Lecture 1 (C. Morais)

Estimated Reading Time 00:02:21

Notes by Camilla Morais

SOC103 – Lecture 1 – January 8

  • Social Institution is a shared pattern of behaviour based on relatively stable values
  • Sets clear expectations
  • Have a great deal of meaning and attachment for people
  • No institutions exist without social interaction
  • Any institution is a set of interactional patterns that must be performed
  • Most of social life is extremely predictable and extremely stable
  • We are controlled by behaviours we create
  • According to sociologists, you can put many different people in the same situation and they will act the same way

Different Structures are Based on Different Principles of Organization

  • The are similar in being an institution but function in different ways
    • i.e. family from the government from the church
  • Orientation of the institution – Family: Inward “How to maintain out relationship” School: Not worried about relationship
  • Market-Oriented Social Organization – more likely to “get the job done”
    • Markets very different from other social organization—morally indifferent, no interest in whether you’re selling good stuff or bad stuff
    • Morally Neutral
    • Very different from a family
  • Max Weber – Disenchantment of the world – In pre-industrial societies people have non-scientific notions about life, the world ws an incomprehensible set of events. What we associate in modernity is an increase in control over nature and social life.

Sociology’s Emergence

  • About 200 years ago, early 19th Century, a response to new social problems
  • Three founders of Sociology – Marx Durkheim and Weber
  • Sociologists – Noting and explaining differences
  • What is the ultimate possibility of human life?
  • Looking for social causes in seemingly unique or random circumstances
  • 1943 – Accident-proneness: a large # of people have no significant accidents an those who don’t have any
  • This is socially structured not psychologically
  • It is not a personality trait

1. Functionalism

Durkheim and Suicide (1897)

  • People say he was the one who helped establish sociology as a field of scientific research
  • Classic study of suicide
  • Drawing suicide and psychology
  • Develops theory that there are 4 different types of suicide
  • In order for humans to function effectively need order and attachment – those who kill themselves are those living outside the optimal amount of order and attachment (either too much or too little)
  • Married people have lower suicide than divorce because marriage provides order and attachment
  • Macro sociological work
  • Conformity –

2. Conflict (or critical) theory:

  • Marx and Weber
  • Marx & Engels – Communist Manifesto
  • Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat
  • Capitalist society is a war between have’s and have not’s
  • Results in class conflict
  • Weber – locked in a lifelong debate with Marx (never met, later generation)
  • Believed inequalities could be resulted from any other aspect (not just ncome inequality)
  • Authority – Legitimate power
    • o Power exercised in a justifiable way

3. Symbolic Interactionism

  • How do people make sense to each other?
  • How do you accomplish a relationship?
  • About how we accomplish interaction symbolically
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