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Monday, December 1, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

LIMITS of Objectivity/Positivism

To download click HERE

UID: uolexternalstudent
p/w: lseexternal

How to do Sociology, Part 2 (CH 2 of the SG)

The Ideal of Objectivity:

I. Objectivity: Personal neutrality, being detached from subjects (see Ch 3 of the SG). To apply the scientific method w/o personal biases.

Weber - People choose topics according to their belief & interests. (aka value relevant)
I agree, this is why I'm doing Race & Ethnicity for Section C due to my experience growing up in the US and Japan and the last 7 years I spent in South Korea.

Weber warned sociologists to be "Value Free", aka Objective. One way to limit distortion/bias is replication: Repetition of research by other investigators. If the same results are achieved then confidence is gained that the findings/results are accurate (reliable & valid).

Accurate = Reliable + Valid

II. LIMITS, to see the text I'm referring to and a more in-depth explanation, click HERE
1. Human behavior too complex to predict (Perhaps, interpretivism ontology?)
2. Presence of researcher may affect behavior of the subject.
3. Social patterns change, what is true in one time or place may not hold true for another.
4. Being value-free is difficult, because researchers are also part of this world.

III. Interpretive Sociology (aka Interpretivitism, see Ch 3): Basically pioneered by Weber, he believed that researchers should study the meaning that individuals attach to their actions.
Example: When Muslims fast during Ramadahn, the positivists may see it as members of this religion fasting for 30 days every year. Whereas in interpretivitism, we would see that through the fasting, by the physical cleansing through the fast, it is symbolic of the spiritual cleansing. It is also to remember the less fortunate in our society and to serve as a reminder to uphold one of the five pillars of Islam, which is "Charity".

Weber coined the term, "Verstehen" - In German, it literally means understanding, so the interpretive sociologists observes WHAT people do & WHY they do it.

IV. Positivism (discussed in the CH 3 notes) click HERE for more details

V. Critical Sociology - Rejecting the notion that society as a natural system within a fixed order. Focused on the study of society on the need for social/political change. (perhaps Marx, Comte?)
It contradicts Weber's notion of detatchment/objectivity. Critical sociologists want to use their findings to be the voice of those who do not have the power to speak.
Think of it this way:


I hope this will help you remember this better :)

Simply put, they believe that all social research is political or biased, they have no choice in this matter so they can choose which position to support.

Can you think of a moder critical sociological group today?
1. NOW (National Organization for Women)??? Are they Critical sociologists?
2. Greenpeace?
3. NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

What do you think? Hope y'all leave a comment and write down your thoughts.

Tomorrow I will post the Research Orientation/Theory/Methods

My Notes for Chap 2 SG, How to do Sociology, Part 1

Gotta understand this before we talk about methods.
To hear relevant lectures, click HERE

For 6 misconceptions/assumptions for Chap 2, click HERE

For the causation/correlation example, click HERE

I. Before we can talk about Sociological Research & Methods, we must understand the following question: "What is the sociological perspective?" See Ch 1 for the answer, and for those of you studying along with us, please post your answers in the comments box. Why do I ask this, because there are 2 basics of Sociological Investigation:

1. Apply the sociological perspective (See Chapter 1 of the Main Texts)
2. Be curious & ask questions
a) How does socio-economics affect a child's prospects of an education?
b) Did Moonies become Moonies by choice or via brainwashing?

II. Various "TRUTHS"
1. Saying we "know" something aka belief/faith. (Perhaps supernatural knowledge that Comte refers to?)
2. Truth from "EXPERTS". I hope this is self-explanatory.
3. Simple agreement within society: morals, ethics, what society sees as right & wrong.
4. Scientific "TRUTH": Logical system that bases knowledge on direct, systematic observation dependent on "EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE". Information we can verify with our senses.

Please refer to the 6 common assumptions/misconceptions held by North Americans, please click HERE, a lot of examples of #3 here.

There are accepted as universal "TRUTHS". Remember what momma said, "Believe 1/2 of what you read and none of what you hear."

III. 3 Ways to do Sociology:
1. Scientific: Studying sociology through scientific methods aka "positivism" (see Ch 3 of the SG)
a) Elements of Scientific Sociology:
i) Concept: Simplified, a micro-view of the world; family, race, social class, etc.
ii) Variable: (Think mathematics here), concept whose values change from case to case.
iii) Measurement: Procedure to find the quantitative value of a variable in a specific case.

Related term: Descriptive stats - the "average" for a lot of people.

IV. Defining Concepts: How to measure the abstract? Love, family, intelligence, etc.
A) Operationalizing a variable: Specify exactly what's to be meandered before assigning a value (aka quantifying) to a variable.

Good example: The US presidential election.
1. What percentage of eligible voters will vote?
a) Republicans
b) Democrats
c) Other

2. Socio-economics of voters
a) 18-25
b) 26 - 32
c) 33 - 40

Hope this makes it a little clearer. We can add males/females, race, educational level, etc.

V. Reliability/Validity
A) Reliability is a consistency in measurement. Basically if you get the same results after double, triple, quadruple checking you get the same results, it's considered "RELIABLE".
B) Validity is actually measuring exactly what you intend to measure (concept).
Reliability does not always equal validity, such as correlation does not equal causation.

1. The Validity Dilemma: How to get a valid measurement? How do you measure...
a) How religious people are?
b) How close families are?

2. Relationship among variables: Cause & Effect (see Causation Ch 3 in the SG)

3. Correlation: When variables change together. Remember correlation doesn't equal causation

4. Spurrious Correlation: An apparent but false relationship between 2 or more variables that is caused by some other variable. Please click HERE to see a clearer example.

By holding variables constant and by adding other variable, seeing what happens to the results. So, for CAUSE & EFFECT to be established (valid), it must meet the following requirements:

1. Demonstrated Correlation
2. An independent (causal) variable that occur before the dependent variable
3. No evidence that the 3rd variable could be causing a spurrious correlation.

Correlation & Cause Example

To download, please click HERE

Use the following:
UID: uolexternalstudent
p/w: lseexternal

6 Sociological Misconceptions Believed to be true by North Americans

To download, click HERE
Use the following:
UID: uolexternalstudent
p/w: lseexternal

Helpful Lecture to get a better understanding of Chap 2 of the SG

Sorry, I know I posted this earlier, but I'd rather have it in one easy convenient place for ya.

Before or after reading Chapter 2 of the Sociology study guide I highly recommend you listen to this lecture from Dr Serena Chen from UC Berkeley (Psych 160, Social Psychology), part 2 not so necessary, but Part 1 a definite must.  To play (streaming), press the play button, to download click the title.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me, if you notice I respond right away :) And to those who find my blog unuseful, you don't have to come and to those that expressed kind words, thank you, you dudes & dudettes keep me motivated.  Let's all get first class honours y'all.  Sorry I speak American not English LOL

Monday, October 27, 2008

Globalization & Ethnicity Lecutre

By Dr. Bruce J. Berman, Queens University (Australia)
To listen to the streaming audio, push the play button to the left of the title, to download the mp3 file, click the title :)

Globalization and Ethnicity, Part 1
Globalization and Ethnicity, Part 2
Tribalism and the Social Construction of Ethnicity

Friday, October 24, 2008

For those of you doing Race & Ethnicity for Section

I'm doing Race & Ethnicity for Section C, This is Race & Ethnicity in psychotherapy, the role of ethnicity in identity.

John Auerbach, PhD from East Tenesee University

Thinking Like a Social Scientist Lunch Time Lecture Series at LSE

The Thinking Like a Social Scientist Lunch Time Series, I will upload more :)
To listen to the streaming audio, push the play button to the left of the title, to download the mp3 file, click the title :)

Kimberly Hutchings 14 October 2008
John Sidel 12 March 2008
Stuart Corbridge 6 Feb 2008
by Saul Estrin 30 Jan 2008
Danny Quah 24 Jan 2008
Ron Anderson 17 Jan 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Discrepancy between the Sociology Reading List & Study Guide

Hey guys, for those of you sitting the 21 Principles of Sociology module, there's a big mistake that LSE made, I directly contacted LSE External study office and they acknowledged the mistake.

Reading List states, we should read Gidden 5th edition, but the Study Guide refers to the 4th edition.

They told me the appropriate pages will be on the VLE, but the Subject Guide uploaded to the VLE is also referring to the 4th edition, there are even some mistakes in regards to Scott & Fulcher in regards to organization something something, I didn't get the exact name of the book, because it didn't concern me.

Chatper 3, Section 3.1 & 3.4, Study Notes

3.1 (We'll skip Methodology revisited section)
Interesting Wikipedia article on Ontology, click HERE

Ontology - It is concerned with WHAT SOCIETIES ARE

Since this is talking about society as a whole, this would be a macro view.

Comte's determinism concept also falls under the ontology umbrella. A better way to understand this, think of the CASTE system. You're born into what you're born into.

Marx & Durkheim viewed societies as social structures. It's the social structures that regulate and shape individual's behavior.

That's where they agree, but the differences are:
Marx - He believed as the actions of the individuals were shaped by the economic structure of the society. (Materialist view)
Weber - Believed the actions of the individuals were shaped by the morals and values of the society put in place. (Idealist view)

In other words, they both believe that the structural organization of society shaped the people within it, they disagreed on how their actions were shaped (materialist vs. idealist)

Also related to empiricism, positivism, realism & post-modernism.

Then there are tow more theories within ontology:
1. Action theorists - Simply put, people shape society not the other way around. They believed that sociologists should study the social actions and the meaning people attach to these actions. (Weber, interpretivitism, or anti-determinism)
Example: Capitalism borne out of the Protestant work ethic and predestination.
2. Structural theorists - (Think Marx & Durkheim) Believes that the organization of society shapes the action of the people.

Now, let talk about Epistemology:
It explores the basis for knowledge - HOW WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW.
In other words, by using the scientific method, how did you get the results, how do you JUSTIFY your findings?

There are 2 camps in Epistemology:
1. Naturalist - Think of them as positivists, believers in the scientific method (as applied to the natural sciences like chemistry, physics, etc. Thus Naturalist) to justify their findings. They believed results of social science studies can be quantified.
2. Anti Naturalist - Natural sciences can be quantified because of the nature of the science, for example, 2+2 will always = 4. Whereas societies and people are dynamic, so it's not constant. They believed in interpreting the subjectivity of the people they're studying. (Interpretivism - Weber).

Even within epistemology, there are disagreements. What is called the subject(ive) or object(ive) dilemma? There are 3 schools of thoughts on this.
1. Detachment (I hope this is self explanatory)
2. Immersing yourself as closely as possible in the lives of those they are studying (See page 38 of the SG, Video/DVD: The Making of a Moonie, where the author actually lives with and joins the church).
3. You actually have to be a member of the social group being studied, or at least have share the same kind of experiences personally, to provide valid knowledge of their behavior. Simply put, if you never went through it how can you speak with any authority on it?

I myself am a personal believer in steps 2 & 3. For example, how can I know anything about, for example, about Islam unless I go to the mosque, pray, eat Halal food, participate in the Ramadhan, etc.

As for #3, how can a white researcher write about and make theories about Asian people or black people. How can a researcher understand about ex-convicts if he/she's never been in jail or prison?

Sorry that's my 2 cents. It's because if an Asian or black person wrote a sociological research paper on white people, they would give us the same crap. Once again, I"m sorry, this isn't a political pulpit :)

Finally, we talked about Realism:
Realism is similar to positivism in the sense that the scientific methods should be applied, but differs in its interpretation.

Positivists believe all results/findings can be quantified like math, chemistry (natural sciences) and they believed in the causation theory (aka correlation = causation).

Whereas realists believed there are underlying generative mechanisms (fancy way of saying variables to what caused what happened).

Realism is very non-empiricist unlike positivism. All data is theory-dependent. They believed in generating data to test theories against each other (comparing theories).

The main goal of realism is to find the underlying causes of the effect. For example, Comte's causality theory believed

a) Economic recession -> b) Increased unemployment & economic deprivation -> c) increased crime

Whereas in realism, you would look for rival theories and compare the data/findings and the underlying generative mechanisms (increased crime).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A prodcutive study session on Skype today & notes (summary)

Hey dudes & dudettes:
I want to thank Nor & Laura for meeting me on Skype today, a really productive study session. Thank you, for those of you that also wish to join us please send me a PM at Yansa or leave a comment.

Here's some notes from our session (SG Chapter 3.2 & 3.3) Tomorrow we will discuss 3.1, 3.4 & 4.1

3.2 Postivism: In order to understand positivism. You must know the opposite of positive, which is normative (we'll talk about this later). This concept is associated with Comte. Let's put everything in historical concept. He wasn't too far removed from Frances Bacon creating the scientific method, the French Revolution, heck even the Renaisssance (OK, give or take a few years). Prior to Comte, it was all about the philosophers.

The difference between philosophers & Comte's goals.
Comte wanted to apply scientific methods to how society worked. He wanted to create quantitative data attached to society's actions. A good example is his suicide research findings (read your BOOK). Philosophers on the other hand made normative statements, meaning they discussed and wrote what the ideal society would be. So he wanted Sociology to be accepted like the natural sciences (math, chemistry, physics, etc), then again of course he did, he coined the term :) thus the scientific application of society.

Causality & Determinism:
Causality, Comte assumed that correlation = causation. Although today, we know this not to be true. Which leads us to determinism. Because of his causality ideology he believed that the societal environment or the organization of societies in which people live cause them to think and act in the way they do, irrespective of their free will. (See figure 3.2 in the SG). Religiously speaking this is similar to the Predestination theory that the Presbyterians share, in that whether we become saved or not, it is predestined who will be saved and who will not, which contradicts with free will that they teach. Oh well.

Methodology: Once you have a theory, the questions will be bent more towards getting a quantitative answers.

How Comte & the philosophers were similar:
Despite the fact Comte wanted to make sociology a positive science (positivism), he also shared a normative view as the philosophers did. But Comte believed that he was different from the philosophers because he applied scientific methods to his observations of society. Comte in the end believed that human behavior can be predicted based on his sociological science and through his science he can create a better society.

3.3 Interpretivism: Associated with Weber.aka Interpretative sociology, MEANING is the key word here. What MEANING does the action a person perform mean to that person.
The 3 key differences between POSITIVISM:
#1. Scientific Sociology (Positivism) focuses on action whereas interpretative sociology focuses on the meaning people attach to their actions.

#2. Scientific sociology sees reality as "Out there". Whereas interpretativism sees people creating their own reality in the course of their everyday lives.

#3. Positivism focuses on quantitative data whereas Interpretivism focuses on the qualitative data.

VERSTEHEN - We can't talk about interpretivism w/o talking about VERSTEHEN, which in the German language means "understanding". It's a sociological way of saying "Putting yourself in the other person's shoes."

Methods, We'll discuss later. (Read Chapter 2 of your SG & the required text).

Be careful of RELATIVISM, where one theory or study is seen as just as good as any other.

Hope this was helpful, please feel free to leave a comment or email me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Research Methods, helpful for Chapter 2 of the SG

1st of 2 parts discussing research methods. Lecture by Dr. Serena Chen, great for Chapter 2 of the Sociology Study Guide, really paints a clearer picture of Research Methods.

Intro to Social cognition For Chapter 2 of the SG Methods

Think of this as part 2 of the Methods lecture by Dr. Serena Chen of UC Berkeley, the link for the class and lectures are available HERE. For those of us doing Chapter 2 in the Sociology study guide, research methods, this gives a clearer picture of the methods. Hope this helps.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Why is it Always 'Us' and 'Them': on the natural history of thinking through groups

Lecture from Professor Lawrence Hirschfeld

Ooops, to download the mp3 is possible

Hey Jen,

If you want to download the mp3, just point your cursor to the lecture you want to download and right click and save target as (IE users) or save link as (for Firefox) and you should be able to download it.

A reply to Jen's comment

Hello Jen,

Thank you for your kind comments, I will upload related lectures for sociology HERE

Just point your mouse over the mp3 box and right click and choose save link as (for Firefox) or save target as (for IE users)

Let me know if there are other lectures or videos you're interested in.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A new community on Yansa for BSc Management majors

Hey guys, with the limit of my blog and email, I created this community HERE so we can post our homework, discussions, answers, etc here, let's meet here for discussions

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Stanford's Entrepreneurship Corner: Geoff Davis of Unitus

Perhaps this should have been posted in the Econ blog? I don't know, I think this is more related to Globalization than Econ, let me know what you guys think.

Micro credit - A profitable business? click HERE for info or HERE to download
Davis believes that microfinance institutions can be profitable. This is a business opportunity with incredible social impact, he says.

For those of you that don't know what to do for Section C, my breakdown

Just read the study guide on Section C, so based on the study guide, race & ethnicity is its own thing, you don't have to read other related materials whereas Power, Gender, Social Inequality & Social Injustice, Religion & Society, Power in Society, The sociology of organizations, you have to read a lot of cross reference materials.

The reason I chose race & ethnicity (over social inequality & social injustice) is because growing up in the US and Japan, even amongst my own people we saw each other differently, even though I always saw ourselves as Korean, and the racism that is so prevalent in the US, even though things changed on the surface level, (laws, census, etc), the xenophobia, the racism, etc didn't go away.

Race & ethnicity: it's self contained in the sense that, there are no related reading materials (cross reference) but if there's not that problem in Trinidad leave it alone!!!!

BUT or HOWEVER, if you want to get ready for next year (BSc Management), the sociology of organizations might be the way to go because its related to the management class 107 Introduction to business and management but if it's something you're not passionate about, don't do it. I'm sure not, then again, it may prepare you for the class next year. Your choice. But I'll list the pros & cons for ya:

Gender - Gender & equality, probably a lot of focus on feminists, role of gender in society, families etc. If there's no ERA women where you're at or perhaps you don't have to fill traditional gender roles (of women of Indian descent) or you don't have a problem filling the gender roles, etc. This is not for you.

Social inequality & social injustice - if you're a first generation immigrant (you came with your parents) this may be the topic for you. Access to educational, economic, legal activities. e.g. if a white Brit or US citizens goes to court will they get less time than a so-called minority (in the US, the answer unfortunately is a staggering yes, don't know about the UK though). Educational opportunities - Do you have access to equally good education as your white counterpart, if you're not white? In the US, people have to go to public schools within their neighborhood (zones) and the more economically disadvantaged the neighborhood, the lower the quality of education. Economic opportunities - promotions, getting that job after graduation, any pay disparities? Very interesting topic but there's so much about Marx, & Weber and sociological theories we have to remember to argue our agreement or disagreements!!!!!!!!!

Religion & Society: Are you Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist? How do you fit within the parameters of society, globalization, modernity? Gotta become an expert on Section B for this one!!!!Research methods too!!!

Power in society - hope this is self explanatory, Marx, Weber, etc.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hey guys some helpful lectures from the LSE public lecture series

These lectures are very relevant to our Sociology readings, from the LSE public lecture series, I will upload more if there's a demand for it, please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know.

Multiculturalism and Secularism

Migration and Social Transformation

The European Union and the Challenge of Globalisation

The Two Faces of Asia: bridging the gap between high growth economies and the poor

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chapter 1 Notes (Macionis Soc 12th Edition)

Some important things I think we should know, just the highlights, plus you can refer to the chapter summary below.

Theory: A statement of how & why specific facts are related.

Page 14: Sociological approach
1. Structural Function approach: It's a framework for building theory whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability in society.
A) Social structure - any relatively stable pattern of social behavior.
B) It also looks for social function, the consequences of any social patterns for the operation of society as a whole (August Comte & Durkheim) <-When writing essays get used to citing people and put it in parenthesis as I did here. Spencer compared society to the human body in that every organism has a role relative to the whole body.

From this we have the following:
A) Manifest Functions: The recognized intended consequences of any social patterns.
B) Latent Functions: The unrecognized and unintended consequences of any social patterns
C) Social dysfunction: Any social pattern that may disrupt the operation of society (street gangs, drug addicts, crime, etc).

2. Social-Conflict approach: A Framework for building theory that sees society as an area of inequality that generates conflict and change -> Look at ongoing conflict between the dominant group and disadvantaged (e.g. The US civil rights movement of the 50's & 60's).

From this we have the following:
A) Feminism & Gender Conflict: Approaches inequality and conflict between men & women in society. Feminism = support of social equality between men & women.
B) Race Conflict: Conflict between different racial & ethnic categories.
3. Symbolic interaction approach: It shares 2 approaches,
A) Macrolevel orientation - broad focus on social structures that shape society.
B) Microlevel orientation - Close up focus on social interaction in specific situations.
*It is a framework for building theory that sees society as a product of everyday interaction of individuals (Max Weber).

Questions, at least these are the questions I have and my thinking, let me know what you think.
1. Let's look at structural functional approach, in the manifest function of trying to define or find sociological data on any particular ethnic group we can learn where crime, terrorism etc arises and possibly the why's. So is the latent function of this racial profiling by people who are not intellectually equipped with the true sociological knowledge that may lead to stereotypes and have a prejudice towards Arab men, or men with Islamic last names especially when terrorism is the new bogeyman for the US? Let me know what you think. My personal experience having grown up in the US, Asian students had the stereotype of being model citizens and students therefore we were racially profiled into that group. Black men are racially profiled by the LAPD so many black men are pulled over by the police based just on their skin color.

2. Feminists say they want equal rights, that being the manifest functions. Could the latent function of fighting for equal rights lead to the goal of wanting to be greater than they are fighting against? These are just some of the questions I have, let's discuss :)

Chapter 6 Review - Macionis Sociology 12th edition

Product Description
ISBN: 0136016456
ISBN-13: 978-0136016458

More detailed than the main reading of Macionis: A Global Introduction (more expensive too!!!)

On the 3rd page just answer the essay questions

Chapter 1 Review - Macionis Sociology 12th edition

Product Description
ISBN: 0136016456
ISBN-13: 978-0136016458

More detailed than the main reading of Macionis: A Global Introduction (more expensive too!!!)

On the 3rd page just answer the essay questions

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Unit information sheets

We provide unit information sheets to help you choose which units to study. The sheets include key information such as the syllabus, on which you’ll be examined; the unit aims and objectives; learning outcomes; an essential reading list; prerequisite and exclusion information; and method of assessment.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sociology Chapter 1 SG Questions

Hey guys here's the SG Chapter 1 activities questions, if you guys want me to send you a copy of the word doc, please email me & I'll be happy to send you a copy of the doc, and let's answer the questions and self critique each other. DON'T PROCRASTINATE, AND LET'S BE BRUTALLY HONEST.


Study Guide, Chapter 1 Activities:


Activity 1.1 A changing world:

Write down five ways that your life is different from that of your mother (if you are female) and your father (if you are male) when they were your age. If you cannot compare yourself with a parent for some reason, then choose another relative or acquaintance 20-30 years older than you.

Activity 1.2 What is sociology?

Before reading any further, let's answer the following questions

  1. What do you think sociologists study?
  2. How do you think a sociologist's understanding of some aspect of social life would be different from 'commonsense' understanding?

Activity 1.3 Making the familiar strange. (See page 20)

Activity 1.4 Social & sociological problems – Which of the following do you think are better described as 'social problems' and which do you think are better described as 'sociological problems'?

  1. Rising divorce rates in your society.
  2. The role of educational institutions in modern societies.
  3. How societies change.
  4. The organization of economic production in your society.
  5. Unemployment.
  6. Illegal drug use.

Activity 1.5 Marx & Weber today: alienation & creativity (see page 25 of the SG).

Do you think either or both of these ideas apply to your society or to your personal experiences? Can you think of some examples that:

  1. Illustrate:
  2. Contradict Marx & Weber's views (Chapter 4, section 4.2)


Activity 1.6 Self & Society: (See page 27 of the SG)












Activity 1.7 Gender differences

Write down 5 differences if you were the opposite sex, out of these differences which do you think are biological or societal.


Activity 1.8 Roles

Write a few brief notes about some of the expectations you think are placed on them (page 28-29)

Activity 1.9 Personal Identity.

  1. If so, ask yourself why you think you have developed this view of yourself.
  2. What do you think have been some of the most important influences on the way you see yourself?
  3. Are there any particular incidents that stand out as being particularly important?
  4. Also ask yourself how much the social expectations and the reactions of other people influence your behavior.


Activity 1.10 Spoiled identity?

Think about how & why people suddenly react differently to us.


Activity 1.11 A new you?

Did changing yourself work? If so, did you notice people reacting to you differently. Did this affect the way you thought about yourself?

Activity 1.12 Presentation of self.

Do you think Goffman's right? Plus can you think of recent developments in technology that now give people more scope to present different identities?


Activity 1.13 Taking the rold of the other – Daniel's day. (page 34 & 35)


Activity 1.14 Parsons & Mead.


Activity 1.15 (reanswer the Activity 1.2 question)

Giddens/Macionis Sociology Resources

OK, guys let's hit the Gidden's Assignment Guide for Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 as required by the SG Chapter 1.


Assignment Guides

For Macionis readers (I'm not reading the Global Introductions, I'm reading Sociology 12th edition)


Assignment Guide, Chapter 1
Essay Questions - Turn Into Each Other, let's self critique

Assignment Guide Chapter 6
Essay Questions - Turn into Each Other, let's self critique

Syllabus for Chap2 of the SG

I will refer to the Main Text as MT from now on and Study Guide as SG

Oct 13 & 14
MT Fulcher & Scott Ch 3 or
Giddens (2001) Ch 20 or
Macionis A Global Introduction (2002 & 2005) Ch 3 or
Macionis Sociology 12th edition, Ch 2
SG 2.1 to 2.2 (page 37 to 46)

Oct 15:
Discuss Activity 2.1 to 2.4

Oct 16 to 20:
SG 2.3 to 2.5 (ppg 66)

Oct 21 to 22
Discuss Activity 2.5 to 2.12

Oct 23 to 26:
Discuss MT exercises

Oct 27 to 30:
MT: Fulcher & Scott (2003) pp 14 to 17 & 24-25
or Giddens (2001) pp 640-641
Macionis GI (2002) pg 41 to 46 or (2005) 44-69
Macionis 12th edition ppg 631 to 636

Chapter 3, pg 67 to 81
Activity 3.1 to 3.7

Oct 30 & 31
Discuss Activities 3.1 to 3.7

Nov 1 to 3:
Discuss Book activities

Syllabus for Chapter 1 of the SG

Oct 6 to 10
Discuss Sociological concepts & ideas, email each other answers to questions from SG etc.

What we should get out of Chapter 1 of the SG
1. How to approach studying sociology
2. What sociology is.
3. The difference between sociology and commonsense.
4. What is meant by Sociological thinking.
5. The relationship between the individual and society.
6. Socialization and identity formation.

Learning outcomes:
1. How to study sociology, what is meant by active learning, and what examiners are looking for.
2. What sociologists study.
3. Some of the key ways that sociology gives us insights that go beyond commonsense understanding.
4. What is meant by thinking sociologically and soiologists' interest in social order, social change and the relationship between the individual and society.
5. How our identities arise from social relationships.
6. What sociologists mean by socialization and identity, and how Parsons and Mead put forward different explanations of these processes.

Helpful links:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Essay Question 1

1. Explain the problem of drug abuse from a structural-functional, social-conflict, and symbolic-interaction approach.

Explain the historical roots of sociology in the areas of social change, science, gender, and race.

Explain the relationship between sociology and stereotypes.

What do different forms of the media teach us about race, class and gender?

What do stereotypes tell us about the world we live in? How do sociologists deal with stereotyping?

Explain the Thomas theorem and how it relates to the social construction of reality.

List and discuss the key points of the dramaturgical view of everyday life and ethnomethodology.

Explain the concepts of touching and personal space and how they vary from culture to culture.

Describe the importance of social interaction to individuals in our society.

10. Why is it important for international corporations and businesses to understand the way that other cultures interact? Do you think this will become an increased necessity in the future? Why or why not?

Why is it important to choose your words carefully when you are interacting socially? What type of an impact does it have when people use terminology or inappropriate words to describe people with different backgrounds? What affect can it have when someone works in a highly visible job in the public eye?

How many messages do you hear a day about gender? Are all of the messages you hear the same? What messages do you hear from family members? From friends? From the media? From school teachers? What does this tell us about the social construction of gender through language and social interaction?

What do web sites like this tell us about teaching honesty to children? Do you think parents spend less time speaking to professionals face-to-face about advice for parenting now that the Internet is so accessible?

What we should get out of the Study Guide Chapter 1


After reading Chapter One, you should be able to:

  • Define sociology and examine the components of the sociological perspective.
  • Explain the importance of a global perspective for sociology.
  • Examine how social marginality and social crisis encourage people to use the sociological perspective.
  • Identify and describe four benefits of using the sociological perspective.
  • Identify and discuss three social changes especially important to the development of sociology.
  • Identify and describe the three-stage historical development of sociology as a science.
  • Discuss the importance of theory in sociology.
  • Summarize the main assumptions of the three major theoretical approaches in sociology.
  • Discuss the application of the three approaches to the sociology of sport.
  • Define social interaction and identify its components.
  • Distinguish between ascribed and achieved status and describe master status.
  • Distinguish between role set, role strain, and role conflict.
  • Discuss the extent to which reality is socially constructed.
  • Explain the Thomas Theorem.
  • State the purposes of ethnomethodological research.
  • Outline the characteristics of Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis.
  • Discuss the importance of nonverbal communication in human social interaction.
  • Examine ways in which gender influences personal performances, including use of language.
  • Examine the character of humor.
  • Explain the major elements of social interaction by focusing on three dimensions of everyday life: emotions, language, and humor.

Sociology Lecture Zone

Helpful sociological resources here

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The 4 lectures below very helpful

I have posted 4 series of downloadable mp3 audio lectures on Marx, Durkheim and Weber. If you scroll down you will see them, especially helpful for those who are taking sociology w/ law. Lectures from theLegal Studies 103 Theories of Law and Society offered by UC Berkeley, let me know what you think everybody.

Lectures on Weber

Please click on the lecture you're interested in below and it will automatically download :)

Weber's Sociological Methods

Weber: Typology of Domination (1) - Authority and its Forms

Weber: Typology of Domination (2) - Structures and Dynamics

Weber: Bureaucracy and its Leading Features

Weber: Bureaucracy and Social Rationalization

Modern Society's Spheres of Rationalization: State, Economy and Law

Weber: Modern Law and Moden Bureaucracy

Weber: Modern Law and Formal Rationalization (Juridical Formalism)

Weber: Formalism, Bureaucracy and Modern Individualism

Lectures on Durkheim

Click on any of the lectures you're interested in below and download :)

Durkheim?s Division of Labor ? Organizing Elements

Durkheim: Two Forms of Law and Their Moral Orientations

Durkheim: Status to Contract Revisited

Durkheim: Modern Individualism Revisited

Durkheim: Moral Individualism and Modern Society

Durkheim: The Politics of the Sociology of Morals

Durkheim and Weber; The Division of Labor

Download Lectures here

Durkheim and Weber; The Division of Labor

Lectures on Karl Marx

Please click on the lecture below for download

Marx: Towards Historical Materialism

Marx: Capitalism and Human History

Marx: State and Law in Capitalist Society (1)

Marx: State and Law in Capitalist Society (2a)

Marx: State and Law in Capitalist Society (2b)

Marx: the Rights of Man and Citizen (Instructor ran overtime. Podcast ends early)

Marx: law, power and social conflict

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lecture on Marx, Durkheim & Weber from UC Berkeley

Very great lecture on the the big 3 of sociology

Click here for the link

Here's the video on how to subscribe to the RSS

A Very Simple Essay Writing Tip: Opening paragraph

One tip I learned when writing an essay, they say, is to think like a journalist. The principle being the 5 W's and the 1 H,

1. The 5 W's and the H, I will refer to this as the 5W/1H from now on.
A) Who - Who is the story/essay about?
B) What - What happened? What's your point, etc.
C) Where - Where is it happening.
D) When - When did it happen?
E) Why - Why did it happen?
F) How - How did it happen.

So, for an essay, let's use the 5 paragraph format. In the opening paragraph, don't be coy, lay everything out on the line using the 5W/1H format, but make it a little interesting.

For example, let's look at the "Who"
Most beginning writers would say, "Marx was a sociological economist that believed the workers were not getting the fair value of their work and were being exploited."

Let's jazz it up a little bit :)
During the industrial revolution, it was a time of rapid sociological change. Gone are the days of the feudal lords, who owned land and gave penance to the share croppers. Factories were being built and a new labor system was being born. Karl Marx saw these changes and saw the inequities and the conflict of the classes.

If you look at the prior paragraph, I have answered the when, where, and the what question along with the who. This is a starting point, in which you can start to practice your opening paragraph.

One more note: For SAT essays (in the US), the average time a grader reads an essay is 60 to 75 seconds, SECONDS!!!! not MINUTES, a school here in South Korea asked me to give a SAT writing workshop once. My advice to them: Make the opening paragraph great. The 1st & last line of each paragraph great!!!!

Now, this is college level and I don't know how much time they spend per paper, but a lot of this made hold water for our essays also.

Another tip. If the time for essays are 2 hours and 30 minutes for example, then we should practice for 2 hours 20 min, then 2:10, then 2:00. Once we become proficient at 2 hours, then that extra 30 minutes will seem like a lifetime.

Hope this helped :)

I will post more on the body at a future date :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gidden’s Sociology Chapter 1 Notes

The first question we have to answer:


What is sociology? Sociology may be generally defined as the study of the social relationships. Sociologists explore different forms of social institutions, the relationships between them and how individuals experience them. SG, pg 19


Comte: He was credited with coining the term "Sociology."

  1. He believed society conforms to invariable laws the same way the physical world does.
  2. Positivism: Holds that science should be concerned only with observable entities that are known directly to experience.
  3. Comte's Law of Three Stages:
    1. Theological: Guided by religious ideas & belief that society was an expression of God's will.
    2. Metaphysical: Society seen in natural not supernatural means.
    3. Positive: Encouragement of scientific techniques to the social world.


Durkheim: Came after Comte, thought Comte's work was too vague and speculative.

  1. Believed social life must be studied with the same objectivity as natural sciences in an empirical matter.
  2. His three main themes of sociology:
    1. The importance of sociology as an empirical science.


  1. The formation of a new social order: The concept of solidarity (moral & social) was born from this concept. He believed solidarity is maintained when individuals are successfully integrated into social groups and are regulated by a set of shared values and customs.


  1. Character of moral authority in society.


  1. Division of Labor in Society: The growth of distinctions between different occupations.
    1. Mechanical solidarity: He believed traditional cultures with a low division of labor are united this way. This is a bonding of society by common occupation experience and shared beliefs (by sharing the same occupation). In other words, they are bound together by common experience and shared beliefs.
    2. Organic Solidarity: Society being held together by economic interdependence, and their recognition of the importance of other's contributions.
    3. Anomie: Durkheim linked anomie to the new organic solidarity, it provoked feelings of aimlessness, worthlessness to individuals in changing societies.
    4. Suicide – should we discuss???



  1. Couldn't read his section from Google Books, they left out page 15, 16



  1. In a nutshell, he believed ideas, values and beliefs shaped a society.
  2. Father of the "Rationalization" concept – the organization of social and economic life according to the principles of efficiency and on the basis of technical knowledge (perhaps this is the precursor to economic principles???)


Weber seemed pretty straightforward, for those of you that read the Secret, the book seems to echo a lot of his teachings :)


Modern Approaches:


  1. Functional: Emphasizes the importance of the MORAL CONSENSUS in maintaining order and stability in society. Durkheim believed religion contributes to the sharing of the same core values contributing to the maintenance of social cohesion.


    Merton: Created a new version of functionalism

    1. Manifest Functions: Basically activities where the participants willingly and knowingly participate (textbook def. too smart for its own good)
    2. Latent Functions: Unknown consequences to the participants.
    3. Dysfunctions: Things or conflicts that rock the societal boat.

    Limits of Functionalism: Divisions or inequalities of society based on class, race and gender are minimized.

  2. The Conflict Approach: Highlight the importance of division in society. Focus on power, inequality and struggle. Fight for power amongst various groups ala Marxism or ala Weber (strange because I thought Hegel was the conflict/resolution sociologist, let me know what you guys think?)
  3. Symoblic Interactionism: Mead argued that people's selves are social products, but that these selves are also purposive and creative.