John Nagle

Introducing Sociology

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Mills said that when we develop a sociological imagination we begin to see how wider social forces connect with our personal biographies. For Mills, the sociological imagination is particularly powerful when we identify the society we live in, rather any personal or individual failings, as responsible for many of our problems.
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Erving Goffman called this the “interaction order”. Our sense of self only becomes “real” when it is performed and when others accept the validity of this act.
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GENDER IS NOT WHAT WE HAVE, BUT WHAT WE DO …
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Talcott Parsons argued that socialization leads to us accepting specific gender roles, with women adopting specifically feminine attributes and men adopting masculine attributes.
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The postmodernist perspective claims that we can never possess enough knowledge of society to identify laws and that human knowledge changes over time anyway.
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For Auguste Comte, the science of sociology is to predict the future course of society by uncovering the laws or principles that govern history.
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The postmodern rupture with progress is caused by a widespread lack of faith in science and technology and in political and social transformation. Jean-François Lyotard (1924-98) defined the “postmodern condition” as symptomized by the end of “metanarratives”.
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This anxiety is often seen as indicative of “postmodernism”: the idea that there has been a disruptive break with modernity and its emphasis on progress.
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The act of cultural consumption, according to Bourdieu, is important in maintaining class distinctions. While class was once seen to be defined by what we produce (our jobs) class is increasingly characterized by what we consume
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Foucault argued that these processes of surveillance and control, first perfected in the institutions of the asylum and the prison, had expanded outwards to dominate practically all aspects of modern society.
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The panopticon is the idea that an individual guard could monitor numerous prisoners without the inmates being able to tell if they were being watched.
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gaining knowledge of insanity, the aim was to control it.
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Foucault shows how institutions gradually developed as forms of social control.
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Knowledge can be dangerous, as it generates new forms of power and greater self-control. Knowledge can limit our liberty.
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Knowledge is the key to social power, as the more knowledge you possess about individuals and groups, the more power you have to control them.
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Social constructivism implies that social reality is a consequence of social processes and practices.
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Deep acting occurs when a worker draws upon emotions they believe to be authentic to achieve a strong relationship with customers. Surface acting is when someone displays emotions they believe are inauthentic to conform to work rules and norms.
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In any particular theatre of social life we are either actors or audience.
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Goffman was concerned with what he termed the “interaction order”: how we act and behave when in the presence of others.
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Capitalism is seen to occur first in countries where the Protestant Reformation was successful.
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