Social Institutions

  • Social Institutions
  • Institutions are essential parts of a society, ex. police stations, hospitals, businesses. Impose structure on how individuals behave. Guide what we do.
    • They don’t need any one individual, just need many of them, and each individual is very replaceable. Whereas without institution major changes can occur to individual. Imbalance in power.
    • A form for filling the need.
    • Sometimes need to be redesigned if they are to be helpful to society, ex. businesses.
  • We think of institutions as a business/corporation, sociologists thinks of social structures, governments, families, hospitals, schools, laws, religion, businesses, etc. All continue without any 1 individual.
  • Social Institutions – Education, Family, Religion
  • Education, Family, Religion – each of these institutions play a fundamental role in creating and supporting society, and each shape the individual in that society.
  • Education – more than going to school, but there’s a hidden curriculum: we learn how to stand in line, wait our turn, and treat our peers. We internalize social inequalities, when boys and girls are treated differently by their teachers.
    • Expectation of teachers affects how students learn. Teachers tend to get what they expect.
    • Teachers put students in categorizations with different expectations, but what if categorization is wrong? Sometimes limiting factor comes from outside the classroom.
    • Sometimes limiting factor comes from outside classroom. Schools experience educational segregation and stratification, because we fund schools through property taxes, which is why different districts are funded differently. Residential segregation.
  • Family – defined by many forms of kinship, including marriage, blood, or adoption. Small nuclear family is more emphasized.
    • Different family values go with different social values of family and economy, ex. rural families were production based, so large. Urban families consumption based, so more strained.
    • Marriage – when people join together. Now, people can experience multiple marriages. Serial monogamous. Why divorce is more common, and creates tension. Some families also contain violence, ex. in child abuse. Also abuses through neglect – children’s basic needs aren’t met. Elder abuse also occurs when family isn’t ready for responsibility of taking care of elders and expense of nursing homes. Spouse abuse also common, and not only physical but also psychological. Women’s shelters don’t always get kids, while social stigma of men not getting abused keeps them quiet.
  • Religion – how religious a person is can range from spiritual/private to being in an institutionalized religion, celebrating certain holidays, etc.
    • Ecclesia – dominant religious organization that includes most members of society, ex. Lutheranism in Sweden and Islam in Iran.
    • Churches are established religious bodies in a larger society.
    • Sects tend to be smaller and are established in protest of established church. They break away from churches. Ex. Mormon/Amish
    • Cults are more radical, reject values of outside society. Rise when there’s a breakdown of societal belief systems, but usually short-lived because depend on inspirational leader who will only live so long.
    • Secularization is the weakening of social and political power of religious organizations, as religious involvement declines.
    • Fundamentalism – reaction to secularization, go back to strict religious beliefs. Create social problems when people become too extreme.
  • Social Institutions – Government, Economy, Health and Medicine
  • Government – we give government the power and authority to manage the country.
    • Some governments take into account will of people, like democracy.
    • Others rule autonomously like dictatorships, no consent of citizens.
    • Communism – classless, moneyless community where all property is owned by community.
    • Monarchy – government embodied by single person, king/queen is the figurehead.
  • Economy
    • Capitalism – private ownership of production with market economy based on supply and demand
    • Socialism – motivated by what benefits society as whole, common ownership of production that focuses on human needs and economic demands.
  • Division of labour in government and economy is functionalist – everyone is required to have responsibility in society.
    • We value certain labours differently. Ex. Garbage men not as valued as athletes. We value jobs that require lots of specialization, rather than jobs essential in our society – creates inequalities because not everyone has access to those valued professions, due to limited education/resources.
  • Healthcare and Medicine – medicine exists to keep people healthy.
    • Medicalization occurs when human conditions previously considered normal get defined as medical conditions and are subject to studies, diagnosis, and treatment. Ex. mental health type issues, and physical issues like birth. People are over diagnosed. Ex. discovery of HIV.
    • Sick role – expectation in society that allows you to take a break from responsibilities. But if you don’t get better or return, you’re viewed as deviant.
    • Delivery of healthcaremassive inequalities in terms of access. We take care of elderly through Medicaid and Medicare, and children through health child insurance. But people in between are left behind – those who populate working force. Affordable Care Act is trying to fix this but too early to tell. Spend a lot of $ on healthcare without desired outcomes, because we invest a lot more in helping people when they are sick instead of preventative medicine.
    • Illness experience – process of being ill and how people cope with illness. Being ill can change a person’s self-identity. Diagnosis of chronic disease can take over your life where every decision revolves around the disease. Stigmas associated with certain diseases like mental illness and STDs. How people experience disease varies too if they have access to resources like palliative care.
    • Social epidemiology looks at health disparities through social indicators like race, gender, and income distribution, and how social factors affect a person’s health. Correlation between social advantages/disadvantages and distribution of health + disease.
  • Functionalism
  • Functionalism is a system of thinking based on ideas of Emile Durkheim that look at society from large-scale perspective, and how each part helps keep society stable.
    • It says that society is heading towards equilibrium. Ex. local businesses must adapt to new ways to cater to new ways to customers
  • Durkheim imagined a balance between institutions and social facts
    • Institutions are structures that meet the needs of society like education systems, financial institutions, marriage, laws, etc.
    • Social facts are ways of thinking and acting formed by society that existed before any one individual and will still exist after any individual is dead.
      • Unique objects that can’t be influenced and have a coercive effect over individual only noticed when we resist. (Ex. the law)
      • Others are moral regulations, religious fates, and social currents like suicide/birth rate (one person committing suicide has no effect of suicide on society)
    • Society is dependent on structures that create it, like cell is dependent on parts that make it up.
      • Intended consequences of institutions are manifest functions, ex. businesses provide a service.
      • Unintended consequences, ex. schools expose students to new activities, and businesses connect people across society – latent functions, indirect effects of institutions.
      • Social dysfunction is process that has undesirable consequences and may reduce the stability of society.
  • Durkheim questioned how do societies stay together
    • Small societies are held together by similarities, but only works for small ones
    • In large societies individuals become interdependent on each other as everyone is specialized in different roles.

In functionalism, a change to production/distribution/coordination will force others to adapt to maintain stable state society. Social change threatens mutual dependence of people in that society. Institutions adapt only just enough to accommodate change to maintain mutual interdependence.

  • Problems – functionalism focuses entirely on institutions without regard for individual (only acknowledged). Also largely unable to explain social change and conflict, so focused on equilibrium little change and conflict is modelled.

 

  • Conflict Theory
  • Focuses on inequalities of different groups in society, based on ideas of Karl Marx that believed society evolved through several stages: feudalism -> capitalism -> socialism.
    • 19th century Europe was capitalist – rich upper class called bourgeoisie and poor lower class was proletariat and majority. Upper class had more power. Lower class depended on upper class, but upper class also depended on lower class for their labour. Significant inequality, which Marx believed led to change. Lower class united to create class consciousness.
    • The thesis was that bourgeoisie ran factories and working class provided labour. Desire of working class to change was the Thesis + antithesis can’t exist peacefully. One side is leave things, other side is looking for change.
    • Struggle would lead to a compromise – a synthesis of the two by creating a new state. Would eventually become new thesis.
  • Ludwig Gumplowicz expanded on Marx by proposing that society is shaped by war/conquest, and cultural/ethnic conflicts lead to certain groups becoming dominant over others.
  • Max Weber said he did not believe collapse of capitalism was inevitable, but argued that several factors moderate people’s reaction to inequality.
  • The equal rights and women’s suffrage movements were all conflicts that resolved in a new thesis.
    • Conflict theory models drastic changes that occur in a society, but doesn’t explain the stability a society can experience, how society is held together (unity), and doesn’t like the status quo.
  • Social Constructionism
  • Social constructionism argues that people actively shape their reality through social interactions – it’s something constructed, not inherent. Things are social products made of the values of the society that created it.
    • A social construct is concept/practice everyone in society agrees to treat a certain way regardless of its inherent value, ex. money.
  • Social constructionism is theory that knowledge is not real, and only exists because we give them reality through social agreement – nations, books, etc. don’t exist in absence of human society.
    • The self is a social construct too – our identity is created by interactions with other people, and our reactions to the other people.
  • 2 types: weak and strong
    • Weak social constructionism proposes that social constructs are dependent on brute facts, which are the most basic and fundamental facts. Ex. brute facts are what explain quarks in atoms, not the atoms themselves.
      • Institutional facts are created by social conventions and do rely on other facts. Ex. money depends on the paper we have given value.
    • Strong social constructionism states that whole of reality is dependent on language and social habits; all knowledge is social construct and no brute facts. We created idea of quarks and everything we know to explain it. No facts that just exist.
  • Main criticism to social constructionism is it doesn’t consider effects of natural phenomenon on society, and for strong social constructionism it has difficulties explaining those phenomena because they don’t depend on human speech or action. Strong SC only explains reality through thoughts of humans, not using fundamental brute facts.

 

  • Symbolic Interactionism
  • Takes a small-scale view of society, focuses on small interactions between individuals like hanging out with a friend. Sees society as buildup of everyday typical interactions.
    • Addresses the subjective meanings people believe to be true – meaning is the central aspect of human behavior. Humans ascribe meanings to things, and act towards those things based on ascribed meaning. Language allows humans to generate meaning through interactions, and humans modify meanings to thought processes.
    • Particularly interested in symbols use that people use to contribute values/beliefs to others.
  • Developed by George Herbert Mead,f believed development of individual was a social process as were the meanings individuals assigned to things. People change based on interactions with objects, events, ideas, others, and assign meaning to things to decide how to act.
  • Herbert Blumer continued Mead’s work. He proposed 3 tenants to explain symbolic interactionism:
    • We act based on meaning we’ve given something, ex. tree is place to rest.
    • Different people assign different meanings to things. We give meaning to things based on social interactions, ex. someone tells us tree is infested with ants. But we have different views of the tree and we act differently.
    • The meaning we give something isn’t permanent, ex. something bites my back, so might not sit under next one I find.
  • Criticism – doesn’t ask same questions as large scale sociologists do. Sometimes considered as supplemental instead of full theory, because restricted to small interactions between individuals. But gives different perspective necessary for fully understanding society. How societies can change when created/recreated by social interactions.
  • Feminist Theory
  • A contemporary approach of looking at world from macroperspective, developed from feminism movement originating from conflict theory by focusing on stratifications/inequalities in society. It examines women’s social roles in education, family, and workforce.
    • It looks beyond more common male-based perspective to focus on gender inequalities in society.
    • Women face discrimination, objectification, oppression, and stereotyping.
  • Different types of feminist theory
    • 1) Gender differences – expectations for gender are passed down from generation to generation. Examines how women’s position in social situations differ from men – different values with feminity than men. Seen as soft, care, submissive. And different social roles, women stay home while men go to war. Objectified as sexual instruments.
    • 2) Gender inequality – central to all behavior. Women subordination is viewed as inherent feature. Our society is a patriarchy – men are governing body as heads of families and communities. Married women have higher stress levels than married men/unmarried women, and have less influence in public sphere. Men occupy higher paying jobs.
      • Ben Barres began his life as women, and after sex change he noticed people thought his research was much better than his sister Barbara’s. However, Barbara was the same person.
    • 3) Gender oppression – women are not only unequal as men, but they’re oppressed and abused. Institution of family is especially beneficial to men. Family was split into 2 types of labour – domestic labour was done by women, while men worked outside home in labour. Without men working, family wouldn’t survive.
      • Created educational and economic gap between men and women.
    • 4) Structural oppression – women’s oppression and inequality are due to capitalism, patriarchy, and racism. Direct parallel to conflict theory. Women like working class are exploited because of capital model, but not all women express oppression in same way. Linked to race, class, sexual orientation, age, and disability. Men are associated with mind, while women are associated with body.
  • Feminist theory is not an attempt to replace men – different perspective on society to point out inequalities between men and women due to institutions of society.
  • Rational Choice Theory and Exchange Theory
  • Rational Choice Theory and Exchange Theory centre on economics.
  • Rational Choice Theory – people not only motivated by money, but do what’s best to get more good
    • Main assumption is the idea that everything people do is fundamentally rational – a person is acting as if they were weighing costs and benefits of each action.
    • People act in self-interest, driven by personal desires and goals.
    • How do we calculate value of these actions? Social resources being exchanged – time, information, prestige, etc.
    • 3 main assumptions:
      • Completeness (every action can be ranked)
      • Transitivity (since A is preferable to B, A is also preferable to C)
      • Independence of irrelevant alternatives (if I have a fourth option, won’t change order of how I ranked first 3 options. Just add it in to existing order).
    • Exchange Theory – application of rational choice theory to social interactions.
      • Looks at society as series of interactions between individuals.
      • Used to study family relationships, partner selection, parenting, etc.
        • Sexual selection – natural selection arising through preference for one sex for characteristics in individuals of the other sex
        • Social selection – idea that an individual’s health can influence their social mobility. Also that social conditions can affect reproductive rates of individuals in a population.
      • Interactions are determined by weighing rewards and punishments of each action.

Basic principle behind exchange theory – behavior of individual in interaction can be figured out by comparing rewards and punishments.

Assumptions: People seek to rationally maximize their profits, behavior results in a reward is likely to be repeated – more often reward is available the less valuable it is, interactions operate within social norms, people access have information they need to make rational choices, human fulfillment comes from other people, and standards people use to evaluate interaction changes over time – reward to one is punishment for another.

  • What kind of interactions? Self-interest and interdependence. We form relationships to benefit ourselves, no one is self-sufficient.
    • Subjective interactions of rewards + punishments of each interaction.
  • Critiques – are we really rational? Some people’s choices are limited by gender/ethnicity/class, and make choice not in best interest. And why some people follow social norms that act in best interest of others. And is it really possible to explain every social structure by actions of individuals? Relationships aren’t always linear too.

 

  • Social Theories Overview
  • Functionalism – how society can exist over time. Society is always trying to come to an equilibrium. Institutions remain constant and only make minor change when stability is lost. Ex. Business institution had to adapt to online shopping boom.
  • Conflict Theory – how societies changes and adapt over time through conflict. Two opposing positions would merge to create a new society where both are content.
  • Social Constructionism – what society is rather than how it exists/changes. Everything is created from the mind of society. Agreement that something has meaning and value that it doesn’t have intrinsically, ex. Money. Everything only has value because everyone agrees it has value; we construct the world around us.
  • Symbolic Interactionism – Puts a lot of focus on individual and how they behave – based on meanings we give to things, ex. Tree = shade. People are created by their society, and act based on past experiences, and meanings they’ve given things. Not everyone gives same meaning to same things. We interact with the world to give it meaning.
    • Functionalism = looking at stability of society, conflict theory = how society changes, social constructionism = how things are given value, symbolic interactionism = how individuals act.

Feminist Theory – macro level perspective on society, focussing on gender inequalities inherent to patriarchal capitalist societies, where men occupy governing positions in family and community. Both men and women often forced into gender-based roles. Focuses on gender differences, gender inequalities, gender oppression, and structural oppression.

  • Rational Choice Theory – people always take rational actions, weighing costs and benefits of each action to gain most benefit. 3 assumptions: completeness, transitivity, and independence of irrelevant alternatives.
  • Exchange Theory – application of RCT to social interaction. Family, work, interpersonal relationships. People behave with goal of maximizing own rewards while minimizing punishments, and people can make rational choices in social norm, and self-interest and interdependence guide interactions, and from relationships from cost-benefit analysis.

 

  • Relating Social Theories to Medicine
  1. Functionalism – if we look at medicine from this point of view, when people become ill medicine ensures they return to functional state.
    • Being sick is detrimental to well-being of society as a whole. Assumption is you’re not supposed to participate in society when sick, affecting society on small scale.
    • Medicine stabilizes social system in emergency situations like earthquakes, etc. to provide medical assistance needed.
      • Day-to-day, it improves quality of life for aging population to allow them to contribute longer to society.
  1. Conflict TheoryWealthier people can pay for best medical care, the poor can’t afford the deductibles/insurance so they skip hospitals, and are sick for longer.
    • Unequal access to valuable resources in society (education, housing, jobs) leads to heath disparities and limited access to medical care.
    • Power struggle between different interest groups can affect health of individual, ex. Factories vs. people living nearby.
  2. Social Constructionism – we attach different meanings to different behaviours, and have preconceptions of different people (stereotypes)
    • We have preconceptions about different races, genders, and subcultures. Assumptions dangerous to medical profession – affect how you treat patient and their diagnosis.
      • There are stereotyped assumptions on both sides – patient may feel some symptoms aren’t important enough to mention, or doctor makes false assumption based on how patient appears.
    • Can’t declare characteristic of person based on circumstance, ex. people who don’t work can still afford healthcare while those who work hard can’t afford it.
    • Medicalization – patients/doctors construct illness out of ordinary behavior.
  3. Symbolic Interactionism
    • Doctor-patient relationship, given meanings to lab coat/stethoscope can affect interaction. Important for realize the meaning the patient has given to tools of medicine, ex. Lab coat is sign of authority.
    • Changes in society – recently, medicalization of society, where everything has a medical fix. Standards of beauty have made many undergo unneeded plastic surgery, or have C-sections. Normal behaviours are being shown as illnesses. Ex. Depression.
  4. Feminist Theory – medicine is still a male-dominated field, heads of doctors and hospitals usually men, and disparity in jobs/salary between the two. Translates into a disparity in power.
  5. Rational Choice-Exchange Theories – what’s purpose of medical system as a whole? Or is it a capitalist competition to earn the most money?
    • People run every aspect of medical system and those people will make decisions that benefit themselves more than random sick stranger, may affect why people go to doctor or not. Some people avoid doctors if they don’t think it will benefit them.
    • Self-interested behavior of people in charge will trickle down and affect patients
  • Outside these theories – where you live can affect your health (food deserts), and nearly impossible to get nutrition a body needs from only these sources. Some neighbourhoods have no gyms/playgrounds.

 

  • Demographics
  • Demographic Structure of Society – Age
  • Sociology looks at different age cohorts (groups), specifically at age groups/generations, because they all live through the same events in certain time.
    • Baby boomers is large population in US, now up to 60s. Grew up in post-WWII periods, leaving work force.
    • Silent generation, older than baby boomers born during Great Depression
    • GI generation – oldest people alive today.
  • Because of new advancements people live longer, estimated by 2025 that 1/4th of population will be >65, right now only 13.5%. 65 is when people retire.
  • Can look at dependency ratio, an age-based measurement takes people <14 and >65 who are not in the labour force, and compares that to # of people who are.
    • Higher the ratio, more dependent people there are.
  • Although living longer means can contribute longer to workforce. But as we become older our body breaks down.
    • Older people are 5x more likely to use health services, but age affects what kind of healthcare they can get – discrimination.
    • Need for society to readjust expectations of old age
    • Can still contribute to social, economical well-being of society.
  • Life Course Theory – aging is a social, psychological, and biological process that begins from time you born till time you die.
  • Age-based expectations no longer apply as they used to as people live longer
  • Age Stratification Theory – suggests age is way of regulating behavior of a generation
  • Activity Theory – looks at how older generation looks at themselves. Certain activities or jobs lost, those social interactions need to be replaced so elderly can be engaged.
  • Disengagement Theory – older adults and society separate, assumes they become more self-absorbed as they age. But considers elderly people still involved in society as not adjusting well, which is debatable.
  • Continuity Theory – people try to maintain same basic structure throughout their lives. As they age make decisions to adapt to external changes and internal changes of aging.
  • Although need more healthcare professionals and other services to support them, we have a great social/cultural/economic resource is available to us.
  • Demographic Structure of Society – Race and Ethnicity
  • Race – a socially defined category based on physical differences between groups of people. Racial formation theory looks at social/economic/political forces that result in racially constructed identities.
    • Sometimes differences are real, but sometimes only defined by history.
    • In the US, race is defined by skin color but hair color is irrelevant. Latin America can be broken down to 5-6 races in SA.
  • Ethnicity is also socially defined, but these groups are defined by shared language, religion, nationality, history, of some other cultural factor. Less statistically defined than racial groups and can change over time.
    • A minority can be absorbed into majority after a few generations. A minority is a group that makes up less than half the total population and is treated differently due to some characteristic.
  • Racial differences can cause drastic events such as:
    • Genocide or population transfer (forcefully moved)
    • Intercolonialism (minorities segregated and exploited)
    • Assimilation – person’s culture comes to resemble that of another group
  • Many differences in healthcare, education, wealth, morality rate, etc.
  • Interesting discrimination is present in criminal justice system. More incarceration of minorities.
  • Pluralism encourages racial and ethnic variation.
  • Dominant groups have racialized minority groups – ascribes some racial identity to members of racial group they didn’t identify for themselves.
  • Demographic Structure of Society – Immigration
  • Immigrants face severe challenges when arriving to a new country. People want to help them but are wary of their different cultures.
  • # of immigrants can put pressure on welfare capabilities of a country, as they tend to move to industrialized nations like NA, Middle East, and Europe/Asia.
    • Can be functional by alleviating labour shortages and reducing population dam in heavily populated origin countries.
    • However, can be exploited by countries unconcerned about global inequalities from profit seeking.
  • Immigration itself can cause problems
    • If too much immigration, area can’t handle demand for social services
    • Too many skilled people may leave their home country.
    • Fear/dislike of immigrants a different race than host country.
    • People immigrate because of war, famine, or can’t make a living in home country. Better jobs and education.
    • Transnational corporations take advantage of cheap labour to bring costs down.
  • Every country has own policies, but often biased depending on where applicant is from.
    • In 1986 US passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, forbade hiring of illegal immigrants. But extended amnesty and legal status to illegal immigrants already there.
    • Some policies encourage families of immigrants to move, to keep money in local economy instead of sending them money.
    • European Union, residents in EU can live and work anywhere in EU.
    • Since 9/11 immigration more difficult, increased security checks.
  • Demographic Structure of Society – Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation
  • Media often portrays gender as binary – female vs. male.
  • However, there’s 5 considerations: biological, identity (gender they identify as), expression (gender they express), attraction (gender they’re romantically attracted to), and fornication (gender they’re sexually attracted to)
    • Biological – XX or XY, but some intersex people have 1 or 3+, so express different sex characteristics. Some intersex characteristics are born with both male and female characteristics due to hormones.
    • Gender – a social construction, two factors – identity and expression. Many possible combinations, ex. someone biological male and identify as male (cis-gender), or identify as female (trans-gender). Cis-gender male can express a socially male or female appearance. Some people are gender queer (not male or female), and can present as gender queer or identify as male/female.
    • Sexual Orientation – not dependent on sex/gender of a person. You can be attracted to any gender but only have sex with females, or any combination. You can be attracted to no gender. Stereotype norm is straight.
      • Is there a “gay gene”? No answer. Even if there is, does that make their love any less real?
      • If it is genetic, discrimination is as wrong as it is in race. If it isn’t and is a choice, still equally bad because race itself is a social construction.
      • Restrictions on rights of homosexuals – ex. marry or visit partner in hospital.
  • Many differences between men and women, discrimination, pay, expected roles. Men more likely to get heart disease while women more likely to have psychological illness.
    • Societal expectations affect what problems will be reported.
  • Gender schema theory – cognitions that constitute the male identity.
  • Gender script – organized information regarding order of actions appropriate to familiar situation.

 

  • Urbanization
  • Urbanization is movement of people from rural to urban areas.
  • Rural is anywhere with <1000 people per square mile. Has to have les than 25000 residents.
  • Urban areas include cities/towns with >1000 people per square mile.
    • Cities have over 50 000 people.
    • Metropolis have over 500 000 people.
    • If many metropolises are connected, called megalopolis (ex. 44 million people in NYC area).
  • Cities are sites of culture, but also host to more crime. According to conflict theory, they’re sources of inequality. From symbolic interactionism viewpoint, cities are places where people can get different perspective of looking at life.
  • Why people move to urban areas?
    • More job opportunities, and more options for education/healthcare/etc.
    • Isn’t enough land for everyone to farm.
    • Crowding can occur in cities. And less sense of belonging, so we join groups to form communities.
  • Suburbanization is movement away from cities, but commute for work can be long and harder to get medical help. However, suburbs form their own economic centres. Ex. Silicon Valley.
    • Beyond suburbs are exurbs, prosperous areas outside the city where people live and commute to city to work, like suburbs.
  • Urban renewal – revamping old parts of cities to become better. But can lead to gentrification, which means when redone they target a wealthier community which increases property value. People there before are pushed out because they can’t afford it – leads to great inequality in cities.
  • Rural rebound – people getting sick of cities and moving back to rural areas. People who can afford to leave the city.
    • Often move to scenic rural areas

 

  • Population Dynamics
  • Looks at how population of a region changes – factors that increase/decrease a population.
  • 3 factors contribute to total growth rate: fertility, migration, mortality
    • Fertility is ability to have babies, which add to the population. Fecundity is the potential reproductive capacity of a female.
    • Migration is number of people moving permanently into/out of countries. Doesn’t change total people on planet but does change it in a region.
    • Mortality is death, decreases population.
  • To measure these, we use rates. Measure rates over 1 year, and per 1000 people so rates are comparable.
  • What affects population changes:
    • Increase: Births and Can also look at births in terms of fertility rate. On avg women in US gives birth to 2.1 children in her life. If 2, no increase/decrease in population.
    • Decrease: Death and emigration. Can calculate mortality rate by age group, or country.
  • Growth rate is not always a positive number. While world population grows, growth rate of some countries is negative.
  • Demographic Transition
  • Demographic transition is a model that changes in a country’s population – population will eventually stop growing when country transitions from high birth/death rates to low fertility/mortality.
    • This stabilization often occurs in developed countries.
    • When immigrants travel to developed countries, they affect demographic transition of the country by increasing fertility and decreasing mortality (often healthier people migrate).
  • 5 stages:
  • 1) High birth rates due to limited birth control, advantage for more workers, and high death rate due to disease. Most countries at this stage prior to 18th century when death rates fell in Europe. Large young and small old population.
  • 2) Seen in beginnings of developing populations. Population rises as death rate decreases. 19th century Europe.
  • 3) Death rates and birth rates fall because of birth control, fewer childhood deaths, and children no longer needed to work – not economically beneficial. Slower expansion and longer lived elderly.
  • 4) Population stabilizes, both birth and death rates are low. Population is large.
  • 5) Speculation. World population stabilizes, Malthusian Theorem suggests. Run out of resources, food shortage. Leads to public health disaster and force population to stabilize and decrease birth rate – negative growth rate.

 

demographic-transition

 

  • Globalization Theories
  • Globalization is the sharing of culture, money and products between countries.
  • Not recent – ex. 1st century BCE Silk Route.
  • World-Systems Theory – importance of world as a unit, divides world into 3 countries: core, periphery, and semi-periphery.
    • Core = Western Europe and US.
    • Periphery = Latin America and Africa. Greatly influenced by and depend on core countries and transnational corporations.
    • Semi-periphery = India and Brazil, middle-ground.
      • Criticized on being too focused on core countries and ignoring class struggles of individual countries.
    • Modernization Theory – all countries follow similar path of development to modern society.
      • With some help traditional countries can develop similarly to today’s developed countries did.
    • Dependency Theory – Reaction to Modernization theory. Uses idea of Core + Periphery countries to look at inequalities.
      • Periphery countries export resources to Core countries, and don’t have means to develop.
    • Hyperglobalist Perspective sees it as a new age in human history – countries become interdependent and nation states themselves are less important. Don’t agree if good or bad.
    • Skeptical Perspective – critical, considers it as being regionalized instead of globalized.
      • Third world countries aren’t being integrated into global economy with same benefits.
    • Transformationalist Perspective – doesn’t have specific cause or outcome. Believe national governments are changing, perhaps becoming less important but difficult to explain change so simply.
      • They see the world order is changing. Just a new world order is being designed. Outcome unknown.
  • Globalization – Trade and Transnational Corporations
  • Trade has been created and supported by international regulatory groups like World Trade Organizations, and agreements like the NA Free Trade Agreement. No country completely independent.
    • Without groups trade would be impractical. They regulate flow of goods and services between countries, reduce tariffs, and make customs easier.
    • Agreements often benefit private industries the most.
  • Companies that extend beyond borders of a country are called multinational/transnational corporations.
    • McDonalds, or General Electric. Half of employees working in other countries.
    • Some T&Cs have more weight than entire nations – influence economics/politics by donating money, and influence global trade laws.
  • 2 major impacts on country – on economy and culture. Much of economic globalization results from global market competition for cheap labour, and locating factories in cheapest locations.
    • Developing nations provide incentives like tax-free zones or cheap labour so T&Cs can bring jobs and industry to agricultural areas.
    • Negatives: Workers abroad exploited, and outsourcing can hurt core country.
    • Positive: Better allocation of resources, higher product output, more employment worldwide, cheaper prices. Cultural practices also passed and spread abroad – diffusion.

Social Movements

  • When a group of people come together with shared idea, can create lasting effects by shaping future of society.
    • Need organization, leadership, and resources to make an impact.
  • Activist movements aim to change some aspect of society, while regressive/reactionary movements resist change.
  • Several theories of why they form:
    • Mass Society Theory – Scepticism about groups, said they only form for people seeking refuge from main society. Ex. Nazism.
    • Relative Deprivation Theory – actions of groups oppressed/deprived of rights that others in society enjoy. Ex. Civil Rights Movement, a response to oppression to people of color. 3 things needed for social movement: relative deprivation, deserving better, and belief conventional methods are useless to help.
      • Criticisms: people who don’t feel deprived join social movement even if they don’t suffer themselves. And too risky for oppressed to join a movement due to lack of resources. And when all 3 present, no social movement created.
    • Resource Mobilization Theory – looks at social movements from different angle. Instead of looking at deprivation of people, focuses on factors that help/hinder a social movement like access to resources. Need money, materials, political influence, media, and strong organizational base to recruit members – charismatic figure needed.
      • Martin Luther King Jr. in Civil Rights Movement.
    • Rational Choice Theory – people compare pros and cons of different courses of actions and choose the one they think is best for themselves.
      • Have to assume all actions can be listed, and transient. Also assumes person has full knowledge of outcomes. Rarely all true.
    • Can cause widespread panics, crazes (fads, ex. the anti-vaccine movement).
    • Social movement begins with incipient stage (public takes notice). Will either succeed or have to adapt. In the end, become part of bureaucracy they try to change – become absorbed into institutions.
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