Lecture 17 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 17 Deck (49):
1

What are the two things that theory does?

Prediction and explanation.

2

Is theory just a guess?

No, it is acquired through repeated testing and confirmation.

3

Name a social science that adopts natural sciences protocol:

Psychologists, economics.

4

Are sociological theories scientific theories?

No.

5

Is sociology after explanations?

No, sociologists don't explain social phenomenon. Most of what you find is about the interpretation of social phenomenon.

6

Non-Explanatory Discourse

The kind of theorizing that is done in sociology. After conceptualizations of a more philosophical nature.

7

Discourse

Written and spoken communication.

8

Critical Theory

People who adopt this perspective are after critique of the social. Driven to seek human emancipation from oppression.

9

Who is driven to seek human emancipation from oppression?

Critical theorists.

10

Normative Theory

Moral viewpoint/ideal. Sociologists are guided by this moral ideal. Have some idea of how the world should be and isn’t, and are interested in understanding that or giving humanity a “push” in that better direction.

11

Who is driven to study or "push" towards moral ideals?

Normative theorists.

12

Sociological theories are based around the...

Work of intellectual heroes. When talking about theories, we look for intellectual heroes. Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Foucault, etc. Not really a sound basis for explaining social phenomenon. How can we apply living in a particular socioeconomic context and transplant their ideas to a different 21st Century context? Treat their writings with reverence.

13

Why does sociology need theories? (2 main reasons).

* Need conceptual framework, gives individuals common language to work with.
* Way of advertising membership to subculture. Gives members identity. Recognition, familiarity. Don’t want to keep reinventing the wheel. Don’t want someone to come in and invent something that is already invented.

14

How is sociology fragmented?

There is no common narrative that binds all sociologists together. As a consequence of this, there are multiple theories in the sociology of deviance. Multiple theories trying to explain same phenomenon.

15

Give an example of how the usefulness of a sociological theory can vary:

Theory might really explain gang violence well, but may not be able to use it to explain terrorism.

16

Which theories dominate in sociology?

Interpretive, Critical.

17

Three categories of theories in sociology:

Positivist, Interpretive, Critical.

18

Positivist Theory

Belief that the social sciences can be scientific like the natural sciences.

19

Those who are more subjective and aren’t as concerned about being scientific capture ___ and ___ theories.

Critical, Interpretive.

20

Functionalist Theory

How society functions. Says that the social structure of society creates deviance. Based on the assumption that each of society’s structures will fulfil a particular function that is necessary for the maintenance of social order.

21

How is deviance treated under the functionalist theory?

Social pathology. Deviance is sickness, society is larger organism.

22

Who is associated with functionalist theories?

- August Comte.
- Emile Durkheim.
- Talcott Parsons.
- Robert Merton.
- Herbert Spencer.

23

Functionalist theories are ___-level theories.

Macro.

24

Macro-Level Theory

Focuses on societal processes.

25

How did Comte apply functionalist theory?

Society is a large, complex machine. Many parts of this machine keep it operational.

26

How idd Spencer apply functionalist theory?

Following Darwin’s work, Spencer applied this approach but used an organic analogy. Took a more biological approach. If an organ is removed, the organism dies. Deviance as a sickness. Crime, mental disorders, drug abuse, and suicide needed to be “remedied.”

27

What 2 major developments came from Spencer's work in changing the functionalist theory to a more biological approach?

* Medical Model of Deviance. Those who engage in deviant acts are sick. Suffering from mental illness.
* Emphasis on social structure and how deviance can break down society. How it can be dysfunctional. Emphasized how that dysfunction can lead to breakdown in institutions.

28

Medical Model of Deviance

Those who engage in deviant acts are sick. Suffering from mental illness.

29

Durkheim

Social solidarity.

30

Comte

Social integration.

31

Spencer

Biological analogy.

32

True or false? Strain theory is an offshoot of structural functionalism.

True.

33

Strain Theory

Deviance as a result of tension or strain experienced by people because of their position in the societal structure.

34

Durkheim’s work on suicide:

Up until that point, it was an individual act. You were a weak person, you were giving up, or there was some sort of disease. Durkheim thought there was something more complex. Started studying suicide rates instead of individual suicides. Took the focus off the individual. Suicides were not randomly distributed among countries. Predictable patterns and trends to suicide rates.

35

Social Integration

Extent to which people feel they are a meaningful part of society.

36

Durkheim's work on suicide demonstrates:

Strain Theory.

37

Social Regulation

Extent to which society regulates individual behaviour.

38

Which factors were the most common factors in explaining patterns of suicide rates in Durkheim's study?

Social integration and social regulation.

39

4 categories of suicide according to Durkheim:

* Altrustic (too much social integration). Seppuku (sacrificing themselves for the greater good).
* Egostic (too little social integration). Feel cut off from society.
* Fatalistic (too much social regulation). Under authoritarian rule.
* Anomic (too little social regulation). Normlessness.

40

Anomie

Refers to state of social strain, normative confusion, or rapid change in norms or social structure that causes people to feel they are no longer constrained by social norms.

41

What is Merton's deviance typology based on?

Durkheim's anomie.

42

Merton's Deviance Typology

Pursuing socially accepted goals through culturally approved means.

43

Those who adhere to the institutionalized means of reaching cultural goals are ___.

Conformists.

44

Those who internalize goals, but who have none of the culturally approved means are available, are in an anomic situation. Can’t get what you want through institutionalized means.

Innovation.

45

Innovation

Those who internalize goals, but who have none of the culturally approved means are available, are in an anomic situation. Can’t get what you want through institutionalized means.

46

Example of conforming:

Jimmy’s goal is to get a new video game console. His parents tell him he needs to get a job, a car, etc. Jimmy stays in school, gets a part time job at Taco Time. Saves money, manages to buy PS4 in a few months.

47

Example of innovating:

Innovating around rules of society. Jimmy is the breadwinner of the family. He can’t make enough for his family, let alone for a PS4. He sees guys with everything he wants. These guys use a burner phone to report luxury cars. Report cars for 500-600 dollars a week. The guys have discovered an innovative way to cheat the system. Jimmy is tempted by this. If Jimmy decides to do the same, he is innovating.

48

Example of retreatism:

Decides not to go through the motions. Not going to conform, not going to join the car theft ring. Jimmy runs away from home, abandons his life and starts using drugs and alcohol. Long-term “solution" could be suicide. Could be considered ultimate retreat from social strain.

49

Rebellion

Rebellion would be rejecting social goals, refusing to play the game. Joining a violent street gang, pursuing unacceptable goals through unacceptable means. Given up on getting the car, getting the house, staying in school. Given up on methods of doing that. If you go too far from innovation, you end up with rebellion.