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Intro Soc Lecture Outlines

If you miss a classroom lecture, the following is an outline of possible topics discussed during lecture on each of the chapters listed below.  These are not actual lecture notes of what was presented,  but rather a guideline used by the instructor of information that is presented in your textbook readings.  You should continue to read the chapters in order to prepare for exams.


Chapter 1


What is Sociology

Definition : The scientific study of society and human social behaviors


The sociological perspective-

understanding  human behavior by placing it within broader social context  

 - C. Wright Mills – “ sociological imagination”  


Benefits / Limitations Of Sociology  



 General Enlightenment

Challenge Popular Myth

Identify Social Problems & Design Solutions



 Human behavior too complex to predict 

Researchers can influence outcomes or behavior

Social patterns change

Value-free, objective research difficult to obtain.              


Early  Sociologists :


- Auguste Comte

“ The father of Sociology”

- Positivism - proposed idea of applying scientific method to studying social life.                                                  


- Herbert Spencer  “ Social Darwinism”

 - The fittest members will produce an advanced society.


- Karl Marx

- Believed  that social development grew out of conflict between social classes

- Conflict theorist                                 


Emile Durkheim

 - Studied how individual behavior is shaped by social forces

 - social integration

- Structural functional theorist


- Max Weber

 - Social research should be objective and value-free

 - Sociologists also need to introduce understanding into what they are studying


- Harriet Martineau

- Known for translating the works of Auguste Comte from French into English

-  Wrote about social life in United States & England


- Jane Addams

- she co-founded  Hull House in Chicago       

- co-winner of nobel peace prize     


-W.E.B. DuBois

- first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard. Helped found NAACP

-work with double consciousness


Theoretical Perspectives In Sociology


Theory – a general statement about how some parts of the world fit together and how they work.


Sociologists use three main theories-


Conflict Theory

Symbolic interactionism



 - Like an organism, if society is to function smoothly, it’s parts must work together in harmony.


- Latent & Manifest functions

- Dysfunction


Conflict Theory

 - States that society is composed of groups engaged in competition for scarce resources.


Symbolic Interactionism

 - Studies how people use symbols to establish meaning, develop views of the world and communicate


Levels of Analysis

Macro & Micro Level


Doing Social Research

- Participant Observation –researcher participates while observing what is happening.


- Unobtrusive measures –  observe people without them knowing it


- Sample group- the target group you want to study.


- Surveys-

- Open-ended questions

- Closed-end question


Chapter 2 _ Culture


Culture –language, beliefs,  values, norms, behaviors, and material objects passed  between generations


Material Culture- material objects - distinguish a group of people.


Non-material culture- group’s way of thinking, doing, and acting


Components of Culture


Values  - Ideas of what is desirable in life


Norms & Sanctions


- Norms- rules or guidelines develop from values.

 - Folkways- norms that are not strictly enforced.

 -Mores- norms that are  essential to core values.

 - Taboos- norms so strong thought of it’s violation is greeted with revulsion


- Sanctions – reactions to the ways in which people follow norms.

 -Positive / Negative sanctions

-Formal / Informal sanctions


Symbols – something which people attach meaning and significance


Language & Gestures

 - Gestures – involve using one’s body to communicate.


Technology –tools and equipment; skills and knowledge necessary to  make and use tools.


Ideal vs. Real Culture

  -Ideal culture –values, norms,  goals - group considers ideal, and worth aspiring to.

 - Real culture – the norms and values that people actually follow.


Subcultures – world within the larger world of dominant culture.


Countercultures -  members in opposition to the values of the larger culture.


Cultural Change

 - Alteration of the environment

- Cultural contact & diffusion

- Discovery & invention


Cultural Lag – not all parts of a culture change at the same pace


Cultural leveling -  cultures become similar to one another.


 Culture shock–disorientation people experience with a different culture.


Ethnocentrism - tendency to evaluate other cultures and conclude yours is superior


- Cultural Relativism - understanding people from the framework of their own culture.


- W.A.S.P. culture

 - White Anglo-Saxon Protestant

 - American culture founded on values and ideals of the early  English Colonists




Socialization is intended to turn us into conforming members

 - Socialization = Society within you


Nature vs. Nurture


Nature argument: 

 -Human behavior ruled by drives &  instincts


Nurture Argument - 

 - Almost all behavior is product of learning


Scientific support for Nurture

  - Pavlov : conditioned response

 - Skinner & Watson: behavior  modification


Isolation Studies

 - Children raised in isolation

 - Animal Studies – The Harlows Rhesus monkeys


Cross cultural studies

 - Anthropologists offer evidence-   social / cultural behavior is learned


Freud’s Development of Personality

 - Personality consists of three parts

 Id =  the inborn drives

 Superego = the conscience represents the culture within us

 Ego = the balancing force


Cooley’s Looking Glass Self

 We imagine how we appear to others

 We interpret others reactions

 We develop a self-concept


Mead’s Role Taking

- Children develop a “self ” through role play

 - Preparatory Stage 

- Play Stage 

- Game Stage


Agents of Socialization

 - People/ groups influence our self-concept, emotions, attitudes, and behavior


 - Some primary agents: - Family,  Day care , Schools ,  Peers , Churches , Co-workers,  Sports teams, Family


Diana Baumrind – Parenting Styles

 - Authoritarian Style

-  Permissive Style

- Authoritative Style


Other Agents :


 Peer Groups

 Media Influence




 - Macrosociology – places the focus on broad features of society

  - Focus on social structure


- Microsociology – - Examines  daily experiences, using close-up, detailed analysis

 - the emphasis is placed on social interaction


Social Interaction – What people do and say in one another’s presence


- Personal space – surround ourselves with a personal bubble we try to protect


 * Erving Goffman

- Dramaturgy

 - Presentation of Self

 -Impression Management

 - Actors on a stage   

 - Backstage & Frontstage

 - Use of Props


 Social Interaction Model

 - Blending Cooley’s with Goffman to examine social interaction


Social Interaction Principles

 - “ The Real Me”

 - Face saving techniques

 - “Studied nonobservance” – ignore that you saw something


- Exchange & Reciprocity

 - “ norm of reciprocity” - respond in same manner, as people treat you


Social Construction of Reality

 - social construction of reality  – Society and life experiences define what is real


- Thomas theorem – “ If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”


Social Structure

 Social structure – refers to way society is organized into predictable relationships


Social Status – the position  person occupies in society.

 Achieved status – earned status

 Ascribed status – involuntary

 Master status – overriding status


Social role –behaviors , obligations, and privileges attached to status or social position

 Role ambiguity – unclear expectations

 Role strain – multiple demands

 Role conflict – one role incompatible with another



 Social institutions – the means each society develops to meet basic needs

 Social Institutions include: - family   - religion- law  - politics- economics  - education- medicine  - science- military - mass media

Chapter 5 - Social Groups

group – think of themselves as belonging together ; they interact with one another

- category –share similar characteristics

- aggregate - share same physical space


- primary groups - groups that are  intimate, long- term,  & personal              


-secondary groups - larger, more formal and impersonal


- In groups – groups toward which  we feel loyalty


- Out groups – groups toward which we feel antagonisms


- Social networks -  the social ties that link you to other people


Reference group – the groups we use as standards to judge and evaluate ourselves


Cliques – an internal faction within a group;  a cluster of people who choose to interact together


Coalition – the alignment of some group members against others


Group Dynamics

 Group dynamics – how groups affect us & our behavior, and how we affect groups


 Small group – group small enough for everyone to interact directly  with others

 Dyad – a two person group   

Triad- a three person group


Effects of group size  

 - stability

- diffusion of responsibility

 - intimacy & conformity


Leadership types

 Leader – someone who influences the behaviors, opinions, or attitudes of others

 -Instrumental leader – keeps group moving toward it’s goals

 - Expressive leader – lifts group’s morale, keeps harmony, resolves conflict


Leadership styles

 - Authoritarian style

- Democratic style

- Laissez-faire style


Groupthink vs. Synergism

 - Groupthink – collective tunnel  vision

 - Synergism- combined forces



clear cut levels

division of labor

written rules

written records



CHAPTER 6 - Deviance


Deviance – behavior that violates standards or expectations of a group

 - deviance is any violation of the rules or norms


Conditions of Deviance

Depends on who commits the act

Depends on the situation

Depends on audience and interpretation

Social definition changes  over time


Theories of deviance


- Functionalists argue deviance has purpose ; serves a vital function in society

Clarifies moral boundaries and affirms norms

Promotes social unity

Can promote social  change


Control Theory –

 Inner Controls

 Outer Controls


Social learning theories – deviant behavior is learned, just like conforming behavior is

 - Differential association theory


Labeling Theory : society or group labels something to be deviant, and it becomes deviant


Techniques of  Neutralizatio- Five Techniques

- Deny responsibility

- Denial of any injury

- Blame the victim

- Condemn the condemners

- Appeal to a higher principle


Deviant Stereotyping

 - Exaggeration

 - Centrality & persistence

 - Dichotomizing

 - Homogeneity

 - Clustering                                          


CHAPTERS 7 & 8  - Stratification & Social CLass


 Social stratification:  system in which groups divided into layers according to their relative power, property & prestige


Social mobility - Refers to movement up or down social class ladder

  - Upward & downward mobility


Closed Systems –Positions are ascribed


Open Systems -  Social position is achieved.  Movement is possible


Types of Stratification Systems

 Slavery system – ownership of some people by others

 Caste System – status is determined by birth and is life long.

 Class System –open system where ranking based primarily on economic and social positions.


Social class –large group of people ranked together by social position


Components of social class

 - Power  - ability to carry out your will, despite resistance.

 - Prestige  - respect or high regard from others.

 - Wealth -  consists of a persons property and income. 


Status – persons social ranking


status consistency - Similar rank in power, wealth, and prestige


Status inconsistency –person has mixture of high and low ranks in power, wealth, and prestige.


The U.S. Social Class Ladder


- Upper Class ( Capitalist class)  1-2%   Old Money & New Money

 -Upper Middle Class – 15%

 -Middle Class – 30-35%    white collar jobs

- Working Class – 30-35%   blue collar positions

 -Working Poor – 20-25% - cannot make enough to pull out of poverty

 -Underclass – 1-3% ?    chronic poverty, chronic unemployment


Consequences of Social Class


Wealth & Income Distribution


Poverty in the U.S


- poverty line– official measure of  poverty


- Relative poverty / deprivation:   compare yourself to others and feel deprived


- Absolute poverty/deprivation: when a person is truly living in poverty


- Feminization of poverty – most poor families are headed by women.


Who are the Poor in America?


-Racial minorities over-represented

 - 11% of Whites are poor

- 27% African Americans & Latinos

 * most of the poor are White ( 56%)


-Women  more likely to be poor than men


-Only 2% college graduates are poor

- 25%  high school dropouts


-Most poverty is short term


-Society has an impact –  deny certain people access to education or job skill training


 Theories of Stratification


Karl Marx  - social class depends on a single factor – owning means of production

 - those who control it exploit those who do not.


Max Weber -  wealth & economic position is not the only factor in social class.

 - three components:  Property ( wealth), Power, and Prestige


Functionalist explanation

- stratification is inevitable, and necessary for society to function


CHAPTER 9 - Race Relations


Racial Group – a group of people distinguished by inherited physical/biological characteristics

 - people are seen as different because of physical appearance.


Ethnic Group – ( ethnicity) - People who identify with one another on the basis of common ancestry and cultural heritage

 - people are viewed as different because of cultural characteristics




Prejudice :  an unfavorable attitude  and negative opinion of an individual or a group


Discrimination:   an act of unfair treatment against an individual or a group

 *  Prejudice & discrimination may go hand-in-hand, but not always



Individual discrimination:  negative treatment person to person, or one person towards a whole group


Institutional discrimination: negative treatment of people by large institutions or

  negative patterns of unequal treatment woven or built into society


Scapegoat:  an individual or group that is unfairly blamed for someone else’s  troubles


Racism:  prejudice and/or discrimination on the basis of race


Affirmative Action:   policies or programs designed to correct racial & gender inequalities in social institutions.

 -Quota-based system  -  “ Reach-downs”

 -Preference-based system


Minority Groups:  people who are singled out for unequal treatment

 -  the subordinate group

- minority status can be based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc


Dominant group:  greatest power, most privileges, and highest social status


Characteristics of Minority status

- Members disadvantaged or given unequal treatment

 - Members have traits that are looked down upon.

 - Minority status is involuntary.

 - Members create a shared sense of  identity.

 - Members tend to marry within their own group.




-Expulsion ( population transfer)


-Internal colonialism


-Assimilation  ( melting pot &  anglo-conformity)





Sex traits:  biological characteristics that distinguish males & females


Gender traits: social characteristics of masculinity & femininity


Gender roles:   behaviors, attitudes, and expectations appropriate for each sex.


Gender socialization:  gender roles are learned through socialization  process


Gender stratification:  unequal access to social rewards on the basis of sex/gender.



 Patriarchy:  authority vested in men; men control the society or group.

 Matriarchy:  authority vested in women; women control the society


Egalitarian  society:  equality between men & women.  Both sexes treated as equals


Feminism:  philosophy that men & women should have equal access in all regards; organized activity on behalf of this principle


 How Females Became a Minority Group

 -Around world, patriarchy has been dominant form

 -Females classified as  minority because denied equal access.

 -Females were  primary care takers of children, and men became socially dominant


Inequality in Family


- Second Shift-  After working outside home for wages; this work includes cleaning house, cooking,  caring for the children.


-Average working woman works extra 12-15 hours per week taking care of housework & childcare

 -Closer a husband & wife’s income, more likely to share housework. 

women still do more

 -When man earns less than wife, or  is laid off, may do less housework


Strategies of resistance – while some men participate & help out, others resist. – Arlie Hochschild (1989)

 “ Waiting it out”

“ Playing dumb”

“Needs reduction”

“ Substitute offerings” 




Gender pay gap:   On average, men earn more than women

 -pay gap at all levels of education

 -after years on job, still make less than men with the same experience


Glass ceilings :  mostly invisible barrier keeps women from reaching top jobs

 -men more likely to be promoted & move up pay scale faster

 -women may lack necessary mentors and coaches

 -women may be viewed that they are going to leave  career & start a family


Glass escalator  -  men who work traditionally women’s occupations were accelerated into higher positions & higher salaries




Authority Power & Government


Power – ability to get your way, even over resistance of others.


Authority – legitimate power people accept as right.


-Coercion – illegitimate power   people do not accept as



- State-  government or political entity that claims power or authority.


- Anarchy – condition of disorder or  lawlessness caused by  absence/ collapse of government




Autocracy: power rests in hands of one person


- Monarchy = government headed by royal family; king or queen


- Dictatorship = power is seized


Oligarchy:  power is held by a small group of people. 


Totalitarianism:  government exerts almost complete control


 Democracy – Power derives from people.           

- Direct democracy

- Representative democracy


Democratic Ideals ( 3 Principles )

 - Consent of the governed / will of the people

 - Equal opportunity for all citizen

 - Majority rule while protecting minority rights



 Capitalism vs. Socialism


Capitalism :   economic system in which the means of production is primarily in private hands ( not government owned) and the main incentive is to make a profit.


Laissez-faire capitalism :  pure form of capitalism without the government interference ;  the market regulates itself


State / Welfare capitalism :  government regulates the market and economic activities for the welfare of the people.


3 principles of Capitalism

 - Private ownership of property and the means of production

 - Pursuit of profit ; profit is the goal

 - Free & open competition

      - ( monopolies & oligopolies are a threat to free trade )


Socialism :  the state or government owns the means of production, and the resources, and the basic objective is to meet the needs of the people.


3 principles of Socialism


- Government ownership of resources for the benefit of the people

 - Government distributes goods & services based on the needs of the people , not profit

 - Central planning by Government, competition is restricted


Convergence Theory -   the view that as capitalist and socialist economic systems each adopt features of the other, a hybrid or mixed economic system will emerge.


Chapter 12 - Family


Family Functions

 - meet basic survival needs

- meet emotional needs

-  care for sick and aged

- socialize & teach values

- regulate sexual activity & reproduction


Traditional families vs. Modern families

 - What is the common family form ( arrangement) ?

- What are the family obligations ?

- Who is in charge ?  Who has the power ?

- How is kinship & inheritance figured?

- Who chooses marriage partner?

- Where does the  couple live ?


Definitions of Family

 Basic social definition -  group of people who are related by blood, marriage or adoption


Various family forms ( arrangements)


Family of orientation:  the family in which the individual grows up


Family of procreation :   the family that is formed when a couple has their first child


Nuclear family:   a family consisting of husband, wife , and their children


Extended family:   a nuclear family plus other relatives ( grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.


Blended family:   a family whose members were once part of other families


Cohabiting couples:  unmarried people living together in a sexual relationship


Other family forms:    same-sex relationships, married without children, various other family forms.


Changes in the American Family

 - role of family in society

- changing roles of family members ( husband, wife, children)

- marriage & divorce trends

- other family issues


Chapter 13 – Religion


Religions around the world

- Christians              30-33%

- Muslims                 18-20%

- Hindus                   13-14%

-Buddhists                 6%

- All other religions     14%

- Non-religious            16%


Basic elements found in religion

 - Belief system

- Rituals & symbols

- Religious experience

- Sense of community


Types of religions ( social hierarchy)


ecclesia -   national or state religion ; the official religion of that society.  Religious and secular life are integrated and tightly interwoven.


mainstream church -  highly organized religious group which is formalized and usually highly bureaucratic.  The religion is highly accepted and respected.


sect - smaller than a mainstream church, and somewhat at odds with mainstream society and mainstream religions.  As a sect grows in size it becomes more respected.


cult  -  a new religion with few followers, whose teachings and practices put it in opposition to the dominant culture and religion.  If is seen as a type of counterculture, and carries negative connotations.


Religious theoretical viewpoints


Emile Durkheim  - functional perspective on religion

 - by dividing beliefs  up into the sacred and profane, a moral community is formed

 - religion provides purpose & function


Karl Marx  -  conflict perspective on religion

 - believers escape into religion, and use religion as a crutch

 - religious teachings and practices reflect and legitimates society's inequalities

 - serves the interest of the dominant group and those in power by teaching that the social arrangements represent what God desires


Symbolic Inteactionists  -  religions use symbols to provide identity and social solidarity for members.  Symbols are used to communicate with others

 -  people identify with a religion and with other believers to form a community of interacting members


Religion in the U.S.

 - membership in churches

- religion and social class connection

- religion and racial/ethnic connection


Function & dysfunction of religion

 -ways in which religion can be functional, and serve the interests of society

 - ways in which religion can be dysfunctional, and disruptive to society


Chapter 13 – Education

 No planned lecture on education or educational institutions.  See Intro Soc Exam Study Guides for key terms & review concepts


Chapter 14 – Population & Urbanization &

Chapter 15 – Social Change & Social Movements

No planned lecture on these chapters. See Intro Soc Exam Study Guides for key terms & review concepts



 Updated Monday, August 7, 2006 at 8:47:15 AM by Mark Pasion -
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