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Sociology: the study of people


Sociology: the study of people s behavior and actions in groups Social Groups Because no one person in our society can supply all of the needs and wants, we must ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sociology: the study of people

Sociologythe study of peoples behavior and
actions in groups
  • A person who studies Sociology is called a
  • There are 4 tools used by sociologists
  • Observation and analysis of human behavior.
  • Surveys of public opinion, sometimes called
    opinion polls.
  • Interviews.
  • Role Playing

Social Groups
  • Because no one person in our society can supply
    all of the needs and wants, we must belong to
    groups. The 4 primary social groups are
  • Primary small, close group, long-term
    relationships (Ex. Family)
  • Secondary larger group and less loving than the
    primary group (Ex. Formed to do a job)
  • Community group of people who work together for
    a common cause and may live close to each other
    (Ex. BCHS, your church, your neighborhood)
  • Society large group of primary and secondary
    groups and 2 or more communities (Ex. Barren
    County, KY, USA)

Socialization Process of learning the group of
social rules people should live by
  • Norms the social rules or standards of a group
  • There are 3 types of norms
  • 1. Folkways- norms of politeness or customs (Ex.
    Manners and business etiquette)
  • 2. Mores norms that are taken more seriously
    when broken and people must accept the
    consequences for their actions ( Ex.
    Excommunication from the church)
  • 3. Laws made and enforced by the government of
    the society. Formal rules to protect the people
    and may or may not be mores.

Roles Sanctions
  • Role - name given to the kind of behavior that a
    person is supposed to have in a particular
  • Role Conflict when a person acts differently
    for the different roles they may be involved in
    (Ex. Church member vs. Job role).
  • Sanctions an action that supports a social norm
  • Positive sanctions - rewards for obedience
  • Negative sanctions punishment for disobedience

The 5 Institutions(Groups needed in order to
satisfy their needs)
  • Institution of the Family
  • Meets the needs of
  • a. physical and emotional belongingness
  • b. teaching socialization of children
  • c. internalizing values and norms
  • Types
  • a. Nuclear parents and children
  • b. Extended nuclear plus grandparents, aunts,
    uncles, cousins.
  • c. One-Parent family

The 5 Institutions (cont.)
  • 2. The Institution of Education
  • Meets the needs of
  • a. helping families teach children about
    societys values, norms, and roles
  • b. teaches students about ideas from the past
    and academic skills
  • c. prepares students for the adult world
  • d. allows people to further their vocation
  • 3.5 billion dollars are spent taxes each year
    to maintain public education

The 5 Institutions (cont.)
  • 3. The Institution of Government
  • Meets the needs of
  • a. Making and enforcing laws based on the
    mores of society
  • b. keeping society safe
  • c. punishing those who break the law
  • d. protects territoriality (people, land,
    space, and objects as ones own against invasion
    from others).

The 5 Institutions (cont.)
  • 4. The Institution of Religion
  • Meets the needs of society by
  • Allowing places of worship where one can worship
    with a group
  • 5. The Economic Institution
  • Meets the needs of society by
  • Allowing people to specialize in their vocation
    (job/career) by working in an industry or

Stop Here and Review
  • What are the 4 tools used by sociologist?
  • What are the 5 social institutions?
  • What are the 3 types of norms?
  • Why do we belong to different groups?
  • What are sanctions?

  • Enforce social values.
  • Develop from societys basic beliefs.

  • Value an idea or belief about the goodness or
  • Social Stratification how a society ranks its
  • Status - the position one holds on the ladder of
    social stratification (emphasis on - Ed., wealth,
    power, salary, occupation, where you live)

  • Mobility the process of changing ones social
    status (upward, downward, horizontal)
  • Status symbols things and/or titles that tell
    everyone the persons social status

3 Social Classes
  1. Upper
  2. Middle
  3. Lower

  • Re-socialization where members of society learn
    new values and norms in hopes of experiencing a
    behavior change
  • (Ex. Prisons, Military, Youth Camps)

Communication the process of making, keeping,
and changing relationships with others
  • 2 Types
  • Verbal written or spoken
  • Nonverbal communication without spoken or
    written words or symbols
  • (ex. body language, clothing, facial expression)
  • Some sociologist claim that 90 of all human
    communication is nonverbal

Mass Media
  • A major form of communication through TV, radio,
  • 98 of households in the US have TV
  • Children watch an average of 5-6 hours of TV each

Positive effects of TV
  • Instant news coverage
  • Educational programs
  • Sports and Leisure Programming for relaxation
  • Safety information (Weather warnings)

Negative Effects of TV
  • Violence
  • By age 16, one sees 18,000 fictional murders and
    countless acts of violence.
  • Media often portray violence as okay, thus
    desensitizing people
  • Vulgarity and Sexual Activity
  • Bad values sometimes portrayed positively
  • Takes away from family time
  • Portrays society as hopeless

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  • The sum total of all behaviors, attitudes,
    beliefs, and values that are characteristic of an
  • During the 1900s there was great debate over
  • Nature (heredity) or
  • Nurture (environment and social learning)
  • contribute in the role of personality

4 Principle Personality FactorsBirth Order,
Parental Characteristics, Cultural Environment,
and Heredity
  • Birth Order
  • First born - self-motivated, responsible and
  • Middle more competitive
  • Last born more social, affectionate, spoiled,
    less serious
  • Only child independent, selfish, creative and
  • Parental Characteristics
  • Age of parents
  • Wealth
  • Occupation

4 Principle Personality Factors (cont.)
  • 3. Cultural Environment
  • a. Just being an American results in most people
    being more competitive, assertive, and
  • b. Parental treatment expectations of boys
  • c. Inner-city vs. Rural communities
  • 4. Heredity Inherited physical characteristics,
    aptitude, and talent

Socialization Theories
  • Clean Slate Theory John Locke believed that we
    acquire our personality through social
    experiences, we are born without a personality.
  • Looking Glass Theory Charles Cooley believed
    that we develop an image of ourselves based on
    how we imagine ourselves appearing to others. We
    seek approval from others. Inferiority or
    confidence is built based upon how we think
    others see us.
  • Role-Play Theory George Meade believed we take
    on roles based upon others perceptions.
    Differences between I (spontaneous/self-centered
    ) and me (cares about the expectations of

Cultural Variations
  • Ethnocentrism belief that ones own
  • culture and group is superior
  • Positive creates national pride
  • Negative discrimination violence (Nazis)
  • Cultural Relativism belief that cultures should
    be judged by their own standards (Muslims and

Cultural Variations (cont.)
  • Sub-culture a group with its unique values and
    behaviors that exists within another a larger
    culture (Ex. Amish, Chinatown, Eskimos).
  • Counter Culture a group who totally rejects the
    larger society (Ex. Skinheads, gangs, devil
    worshippers, terrorists).

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Why study social problems?1. Sociology developed
during the 17th and 18th centuries as a means to
understand new conditions created by the
Famous Sociologists
  • Auguste Comte
  • Focused on society as a whole and how society
    maintains stability
  • Founder of sociology
  • Used investigation and observation
  • We should be concerned with 2 problems
  • Order or Social Statics
  • Change or Social Dynamics
  • 1798-1857 (French)

Karl Marx
  • Marx, with his partner Friedrich Engels, created
    the famous Communist Manifesto (1848). In which
    they argued that the working class should revolt,
    and form a communist society.
  • Examined social conflict.

Herbert Spencer
  • Spencer said that society was like an organism
  • He was greatly influenced by the work of Charles
    Darwins Survival of the Fittest Theory
  • 1820-1903 (English)

Emile Durkheim
  • Durkheim used science to explain his views. (1st
    to apply the scientific method)
  • He thought that individual people are the result
    of the complex social forces.
  • Believed that values, education, beliefs, and
    religion were the glue of society.

Max Weber
  • Weber was a German sociologist.
  • In his books, he talked about how religion and
    ideals affect capitalism.
  • Studied the effects of society on individuals
    rather than society as a whole.

W.E.B. DuBois
  • DuBois was a sociologist who fought for black
    equality. Called a radical by his enemies, he
    looked to explore the social interests of his
  • Born in 1868 in Mass., he died in 1963 of
    self-imposed exile in Ghana, Africa.

In order to study sociology we must understand
  • Sociological Perspective enables one to look
    beyond commonly held beliefs to the hidden
    meanings behind human actions.
  • (Why things happen and what are their causes.)
  • Social Imagination enables one to see the
    connection between a larger world and our
    personal lives.
  • How we influence our environment visa versa.

''What our children need are lessons that explore
unfamiliar possibilities, that play on their
imaginative capacities while teaching core
democratic values like respect for persons,
property and truth.'' Secretary of
Education William J. Bennett. 1986
7 Traditional American Values
  • Morality knowing right from wrong
  • Freedom individual is free from government
  • Democracy government should represent the
  • Work hard work and discipline are the way to
    accomplish ones goals and tasks
  • Personal Achievement each person should try to
    be the best they can be in life
  • Equality all people treated fairly and equal
  • Humanitarianism helping others who are less

  • Ideology a system of beliefs or ideas that
    justifies some social, moral, religious,
    political, or economic interests held by a social
  • Self-fulfillment a new value that has emerged
    in the US which is a commitment to the full
    development of ones personality, talent, and
  • Narcissism extreme self-centeredness

Dealing with Adolescence
  • Adolescence the period between the onset of
    puberty and the beginning of adulthood ( usually
    begins at around 11-14 years old and lasts for
    6-10 years.
  • Teenager a western term that became common in
    the 1940s.
  • Teenagers should
  • Become independent (separate from the family)
  • Develop a sense of identification as a male or
  • Complete ones education
  • Begin to support oneself and make a living

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Characteristics of Adolescence
  • Biological Growth Development
  • Undefined Status
  • Increased Decision Making
  • Increased Pressure
  • Searching for Ones Self

Biological Growth Development
  • Dramatic Changes in
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Complexion

Undefined Status
  • Vague and unclear expectations on adolescents
  • Do you act like a child or an adult

Increased Decision Making
  • Careers
  • Studying
  • Sports
  • Dating / Courtship

Increased Pressure
  • Parental Pressure
  • Peer pressure in most cases the greatest
  • School Pressure
  • Relationships
  • Role Conflilcts

Searching for Ones Self
  • What values, morals, beliefs are part of you.
  • What your priorities are

  • Anticipatory Socialization learning the rights,
    obligations, and expectations of becoming an
  • This process can cause depressions and confusion
    in some adolescents
  • Families often have disagreements with their
    adolescents over degrees of freedom and
    responsibilities. This difference and seeming
    lack of understanding is referred to as the
    Generation Gap
  • Adolescents usually prefer the company of their
    peers to those of their family
  • Most problems can be solved with time and

2 Major Problems for Adolescents
  • 1. Severe Depression
  • Depression can lead to teen suicide (12 per
    100,000 population).
  • 2. Use of Drugs and Alcohol
  • Why do adolescents use drugs and alcohol?
  • Friends do
  • Social and Academic adjustment problems
  • Hostile/violent family atmosphere
  • Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes are glamorized by
    the mass media

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