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What Is Sociology?


... solutions to unique Cdn problems and constellations of problems ... Shared Myths, Symbols & Instit'ns. Shared Values. Inertia based on fear and conservatism ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What Is Sociology?

What Is Sociology?
  • The study of human interaction
    and organization.

Why Should We Learn About Cda?
  • To acquire self-knowledge who we are what are
    our life chances, etc
  • To prevent false conceptions of ourselves
  • To develop realistic solutions to unique Cdn
    problems and constellations of problems

National Unity, Nation-Building Societal
  • Introduction a) Meaning of National Unity b)
    Paradox c) Socgical Artificiality of Cdn
  • Means Used by The State to Promote Ntl Unity
  • a) Policy Legislation (name the law) b)
    Institutions c) Other State Means
  • Non-State Factors Contributing to Ntl Unity

Policy Legislative Means Used by The State to
Promote Ntl Integration
  • Unity Bill/Clarity Act, 2001
  • National Energy Policy, 1980
  • Constitution Act, 1982
  • Charter of Rts Freedoms Recognition of
    Aboriginal Rts Sec. 28 Gender Equality (to
    here 02Sept13)
  • Official Languages Act, 1969
  • Creation of Cdn Flag
  • Adoption of National Anthem Currency
  • Immigration Laws Procedures
  • CRTC Canadian Content Regulations
  • Macdonalds National Policy
  • Residential Schools
  • Cda Health Act

Nation-Bldg (contd.) Additional State Policy
Legislative Means
Institutions Created by The Stateto Promote Ntl
  • CBC NFB Mint
  • CNR
  • Cdn Council for the Arts
  • Social Safety Net (e.g. CPP EI)
  • Military (incl. Coercive integration)
  • RCMP
  • Festivals and Honorific Awards
  • Parks Canada
  • Cdn Olympic Association

Non- State Aspects of Cdn Society That Promote
National Integration
  • Sport
  • Shared Myths, Symbols Institns
  • Shared Values
  • Inertia based on fear and conservatism
  • Cross-cutting cleavages
  • Displacement of aggression escapist responses
    of some oppressed peoples/ limits challenges to
    the system
  • Cumulative Exper. Conflict Resoln
  • Spread of Nationalistic Ideology in Face of
    External Threats (Notable exceptions are
    conscription crises of WWI and WWII.)

What is The Social Fabric
  • A set of taken-for-granted social expectations,
    based on common understandings, ideals, and norms
    that define what individuals can count on when
    dealing with others and with institutions (and
    those institutions agents)
  • In assessing the state of societal cohesion, we
    need to assess -how well these expectations
    are being met - peoples sense of indebtedness to
    society - norms of reciprocity (sense of

The Implicit Social Covenant Expectations
Comprisingthe Social Fabric
  • Implicit social covenant defines what
    individuals can expect from society what
    society can expect from them.
  • Full acceptance sense of belonging to larger
  • Respect
  • Fair treatment
  • Trustworthiness of others
  • Recognition of the contributions made to
    community or society
  • Thus, membership in society entails
    OBLIGATIONS members owe something to each

Social Change and the Social Fabric
  • Some social change strengthens the social fabric
    some weakens it.
  • The social fabric is particularly vulnerable to
    weakening during periods of rapid social
    change. i.e., when it produces frustrations,
    social tensions, status anxieties
  • Those who see little chance of winning become
    alienated and marginalized.

Social Changes Affecting the Social Fabric
  • Emergence of a market culture.
  • Society as simply a set of individuals engaged
    in economic transactions as consumers of goods
    services, as taxpayers buying services from govt,
    as entrepreneurs competing for markets, etc.
  • Quiet Revolution in Quebec
  • Multiculturalism Policy
  • Immigrn Policy Incr. In Visible Minorities
  • Emergence of Indigenous Isolates
  • Womens Movement
  • Globalization Major Technological Change
  • Multiplication of Interest Groups

Concept Social Capital
  • Social capital refers to certain properties of
    relationships and networks, including
  • trust,
  • norms of reciprocity,
  • norms prohibiting anti-social behaviour, and
  • norms compelling beneficial action.

Sociologists ConcernsAbout the Market
Culture(p. 1 of 2)
  • Angus Reid (pollster) Canadas reserves of
    social capital are at risk of being quickly
    depleted by the mean-spirited individualism of
    the new economy and undermined by one-dimensional
    arguments that focus solely on the need for
    greater economic freedom.
  • Charles Taylor (The Malaise of Modernity)
    Concern that people have lost the broader view
    and feel less a part of the larger social order
    because they focus on their individual

Sociologists ConcernsAbout the Market
Culture(p. 2 of 2)
  • Market Culture Emphasizes Self-Interest
    Self-Reliance - might discourage the sense
    that we owe something to others to the
    community (sense of indebtedness to
    society) - encourages a sense of self-worth
    based on economic success
  • Market Culture Endorses a Business Framework as
    the Main Template for Social Relations
    Institutions - What counts is the bottom
    line. e.g., universities business
    plan students as customers
  • i.e. market culture as a de-stabilizing
    force that strains the social fabric.

How Fragile is the Social Fabric?Research
  • Sense of Belonging Strong re communities in
    which we live and the larger society.
  • Feeling of Indebtedness to Society Strong
  • Sense of Obligation to Help Others Strong, and
    we walk the talk. Sense of obligation to help
    anyone in need is much stronger than our sense of
    obligation to the social groups of which we are
    members Strong commitment to common good
  • Sense of Mutual Dependence Strong
  • Diversity Seen as Source of Strength

Disquieting Trends Cleavages
  • Generation Gap
  • Regional Differences esp. in sense of trust,
    commitment, recognition
  • Social Class Cleavages
  • Gulf Between Elites Masses

How Can We Reinforce the Social Fabric?
  • Encourage countervailing forces to the
    individualism of the market culture.
  • Eliminate unfairness in distribution of
    opportunities and in practices of institutions
  • Bridge social boundaries
  • Achieve fairness in social recognition
  • Narrow the gap between citizens and leaders
  • Foster community involvement
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