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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 :)

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