength: researchers doing experiment have a great deal of control of the research environment (often in artificial settings); it can help rule out spuriousness to a large degree.
- weakness: most of the topics that sociologists study do not fit well with experimental design.
What is the experimental group and control group?
- exerimental group:
- control group: the comparison group
What is the difference between random sampling and random assignment?
- random sample: used in survey to make sure that the sample represents the population
- random assignment: used in experiments to make sure that it is the independent variable , nothing else, that explains the difference between the experimental group and the control group
What is the purpose of random sample and randome assingment?
- random sample: ensures that a study's participants are representative of the population of intrest; affects the generalizablitity ( external valididty)
- random assignment: ensure indiviudal differences among participants are spread evenly acrooss the different groups; affects internal valididty
the learning process by which infants are made into normal human beings, possessed of culture and able to participate in soical relations; learning after birth:
why is socialization important:
- each generation may be different from the other in terms of the culture and the personality they share
- humans depends more on what they learned later on from society to survive
What are the major arguments in Piaget's cognitive development theory:
- learning is not just a copying process, it is a creative process; children tend to make similar mistakes in which no one has taught them
- learning occurs in stages
- sensory motor: objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight
- preoperational: cannont solve problems that require them to put themselves in someone else's place
- concert operational: logical principals that allow them to deal with the concrete, or observable, world
- formal operational: formaulate, manipulate theories and logically deduce from these theories that certain things are likely to be true or false
See how Skeels and Dye's research (pp. 149-150) demonstrates the effect of "attachments" (or the effect of human interaction) on children's cognitive abilities.
- They found that those that have been mothered by some older mildly retarded girls improved their intelligence dramatically and most graduated from high school and became self-supporting adults later on, while those remained in the orphanage most did not progress beyond third grade and were not self-supporting.
- mentally challenged kids improved their cognitive development through more intense attachment and social interactions
Where do sociologists think our self-conceptions come from?
a person's self-conception (who I think I am, how do I think of myself) is heavily influenced by other people's feedbacks.
How is it (self-conceptions) different from psychological concepts of "personality"?
- Personality refers to stable, consistent feelings, thoughts, and reactions across different social settings for a long period of time
- Self, however, reflects other people's appraisals and therefore it is more likely to change as the appraisers change
What does Erving Goffman mean by "impression management":
As actors (on a world stage) we all use our manners, accents, dress, behavior to manage others' impressions of us. Institutions, also try to manipulate our impressions of them.
What is "cultural determinism"?
way a society raises its own children have a fundamental impact on the type of personality that society generates
Why did Stark disagree with "cultural determinism"?
he felt the relationship between culture and personality is "spurious" at best: the physical environment of the given society may affect both child rearing practices and personality types. Where the physical environment is harsh, meaning lack natural resources, and/or neighboring aggressive communities, the parents have no choice but the raise children in a harsh way and the society values aggressive personalities.
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