The scientific study of people in groups.
Eg. ethnic groups and social media
Functionalism believes that society
is best studied as an organic
system, like the body
Conflict School believes that the most important characteristics
is humanity's ability to produce goods to meet their needs
Theories/Theorists on Social
Sigmund Freud believed that the
unconscious mind is the main idea
behind personality development.
Thru the process of socialization the
ego and superego develop in order
to control the basic drives and
instincts of the id
Jean Piaget looked at how kids learn (cognitive development)
influenced by social and psychological factors. It's a 4 stage process,
firstly Sensorimotor (direct experience e.g. touch) then Pre-operational
(experience world thru mental communication), then Concrete
operational stage (complex operations e.g arithmetic) lastly Formal
operational stage (manipulate ideas without the need of physical
Charles Cooley thought that in a process similar to socialization we develop our
identity. He explained this theory by using the image of a looking glass, the reactions of
others are like mirrors that show us who we are. We react to this perception with
feelings such as pride/embarrassment resulting with us developing a set of beliefs
George Herbert Mead believed that the self develops thru social interaction with others. Stage 1
(Preparatory) is when children imitate the behaviour of people around them e.g parents. Stage 2 (Play) when
children act out the roles of adults e.g doctors. Stage 3 (Game) discover rules and roles within a team.
Abraham Maslow believes that
we're motivated by our
unconscious mind to behave a
certain way. We need to meet our
needs on the lower hierarchy
before we can go higher on the
Erik Erikson said that the development of self is a life long
process. Throughout an individual's life they're given
challenges to complete and move onto another
A lifelong process in which we learn all the knowledge,
skills, and attitudes we need to survive in society.
Learning how to function in
groups, and how to follow
behaviours society expects
Used to describe
the ability we
develop to think
ahead of time
A deliberate attempt by
society to replace aspects of
an individual's socialization
with new learnings
Agents of Socialization
individuals and organizations
involved in this process
Foundation of our personality developments, taught gender
roles. Learn about personal qualities e.g love, trust
First agent to make us
deal with formal rules
Manifest function - teach us the
academic skills we need to prosper
Latent Function - socialize us to
understand and cooperate with strangers
Gives youth a chance to
do and talk about things
they cannot talk about
with family e.g drugs, sex
gender roles about what
society thinks is acceptable for
girls/boys. Presents a
unrealistic image of life
Focuses on the afterlife and moral questions e.g Have i lived a good life?
Stage theories of socialization break down the human process
of becoming complete selves into human process of becoming
complete selves into stages that individuals must pass through
Auguste Comte the first person to study Sociology, founder of
the term "Sociology". Used scientific methods to study society.
Observes societies change over time and tries to identify the
factors that lead to change
Society States - the study of society's customs,
institutions, and laws and interactions
Social dynamics - the stages through which
society must go through to experience change
Emile Duckherm founder of modern sociology,
focused on the change nature of society. Identified 3
types of suicide (Egotistic, Polturistic, Anomic)
Karl Marx was a german scholar, witnessed social change through the industrial evolution.
Determined that the struggle for power and wealth is the driving force behind society.
Max Weber a german sociologist, believed Marx's
theory placed too much emphasis on economic
power and ignored the growing middle class. He
argued that religion, education, politics and family
structure make up of a persons values.
Nature vs. Nurture
Focuses on whether nature (a person's biological characteristics) or nurture
(learned and environmental factors) impact a person's personality,
understanding of themselves, sexual orientation, gender roles, etc.
Soloman Asch (Conformity) - Found that majority will agree
with a group of people not because we think they are right but
because we want to be accepted by the group, we are less
likely to disagree with anyone.
Stanley Milgram (obedience) -
This experiment showed how
much social situations can
influence people's behaviour.
Results found were that even
when manipulating many diff
experimental variables, people
were still obedient
Philip Zimbardo (influence of the situation) - Wanted to see how ordinary
men chosen to be the most healthy and "normal" would respond to a
radical change to their normal roles in life. Found that some indiviuals
are willing to take risks whereas others are too used to their lifestyles
When someone near a crime or
bullying scene has witnessed it
happened but does nothing to help.
Eg. Kitty Genovese walking through the street at night,
somebody stabbing her repeatedly, people observed from the
apartments but did nothing, which resulted in her death.
Cults and the Power of Cults
FLDS - forced child marriages,
abuse/rape of underage girls. Resulted
in going to prison for 2 felony charges
on child sexual assault
People's Temple - Forced confessions and beating of
kids, public embarrassment, people working unrealistic
hours. Resulted in leader, Jim Jones shooting himself
Aum Shinrikyo - Released poison gas in Tokyo subway, wanted to
become Emperor of Japan. Resulted in death from hanging.
The Family - Used drugs on his followers, used girls to
get men to join the cult, murdered randoms. Resulted
in Charles Manson, being sent to prison for life.
Some people have "more power" others have less.
Sometimes it's equally distributed or completely unequal.
Run by the government correctional courts, have
specific steps & procedures that are written up.
Offender is arrested by police, court proceeding to
determine if guilty, then sent to correctional agencies.
Eg. Criminal System
Impersonal and functions independently from
society, own set of rules, winner takes all attitude.
Eg. Community groups
Family, Love, & Marriage
Monogamy - a person can have 1
wife/husband at a time
Polygamy - a person can
marry 2 or more people at
a man can marry 2 or more women
a women can marry 2 or more men
Low rate of divorce, more people to
share chores with. Jealousy, less focus
on romance more on economics
Triangular Theory of Love
1) Intimacy - feeling of closeness, connections, and bondedness