Society And Social Life

Marco Tamayo
Chapter 1
Sociology is a systematic study of human society and social interaction. We study sociology in order to understand how human behavior is shaped by group life and in turn how group life is affected by individuals. Our culture tends to emphasize individualism, and sociology pushes us to consider more complex connections between our personal lives and the larger world.
According to C. Wright Mills, the sociological imagination helps us understand how seemingly person al troubles, such as suicide, are actually related to larger social forces. It is the ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society.


Durkheim argued that societies are built on social facts, that rapid change products strains in society, and that the loss of shared values and purpose can lead to a condition of anomie. Marx stressed that within society there is a continuous clash between the owners of the means of production and the workers, who have no choice but to sell their labor to others. According to Weber, sociology should become more aware of the role that bureaucracies play in daily life.
Whereas other sociologist primarily focused on society as a whole, Simmel explored small social groups and argued that society is best seen as a web of patterned interactions among people.
Functionalist perspectives assume that society is a stable, orderly system characterized by societal consensus. Conflict power struggle among competing is a continuous power struggle among competing groups, often based on class, race, ethnicity, or gender. Symbolic interactionist perspectives focus on how people make sense of their everyday social interactions. Postmodern theorist believe that entirely new ways of examining social life are needed and that it is time to move beyond functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactions approaches.
Quantitative research focuses on data that can be measured numerically (comparing rates of suicide, for example). Qualitative research focuses on interpretive description (words) rather than statistics to analyze underlying meanings and patterns of social relationships.
A conventional research process based on deduction and the quantitative approach has these key steps: (1) selecting and defining the research problem; (2) reviewing previous research; (3) formulating the hypothesis, which involves constructing variables; (4) developing the research design; (5) collecting and analyzing the data; (6) drawing conclusions and reporting the findings.
A researcher taking the qualitative approach might (1) formulate the problem to be studied instead of creating a hypothesis, (2) collect and analyze the data, and (3) report the results.
The main types of research methods are surveys, secondary analysis, field research and experiments. Surveys are polls used to gather facts about people’s attitudes, opinions, or behaviors; a representative sample of respondents provides data through questionnaires or interviews. In secondary analysis, researchers analyze existing data, such as a government census, or culture artifacts, such as diary. In field research, sociologists study social life in its natural setting through participant observation, interviews, and ethnography. Through experiments, researchers study the impact of certain variables on their subjects.
- “Sociology In Our Times” The Essentials 8th Edition Diana Kendall

Stephen Dinkel
Intro to Sociology
Social Structure
Social Structure has been around since society began. Social structure is the cultural norms that everyone in society follows to achieve their goals and various things throughout their life. It is also determines how people would be expected to act around one another.
Development of Social Structure
There is no agreement on how different types of social structure develop. Generally, social structures form hierarchies or networks. The differences between these types of social structure are related to the notion of "social stratification," i.e. whether society is separated into different strata or levels, according to social distinctions such as race, class, and gender. The social treatment of persons within the social structure is then related to their placement within the various social strata.
In the hierarchical structures, stratification is vertical, with higher levels valued more than lower ones. There are those (mostly American) who claim that hierarchical social structures develop naturally. They suggest that such structures may be caused by larger system needs, such as the need for labor, management, professional, and military classes, or by conflicts among groups, such as competition among political parties or among different social classes. Others, (mainly in Europe) hold that this structuring is not the result of natural processes, but that it is socially constructed. It may have been created by those in power seeking to retain their power, or by economic systems that place emphasis upon monopoly and competition or cooperation and sharing.


The second type of structure is that of a network: people are connected, but not in pyramids. There is no "alpha male" at the top of the heap; there is not even any concept of higher and lower. In contrast to the "mechanical" solidarity of hierarchical social structure, noted for generally repressive and punitive legal systems, Emile Durkheim introduced the term "organic" solidarity to describe societies based on the network model, where law is generally restitutive. This type of structure is likened to the anatomy of a living body, where all social institutions are interdependent and these connections are what naturally impose constraints and goals on each other.
In understanding social structures and social changes, there appeared several schools of thought, two main examples being Structuralism, and Functionalism.
Elements of Social Structure
In order to discuss the basic division and types of social structures, the "unit" of social structure should be established first. Murdoch (Goldsmith 1978) has shown that the family is universal among stable societies and thus should be regarded as the "unit" of social structure. Culture, as the product of the interactions in society, both material (between people and physical objects) and non-material (in relation to meanings, beliefs, language, values, ideas, expectations, etc.) is shared, learned, and intergenerational. It also forms the foundation of social structure.
Society is grouped into structures with different functions, meanings, or purposes. In a broader sense is the "social system," which can be viewed as a social structure composed of the economic system, legal system, political system, and cultural system (some sort of shared reality: language, norms, values, etc.). Social structure, however, is much more than that. It also includes education, family, religion, and social services such as health care. Language is the basic channel for communicating information and instruction in a society. There are cultural norms affecting marriage, child bearing, and child rearing. Political systems affect not only the individual political environment but also certain legal systems, regulation of violence (by a police force), property laws, trade rules, health care, and so forth. Societies also generally develop an agreed upon division of labor
Social structure is very important for how society works. It makes everyone follow a lot of the same norms in their day to day life. It also provides the ways that everyone should interact with each other and keeps most people from being rude and very strange because they usually follow the social structure.

Mary Lobmeyer
Intro to Sociology
Culture according to my textbook is knowledge, values, language, and customs. Culture is also something passed on from one generation to the next. Every day you learn something new about your culture, although; you don’t realize it because it is like a second nature to you, just like shaking someone’s hand when you first meet them. There are two types of culture material, and nonmaterial. Material culture is physical creations of society. While nonmaterial culture is more abstract and reflects the ideas, values, and beliefs of a society.


Initially material culture is raw materials or resources, like coal, ore, trees, and oil. Material culture can be something invented like a chair that has great importance like a throne. The raw material is made into something useable like houses, books, guns, and clothing. Material culture is important because we can protect ourselves from the environment. Most material objects, for an example tools, are passed from generation to generation, but as their environment and knowledge changes the material objects need to change to fit their needs. Another material culture would be food as to what people eat and how they eat it varies widely.


Culture universals are customs and practices that exist in all societies and included body adornments, activities, and institutions these are pretty much not unique. Although there are many forms of universals culture that varies from one culture group to another. With cultural universals there are many categories one would be appearance such as bodily adornment and hairstyles; activities are sports, dancing, games, joking, and visiting; and then there are social institutions which are family, law, and religion, and finally the customary practices examples would be cooking, folklore, gift giving, and hospitality. But be careful because a custom in one society group may be a joke and an insult to another.
Four important components for nonmaterial culture are: symbols, language, values, and norms. These four components help the society be in harmony and strife.
a) Symbols express meaning, like the dove sometimes means peace. Groups communicate through symbols to give cultural and abstract ideas.
b) Language is a set of symbols to communicate through to each culture group where they either speak verbally or they can write or use gestures to help them describe the reality. Children learn their culture heritage and develop a sense of identity from their language.
c) Values are ideas grouped together by the culture about what is acceptable or not acceptable behavior. The values are ideas about might be right or wrong, good or bad, and desirable or undesirable in a particular culture. Values are another way to judge other people and how they live their life, and show how we would justify anything we do to defend our values. Values that conflict with another or mutually exclusive whether ideal culture values or people’s actual behavior is called value contradictions.
d) Norms has a specific behavioral expectation within a culture. The main types of norm are moral and ethical connotations, and are essential to the stability of a culture. The laws come in a formal and standardized norm that is enforced by the formal sanctions. These are expressed everyday through the customs of the group.
Now off to the diversity culture in society that refers the wide range of cultural differences found between and within nations. Diverse culture also reflects through race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religion, occupation, and so forth. Diverse culture has two underneath it, such as subculture and counterculture. Subculture has distinctive beliefs, values, and norms that set them apart from the more dominant culture. Old Order Amish is a subculture that is keeping their ways although the world around them is changing. Counterculture rejects the dominant societal values and norms. Counterculture is like the hippies or flower child that was a basic temporary group and doesn’t have much invested into the existing culture.
You won’t understand culture shock unless you understand culture itself. Culture shock refers to the anxiety that people experience when they encounter culture majorly different from their own. Culture relativism views and analyzes another culture in view of their culture beliefs. Ethnocentrism is where others think that their culture is above anybody else’s culture. Differences between the cultures make it difficult to adjust to the unfamiliar clothes, weather, time zone and food as well as the different values, and schools. What was easy back at home now you may be struggling and things are becoming unsetting at least until you adjust to the new culture.
Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials, Seventh Edition. Diana Kendall. © 2010, 2007 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Mary Lobmeyer
Intro to Sociology
Socialization is a lifelong process through which individuals acquire their self-identity and learn the physical, mental, and social skills needed for survival in society. The kind of person we become depends greatly on what we learn during our formative years from our surrounding social groups and social environment. Socialization is a learning process that usually begins after birth. Early Childhood is the most crucial time for socialization this is the time we usually learn language, our culture, personality is taking shape, and we become older the roles that are appropriate for each individual.
As individuals we have unique identities, personalities, and relationships with others. This is the product of two forces first is our heredity and the second is our social environment. Heredity dictates our biological features basically our physical makeup, but our social environment determines largely how we develop and behave.


Socialization isolation is harmful to an individual’s socialization; people need social interaction with others to develop properly. Researchers did a trial to demonstrate the effects of social isolation by using monkeys. They took the monkey after they were born separated them from their mothers and put the monkey in a cage with only two mother substitute figures one was just a wire frame with the feeding bottle attached and the second one was covered with a soft terry cloth but had no bottle. The monkeys clung to the cloth mother only leaving her when hunger drove them to the bottle. Harlow’s experiment showed up when they placed the isolated monkeys with other monkeys of their type who were raised by monkeys, the monkeys that grew up in an isolated area cowered into the corner. Thus this experiment show that isolated monkey resembling the children shows the importance of socialization.
Freud based his ideas on the belief that people have two basic desires the urge to survive and the urge to reproduce. According the human development occurs in three stages that reflects the difference between levels of the human personality. Id is the first stage that includes all of the individual’s basic biological needs and drives. Basically when you’re a newborn needing and wanting to be held, fed, or changed. Now on the second stage is ego is reality-oriented components of personality. Ego basically put some rules or restrictions on the innate pleasure seeking drives of id. The third stage is superego which is another word for your conscience, which consists of the morals and ethical aspects of personalities. Jean Piaget has identified four stages of cognitive stages of development; each child must go through these stages before moving on some children moving faster than others through these stages. Kohlberg came back and refreshed the evidence that Piaget found and made his own levels. Both Piaget and Kohlberg were criticized by Gilligan saying that they were too vague. Gilligan say that a female and a male view morals differently. Where the male would think about the right and wrongs where as a female would think about the consequences of the action.


We develop a self-concept which is the show of our beliefs and feeling about ourselves. It takes four components to make up our self-concept: 1 our physical self (I am skin or I am tall), 2 our active self (I am good at kick ball), 3 our social self (our friends), 4 our psychological self (I believe in world peace). These steps continue to develop and change or expand throughout our lives. Cooley came up with the looking glass self it is where you see yourself through other peoples’ eyes this helps develop all our self stages. Mead talks about role-taking which is how young children see the world through other peoples’ eyes. Since children have no sense of self and only interact by imitating others. In role-play older children learn to take the roles of other important people. Soon they realized that they are different gender should take their gender role.
Socialization has many agents that influence the outcome family, schools, peer groups, and the media. Socialization never ends, while being ongoing throughout the life course. We learn knowledge and skills for the future.
Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials, Seventh Edition. Diana Kendall. © 2010, 2007 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

By: Eric Blanton

Culture is something that has been around sense the beginning of time and is something that is passed down from generation to generation. It involves what we eat, how we dress, our religions, how we speak, and our customs. The books definition of culture is knowledge, language, values, and customs. There are two different types of culture, material culture and non material culture.

Material culture refers to the physical objects, resources, and spaces that people use to define their culture. This includes our neighborhoods, homes, towns or cities, schools, churches, and so on a so forth. These are what define us as members of a culture. Technology is a great example of material culture because as a student I am currently using technology to get this assignment completed. If us students did not have to learn how to addapt the the fast changing technology we would not be able to strive in school and other social aspects of life. Just like children in other cultures in different countries may have to learn to hunt and gather for their survival.


Non material culture refers to the nonphysical ideas that people have about their culture, including beliefs, values, rules, norms, morals, language, organizations, and institutions. A good example of this is religion which is a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects. Cultures have all sorts of different types of religions and ways of practicing them. People follow these so called codes of their religion by worship, praying, in some odd cercumstances sacrifice, but all in all its the way they learned to practice religion and it is part of their culture.

It is very hard to imagine where we would be without culture. Culture always has potential to change and adapt as we grow older, leaving us with exciting news for the future. We should all learn to never be upset or ashamed with our pasts, religions, the way we dress, eat, celebrate, and so forth because it is what makes us all unique and different.

Dylan Woofter
Socialization is a fundament sociological concepts. It is comprised of a number of elements but not every sociologist will agree which elements are more important than others.
A couple supposed goals of socialization is to impulse control and the development of the conscience, role preparation and performance including occupational roles, gender roles, and roles in institutions such as marriage and parenthood, and the last one is the cultivation of sources of meaning, or what is important, valued, and to be lived for. These three goals of socialization is basically describing the process that prepares humans to function socially in life.
This may mean one thing to one culture to be socially accepted than another, due to the many cultures around the world. Acting socially may be learned or biologically determined, but which things we learn to prepare us for society and which things we inherit can be quite and argument such as morals and empathy.
There are two major types of socialization, which are primary and secondary. Primary socialization is considered to take place early in life as a child and adolescent.istock_6680981.jpg Secondary is considered to take place throughout a persons life as both a child and as people enter new groups to socialize in and adapt new social uniforms. Some people argue that only one of these takes place. Most social scientists have a tendency to combine primary and secondary, stating that the basic or core identity of a person develops through primary socialization with more specific changes occurring later.
More significant contributors to the socialization process are parents, friends, schools,[[/Users/bigwoof_32/Desktop/istock_6680981-1.jpg]] siblings, and co-workers.
There is also broad and narrow socialization. It is basically saying leading and following. Broad is intended to promote a person to be independent, their own individual, and express themselves in there own way. Narrow stands to promote obedience and conformity.
All in all socialization, is the way people will conform to cultures and surroundings to adapt and be accepted. People want to be accepted so they must socialize as they grow older and move through new places and experience new things.

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