Introduction to Sociology

Review for Exam One

 

The exam is multiple choice, maybe some matching.

The exam is worth 25 points.

 

What is sociology? Broadly speaking, what does sociology teach us? What do we mean when we say that US culture teaches us to rely on individualistic explanations?  What are the problems associated with that view? What is “victim blaming”? Who is C. Wright Mills and what does his “sociological imagination” method entail? What’s its purpose? What are private troubles and public issues? What is the important of understanding their intersections? What is false consciousness? How would a sociologist approach the problem of differences in high school test scores? What is globalization?  Who is Emile Durkheim and what did he theorize to be the cause of suicide?  Is there more than one type of suicide? Is so, what are they and how do the types social forces Durkheim identified? What are integration and regulation and how do they differ? How did Durkheim go about testing his hypotheses?  What are the key differences between sociology and biology and psychology? What is anomie?

 

What is Plato’s cave and what does it tell us about knowledge and reality? To what respectively do the terms ontology and epistemology refer? Why is it important to know the difference? What are different ways to divide up sociological knowledge? What are the fundamental differences between the order and conflict emphases? What about the differences between macrosociology (i.e. macroscopic or macrolevel approaches) and microsociology (i.e. microscopic or microlevel approaches)? What are the different schools of sociology? Know the differences and know the main figures associated with a given school. Which schools are typically microscopic? What are the differences between objective and subjective orientations in sociological theorizing and research? Know the 2X2 table at the end of lecture on Organizing Sociological Knowledge. Know the examples, for they are paradigms of their respective domains (macro-objective, etc.). Why did your professor say in class that exchange theory was controversial as a sociological school?

 

The lectures on human evolution involve a lot of obscure taxonomic labels (such as “Australopithecine” and “Paranthropus”). I am not concerned that students know these different genera, species, and varieties, or the phases of tool technology, etc. However, there several things students need to know about this lecture. The line of descent that led to the emergence of our species resulted from divergence from a common ancestor that was also a common ancestor to modern day chimpanzees and bonobos in Africa. That divergence occurred some 5-7 million years ago and is marked by bipedal (or upright) locomotion. Thus the first biological “innovation” in the emergence of the hominid line that would lead to humans was a change in the pelvis permitting the possibility of larger craniums with more complex brains. The complex brain, which is the second “innovation” on the road to our species, make possible the high level of material and symbolic culture humans have achieved. However, complex brains are not the cause of culture. As far as we know, our species (Homo sapiens) has no instinct. Know that around 200,000 years ago, modern humans emerge, and between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago Homo sapiens progress to behavioral modernity, with clear evidence of control of fire, modern language facility, abstract thinking, and other features we associate with human behavior. Written language appears around 5000 years ago.

 

What did Feuerbach argue about the relationship between religion and social organization? How did Feuerbach’s conclusions influence Marx? What is mode of production? What are the elements that make up a mode of production (e.g. forces of production, relations of production, etc.)? What is the relationship between the mode of production (base, civil society) and law, state, ideology, and consciousness (superstructure, political society)? From this point of view, do ideas and consciousness primarily determine social reality or does social reality primarily determine ideas and consciousness? What is the source of social change? What does Marx mean when he argues that the mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life? What is the source of social revolutions? What is feudalism? What is capitalism? What is socialism? What is communism?

 

What are some of the patterns we see in wealth and income inequality in American society? Who are Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore and what is the substance of their explanation of social stratification? What is Melvin Tumin’s critique of their theory?  What is Social Darwinism? What is the relationship between structural functionalism and Social Darwinism?  What is Herbert Spencer? What is the relationship between Social Darwinism and Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” thesis? What holds society together in Smith’s view? What is the problem with this view? What is the difference between difference/sameness and inequality/equality? What is a tautological argument? What is an illegitimate teleology? Do you see a relationship between social Darwinism and victim blaming? How would structural functionalists explain the inequality in pay between, for example, a heart surgeon and a hospital orderly?

 

What is the difference between Max Weber and Karl Marx’s method of class analysis?  What are the basic social classes in Marx’s model? What are approximate percentages of the capitalist class hierarchy pyramid? What is the basis for social class according to Marxist theory? Which social class is most dominant in modern society? Know the basic meaning behind such terms as privilege, status, power, and control. What is the relationship between authority and ownership and control over the means of production? What is alienation? What do we mean by capitalist accumulation? What do capitalists use the revenues obtained through the sale of commodities for? What is constant capital? What is variable capital? What is surplus value? What do we mean by the phrase the “science of exploitation”? What can we show using manufacturing census data and a standard equation for determining productivity? What is the difference between absolute surplus value and relative surplus value? How has this process shaped patterns of ownership in the United States?  What are the predictions Marx and Engels make in the Communist Manifesto concerning the development of capitalism over time. What are the consequences of the spread of capitalism? What is Proletarianization? What is globalization? What is a “crisis of overproduction”? What causes it? What are attempted solutions to this problem by capitalists? Do these solutions work in the long term?

 

What is the difference between sex and gender? What determines sex? What determines gender? What is the problem of biological explanations of gender? Is gender constructed the same everywhere? What is gender socialization? How do each of the three sociological perspectives – structural-functionalism, conflict/materialist, and symbolic-interactionists – conceptualize and theorize gender? What is the difference between matrilineal and patrilineal lines of descent? What is the relationship between the reckoning of descent and the typed of gender-based societies, i.e., egalitarian, matriarchy, and patriarchy. What are the types of feminist theories? Play particular attention to the details of these theories. Would you be able to recognize them in a matching section?  What do the statistics indicate about the gender divisions in society (occupation, wages, politics, etc.)? What is the relationship between gender and housework and child rearing? What is sexism? What is institutional sexism? What is the relationship between sexism and sexual violence? Why do men rape? What is the function of rape? What is the relationship between media culture and perceptions of beauty? How have conceptions of beauty changed? What do Ehrenreich and English argue in the article, “The Sexual Politics of Sickness?” What is the cult of invalidism? Were there social class differences in how the cult of invalidism affected women? What was the theory many doctors were claiming explained mental illness in women in the late nineteenth century? What do Ehrenreich and English identify as the principle causes of the cult and its effects? Are there parallels between the way women are treated today and they way they were treated in one hundred years ago? What is Engels’ theory concerning the state, class, and patriarchy?

 

What is race? It is a meaningful biological construct? Is it a meaningful social construct and historical reality? What is hyperdescent and hypodescent? What is a racial group? What is ethnicity? How does it differ from race? What is an ethnic group? Is this the same as a minority group? What is prejudice? What is discrimination? How does prejudice differ from discrimination? Can you have one without the other?  What are the major competing definitions of racism? What is ideological racism? What is institutional racism? What is structural racism? What is the new racism?  There are two contrasting bodies of theory used in the study of race and ethnic relations. What are they? What aspects of group interactions does each emphasize? Know which body of theory that specific theories are associated with, such as assimilation.  What are the competing images of assimilation? What are the stages of Robert E. Park’s race relations cycle theory? What arguments did Horace Kallen make in favor of multiculturalism? What was WEB Du Bois’ argument? What was his solution? What is “American exceptionalism”? What is the Caste School of Race Relations? What is caste? What is colonialism? Be able to differentiate between external and internal colonialism. What is neo-colonialism? Who is Georges Balandier and what did he argue? Who is Robert Blauner and what did he argue?  Who is Edward Said? What are the two basic interests in critical race theory? What is the relationship between social structure and ideals such as rule of law and equal protection? What is a counter-account of social reality? What is the problem with neutrality? Why is scholarship inevitably political?