What is Sociology?

May by Russ Long 23, 2009

PART 1: The Basics I. What Is Sociology?
The American Sociological Association (2006) describes “sociology as the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. The ASA contends that “sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.” Sociology is the scientific study of society and human behavior. This means, when sociologists apply their trade, they use a rigorous methodology. The influence of society is the central question asked by sociologists when they attempt to explain human behavior. People are social beings more than they are individuals. Our thinking and motivation are largely shaped by our life experiences as we interact with one another. According to Barkan (1997:4), "society profoundly shapes their behavior and attitudes." We exist within social structure, which refers to patterns of social interaction and social relationships. Social structure, in turn, has great influence on who we are as individuals. It influences our behavior, our attitudes, and our life chances. Social structure is complex and often contradictory.


Topics of Study

Subject areas in Sociology are as varied as society itself. • Sociologists can study very small social relationships involving only a few people (such as the family). They can also explore relationships in much larger social collectivities such as organizations and institutions. • Sociology may be concerned with issues revolving around social class, poverty, gender, race and ethnicity, or religion as well as social mobility and education. Other topics may include culture, socialization, conflict, power, and deviance. • Very large social relationships such as those between nation states are also the domain of sociology as are the characteristics of the economy and political system. In fact, the whole topic of globalization is relevant to sociologists.


The Relationship between People and Structure

Within the vast field of sociology, the common denominator is people. Sociology explores the “forces that influence people and help shape their lives … Society shapes what we do, how we do it, and how we understand what others do“ (Univ. of Limerick 2007). Options in life are determined in the past and are molded by currently existing structures that provide well-established guidelines for how individuals conduct their lives. To quote Macionis and Plummer, “In the game of life, we may decide how to play our cards, but it is society that deals us the hand” (Univ. of Limerick 2007).


Critical Thinking

Sociology requires one to look at the world critically. Peter Berger argues that students of sociology should acquire a healthy skepticism regarding overly simplified (or commonly accepted) conceptions of human affairs. Critical thinking is a willingness to ask any question, no matter how difficult; to be open to any answer that is supported by reason and evidence; and to confront one’s own biases and prejudices openly when they get in the way (Appelbaum and Chambliss, 1997:5). Given that Sociology explores problems of pressing interest; its topics are often objects of major controversy and conflict in society itself (see Giddens, 1987:2). Rarely do sociologists "preach" revolt,

but they do call attention to the fundamental social questions of our day. Sociology helps bring contentious issues into sharper focus. In doing so, however, feelings may get hurt and individuals may become insulted. I will probably step on everyone's toes at least once. In advance, I apologize. It's important in a class like this one that we agree to disagree. I hope that we can be as polite as possible. The general point of this class is to understand that alternate points of view exist. It is not designed to support one view over another. Stepping on toes, after all, is nothing new for sociology. Sometimes sociologists step on toes on high ranking officials to the point where national governments advocate a policy of limiting the number of sociologists.


Multiple Perspectives

“Sociology provides many distinctive perspectives on the world, generating new ideas and critiquing the old” (ASA 2006). Sociology, as a matter of course, utilizes multiple perspectives when critiquing social phenomena. It, likewise, employs a wide range of methodological techniques to answer questions that have social relevance. We should come to realize that there are a variety of points of view on any given subject. These points of view are perspectives. Perspectives are limited. Social facts, therefore, are understood in the context of many perspectives which are often complex and contradictory. Sociology is a method of organizing your thoughts about society and your place in society.

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Debunking and Being Skeptical

According to Berger, it's the job of sociology to debunk commonly accepted notions about society. Debunking is a process of questioning actions and ideas that are usually taken for granted. It refers to looking behind the facade of everyday life. It refers to looking at the behind-the-scenes patterns and processes that shape the behavior observed in the social world (Andersen & Taylor, 2001:6).


Being Skeptical

Barkan (1997:5) contends that sociology, given the emphasis on the structural basis for individual behavior, often challenges conventional wisdom. He cites Max Weber in arguing that one of sociology's most important goals is to uncover what Weber called "inconvenient facts." Peter Berger (in Barkan, 1997:6) contends "sociology refuses to accept official interpretations of society." Often official interpretations are filled with propaganda. According to Berger, it's the job of sociology to debunk this motif. With this in mind, students of sociology should acquire a healthy skepticism regarding overly simplified (or commonly accepted) conceptions of human affairs. It is tempting to look for simple answers or what Ross Perot (1992) calls "sound bites" to explain complex social phenomena. Example: Hitler blamed Germany's post-World War One problems on the Jews. Example: Few realize the benefits associated with undocumented immigration. Example: Are drugs bad? Many don't consider that the United States exports dangerous drugs (e.g., tobacco).


The Myth of Objectivity

Many often claim to strive for objectivity. Objectivity is sought both in the subject under study and as a strategy for teaching students. At some level, however, the concept of objectivity is a myth. What appears objective may simply be a political event. The positions defined and accepted as objective may, in fact, represent the positions of people, organizations, or governments who happen to hold power. While objectivity in the strictest sense is a myth, it is at least possible, and desirable, to strive for a common understanding. Often, social concepts and even vocabulary is vague. For example, many may state a desire to reduce levels of inequality in the U.S. What, exactly, does 'reducing inequality'

mean? Do we mean 'equal opportunity' as inferred by affirmative action? Do we mean reducing the income-gap or wealth-gap between the wealthiest and poorest in our society? Or, do we mean 'radical leveling' as practiced by the Khmer Rouge in the Killing Fields of Cambodia? How can we recognize whether we have achieved our goal? Arguably, Cambodia had greater 'equality' between citizens in 1978 than the United States now has. I doubt, however, that many would consider their means or ends desirable.


What is an Operational Definition?

In order to explore important social issues a common ground and a common language is necessary. An operational definition is a precise way used to measure variables (Henslin 2008:20-21). For example: Regarding inequality, we might devise a poverty threshold. Poverty rates are something most people understand. Poverty rates are by no means perfect, but at least when we talk about a 'poverty rate' we all tend to understand what we mean when we discuss poverty.


Should Sociologists be Value-Free or Activists?

How much should a sociologist get involved in the subject under investigation? Some, like Max Weber, argue that, in order to truly understand a social phenomenon, the researcher should be valuefree or neutral. Personal values should have no influence on research. The proponents of this view argue that once a researcher becomes personally involved he or she loses their perspective. They become biased. Those biases influence their study of society. Others would argue that it is useless to study something like social problems unless one intends to fix those problems. The point, according to Marx, is to change things. The goals of the sociologist should be to empower people so that they can change their lives. Which point of view is correct? Currently, this issued remains unresolved.


The Debate between C. Wright Mills and Talcott Parsons.

Henslin (2004:1) offers a synopsis of this debate. Essentially, Parsons was an abstract theoretician who created abstract models on how society functioned as a harmonious unit. He might argue that sociologists should focus on analyzing some aspect of society and then publish those findings in journals. Parsons did nothing for social activism. Mills, on the other hand, sought to direct the efforts of sociologists back toward social reform and activism. The goal of people like C. Wright Mills would be to transform society according to some ideological prerequisite. Mills provided some of the theoretical foundations for the 1960s student rebellion.


Social Darwinism

Henslin (2004:4-5) describes Social Darwinism as distinctly non-reformist. Spencer, the father of Social Darwinism, argued that societies evolve from lower to higher forms. As generations pass, the most capable survives while the least fit dies out. Spencer argued that if one helps the lower classes, it interferes with the natural process. Programs designed to help the poor will ultimately weaken the social order, according to Social Darwinism. He argued that society would advance if "do-gooders’ did not help the unfit survive.

IV. A Sociological Personal Troubles and Public Issues


The sociological imagination refers to the ability to grasp the relationship between our lives as individuals and the large social forces that help shape them. Human behavior must be understood in a broader social context. Americans have a long cultural-heritage which encourages self-reliance and independence. Perhaps as a result of our culture we tend resort to "blaming the victim" to explain problems such as unemployment and inequality. Despite our "heritage of self-reliance" Americans are also bound by social structure and history. Daily common sense might suggest that one who is poor should consider getting a job. It might also argue in favor of "pulling one's self up by their bootstraps." Perhaps, as is often the case, the solutions to problems experienced by individuals do not have simple solutions. According to Marx (1978:595):

corporate downsizing. People do not usually think of the connection between the patterns of their own lives and the course of world history. Why is diversity desirable and important for a society? • Diversity enriches an individual's experiences as well as the society. Wright Mills (1959): People do not usually define their personal problems in terms of historical change and institutional contradictions. People live out biographies in the context of world events that are in turn determined by historically specified conditions. social welfare. Colleges and universities often hire sociologists where they teach or engage in social research. it has "unleashed material productivity vastly greater than that of any other societies which have preceded it in history" (Giddens. then western style capitalism seems to have done this. Rather. Applied sociology does not. 1987:19-20). such as the Census Bureau. for example. of the greedy engulfing other modes of life by industrial capitalism" (Giddens.Men make their own history. it tackles specific problems. B. The "conviction of superiority has been in some part an expression.Applied Sociology Most employment specifically in sociology occurs in the context of academia. however. These efforts do not fall in the realm of social reform. Applied sociology is one area when sociologists might find employment outside academia. given and transmitted from the past. how people express emotions. To paraphrase C. Both the lives of individuals and the course of world history are understood simultaneously. education reform. One of the challenges of sociology is to break away from the idea that western modes of life are somehow superior and therefore sets standards for those cultures found elsewhere. express an ethnocentrism that takes the position that one's own culture is somehow to be used as a measure to judge other societies. and a justification. What is meant and why is diversity desirable? by the term diversity Diversity refers to the social relations and interaction of many different kinds of people (Appelbaum and Chambliss. If social evolution is seen as the capacity of a culture to master its environment. 1987:19). they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves. applied sociologists use sociology to solve specific social problems. "Such a belief is encouraged by the very spread of western capitalism itself. Many sociologists find employment in governmental agencies. but under circumstances directly found. V. A. Evolutionary schemes. Undeniably. 1. that are concerned with the distribution of people. Henslin (2006:8) contends that applied sociology lies between the two positions articulated by C. • Diversity provides greater perspectives in problem solving. 1997:6). Wright Mills and Talcott Parsons. advocate rebuilding society. • Diversity helps us to be more accepting of other people. Applied sociologists may focus on problems in the work place or “virtually any aspect of social life such as street crime and delinquency. but they do not make it just as they please. 1987:19). or problems of peace and war” (ASA 2006). A. Example: An applied sociologist might be employed at a computer company developing usercentered software. which has set in motion a train of events that has corroded or destroyed most other cultures with which it has come into contact" (Giddens. how families differ and flourish. Outside the university. Beyond Sociology: Benefits of Studying Sociology . Why Study Sociology? Careers in Sociology Within Academia Outside Academia . 2.

There are numerous reasons why one might want to study sociology even if they do not work in sociology directly. World Wide Learn (2007) points out that a background in sociology: · assists one in recognizing trends and patterns in society. · allows the development of critical thinking skills. · encourages good research skills in data collection · instructs in creating concise reports and essays. · develops planning and organizational skills. · augments oral presentation skills and interpersonal communications. · enhances management skills and grant writing ability. Sociology is useful in “social and marketing research, sport development, psychology, law, human resources management, information science, journalism, and corporate communications, geography and environmental management, and development studies” (University of Johannesburg 2007).

American Sociological Association (ASA) 2006 "What is Sociology?" http://www.asanet.org/cs/root/topnav/sociologists/what_is_sociology Andersen, Margaret L. and Howard F. Taylor 2001 Sociology: The Essentials. Wadsworth Publishing. Barkan, Steven E. 1997, Criminology: A Sociological Understanding. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Giddens, Anthony 1987 Sociology: A Brief but Critical Introduction. (2nd ed.) San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. Henslin, James E. 2004 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. (5th Ed.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 2006 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. (6th Ed.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Marx, Karl 1978 "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte." Pp. 594-617 in Robert Tucker, The Marx-Engels Reader, New York: W. W. Norton. Mills, C. Wright 1959 The Sociological Imagination. London: Oxford University Press. University of Johannesburg 2007 "What is Sociology," University of Johannesburg, http://general.rau.ac.za/sociology/what_is_sociology.htm University of Limerick 2007 "What is Sociology?" Sociology at Limerick, http://www.ul.ie/sociology/whatis.html September 28, 2007 World Wide Learn 2007 "The World's Premier Online Directory of Education," World Wide Learn http://www.worldwidelearn.com/online-education-guide/social-science/sociology-major.htm November 8, 2007 "What I have been trying to say to intellectuals, preachers, scientists -- as well as more generally to publics -- can be put into one sentence: Drop the liberal rhetoric and the conservative default; they are now parts of one and the same official line; transcend that line" (C Wright Mills, The Causes of World War Three, 1958:183).


What is a Theoretical Perspective?

Perspectives might best be viewed as models. • Each perspective makes assumptions about society. • Each one attempts to integrate various kinds of information about society. • Models give meaning to what we see and experience.

Each perspective focuses on different aspects of society. Certain consequences result from using a particular model. No one perspective is best in all circumstances. The perspective one uses may depend upon the question being asked. If one is exploring bureaucratic organization, then one might like to use a perspective that is concerned with social order. On the other hand, if one is concerned with social inequality, then perhaps the conflict perspective is more useful. Perhaps the best perspective is one which combines many perspectives.

• •

• • •

The Functionalist Perspective
The origins of the functionalist perspective can be traced to the work of Herbert Spencer and Emile Durkheim. The problem of maintaining social order is a central problem for understanding society. Understanding society from a functionalist perspective is to visualize society as a system of interrelated parts. All the parts act together even though each part may be doing different things. Institutions, such as family, education, and religion are the parts of the social system and they act to bring about order in society. Integration of the various parts is important. When all the "parts" of the system work together, balance is maintained and the over all order of the system is achieved. Social structures in society promote integration, stability, consensus, and balance.

• • •


A System With Parts

The parts of society, while performing different functions, work together to maintain the stability of the whole social system. In order to understand the idea of "social system," it may be helpful to visualize a different kind of system. For example, biological organisms are systems. In fact, many sociologists use biological models to explain human society. The biological metaphor is successful in that it calls attention to how a social "organism" consists of various unique parts. Those parts, in turn, function together to support and maintain the whole system.


What's the Purpose?

Functionalists, like Emile Durkheim, Vilfredo Pareto, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton, are interested in how the parts of the social system contribute to the continuation of the social system. When functionalists encounter the various aspects of society, they may ask "What is its purpose?" A primary purpose of all parts (institutions like police, newspapers, religion) is to encourage consensus. Merton (see Robertson, 1989:12) distinguishes between manifest functions, latent functions, and dysfunctions.


Manifest Functions

Manifest functions refer to functions that are obvious. Examples: The manifest function of schools is to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. The manifest function of the military is to defend the nation. The manifest function of criminal justice is to keep the streets safe for a society's citizens.


Latent Functions

Latent functions are functions that are unrecognized. They may even be important functions, but their consequence is not obvious. Example: • College students, in the course of pursuing their education, may make good friends. • Merton described college as a "mate selection market" where students meet prospective marriage partners.



A perspective that is highly concerned about order is by definition concerned about what happens when social order breaks down. Merton uses the term dysfunction, which refers to a negative

consequence that may disrupt the system. Dysfunction also conjures up the notion that a social phenomenon can be functional in one setting and dysfunctional in another. Examples: Over Population Pollution

C. 1.

Critique of Functionalism Functionalism Resists Change

Invoking a biological model has certain built-in assumptions connected to it. Biological organisms do not perform very well when they encounter great change in their environment. Society, however, is not biological. It is social. Social systems can tolerate much greater change than can biological systems.


Functionalism is Inherently Conservative

Change tends to be viewed as a negative consequence. All the parts of society act as a part of a unified system. Altering one part of the system has impact on all the other parts. There fore, there is a tendency is to protect existing institutions out of a fear that change in one area of society will adversely influence other parts of society. Fear of creating disorder in society is often used as a justification for avoiding change.


The Conflict Perspective

Conflict theorists see society less as a cohesive system and more as an arena of conflict and power struggles. Instead of people working together to further the goals of the "social system," • People are seen achieving their will at the expense of others. • People compete against each other for scarce resources. • Basic inequalities between various groups is a constant theme of conflict theory. • Power, or the lack of it, is also a basic theme of conflict theory. • Since some people benefit at the expense of others, those who benefit use ideology to justify their unequal advantage in social relationships. Marx is a conflict theorist. He argued that the struggle between social classes was the major cause of change in society. Much change, in fact, happens as rich people and poor people compete over scarce resources. Not all conflict theorists are Marxist. Weber is also a conflict theorist. Where as Marx focused on class conflict as the "engine" of historic change, others see conflict among groups and individuals as a fact of life in any society. Conflict can occur over many other aspects of society unrelated to class. For example, conflict can occur over water rights (in West Texas and New Mexico). Conflict occurs when two people have a car accident. Conflict occurs between men and women.


Conflict and Change

As a result of tension, hostility, competition, and disagreements over goals and values, change is one of the basic features in society. In general, change occurs because of inequality and the battle over scarce resources. Conflict occurs because people want things (power, wealth, and prestige) that are in short supply. One should realize that conflict is not intrinsically bad. Conflict provides grounds where people unite in order that they may act on their common interests. Conflict is the motor for desirable change.


Who Benefits?

Like the functionalists, conflict theorists recognize the existence of social structures, but instead of structures existing for the good of the whole system, social structures (institutions) serve the interests of the powerful. One should also recognize the flip side of this coin. Structures that serve the powerful also are designed to keep other groups in society in their place for the privilege of others. Instead of following the functionalist path of addressing dysfunction (i.e. something that doesn't work) conflict theorists would ask "Who Benefits?" Example: Acid rain Acid rain is not "bad" for everyone. The powerful people who control polluting industries stand to make huge profits by not providing proper air purification.

Symbolic Interaction Symbolic interaction is a major sub-category of the Interactionist perspective. • People negotiate meaning in their lives. Often they cannot see beyond that reality. and boundaries that individuals use to assure continual interactions in the future. • Interaction is generally face-to-face and addresses "everyday" activities. doctors and medical people.g. • Some are more stable than others. but rather by the direct or indirect exercise of power. not stable patterns. • They are interested in the way individuals act toward. and then come to reply on those patterns. social class. • Social order is maintained. "If people define situations as real. • The idea of society being an integrated system based on consensus is a manufactured idea.C. The "witches" at Salem discovered this the hard way. . Once people that accept certain aspects in society are "real. the economy and government). • Symbolic Interactionists are called micro-sociologists. Society occurs as a result of interaction between individuals and small groups of individuals over long periods of time. • The powerful influence or coerce the rest of the population into compliance and conformity. but change is a common feature in all reference groups. B. characterizes the real nature of society. Marxists look for change that is determined by characteristics in the social structure. • Micro-sociologists are not interested in institutions (e. Change occurs as a result of interaction between individuals." D. and this occurs through communication and negotiation. Each communication produces new perspectives. people come to accept those patterns as part of their reality." He calls a symbol "anything that can meaningfully represent something else. This kind of change is much less deterministic than change associated with the conflict perspective. Reference Groups Much interaction takes place in "reference groups. The Interactionist Perspective The Interactionist perspective takes the position that it is people who exist and act. A. not by popular agreement. Change • • • Society is dynamic. Choices are made within that reality." • Reference groups include professional organizations. education. Eventually." IV. expectations. society is always in a process of being created. • Change occurs as people communicate with one another." real consequences flow from that realty. Robertson (1989:15) argues that "the interaction that takes place between people occurs through symbols. Ideology Cooperation is not assumed. • The scope of investigation for these sociologists is very small. Shared Meaning As individuals and small groups first negotiate patterns of social interaction. For the Interactionists.. Interactionists prefer to explore the interaction of individuals or groups of individuals. respond to. friendship groups. and the community in which we live. and influence one another in society. C. and nation-states. expectations become more fixed in social structure. Continuous change. Change from the Interactionist perspective is free-form. All the other "structures" found in society are nothing but human creations.

I. The subject matter of sociology experiences continuous change.  I. People can cling to past traditions without understanding why something was true in the past (e.. This fact alone renders efforts at prediction difficult. Before exploring scientific sociology. and systematic way (Neuman.   B. or political leaders. and inexpensive way to gain information (Neuman. Tradition can also be based on simple prejudices that people pass down from one generation to the next. One should note the problems encountered as biologists try to track the AIDS virus. Generally. Tradition Neuman (1994:3) contends that tradition is a special case of authority. Even if traditional knowledge was . 2 + 2 always = 4. It arose during the Enlightenment period in Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. let's begin with a brief discussion of other sources of social knowledge about society. When one accepts something as true because someone in authority says it is true.  2. Why Is Sociology a Science? Why is social science (sociology) science? Is sociology simply a pseudo-science? After all. Problems relating to prediction can be found in the biological science as well. "It has always been done that way. Sociology is a science every bit as much as biology or chemistry.then they are real in their consequences. 1994:2). II. 1994:23). like natural and biological sciences. Allowing authorities to wield too much authority can be dangerous! Over reliance on authority might lead to dictatorship." One problem with relying on tradition as a source of information is that conditions change.. it does not mean that the scientific method is inappropriate for the social sciences. A shot of whiskey cures a cold). Neuman (1994:3) reminds us that "experts" used to measure intelligence by counting the number of bumps on the skull.g. the authority of the past. teachers. one might argue that just because the subject matter of sociology is more difficult to study than the subjects pursued in other sciences. social scientists ground the procedure in a body of existing literature. It too continually mutates. That is why we study history! Further. Thomas Theorem   Social research is a process for producing new knowledge about the social world in a structured." The W. In response. Social sciences. Sociology often cannot make precise predictions. The problem associated with relying on authorities is that overestimating the expertise of someone or some publication is possible. books. it is sometimes helpful to understand where we have come from and where we are going (with the lectures to follow). An over reliance on authority may also produce problems in a democratic society. try to use his or her expertise in an area where the authority has little if any knowledge.. its ability to predict the future is questionable! Isn't it? What is science? In mathematics. This is precisely how other sciences function. A. we get our knowledge from significant others like parents. use a vigorous methodology. This means that a social scientist clearly states the problems he or she is interested in and clearly spells out how he or she arrives at their conclusions. Authority Often. organized. then they are relying on authority. a good way to determine the worth (or lack of worth) of anything social is within a comparative context that offers alternatives. I do this for two reasons: In order to understand where we are. An expert in one area might . 1. Alternatives to Science The scientific method of understanding society is relatively new in the grand course of human history. It is a quick. simple.

1. We are likely to see what we want to see. One explanation might be that suicide in religious communities would have more serious social impact on the survivors than it would in non religious communities. Perhaps religious communities attempt to cover up suicides more than non religious communities. many advocated buying American products from American companies." Example: What is Suicide? When is a death suicide? If someone attempts to fake a suicide but actually succeeds in killing themselves. is their death suicide or accidental death? Example: Suicide in Religious Communities Some religious communities show a low suicide rate. show us that undocumented workers add more to the United States economy than they cost. The space travelers express shock at the simplicity of the earthlings.S. taxpayers. Our minds play tricks on us. sociology might require that one use a little common sense when engaging in research projects.. economy stronger.once true. We are likely to look for easy explanations and we are likely to accept ideas of people that are attractive to us.g. or one should always plant by the full moon. To emphasize the simplicity of such thinking he used the metaphor of two space travelers encountering earth for the first time. Problems with Common Sense Our Experience is Limited Our Interpretation of Experience is Biased We cannot possibly know everything everywhere. Unfortunately.S. Example: Simple Dichotomies The seemingly persistent tendency for human beings to think in terms of simple dichotomies to understand society perplexed Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Common Sense Common sense is the knowledge people gain about the world through their everyday experience. Example: Buy American! What Does This Mean? As Americans struggled with the global economy in the 1980s. Sociologists have dubbed this tendency the "halo effect. It is only a shared social idea that people find comfortable and safe. in general. This contradicts the usually accepted notion that Blacks and Whites define the top and bottom of American society. a. however. distinguishing between global and domestic economy became highly problematic in the 1990s as the domestic and international economies became more interconnected (See . it can become distorted over time. 1977). Further. The best way to plow a field is with a mule-drawn plow. On the other hand. one still has to remember that common sense is not truth in any objective sense. Common sense told us that buying American would put Americans to work and make the U. In fact. "the brain of these beings appears to limit their images and thoughts to binary opposites" (Cardoso. It works sometimes. they tend to take jobs that most Americans don't want. Facts. Does this mean that people in these communities kill themselves at a lower rate? In some religions suicide is a mortal sin. Example: Who is Rich.) C. b. They might say. (E. Example: The Problem of "Illegal Aliens" Common sense tells us that undocumented workers take jobs from Americans and that. they create a burden for the U. Who is Poor? Asian-Americans have the highest per capita median income in the United States while Native-Americas have to lowest.

about $6. Don't rely on traditional authority figures. The following are some components of the scientific method. people and social institutions) are variable. Don't take assumptions for granted. Gergen (1982:12) in D'Andrade (p 27) states: "It may be ventured that with all its attempts to emulate natural science inquiry. etc. and about $100 to Ireland and Barbados for data processing. organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity and consistency in researching a problem (Schaefer and Lamm.less than $8000 -. 1. D. one may display a particular behavior when with friends. lobbyists in Washington. Social scientists are cautious in accepting the findings of other. Theories try to make sense out of those facts. Singapore." Appelbaum & Chambliss (1997:12) defines social facts as "qualities of groups that are external to individual members yet constrain their thinking and behavior. $500 to Britain for advertising and marketing services. but many who are foreign nationals (Reich. $1." E. Don't rely on common sense. insurance and health care workers all over the country. Furthermore. Media Myths This one is obvious. III. He calls them "patterns of behavior that characterize a social group. lawyers and bankers in New York. $3. 1977. A. the past century of sociobehavioral research and theory has failed to yield a principle as reliable as Archimedes principle of hydrostatics or Galileo's Law of uniformly accelerated motion. The effect of a social group on individual behavior is a social fact.500 to Japan for advanced components (engines. Theory A theory is a set of ideas [generalizations] supported by facts. The Scientific Method Test Ideas Evidence must Be Observable Social Facts The scientific method is a systematic. and General Motors shareholders -. B. and the population (whom they studied). The news also can distort truth whether intentionally or otherwise (to meet deadlines. the setting (where the researcher conducted the study). but look at the international involvement the creation of a General Motors product like the LeMans (from Reich.000 goes to South Korea for routine labor and assembly operations. 1994:4). and Japan for small components. and electronics). 1991). but feel constrained to act differently when in a more formal setting. $800 to Taiwan. etc. D.500 to West Germany for styling and design engineering. Have you ever heard Arnold Schwarzenegger say "Hasta la vista baby" for George Bush? The TV is notorious for distorting reality about crime." For example. 1991:113). Hypothesis . Reich. the subjects they attempt to explain (i.000 paid to GM. Henslin (1999:16) notes that Durkheim stressed social facts. Social scientists seldom accept theories as laws. transaxles.goes to strategists in Detroit.. 1991). Describe How Evidence is Gathered Any study of society should specify the methods the researcher used to obtain his or her information. Of the $20. Studies are often replicated to verify findings of initial studies. The rest -. 1992:35). Often they are not considered totally true.) (Neuman. This is done so that other social scientists may test your findings.e. C. General Motors is an American company.Keohane and Nye. Evidence should be observable because other Sociologists might want to perform the same study in order to verify or refute findings. romance.most of who live in the United States.

Target Populations and Samples The target population refers to everyone in a group that is studies. we would determine the mode by observing which score occurred most frequently. Any difference between the experimental group and the control group is probably due to the intervention (e. 2. 1. Median Rates & Percentages The median is the midpoint or number that divides a series of values (which are ranked in ascending or descending order). 8. control means that you neutralize all social characteristics (variables) except that which is under consideration. 1992: 36). Large populations are simply too big. 1. B. Random Sample Henslin (1999:126) contends that a random sample is one in which everyone in a population has the same chance of being included in a study. We call this subset a sample. if one wants to know how people will vote in an election. Control Groups In a sociological sense. capable of being evaluated (Schaefer & Lamm. Use of percentages allows one to compare groups of different sizes. A random sample is necessary if one is going to attempt to generalize the findings in a study to the larger population. that is. needs to look at a small subset of the population. D.g. A control group is something associated with an experiment. If one is testing. 7. to find the mean of the numbers 5. The new drug would be given to one group (an experimental group) and withheld from the other group (a control group). The researcher. the new drug in this example). Median. With percentages. a hypothesis must be testable. A variable is a measurable trait or characteristic that is subject to . IV. 9. 8. 1992: 36). It specifies what the researcher expects to find. How can a researcher study a population as large as that of the United States? The answer is that one cannot study entire populations. Mode The mode is the single most common value in a series of scores. an educated guess. therefore. The mean would then be 17 (Schaefer & Lamm. showing the proportion of persons in each group who contribute to their respective churches (Schaefer & Lamm. we can obtain a more meaningful comparison. This is different from a control group. 9. Basic Statistical Concepts Measures of Central Tendency: Mean. social scientists do not test them directly. Statistical Control vs. the target population is everyone who is eligible to vote. 5. 1992: 38). the mode would be 7 (Schaefer & Lamm. A percentage is a portion based on 100. and 27. is a number calculated by adding a series of values and then dividing by the number of values. 7. Variables A hypothesis poses a relationship between two or more aspects of social relationships.Because theories are general ideas. and Mode Mean The mean. one would get two similar populations. C. we add them and divide by the number of values (3). 10. E. The trick is to make sure that your sample closely parallels the characteristics of the larger population. 1992: 36). Now. It is. 7. 1992: 36). in essence. the median is 8 (Schaefer & Lamm. A. if we were looking at the following scores on a ten-point quiz: 10. say a new drug. 3. For example. A hypothesis is a speculative (or tentative) statement that predicts the relationship between two or more variables. For the quiz discussed above. or average. 6. 19. These aspects are called variables.. To be considered meaningful. For example. For example. Example: Comparing Populations of Different Sizes If we are comparing contributors to a town's Baptist and Roman Catholic churches. the absolute numbers of contributors could be misleading if there were many more Baptists than Catholics living in the town.

people assume if two variables are related. Does it make sense? Validity and Reliability Finally. Validity exists when concepts and their measurement accurately represent what they claim to represent while reliability is the extent to which findings are consistent with different studies of the same thing or with the same study over time. In other words. Correlation One of the most common research mistakes is to assume that a high correlation between two variables means that one variable (independent) causes some change in another variable (dependent). the mere fact that associations exist. . H. They do not necessarily indicate causation (Schaefer & Lamm. 2. The fact that a correlation exists means that the two variables are associated statistically with one another. F. Correlations are an indication that causality may be present. Variables may be independent or dependent. Example: Independent and Dependent Variables Higher levels of education produce greater earnings. In other words. G.g. occupation. 1999:130) One of the most common research mistakes is to assume that a high correlation between two variables proves that there is a causal link between them. 1. Elimination of plausible alternatives: The researcher has to ensure that the association between the two variables is not caused by a third variable (e. 3. Association (or correlation): A change in one variable is associated with a change in the other variable. 1999:131). Income level is the dependent variable. there is also an implicit fourth condition. Causality is rather difficult to demonstrate. Income. there are no spurious correlations). Temporal order: The independent variable has to occur before the dependent variable. and religion are variables. 2. Education is the independent variable (it causes the change in income levels). The causal relationship has to make sense or fit within a theoretical framework (Henslin. In order to show that one variable cause a change in another variable the scientist has to control for other factors that might be influencing the relationship 4. 1. 1992:38). However.change under different conditions. Spurious Correlations Causal Logic (Cause and Effect) A spurious correlation is one where the apparent correlation between two variables is actually caused by a third variable (Henslin. The income an individual earns "depends" or is determined by the influence of education. I.. then obviously one causes the other. does not necessarily mean that a change in one variable causes a change in another variable. 1992: 38). Independent Variables Independent variables in a hypothesis are those that influence or cause changes in another variable. A correlation exists when a change in one variable coincides with a change in another variable. an independent variable is something that is chosen by the researcher to cause a change in another variable. Dependent Variables The dependent variables are those variables are believed to be influenced by the independent variable (Schaefer & Lamm. gender. How can one tell whether a change in one variable is "causing" a change in another variable? There are three requirements that must exist before one can begin to think about whether there is a cause and effect relationship.

work.   D. The following material provides various benefits and problems associated with four methods of gathering data. etc. • • Disadvantages When relying on a survey questionnaire. Another problem with the case study is that the results may not be generalizable to the population at large. Facial expressions are not recorded. or mass communication (published books.   It is easier to determine cause and effect relationships. 1. be applied to several thousand (or million) cases. observing and interviewing people where they live.   C. information can be lost because the interviewer failed to ask the right question. The Nazi death-camp experiments represent extreme instances of ethical violation. The U.   2.S. much information is lost. • Methods of Gathering Data Case Studies (field study) Description Case studies (or field studies) explore social life in its natural setting.   Variables can be precisely studied. People do not normally carry out their lives in a laboratory setting. • Advantages Its advantages are that the researcher can study individuals in their natural setting (e. Even in ordinary university type experiments deception and misinformation are often employed. Survey research can.   Furthermore. • The Survey (Interviews) Description The researcher asks questions of the cases face to face or in a questionnaire. in fact.   Ethical issues may also arise when performing experiments on people. Advantages . • • Existing data Description Existing data includes government records (census). Environmental considerations are missed. at work.  2.   Because it is systematic and generally more condensed. the news.   3. 1. playing. the researcher can investigate more cases. movies). 1. at home.   The Statistical Abstract of the United States is an excellent source of existing data.   • 3.   3. • • Advantages The advantages are that data collection is more systematic (you ask the same questions of every case). and play (Kendall. 2.. A. Experiment Description Kendall (1998:26) describes an experiment as a "carefully designed situation (often taking place in a laboratory) in which the researcher studies the impact of certain factors on subjects' attitudes or behaviors.).V. Natural science uses this approach most often.   B. 1. personal documents. Census begins as a survey of the population. • • • Advantages The experiment offers a high degree of exactness because one can control everything in a laboratory setting. So does psychology.g.  Weber suggested that sociology needs several methods of investigation. 1998:25)." 2. Case studies provided volumes of information such that at the end of the study the researcher has a thorough understanding of the individuals involved in the study.  Findings may be generalizable to larger populations. Many consider these ethical violations. • Disadvantages Drawbacks to the case study include the fact that social scientists cannot usually investigate many cases because of time constraints. • • Disadvantages One disadvantage with the experiment in studying social phenomena is that the environment is contrived.

C. Statistics A quotation that appears in many research methods texts argues that "there are lies. he secretly recorded their license plate numbers. Researchers may assume relationships are cause and effect where. 1997:27). The Power Structure of Science People who hold positions of power within universities. 1975) tearoom trade study was an investigation into the sexual habits of upper-class male homosexuals. they can determine what subjects are studied and which results become public. Further. Problems with Science Science as a Bias The scientific perspective might cause one to look for cause and effect type relationships. There.   Much existing data are also standardized. while one expects cause and effect to travel in one direction.   3. A. but rather by the knowledge that someone was interested in them at all (Appelbaum and Chambliss. groups." Perhaps statistics do not really lie. it may actually travel in the opposite direction.• • The advantages are that data are generally easy to obtain. pay scales. involve choice. and other variables. Approximately a hundred men were observed engaging in sexual acts. not by the specific interventions. To the surprise of the researchers.   V. Humphreys later obtained names and addresses of the tearoom patrons from police . Furthermore. what may appear to be a cause and effect relationship between two variables may be driven by a third variable. a researcher studying poverty would be frustrated with the census before 1970 because there was no poverty rate in 1960 and before. Breaking in is difficult for dissenters. in fact. everything they did influenced the women's' output in positive ways. many actions undertaken by individuals. it may influence the solutions for social problems. The setting was a public restroom. B. Example: Science as a Bias Science itself may play a role in how one interprets a given social phenomenon. They already exist and can be found in most university libraries. and there are statistics. researchers wanted to discover ways to improve the efficiency of female workers. there are damn lies. • Disadvantages One problem associated with existing data is that the researcher must use the format provided. Furthermore." followed members of the establishment to their cars. while playing the role of a "watch queen. For example. The women were motivated. etc. and the government have the power to decide what is studied and published. The researchers manipulated light levels. D. See: What is Hunger? What is (Researcher Effect) the Hawthorne effect? The researcher's impact on his or her subjects may affect the research results. but the same statistics can be manipulated to defend a variety of positions. Humphreys. When government agencies or corporations pay "big bucks" for science. private enterprise. In the study of Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant. Standardization makes it easier to compare one set of data with another. Ethical Considerations Example: Laud Humphreys's Tearoom Trade Study The Laud Humphreys's (Humphreys.

These statistics are staggering. he used a deceptive story about a health survey.registers while posing as a market researcher. we will never truly understand it. Witness to War. He significantly advanced knowledge of homosexuals who frequent "tearooms" and overturned previous false beliefs about them. been significant controversy surrounding the study: The subjects never consented. Rather. Deception was used. It's not meant as a critique of those who use quantitative methods. day-out hunger afflicting as many as 800-million people. being hungry means making choices that no human being should have to make. it is just as deadly. There has. Humphreys was careful to keep names in safety deposit boxes. Later this article was reprinted in the Paso Del Norte Food Co-op's May. "What is Hunger" is included to highlight the idea that the research method chosen has significant impact on the type of questions one might ask as well as the conclusions one might draw. I became convinced that as long as we conceive of hunger only in physical measures. 1994:432). It is the chronic. Charles Clements is a former Air Force Pilot and Vietnam veteran who. In his book. They know that this same army is responsible for killing tens of thousands of civilians. mostly the Indians themselves.   Bibliography Thanks to FOOD FIRST for permission to reprint this article which was originally found in the January/February. or to initiate criminal prosecution. While chronic hunger rarely makes headlines. Numbers can numb. their names could have been used to blackmail subjects. however. spent a year treating peasants in El Salvador. as a medical doctor. The material presented below is intended to complement the discussion concerning problems with science. Dr. In Guatemala. Further. To gain entry. 1987 newsletter in El Paso. They shock and alarm. a sum equal to half the value of their ." he writes. Humphreys went to the homes of the tearoom patrons to gain more insight into the lives of upper class homosexuals. The mental anguish brought upon the tearoom patrons was severely criticized (Neuman. Despite a year of heightened attention to famine in Africa and huge amounts of donated food. A year later. feelings that each one of us have experienced at some time in our lives? I will mention only three such emotions to give you an idea of what I mean. distancing us from what is actually very close to us. 1987 edition of the La Montanita Food Co-op Newsletter in Albuquerque. however. New Mexico. he describes a family whose son and daughter had died from fever and diarrhea. It is less visible. several years ago I began to doubt the usefulness of such numbers. day-in. millions of people on that continent are still starving. So I ask myself--what really is hunger? Is it the gnawing pain in the stomach when we try to stay on that new diet? Is it the physical depletion that comes with chronic undernutrition? Yes. To begin with. But the $25 a month the army pays each soldier's family--half the total income of a typical poor family in Guatemala-may be the only means the family has to feed their other children. many poor Indian families send a son to join the army. "Both had been lost. What. This is hunger in its acute form. "in the years when Camila and her husband had chosen to pay their mortgage. would it mean to think of hunger in terms of universal human feelings. I ask myself. but it is more. and identifiers with subject names were burned. Each year it kills as many as 18million people--more than twice as many as died annually during World War II. to end marriages. in disguise. Texas. certainly not its roots. but there is another form.

we can perceive hunger's roots in powerlessness. then. however." reducing the erosion on the steep slopes to which they had been pushed by wealthy land-owners in the valley. What if we were to refuse simply to count the hungry? What if instead we tried to understand hunger as three universal emotions: anguish. Today. I met two highland peasants. the solution also appears to us in numbers (numbers of tons of food aid or numbers of dollars in economic assistance). We need only ask ourselves: when we have experienced any of these emotions ourselves. the friend who had introduced us visited our institute in San Francisco. then hunger is the ultimate symbol of powerlessness. With the help of a U. Anguish and humiliation are a part of what hunger means. But it is more. the choice was always the same. in 1978. the third dimension of hunger is fear. 2009 Key Concepts • • • • • culture culture shock ethnocentrism cultural relativism norms • • • • folkways mores taboos values . but increasingly throughout the world. the poor are made to blame themselves for their poverty. Any change that might make the poor less dependent on low-paying jobs on plantations threatens Guatemala's oligarchy. being hungry means anguish. Each year. Being hungry means living in humiliation. based voluntary aid group. making the powerlessness of the many inevitable? Statistics will not provide the answer to such a question. With this insight. we must ask ourselves: Are the policies of our government and multinational corporations shoring up the political and economic power of a few." Thus. I learned that one of the peasants I had met had been killed and the other had been forced to go underground. one cannot give people power over their lives. the first words I heard were an apology for the poverty of the dwelling. is make sure that we do not further undercut the hungry by blocking their efforts at change. humiliation. Only identifying with needless human suffering will. Two years later. Walking into a home in the rural Philippines. What we can do. they were teaching other poor peasants to make "contour ditches.S. In the United States and throughout the world. If we think of hunger as numbers (numbers of people with too few calories). Their crime was teaching their neighbors better farming techniques. hasn't it been when we felt out of control of our lives? Powerless to protect ourselves and those we love? Truly. hunger has a third dimension. For unlike food. Food giveaways can fill bellies but they can never end hunger. Increasingly. and fear? We would discover that how we understand hunger determines what we think are its solutions. If they didn't. Instead of asking ourselves how many tons of food or how many dollars in aid poor people need. their land could be repossessed. their childrens' lives were endangered. But once we understand hunger as real families coping with the most painful of human emotions. rather than keep the money to feed their children. millions of Americans who once proudly claimed they would not accept welfare are dependent on soup kitchens to feed their families.crop. the anguish of making impossible choices. Culture May by Russ Long 23. If they paid. In Guatemala. our responsibility to the hungry becomes clear.

refers to the tendency to view one's own culture as the norm. Perspectives filter what we see (Charon. socially transmitted behavior. Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism. Culture refers to everything that people create. in turn. We could not survive without our culture. Example An American who thinks citizens of another country are barbarian because they like to attend bull fights is an example of ethnocentrism. norms. three-piece suites. 1992:67). • Culture is all the values. There is a tendency to assume one's culture is superior to others. B. They allow us to see life from only a certain angle. In a sense. in part. Culture provides the context (back ground) that we use to interact with each other. • Culture is ideas (like the belief in democracy and freedom) found within a society. and customs that people share with one another. Example: "The Allegory of the Cave" D. but our culture. we create our culture. 1986:199-203). • Language is universal in that all cultures have it.I. The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis argues that language provides categories through which social reality is defined and constructed. whether they live in Appalachia or Norway. • Culture includes language and beliefs • Culture is all of the material objects such as monuments. 1989:38-42)." This is not to say that to be proud of one's heritage is inappropriate. "Our" truths and values are so central to whom "we" are that it is difficult to accept the possibility that our culture represents only one of many. It allows us to adapt to extreme environments. according to Farley (1988:16-17). • It’s a perspective which allows culture to exist. fur coats. A. It defines boundaries that we use to distinguish us from them. we come to share ideas about the way the world is. As we interact. Perspectives We need to keep in mind the notion of perspective when talking about culture. and culture in general. Ethnocentrism becomes a problem when we expect others to become like us. E. Culture is a way of life. 1. a little ethnocentrism is beneficial because of its bonding effect. they are talking about culture. recreates us (See Robertson. • It’s a system of symbols which all us to communicate abstract thought (Henslin. Culture and Society What is Culture? Culture is the totality of learned. On the contrary. but it is not universal in that people attach different meanings to particular sounds. It defines what is important and unimportant. Cultural Relativism and Verstehen . Culture accounts. for the unprecedented success of the human species. develop as people interact with one another over time. the lottery. When people talk about "the way of life" of people with a distinctive life style. C. • Culture is what individuals think is right and important as they interact (Schaefer. A culture is a "shared perspective. Language Henslin (2006:38-40) notes that language is the primary way people communicate with one another. and fine automobiles. Perspectives are limited by their nature. goals. A particular culture does not represent universal "TRUTH." It is not absolute truth. norms. 2004:40). Values. It argues that thinking and perception are not only expressed through language but also shaped by language.

Weber calls attention to the German idea of verstehen to describe the practice of understanding unique culture from the standpoint of others. D." When you can "see" from the perspective of another. All which remains from ancient cultures are artifacts of their material culture. B. among them exploration. 1992: 70). 1989:29). II. they most often exchange nonmaterial culture. missionary work. Cultural relativism refers to the understanding of a culture on its own terms. Included in this category are: • language • gestures • values • beliefs • rules (norms) • philosophies • customs • governments • institutions . Diffusion can occur through a variety of means. Cultures learn from one another.To accurately study unfamiliar cultures. Material Vs. Material culture includes: • weapons • machines • eating utensils • jewelry • art • hair styles • clothing Anthropologists study material artifacts when exploring cultures which have been extinct for hundreds or thousands of years. Nonmaterial culture refers to abstract human creations. military conquest. (Schaefer & Lamm. Nonmaterial Often Sociologists will investigate nonmaterial aspects. which means that one should eliminate. Items like religion and language are found in every culture. etc. Max Weber advocates the use of "value-free" Sociology. C. E. Components of Culture Cultural Universals Innovation Diffusion Cultural universal refers to a cultural item that exists in all cultures part and present. Cultural Leveling Henslin (2004:51) uses cultural leveling to describe a situation in which cultures become similar to one another as a result of travel and communication. In essence "you have to be able to stand in the other persons shoes. Nonmaterial Material Culture is easily divided into material or nonmaterial concepts (See Robertson. Henslin (2004:51) contends that when groups make contact with one another. then you can understand that culture. 1. bias and prejudice. 2. The fact that one can find a McDonalds or a Coke nearly every where in the world is an example of cultural leveling. They are examples of cultural universals Innovation is the process of introducing an idea or object that is new to culture. A. There are two forms of innovation: discovery and invention. Sociologists use the term diffusion to refer to the process by which a cultural item is spread from group to group or society to society. sociologists have to be aware of culturally-based biases. as much as possible.

Material culture runs ahead of non material culture. murder 3. but not absolutely insisted on. or rules of behavior. but yet no laws existed which made music sharing illegal. one encounters different assumptions that might violate what we come to expect as normal. standards. "Culture becomes the lens through which we perceive and evaluate what is going on around us" (Henslin. that develop out of values. H. but they also can be procedures. One's position within the social structure determines the definitions of norms. Example A rural individual who is suddenly taken to a large city III. most students do not graduate with honors and most citizens are not wealthy. customs or expectations. An individual suddenly immersed in a unique and unfamiliar setting experiences disorientation. Mores Mores are norms are taken more seriously and are strictly enforced. In order to belong to a gang. Culture Shock As people grow. 2004:35). When one travels into a completely different culture. The text uses gangs as an example again. We don't generally question these assumptions. no service" 2. Henslin (2004:49-50) ideal culture describes models to emulate and which as worth aspiring to. Norms are guidelines for our behavior. Often norms are outward expressions of a society's deeply held and shared values. Norms and Values Norms are rules that govern our lives and values are the goal of our lives. Culture Lag Culture lag refers to the tendency for culture to be slow to adapt to changes in technology. Ideal Culture and Real Culture? Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:42) contend that ideal culture refers to the norms and values that a society professes to hold. a rural village in Africa. Conformity is expected. 1. Example: When Napster provided free music exchange. Norms define us and them. Real culture refers to norms and values that are followed in practice. Values are principles. Henslin (2004:50) calls this the distinction between material and non material culture. the record producers argued that the practice was unfair. A. This is known as culture shock (see Henslin. Norms may be informal or they may be formalized into laws. 1999:36). 2004: 50). This example highlights the lag between technology and social adaptation.F. Example: "No shirt. or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable. Technological change can happen over night while some times it takes culture a few generations to adapt to changes in technology (Henslin. Folkways Folkways are norms that ordinary people follow in everyday life. Norms can be laws. Taboo . Norms are important for defining boundaries. Thus there is a gap between ideal culture and real culture. no shoes. they develop a sense of what to expect in their familiar surroundings. morals." Henslin suggests that we insist on conformity. Norms Norms are the shared rules or guidelines that govern our actions in society. Folkways are not strictly enforced. for example. Example: Henslin (2004:49-50) notes that Americans glorify academic achievement and material success. Henslin (1999:44) considers them as "essential to our core values. Example: Flag burning. Many times. a potential gang member has to learn the "norms" of the gang. However. Norms are rather specific while values are abstract and general in nature. Norms are the expectations. G.

Countercultures. Values refer to that which we consider important or unimportant. B. Countercultures actively seek to change the dominant culture. but they can also be gestures. B. like the SDS. and the Black Panthers are examples of subcultures that openly oppose the dominant culture. In a book called Vice Lords R. Lincoln Keiser (in Charon. but are not allowed to grow mustaches. Neither group seeks to change the status quo. "such as frowns. A. The power of the state backs laws. or automobiles. They see the city as the "center of leisure. The Vice Lords The Vice Lords is another subculture. They do not encourage formal education past elementary school. truth and falsehood. 4. and wickedness. Married men grow beards." of nonproductivity. The Amish use horses and other nonmechanical equipment for farming. on the other hand. Values are long range commitments to ends that people share culturally. and norms that are different from those of the dominant culture. Laws Social Control Sanctions A law is a norm that is formally enacted by a political authority. telephones. They can be either positive or negative. Rewards accrue for conformity and punishment for nonconformity.S. The Amish have little interest in improving the material world. 6. such as a fine for not adhering to a norm. These are subcultures. IV. To avoid evil. 1987:221-4) discussed four aspects [which Keiser calls ideological sets] that the Vice Lords use to . They can be material. Henslin (1999:44) argues that taboos are so "strongly ingrained that even the thought of its violation is greeted with revulsion. Part of the separation from the outside includes not using electricity. and beautiful or ugly. Contamination by the outside world tempts one away from the kingdom of god. 1999:43). Values • • • • • • • Each culture has a general consensus of what is worth working for (ends). The following are two examples of subcultures. have remained relatively isolated from the dominant culture. They have a dualistic view of the world. Hostetler (1980 in Charon. They are not counter cultures. Essentially. or raised fists" (Henslin. Charon (1986:199) points out that subcultures have goals. stares. They guide most of our actions. 1986:218) describes the Amish as governed by the teachings of the Bible. light and darkness. they do not openly oppose the dominant culture." Examples are Incest and cannibalism. Values are abstract and general. good or bad. The Amish The Amish represents a subculture. values describe our "moral" goals in society. Instead they seek salvation. values. Values indicate the standards by which people define their ideas about what is desirable in life. The goal of the Amish to separate themselves (as much as possible) from the "negative. 5.Taboos approximate super mores. Society always establishes a way of ensuring that people "behave in expected and approved ways" Henslin (1999:43) contends that sanctions are positive or negative reactions to the ways in which people follow norms. desirable or undesirable. harsh words. Although their culture differs from the dominant culture. Hippies. the Amish forbid all intimate contact with outsiders. There is a strong desire among the Amish to separate themselves from the outside world. Variations Sub-Cultures and Counter Cultures Within Cultures: Some cultures in the U. Members of subcultures are usually content to avoid the dominant culture." They define negative as urban and distant from god. They see good and evil.

1999 Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. Englewood. but who doesn't back up his rhetoric is a "punk. Game Ideology: In "game ideology" the gang member attempts to manipulate other gang members by playing games. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. A member has to show that he's willing to put his personal safety on the line. More than likely he gets turned down. Drinking wine reinforces the brotherhood. 3. Schaefer & Lamm 1992 Socialization August by Russ Long 2. 2004 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. There for the stranger should pay protection money to the "lords.g. Joel 1986 Sociology: A Conceptual Approach. Drinking wine is an important shared social experience for the group. James M." Each then gets an equal amount regardless of how much money he puts in. Soul is the essence of the Black community. Is our biology most important in determining who we are or is our social environment? Do we learn our character or is it determined at birth genetically? In all likelihood the answer to this question is a complex interaction between the two." Bibliography Charon.define their world and guide their actions. brotherhood ideology. Nature Vs. Biology provides us with large brains that allow us to think abstractly (e.) Allyn and Bacon. we can create things in our minds and build them in reality). Nurture The nature vs. . Brotherhood Ideology: The spirit of brotherhood is also important. Heart Ideology: Heart ideology refers to the displays of courage and daring which are important for the Vice Lords. (4th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Soul ideology.. 4. (5th Ed. The Vice Lords judge one another in terms of soul. An individual who talks a lot about fighting. A "light weight" game player may simply ask for money. CA: Prentice hall. Ian 1989 Society: A Brief Introduction. 2007 I. Manipulating others through games is a significant part of the Vice Lords life. New York: Worth Publishing. and game ideology. 1. Soul Ideology: Soul for the Vice Lords has the same general connotation as it does for the Black community. Each person contributes what money he has for a "bottle. Soul refers to ways of conducting ones self that strips away the superficial surface and gets down to the nitty-gritty." 2. Robertson. nurture debate explores the relative importance of cultural (social environment) and biological (heredity) factors in the developmental process of human beings. A "heavy" on the other hand may concoct a story that another street gang is going to jump the stranger. Biology also provides us with opposable thumbs that allows us to grasp tools. Keiser defines four ideological sets which he calls Heart ideology. Henslin. Such games may include hustling money from strangers. 1987 The Meaning of Sociology: A Reader. Few would reject the position that biology plays an important role.

Social Survival Feral Children Physical contact with others is essential to meet our social and emotional needs. people have an innate urge to reproduce. For example. A.g. Human nature should not be used to refer to characteristics that come about because of the environment or our society. They argue that most stories of children raised in the wild are untrustworthy. Problems with the Concept Human Nature What is Human Nature? Charon (1987:56-59) points out that our acts and beliefs are often based on our assumptions about human nature.. the explanation that "wild children" are raised by wild animals is more than likely an excuse to cover up extreme child abuse. On occasion. people learn criminal behavior. The chapter on culture points out that culture defines much of what is important to people. Further. Feral children literally describe children raised in the wild by wild animals. but we start learning as soon as we are conceived. "it's natural to hate. Twining Studies It is often difficult to separate learning from our biology because we begin learning at the moment we are born. learning) has far-reaching effects in human development. They are also biologically based. children are discovered who have few social skills and who lack the ability to speak. Note how in South Africa. Human Nature: An Excuse to End Discussion The second problem is that human nature is often used as an excuse to close off discussion on social topics. Human nature is used to justify inequality rather than search for reasons for inequality.. In general. Human nature refers to nearly permanent qualities which humans' posses. Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:68) call attention to one reasonably well documented case of a boy named Victor who was apparently found in a rural area of France. which are separated at birth. social scientists sometimes use "twining studies. a seven-year-old boy had apparently been raised in the wild. savage. Upon closer inspection. Victor. In order to document the effects of learning. we are able to lend support to the hypothesis that the environment (e. find shelter. The research shows a low correlation between genetic factors and criminal behavior. In other words. Example: If we blame prejudice on human nature. and find food). and wild. Sense what we learn is so important to who we are and what we do. we may tend to assume that solutions to that social problem do not exist. Impossible to Determine Human Nature Biology certainly determines part of what we are. A." By following the life course of twins. 1989:69-74)." III. Feral means untamed. A. how can we separate biologically determined behavior from learned behavior C. B.g. it is responsible for our ability to adapt to the environment.Learning is also very important in determining who we are. One should be able to see these characteristics in every culture (e. which compares criminal records of twins. II. The very survival of the individual and the group depends on its members being properly socialized (See Robertson. Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997: 103-104) describe research involving twins. it is discovered that these children suffer from extreme social isolation. Social experiences appears to override biology. . Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:68-70) contend that numerous accounts exist which describe children raised by animals.

extreme apathy. C. and socially retarded. She saw only her father and mother and this contact was occurred only at feeding. Most were physically. E. Needless to say. Socialization is the process by which we learn the ways of a particular group. Eskimos learn to enjoy eating the raw intestines of birds and fish while Chinese people eat Carp's heads and the tripe (stomach tissue) of pigs (Schaefer & Lamm. anxiety. More than a third died. she failed to develop social skills. Isolation will bring on hallucinations. values. Some children were placed with foster families while others were raised in institutions (e. Anticipatory Socialization . or the state (nation). Conclusion Research like that of Spitz and the Harlow's prove that people need physical contact throughout life. Essentially. Spitz's followed the social development of babies who. Culture is a shared perspective. The setting was very institutional. one has to learn Culture. and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particular culture. and the loss of the sense of self. It is apparent that sever social isolation contributes to poor social development. 1987:63-69). expectations. The Harlow Study The importance of the social environment is demonstrated by Harry and Margaret Harlow. Socialization Socialization is learning (see Charon. One cannot simply isolate a child from human contact to see what happens. Children Raised in Isolation There are numerous accounts of children raised in near total isolation. A. 1992: 98). The nursing home babies had no family-like environment. rules.. the army. a nursing home). research on isolation has to focus on children who have experienced isolation in the past or it has to investigate the effects of isolation on animals. B." Social workers encounter children raised in isolation at the end of the process of isolation. Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:70) introduce us to a girl named "Genie. In the 1945 study involving human babies. Primary Socialization Primary socialization is the process whereby people learn the attitudes. In every group one has to learn the rules. D. We obviously learn throughout our lives. Learning culture encompasses all the truths. For example. were removed from their mothers early in life. The babies were provided with all the necessities of life such as food and warmth (temperature). Socialization is the process where by people acquire personality and learn the way of life of their society. There fore. the children are removed to more "humane" surroundings. but it's difficult to prove "scientifically. but this first ten years is most important in determining who we are for the rest of our lives. and goals that people share with one another. IV. Twenty-one were still living in institutions after 40 years. for various reasons.g. (Presumably. but the babies had no contact with other monkeys. The Harlow's concluded that social isolation caused the monkeys raised in isolation to develop abnormally.) It's impossible to say whether the "wild" behavior is a result of the isolation or the result of genetic problems that may have caused the isolation in the first place. Bazaar behavior developed." Genie was raised in near isolation for the first twelve years of her life. She was often strapped to a child's potty or confined to a sleeping bag. Institutionalized Children: Rene Spitz Rene Spitz explored the development (or lack of development) of institutionalized children. whether the group is your family. In a laboratory setting. Care was provided by nurses who worked eight hour shifts. the Harlow's removed baby monkeys from their mothers at birth. Ethics rule out doing experiments on the effects of isolation on children. The most important time when socialization occurs is between the ages of one and ten. mentally. Socialization refers to all learning regardless of setting or age of the individual. and truths of that group. The babies raised in the nursing home environment suffered seriously.B. values.

she noticed that some students were yawning. work and the mass media. total institutions have the ability to resocialize people either voluntarily or involuntarily. attitudes. During her first lecture. 1992: 113). began to wear college student-type cloths. E. Gender roles are reinforced through "countless subtle and not so subtle ways" (1999:76). Therefore. An example would be the experience of a young man or woman leaving home to join the Marines. the military. and behaviors. For example. All aspects of life are conducted in the same place and under the same single authority. Goffman lists four characteristics of such institutions: 1. occupations. Resocialization Resocialization is the process of learning new norms. The family is certainly important in reinforcing gender roles. upon hearing he had been accepted to a university. Henslin (2004:71) offers the example of a high school student who. We may even use those views of ourselves when formulating our own self-concept. For example. school. Based on her interpretation of the students yawning. Michael is exhibiting signs of anticipatory socialization. Resocialization can be intense with the individual experiencing a sharp break with past and the learning and exposure to radically different norms and values." and begins to wear clothing styles and affect mannerisms that are characteristic of State University students.Anticipatory socialization refers to the processes of socialization in which a person "rehearses" for future positions. In his last semester of high school. and social relationships (See Appelbaum & Chambliss. . values. Boys learn to be boys and girls learn to be girls. mental hospitals and convents (Schaefer & Lamm." Gender socialization refers to the learning of behavior and attitudes considered appropriate for a given sex. but so are one’s friends. the following would be considered as total institutions: prisons. Mattie is a new sociology professor at the local college. Gender Socialization and Gender Roles Henslin (1999:76) contends that "an important part of socialization is the learning of culturally defined gender roles. 1997:76). A parent who buys hi male children trucks while buying his female children dolls is engaging in gender socialization. 1992: 113). The Looking-Glass Self The looking-glass self is the term Charles Horton Cooley coined to describe the process by which we develop a sense of self. D. Soon he begins to dismiss high school activities as being "too high schoolish. Total Institutions This term was coined in 1961 by Erving Goffman and was designed to describe a society which is generally cut off from the rest of society but yet still provides for all the needs of its members. This "learning" happens by way of many different agents of socialization. Examples: Henslin (2004:66) suggests that the fact that parents let their preschool boys roam farther from home than their preschool girls illustrates the how girls are socialized to be more dependent. It refers to the process of discarding former behavior patterns and accepting new ones as part of a transition in one's life. Radical resocialization occurs in a total institution. Resocialization occurs throughout the human life cycle (Schaefer & Lamm. Michael has received word that he has been accepted to State University. We see ourselves through the eyes of other people. C. Mattie has decided she is a boring teacher.

(4th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. (5th Ed. Henslin (1999:96) defines social structure as "the framework of society that was already laid out before you were born. determining one's attitudes toward religion and establishing career goals. Robertson. A. New York: Longman. Schaefer & Lamm (1992) PART 2: Social Order What is Social Structure? Social structure refers to patterns around which society is organized." Social mobility is often achieved by routes provided by the social structure. The school is the agency responsible for socializing groups of young people in particular skills and values in our society. Chambliss 1997 Sociology: A Brief Introduction. Ian 1989 Society: A Brief Introduction. A single rational plan exists to fulfill the goals of the institution. 3. C. students in a college class). All members are treated a like and all members do the same thing together. There are micro aspects of social structure such as statuses and roles. Peers refer to people who are roughly the same age and/or who share other social characteristics (e. James M. New York: Worth Publishing.g. friends. and William J. V. and coworkers.g. 1999 Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. Symbolic Interactionist Theory explore micro-sociological issues. In a bureaucracy. (like those related to the economy). These obscure structures none-the-less have great impact on the character of society overall.) Allyn and Bacon. Often. 1987 The Meaning of Sociology: A Reader. Work Place. the patterns are well defined (in the army one moves up in rank). among other things. Daily activities are tightly scheduled. Each phase of a members daily activity is carried out in the immediate company of others. Micro Approaches to Sociology The micro-level refers to social relations that involve direct social interaction with others including families. Still larger are more obscure structures.. E. Bibliography Appelbaum. Richard P. Henslin. 4. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. emotions. B. religion). Macro vs. D. Joel 1986 Sociology: A Conceptual Approach. CA: Prentice hall.2. Agents of Socialization The Family The School Peer Groups The Mass Media Other Agents: Religion. All activity is superimposed upon the individual by a system of explicit formal rules. Charon. education. Family is responsible for.. 1999:76-81) The family is the most important of the agents of socialization. Englewood. The State Agents of socialization are people and/or groups that influence self concepts. . Larger social structures include groups and institutions (e. attitudes and behavior (Henslin. government. 2004 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. ordinary people are not even aware of their existence.

the individual may try to de-emphasize the importance of that role. We call this "role conflict." Role distancing is the act of separating oneself from the role. The macro-level refers to the larger. Irving Goffman (1961) calls this "role distancing. the actor may only play the role in a tongue and cheek fashion. Role Conflict Some roles that have to be played contradict other important roles (See Henslin. is earned. Shakespeare said in "As You Like It": All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players They have their exits and their entrances And one man in his time plays many parts To act in a role is simply to act according to the norms (rules) and expectations attached to it. on the other hand. and Expectations Sociology: Henslin (1999:95-97) draws a distinction between status and roles. Here the individual does not know what is expected. and often more remote social processes that help to shape the micro world. 2. depositors rush to the bank to get their money. 1997:6). Expectations and Inequality: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Henslin (481:1999) contends that a self-fulfilling prophecy refers to a false assumption of what is going on that happens to come true simply because it was predicted. . we do not define roles. 1.An example would be Liebow and Anderson's study of how street corner men in Washington coped with life on a day-to-day basis. It is based on merit. cultural. C. one begins to see all life as if it were a stage play. Functionalists and Conflict Theory are the domain of macro-level studies. • Karl Marx's concern with social class is an example of macro sociology • II. Role Distancing and Role Conflict Role Distancing Unlike a stage play. Status. Viewing life simply in terms of roles that people occupy. Associated with each role (or social position) are many expectations concerning how a person should behave. A. Ascribed Status Vs. but now it may be true that depositors can't get their money because of the run on the bank." Example: The conflict experienced between having to be a mother and having to be a wage earner simultaneously. Example: A rumor spreads that a bank is in trouble and that depositors will not be able to get their money. Macro processes include political. Achieved status. Achieved Status Henslin (1999:96) calls attention to the distinction between ascribed status and achieved status. 1999:108). and other institutional social forces (Appelbaum and Chambliss. Micro Roles. Status refers to the social positions that exist in society while roles refer to "expected" patterns of behavior. We negotiate social roles. B. and privileges attached to a particular social status. When an individual disagrees with the expectations associated with a particular role. One is born with ascribed status such as race or sex. Age is also an ascribed status. As a result of the rumor. Ascribed statuses are involuntary. For example. obligations. economic. The initial rumor was false. Example: Teenagers often experience conflict between the role of child and that of adult. however. more invisible. Expectations are like norms.

in turn. the Palo Alto police literally arrested the students. For example. an athlete who believes that he is a winner tends to win (all other things held equal). seldom wins. Social Interaction in Everyday Life Ethnomethodology Andersen & Taylor (2001:94) contend that one way to study norms is to observe what happens when norms are violated. The 24 students were randomly assigned to two groups. the group is expected to perform in a sub par fashion). middle-class college students who were asked to play roles. but that. At this point the "guards" of Zimbardo's project took over (Zimbardo. their cloths were taken from them. stable. For example. Irving Goffman argued that social interaction is a series of attempts by one person to con the other. college student) and accept their new identity as prisoner. If a society holds negative expectations toward a particular group of people (e. 1999:323). Half were asked to play the role of prison guards. At this point the "prisoners" were blind folded.. booked. Negative behavior will. Impression Management and the Dramaturgy Model Andersen & Taylor (2001:95-6) contends that impression management is a process by which people control how other will perceive them. By going to a job interview well-groomed. The dramaturgical model of social interaction assumes that "people are actors on a stage in the drama of everyday life" (2001:96). and placed in a holding cell). III. Goffman contends that the various settings. Ethnomethodology is a technique for studying human interaction by deliberately disrupting social norms and observing how individuals respond. For example. the prospective employee is trying to let their future boss know that they will be a great employee (Henslin. are like stages where we give performances. While this view may be a bit melodramatic. 2004:97). provide justifications for a dominant group to continue a policy of disrespect. The Zimbardo study and the Rosenhan experiment highlight the "self-fulfilling prophecy. The idea is that the disruption of social norms helps one discover the normal social order. Social structure helps in the formation and maintenance of expectations for both parties. The student-guards were told that they had to make the student-prisoners loose their since of identity (e.. before one goes to a job interview. Guards could not physically mistreat . they may begin to behave according to the expectations (see Henslin. due to circumstances beyond their control. intelligent. whom Zimbardo defined as prisoners. They put them through the whole incarceration process as if they were real prisoners (e. an athlete who thinks he is a loser. A. 1971).g. Twenty-four students were paid $15 dollars a day. Goffman would argue that trying to find ways to con other is at the heart of social interaction. they may buy new closes and have their hair cut. The other half were asked to play the role of prisoners. one should agree that we do present ourselves differently depending of the situation.. and they were transported to Zimbardo's labs at Stanford.g." If one expects a certain kind of behavior from an individual. Once groups assignments were made. One responds differently to their mother when compared to a date. one may unconsciously create the conditions that fulfill expectations. that group may internalize these expectations. they could not get the paper in on time. Literally.g. a student who hands in a term paper late will try to convince the professor that he or she is really a very diligent individual. The Power of Roles The Zimbardo Study The Zimbardo study (1971) (also called the Stanford Prison Study) considers the behavior of mature.The self-fulfilling prophecy helps maintain and perpetuate inequality on a societal level. the were picked up. finger printed. However.

of their own individual survival. Expectations associated with roles and statuses are also highlighted.the student-prisoners. After their admission. thinking. dehumanized robots who thought only of escaping. certain expectations accompany that role. several of his graduate students went to psychiatric hospitals complaining of hearing voices.e. Professional staff diagnosed all as having mental disorders. Institutions (in Charon. Charon (1986:173) contends the situation became so nightmarish that the study came to an early end. however. 2004:83). Rosenhan notes that often there is only a loose association between the person labeled mentally ill and the actual act." but said nothing in order to save face. To put it in other words. They were also given symbols of power and oppression such as billy-clubs. Their goal after admission was to convince the staff that they were sane. Those playing prison guards took pleasure with inflicting cruelty. 1971). 1986:229) are structures that define the right and correct ways of doing things in society. Institutions help establish and maintain social order. They were often asked to strip and in the process guards would humiliate the prisoners. and politics are examples of institutions (Henslin. if we see a person in a given role. did realize. and feeling. but they could intimidate. religion. Often the label or status that we impose upon others becomes the primary tool for knowing how to respond to other individual. Altering the perceptions of others is very difficult. We saw some boys (guards) treat other as if they were despicable animals. the prisoner appeared to actually "loose it. . Within a few days the students internalized their roles. Other patients. and of their mounting hatred for the guards" (see Charon. The staff never did realize that the pseudo patients were frauds. hearing voices).." B. IV. the prisoners protested and as punishment guards took away their beds. nothing the pseudo patient could do would change the expectations of the professional staff. The graduate students were hospitalized for an average of nineteen days. "There were dramatic changes in virtually every aspect of their behavior. Hospital staff diagnosed most of the pseudo patients as schizophrenic. On the second day of the study. In the second part of the experiment Rosenhan informed the hospitals that they could expect one or more pseudo patient to enter their hospital. The Rosenhan study shows that when an individual is "labeled" or defined are occupying a certain role by society. forty-one were alleged to be pseudo patients by at least one hospital's staff. once they stuck the label on the patient. All the students were admitted to the psychiatric hospitals. In reality. Rosenhan asked: "what would happen if sane people sought admission to a psychiatric hospital?" To explore this question. Rosenhan notes that in all likelihood some of the professional staff also realized that Rosenhan's students were not really "sick. Master Status Master Status is a label that supersedes all other labels (Henslin. no pseudo patients were admitted. It becomes very difficult for ordinary people to "know an individual" outside those perceptions and expectations. however. they stopped displaying all inappropriate behavior (i. Of 193 patients who were admitted. The other boys (prisoners) became servile. Zimbardo (1971) noted that some prisoners attempted to fake insanity in an effort to be removed from the experiment. To demonstrate this point. They would wake up prisoners at odd times (like 2:30 am) for cell searches (Zimbardo. 35 of 118 "real" patients expressed suspicions like: "You're not crazy. According to Zimbardo. 1986:174). Going to the bathroom became a privilege for the model prisoners. • • • Macro Sociology: Institutions Family. The Rosenhan Study The Rosenhan study highlights the power of roles also. You're journalist or protesters" or "Your checking up on the hospital. In the case of one young man. The prisoners arrived at "jail" with chains on their feet." Apparently. 1999:96). Other student-prisoners who didn't follow the rules were placed in "the hole" which was an area used for solitary confinement.

etc. (6th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Public education is an institution. Often one hears mental hospitals or prisons called institutions. To understand society. Actors agree on important matters affecting interaction and control themselves so that cooperation can occur. The mental health system is an institution. first. Generally speaking. (4th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. expectations become more fixed. organization) have developed over time. 2006 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. 1999 Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. For essentialists the descriptive level (what people see) is only one of appearance and not cause. V.. James M. The Social Organization: Dyads Smallest Level of . the longer the patterns exist. 2004:83). If one is institutionalized. is an institution. Joel 1986 Sociology: A Conceptual Approach. major concerns of criminal justice. the more expectations become fixed. The same idea holds no matter what prison in which an individual is. 2004:83). 2004:83).e. The characteristics of the economy determines what we see on the surface (in government. The specific hospital is not an institution. One hears of people being institutionalized. The patterns that characterize social interaction (i. then communities. The "corporation" is an institution. the educational system (as well as the rest of the institutions) in America support the ideology of democracy and free enterprise. (7th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. type of profession. speaking sociologically. This paper explores various levels of organization. it explores small groups." (Movie) Definition of Social Organization Charon (1986:110) contends that social organization refers to patterns of social interaction. The idea of prison. Structure Below the Surface Essentialism is an idea that comes out of the French Structuralist School of Althusser and Foucoult. As society becomes more industrialized. GM is an organization.) Bibliography Charon. Organization Institutions can be organization. Essentialism generally refers to social structures that lie below the surface of observable society. Henslin. Cause is hidden. II. essentialists are concerned with the unconsciousness foundations of human culture. Bureaucracy is an especially salient issue for nearly everyone worldwide. he or she becomes a part of a particular system of organization. It then proceeds to subsequently larger forms of organization. A. Institutions tend to support the ideology of a society. It first investigates the smallest level of social organization. Institutions vs. According to Sartre. the dyads. Philip 1971 "Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Study. Institutions act as norms. the world system) are dealt within the fourth part of the course. El Paso Community college is an organization. however. Social institutions are the means that each society develops to meet its basic needs (Henslin. nation states and finally world-system. The larger levels of organization (i. 2008 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. institutions become more formal (Henslin.• • • • • Social institutions shape our behavior (Henslin. Much attention is paid to groups and formal organization. For example. size of family. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Within organization. After dyads are discussed. but they are different from organizations. Zimbardo.. Formal organization follows groups.e. At some point certain organizations eventually come to wield great power within society. one needs to go beyond description (the surface) to the causal level.

The tend to think that their perspective is right and correct. The individual forms expectations about the world through group involvement. 1. Any descent is seen as disloyalty. Even in large organizations interaction between individuals still occurs in small groups. it proceeds down dangerous paths ignoring alternatives. Groups Contribute to Larger Organization Social organization at the "formal level" is sufficiently large that continuous interaction among all actors is impossible. . A. The Milgram Study Andersen & Taylor ( 2001:124-5) describe the Milgram study as an investigation into the obedience to authority. Dyads consist of two people. • require continuing active participation and commitment of both members • People make up rules during the interaction. It has three or more people. • Interaction is very personal and intimate. Groups General Characteristics of Groups A Group Consists of People Who Interact and Form Social Patterns Increases in Size Equals Loss of Freedom Interaction Reaffirms Social Patterns A group is at least one person larger than a dyad. Groups are different from dyads in that they depend less on the individual actor for continuity. 3. Descent is. as the group grows in size. 2. Groups depend on interaction to affirm and reaffirm social patterns. the longer the group exists. The Asch Conformity study finds that group pressure is even stronger than the weight of objective evidence. Groups Define Reality for the Individual The group's definition of reality is a pattern that the individual assumes. Furthermore. As the group grows in numbers. The interaction of small groups within the frame work of larger organizations reaffirms the social patterns of the larger social organizations. One learns within the group what the important issues are and the guide lines (the rules) that the group expects you to live by. The strength of patterns in the group depends on the history of the interaction. The Asch Line Experiment Andersen & Taylor (2001:123) notes that the Asch Conformity Experiments builds on the perception that social influence is strong enough to make us behave in ways that would normally cause us discomfort. the individual freedom of any particular member is de-emphasized. even if that decision is downright stupid.The dyad is the smallest level of organization that exists. 4. Groupthink occurs when group member think alike. • are the most unstable of social groups A unique feature of dyads is that each individual in the dyad has total veto power over any aspect of the relationship (Appelbaum and Chambliss. therefore discouraged. III. Usually. Because the group allows little critique. more emphasis is put on the well-being of the group. 5. Group Think Henslin (2006:128) describe group think as the tendency for a group to reach a consensus opinion. the stronger the bonds become. Groupthink describes "collective tunnel vision" that group members sometimes develop. 1997:84). Group pressure could persuade an individual to say a short line was longer than an obviously longer line.

They are intimate. Hippy Cultures Five Characteristics of The Primary Group a. Example: Part-time waiters in a college dinning hall. The primary group is characterized by a sense of "we. C. Secondary groups The Characteristics of Secondary Groups a. classmates. Bonds that form within the primary group are relatively permanent. 1. B. Primary groups are small. Secondary groups are more impersonal. The out group is the group that has individual feels antagonism toward (Henslin. 4. In-Group Vs. c. Although many young people tried to "drop out" during the 1960s." There is an emotional commitment to the whole rather than to the individual or to the specific goals of an individual member. Primary groups generally form around family and close friends. Primary groups are most responsible for determining who you are. Thrasher considers gangs as primary groups because they take on the major responsibilities for socialization of individuals whose need's traditional families did not meet. 2008:133-4). most had returned to the middleclass life styles of their parents within ten years. They are more temporary. 1. Networks. c. There are primary groups and secondary groups. d. The well-being of the group itself is. The interaction is unspecialized. They provide a sense of identification or belonging. 1999:152). people in the neighborhood. 2. in a sense.e. and Networking . They can include the family. Individuals receive most early or primary socialization in primary groups. or coworkers (see Henslin. d. They require less of an emotional commitment. Thrasher noted that although gangs taught illegitimate means of self-actualization. members of a church. the goal (Like the family). e. Furthermore. Primary groups involve face to face interaction. It exists to fulfill a wide rage of personal needs. Primary Groups There are two broad categories of groups. goal oriented -. Out-Group The in-groups are the groups which an individual feels loyalty toward.. status accrued to individuals because of their gang related activities in their immediate neighborhood. 1997:71). Cliques. 2. They are more specialized (i. 3. b. They are usually larger.The Milgram Study showed that substantial number of people will inflict pain on other's if ordered to do so by a person in a position of authority (Henslin. 1999:153). Socialization that occurs in primary groups is responsible for most later interaction and socialization (see Appelbaum and Chambliss. b. The Gang As a Primary Group What happens when traditional primary groups are unavailable for the individual [like young children]? Frederick Thrasher (1963) demonstrates the importance of gangs in this regard. the skills learned within gangs were necessary for survival. 3. teachers. Thrasher considers gangs as part of normal development in poor neighborhoods although gangs tended to contribute to antisocial behavior (like crime). Primary groups are where close people form emotional ties. Reference Groups Reference groups represent the standards people use to evaluate themselves and others.Examples include classes and/or a job). Within the gang. e. illegitimate goals (as seen from societies stand point) become legitimate for the gang members.

2004:93). Organic solidarity is based. Impersonal interaction among group members. The Amish represent a Gemeinschaft community. human relationships shifted to a state of gesellschaft. Three Types of Formal Organizations Coercive Organizations There are three types of formal organizations according to Amitai Etzioni (1961). Toennies (in Appelbaum and Chambliss. B. 2. Relationships were intimate. . 2. Relationships became more impersonal. but rather by impersonal calculation and public opinion. Powerful folkways and mores kept people in line as did a strong sense of religious commitment.a. they make objectives explicit in writing (e.. b. and hospitals. IV. People come to depend on each other for the work that each contributed to the whole. Formal Organizations Characteristics of Formal Organizations Formal organizations include churches. 1. D. Cliques are small factions of close associates that operate within larger groups (Henslin.. An agricultural society is an example. Mechanical Solidarity The key to social cohesion in gemeinschaft type communities (i. close friends and other acquaintances make up an individual's social network (Henslin. Sociologists refer to the conscious use or cultivation of networks as networking. 1999:155). c. 3. the individual moves on. Formal organizations are created to work toward specified goals. The links between an individual and his or her cliques. A. family. Cliques Social Networks Networking People don't usually communicate with all members of large groups. armies. Networking refers to using social networks to establish a circle of friends usually for career advancement (Henslin. As groups grow in size. 2004:93). 1997:406) contends that the overall approach that people use to communicate with one another has shifted from primary types relationships to secondary type relationships. but on interdependence (Henslin. Life was carried out in rural communities. not by religious commitment. the IRS. the degree to which members of a society feel united by shared values and other social bonds) lies in what Durkheim called mechanical solidarity. schools.g. Durkheim noted how people performed similar tasks and developed a shared consciousness that united the community. 1. Gesellschaft As industrialization transformed human lives from that which was rural to that which is urban. Citizens in rural areas possessed a strong sense of family. colleges. 1999:154). not on similarity. clubs. tasks become more specialized. 1999:154).e. Characteristics of formal organizations include: 1. When they meet goals. Gemeinschaft Before the onslaught of industrialization and urbanization human relationships were characterized by Gemeinschaft. The members of the community have so much in common that they know how most others feel about life (Henslin. Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft Under the topic of Urban Sociology. they become more formal). Organic Solidarity As society gets larger. Behavior was governed. Society witnesses a breakdown in traditional family arrangements.

Jobs become specialized and a greater variety of jobs are the result. General Features Associated with Developing Social Structure 1. 3. for example. likewise places extreme limits on the freedom of individuals. as the division of labor becomes complex. American style democracy. Bureaucracy The Development of Formal Social Structure: Division of Labor The impact of social structure is great indeed! Durkheim. Utilitarian Organizations Utilitarian organizations see individuals conforming to organization standards because organizations pay them to be a part of that organization. Imagine a condition where no reliable organization exists. Without organization a state of anarchy would prevail. With the latter. Of course. Normative Organizations Normative organizations are based on a shared moral commitment. there are more layers across which an individual can advance. in his epic work. educate. As society becomes more complex. Much of Durkheim's work centers on social organization." In other words. V. Durkheim argued that the increasing complexity was an advantage for any society because it gave the members of society more choice and. Another freedom-limiting problem associated with developing social structure revolves around the possibility that so many choices may overwhelm the. once the voting is over. most jobs are utilitarian (see Appelbaum and Chambliss. Inequality becomes institutionalized. more freedom. but freedom does not automatically flow from democracy. the individual can experience too much order. There is also an increase in "vertical differentiation. there is a vast increase in the interdependence among its members as the labor needed to feed. C. The Division of Labor in Society (1983) maintained "as society becomes larger and more complex. Furthermore. Individuals would lose the safety provided by organization and would thus lose their freedom. Force is necessary because people tend to resist being a part of the organization. 1997:88). the social structure becomes increasingly formal. confronts one with what Tocqueville called the "tyranny of the majority. 1997:88). people are not overly concerned about losing that freedom. like that found in fascist states. Democracy may facilitate human freedom and emancipation. Normative organizations include political parties. communicate with. 2. On the other hand. 2. No system of organization is perfect with respect to guaranteeing freedom." In a democracy. therefore. B. Despite the problematic aspects of democracy. (Ex: The debate concerning abortion issues highlights this kind of dilemma). too much organization. Social organization means. it appears that a moderate amount of organization is most desirable. certain groups find themselves with greater or lesser access to the higher levels of the system. religious organizations. transport. Individuals ultimately offer a great amount of respect to organizations. that the individual has to give up a certain amount of individual freedom. 1988:160). and fraternities (see Appelbaum and Chambliss. By the time they are a part of an organization. Positions within structure become more clearly defined. 1997:88). . Categories within the organization become more differentiated. On the other hand. and defend them becomes more complex" (in Kornblum. A. Examples are prisons and mental hospitals (see Appelbaum and Chambliss. People define themselves through the organizations to which they belong. on one hand. care for. often in writing. the minority (those who lost the vote) must abide by the decision of the majority. organizations have socialized them to accept the rules and goals of the organization as their own. Freedom from a Durkheimian Point of View Durkheim raised the point that the freedom an individual experiences depends on the level of social organization (order). People conform to the organizations standards out of a positive sense of obligation. house.Coercive organizations rely on force to achieve order.

Weber contends that as social structure becomes more complex. Efficiency brings dependability and may even lower prices." • We see this feature when ever we visit shopping malls. you get the same sort of format regardless of the network you watch. not people. Henslin (1999:171) notes that assignments flow downward and accountability flows upward. The ideal type reveals essential characteristics of those real cases. such as problem control and policy implementation happened informally. Initially organizational business.3. Bureaucracies allow for more efficient decision making. Calculated rules and procedures characterize bureaucracies. and visit the same tourist spots. He describes this process as the McDonaldization of Society (Henslin. Rationalism Rationalism refers to the careful calculation of practical results. 3. D. As organization becomes more complex. 4. customs. Ideal Type Weber coined the term ideal type (Henslin. They cover the same stories. Bureaucracies are a hierarchy of offices. people turn away from policies based on tradition. There are no more unique experiences. have the same sort of travel accommodations. and personal values to policies based on efficiency and rationality. The eat the same food. Written Rules: Explicit rules govern the offices. 1999:173) to describe typical (or pure forms) of rational or bureaucratic organizations. Power within the structure becomes increasingly centralized. . • We experience standardization when we plan trips through travel agencies. • When you watch the news. Much of life in modern society is "standardized. E. emotions. He interprets the features that evolve within social structure as an attempt to make organizations more rational. They give the same sort of points of view. There are always superiors with clearly defined authority. 2006:118). An ideal type is an abstract description that is based on real cases. Impersonality: Bureaucracies are a system of offices. policy becomes explicitly stated that covers all situations that might arise. People only fill positions. but we lose spontaneity (Henslin. Capitalism encompasses the pursuit of maximum profit and the private ownership of property. Characteristics of Bureaucracy The following characteristics represent an ideal picture of well-running bureaucracies (See Henslin. Iron Law of Oligarchy? Appelbaum & Chambliss (1997:91)defines the iron law of oligarchy as an inevitable tendency for large-scale bureaucratic organizations to become ruled by a handful of people in a highly undemocratic fashion. A Weberian Analysis of Bureaucracy Max Weber is renowned for his analysis of bureaucracies. A Division of Labor: Each member has specific tasks to fulfill and all the tasks are coordinated to fulfill the purpose of the organization. They provide the means to organize and serve many people. 1. 2006:118). 2. McDonaldization of Society George Ritzer maintains that the organizational features of the fast food industry have gradually seeped into many aspects of human social life. 1999:171-172). Everyone gets the same experience.

are obviously catastrophic. Also at the bottom of organizations. They tend to stay at the level where they have ceased to be functional. Red tape may impede the purpose of an organization. The Informal Structure of Bureaucracy Bureaucracies do not do a very good job handling unusual situations. but seldom are the bureaucrats demoted. At that point the promotions stop. Often formal rules are "bent" to adjust to "real" situations. The Peter Principle argues that people rise to the level of their incompetence. they receive yet another promotion. 7. It suggests that if an individual does a great job at a low level in the bureaucracy. The Control of a Few The centralized organizational structure enhances the power of a few individuals. 4. Example: When the Doctor Does not Arrive on Time In a hospital labor and delivery ward. Some times bureaucracy takes on a life of its own. Example: From a Marxian sense. Example: March of Dimes shifted it focus from raising funs to combat polio to raising funds for birth defects research. The goals of bureaucrats become self-survival and self-serving. Self-serving Bureaucrats Loss of Initiative Alienation (bureaucratic) Superiors act to keep their positions. The informal network helps in organizational coherence when the organization encounters unusual situations.The Peter Principle Bureaucracies get choked with rules to the point where they cease to function. informal interaction within a bureaucracy actually makes the bureaucracy more efficient! Sometimes the informal networks become more important than the formal organization. 3. bureaucracies induce a sense of powerlessness and low moral for people who work in the bureaucracy and for those individuals receiving the service. MACRO Levels of Social Organization . VI. 6. alienation refers to the experience of being cut off from the product of a person's labor resulting in feelings of powerlessness and normlessness. F. the doctor (MD) is in charge of delivering babies. then the organization will promote that person to the next level. Example: when one is at a job and they feel they are viewed as an object rather than a person is experiencing alienation. In fact. Written Communication and Records: Bureaucracies carry all business out in writing. The nurse's actions technically violates the formal rules of the hospital. A peculiar characteristic of formal organization is the creation of informal patterns of communication within the formal organization. If they continue to perform well. Sometimes the MD does not arrive on time and the nurse has to perform the doctor's duties. G. The consequences of not violating those rules. Bureaucrats become secure in their position and lose their initiative. Dysfunction of Bureaucracy Goal Displacement Once created. Once a task is completed. 5. People who are familiar with the rules of how bureaucracies function maintain a sense of "quiet" control over those who have little knowledge of how the system operates. 2. Bureaucrats also lose their initiative because so much of their free-choice is taken away from them. 1. Red Tape: Bureaucracies May Become Inefficient Bureaucratic Incompetence . however. society cannot easily undo bureaucracies. Informal interaction may become necessary because the formal organization becomes inefficient and cannot perform its assigned tasks.5. it seeks new goals (See Henslin. 1999:174-177). Organizations will promote the individual to higher and higher rungs in the organization until they reach a point where the worker no longer does a good job.

Richard P. that using the nation-state as society is flawed when one looks at multi cultural nation-states like Lebanon or stateless societies like Palestine. Nation-States and Society A convenient way to visualize a society is to look at nation-states like the USA. NAFTA Bibliography Appelbaum. most abstract. 3. than they do about people in Montreal although Montreal is much closer to Detroit. a. It is obvious. Society surrounds us. or the UK (See Chirot. Example: Where Do People Interact? People in the U. The community takes care of most basic human needs. Through interaction patterns develop. and a class structure. Society Societies are all encompassing. With the aid of technological advances in communication and transportation. WTO. and most all embracing social organization. people in Detroit know more about people in L. To study something. Communities address the social. Canada. His presence alters the phenomena that he is investigating. Oil and Kuwait. What happens between nation-states is more the business of the world community now that it once was. educational.A. The World-System Some people consider the world as society. For example. A. 4. however. Chambliss . A community is a place that can be found on a map. You cannot put your hands on it.S. Like dyads and groups. 1. Communities 1. it is difficult to specify exactly what a society is. Society What is a Society? Charon (1986:142) indicates that society is a type of social organization. and cultural needs of its members. Communities are large formal organizations that attain a significant degree of self sufficiency and independence. a researcher generally wants to be able to isolate the phenomena. C. and William J.S. the world has become more integrated. Common patterns make us more similar to one another than we are to other societies. A community has an economy and political orientation. customs. On the other hand. interact with one another on a far more regular basis than they do with people outside the U. Sometimes a society shares common values and often it shares a common language. It is simultaneously the longest enduring. 2. Example: The nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. he immediately becomes a part of the environment that he is attempting to study. much larger than the organizations discussed thus far. b. society begins with individuals who interact with one another. 5. a heritage. A society's patterns of interaction are difficult to change because of their long history and because of their importance to large segments of the population. Problems Associated with the Study of Society You Cannot See Society Society is a Total Experience Society does not exist in material form. Example: Communes B. Social scientists cannot measure society directly. When a sociologist attempts to study society. Example: Alaskan Natives become Anthropologists. GATT. 1986:71-3). People form most of their personal relationships within the community. D. One might argue that a particular society exists where individuals mutually interact with one another and where common social patterns exist. 2. Such patterns may include a common set of laws.

But. (6th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. the bandit is seen as even more deviant. cunning. Joel 1986 Sociology: A Conceptual Approach. To those who are being robbed. Many times during a day we disagree with people. disapproval. or would excite. if it were discovered. 2006 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. however. and determination (See Kornblum." To most South Africans.313 Gangs in Chicago.1997 Sociology: A Brief Introduction. is murder wrong when it is done in self-defense or in warfare? Vietnam veterans were taught to be efficient killers for war. any act can be defined as deviant (See Henslin. A General Definition of Deviance Deviance is behavior that some people in society find offensive and which excites. Rinehart and Winston. is relative to time and place. 1988:201). condemnation. Is killing wrong? Usually it is. Simon and Schuster Etzioni. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. as the bandit gains status (and wealth and power). Deviance involves a judgment made by somebody. and Jovanovich. William 1988 Sociology in a Changing World. It involves a moral judgment. Actually. Deviance is not simply behavior. B. 1999 Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. Durkheim. San Diego: Harcourt. Was Panache Villa a deviant? The social status of a bandit. is ambiguous. Even within one society. punishment. 2008 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. Mandela is a revered leader of the freedom movement (see Kornblum. It is not possible to find something that is absolutely condemned by all societies. C. or hostility. those who are Black. furthermore. Deviant behavior is outside the bounds of the group or society (Goode. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Deviance. but could not control themselves when reintroduced into civilian life. behavior defined as deviant continually undergoes redefinition. Daniel 1986 Social Change In The Modern Era. Through their bandit activities people like Pancho Villa are able to display courage. bandits are sometimes seen as rebels who reject the normal roles that poor people are expected to play. To the poor. II. New York: Holt. Deviance: A Relative Term It's not possible to isolate certain acts and find them universally condemned by all societies as deviant acts (Not even murder or incest). Examples of Relative Using Mental Health Examples Definitions of Deviance: . Chirot. What about the case of Nelson Mandela? For years. Kornblum. New York: Longman. James M. 1999:192). 1997:37). Charon. (7th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Brace. Behavior that is deviant in one society may not be in another. particularly one whose activities have political overtones. (4th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. the ruling party in South Africa viewed him as a "dangerous political deviant. Thrasher. 1988:212). Deviance is behavior that is likely to get you into trouble. Frederic Milton 1963 The Gang: A Study of 1. III. Three examples that highlight the relative nature of deviance are provided below: A. what is deviant today may not be deviant tomorrow. Amitai 1961 Henslin. Even within a given society. Emile 1997 The Division of Labor in Society. but we don't usually label those we disagree with as deviant.

Definitions of mental disorders occur in much the same fashion that other forms of deviance receive their definitions. Many times the definition is quite vague and varies "depending on the culture, audience, and context." Behavior alone does not add up to mental disorder. Context is important (Eitzen, 1986:456-7).

A. B. C.

Class Context Sexual Context Professional vs. Domestic Context

If a poor woman shoplifts a roast, people call her a common criminal. On the other hand, if a rich woman steals a roast, her deviant status is kleptomaniac -- a form of mental illness. If a woman is sexually promiscuous, she might find herself labeled as a nymphomaniac, while a man is a stud, macho, swinger, etc. A man may be punctual and obedient during the week while he is at work, but on Saturday afternoon he raises hell while watching the afternoon foot ball game. Both behaviors, while appearing contradictory, are "normal" in their respective contexts. But, if he took Saturday's behavior to the office he would find himself labeled as strange and he might even get fired. On the other hand, passive behavior at a Saturday afternoon football game would be considered a social drag and his peers would not want to watch football with him anymore.


Cultural Context

Abstinence for two years after marriage in the West would be viewed as weird and grounds for annulment. Such behavior is, however, required for newlyweds in the Dani Tribe of New Guinea. Sexual activity for the Dani before two years would be viewed as sexual deviance.


Time Context

People used to be burned at the stake for engaging in behavior that most twentieth-century people see as normal.

IV. Demonic Religious Explanations of Deviance


For a long time the Western view of deviance has been strongly influenced by the church's view which dates back to the 4th century. Religious Explanations are the oldest of all explanations for deviance. Goode (1997:65) notes that from the beginning of time to roughly the 1700s, the most dominant explanations of deviance invoked visions of evil spirits. The deviant is seen as morally deprived and perhaps possessed by the devil. The cause is seen as residing inside the individual. Evil spirits possess the victim. Alcoholism is seen as a weakness, mental illness is seen as irresponsibility, criminal and deviant acts result from giving in to our evil nature, sexual deviance is seen as moral depravity, and rebellion is seen as immaturity. In each case the cause of deviance lies within the individual. It is easy to blame individuals. Societal-based problems are difficult to understand and even more difficult to correct. People seem to prefer what is easiest. Even today, people have trouble understanding that the cause of conditions they do not like may, in fact, be social in origin. Solutions used to correct demonic possession seem bazaar. Holes were drilled in the head of hosts to let the evil spirits escape. Exorcisms were also employed. The witches of Salem were brutalized! Demonic possession lost it popularity around the 1700s.

V. The Biological Theories of Deviance



The positivist school of the second half of the 19th century argues that deviant behavior was dictated by forces beyond the control, or even the awareness, of individuals. Positivists argued that biological abnormalities provided valid explanations for deviance. In essence, genetic predispositions create inborn tendencies to commit deviant acts. According to the positivist philosophers, only through scientific inquiry could one understand the forces that drive society.

Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909), a well-known positivist, argued that physical abnormalities that afflict people cause them to pursue deviant (or criminal) activity. Lombroso argued that criminals were throwbacks to some sort of pre-human. Lombroso (in Kendall, 1998:191) called these criminal types Atavists. He claimed that prisoners had "low foreheads and smaller than normal human cranial capacities" (1998:191). Lombroso thought that he could predict deviant behavior based on skull and body types.



Biological explanations for deviance are almost useless. There is no consistent evidence that supports the belief that social temperament is related to body type. This approach ignores the interactions of the individual with the environment. Research shows that most people, who have suspect genetic traits, are not deviant. Furthermore, the vast majority of criminals do not have irregular genetic patterns.

Example: XXY
Perhaps the very fact that people look different than the general population draws attention to those people. When that individual does something deviant, attention is already focused upon that individual. Previous suspicions become justified.


A Variant on Positivism

A new type of sociobiological theory tries to apply positivist philosophy to street crime. The general argument here is that it requires stamina to be a criminal so those people with the most stamina will be more likely to commit crimes. This would include the young and men. Other biological theories look for links between higher rates of aggression in men to levels of testosterone or chromosomal abnormality. This research, however, produces no consistent findings (Kendall, 1998:192).

A. 1.

Functional Deviance Deviance Contributes to Social Order

Functionalist theories focus on the preservation of social order. Deviance helps maintain social cohesion and the collective conscious.

Durkheim emphasized the importance of deviance in society as a tool for boundary maintenance. The media, who reports on deviance and the accompanying punishment, serve to educate the public by restating society's rules. Punishing violators reaffirms the rightness of society and its rules.

Degradation ceremonies
Rituals play a role in boundary maintenance (see Henslin, 1999:211). A group that discovers a deviant in their fold will attempt to "mark" that deviant for everyone can see. The individual is called before the group to account for his or her deviance. People will testify against him. The individual is found guilty. Finally, an effort is made to strip the individual of his or her group membership. An example of degradation ceremonies is a court martial where a guilty officer is publicly stripped of his rank. The officer is forced to stand at attention while the insignia of his rank is ripped from his uniform (Henslin, 1999:211).


Deviance Contributes to Social Change

Deviance is an important element of social change because it offers alternative definitions to what is right. Sometimes the alternative becomes acceptable and it may even become the dominant view. Durkheim noted that the death of Socrates paved the way for intellectual freedom. Much of the civil and human rights legislation, as well as public sentiment, have been influenced by the behavior of those whose actions were originally judged to be in violation of the law or accepted moral convention.

For civil rights, deviant behavior called attention to inadequacies in the existing system of race relations. Today's crime may be tomorrow's accepted behavior.


Dysfunctional Deviance

Functionalists (Goode, 1997:100-101) like to concern themselves with those forms of deviance that assist in maintaining the social order. Dysfunctional deviance would be those types of deviance that threaten the social order. I suppose some forms of political deviance might be considered here.


Control Theory

Kendall (1998:193) suggests that one functionalist perspective raises the question, why don't people engage in more deviance than they do? An assumption of Control Theory is that people have a strong desire to be deviant. Control theory assumes that people are hedonists. Henslin (2004:143) suggests that people often do not engage in deviance because they have outer containments emanating from a supportive family and friends. Significant others reinforce the idea that deviance is wrong. People also have inner containments such as self-control and a sense of responsibility that reduce deviance.

Anomie or Strain Robert Merton's Typology of Deviance


The historic foundations of the Anomie or Strain Theory go back to the work on Emile Durkheim and Robert Merton. For both sociologists, the cause of deviance is found in disturbances in the social structure. People who encounter disturbances in social structure experience stress. Durkheim was the first sociologist to investigate how disturbances in social structure prompt one to commit suicide. Both wanted to know what accounted for the varying rates of deviancies found cross-culturally and between social classes. Durkheim called the sensation associated with stress anomie. Anomie or Strain Theory contends that social structure puts varying degrees of stress on individuals in society. In order to cope with the stress individuals will begin to purse unconventional means to relieve that stress. In essence, deviance (unconventional means) arises from purely conventional sources.


Robert Merton's Explanation of Deviance

The following material represents Merton's attempt to explain deviance. According to Merton, deviance is an adaptation by individuals to the dominant culture. Discrepancies exist between cultural (material) goals and structural opportunities. As the discrepancy grows between the material goals of society and the means to achieve those goals, the individual experiences more and more internal conflict. Example: Poor people internalize middle-class goals, like wanting a home in a middle-class suburb. They learn to want goals, such as owning a color TV or new home, from sources such as the mass media or school. The means to achieve their goal, however, is difficult to find. Good paying jobs are scarce. Society has not provided the means to achieve those goals. Unable to achieve their goal, they experience stress. In order to relieve the stress the individuals violate the "goals" defined important by society or they violate the "means" to achieve those goals. Note that individuals approach the means-ends discrepancy in different ways. Merton argues that poor people, who cannot achieve goals determined worthy by the dominant society, use illegitimate means to achieve legitimate goals. Society defines success through the ownership of material possessions such as cars or color TVs. The individual, however, cannot find legitimate means, like a job, to finance that TV. The next course of action for the individual is to use illegitimate means, like stealing, to get that TV. People from the middle-class, however, are less inclined to steal. They have more at stake in the system. A person from the middle-class who steals may suffer greater criticism compared with a poor person who steals the same TV. When people from the middle-class experience discrepancies between goals and opportunities, they tend to use illegitimate goals while using conventional means.

but accepts the means. These individuals pursue alternative cultures. they cannot achieve societies' goals by legitimate means. which in turn blocks their access to legitimate goals in society (via drug tests). Retreatism Rebellion People who are retreatists reject both the means and goals of society. Merton assumes that people who have access to legitimate means and goals automatically use legitimate means and goals. when an individual cannot achieve legitimate goals. If someone is a successful "hustler. Finally." but deny that they need a new home or color TV. This assumption is misplaced. A. There is also a problem with cause and effect. no need to engage in deviance to obtain goals deemed worthy by society. norms). Even if we accept the middle-class point of reference. There is. An individual does not just wake up one morning and say to him or herself: "I think I'll rob a TV store today!" 3. III. 5. They have to use illegitimate means such as stealing. Note that functionalists define legitimate and illegitimate from a middle-class point of view. Drug addicts and vagrants are examples of people who retreat. Functionalists assume that people who are not a part of the dominant culture automatically use the dominant culture as their point of reference. Merton assumes that people who do not have access to goals by legitimate means automatically have access by illegitimate means. Merton presents the following typology of Deviance. 2. Included in this group are revolutionaries and some gangs. They assume that what exists and is dominant is correct. Perhaps the cause and effect travel in the opposite direction. They shoplift because their life is boring. B. They do not engage in this activity because they do not have access to means and/or goals. people conform to either the opportunities and goals defined by society or they engage in four types of deviance: II. According to Merton. goals. like the ones presented above. Merton assumes failure with reference to the person engaging in the deviance. therefore. Critiques of Merton's Typology Many functionalist arguments. are easy to critique because their positions are usually very rigid and simplistic.A response by a middle-class person may be to continue to "work hard. 1. C. which means that the individual must have to work extra hard to be a success at his or her deviant profession. How do you steal a color TV? Criminal activity is also a skilled profession. choose to work hard knowing that he or she is not going to achieve the goals that society defines as worthy because they do not get paid enough. like poverty. but for ritualists the individual rejects the goals. For some reason. Merton's Typology Innovation Ritualism Conformity: The individual conforms to the dominant culture. Innovators are people who accept the goals of society. Another example that contradicts Merton's claims is the large number of middle-class teenagers who shoplift merchandise at shopping malls. D. 4. . The individual may. The individual rejects the culture (values. The drug "problem" in middle-class high schools demonstrates that people who have access to legitimate means still engage in deviance. for example. The individual may get into drugs." how can we say that person is a failure? He or she is achieving something illegitimately. People who ritualize have similar problems that the innovator experiences. We assume that because a person cannot achieve legitimate goals in society that he automatically turns to deviance (like drug use). Here the individual experiences no problem in terms of goals and the means that society provides to achieve those goals.

They are neighborhoods where immigrants first came. many of the activities viewed as deviant in poor communities. Example: The Role of the Church in Black Communities. 1. In this respect the gang fills a gap and affords an escape at the same time. The transitional neighborhoods contain a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The gang functions in two ways. It is not especially necessary for people to associate with actual criminals. however. Gangs and the transitional neighborhood Frederick Thrasher found a greater number of gangs in transitional neighborhoods than in more stable neighborhoods. Differential Association Interactionist Perspective: Differential association is the first of two Interactionist perspectives. There is rapid movement of populations into and out of the transitional neighborhood. Goode (1997:87-90) contends that Edwin Sutherland's Differential Association Theory is one of the more important theories in the study of deviance. Second. According to differential association theory. 1999:198-99). Furthermore. It represented an attempt to uncover the complex relationship between deviance and neighborhood. Differential Association: Priority and Intensity: People develop deviant life styles when they deferentially associate with people who support norm violations. is simply different from that found in middle-class neighborhoods. A Critique of the Chicago School There is a bias associated with the Chicago school perspective. traditions. The Chicago School discovered the highest rates of deviance in neighborhoods that were considered transitional in that there was a lot of in-0 and out-migration. ghetto neighborhoods demonstrate a lot of organization. and motives are passed on by word of mouth. Goode (1997) maintains that one learns deviance the same as one learns to brush their teeth. Research that followed the Chicago school found that. A. A. B. 3. were also committed in middle-class suburban areas. VIII. it offers a substitute for what society fails to give. First. It arose as a critique to those theories that sought biological explanations for deviance. Priority The earlier in life that one is exposed to deviant attitudes. 1.VII. 5. skills. According to the Chicago perspective. Population density is very high. and the Chicago School Social Disorganization In the early and mid-1900s the Chicago school emerged and shifted the emphasis away from individual pathology to social structure. He noted that the gang is a social creation. . people learn to be deviant (see Henslin. The population is geographically unstably. 2. Poverty 6. it provides relief from suppression and distasteful living conditions. values. 2. the greater the chance the individual will learn and internalize those attitudes. 4. The gang is the way people organize themselves to cope with disorganized neighborhoods. The transitional neighborhood where one would expect to find deviance according to the Chicago school has the following characteristics: 1. The kind of organization found in poor neighborhoods. "Disorganization" uses middle-class points of view. People learn to be deviant by associating with people who are deviant. in fact. all that is needed is that criminal definitions are common. Low levels of education. Criminal knowledge. entire neighborhoods had become disorganized.

Not all deviance can be accounted for using this assumption. Further. in fact. . The Saints were treated positively and none had future arrest records while the Roughnecks were treated as if they were degenerates. people have an unusually high access to illegitimate opportunities to engage in robbery. upper-class crimes may fit here. Primary Deviance Secondary Deviance This refers to the act of breaking a rule. Intensity A Critique of Differential Association The more one associates with deviants. one has to have opportunity. according to Howard Becker. Certain types of crime (or deviance) do not fit the differential association pattern. Saints and the Roughnecks Under the topic of the power of labeling. Once a person is labeled as deviant. theft. Crimes of passion are a good example. One might call access to college and teaching opportunity. Henslin (2004:149) notes that in poor neighborhoods. Henslin (2004:146) notes that sometimes people become more deviant as a result of being labeled as deviant. In order to be a successful teacher. Also. As with all perspectives. one has to have an "opportunity" to engage in crime. B." Labeling theory calls attention to two kinds of deviance. 1. Henslin (2004:146) provides a study where a group of troubled kids are labeled as Saints and Roughnecks. the critique centers on the proposition that deviance is learned. A person cannot just decide to be a criminal. Some individuals. IX. In this case. and later on experienced numerous problems with the police. is done by moral entrepreneurs. etc. Kendall (1998:196)argues that "delinquents and criminals are people who have been successfully labeled as such by others. They are people who use their own views of right and wrong to establish rules and label others as deviant. the greater the chance the individual will develop deviant attitudes and skills. a legitimate opportunity. this one has it pet biases. labels open and close doors. Illegitimate Opportunity Structure In order to be a successful at anything. Wartime black market activities may also fit. Labeling Theory Interactionist Perspective: Henslin (2004:144) argues that labeling theory focuses in the names and reputations of names or reputations given to people when they engage in certain types of behavior. According to Henslin (2004:146). 2. Secondary deviance is the process that occurs when a person who has been labeled a deviant accepts that new identity and continues the deviant behavior (Kendall.2. This happens because the label becomes a part of the person's self-concept. but are generally law abiding. often that person is forced to have almost exclusive contact with other deviants. drug dealing." Moral Entrepreneurs The labeling. A. create deviance anew. 3. In order to be a successful criminal. many people are exposed to deviance. Kendall (1998:196) contends that the process of labeling is "directly related to the power and status of the people who do the labeling and those who are being labeled. He/she would be a miserable failure because he/she does not have contacts. one has to have access to college and teaching opportunities. 1998:196). B.

he concept of white-collar crime draws attention to definitions of deviance which are determined by the powerful. Occupational crime occurs when crimes are committed to promote personal interests. Crimes which are considered white-collar include embezzling. Stanley and Maxine Baca-Zinn 1986 Social Problems. Crimes that fall into this category include altering books by accountants and overcharging or cheating clients by lawyers. Organizational or Corporate Crime A much more costly type of white collar crime occurs when corporate executives commit criminal acts to benefit their company. (4rd Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. People. Diana 1998 Social Problems in a Diverse Society. People who occupy high positions within economic and political sectors are in a better position to determine what laws are enacted and to enforce their definitions of deviance. 1992 Social Problems. falsification of expense accounts (or other records). define what is appropriate and what is not. Organizations with financial backing are better equipped to present its impressions of deviance. White-collar crime refers to crimes that are committed by "respectable people" during the course of their occupation. (5th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Frederic Milton 1963 The Gang: A Study of 1.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. A. and theft of materials. William 1988 Sociology. This category of crime casts doubt on the notion that poverty breads crime. (3rd Ed. 2006 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. Edwin Sutherland initially coined the term "white-collar crime" in order to point out weaknesses in typical crime theory that considered social pathology as the primary explanation behind criminal behavior.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. (5rd Ed. (4rd Ed. (7rd Ed. Goode. D. I. price fixing. Henslin.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Kornblum. 1989 Social Problems. Harcourt Brace. Thrasher. 1997 Social Problems.313 Gangs in Chicago. Conflict Theory: Acts Condemned by the Powerful Deviance as The community defines deviance. 1999 Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. NJ: Prentice Hall. fraud. insider buying. There are a variety of corporate crimes that include • the creation of inferior products. Erich 1997 Deviant Behavior (5th Ed. The upper class is in a better position to determine what crimes are seen as serious and they tend to point to problems associated with the lower classes. (6rd Ed. Kendall.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. . 2004 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. 1994 Social Problems. (7th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon.X. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. James M. as they interact. (6th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. See: White-Collar Crime Bibliography Eitzen. 2008 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach.) Upper Saddle River. Types of White-Collar Crime Occupational Crime Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:117) call attention to two types of white-collar crime. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. B. Some people in the community have more power than other to define deviance.

• Remember the Dioxin that was sprayed on streets of Times Beach. Deaths that result from corporate neglect should be considered "murder by neglect. 1986:334). In the case of Dioxin. Often political power is the goal. according to Sutherland. If an individual shot and killed another individual with a hand gun. Many occupational deaths are a result of organizational negligence. II. the accident in Kansas City was seen as a misfortune while an individual who shoots another individual is seen as a murderer. In all cases. and asbestos operations represent organizations that experience high rates of death while organizations make profit. or knowingly (and illegally) pollute the environment. Three ounces can kill one million people. IV.S. the American business community lost $50 billion in 1980 to white-collar crime. when the FBI illegally broke into offices of left-wing political organizations. Neglect of worker safety requirements may also be considered white-collar crime. price fixing. Dioxin is one of the most toxic substances known to human beings. White-collar criminals almost never go to jail. the death penalty would be considered. The Cost Of White-Collar Crime The dollar loss attributed to white-collar crimes. V. is probably greater than the dollar loss from all other types of crimes. Every year in the U. 1986:426). which exploded upon suffering rear end collisions (see Ralph Nader's Unsafe At Any Speed). Missouri? • Remember Love Canal? • How about the Ford Pintos. the deadly effects are well documented. coal mines. This was nearly 10 times more than the monetary value of all forms of street crimes (from Eitzen. . For example.000 people die from work related illness and 14. between 120. 1984:416). market untested drugs. What happens when people are killed because a contractor uses substandard building material? • Remember the Hyatt House disaster in Kansas City? As a result of differences in perceptions between white-collar crime and regular crime. At Love Canal. In the case of the Pinto. as well as its cover up. Chemical companies. not money (see Coleman and Cressey. In the 1950s and 1960s. the companies involved were aware of the consequences of their actions. the company failed to recall cars even after the problem relating to the position of the Pinto's gas tank was well documented. Murder By Neglect White-collar crime can describe situations where companies or individuals knowingly use substandard building material. The Goals of White-Collar Crime: Profit And Political Power Money is not the only motive for engaging in white-collar crime. • Oliver North became a hero while acknowledging that he lied to Congress.000 die from on-the-job accidents (Charon. Penalties For White-Collar Crime The difference in how we respond to white-collar crime and "regular" crime is dramatic.000 and 200. the Hooker Chemical Company dumped 200 tons of chemical waste that contained 130 pounds of Dioxin (Eitzen.• • • • pollution. 1986:96). The entire Watergate affair was oriented toward enhancing power. enhancing power was the objective." but white-collar crime is not seen in the same light as street crime. tobacco companies that add nicotine to cigarettes when companies advertise food as "lite" when it has as many calories as regular food. Ford found it more profitable to pay settlements after accidents occurred than to recall the Pinto for repairs. • Former Vice President Spiro Agnew was never sentenced for bribery and tax evasion. III. • President Nixon received a full pardon for his part in the planning of the Watergate burglary.

Why Don't White-Collar Criminals Go To Jail? The Best Lawyers Favorable Laws Clearly a double standard exists between white-collar crimes and street crimes. Little Police Effort Virtually no police effort goes into fighting white-collar crime. but good government. entered a plea of no contest to charges of conspiracy. and making false entries in his bank books. filing false statements. Only a small percent of those convicted actually went to jail. with no fine" (from Eitzen. Often these agencies can act only as watchdogs and point the finger when an abuse is discovered. White-collar criminals have money and can therefore afford the best legal advice." • Let's also not forget the 25 deaths that resulted at Hamlet.EPA). as well as the leniency that white-collar criminals experience from the legal system. Incarceration rates dramatize the differential perceptions of white-collar crime compared to other types of crime. The fact that Oliver North was seen as a hero despite admitting to Congress that he lied about Iran-Contra. C. misapplication of bank funds. Laws are generally written in favor of the white-collar criminal. and was sentenced to one year in prison. His spokesperson said "it was bad politics. A. • Only five percent of people suspected of committing white-collar crimes were convicted. D.S. • When building contractors use substandard material which causes injury and death. Clark apologized to the court. the cost to each individual is small. Chairman of U. White-collar crimes do not impact individuals with the same intensity as when one individual is victimized by a petty criminal. $10 million of this swindled money allegedly went for Clark's personal use. Individual Perception Whereas the impact of white-collar criminals on the nation is great. 1986:427). B. Enforcement is many times put in the hands of government agencies (like the Environmental Protection Agency .000 fine. eligible for parole after four months. "Jack L Clark's Nursing Home Construction Company was founded guilty of a gigantic stock fraud that bilked shareholders of $200 million. • VI. In Florida. 1986:427). The owner. The following are some reasons that explain why white-collar criminals are not more rigorously pursued. fines result rather than jail time. The owners had locked all the exits. 1986:427). to be paid at the rate of $100 a month over twenty-five years -. pleaded guilty to one count (out of sixty-five). His case involved one of the largest swindles in American history (some estimates are as high as $250 million). The following two examples demonstrate the costs of white-collar crime. National Bank. and prosecutors accused him of hiding another $4 million as well. His penalty for this crime was a $30.with no interest" (Eitzen. for example. was sentenced to 19 years and will be paroled in 2 to 6 years. Such statistics are indeed peculiar given that the average dollar loss that results from street crime is much less than the dollar loss experienced from white-collar crime. "C. Arnolt Smith. According to the American Bar Association (ABA). street crime amounted to $35 per crime while the average loss to white-collar criminal activities was $621. No one went to jail as a result of the Hyatt Disaster in Kansas City. • 91 percent of those convicted of bank robberies go to jail while only 17 percent of those convicted of embezzlement of bank funds go to jail.000 (data is from Eitzen. People who commit white-collar crimes are sometimes the same people who are in a position to see to it that their crimes are not defined too negatively. North Carolina's Emmett Roe chicken plant.Reagan vetoed the Ethics in Government Bill in November 1988. who ordered the doors locked. .

.E.. Jeffrey 1998 The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology. crimes against property. It may come closer to documenting the full extent of criminal behavior in the United States. however. Chambliss 1997 Sociology: A Brief Introduction. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. deviant behavior becomes a crime when it is too disruptive and uncontrollable via informal sanctions. may be more detrimental than the initial violation of the law. Most people. Like all forms of deviance. Difficult to Assign Blame Assigning blame in white-collar crime cases can be difficult. rape. includes only offenses that are known to the police and as many as two out of three crimes are not reported to the police. Sources of Crime Information Most of our information concerning crime comes from the FBI's "Uniform Crime Report (UCR). for example. in any given society tend to view the difference between criminal and noncriminal behavior as being absolute. many criminologists prefer to use the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS asks people whether they have experienced a crime. The rate of violent crime is. The UCR is also criticized because it tends to focus on crimes committed by the poor. Charon. Joel 1986 Sociology: A Conceptual Approach. but it began to rise again during the later part of the 1980s. Eitzen. aggravated assault. larceny. For example. II. III. New York: Harper & Row. once again. Class. Due to this weakness. Bibliography Appelbaum. (2nd Ed). as well as supply social necessities. and arson. The UCR is criticized sometimes because of the information it does not report . falling in the latter part of the 1990s. They are violent crime." Generally speaking. but the social impact of severely punishing an institution that may provide jobs to hundreds of people. UCR statistics under estimate the crime rate because of underreporting. (3rd Ed. Coleman James and Donald Cressey 1984 Social Problems. Americans fear crimes of violence the most. crime is a relative matter. D. I. The increase in crime subsided during the early 1980s. but corporation cannot be sent to jail. and white-collar crime. What is Crime Robertson (1989:123) maintains that a crime is "an act that contravenes a law. It. pollution may be the result of corporate neglect. auto theft. for example. Richard P. Stanley and Maxine Baca-Zinn 1986 Social Problems. New York: Longman. Types of Crime Crimes of Violence Four categories of crime are discussed below. argues that the UCR does not do a very good job of cataloguing white collar crime. and William J. A. Reiman (1998). During the 1970s the rate of violent crime rose dramatically. Reiman. and Criminal Justice. victimless crimes. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Reiman (1998) contends that this is especially unfortunate because white collar crime cost the American public more than street crime. burglary." The UCR includes crimes such as murder. Corporations could be heavily fined (a viable option). robbery.

S.000 murders that occurred in the US. they stimulate activity in organized crime because "victimless crimes" usually involve something desirable where large profits can be made (e.Many people fear murder at the hands of a complete stranger. suffer. Bookies. White-Collar Crime For information on White Collar Crime see " IV. drugs or sex). B. Gambling. Hand Guns are the weapons used in 44 percent of the 20. Crime without Victims Presumably no one suffers from victimless crimes. in fact. C. however. One possible explanation calls attention to the age structure of the United States.. many handgun related murders occur because of the presence of the guns. but the data demonstrate that 57 percent of murder victims knew their killers. A." They are very difficult to control because there is no victim to press charges. Examples of "Victimless Crimes" Prostitution. Those who engage in the activity regard the law as inappropriate. D. Robertson. The assumption is there are no injuries caused by these crimes. Illegal Drug Use. or accidental deaths. C. that the individuals who violate the law may. not themselves. Only 2 percent of all hand gun slaying occur because one person was trying to protect themselves. property related crimes rose dramatically during the 1970s and leveled off during the 1980s. or acquaintances. suicides.g. White-Collar Crime " Who are the Criminals? FBI crime statistics (as presented in Reiman. The remainder of handgun related deaths was homicides. Further. Crime without victims. has the highest murder rate in the world. These crimes are far more numerous than violent crimes. Another issue regarding victimless crimes is that they consume an enormous amount of police effort. it is logical to expect the crime rate to decline. 1989:124). Men were four times as likely to commit crimes as females. In most of these cases the victims were family members. As the baby boom generation ages. Only 20 percent of murders fall under the category of street crime. One occurs about every three seconds. Data show that young people between 16 and 25 years old commit by far the most crimes against property. These crimes are "morality crimes. 1998. however. friends. A single American city like Chicago or Detroit has murder rates higher than the entire country of England. Like violent crimes. The murder rate for handgun homicide in 1980 in the United States was 77 times greater than it is in England or Japan (Robertson. The United States is the most violent society of all industrialized nations. and prohibited sexual acts among consenting adults. is something of a misnomer. Crimes against Property Crimes against property include crimes where criminals steal. vagrancy. 1989) indicate that the typical criminal is: Young Male Urban Black People under 25 years old commit nearly half of all crimes. D. B. People arrested were much more likely to be from cities as opposed to small towns . Unfortunately. The U. Perhaps the term "victimless crime" refers to the fact that there are no victims to press charges. Robertson (1989:125) points out. The primary cause of deaths by hand guns is the wide spread access to hand guns. Ordinary citizens often claim that they need a gun to protect themselves. or vandalize property. that belongs to someone else.

These political bodies pass laws against certain kinds of behavior. It does not concentrate on upper-class crime. 3 are sentenced to over a year in prison Source: (Kornblum. 1988:219) VI. petty crimes and white-collar crimes seldom come to the attention of the police.  With reference to the seriousness of the offense.g. Robertson. but rather the one who typically gets arrested. Example: Who Out of 1000 felonies committed . most are not even reported to the police. Out of 1000 felonies. Of all the crimes committed.. it is questionable that the convicted criminal will go to prison. The social status of the offender has great impact on who the police arrest and who ultimately goes to jail. 1997) maintain that these statistics distort the true character of the criminal element in the US. B. few lead to arrest. The True Character of Crime is Masked Most Crimes Go Unreported Most Crime Data Are Biased Most Crimes Go Undetected Many scholars (e. The prison population does not look like the population of people who commit crimes. in fact. There are three reasons for this. D. B. They are simply the ones arrested. They victim makes a decision whether to report. goes to Jail? 540 are reported to the police of those. The actual crime rate is nearly three times higher that the reported crime rate. prosecuted. The seriousness of the offense. Selecting the Criminal The Political Process Selecting the criminal explains why the prison population has the socio-demographic characteristics that it has. Selection by the Police . If an arrest occurs. and convicted" (1989:127).) V. Finally. those that go undetected by the criminal justice system. Self-report studies reveal that nearly 100 percent of Americans have committed crimes. only 3 individuals serve more than a year in prison (see the chart below). 17 are sentenced to custody of those. or Congress (see Reiman. 1989:126.. 36 are convicted of those convicted. 65 lead to arrests of those arrests. C. Selection by the Victim Two out of three crimes are never reported to the police. For reported crimes.  The status of the offender. A. the chance is less than 50 percent that a conviction will result. The definition of which behavior is considered as criminal begins in political bodies such as city councils. This does not mean that lower-class males commit the most crimes. 1. C. "The typical criminal is not the typical criminal at all. Legislative bodies decide penalties for violating the laws they pass. The largest group of criminals is. 2. Who Goes to Jail? Robertson (1989:127-8) points out there are a variety of stages that an offender must go through before finally going to jail. Barkan. Robertson (1989:127) contends there are two factors which determine whether or not a given offender moves to the next stage.29% of those arrested were black (they make up only 12% of the total population. A. Most Juveniles in the arrest statistics are lower-class males. state legislatures. 1998).. 1998. Reiman.

only 5 percent of those encountered lead to arrests. The Overall crime rate in 1995 is down compared to 1994. therefore. when the individuals stopped were polite and cooperative. The police.000 people in 1976 to 5207 per 100. have great discretion when it comes to whether to arrest or not. Trends in Crime The Tables discussed below are explored in the first of three group projects Introduction to Sociology students pursue this semester. and uncooperative. 2. Structural Components of Crime . D. (See: Crime History by the Numbers) Even if one uses rates. Large cities are notorious for crime. They would plead guilty to lesser offenses. however. Police tend to arrest people from the lower class because they perceive them as bad characters. are not necessarily supported by the facts. Rates: A crime rate refers to the numbers of crimes per 100. Robertson (1989:128) points out that judges perceive higher class offenders (white-collar criminals) as having suffered enough through damage to their reputation and perhaps loss of employment.349.700 in 1976 to 12. Determining the number of crimes is simple. People at large are committing fewer crimes in 1985 than in 1976. still higher when compared to 1977. consult the guidelines in Data Project 1 Is crime increasing? Are crime rates going up or down? What is the difference? It is possible for one to increase while the other decreases. be very careful when listening to the "sound bites" of politicians as they critique crime in America. in part. All one needs to do is visit the UCR. It is possible for one to increase while the other decreases. 1973). dress and demeanor were important determinants. however. in fact. Court officials encouraged poor people to plea-bargain. the numbers of crimes experienced by every 100. One is not told. Table #1 indicates that the overall number of crimes in the United States increases from 11. Selection in the Courts Selection by Attorneys: Plea Bargains Selecting occurs as well in the court system. Americans see nightly stories of drive-by shooting and drugrelated gang murders. The police arrested 2/3's of those individuals who were defiant. however. The scenario in the example above happens because of population increase. likewise. VII. who cannot afford attorneys. 1.400 in 1985. Rural and small town Americans are. nonchalant.The police do not arrest everyone they encounter in an illegal act. (See: City Crime) VIII. that much of that kind of crime occurs in a only few neighborhoods in small parts of cities. One should also pay attention to the geographic area one is located in. Those violators with bad character were the ones arrested. Selection by Judges Judges also take part in the selection procedure. It is. Americans have been fed a steady diet of crime-fear for decades . however. On the other hand. They point out that the police encounter many minor violations of the law. in 90 percent of the cases (see Chambliss. fell from 5287 per 100.000 in 1985. These perceptions. The overall crime rate.000 people declines. Race. they may be safer than they suspect. Who Do the Police Ticket? Piliavan and Brair (1964) road with police in a West Coast town. There are more people so there are more crimes.000 people. While numbers are increasing due to population growth. One should. For in-depth details of what students should learn from the tables. on which accounting period one uses. determining whether crime is increasing or decreasing depends.431. Should one be afraid of crime if one lives in North Dakota? (See: State Crime) Even if individuals live in a large metropolitan area in the United States. perceived as safe.

One should not forget the problems associated with the "transitional neighborhood" as a cause of deviance. C. Deterrence theory contends that if the public knows the consequences of deviance. Deterrence Most of our police forces operate under a philosophy called deterrence theory. many individuals will not commit a crime. (See William Julius Wilson for a demographic analysis on the African American community. Even if the voting public accepts the fact that crime rates have decreased. A. 1988:207). it is logical to expect that crime rates will drop as the population ages. Rapid Shifts in Population There are other components that cause variation in crime rates. The state is placed in the position of "applying revenge on behalf of the victim. It makes sense that when the economy falters.THE YOUNG The baby boomers have long passed from being young. Demographic Change One component is demographic change associated with changes in the age structure of the population.What causes a change in crime rates? Are crime-rates most affected by expenditures on law enforcement? There is an impression among the voting public that crime is on the rise in the United States and. Retribution Robertson (1989:129) contends that one reason for putting people in prison is to punish the offender. so does the crime rate. Below are some structural features that cause crime rates to fluctuate which have nothing to do with the criminal justice system. Baby boomers are now over thirty years old. there is a tendency to view such declines as a result of increased public spending on law enforcement. Rapidly growing cities have trouble keeping their police forces large enough to cope with the expanding population. Often. Why do we put people in prison? What are our goals of incarcerating people? A. The following material explores four philosophies regarding corrections. B. Corrections Recidivism How successful are Prisons in rehabilitating criminals? Not VERY! Three-fourths of the released criminals are re-arrested within four years. "Through punishment." This is the "eye for an eye" philosophy. There are fewer young people today [as a percent of the total population] than there were 15 to 20 years ago. who have ties to larger spending programs in the criminal justice system. the drive for increased spending on crime prevention is related to political leaders. Death Penalty and Homicide Rates Do states that have the death penalty have lowered homicide rates? NO! There is no difference between the states that execute and those that do not. The Condition of the Economy There are also links to economic performance. IX. WHO COMMITS THE MOST CRIMES --. As the economy fluctuates. Since young people commit the most crimes. we need to spend more money for more police and more prisons. Recidivism refers to exoffenders who are arrested for another criminal offense once they have been released from jail.) B. corrections serve to deter the offender from deviating again and it . Crime rates increase as those removed from the legitimate economy seek less-legitimate avenues in the informal or shadow economy in order to survive. Perhaps crime rates are more influenced by structural features like performance of the economy or demographic changes (see Kornblum. therefore.

The potential offender must know what the punishment is. Class. Bobby is a safe bet to enter college (more than four times as likely as Jimmy) and a good bet to complete it -. The individual has to know what the law states.at least twelve times as likely as Jimmy. The law is too complex. Incapacitation This philosophy seeks to prevent the offender from committing further crimes. Ian 1989 Society: A Brief Introduction. UCR 1995 Uniform Crime Report. If.   3. with so legitimate skills. who have paid for their crime. D. 1. He pays attention in school. Likewise. New York: Worth Publishing. Critique of Deterrence Theory: The current system of criminal justice demonstrates none of these characteristics. New York: Holt. Without clear knowledge of the law. There are three aspects of deterrence theory. How tough will the punishment be? It makes a difference to a potential bank robber when planning a holdup whether the penalty is 1 year or 20 years in prison. federal). 1997 Criminology: A Sociological Understanding. Kornblum.scares others who might be tempted into crime" (Robertson. Reiman. Rinehart and Winston. and he enjoys it. Robertson. deterrence is not achieved. they might be more inclined to embezzle from a bank or to use substandard building material. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.   Bibliography Barkan. and it depends on social class. one is relatively sure that they will not be punished. then the philosophy of deterrence comes closer to achieving its goals.   2. School records show that he is reading slightly above grade level and has a slightly better than average IQ. He is twenty seven times as likely as Jimmy to land a job which by his late forties will pay him an income in the top tenth of all incomes. is a white-collar criminal is relatively sure that they will get a light punishment. 1989:129). Mental illness is sometimes seen as an explanation for criminal behavior. state. the individual cannot know he/she is in the process of violating the law. the severity of punishment depends on the jurisdiction (city. but are still "incapacitated" in hospitals or similar institutions. Some criminals are seen as not being responsible for their actions. William 1988 Sociology in a Changing World. None-the-less ordinary citizens do not want them on the streets. PART 3: Inequality The Arithmetic of Inequality Jimmy is a second grader. Reiman (1998) argues that our criminal justice system fails if we release people. and his test scores are similar to Jimmy's. Bobby is a second grader across town. Rehabilitation Rehabilitation involves teaching inmates silks and trades that will. Upper Saddle River. give them a chance to become law-abiding citizens once they are released from prison. on the other hand. Jeffrey 1998 The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology. and Criminal Justice. .   4. Steven E. Bobby will probably have at least four years more schooling than Jimmy. In order for deterrence to be successful each aspect should be true. 1989:129). The ex-felon is likely to return to crime with no other legitimate options at his or her disposal. Will an offender receive punishment? If punishment is certain. Often mentally ill are not sent to prison. He also pays attention in class and enjoys school.  C. The correction system might "serve to reform the offender by providing skills and attitudes that make return to a law-abiding life possible" (Robertson. hopefully. NJ: Prentice Hall.

It also refers to access to social institution such as health care. Basic Definitions Life Chances Life chances refer to one's access to resources. Endogamy Ritual Pollution In a caste society. No amount of achievement will change your caste position. A well-known society with a caste system is India. Caste relationships are relatively conflict free. They are undertakers. In caste societies many members guard against ritual pollution. butchers. People in the top strata enjoy power. because of the powerful position on the upper caste and. 1990:216). Stratification Systems Caste: Ascribed Status A caste system is a rigid system of inequality. people in the bottom strata endure penalties that other members of society escape. . to educational attainment. prosperity. What is a Class? People who occupy the same layer of the socioeconomic hierarchy are known as a social class (Bassis. Caste membership determines your occupation. and leather workers. 1991:216). There is no social mobility from one caste to another. both animal and human. people have to marry within their own caste. People are born with their race and their gender. What is Social Stratification? Social stratification refers to the division of a society into layers (or strata) whose occupants have unequal access to social opportunities and rewards. power. Life chances can refer to one's ability to get food and shelter. Contact between members of the upper caste and the lower caste is inappropriate. In a stratified society. the government. II. Some argue that race and gender sometimes functions like a caste system in the United States. power. According to Henslin (2004:192). Example: India's Caste System Brahman  Kshatriya  Viashia  Shudra  Untouchable  Teachers and religious people Warriors   Merchants and craftsman Laborers and farmers These people work with the dead. to participation in the political process. Social class affects one's life chances across a broad spectrum of social phenomenon from health care. A. I. 1. and prestige. B. a social class is a large group of people who rank closely to one another in wealth. by an ideology that justifies caste position. social interaction. in part. People are born into a caste. Caste position is strictly defined. 2. A. C. and the law (to mention a few). There is little deviance on the part of the lower castes because of fear of harsh punishment. education. in part. Such contact is seen by the members of the upper caste as unclean. and prestige that are not available to other members of society. and education. The lack of conflict can be explained. In the Indian caste system upper caste individuals avoid even the shadow of an untouchable.Jimmy has about one chance in eight of earning a median income (Bassis. The shadow of an untouchable's house is polluting to members of the upper castes. to contact with the criminal justice system. inequality is part of the social structure and passes from one generation to the next.

It offers prizes that challenge people to work hard. Functionalist concern themselves with how a society can encourage the most qualified people to do the most important jobs. Only on rare occasions do Americans break through the class barrier. Conflict theory contends that stratification is not necessary. at least in part." Few people actually succeed at social advancement through sheer hard work. Individuals can move around within the class system. The boundaries between classes are more fluid than with the caste system. Changes in class position require a complex mixture of luck. all people have a crack at getting to the top. Fluid class structure provides motivation and an arena for individual achievement. A Classless Society Soviet Union as an example In a classless society there are no economically based strata. the class system is actually characterized by institutional inequalities in income and wealth. and effort. Historic conditions determine social class structure. The wealth of the few is the goal of every American. that people tend to be born into class structure. Class structure facilitates this end. however. Furthermore. Of course. 3. Those who find social class beneficial are those who have "made it" in the system. however. C. Their status can improve or decline. Not even the Soviet's claim to be a true Communist society. but is maintained to safeguard the ruling class's privileges. 1984). Marriage and Upward Mobility Marriage is the quickest route out of poverty. Class: Achieved Status The class system is an open form of stratification based primarily on economic criteria. Usually break through occurs as a result of a lucky "roll of the dice. Stratification: A Conflict View Conflict theory argues that the basis of social stratification is found in conflict over some kind of scare resources.B. Rather than stratification being a fluid system of upward and downward mobility based on ability. B. Example: Lotteries Poverty Poverty in the United States "officially" refers to people who fall below the "official poverty line. Rich fathers have rich children while poor fathers have poor children. 2. Class structure provides a competitive arena Class structure provides a motivating force Class structure provides opportunity A class structure allows the best rise to the top of the social strata. inheritance. Perspectives on Class Stratification: A Functionalist View Functionalist see the class structure is beneficial to American society." In . there is poverty. class structure is necessary. Generally. 1. Keep in mind. 1. A. III. Poverty. The ideology of the dominant culture perpetuates class structure. Change is difficult. Americans believe that through hard work. They only claim to be at the transition phase between capitalism and socialism. on characteristics which the individual can control. Class membership depends. is simply the result of individuals not trying hard enough. birth determines one's position in society. The type of class structure which allows the greatest mobility is generally a modern industrial society. Marriage out of poverty is no more than a lucky roll of the dice. and probably in that order of importance (see Harrington.

2. sociologists would consider this to be an example of exchange mobility (Henslin. There are several ways to view social mobility in terms of class position. An example here would be a family where the father is a trucker and the sibling becomes a doctor. On the other hand. but they are still in need. at the same time. A Synthesis of Functionalist and Conflict Perspectives on Class Basic Resources The basic resources needed for the maintenance of society are allocated in much the same way that the functionalists argue. one finds that the race of the majority of poor people is white. families who earn less than three times the cost of food are considered "officially poor. The entire Official poverty measure in inadequate. is set at three times a low-cost food budget. poor people spent roughly a third of their income on food. poverty is a complex subject that depends on not only official definitions. As a result of underestimating poverty.. Structural Mobility How fluid is the U.  When one investigates poverty by age. D. He contends that all societies do this to one degree or another. the official measure of poverty in the United States. When one explores rates of poverty.  One common perspective on poverty is to compare the percentage (or rate) of people in poverty from one group or another. The poverty rate refers to the percentage of people in the united states who fall below the poverty line.e. if 100 working-class people move upward on the class ladder and. C. class-structure? Structural mobility occurs when the economic status of people changes as a result of structural changes in the economy. Washington makes fewer funds available to support poor people. Currently. 1. Henslin (2006:201) argues that in the 1960s.S. one should multiple the low-cost food budget by five. Exchange mobility is where individuals change places with one another in the stratification system For example. not three.. one learns that children (under age 18) are most likely to be poor. Intergenerational mobility refers to movement (up or down) the social hierarchy by family members. however. but because there are so many more whites in U. Social mobility generally refers to the movement from one social class to another. their lower poverty rate still translates into larger numbers of poor people.S. multiplying by three. This is efficient. 1.S. when the poverty line was determined. 100 middle class people experience downward mobility. 2004:209). but on the perspectives of people as well as the physical location of people.general. By. one is often directed toward the high poverty rates of women with children (no husband present) or the high poverty rates experienced by people of color." Many of the elderly live slightly above the poverty line so they are technically not poor. Surplus wealth Social Mobility Intergenerational Mobility Exchange Mobility Surplus wealth is allocated in much the same way that the conflict theory predicts (i. In the U. the percentage of the population is grossly underestimated.  When one explores the actual numbers of poor people. poor people spend no more than a fifth of their budget on food. 3.)  The Official Poverty Line The poverty line. through exploitation and class struggle). It one wanted to know the "real" level of poverty in terms of 1960s standard. Whites have a lower proportion of people in poverty than other racial groups. (At least this is the perspective based on the "official definition of poverty. The argument is sometimes made that the ." This status could influence the distribution of social welfare dollars from Washington. people who are 65 years old and older are least likely to be poor. society. 2.

Workers transform raw material into finished products. ownership of the means of production was the primary factor that distinguished the different classes under industrial capitalism. do not enjoy the surplus which they have created. Does this mean that the U. Surplus Wealth How does inequality occur in the first place? The workers produce surplus wealth." Marx would argue that in an ideal economy. Farley (2000) contends that during the 1800s capitalism was more exploitative than during any time in the last several hundred years. in Marx's view. and the main source of conflict between the classes throughout history. 2.S. has a very fluid class-structure. they generally do not work for the owners of the means of production.9 percent of all jobs were in the white-collar sector. became industrialized. C. Robertson (1989:172) contends that "this. Structural change is an important explanation for much of the recent improvement in the financial well being of many in American society.6 in 1900 to 2. By 1979 50. Critiques of Marx What about the middle-class? Several features of advanced capitalist society have thrown doubt on Marx's predictions. This relationship is both unequal and exploitative in that the dominant class takes unfair advantage of the subordinate class.8 percent in 1979. Those who work for the dominant class (slaves. The Changing Labor Structure In 1900 17. The percentage of people doing farm work on the other hand declined from 37. Men and Women of Knowledge . The student of Marx cannot forget that Marx is a historic figure.S. The owners of the means of production (factories) are able to seize the surplus for their own benefits. is the essence of exploitation. What is a Social Class According to Marx? The bourgeoisie The Proletariat In Marxist terminology. a. however. could not stay in the same occupational position as their parents. Children. IV. the workers would keep the surplus they have created as they transform raw material into finished products. 1. For Marx. They often work for their fellow citizen (as state bureaucrats) or they are self-employed. The existence of the middle class is problematic for Marx. The value of the finished product is greater than the cost of the worker's labor and the cost of raw material. The workers. peasants. the occupational structure itself was transformed. industrial laborers)are the subordinate class or the proletariat. 1989:172). take jobs in sectors of the economy other than that which their parents worked in (From Charon. A. 1986:326). Children must. Analysis of Class: Karl Marx Karl Marx studied the forces that caused the misery of the working class in 19th Century Western Europe. At the time of Marx a handful of wealthy capitalist exploited a large and impoverished working class.S. B. 2. everyone's position changes. Ownership and control of the means of production are no longer the same thing. therefore. Not only are the middle-class a large and well-to-do class. 1. Many families have improved their class position over the past 100 years in the U. He wrote in the middle 1800 when social relations weresome what different from those found at the end of the 20th century. 3. "a class consists of all the people who share a common relationship to the means of production" (Robinson.S. Large Corporations Marx also did not predict the rise of large corporations which are owned by thousands of people and which are controlled by salaried managers. Those people who control the means of production (whether that means factories or slaves or land) make up the dominant class or the bourgeoisie. therefore.U.9 percent of all laborers positions were white collar. As the U. has a fluid class structure or does something else explain the apparent successes that people have with regards to improvements in their well-being? When the structure itself changes.

Henslin (1999:253) suggests that researches can assign people to various social classes based objective criteria involving wealth. Contradictory Class Locations Marx roughly divided society into two classes: the workers and the owners of production." V.In post industrial society ownership may not be the most important asset in the economy. 2. Reputational Measures Finally. carry around different personal pictures of society's classes. The reputational method is limited to smaller communities. The average citizen may tend to group people according to simple criteria like income or wealth. political status (power).. but only one group at the top -. power. Typically. People at each class level see class differently. Subjective Measures There are also subjective measures. Knowledge of how the system works may be more important. On the other hand. People at the top see several divisions of people at the top while they see one large monolithic group of people at the bottom. Economic . SES is a concept which is rather complex. That former worker surely has something in common with the people he used to work with . therefore. that social class does not have to refer to money and/or wealth exclusively. and prestige. He perceived these groups as having competing interests and not having much in common with one another. infant mortality. but tend to lump together people who occupy other class levels. but they are not members of an upper class. 1999:253). SES is a more robust concept. For example. Analysis of Class: Max Weber How does one determine social class? Often social class is thought of in terms of money and/or wealth. if one individual earns a million dollars per year while another individual earns $3.000 per year. determining class from a subjective point of view involves asking someone how they perceive their class position. It is determined by an array of social and economic indicators. It's important to note. where people are familiar with one another's reputation. It is also subject to interpretation form various perspectives. certainly much more so that the capitalist who never "works (see Henslin. Drug dealers may have a lot of money. An individual can begin life as a worker and later on. educational level. For example. Determining Social Socioeconomic Status (SES) What is Socioeconomic Status (SES)? Class: Farley (2005:32) notes that nearly all societies tend to group themselves by socioeconomic status. people at the bottom see several distinctions of poor people. number of dependents. 1. They. however. Status accrues to people with knowledge. Weber offers a multidimensional class model that incorporates three distinct entities: status (wealth). and life expectancy rates. the first individual generally occupies a higher social position. type of residence.the rich (Henslin. 1999:253). People identify an individual's social class based on their expert knowledge of their individual's circumstances. Objective Measures There are objective measures of social class. Many times people cross over. and social status (prestige). 2004:199). class can be determined using the reputational method (Henslin. He contends that such people occupy contradictory class positions. People see finer divisions at their own class level. Some objective indicators can include occupation. Erik Wright revised Marx's concept of social classes by suggesting that some people simultaneously occupying more than one class. 3.. Socioeconomic status (SES) calls attention the complex nature of social class. become a capitalist.

stocks.2% 2. Wealth Wealth consists of income and assets (property)." The upper classes control a much greater percentage of valuable assets than income.0% 35.1% 6. the assets controlled by the poor tend to depreciate (household items) over time while those of the rich tend to appreciate (real estate and stocks). the US today contains 600. For the first century of nationhood in the US. mutual fund shares and unincorporated business. and the value of pension rights. Many of the familiar characteristics associated with the Indian caste system were in effect. 1988:257 1.5 % 0. 1993).5% 9. a very stratified society. The US has the most inegalitarian class structures in the industrialized world (see Long.9% 28.2% of all assets while the top fifth control 76% of all assets.S. 1997:99) describes assets as consisting of all forms of "financial wealth such as bank accounts.4 mil Less than $200. consumer durables like cares and major appliances.0% Source: Eitzen. bonds. The Distribution of Income in Industrial Societies: Household Income Per Capita    Bottom Quintile  Top Quintile  . while the US is philosophically indebted to the notion that "all men are created equal. life insurance savings. a caste system was in place in the form of racial slavery.000 to 1. Women also can be seen as occupying secondary position in a caste system." The gap between rich and poor is also very unequal and it is increasing.A. Blacks were not allowed in the same restaurants. and buses as whites.5 Million or more 1." the US is. Income Appelbaum & Chambliss (1997:134) defines income as "the amount of money a person or household earns in a given period of time (usually a year).000 The rest of us  90. Despite the professed commitment to human rights. one should subtract liabilities such as "consumer debt.4 to 2. Robertson (1989:180) contends that. Further. Who Controls Wealth in the U.000 millionaires and 32 million people below the poverty line.? Group  Super-Rich  Very-Rich  Rich  Percent of Households Percent of Wealth Range  0. in fact. Included in America's caste system were endogamy and notions of ritual pollution. Robertson (1989:180) points out that in 1973 the bottom fifth of Americans controlled only 0. and other outstanding debt. 2. mortgage balances." Wolff (1997:99) continues to say that from these sources. bathrooms. Assets Wolff (in Skolnick and Currie.7% 29.5 million $206.

or on character. power is flowing away from public institutions and into the hands of giant bureaucracies and influential private interest groups. 1991:263 B. i.5 38... Powerful people are able to mobilize resources to achieve their goals despite resistance from others. Henslin (1999) argues that it is an inevitable part of everyday life. It differs from power in that it is based less on political position. 1984  U. C.   Occupation Physician College Professor Judge Lawyer Physicist Dentist    Waiter Farm Laborer Maid/Servant Score 82 78 76 76 74 74   20 18 18   95   96   97   .   6. their vote.8 6.   4. Voters. have only one of several possible means of influencing decision makers.7 8. 1985  Sweden.   3.8 4.   5. Robertson (1989:182) contends that there is much less stratification in terms of prestige in the United States than there is in terms of wealth and power. achievements. Rank   1 2.7 41. Power Power is the ability to see that one's will is acted upon.9 37. Like wealth. Robertson (1989:182) makes an interesting observation with regards to minorities gaining more political power.9 36. 1979  Germany. 1981  Japan  5.S. Prestige correlates with charisma. Prestige Ratings of Occupations in the United States:(1972-1982) These are prestige ratings of 1 to 100 that average Americans gave to various occupations.e. Hispanics. Prestige Prestige refers to the power to impress or influence. and Women are beginning to votes in their respective interests. He suggests that while prestige raking is obvious.7 39. Americans treat each other remarkable well when compared to other countries.0 8. He argues that just as Blacks.UK. power is concentrated in the hands of a few. A prestigious person has a reputation based on brilliance. after all.5 Source: WDR.

the dominant class controls resources. They begin to build their own ideology which justifies and supports their class interests and consequently seems revolutionary to the dominant stratum. luck. Henslin (2004:172) suggests that workers experience false consciousness when they identify with capitalists. Example: A system of beliefs that justifies a social arrangement like slavery is an ideology (Henslin. This does not mean that the ruling class actually plots to control institutions. Instead of blaming the system they blame their circumstances on fate. The masses view the given political economy as valid and justified. The worker might blame poverty on laziness or lack if education. the majority are denied the wealth of a few. Class Consciousness Class consciousness refers to "an objective awareness of the lower stratum's common plights and interests as an oppressed group. B. however. Chart). C. are rare compared to all political activity. Even the poor see the current distribution of wealth as legitimate (See Weber. The worker might believe that if he only works hard enough.S. On the other hand. there is wide spread belief that the rule of the upper class is legitimate. perseverance. an act of god. The rich act in their common interests by simply knowing each other and by sharing a common agenda. 1. 1989:176)." For example.98   99   100   Garbage Collector Janitor Shoe shiner 17 17 9 Source: Robertson. but still feel like they have "made it. Many see the inequitable distribution of wealth at the natural outcome of hard work. 2004. Data Project #2 Data Project # 2 Socioeconomics on the Texas Border with Mexico . Marx notes that social institutions tend to reflect the will of the dominant class. On one hand. Two explanations seem to explain why revolutions are so rare. Social Networks Legitimacy The government does not conspire to control all wealth. Ideology An ideology is a set of beliefs which explain or justifies some actual or potential social arrangement (See Robertson. An ideology is a belief structure that confers legitimacy on a social system. a worker who has a small savings account and who owns a few shares of stock might tend to think of themselves as an investor rather than as a worker." At this point they begin to question the legitimacy of the system. 1968). 1989:174 VI. or other factors beyond their control. A. How is it possible that such an unequal system can exist? Always." Karl Marx would argue that workers experience false consciousness when they mistakenly identify with the capitalists. 168). he might secure a better position in society. They may also hold minor positions in society. Marx argues that the poor do not realize that their miseries are a shared phenomenon that results from their oppressed status. VII. False Consciousness Robertson's (1989:176) definition is "a subjective understanding that does not correspond with the objective facts of one's situation. and a little luck.I. Revolutions. Maintaining Stratification The United States has great inequality (See L. 2.

It was this group after all. On one hand the back breaking work that used to characterize the working-class has evolved into less physically demanding work. police officers. Portraits of the Classes Upper Class (1 percent of total population) The following material is taken from Charon (1986). The wealth of this class comes from investment and savings. D. This class seldom exerts itself politically. They also have great political impact. As corporation shift their operations offshore. Upper Middle-Class (10 Percent) The Upper middle-class consists of "successful business people. The upper-class consists of relatively few individuals and families (a small executive club) with great wealth and great power in the economy. Socialization . Lower Class (20 percent) The lower-class consists of the poor. employers.(See project guidelines) VIII. The percentages are rough estimates. The nature of work performed by the working-class has changed. While this group does not have to work. A. The lower-class experiences high rates of unemployment and dependency on government. Generally the upper-class inherits their wealth. the upper-class occupies a position from which they can have great impact on the course of world history. and high ranking civil and military officials. an effective political force. B." B. The upper-class has a certain life style in which individuals are careful to socialize only with the "right crowd. farm hands. Working Class (40 percent) The working class consists of skilled and unskilled workers (blue collar workers). Jobs performed by this group are routine. and social workers. Although many in this class belong to unions. This group is very active politically and culturally. Middle Class (30 percent) The lower middle-class also consists of professionals. executives. and closely supervised. The upper class also arranges social events such that upper class children meet only upper class children. From this vantage point. F. Unlike in the upper class. It is also boring. The Under-class (1 percent) See William Julius Wilson (1980. C. they inherit little of their wealth. The middle-class includes most of the white collar work force and others who earn "respectable" livings. jobs traditionally done by this group are now performed by Third-Worlders. The middle class includes nurses. The working-class is less secure now than in the past. teachers. It comes in the form of property and other assets. mechanized. 1987) VIII. Usually these positions do not require college. Ownership of business as well as prestigious occupations bring wealth to these individuals. These jobs are less secure than jobs performed by people in the middle-class. and have the same cultural values as themselves. People who make up the middle-class are less affluent and occupy fewer prestigious positions that the Upper Middle-class. Regardless. who got us out of Vietnam and who lead the California tax rebellion. speak. A. semi professionals and small business people. professionals. The middle-class is well educated. Consequences of Class Position Dating and Marriage Children tend to seek out those who act. People from the lower-class are not likely to succeed in the educational system. the state of the economy. as a rule. factory workers. E. They experience prejudice from the legal system. and landlords. it is not. Jobs for this group are generally secure. Most have high levels of education. and low-level clerical workers. they often serve on the boards of directors of major corporations. sales personnel. work performed at this level is none-the-less tedious.

The poor are subject to more infant deaths and disease than the upper classes. The higher level of stress is one explanation for higher rates of mental illness. Since education is community based. work better with students "like themselves. Health In general the higher the social class.   61 percent of those with a high school education voted 79 percent of the college educated voted   Comparison of voting turnouts with employment status 50 percent of the unemployed voted 66 percent of the employed voted   Comparison of voting levels with occupation status 49 percent of laborers voted 61 percent of craft workers voted 76 percent of white collar workers voted . C. therefore. Rates of mental illness also go up as social class goes down and the poor are less likely to receive treatment. 1970 Educational levels Upper class Lower middle Upper working 88 percent attend college 64 percent attend college 40 percent attend college Lower working 15 percent attend college (Data from Charon. D. 333:1986). therefore. Middle-class children grow up valuing independence more than working-class people while working-class people prefer conformity. Political Behavior and Attitudes People who occupy higher class positions tend to act in their class interests by voting while people from lower levels of society do not. Teachers have middle class backgrounds and. 333:1986) E. class determines the quality of teachers and curriculum. Comparison of voting patterns with education levels 47 percent of those with an elementary school education or less voted. Formal Education Class correlates with education in a number of ways. the greater the life expectancy. The following material on voting patterns addresses the 1972 Presidential election (see Charon." The importance of education receives greater emphasis in upper classes.Class also shapes values and norms and these norms and values in turn determine how people act in social settings like school and occupation. children of the upper classes are more likely to attend college.

(4th Ed). the greater is ones optimism about the economy and political order. Max 1968 Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology. New York: Alfred A. New York: Worth Publishing Co. Farley. 1993" The World Economy and Patterns of Vulnerability and Inequality: A Comparative Analysis of the United States.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Joel 1986 Sociology: A Conceptual Approach. Coleman and Rainwater 1971 Eitzen. Richard P. Knopf. G. (5th Ed). are more likely to receive punishment. Wilson. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. have different class backgrounds than their teachers. They live near stores that can't sell to them. New York: Longman. Reich.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Perspective The higher ones class. and Winston. (7rd Ed. 1994 Social Problems. (6rd Ed. (3rd Ed. Russell L. The poor. They have no money with which to buy things. after all. John E. NJ: Prentice-Hall 2005 Majority-Minority Relations. who commit crimes. Upper Saddle River. even though schools and parents teach them that they should strive to rise above poverty. The University of New Mexico. Ian 1989 Society: A Brief Introduction. Weber. (6th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. They have no skills to sell employers. Michael S and Richard J.   Bibliography Appelbaum.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. and Germany. the United Kingdom. New York: Bedminster Press. Stanley and Maxine Baca-Zinn 1986 Social Problems. (4th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 1997 Social Problems. Robert B. Charon. Edited by Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich. the crimes committed by the poor receive more attention. William Julius 1980 1987 .) New York: McGraw-Hill. People who live in poverty. Crime and law enforcement People from the lower classes do not commit crimes. and William J. Chambliss 1997 Sociology: A Brief Introduction. NJ: Prentice-Hall Harrington. face schools that can't teach them. Long. 2006 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 2000 Majority-Minority Relations. (5th Ed) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. They encounter employers that won't hire them. 2004 Essentials of Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Bassis." Unpublished Dissertation. James 1999 Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. Michael 1984 The New American Poverty.F. Gelles. However. Upper Saddle River. Henslin. Poor people. Robertson. Ann Levine 1991 Sociology: An Introduction. The greater is the hope for personal success. (4th Ed. (5rd Ed. Sweden. Nowhere is the power differential between classes more obvious than in the criminal justice system. (4rd Ed. 1992 Social Problems. 1989 Social Problems. D. 1991 The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism. Rinehart. New York: Holt.

B. What is an Ethnic Group? An ethic group shares similar cultural characteristics and culture is learned. privilege. Example: Martin Luther King Many have forgotten the issues important to King's movement after "I Have a Dream. • Minority groups are people who are singled out for unequal treatment.Wolff.g. prestige. C. the term race is almost meaningless. General economic inequality of the oppressed was recognized. It does not matter whether we are talking about the relationship between the Protestants and the Catholics in Northern Ireland or the relationship between the Chinese and the Moslems in Malaysia. . and prestige in social. Focus also shifted to the war in Vietnam. Ultimately. This presentation assumes that all minorities share certain characteristics. Economic inequality is the major common characteristic of all minority groups. • Minorities have a shared sense of identity. to physical differences between groups of people. Ethnic groups perceive themselves as a cultural unit. political or economic spheres. dietary practices. and privilege in relation to others.. however. Definitions What is a Race? Racial Categories Robertson (1989:193) describes a race as a group of people who share similar physical (genetic) characteristics. What is a Minority Group? A minority is a category of people who lack power. A minority groups lacks power. A." Example: Malcolm X Malcolm X. • Minorities may actually be a numerical majority (e. 1997 "Top Heavy. Malcolm X came to embrace economic issues as more significant that race issues." in Crisis in American Institutions. After a trip to Mecca. Any presentation like this one should provide material that applies to all minority/majority relationships. New York: Longman. Example: Jesse Jackson Jesse Jackson asked at the Democratic National Convention in August 1988 "What is the fundamental challenge of our day?" He answered his own question by saying "To end economic violence. a spokesman for Afro-American causes during the early 1960s. Many civil rights leaders have ultimately come to embrace economic injustice as the crucial issue. Introduction: Economic Inequality is the Essence This section explores issues that involve minorities in general. either real or imaginary. • Minorities must always be understood in relation to others in the social structure. World Development Report 1991 I. Skolnick and Elliott Currie. II. They lack resources to support their own interests effectively. national origin. They are unable to achieve their will. The intense sociological interest in race is due to the fact that people attack meaning and values. 1. women in American society). religion.) by Jerome H. he came back to the United States proclaiming a new philosophy. As a biological concept. where he discovered whites praying to his god. An ethnic group may be distinguished from another group by a high level of social interaction. (10th Ed. King died in 1968 and much occurred between those two dates. etc. Characteristics that might define an ethnic group would include a common language. Racial categories are human creations. It is not intended to address specific minorities. He had good grounds to do so based on the discrimination he experienced during his early life." That Speech was given in 1963. Edward N. began his political career with absolute hatred for white people.

Why do Minorities Continue in Society? Minorities Lack Power Resources. Typical explanations for the existence of minority groups would be like that presented in Charon (1985:379). To justify the degraded position of the conquered. but will not address the ultimate problem of racism. Programs such as busing. The minority group might be seen as biologically inferior and. Remember the idea of "Tyranny of the majority?" Most of the population is willing to let a minority of people suffer high rates of unemployment and poverty. Others may justify racist beliefs by citing scientific evidence. The dominant group always develops a set of values and beliefs which justify existing inequality. A. Swedes and Germans do not experience minority status when they migrate to the US. the conquerors learn to despise the conquered. practices involving their domination and exploitation are reasonable. position. a pervasive ideology (belief structure) exists to validate the unequal expectations held by the majority. Members of the elite as well as members of the general population benefit from the existence of minorities. minorities represent groups where more profit can be extracted. For example. 2. A. Once established. beliefs. Racism involves an ideology (a belief structure) that explains racist beliefs. E. IV. Therefore. Colonialism 1987) 1. Racist beliefs are examples of ideology. In the 1990s Americans are not very interested in paying taxes either. having pretty minority girls win beauty contests. B. They would include the following: Voluntary migration is not really a good explanation by itself. The justification is an attempt to rationalize the inequality. Patterns of Race and Ethnic Relations Amalgamation . Such programs benefit those individuals. D. If you want to end racism. C. Deviantizing minorities takes people out of competition for jobs. and education. From the point of view of the elite. C. Culture and Structure are Generally Accepted Most people accept the structural and cultural patterns in society and see little reason to change them. Those patterns seem functional. you have to decolonize. People in Society Benefit Resources could take the form of property. ideology becomes an integral part of social structure and is. Regardless. A conquest occurs when one group conquers another culture. especially to those who benefit from their existence. Slave transfer can surely account for minority status. B. or behaviors that favor one group over another. housing. therefore. It takes a long time for social patterns to develop.D. 3. The conquered are immediately placed at the lower end of society. but this is merely a specific form of the more general category called colonialism. Changing the Status Quo Is Costly Ideology Perpetuates Minority Position Change means that those with resources will have to pay higher taxes as well as give up existing advantages. V. etc. A. therefore. From the stand point of the general public minorities provide scapegoat goats. or organization. money. will not end racism. III. those who benefit are more resistant to change. difficult to change. Racism Racism refers to attitudes. give minorities a share of the surplus taken from them during slavery. Origins of Racial and Ethnic Minorities Voluntary Migration Slave Transfer Colonization (or conquest) is the primary cause of racism (From Huaco's Social Theory notes: Fall.

1997:266) E. Segregation Segregation is the spatial and social separation of categories of people by race/ethnicity. Benito Juarez became the first Indian president in 1860 while the U. gender. Example: "English Only. The assimilation model demands that other groups conform to the dominant culture. we hesitate to even acknowledge the contributions of minority groups. New comers are to be socialized into the dominant culture that is already present.S.Genocide . Legal Protection of Minorities Legal protection of minorities refers to a situation where the majority group will pass laws that protect the status of the minority group. Example: Mexico Blacks. D. or in social activities (Appelbaum and Chambliss. prejudice. Example: Canada set the Province of Nunavut for the aboriginal population who live in that area. In Mexico many people are a mix of Indian and Spanish. only contemplated its first Black President in 1984. The notion of assimilation. Assimilation Assimilation is the process of being absorbed into the mainstream of the dominate culture. Population Transfer Example: The Trail of Tears of the Cherokee Nation Example: The Serbian campaign of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo Population transfer occurs when one group expels another group from a given territory. and personal preference. Continued Subjugation Continued subjugation occurs when the majority group actively engages in the oppression of a minority group. Segregation can occur at work. H. however. Each group actively desires to be a part of the dominant culture and makes an important contribution to the whole. Note our fascination with unique cultures. Example: American Indians in Santa Fe selling art work. Extermination -. B. Pluralism (Salad Bowl Theory) In a pluralist society unique groups coexist side by side.S. There are limits to the "closeness" that the dominant group will accept. F. religion. Indians. class. The uniqueness of each group is considered a trait worth having in the dominant culture. in neighborhoods where people live. and those of Spanish dissent mix much more freely than do races in the United States. but there is resistance when minorities want to assimilate structurally and thus achieve full citizenship rights in society. C. Each group mixes freely with the other groups. Usually the dominant culture actively desires a minority who is culturally similar (in language and ideology). The consequence of living in a pluralist society is recognition and tolerance of cultural and ethnic diversity. G. is a very complex issue. In the U. 1998:51). It seems as though the dominant culture will accept minorities that assimilate culturally. Example: Saddam Hussein attempted to oppress the Kurds thorough violence and intimidation. or other social characteristics (Kendall." Example: People who change their name to one that resembles names of members of the dominant culture.The amalgamation model [melting-pot theory] sees the dominant culture as a conglomeration of all groups in society. Explanations include economic inequality.

ethnic. Rather. d. 1. They are prejudiced. is that the stereotype is not checked against reality. The authoritarian personality develops within the family environment. however. 3. b. and are themselves bigots" (see Farley. intolerance. Robert Merton developed a typology which compared prejudice to discrimination. Authoritarian Personalities Theodore Adorno contends that many prejudiced people have a distinct set of personality traits centered on conformity. a. but they do not openly discriminate. a. strict disciplinarians. In order to rationalize inhuman behavior toward humans. Merton describes this person as a closet bigot. . They argue. religious. Stereotypical thinking is unavoidable in social life and it is not automatically bad. c. but still discriminates as a matter of convenience. "The essence of prejudicial thinking. that people cannot brutalize their peers. 1995). ethnic. The main drift of this section is the search for personality characteristics (a personality profile if you will) that would be predisposed toward prejudiced thought. A. therefore. It is not modified by experiences that counter the rigid image (Robertson." The Wallonians are mythical people used to test prejudice. it measures the amount of space that people prefer to keep with other groups Discrimination is a behavior (an action). The United States. or gender. This person accepts ethnic and racial groups as equals in theory and practice. A stereotype is a mental image which assumes that whatever is believed about a group is typical for the entire group. They tend to be anti-intellectual and anti-scientific. Parents are themselves "cold. the master would believe an ideology which suggested that the slave was inferior and. citing the slave trade. They are disturbed by ambiguities in sexual or religious matters. 2. Hitler engaged in genocide against the Jews. Prejudice and Discrimination Definitions Prejudice The Wallonians The Bogardus Scale Discrimination The Relationship between Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice refers to a positive or a negative attitude or belief directed toward certain people based on their membership in a particular group. Prejudice (an attitude) and discrimination (a behavior) are related concepts but one does not automatically mean that the other is present.Genocide is the systematic annihilation of racial. for example. The Prejudiced Discriminator The Unprejudiced Nondiscriminator The Unprejudiced Discriminator The Prejudiced Nondiscriminator Sources of Prejudice Stereotypes This group would include the KKK who is both prejudiced and who discriminates. The Bogardus Scale is a social distance scale. 1. and insecurity. Note that these are not mutually exclusive categories. particularly with reference to unequal treatment of people because they are of a particular group whether it be racial. Some argue that prejudice occurs as a justification for discrimination. On the other hand. b. masters had to brutalize their slaves. VI. It does not measure discrimination. It generally requires the cooperation of ordinary citizens. He suggested that there were four possible combinations. The authoritarian personality is submissive to authority. B. The root word of prejudice is "pre-judge. This person believes there is really no difference between races and ethnic groups. aloof. 2. 1989:202). They see the world in very rigid and stereotypical terms. domination was justified. or religious groups. have applied all seven categories in the past 220 years.

Women lack power relative to men. Social Environment Forms of Discrimination All of the above are rather psychological. that is upheld by law. when education is held equal. has ended (in terms of racial and ethnic categories of people). Robertson (1989:204) provides a formal definition of legal discrimination. C. 2. VII. This may occur when one group feels threatened. 1. Institutional discrimination refers to unequal treatment that is entrenched in social institutions. Robertson.3. 3. Our attitudes and behaviors are learned within a social context.. Englewood Cliffs. Women can vote collectively. John E 1995 Majority / Minority Relations. they are similar to other minorities.. Scapegoating Scapegoating occurs when one blames one's troubles on someone else who is relatively powerless.S. George ." Although legal discrimination in the U. Huaco. 1989:204). Women lack prestige 4... Boston: Allyn and Bacon. but are themselves powerless to act against the actual source of the threat. 4. 2. 2. B. They are beginning to work together to achieve common goals. Women generally have better education than other minorities. women suffer more than racial and ethnic minorities. Women are actually a numerical majority (in the U. Women as Minorities Women are like other minorities in that. Ian 1989 Society: A Brief Introduction. Bibliography Farley. yet in what they are able to achieve with that education.S. Yet. institutional discrimination remains a major barrier to social equality. "Discrimination occurs when the dominant group regards itself as entitled to social advantages and uses its power to secure them at the expense of minority groups" (Robertson. on the grounds of group membership. Women are different from other minorities in that . Malcolm X ? Malcolm X Speaks.) which gives them resources that other minorities do not have. He contends that legal discrimination is "unequal treatment. Charon. Women are also developing a consciousness of themselves as a separate category of people with common interests.J. Joel 1986 Sociology: A Conceptual Approach.: Prentice Hall. They do not hold high position and have fewer resources. 3. New York: Worth Publishing. One example would be segregated housing. A. Personal Legal Institutional Personal discrimination occurs when one member in society treats another group in society differently based on some criteria based on race or ethnicity. Another idea here would be the concept of blocked opportunities. In fact. Women lack privilege relative to men 3. 1. Women are physically integrated into society. women face the same problems of organization and unity that other minorities face. There are two forms of discrimination. N. 1. There is also the social context.

1997:218). An example of sexism is the statement "a woman's place is in the home. Much of it. Institutional discrimination. therefore. In American society work is the preferred avenue people follow in pursuit of economic independence. Presumably. or pressure to have sex (Henslin. the opposite sex (heterosexuality). applies to economically disadvantaged minorities overall. however. those most in need in society have the greatest difficulty finding work (or at least work that offers adequate compensation). I." Eitzen and Baca-Zinn (1994:174) describe institutional discrimination as "the customary ways of doing things. The specifics of this article explore earnings discrimination. after all. cuts across all aspects of social life. sex Kendall (1998:68) defines sex as the biological difference between men and women. The material presented in this article specifically targets women.1987 Lecture material at the University of New Mexico. one can remove such discrimination through the courts or legislatures. if one can document legal discrimination. prestige. Institutional discrimination resides within the fabric of society. and accepted structural arrangements [that] works to the disadvantage [of the poor]. What is Sexual Orientation? Sexual Orientation refers to a preference for emotional-sexual relationships with individuals of the same sex (homosexuality). usually female. on the basis of the assumed superiority of the other sex. the essence of gender inequality resides. Concepts gender stratification Gender stratification. Economic independence is a primary goal for many of the oppressed in the United States. sexism Kendall (1998:67) describes sexism as the subordination of one sex. however." Feminism Feminism is both the belief that social equality should exist between the sexes and the social movement aimed at achieving that goal. and the character of relationships within the family where. Henslin (1999) argues that in every society." Institutional discrimination explains much inequality in gender (and race and ethnicity) found in the workplace. illegal. Legal discrimination is. according to many. the primary division between people is based on gender. and property on the basis of their sex. looks. Patriarchy Patriarchy refers to a society or group in which men have power over women. 1998:113). more difficult to rectify. 1999:301). occupational distribution. sexual harassment Sexual harassment refers to unwanted sexual comments. on the other hand. gender Gender refers to behavioral differences between males and females that are culturally based and socially learned (Appelbaum & Chambliss. prevailing attitudes and expectations. touches. is much more insidious and. Harrington (1984) poetically called institutional discrimination "structures of misery. Origins of Patriarchy Henslin (2008:262) contends that patriarchy is tied to the "social consequences of . or both (bisexuality) (Kendall. Feminism is based on the philosophy that biology is not destiny. cuts across all social classes. Often. It's the first label we receive in life. the organization of work. An overarching theme in this article calls attention to a concept of institutional discrimination. and refers to men and women's unequal access to power.

Women Enter the Labor Market Later than Men and Periodically Have to Leave. Women Enter the Labor Market with Lower Paying Jobs Three issues are dealt with regarding institutional discrimination. The logic here is that advanced capitalism requires the best person for the job despite gender (or race and ethnicity). Unfortunately society does not compensate women for this activity (and other domestic concerns) and it penalizes them in the labor market. men were doctors while women were nurses. Women enter the labor market later than men and periodically leave to have children. women "assumed tasks associated with home and child care. like Esping-Andersen (1990). 1994:253). Differential access does not explain the entire problem. argue that as the economy becomes more internationalized. Women who work in internationally competitive industrial sectors do appear to earn salaries that are closer to those earned by men (see Long. The first item notes that women enter the labor market at different and lower paying levels than do men. On the other hand. Many. Huge salaries earned by women who have skills demanded by corporations that produce in the international arena mask continued (and perhaps growing) inequality experienced between men and women in the United States in the lower social strata. 3. Childbearing is obviously a necessary social endeavor. 1. In 1990 the figure was 71 percent of every dollar earned by men (Eitzen and Baca-Zinn. life was short which required the production of many babies. the gender bias in earnings begins to disappear. Differential Access Differential access means that men have greater access to the labor market than do women. The explanation is obvious. This ratio improves slightly during economic growth periods in the national economy. A. are characterized by growing disparity in wages earned by men and women. Long (1995). Women earn less than men even on jobs where all other qualifications are held constant. One has difficulty arguing that an employee who has longevity on a job deserves raises while one who has a "spotty" work record does not. A second observation notes that women enter the labor market later than men and periodically have to leave. men worked construction while women were secretaries. however." He notes that historically. Comparable Worth Comparable Worth is a philosophy of "Pay Equity" which suggests that jobs of comparable values (skills and experience) should be paid the same. There is some evidence to support Esping-Andersen's claim. Recessionary periods. carry a child. disputes the claim that all women are experiencing greater parity with their male counterparts. This fact had serious consequences for women because only women could become pregnant. Women Earn Less Overtime Than Men . 1993). B. it is not especially difficult to see the inherent inequity in a system that penalizes women for essentially doing a good job (domestically) in an activity that is absolutely indispensable socially." II. men taught in college while women taught in primary schools. The labor market and society overall would cease to function if women did not leave the labor market to have children. 2. men worked in the automobile and steel industries while women worked in apparels and textiles. Earning Discrimination Equal Pay for Equal Work? In 1980 women earned approximately 59 percent of every dollar earned by men (Eitzen and BacaZinn. Henslin (2008:262) suggests that because women of child care duties. give birth and nurse children.reproduction. Historically. 1994:253). on the other hand. In each of the above comparisons men are employed in sectors that pay higher wages and than women in the respective sectors. however.

and are characterized by stable employment. provide relatively high levels of wage compensation. are only one benefit gained from employment. Workers in the secondary market are subject to harsh working conditions and . The Split-labor market Worker's finds themselves employed in one of two great segments in the capitalist economy. An analysis of Scandinavian social arrangements might be in order. and provide different rewards for the laborer (Eitzen and Baca-Zinn. Industry and manufacturing provide overtime pay. Service sector work. Secondary sector employment requires little education or skills. One can easily see the dynamics that generate inequality. but their proportion in professional areas is still quite low. These segments have different characteristics. Differential access highlights the institution character of gender inequality. The Secondary Sector The secondary market is composed of marginal firms where product demand is unstable. These sectors rely heavily on a female workforce. Jobs within this sector require advanced skills. Many accuse secondary sector workers of having poor work histories. Solutions are difficult to pinpoint within the institution of work. 1. and longevity (to mention a few). but jobs are relatively secure and have union advocacy. Within the primary sector are two sub tiers. b. include good working conditions. Poor working conditions characterize the work place. Characteristics of the jobs in the upper-tier are highly educated employees who work at jobs that require creativity and initiative. There has also developed a split in the professional circles that see some professional jobs becoming routinized. 1994:441-443). does not pay overtime nearly as much as manufacturing. Other benefits include time-off (Gorz. of course. Wages. few opportunities for advancement. and little job security. An observation that one might draw is that there are entire categories of jobs that have similar characteristics. health and retirement benefits. Upper Tier Women are moving into professional areas. in part. The previous section. Structural change occurs within the world system also which has impact on women. bureaucratic organizations with relatively stable production and sales. explored inequities in wage-compensation associated with various kinds of work. People get locked into these positions because they do not have skills. Often minorities are tracked into jobs that do not provide compensation at a level that allows economic independence. Overtime pay represents the difference between having a good life and a marginal life for skilled and semiskilled workers. however. fulfill different roles in the economy. One might argue that Americans place too much emphasis on WORK as an avenue to prosperity. Limited mobility characterizes employment in the lower-tier. The Primary Sector The primary sector is composed of large. Lower Tier In the lower-tier one finds white-collar clerical or blue-collar skilled and semiskilled people. such as clerical work. Many account for the low levels of benefits and security found in the secondary market by blaming the person occupying such positions. 1984 argues that leisure is a fundamental issue regarding work). Secondary sector employment provides low wages.A final observation revolves around the fact that women earn less overtime than do men. Occupational Distribution The kind of work an individual does often determines whether that individual (and his or her family) is wealthy or poor. A. 2. These sectors hire primarily males. Often. The Second Shift Appelbaum & Chambliss (1997:228) argue that the "second-shift" is the unpaid housework that women typically do after they come home from their paid employment. Upward mobility is likely. Much of the employee's autonomy is taken out of these "professional" jobs. a. At this point exploring the general structure of work is beneficial. the poor work history is a result of unemployment related to the production of marginal products. III.

In the work force. Greater participation in the labor force does not. but many men do this kind of work as well. Some individuals do not experience UPWARD mobility. 1987) because often they are forced into what Eitzen and Baca-Zinn (1994:252) call "pink-collar" professions. Their jobs are dead-end jobs. Old Boy Networks Old-boy networks refer to the informal social relationships that occur within any large organization. male bosses in secretarial pools might see enough "socializing" to fulfill their expectations that women socialize too much. People who have their opportunities blocked (despite their demographic characteristics) limit their aspirations. On the other hand." Perhaps god my even be invoked to explain why women are "seen as less motivated. They generally employ women. the gender reference might be misplaced. which makes it difficult for women to reach the top of their professions. in part. This. racial. A. As the capitalist economy is transformed from a manufacturing economy into an advanced service economy. less committed. dream of escape. and more oriented toward work based social relationships than to work itself. task-oriented. there is greater need for clerical and service sector jobs and women generally fill these jobs. Often religious or biological explanations are involved. Old-boy simply refers to those individuals who have a historic relationship with an organization who occupies .oppressive discipline from management. Minorities (ethnic. the behavior he is seeing might be related to "pressures" which emanate from the organizational position his secretaries occupy." Obviously we live in the 1990s and educated people recognize such clichés' as trash. B. and create sociable peer groups in which inter personal relationships become more important than the specific job they are hired to perform. but their actions amount to discrimination in that minorities are ultimately excluded from participation in the organization. however. There is. but the manner in which promotions are granted is biased. While the term "old-boy" implies a male dominated organization. and work involved. "Pink-collar" positions generally offer low wages compared with employment in manufacturing. This section addresses blocked opportunities and "old boy" networks. the possibility that the expected behavior exists at a sufficient level to perpetuate the stereotype -. some jobs have slots that allow some people to experience upward mobility. Instead of defining themselves through the work they perform. Biology might be used to explain stereotypical perceptions that "men are more ambitious. By 1991 this figure had risen to 57 percent. Glass Ceiling Appelbaum & Chambliss (1997:232) describe the glass ceiling as a seemingly invisible barrier to movement into the very top positions in business and government. Blocked opportunities refer to structural barriers that minorities encounter that prevent their advancement in an organization. translate into empowerment (Staudt. B. Structural Change in the Job Market: Pink Collar Work Eitzen and Baca-Zinn (1994:252) note that in 1940 only 20% of women of working age were in the job market. They may not have discriminatory intentions. they seek satisfaction in activities outside work. Pink-collar refers to jobs generated in the clerical and service sector. and gender) tend to work in the secondary sector. While that boss might conjure up religion or biology. explains wage and salary inequities. however.a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. The key point is that the characteristics of work (that block opportunity) determine the characteristics of the employee. IV. The Organization of Work and Inequality Economic independence is ultimately enhanced for some because their job allows them to experience a great deal of upward mobility. The Power of Organizational Position: Blocked Opportunities Majority groups always develop justifications to explain the inequalities they impose on minority groups. Both conditions are related to the fact that there are no unions.

) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. . Women. They might even convince themselves that they would do a potential female employee a favor by not subjecting her to that environment. Gender inequality is historically related to the subordinate position of women within the family in terms of rule making and control of resources (e.C. Imagine.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Obviously women would not "fit in" here. as wage earners outside the home. 1992 Social Problems. however. N. 1994 Social Problems. 70-91 in June Nash and Maria Patricia Fernandez-Kelly.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. the informal gathering at the health spa at 6:30 in the morning before work. The status of men. (7rd Ed. The position of women in the labor market adds to their dependence experienced within the family. and Winston. Stanley and Maxine Baca-Zinn 1986 Social Problems. 1997 Social Problems. (3rd Ed.g.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. and Howard F. The dominant partner in any social relationship can maintain power via a combination of control over decision making processes. Imperialism. money). Margaret L. Boston: Beacon Press. Inequality within the Family The status of women within the family parallels the position that they hold in the job markets. but often men are the controlling force in many firms. Linda Y. Andre 1964 Strategy for Labor: A Radical Proposal. helps establish his highly valued position within the family because women do not have access to resources outside the home. and one might add control over ideology that superimposes a justification on top of unequal relationships. and Patriarchy: The Dilemma of Third-World Women Workers in Multinational factories. Rinehart. D. it would not be too far-fetched to think of a scenario where the "old-boys" would argue that women might be uncomfortable in the barroom setting. it is not viewed as prestigious in terms of wage compensation. for example. Many decisions concerning company policy (in terms of hiring and firing) occur in these "old-boy" networks. one might hypothesize that many a minority has been excluded from companies as the organization hierarchy engages in precisely these kinds of arguments and justifications for not hiring minorities. Despite the importance of such work. Lim. This relationship is continued within the labor market where historically men have secured vested positions by making the rules (controlling management and labor) and by receiving unequal (greater) rewards. (4rd Ed. (Eitzen and Baca-Zinn.: Princeton University Press. Despite the patronizing position. Harrington. Wadsworth. Men..) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Eitzen. Women can occupy these positions. although these jobs are necessary for the survival of the family. earn no money for the jobs that they perform in terms of housework and child rearing. Gosta 1990 The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. 1989 Social Problems. Or suppose the old-boys gather at the local bar Friday evenings to discuss business or to tell gender specific jokes. Bibliography Andersen. control of wealth. V. Princeton. (5rd Ed. Demographic characteristics of informal associations within corporations may inadvertently (or overtly) limit minority access to higher positions within the organization.J. Albany: State University of New York Press. Gorz." pp.positions of power within the organization. 1983 "Capitalism. Again. New York: Holt. Taylor 2001 Sociology: The Essentials. 1994:443) The reader should be aware that the kinds of relationships discussed above characterize most majority/minority relationships. Women. (6rd Ed. Esping-Andersen. and the International Division of Labor. Michael 1984 The New American Poverty.

The charismatic authority will slowly transform itself into one of the other two types of authority (Appelbaum and Chambliss. Monarchies are good examples (Appelbaum and Chambliss. Vicki L and Susan Tiano. A. The University of New Mexico. and Germany. Weber was initially concerned with legitimate authority." Unpublished Dissertation. Weber argues that this type of authority is most compatible with modern capitalism and socialism (Appelbaum and Chambliss. 155-176 in Women on the U. 1995 "The Differential Impact of the World Economy on Men and Women Employed in Globally Competitive Industrial Sectors: A Cross-National Comparison. traditional authority gave way to legal-rational authority. 1993" The World Economy and Patterns of Vulnerability and Inequality: A Comparative Analysis of the United States.-Mexico border: Responses to Change by Ruiz. Forms of Authority Appelbaum and Chambliss (248:1997) begin their discussion of political sociology with some material drawn from Max Weber on the relationship between power and authority. Often the tradition is based on religious doctrine. This is a type of power that is exercised over people who see that exercise of power as legitimate. II. When the charismatic leaders dies. The leader is seen as having a gift of super human or divine powers. Legal-Rational Authority Weber considered traditional authority as impeding capitalist economic growth. 248:1997). the United Kingdom. The authority of the President of the United States rests in liberal-rational authority. Legal rational authority or power is based on a belief in the lawfulness of enacted rules (laws) the the legitimate right of leaders to exercise authority under such rules. B.Long. Leaders are legitimate as long as they obey the laws Laws are enacted through formal bureaucratic procedure. Parents usually discipline their kids based on guidelines they learned from their own parents." Currently under review by the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations. Boston: Allen & Unwin. Example: The authority of the President of the United States is based on legal-rational authority. Remember. This type of authority can threaten the other two types of power and authority or it can serve as an alternative to the other two when the other two types have broken down. which generally doesn't work. the state relied on traditional authority. 249:1997). Sweden. Kathleen 1987 "Programming Women's Empowerment: A case from Northern Mexico. Traditional authority is conservative and tends to be stable. State and Government . The followers agree that these norms and values and important. Charismatic Authority Charismatic authority is power based on devotion inspired in followers by the presumed extraordinary personal qualities of the leader. Russell L. California Staudt. power is the ability to achieve one's will despite resistance from others. Parenting is also based on tradition. C. As capitalism developed. Example: Henslin (2004:295) notes that gender relationships in most societies are examples of traditional authority. 248:1997). Rulers rule because of "age-old" norms and values. People believe in laws rather than in tradition. Traditional authority is power based on a belief in the sanctity of long-standing traditions and the legitimate right of rulers to exercise authority in accordance with these traditions. Arcata. his or her power usually dies with them. There are three types of state power and authority. Capitalism is based on forms of organization that require careful calculation rather than habit. I.S. Humboldt State University. Traditional Authority For much of human history. Their successors will generally attempt to routinize their leaders charm." Pp.

In modern societies (1989:331) the power of the state expands not only in size. B. 2. economic planning. and neo-conflict theories is that neo-conflict theories regard the state as an autonomous and independent actor (See Block. one might like to look at not only the absolute growth in dollars spent by the state. 2. refers to the people who happen to be charged with directing the power of the state at any given time. Neo-Conflict Theories of the State Marx and Engels placed heavy emphasis on the character of class relations in describing how and why states exist. but this kind of rule becomes impossible in large complex societies. 1. Engels said this and rather than the entire state apparatus disappearing. Small communities are able to enforce local norms by spontaneous action. therefore. but it broadens its scope as it comes to regulate more aspects of social life. when.) C. like those of Marx. Arbitration of Conflict Planning and Direction International Relations Conflict Theories of the State Rousseau Conflict may arise over scarce resources. but also at the proportion of GNP of a nation controlled by the state. acts to codify norms into explicit written laws. The primary difference between traditional conflict theories. once a society is created (a communist one) where there was no stratification based upon property. education. scientific research. Government. and systematic planning and direction. 4. but also ensures that the ruling class will be able to enjoy the surplus wealth extracted from the backs of the people. yet everywhere he is in chains. For Marx. coordinated." Rousseau contended that the state exists merely to protect the interests of the wealthy. conflicting interests. The state is not the same as government. are not the only power contenders in society. however. The state is an organization with its own needs such as . Skocpol. such as welfare. Functionalist Theories of the State Enforcement of Norms Robertson (1989:332) points out that the overarching concept which underlies all functionalist explanations of the state pertains the state's role in the preservation of social order. 1989:331). only those aspects that control economic affairs for the rich will disappear. Social classes. 1985). 3. Marx calls the state "the executive committee of the ruling class. The state is the ultimate authority for "deciding who gets what. the state would lose it reason for existing and wither away. and how" (Robertson. on the other hand. Robertson (1989:333) maintains that Rousseau criticized the state when he said "Man is born Free. 1978) clarifies this point quite nicely. (Actuality. A. Complex societies require centralized. This included political.Our focus to date has been on issues concerning social class. it has emerged to become "the main source of social authority. economic. 1989:331). 1977. Measuring the Increasing Power of the State In order to demonstrate the growth in the power of the state. national goals. Despite the fact that the state is a rather recent historical development. The state plays an increasingly important role in the political arena. The state. 1. Conflict theory argues that the state exists simply for the protection of the interests of the wealthy and powerful in society. and military international relations such as alliances and trade agreements. successfully claiming a monopoly on the legitimate use of force in a given territory" (Robertson. The state is an impersonal authority. transportation." It not only protects the interests of the ruling class. Marx Marx's Communist Manifesto (1848 in Tucker.

Power Elite Models Power-Elite Model C. an inner city vs. The Power of Bureaucracy Trimberger (in Skocpol. liberals and conservatives. is explored. Pluralism:Model The pluralist model suggests that power in society is derived from the representation of diverse interests in society. Neo-conflict and Neo-Marxist theorists of political sociology visualize the state as mediating disputes between a variety of interest groups.. regardless of their class configuration. State actions ( . industrial. 1985:11). instead. or financial institutions. The state's relationship to these classes. This refers to a situation where individuals who are in charge of the . Usually the wealthy are favored. Social conflict in general. 1985:10) describes an autonomous state as one in which bureaucratic officials are not recruited from the dominant classes and who have no ties to the dominant class (agricultural. they are. All modern societies. 4. State autonomy might also address situations where the state is able to act "in the face of recalcitrant socioeconomic circumstances" (1985:9). or commercial). The process is political. has impact upon the direction that a state's autonomy may lead. universities.S. however. Other interest groups that might be considered would include racial or ethnic groups. the strength of the state may be visualized in terms of its ability to pursue independent interests. Its Heclo's position that in Sweden and Great Britain people who work within the state bureaucratic apparatus has more impact on policy decisions than do people from the political parties or other outside interests. suburbs. consumers and producers. (See Notes on Skocpol page 5 and 6 about how the U. Actions may be required in the international community that the domestic population is unconcerned with or even resistant to. (See the four points listed under functionalist views). and not class conflict. . but not always.S.. . ) are not all acts of coercion or domination. 3. Military officials or civil service bureaucrats may. What is State Autonomy? State autonomy refers to the ability of the state to formulate policy goals independent of other actors such as social classes or from other groups.) Class Question: Does the U. 2. society. not because all policy is a by-product of power and conflict but because some men and women have undertaken to act in the name of others (in Skocpol. 1. . Activities Unrelated to Class Issues The state performs duties in society that are not particularly related to class interests. Interlocking Directorships Interlocking directorships occur when the same people sit on the boards of directors of different corporations. Extreme Instances of State Autonomy Skocpol (1985:9) discusses "extreme instances of autonomous state action" which she calls REVOLUTION FROM ABOVE. pluralism keeps the government of the United States from turning against its citizens. has little state autonomy. the intellectual activities of civil administrators engaged in diagnosing societal problems and framing policy alternatives to deal with them. require intervention by a central authority. According to the functionalist perspective. In this vein. however.maintenance of its complex bureaucracies and protection of its special privilege. have an autonomous state government? In terms of domestic policy? In terms of international policy? Pluralist Models vs. Wright Mills coined the term power elite to refer to the collection of people who make the big decisions in U.S. recognize the need to act on transnational considerations.

Prerequisites for Democracy Advanced Economic Development Where does one find democracy? Democracies appeared in advanced economically developed societies because: 1. Representative democracy. whether domestic or international. maintains that authoritarian types of governments tolerate little or no public opposition. as a form of government.state seize control of the entire state apparatus for the purpose of promoting "reformist or revolutionary change from above. Tyranny. Other groups may include business interests. Stable representative democracies are found in highly industrial countries. however." Skocpol cites Stepan and Trimberger in this vein. Social democracy). The first was tyranny (or the rule of a single individual. religious interests. Direct or pure democracy. widespread use of intimidation. The Nazi's as well as the governments of North Korea represent examples of totalitarian governments. or Juntas. The third category was democracy or the rule of the people. political democracy vs. . The ideal type of democracy would be a participatory or pure democracy where everyone has equal input into policy. totalitarian governments tolerate no opposition to their rule. is recent. a single political party. that is identical with the government. During the seizure of power. A. See Michels (1962) Democratic rule means that authority ultimately lies in the hands of the people. They're training in the military steers them toward seizing control and installing corporatist governments in order to deal with crises. Totalitarian governments are also authoritarian. totalitarian governments use modern techniques of indoctrination and surveillance of the population. Societies which claim to have democratic forms of government have representative democracies. has never existed at the level of nation-state. Authoritarianism. rare. See Whitehead (1986) for a discussion of the differences between the goals of European democracy and the goals of American democracy (i.e. A. 1989:334). Forms of Government Analysis of governmental form dates back to the days of Aristotle. or class interests. This means that the transition to democracy is possible. Included in authoritarian type governments would be monarchies. Oligarchy Democracy The rule of a few. and fragile. A highly literate populace demands to participate in government. complete control of the mass media. such activity occurs in a setting where career military officials are in positions of power. while distinguishing between authoritarianism and totalitarianism. A large middle-class acts to protect its interests through democracy.. The second was the rule of oligarchy or the rule of the few. 2. 1. IV. dictatorships. Historic Foundations of Democracy Types of Democracies Chirot (1986) provides a great discussion that centers around decentralization of power as an important component that lead to the formation of democracy. there may be an attempt to destroy traditional elite classes or other groups which might resist the seizure of power. Voters elect representatives who in turn make political decisions on behalf of the voters. Aristotle divided the forms of government into three groups. 2. but they will negotiate with other groups who may or may not support the existing government. In order to ensure total acquiescence of the population. and direction of the economy by the state bureaucracy (Robertson. and Totalitarianism Robertson (1989:334). C. Generally. monopoly control of weaponry and armed forces. but unlike authoritarian governments. These societies are characterized by elaborate ideologies that cover every phrase of the individuals life. B. III. Authoritarian governments also tend to be short lived.

Everyone is more willing to negotiate because nearly everyone feels that their life is improving -. Limitations The Role of Violence V.no one feels threatened. B. The press should be able to openly criticize the government. If cleavages occurred along class lines. will in fact leave office. F. A free press is necessary. one might hypothesize that group would act to consolidate its hold on society (i. once voted out of office. C.. Ironically. a citizen should feel confident that a sitting government. There is more of a feeling of camaraderie between the masses and between masses and elites. Imagine what kind of political situation would ensue if there were radical cleavage in the populace. congress. Parties link the government with the people. however. but refused to leave. In general. The diffusion of power is as critical today as it was during the feudal ages when democratic governments were first forming. transmit public opinion. but that is apparently required for a democracy to work. One means that facilitates the diffusion of power in the U. The survival of democratic forms of government may depend upon continual economic growth. with the upper class and the working class squaring off against one another. Robertson (1989:337) maintains that political parties are vital for the well being of democracies. Noriega was voted out of office. Laws limiting the length of a term that a leader may occupy an office. Tolerance of Dissent Access to Information Diffusion of Power Robertson (1989:336) maintains that this is critical in a democracy.3. They often do so by invoking a more authoritarian form of government. although many Americans complain about the few choices provided during each election. During periods of economic decline. and federal. Absence of Major Cleavages Democracies are most successful where the society shares a consensus on basic values and also show a desire for a stable government. Remember in Panama. They define policy alternatives. and mobilize the masses. on Democracy: Example: My lament on violence and being a humanist Example: How the Russians got their hostages back. A political party is an organization whose purpose is to gain legitimate control of the state. 2. In a situation where one group in society maintains a monopoly on power. The American Political Process Political Parties The American political process is a mix of formal public debate and informal. no democracy). Restraints on Government Power Restraints on government power would include the following: 1. Another American example of the diffusion of power would be how policy is enacted at three different levels -. Laws limiting the exercise of power.local.e. and the Supreme Court). those who control the means of authority and violence act to protect their interests. then we would have precisely the revolutionary situation called for by Marx. even the poor feel like their lives are getting better. D. Example: The Civil War is an Extreme example of great political cleavage. During periods of economic growth. E. They are also responsible for the recruitment and presentation of candidates to the people. . is the separation of branches of government (the president. state. A. Democracy is not likely to survive where there is great political division. behind the doors interaction. Citizens need to be able to make informed choices and this requires information.S.

b.g. b. 1. 2.1. A potential benefit of PACs would be that they represent so many different interests that they are all powerful. American political parties could not win elections if they advocated specific issues or offered support to specific groups. crime and family values). those who have power (Robertson. These groups may be large or small. 98. Daniel 1986 Social Change In The Modern Era. the majority rules. Robertson (1989:340) contends that political sociologists are divided as to the effect that interests groups have on democracies. • They cross class lines • They avoid specific or controversial policies and issues. In the American form of democracy. Lobbying refers to the tactic of directly persuading decision makers. Because American political parties have to appeal to a majority of the electorate. Methods of Gaining influence Lobbying PACs The Impact of Interest Groups Positive Interests groups may employ a variety of tactics to gain influence with governmental officials. Minority parties. 2. Michels." pp. Since European parliaments seat parties according to their percentage of the vote. Bibliography Chirot. but they all try to gain access to. New York: Collier Books. therefore. San Diego: Harcourt. Candidates are at the mercy of PACs. Political Action Committees (PACs) are organizations established by interest groups for the purpose of collecting and distributing campaign funds. . B. Brace. secretive or open. Interests groups may provide a voice for citizens who are other wise powerless and voiceless. Note that Italy has more than 250 parties and the government falls every nine months. Moscow: Progress Publishers. and Jovanovich. a. Karl 1983 "Manifesto of the Communist Party. those PACs that operate in secrecy might be able to win influence where the general public is left ignorant of the issues being discussed. To refuse PAC money is to give your opponent a monetary advantage. 1989:33). Marx. Negative On the negative side.136 in Selected Works. Even a party receiving only 15% of the vote will have a voice in government (See Robertson. American Democracy Most democracies have many parties. and can there fore ensure (by their numbers alone) that no interests group is able to gain a monopoly on power. they: • tend to focus on middle of the road political issues (e. Effectively. cannot survive. 1989:338). a. European Democracies European democracies are characterized by many parties. temporary or permanent.. and sway. Robert 1962 Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy. it's practical for minority parties to exist. Interest Groups Interest groups are organizations which attempt to influence political decisions that might have impact on party members or their goals. the American political process has only two parties.

Modern society. 1. Glance at the Globe Data Worksheet I. There is a bit of ethnocentrism here. Theda 1985 Vision and Method in Historical Sociology (Ed) Theda Skocpol. A." They will then use that data to fill in the work sheet. Lawrence 1986 "International Aspects of Democratization. on the other hand. Conflict Theories of Societal Change The Trigger Conflict theory tends to argue that a precipitating event is needed before change occurs. Please Note: This worksheet does NOT have to be turned into the professor. Premodern society was characterized by people acquiring a broad range of skills that enable them to act relatively relatively independent of one another. Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Comparative Perspectives. Please note that there are data for several years beginning in 1985. Evolutionary Theories Early functionalist theories argued that all societies are gradually moving in a single direction. are becoming more adaptable to their external environments (Appelbaum and Chambliss. II. Contradiction and Change Marx and Class Conflict "All social systems have within them the seeds of their own destruction. Differentiation is the development of increasing societal complexity through the creation of specialized roles and institutions. It is assumed that all change is "progress. saw their societies as more evolved that those they conquered. and Lawrence Whitehead (eds. requires people to master a narrow range of skills and act interdependently.Robertson. It is simply provided to help prepare for test four. PART 4: Social Change Student Glance at the Globe Project: Students will explore the sociodemographic data found in "A Glance at the Globe. I recommend that students print a copy the worksheet. B." -. They are becoming more complex and. technological advances." In Guillermo O'Donnell. 1997:420). Students should use data for the Year 2009 to fill in the work sheet." The Europeans.). New York: Worth Publishing Co. 1997:421). they become ever more complex and interdependent (Appelbaum and Chambliss. The "trigger." as Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:421-22) call it. B." What distinguished premodern from modern societies is differentiation (Appelbaum and Chambliss. The Europeans concept of self allowed then to see their involvement in the new world as necessary to help the "primitive and backward" societies move toward a more desirable (European) style of life. is something like population growth. for example. Functionalist Theories of Societal Change Differentiation Functionalist theories tend to assume that as societies develop. Marx . Ian 1989 Society: A Brief Introduction. 1997:420). Whitehead. Herbert Spencer referred to it as a change from "incoherent homogeneity to coherent heterogeneity. A. or changing environmental conditions. Skocpol. contact with other cultures. according to the early functionalist. Phillippee Schmitter.paraphrase of K. London: Cambridge University Press.

the trigger. III.) It is an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned. Human and animal power are deemphasized and are replaced by machinery driven production. Smelser (1988:387) defines modernization as a complex set of changes that take place in almost every part of society as a society attempts to industrialize. This. the relationships experiences sweeping change. IV. 1997:422). Under capitalism. Four General Characteristics of Modernization: 1.. Rise and Fall Theories Both the evolutionary and conflict theories discussed so far tend to imply a "progress" toward more "desirable" forms of social organization. but as the relationship progresses the irritants become profound impediments to the relationship. any type of society reaches a point when its social organization becomes a barrier to further economic growth. There is a trend toward industrialization. 3. contradictions can be seen as developing within any type of relationship. Dialectical Change Marx's concept of change is a specific example of a more general theory called dialectics. There is a shift from the simple to the complex. For Marx. Rise and Fall theories depart from this assumption. Ultimately. 2. but the capital to buy more possessions (see Eitzen and Baca-Zinn. B. Reaching this limit precipitates a revolutionary transformation of society into a new type (e. from the left to the right. That goal becomes their undoing. Support for the military eventually weakens the domestic economy. The contradictions appear as minor irritants at first. 1. they often seek to become world military powers as well. undermines the prosperity that once fueled the economic power. Theories of Global Social Market-Oriented Theories and Modernization Theory A. Personal profits are derived through market competition and without government intervention Capitalism is based on the following assumptions. Rise and Fall theories argue (in Appelbaum and Chambliss. Agriculture progresses from being oriented toward subsistence farming that occurs on small plots to commercial farming of large scale. 4. What is Capitalism? Capitalism is one of two methods that industrial societies use to organize their economic activities. What is Modernization? Change: A host of scholars. . Society changes from one centered on the rural to one centered on cities. 1997:422) that as nations grow in economic power. Eventually.All societies are seen as having built-in sources of conflict that eventually lead to a sharp break with the past. 1998:356-57).g. Private Ownership of Property Pursuit of Maximum Profit Individuals are encouraged to own not only private possessions. Marx contended that conflict was inevitable in a class-relationship that pitted the interest of the working class against the owning class. 2. More generally. According to Marx. (Socialism is the other. 2. connects the incredible change experienced in the modern era with modernization. change occurred because contradictions developed within the relationships between the two primary classes in capitalist society. from feudalism to capitalism) or from capitalism to socialism (Appelbaum and Chambliss. inevitably involved the relationships between social classes. in turn.

It suggests that all countries can become modern industrial societies. All Will Develop Like Europe Differentiation and Modernization Shannon (1989:2-3) contends that much of the modernization theory is based upon the European developmental experience. because through competition someone wins and someone loses. they argue that the best economic outcomes result when individuals are free to make their own economic decision. 3. In a competitive society. Grass roots capitalism is. 1984:299). Capitalism regulates wage levels in much the same way as it regulates production and prices. The economic system of Adam Smith is not egalitarian. Development: An Internal Process Modernization theory views development as an internal process in each society (generally perceived of as nation-states. someone else will rush in to work for a lower wage. If wages. however. C. however. As demand increases for a product. is not a static phenomenon. Free Competition This is the element that keeps out profit seeking in check. Modern societies consist of a variety of specialized institutions. then others will step in to sell goods more cheaply. It undergoes continual transformation and has done so since the end of the 15th century (see Wallerstein. views the world society as a "relatively stable system of interrelated parts. according to Shannon (1989:2). 1974). Competition acts as an economic regulator. A.Individuals are encouraged to maximize their personal gains. This is the philosophy behind free enterprise.) They often view each case as independent of the others. Positions of Market Oriented Theory The developmental or modernizationist view of social change was the dominant paradigm during the 1950s and 1960s. B. The primary characteristic of modernization is differentiation. the potential to make profit will increase. uninhibited by any form of government constraint. It lays out the conditions under which traditional societies can become fully modern (Appelbaum and Chambliss. If wages are too high. fair when all competitors have essentially the same economic base. are too low. V. if one agent raises prices too high. C. 1997:171). Competition not only regulates the supply of desirable commodities. D. Constraints might include efforts by Third world governments to set prices and wages (Appelbaum and Chambliss. It's the position of Adam Smith that this has many beneficial consequences for Americans. on the other hand. How does a society hang together in a scenario where everyone is pursuing their own interest? Adam Smith argues the capitalist economy maintains integrity because someone will provide whatever is needed. The capitalist economy. Further. Seeking personal gain is morally and socially appropriate. it also ensures that prices remain fair and product quality remains high. employees will seek better jobs. The potential of earning profit will encourage someone to produce those commodities that are in demand. A few institutions that provided broad ranging services to the citizenry characterized premodern societies. Market-Oriented theory argues that unrestricted capitalism. . 1997:171). Fraud is thus weeded out and the market is stabilized. 4. Laissez-faire Government Laissez-faire government is a government that does not intervene in the economy. Assumptions of Modernization Theory The World is A Stable System of Interrelated Parts Modernization theory." Modernization theory views social change as an evolutionary type process that gradually adapted to a changing environment (Ragin and Chirot. allowed to develop fully. The law of the marketplace ensures a self-regulating economy. is the best route to economic growth. The following material presents some assumptions associated with modernization theory.

1." Andre Gunder Frank (1972) calls this the development of underdevelopment. They must learn to defer gratification. a firstworld country might look to acquire land in a semitropical area where the crop can be grown in abundance. copper. such as petroleum. Colonialism is a politicaleconomic arrangement under which powerful countries establish. Modernization Prerequisites for Modernization A. cotton. land. C. Theories Dependency Theory of Global Social Change: Dependency theories represent a critique of modernization theory's assumptions that poor countries are poor because of their lack of economic.g. and a desire to control their own destiny. A company may choose this strategy when rising wage rates in industrial countries begin to threaten corporate profits. People in developing countries have to develop traits like individualism. and iron are needed in industrial economies. Dependency theories argue that the poverty experienced by low-income countries is the immediate consequence of their exploitation by wealthy countries on which they are economically dependent (Appelbaum & Chambliss. 1997:173). The legitimacy of the state becomes important..a philosophy that suggests that in order for countries to develop.g. VIII. personal achievement. inexpensive agricultural products (bananas in Central America). The quest for profits can involve the search for raw materials (e. each country should do what it does best. A. B. Modernizationist solutions to domestic economic problems advocated free-market activities that stress comparative advantage -. The authors argue that poor countries are "locked-in to a downward spiral of exploitation and poverty. overall. Except for a few local . Institutional Preconditions for Modernization Theory's Institutional preconditions inevitably involve democracy. oil). Poor countries are sources for these raw materials. Psychological Change New values have to be learned. and laissez-faire government policy regarding the economy. social.VI. Eventually.. Use of Third-World Labor A relatively new strategy is to move factories from high-wage countries to low-wage countries. 1997:173). Theories Marxist Theories of Global Social Change: Marxists argue that first-world involvement in the internal development of poor countries is not desirable. or people (e. VII. first-world capitalists have to look outside their border for new sources of profit (Appelbaum and Chambliss. Individuals must learn to want economic growth and must be willing to become more mobile. Exploitation of Natural Resources Colonialism Natural resources. This is the case for crops like coffee. anti-communism. and cultural development. International relationships. for their own profit. flow from a basic desire by first-world capitalists to acquire profit. or sugar. A Never-ending Search for Raw Material Agriculture Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:173) note that to profit from the sale of agricultural products. The search for agricultural and natural resources can lead to colonialism. inexpensive labor or slaves). B. Dependency results when foreign businesses make important economic and political decisions for their own advantage and without regard to the best interests of the local population. rule over weaker countries. 2.

Often the police and the military act. The world system is an international system of formal and informal political relations among the most powerful countries. Local leaders opposed to inequitable economic arrangements are suppressed.' 'developing nations. 1997:174). military control has given way to a situation where rich countries control poor countries through international markets. The Three Zones of the World System are: The Core The Periphery Core countries are the most advanced industrial countries and control most of the wealth in the world economy (Appelbaum & Chambliss. The world economic system: Four overlapping elements: 1. In the present. The world system calls attention to a division of the world's population into economic classes 3. Obviously. 1997:174). 1999:245). 2. and Sierra Leone as well as a host of other developing countries do share a common relationship to the advanced industrialized countries of the world (the first-world. but cannot account for the development that occurred in areas like East Asia (Appelbaum & Chambliss. IX.businessmen who serve the interests of foreign capital. World system theory argues that there is room for poorer countries to advance within the context of the world economy although this happens rarely. the common relationship was colonialism. Dependency theories contend that power is central in enforcing unequal economic arrangements. Unlike dependency theory. Its proponents argue that "we must understand the world capitalist system as a single unit. A. A.' or the 'periphery. More recently. Theories World System Theory of Global Social Change: Immanual Wallerstein (1974. not as individual countries" (Appelbaum & Chambliss. The core determines prices for commodities and uses the poor countries as dumping grounds for hazardous waste (see Henslin. The term “third world” may be appropriate when one discusses the common relationship that all poor countries have with rich countries. not for the needs of the masses. The world system is a world market for goods and labor 2. the local population becomes impoverished (Appelbaum & Chambliss. Historically. whose competition with one another helps shape the world economy 4. 1997:173). A popular government opposed to outside influence can be overthrown by the military. On the other hand.' After all. El Salvador. It includes a carving up of the world into unequal economic zones with the wealthier zones exploiting the poorer zones. Critique Dependency theory is successful in explaining the lack of development experienced by some countries (like those in Central America). Cambodia. but rather for the economic elite (Appelbaum & Chambliss. developed nations. The World-System represents a system of international stratification. One might suggest that it's ridiculous to categories these countries the same. Is There a Third World? Many have problems with the all-encompassing term 'third-world. or the core). and Sierra Leone are lumped into the same category. Cambodia. old colonial affairs characterized by military oppression have transformed into neocolonial relationships. 1997:174). . Unionization is outlawed. countries link El Salvador. 1. The market oriented theories have generally ignored the role of the military and of political power. 1979) coined the term World-System. B. these three countries share no cultural characteristics and are physically far-removed from one another. 1997:174).

1997:424). Panic and Crazes Panics . 1997:425). Fads and Fashion Fads Fads are temporary. They extract profit from the periphery and are simultaneously exploited by the core. Emergent-Norm Theories Emergent-norm theories suggest that it is values and norms. revolutionary tendencies are mitigated. 1997:423). but are motivated by a conscious set of concerns. norms emerge that explains a crowd’s actions. Core countries manipulate it for the economic advantage of the core. countries. During a riot conventional norms are suspended and replaced by other norms developed by the group (Appelbaum and Chambliss. 2. The acts of individuals are copied by other individuals.The periphery consists of low-income. People in crowds mill about. in which society's predominant social norms and values cease to govern individual behavior. XII. that prompt groups of people to act in unison. While it may appear to an observer that the group is acting in a single purpose. B. B. (Appelbaum and Chambliss. A. Collective behavior consists of a groups reaction to some situation." wearing Levis with holes in the knees. The study of collective behavior is especially concerned with the behavior of people in crowds (Appelbaum and Chambliss. and not unconscious process. Crowds Crowds are temporary gatherings of closely interacting people with a common focus. A. C. XI. because poor countries can hope to advance at least to this stage. X. Forms of Collective Behavior Riots A riot is a prolonged outbreak of violent behavior by a large group of people that is directed against people and property. 3. Theories of Collective Behavior Contagion Theories Contagion theories argue that human beings revert to herd-like behavior when they get together in large crowds. A skilled leader can manipulate crowds. 1997:425). They are spontaneous. goal-oriented action that occurs in a relatively disorganized situation. The existence of the middle (the semiperiphery) is critical. 1. The group-mind is viewed as irrational and dangerous. highly imitated outbreaks of mildly unconventional behavior (Appelbaum and Chambliss. 1. so the eventual fate of all fashions is to become unfashionable. People in crowds are prone to being swept up in group emotions and loose their ability to make rational decisions. like a group of animals. largely agricultural. Fads can include "the grunge look. It's very success undermines its attractiveness. The Semiperiphery The Semiperiphery refers to countries that occupy an intermediate position in the world economy. With the possibility of advancement within the world system. Emergent-norm theories argue that even in seemingly chaotic crowd behavior. stimulating and goading one another into movement (Appelbaum and Chambliss. 1997:425). 1997:423). Fashion A fashion is a somewhat long-lasting style of imitative behavior or appearance. the individuals within the crowd may have differing reasons for taking part (Appelbaum and Chambliss. A. or cramming people into a phone booth. Collective Behavior Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:422) define collective behavior as a voluntary. A fashion reflects a tension between people's desires to be different and their desire to conform.

D. E. 1997:427). Reactionary movements seek to restore an earlier social system -. political. person. Craze A craze is an intense attraction to an object. Rumors Rumors are unverified information that is transmitted informally. and economic system in keeping with a vision of a new social order (Appelbaum and Chambliss. . 1997:426). but lack a detailed plan for a new social order (Appelbaum and Chambliss. The term reaction is used because often these movement rise as a reaction to some kind of unwelcome social change. B. F. Personality type is also a poor predictor. 1997:429). Revolutionary movements seek to alter fundamentally the existing social.A panic is a massive flight from something that is feared. 1997:429). A. The 1938 radio show "War or the Worlds" is an example (Appelbaum and Chambliss. An example is the cases where people flock to a region where someone is said to have seen a deity's face. As the information spread. Why Do Social Movements Arise? Micro-Level Studies What motivates individuals to become active members of social movements? This material contends that personal identification with others is a far more important indicator of who will likely join a social movement. XIII. Social Movements Reformist Movements Revolutionary Movements Rebellions Reactionary Movements A social movement is defined as a large number of people who come together in a continuing and organized effort to bring about (or resist) social change. Communitarian Movements Anarchy Communitarian movements seek to withdraw from the dominant society by creating their own ideal communities (Appelbaum and Chambliss. 1997:426). 1. Rebellions seek to overthrow the existing social. The student describes the picture to another who passes the information on to a third and so forth. 1997:426). At some point the information being passed along begins to reflect the commonly held beliefs of the students. 1997:426). 1997:428). the message came to reflect a picture when a black man was menacing a white man. political. usually originating in an unknown source (Appelbaum and Chambliss.often based on a mythical past -along with the traditional norms and values that once presumably accompanied it (Appelbaum and Chambliss. Example: Allport & Postman (1947) A white student is asked to study a photograph with one man menacing another. Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:430) contend that the motivation for involvement in social movements appears to be less related to personal gain and more related to an identification with others. 2. A. They rely at least partially on non institutionalized forms of political action (Appelbaum and Chambliss. XIV. and economic system. Reformist movements seek to bring about change within an existing economic and political system (Appelbaum and Chambliss. or activity (Appelbaum and Chambliss. Psychological and Personality Types Personal Identification with Others Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:430) argue that psychological factors are poor indications of whether one becomes involved in social movements. D. C. but in fact the opposite was true. 1997:428-9). 2. Psychological factors are poor indicators of participation in social movements.

1997:430). Richard P. It acknowledges the influence of the individual. and all the institutions that tie society together. 1997:431). Bibliography Appelbaum. 1997:430). 4. industrialization. but is more concerned with the influence of larger structures. the time is "ripe" for change. 2. Chambliss 1997 Sociology: A Brief Introduction. Resource mobilization focuses on the ability of social movement organizations to generate money. and Gandhi are individuals that have had great impact on society. Macro-Level Studies This section differentiates between the impact that individuals have on change from that associated with evolving institutional structures. have tremendous impact on other features of society like social structure. culture. SMOs are formal organizations that seek to achieve social change through non-institutional forms of political action. "Staggering" Population growth is most intense in the poorest nations of the world. When change occurs in structures. Trends. Usually. 1. technology. NAACP is an example (Appelbaum and Chambliss. urbanization. membership. and institutions inherited from the past. Napoleon. These exiting conditions make it difficult for an individual to change society substantially. culture. 1997:431). and political support in order to achieve their objectives (Appelbaum and Chambliss. Conscience constituents are people who provide resources for a social movement organization but who are not themselves members of the aggrieved group that the organization champions (Appelbaum and Chambliss. specific organizations. and bureaucratization. the lives of individuals are greatly altered. World Watch (in . Modernization can explain much of the change. The changing economy transforms the character of social relations between people. Grassroots Organizing Conscience Constituents Grassroots organization attempts to mobilize support among the ordinary members of a community (Appelbaum and Chambliss. New York: Longman. Huge social structures anchored in history ultimately dictate the character of day-to-day social relations. Lenin. less developed modes of production (like agriculture) to advanced industrial modes of production. 3. Organizational-Level Studies Social Movement Organizations (SMOs) Resource Mobilization Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:430) suggests that some social movements are deliberately organized to create social change. Individuals Change Social Patterns The actions of individuals. 1. when we perceive individuals leading a population through dramatic change. Although individuals have impact on society. such as population growth and urbanization. The actions of individuals happen within power structures. and William J. C. 2. like the global economy.• • • • Activists have prior contact with movement members A family background of social activism is important A lack of personal constraints facilitates involvement A since of moral rightness B. and specific social movements have impact on society. Jesus. Broad Social Trends Change Social Patterns Broad social trends include shifts in population. we tend to exaggerate what an individual can do. Modernization refers to the process where a society moves from traditional.

The forty-three million people of Ethiopia. Questions about population processes might include: Is the population becoming older or younger? Where do people live? Where are people migrating to and where do they come from? C. women's rights. Population distribution determines the makeup of the House of Representatives. Demography and Government Demography is also an essential tool used in ensuring equal representation in Congress. unemployment. now more than 100 million. B. death. ill-conceived agricultural policies and nonexistent family planning programs have already led to widespread starvation. Nigeria's population. and migration. aging. I. Major components of Demography include the following. What is Demography? A Demographic Perspective Demography is the study of population. family structure. distribution. The demographic perspective influences the way people understand and interpret questions involving population. the race and ethnicity of a population. and the influence that change in population has on other contemporary issues. a business sells a product that is desired by age-specific groups. and finally issues about individual freedom. Population and Contemporary Social Issues Weeks (1989) explores the demographic underpinnings of several major issues confronting the world. B. Placing a Corvette shop in a working-class community populated mainly by low-income middle-aged and elderly people could be disastrous. A. Even with heavy emigration. that business can use the census to discover communities where members of that age-specific group live. the Demographic Transition model. Sunbelt states gained seats in congress while . Three are presented in this article (the Malthusian perspective. Uses of Demography Demography and Business Much sociology appears ethereal and difficult to grasp. Population Structure Population structure addresses the relationship between population processes and demographic characteristics of populations such as the age and sex of a given population. their socioeconomic status. are projected to quintuple in number. economic development. and perhaps their marital status. now 110 million. where a combination of soil erosion. Demography is one of the more pragmatic areas of Sociology (See Weeks. 1996:10-11). processes. A. Mexico's current population of eighty-two million may more than double before stabilizing. Demographic processes and structure interact with the following social issues: Food security. 1988) argues that some [population] increases projected for individual countries by World Bank Demographers are staggering. Weeks (6:1989) contends population growth is often incendiary in that it "ignites" other social problems that people face. It looks at everything that influences population size. D. Demographic awareness could help the potential dealer in finding neighborhoods where young and middle-aged affluent people live. inflation. Population Processes Three basic population processes include birth. 1996:5). As people move from one state to another. November 15. The population of Bangladesh. II. is projected to reach 529 million before it stops growing late in the 21st century. energy. a business may want to open an automobile dealership that specializes in expensive sports cars. The last reapportionment occurred in 2000 at the Federal level. For example. housing and urbanization. If. the makeup of the House of Representatives changes (See Weeks. Business can put the study of population to specific uses. and the Marxist perspective). will triple before it stabilizes. literacy and education. pollution and the ecosystem.World Development Forum. for example.

Later. Given that it is important for the allocation of money to poor people. 1996:1580159). its effects will echo far into the future. It can affect pollution. The effects of the baby boomlets will not be as dramatic as the "big boom. the death rate. Initially the increase in newborn babies swamped hospital maternity wards.) E. C. given the robust state of the American economy. Many men were out of the country and the economy was still not conducive to encourage child birth. A Baby Recession? After the baby boom generation has passed a particular social institution specifically oriented toward age (like school). the baby boom still influences the structure of the population as well as an array of social institutions. living space. D. Allocation of Money for Social Services: This point also pertains to the relationship between Demography and the Government (part B). The Baby Boom What is the Baby Boom? The baby boom represents a demographic event that is well-documented and which has had. had to catch up. the job market. Further. schools became overcrowded with new children. Within five years of the beginning of the baby boom. energy availability. Assuming the South continues to vote Republican. A. significant impact on American society (see Weeks. and which will continue to have. 1996:157-158). Dramatic changes in population structure can influence the economy and the environment as well. organizations. like schools. Although it ended in the 1960s. The government undertook massive school building programs. 1. The baby boom required the training of hundreds of new teachers on short notice. Social Security could also be overwhelmed with the same surge of people that began moving through the population of our society in the late 1940s. people were forced to postpone childbearing because of World War II. one can understand why disadvantaged groups in society are at a farther disadvantage when the Census Bureau under counts those populations. At the end of the war. People who had postponed having children during the great depression and during the war decided it was a good time to have children. 3. The same thing happened to colleges and. 2. The baby boom began in the late 1940s and continued through the 1950s. Population growth or decline in a society is influenced by the birth rate. there were too many teachers and too many schools. The Impact of the Baby Boom on Social Structure The impact of the baby boom was felt in all age-specific institutions in America. (Note: the present teacher shortage is not related to the baby boom phenomenon.Rust-belt states lost seats. finally." but will cause headaches for urban planners as they try to cope with a fluctuating population. reapportionment could help the Republicans gain seats in the House of Representatives in the next decade. Three Demographic Variables QUESTION: How does population change? The population changes in accordance with three demographic variables: Fertility. and the migration rate. Changes in the population can create new markets. People postponed having children during the great depression. Initially. mortality. baby boomlets (also called "echo effects") can be expected for the next few generations to come (weeks. B. and ultimately freedom. IV. people who would normally have had children during the 1950s had more children than usual. housing. The depression was not a good time to have children given that more than 25 percent of the population was unemployed. C. the men came home and the economy boomed. Furthermore. III. a recession of sorts occurs. and migration. . By the year 2010. Baby Boomlets and Echo Effects Furthermore. After the "baby boomers" had moved through their elementary school years. What caused the baby boom? The baby boom occurred because of three events.

Crude Death Rate The amount of death in a society can be estimated using the Crude Death Rate which is the number of deaths per year per 1000 people. October 1988) points out that infant mortality is not a health problem. Demographers distinguish between population increases that happen because of fertility (or natural increase) and increases that happen because of migration. Degenerative The major causes of death are now degenerative problems like heart disease. Life Expectancy Life expectancy is the average number of years a person can expect to live given the current mortality levels. a. Women are not having children at the replacement rate. On the other hand some countries are highly pronatalist (e. Death rates for infants are higher than death rates for older children.g. then the population will die from those ailments that have not been controlled (e. during the 1800s the major cause of death was disease. In the U. because of better health conditions and better medical care.S. mortality. Historically. 1. refers to dying. Fecundity refers to the physical ability to reproduce. Example: Infant Mortality in the United States The Hunger Project (Hunger Action Forum. QUESTION: Death associated with cancer is on the rise. and a genetic (sex linked) component. it is a social problem with health .. Demographers can use this measure to estimate population growth. Mortality The Historic Component Disease The second demographic variable. Their populations are declining because of changes in fertility patterns. Today.g. A. Iraq). disease has ceased to be an important issue (except in the realm of AIDS). The populations of some countries in Europe have entered a negative growth period. a. Congenital health problems influence morality rates early in life. such as smallpox or the plague. Why is the number of deaths attributable to cancer increasing? People are going to die because of something.Crude Birth Rate The Crude Birth Rate is the number of births per year per 1000 people. disease and heart attack). cancer) 2.g. B. It refers to the number of children born to a woman.. Keep in mind that population growth will be negative if more people are dying that are being born. Average Age The average age of a population is determined by adding up the ages of each individual in a population and dividing that sum by the number of people in a population. When a society controls death in other areas (e. Fertility Fertility explores the level of reproduction in a society. This discussion includes a historic component. disease determined mortality levels. an age component. Age Related: The Very Young Age impacts mortality levels early and late in life.. b. Each man and woman needs to reproduce themselves to maintain a stable population. One explanation is that infants are less resistant to disease.

• Males neglect their health more than women. disproportionately cull boys. The real culprits are probably "ubiquitous hormone-like pollutants" like Dioxin. WHY? When life expectancy increases. Men drink and smoke more. Science News argues that this trend can be explained by looking at the environment. but all those babies will bring down the average age of the population.S. in care of infants involve social programs in all countries. Science News makes reference to an industrial accident in Seveso.consequences. c. Italy in 1976. The state also provides maternity grants to families upon the birth of a child. Babies will live longer. but the gap is narrowing slightly. Such programs are initially expensive. Holland and Denmark have reported similar trends. ranks 19th among industrialized countries in infant mortality.S. Note: Infant Mortality Rate equals the number of deaths to people less than one year old per 1000 born. Stillbirths and miscarriages.000 infants die and 11. 3. After that accident 12 daughters and no sons were born to parents who had a high level of Dioxin in their . QUESTION: When life expectancy rates increase. The Declining Birth Rates for Boys Science News (April 4. QUESTION: Why do women out-live men? • Men suffer more from congenital defects. Men are also generally more stressed out than women. it does so because death is controlled at the beginning of life. is on the decrease. There are also stringent limits placed on the types of working conditions pregnant women are allowed to work in. as a proportion of girls. The U. but ultimately save money in terms of potential expensive health care in future and services to the developmentally disabled whose condition is linked to poor pre. Each year 40. Differences between Europe and the U.000 are born with low birth weights and long-term disabilities." Recent trends in sex-ratios suggest that the number of boys born. therefore. the average age of the population might become younger. b.8 male births per 1000 births. Canada experienced a drop of 2. 1998: 212) notes that there are 125 boys conceived for every 100 girls. Teenagers The Elderly Mortality Rates and Differences in Gender Teens tend to die from accidents The elderly suffer from degenerative problems. Europe has paid maternity leave (in West Germany and Norway fathers can take the maternity leave). Fertility stimulating drugs can account for a small part of the increase in female births. • Male children are also less resistant to disease. Only 106 boys are born for every 100 girls.and postnatal care. Men have lower life expectancy rates than women. Europeans are much more successful in lowering their infant mortality rates. Several aspects drive differences in mortality rates between men and women. • Males engage in more bad habits. The trend in the United States was more like a drop of 1 male birth per 1000 births.

those who do not? Obviously. QUESTION: What is the flow of migration within the United States? People move from North to South. and education people. is experiencing slight de-urbanization as people move from the city to the suburbs and as elderly people move to rural areas to retire. Demographic perspectives are concerned with the causes of population growth and the consequences of that growth. A.S. migrants a have higher levels of education. 41 percent of all Americans migrated at least once. QUESTION: Why do people move? People move for jobs more than any other reason. motivated. Further. Demographic Perspectives Demographic perspectives are ways of relating basic population information to theories about how the world operates demographically. so the proportion of the population that were of immigrant stock was nearly double current levels. motivated. from the center of the country to the periphery. migration refers to any permanent change of residence outside the county in which an individual currently resides. Malthus felt that if population growth remained unchecked. QUESTION: What is the difference between emigration and immigration? Immigration refers to people moving in and emigration refers to people moving out. 1. the 1980s have seen the greatest level of immigration in the past 100 years. distributions. a. Preventive Checks . There are two solutions for controlling population. In the United States. QUESTION: True or false. had greater numbers of immigrants from 1900 to 1910 than in the 1980s. motivated. QUESTION: What is the motivational level of people who migrate vs. the U. and educated citizen and has to pay nothing for that person's development. The community loses that investment. False! The U. Malthus calls them "checks. The Malthusian Prospective Causes of Population Growth Thomas Malthus was a minister who used religious teachings to build his population policy. Migration The third way population's change is by migration. They lose young. An American migrates an average of seven times during his or her life. if people did not learn to control their vices then overpopulation would occur and bring on the fall of humanity.blood. QUESTION: How does out migration affect the donor area? The donor area is adversely affected. Plus the donor area loses the investment in those individuals. 1996:63-69). QUESTION: Who Moves? Young people between the ages of 20 and 30 are the most Mobil. and growth. It costs the community resources to raise a young. According to Malthus. From 1970 to 1980. Demographic perspectives affect the way we interpret the relationships between populations factors such as size. population was much smaller that it is now. and the U. people who move are more motivated than those who do not. QUESTION: How does in migration affect the recipient area? The recipient area gets a young. He believed that people have an innate urge that impels them to reproduce. QUESTION: What is the educational level of people who migrate? Compared to the people in a population who don't migrate. human beings could populate millions of worlds in a few thousand years (see Weeks." There are preventive checks and positive checks. C. educated worker.S. age structures. V.S.

He personally had little faith in the longevity of the industrial revolution. Demographic Transition The Three Phases of Demographic Transition One of the most popular population theories is demographic transition (Weeks. birth rates will decline because children in an industrial society present more of an economic burden to their parents when compared to children in preindustrial society. As a society industrializes. He had no way of knowing that industrialization would provide the ability to mass produce food. High birth rates also characterize the second phase of demographic transition. Modern Malthusians Modern Malthusians. B. pestilence. Improving economic status decreases' population growth. according to Malthus. b. and disease (Sounds like the four horsemen!). Death rates decline because of better health conditions. then the poor would take steps to avoid the "great pain" by having smaller families. . population growth rapidly outstrips food supplies. Is Poverty Inevitable? Poverty is the cause of overpopulation. The only appropriate method of birth control was postponing marriage and abstaining from sex. He was totally against welfare programs because welfare would prevent the poor from feeling the "great pain" of poverty. a. It traditionally is presented in three phases. not the consequence. Positive Checks: Positive checks would include war. 1996:77-80). upon their children for social support. Critiques of Malthus Food Production and Population Growth Critics of Malthus focus on primarily three aspects of Malthusian theory. Noting that Malthus lived at the beginning of the industrial revolution is important. and poverty. b. modern Malthusians might advocate waiting to have a family until one can afford it. Malthus would not condone modern birth control techniques. such as Paul Ehrlick. An interesting and unintended consequence of Malthusian doctrine is that it helped spread the knowledge of contraceptives although he was against it. Moral Restraint The implied assumption embedded in the moral restraint doctrine of Malthus is that the poor are the ones who are immoral and the rich are not. Food production at best expands arithmetically. Populations. b. Angola. Rather than moral restraint. Food production (or lack of it) is a central positive check. better food. At this rate. expand geometrically.Preventive checks would include abstinence from sexual intercourse and postponing marriage until after twenty-five years old. famine. Malthus thought if the poor were allowed to feel the "great pain" of poverty. Consequences of Population Growth: Poverty Avoiding the Consequences For Malthus. but so do low death rates. exclusively. 5. 4. a. It is a model that explains population dynamics of European / American industrial societies. 1. 3. and Nigeria. Rapid population growth characterizes this phase. the author of The Population Bomb. starvation. are more open toward the idea of "the pill" and abortion. Phase One: Phase Two: High birth and high death rates characterize the first phase of Demographic Transition. For example. etc. Nations that are in the second phase include most of today's Third World countries. modern Malthusians might advocate a variation called prudent restraint. Examples of nations that are in the first phase are Ethiopia. c. 2. the natural consequence of population growth was misery. Economic development reduces population because people no longer have to depend. improved medicine. but if people remained poor it was their own fault.

To pass the "good life" on to their children. Only in capitalist societies does population growth yields overpopulation and poverty. despite their being the largest countries in terms of population on earth.c. causes social problems like poverty. families with several children find it more difficult to send all of their children to college. through industrialization. Some nations have gotten "stuck" in the second phase. 2. 1. tend to argue there are no eternal or natural laws that govern population growth. however. This phase includes most of Europe. low death rates.). shelter. According to Marxists. Dependency within the Family Compare two families with equal resources. 1996:69-72). Engels maintained that each birth meant that there were two more hands to produce for society. In an efficient socialist state. Demographic Transition: An Economic Explanation of Population Dynamics Demographic Transition is a population theory that relates economic development to patterns of population growth. B. The general position of Demographic Transition is that if people feel economically secure. each society has its own laws of population dynamics. people obtain a better standard of living and a better standard of living encourages smaller families. C. Marxists. Marxist Perspectives on Population Growth A Response to Malthus No Eternal Laws of Population Dynamics Marxists are specially resisted the anti-humanitarian aspects of Malthus (see Weeks. A smaller family does not have to . Example: India and China India and China represent two societies where. the demographic transition model may be a good predictor of how populations in the world change. People view children and the elderly as dependent on those who work (Weeks. Therefore. A. then the population growth will slow. For much of the industrial world. the state provides for social security. Advances in science and technology should enable food supplies to keep up with population growth. however. They argue that capitalism. People are less dependent on their children as a personal labor force. because children become an economic burden in advanced industrial societies. like a university education. Limiting population becomes necessary because so much wealth comes to be concentrated in the hands of a few. in part. 3. Countries that continue to experience high birth rates and low death rates might drop back into the first phase that means that death rates will go up dramatically. has two children while the other family has ten children. 1996:257). It makes sense! (Middle-class necessities. In other words. who theorize about population. etc. that much of the Third World is not following the industrialized nations into the final phase of Demographic Transition. parents keep their families small. Later in life. 2. more people should yield more wealth. are expensive. Population and Poverty According to the Marxist perspective the idea of limiting population is a capitalist idea in the first place. Structural Considerations Affecting Population Policy What is Dependency? Demographers make the assumption that most of the people between the ages of fifteen and sixtyfive are working and that people between the ages of zero to fifteen and sixty-five and over are dependent on those who work. and a stable population characterize the third phase. not too many people. they have moved from the brink of starvation to near self-sufficiency in grain. VI. The family with ten children has to spend more of the family resources on providing essentials for the family's survival (food. Phase Three: Low birth rates. One family. Parents are encouraged to keep families small. There are signs. Japan and The United States.

88. but the base remains large. social structure was during the 1950s.52. forty percent of Mexico's population is less than fifteen years old. on the other hand. 1996:279-288) Why doesn't a country. like China. the dependency ratio for Mexico is . everyone would have kids producing a baby boom. and Mexico In the 1980s. The effect. Zero Population Growth (ZPG): Now vs.S. In countries with high rates of dependency. money that should be directed toward building an infrastructure has to go toward feeding babies and supporting an excess population. Example: Asians in America Why do Asian-Americans prosper? They have small families and spend heavily on each child for things like a college education. simply outlaw births for five or ten years? Such a move would reduce population size immediately. Population growth rates have to come down. The method of slowing bringing down the birth rate is probably the most effective long-term strategy. Remember the Baby Boom example. a one percent annual growth rate in the population adds ten million people per year to the population.S. The dependency ratio for the United States is .spend as much as the larger family on necessities. The dependency ratio is an index used to measure the social and economic impact of different age structures (See Weeks. which has a population of only two million. Small vs. There would be no first grades for five years. would be more pronounced. In China. VII. much as the U. high schools would be completely without students for a couple of years.000 to the population. First institutions would suffer a baby recession as no babies would enter the population for five years. Dependency ratios describe the relationship between workers and dependents. C.8 kids/family =ZPG) ZPG is achieved when births and immigration = deaths and emigration (See Weeks. Dividing the dependent population by the working population determines it. Cultural Factors Affecting Population Policy . new house). the base is so large that population continues to expand. Large Notice the problem that a country with a large population has in bringing its population under control. a growth rate as high as 10 percent would only add 200. a new car. (Dependency Ratio = Dependents / Workers) Example: Dependency in the U. This calls attention to the Rate Vs. In Third-World settings factories are needed to hire the unemployed. however. 1981:188). and the military would have no new recruits for five years. Base issue in demographics. D. but in some countries. In 1980. Then after the baby-ban is lifted. Shock waves of population have negative effects on the rest of the social structure. People tend to be lulled into quietude because the rates have dropped. Later (1. If a country like Nicaragua. The extra money can be used to build security (savings account. What infrastructure that is already in place experiences even greater strain as population pressure increases. but it would adversely affect other social structures. QUESTION: What if China was to outlaw babies for five years? What would that do to their social structure? The Chinese social structure would be overwhelmed. E. Dependency at a National Level: Dependency Ratios Nation states experience the same problems that families do when the number of dependents in the population is too large compared to the number of people who are available to support those dependents. High dependency ratios mean that money is being directed toward support of dependents and not toward the development of the infrastructure.

poverty encourages population growth. • Male children are the social security for the elderly. A large family is living proof of the virility of the male." Malthus warned a couple of hundred years ago that if people did not control population through preventative check. In order to prevent births (assuming one wants to). a variety of culture factors act to keep birth rates high. but she argues that. • Male children carry on the family name. The United Nation predicts that the population in areas like Central America will increase 120 percent over the next thirty years. income must grow just to maintain current standards of living. Population and Poverty Population growth in the Third World threatens to exceed the carrying capacity and overwhelm gains achieved through economic growth. In many developing countries. People act. As population increases. In this respect population growth causes poverty. they go with their husband's family). Economic growth encourages what Birdsall (1980) calls a "fortuitous cycle" in that living standards improve and population growth rates decline. the fortuitous cycle may turn vicious.Despite tremendous population pressures in the world. Economic Growth Causes Birth Rates to Decline Economic growth may be a key to reducing both poverty and population growth. it is already too late to address population growth through economic development. Nancy Birdsall (1980) of the World Bank acknowledges that high population growth increases the incidence of poverty. B. Rapid population growth inhibits economic development. • Large families also occur because of individual ignorance. If population growth exceeds economic development. The population density of El Salvador is nearly as great as that of India. A. in more dramatic fashion. the population problem would be dealt with through . but for their own immediate needs. E. The Emotional Conditioning of the Male A General Problem In many cases large families equal status for the males. D. 1983) argues that given the present state of Third World population growth. • Large families are necessary for the poor because the poor cannot count on support from the economy. which in turn increase the desire to have large families. but once they marry. the density per square mile in El Salvador while it stands at 861 in India. individuals have to be convinced that they (and their family) will benefit. The Malthusian Trap Unfortunately if income growth does not keep up with population growth. VIII. doctors are rare. Cultural factors that might act to mitigate population control efforts include: A. standards of living fall. World Watch (1987) doubts the ability of the world to continue rapid economic expansion. Merrick (1986) warns of a "Malthusian trap. In order for a population policy to be effective. • Poverty tends to increase infant mortality. According to the Population Reference Bureau (1998). Kingsly Davis (in PTPP. Many doctors that are present are from first-world countries. inheritance is left for male children only. not for the good of society. • In many countries. • Male children are a ready-made work force (girls may work. Distrust of Doctors Ignorance of Biological Facts A Desire for Sons Family planning efforts inevitable involve visits to clinics and doctors. C. The desire for sons is a major impediment to birth control programs. B. potential parents have to be aware of the biological process that creates babies in the first place. another human attribute that is attributable to poverty.

" Population Trends and Public Policy. 2000 "World Population Data Sheet. D. D. consume 1/16 the resources that Americas consume. Positive checks are called positive. John R 1996 Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues." Population Bulletin. has only 300 million people." Washington. India has over a billion people while the U.: Population Reference Bureau. Thomas W. Hager." Washington. Merrick.C." Washington." Washington." Population Bulletin. Leon F. (6th Ed." Washington. In terms on conserving resources perhaps population growth is more detrimental to the environment in First World countries. Bibliography Birdsall. First World Countries often consume more resources than do Third World Countries.Gardner 1986 "Immigration to the U. Ehrlick. Humanity encounters the Malthusian trap when the population becomes so large that "prevention" is no longer possible in bringing population growth under control. 1993 "World Population Data Sheet. D. 41(3): 1-51. and disease will reduce population size.C. 35(5):1-48. White. World Population Data Sheet 1985 "World Population Data Sheet. The population growth rate. Nancy 1980 "Population Growth and Poverty in the Developing World. but because they work. November 2.C. Richard Alan 1984 The Morass: United States Intervention in Central America. New York: Harper & Row. Paul The Population Bomb. Resources. .C. according to Merrick.16. and the Environment. Indians per capita. 1998 "World Population Data Sheet.: Population Reference Bureau." Washington.: Population Reference Bureau. Hunger Action Forum 1988 (October 1988) Kingsly Davis 1983 "Population Change. 41(4):1-50. is already too great. D. not because they are desirable. however.) Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Bouvier. 1986 "Population Pressures in Latin America.S.C. Science News 1998 (April 4.C. Mary 1998 "How Demographic Fatigue Will Defuse the Population Bomb." Washington." Washington. If this scenario is correct.C.positive checks.: The Unfinished Story" Population Bulletin." Newsweek. 1987 "World Population Data Sheet. pestilence. (December) 4: 1.S. and Robert W. 1998: 212) Weeks.: Population Reference Bureau. 2006 "World Population Data Sheet. War. The reason is that Americans consume many times more resources than Asians. There are no more frontiers that can absorb excess population.C." Washington.C. D.: Population Reference Bureau. D.: Population Reference Bureau.: Population Reference Bureau. D. However.: Population Reference Bureau. D. famine. Each American added to the world population has a greater impact on the ecology of the planet than each Asian that is added. D. Example: Where Do We Control Population? Third World countries have many more people than do First World Countries. 1990 "World Population Data Sheet.: Population Reference Bureau. The only solution then is the positive check on population. 2003 "World Population Data Sheet. 1988 "World Population Data Sheet. death rates should begin to rise in countries where population growth out paces the economy (See Africa).

edu   . World Watch 1987 State of the World.W.World Development Forum 1988 "The Latin Block on Land Reform" World Development Forum 6(9):1-4. Send comments and questions to me via e-mail: rlong@delmar. New York: W. Norton.

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