Sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions. Sociology's subject matter is diverse, ranging from crime to religion, from the family to


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Unit 8 What is Sociology

Text A

Sociology

Sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions. Sociology's subject matter is diverse, ranging from crime to religion, from the family to the state, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from social stability to radical change in whole societies. Unifying the study of these diverse subjects of study is sociology's purpose of understanding how human action and consciousness both shape and are shaped by surrounding cultural and social structures.

Sociology is an exciting and illuminating field of study that analyzes and explains important matters in our personal lives, our communities, and the world. At the personal level, sociology investigates the social causes and consequences of such things as romantic love, racial and gender identity, family conflict, deviant behavior, aging, and religious faith. At the societal level, sociology examines and explains matters like crime and law, poverty and wealth, prejudice and discrimination, schools and education, business firms, urban community, and social movements. At the global level, sociology studies such phenomena as population growth and migration, war and peace, and economic development.

Sociologists emphasize the careful gathering and analysis of evidence about social life to develop and enrich our understanding of key social processes. The research methods sociologists use are varied. Sociologists observe the everyday life of groups, conduct large-scale surveys, interpret historical documents, analyze census data, interview participants of groups, and conduct laboratory experiments. The research methods and theories of sociology yield powerful insights into the social processes shaping human lives and social problems and prospects in the contemporary world. By better understanding those social processes, we also come to understand more clearly the forces shaping the personal experiences and outcomes of our own lives. The ability to see and understand this connection between broad social forces and personal experiences -- what C. Wright Mills called "the sociological imagination" -- is extremely valuable academic preparation for living effective and rewarding personal and professional lives in a changing and complex society.

Students who have been well trained in sociology know how to think critically about human social life, and how to ask important research questions. They know how to design good social research projects, carefully collect and analyze empirical data, and formulate and present their research findings. Students trained in sociology also know how to help others understand the way the social world works and how it might be changed for the better. Most generally, they have learned how to think, evaluate, and communicate clearly, creatively, and effectively. These are all abilities of tremendous value in a wide variety of vocational callings and professions.

Sociology offers a distinctive and enlightening way of seeing and understanding the social world in which we live and which shapes our lives. Sociology looks beyond normal, taken-for-granted views of reality, to provide deeper, more illuminating and challenging understandings of social life. Through its particular analytical perspective, social theories, and research methods, sociology is a discipline that expands our awareness and analysis of the human social relationships, cultures, and institutions that profoundly shape both our lives and human history.

^ Exercise 1. Give English equivalents:

социальные взаимоотношения; разнообразный; начиная от преступности и кончая религией; разделение; разделяемая вера; объединение; цель; сознание; формировать; окружающий; захватывающая и разъясняющая область научных исследований; вопросы; социальные причины и последствия; половая принадлежность; преступное поведение; старение; на уровне общества; исследовать; предрассудки; городское общества; мировой уровень; явления; рост населения; придавать большое значение; тщательный сбор; доказательства; обогатить; ключевой; разнообразный; наблюдать; проводить широкомасштабные опросы (анкетирование); толковать; результаты переписи населения;

участники; приводить к глубокому проникновению в суть социальных процессов; современный; личный опыт и результаты нашей собственной жизни; способность; связь широкий; социологическое воображение; крайне; ценный; стоящий; сложный; разрабатывать; исследовательские проекты; результаты научного исследования; оценивать; ясно; творчески; способности огромной ценности; широкое разнообразие; призвание; предлагать; отчетливый; поучительный; принимающий за аксиому; требующий напряжения сил; аналитический взгляд на будущее; расширят нашу осведомленность; сильно (глубоко);

^ Exercise 2. Give a brief summary of the text.


Text B

The Sociology of Education


Part I

The sociology of education is the study of how public institutions and individual experiences affect education and its outcomes. It is most concerned with the public schooling systems of modern industrial societies, including the expansion of higher, further, adult, and continuing education.

Education has often been seen as a fundamentally optimistic human endeavour characterised by aspirations for progress and betterment. It is understood by many to be a means of overcoming handicaps, achieving greater equality and acquiring wealth and social status. Education is perceived as a place where children can develop according to their unique needs and potential. It is also perceived as one of the best means of achieving greater social equality. Many would say that the purpose of education should be to develop every individual to their full potential and give them a chance to achieve as much in life as their natural abilities allow. Few would argue that any education system accomplishes this goal perfectly. Some take a particularly negative view, arguing that the education system is designed with the intention of causing the social reproduction of inequality.

A systematic sociology of education began with Émile Durkheim's work on moral education as a basis for organic solidarity and that by Max Weber, on the Chinese literati as an instrument of political control. It was after World War II, however, that the subject received renewed interest around the world: from technological functionalism in the US, egalitarian reform of opportunity in Europe, and human-capital theory in economics. These all implied that, with industrialization, the need for a technologically skilled labour force undermines class distinctions and other systems of stratification, and that education promotes social mobility. However, statistical and field research across numerous societies showed a persistent link between an individual's social class and achievement, and suggested that education could only achieve limited social mobility. Sociological studies showed how schooling patterns reflected, rather than challenged, class stratification and racial and sexual discrimination. After the general collapse of functionalism from the late 1960s onwards, the idea of education as an unmitigated good was even more profoundly challenged. Neo-Marxists argued that school education simply produced a docile labour-force essential to late-capitalist class relations.


Part II

The perspective of conflict theory, contrary to the structural functionalist perspective, believes that society is full of vying social groups with different aspirations, different access to life chances and gain different social rewards. Relations in society, in this view, are mainly based on exploitation, oppression, domination and subordination. Many teachers assume that students will have particular middle class experiences at home. Some children are expected to help their parents after school and carry considerable domestic responsibilities in their often single-parent home. The demands of this domestic labour often make it difficult for them to find time to do all their homework and thus affects their academic performance.

Where teachers have softened the formality of regular study and integrated student’s preferred working methods into the curriculum, they noted that particular students displayed strengths they had not been aware of before. However few teachers deviate from the traditional curriculum, and the curriculum conveys what constitutes knowledge as determined by the state - and those in power. This knowledge isn’t very meaningful to many of the students, who see it as pointless. Wilson & Wyn state that the students realise there is little or no direct link between the subjects they are doing and their perceived future in the labour market. Anti-school values displayed by these children are often derived from their consciousness of their real interests. Fitzgerald states that “irrespective of their academic ability or desire to learn, students from poor families have relatively little chance of securing success”. On the other hand, for middle and especially upper-class children, maintaining their superior position in society requires little effort. The federal government subsidizes ‘independent’ private schools enabling the rich to obtain ‘good education’ by paying for it. With this ‘good education’, rich children perform better, achieve higher and obtain greater rewards. In this way, the continuation of privilege and wealth for the elite is made possible in continuum.

Conflict theorists believe this social reproduction continues to occur because the whole education system is overlain with ideology provided by the dominant group. In effect, they perpetuate the myth that education is available to all to provide a means of achieving wealth and status. Anyone who fails to achieve this goal, according to the myth, has only himself to blame. Wright agrees, stating that “the effect of the myth is to…stop them from seeing that their personal troubles are part of major social issues”. The duplicity is so successful that many parents endure appalling jobs for many years, believing that this sacrifice will enable their children to have opportunities in life that they did not have themselves. These people who are poor and disadvantaged are victims of a societal confidence trick. They have been encouraged to believe that a major goal of schooling is to strengthen equality while, in reality, schools reflect society’s intention to maintain the previous unequal distribution of status and power This perspective has been criticized as deterministic and pessimistic. It should be recognised however that it is a model, an aspect of reality which is an important part of the picture of the modern world.


^ Exercise 3. Give English equivalents:

Part I

индивидуальные опыты; затрагивать; результаты; дальнейший; взрослый беспрерывный; стремление; улучшение; средство преодоления преград; достижение большего равенства; приобретение благосостояния; мало кто; оспаривать; достигать; цель; превосходно; социальное воспроизводство неравенства; согласованная солидарность; литераторы (образованные люди); возобновленный интерес; реформа поддержания равноправия; возможность; подразумевать; подрывать; классовые различия; исследование на местах; устойчивая связь; школьные образцы; отражать; оспаривать (ставить под сомнение); явная добродетель; способная рабочая сила.
Part II
конкурирующие социальные группы; вознаграждения; подавление; подчинение; значительные обязанности по дому; учебный план; отклоняться; включать в себя; составлять; определять; значимый; бессмысленный; происходить; осознание; безотносительно; способности к обучению; желание учиться; завоевать успех; поддержание; требовать; финансировать; получать; продолжение; основываться; в действительности; увековечивать миф; ,быть не в состоянии; обвинять; соглашаться; утверждать; социальные вопросы; лживость; терпеть; ужасная работа; жертва; мошенничество общества; поощрять; верить; намерение; предшествующее; распределение; признавать.



Exercise 4. Give brief summaries of part I and part II of the text.

Text C
The Sociology of Culture
1
The sociology of culture concerns culture—usually understood as the ensemble of symbolic codes used by a society —as it is manifested in society. Culture in the sociological field can be defined as the ways of thinking, the ways of acting, and the material objects that together shape a people's way of life. Culture can be any of two types, non-material culture or material culture.

Cultural sociology first emerged in Weimar Germany, where sociologists such as Alfred Weber used the term Kultursoziologie (cultural sociology). Cultural sociology was then "reinvented" in the English-speaking world as a product of the "cultural turn" of the 1960s, which ushered in structuralist and postmodern approaches to social science. This type of cultural sociology may loosely be regarded as an approach incorporating cultural analysis and critical theory. Cultural sociologists tend to reject scientific methods, instead focusing on words, artifacts and symbols.

2

"Culture" has since become an important concept across many branches of sociology, including resolutely scientific fields like social stratification and social network analysis. As a result, there has been a recent influx of quantitative sociologists to the field. Thus there is now a growing group of sociologists of culture who are not cultural sociologists. These scholars reject the abstracted postmodern aspects of cultural sociology, and instead look for a theoretical backing in the more scientific vein of social psychology and cognitive science.

"Cultural sociology" is one of the largest sections of the American Sociological Association. The British establishment of cultural studies means the latter is often taught as a loosely-distinct discipline in the UK.

The sociology of culture grew from the intersection between sociology, as shaped by early theorists like Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, and with the growing discipline of anthropology where researchers pioneered ethnographic strategies for describing and analyzing a variety of cultures around the world. Part of the legacy of the early development of the field is still felt in the methods. For instance, relationships between popular culture, political control, and social class were early and lasting concerns in the field.

3

As a major contributor to the Conflict Theory, Marx's ideas also dealt with culture. Marx's belief of culture is that the most powerful members of a society are those who live in the ruling class. These members set up the culture of a society in order to provide the best interests to that society. He has also talked about how a society's economic status determines their values and ideologies.

E. Durkheim held the belief that culture has many relationships to society which include: power over individuals belongs to certain cultural categories, and beliefs such as God; certain rites and myths create and build up social order by having more people create strong beliefs; the greater the number of people who believe strongly in these myths more will the social order be strengthened; culture had its origins in society, and from those experiences came evolution into things such as classification systems.

4

M. Weber innovated the idea of a status group as a certain type of subculture. Status groups are based on things such as: race, ethnicity, religion, region, occupation, gender, sexual preference, etc. These groups live a certain lifestyle based on different values and norms. They are a culture within a culture, hence the label subculture. Weber also had the idea that people were motivated by their material and ideal interests, which include things such as preventing one from going to hell. Weber also explains that people use symbols to express their spirituality, and that symbols are used to express the spiritual side of real events, and that ideal interests are derived from symbols.


^ Exercise 5. Give English equivalents:

ансамбль; проявлять; заново изобретать; культурный поворот; представлять; широко; объединять; отрасль; решительно; приток; теоретическая поддержка; научное направление; широко трактуемая дисциплина; пересечение; исследователи; разработать; разнообразие культур; наследство; ритуалы; происхождение; опыты; ввести понятие; статусная группа; профессия; пол; ад; духовность; происходить.

^ Exercise 6. Give a brief summary of the text.


____________________________________Grammar_________________________________
Forms of the Participle
building (строящий) - Present Participle Active
having built ( построив) - Perfect Participle Active
being built ( будучи строящимся кем-то) - Present Participle Passive
built ( построенный кем-то) - Past Participle Passive
having been built ( будучи построенным кем-то ) - Perfect Participle Passive

Exercise 1.Translate into Russian paying attention to the Participle.

1. Everybody looked at the dancing girl. 2. The little plump woman standing at the window is my grandmother. 3. The man playing the piano is Kate's uncle. 4. Entering the room, she turned on the light. 5. Coming to the theatre, she saw that the performance had already begun. 6. Looking out of the window, he saw his mother watering the flowers. 7. Hearing the sounds of music we stopped talking 8. She went into the room, leaving the door open.
Exercise 2. Use the Present Participle.

1. All the people who live in this house are students. 2. The woman who is speaking now is our secretary. 3. The apparatus that stands on the table in the corner of the laboratory is quite new. 4. The young man who helps the professor in his experiments studies at an evening school for la bo ratory workers. 5. People who take books from the library must return them in time. 6. There are rnany pupils in our class who take part in all kinds of extra-curricular activities.
Exercise 3. Translate into Russian paying attention to the Past Participle.

1. My sister likes boiled eggs. 2. We stopped before a shut door. 3. Tied to the tree, the goat could not run away. 4. They saw overturned tables and chairs and pieces of broken glass all over the room. 5. This is a church built many years ago. 6. The books written by Dickens give us a realistic picture of the 19th century England. 7. She put a plate of fried fish in front of me. 8. The coat bought last year is too small for me now. 9. Nobody saw the things kept in that box.
Exercise 4. Open the brackets using Present Participle or Perfect Participle.

1. (to do) his homework, he was thinking hard. 2. (to do) his homework, he went for a walk. 3 (to sell) fruit, he looked back from time to time, hoping to see his friends. 4. (to sell) all the fruit, he went to see. his friends. 5. (to eat) all the potatoes, she drank a cup of tea. 6. (to drink) tea, she scalded her lips. 7. (to run) in the yard, I fell and hurt my Knee. 8. (to look) through some magazines, I came across an interesting article about UFOs. 9. (to write) out and (to learn) all the new words, he was able to translate the text easily. 10. (to live) in the south of our country, he cannot enjoy the beauty of St. Petersburg's White Nights in summer. 11. (to talk) to her neighbour in the street, she did not notice how a thief stole her money. 12. (to read) the story, she closed the book and put it on the shelf. 13. (to buy) some juice and cakes, we went home. 14. (to sit) near the fire, he felt very warm.
Exercise 5. Open the brackets using the necessary form of the Participle.

1. (to translate) by a good specialist, the story гpreserved all the sparkling humour of the origi nal. 2. (to approve) by the critics, the young author's story was accepted by a thick magazine. 3. (to wait) for some time in the hall, he was invited into the drawing-room. 4. (to wait) in the hall, he thought over the problem he was planning to discuss with the old lady. 5. They reached the oasis at last, (to walk) across the endless desert the whole day. 6. (to lie) down on the soft couch, the exhausted child fell asleep at once. 7. She went to work, (to leave) the child with the nurse. 8. (to phone) the agency, he left (to say) he would be back in two hours. 9. (to write) in very bad handwriting, the letter was difficult to read. 10. (to write) his first book, he could not help worrying about the reaction of the critics. 11. (to spend) twenty years abroad, he was happy to be coming home. 12. (to be) so far away from home, he still felt himself part of the family. 13. She looked at the enormous bunch of roses with a happy smile, never (to give) such a wonderful present. 14. (not to wish) to discuss that difficult and painful problem, he changed the conversation.
Exercise 4.Translate into Russian paying attention to the Absolute Participle Construction.

1. The next morning, it being Sunday, they all went to church. 2. For the moment the shop was empty, the mechanic having disappeared into a room at the back. 3. There being nothing else on the table, Oliver replied that he wasn't hungry. 4. Mrs. Maylie being tired, they returned more slowly home. 5. Their search revealing nothing, Clyde and she walked to a corner. 6. The wind being favourable, our yacht will reach the island in no time. 7. I had long tasks every day to do with Mr. Mell, but I did them, there being no Mr. and Miss Murdstone here. 8. It being now pretty late, we took our candles and went upstairs. 9. He being no more heard of, it was natural to forget everything. 10. He started about five, Riggs having informed him that the way would take him three hours. 11. Our horses being weary, it was agreed that we should come to a halt. 12. It having been decided that they should not go out on account of the weather, the members of the party were busy writing their notes. 13. The wind stirring among trees and bushes, we could hear nothing. 14. You can set your mind at ease, all being well. 15. There being no chance of escape, the thief was arrested on the spot. 16. Oliver knocked weakly at the door and, all his strength failing him, sank near the door. 17. The bridge having been swept away by the flood, the train was late. 18. There being little time left, they hired a cab to get to the theatre in time. 19. It being cold and damp, a fire was lighted for the weary travellers to warm themselves by. 20. It being pretty late, they decided to postpone their visit. 21. The hour being late, she hastened home. 22. The sun having set an hour before, it was getting darker. 23. The weather being cold, he put on his overcoat. 24. The weather having changed, we decided to stay where we were. 25. The weather being very warm, the closet window was left open. 26. And the wind having dropped, they set out to walk. 27. The vessel being pretty deep in the water and the weather being calm there was but little motion. 28. The resistance being very high, the current in the circuit was very low.

Exercise 5. Use Complex Object with the Participle.

E.g. He was reading in the garden. She saw him.

She saw him reading in the garden.

1. The girl was singing. I heard her. 2. They were talking about computers. He heard them. 3. You and you friend were walking along the street yesterday. I saw you. 4. The little girls were playing on the grass. We watched them. 5. The ship was leaving the port. He stood and looked at it. 6. She was sleeping peacefully in her bed. Mother watched her. 7. The cat was rubbing itself on my leg. I felt it. 8. They were fishing. We saw it. 9. The pupils were writing a test-paper. The teacher watched them. 10. A caterpillar was crawling on my arm. I felt it. 11. We heard I. Arkhipova last night. She was singing a Russian folk song. 12. I watched the sun. It was rising. 13. I heard him. He was singing an English song. 14. We noticed a man. The man was cleaning his shoes. 15. He saw two girls. They were dancing on the stage. 16, She watched the children. They were running and playing in the garden. 17. I saw her. She was arranging her hair, 18. We saw our neighbour. He was listening to the latest news on the radio. 19. John heard his sister. She was talking loudly on the veranda. 20. We saw Ben. He was crossing the square. 21. They heard their father. He was playing the piano in the drawing-room. 22. I can see the train. It is coming. 23. I watched the rain. It was beating down the flowers in the garden. 24. I saw a group of boys. They were eating ice-cream. 25. We noticed a group of people. They were digging potatoes in the field. 26. Didn't you see her? She was smiling at you.

Test yourself

Look through text C again and do the following tasks:

  1. Comment on the following sentences:


1. Culture in the sociological field can be defined as the ways of thinking.

  1. true b)false c)no information


2. Cultural sociology first emerged in Weimar Germany.

a) true b)false c)no information
3. As a major contributor to the Conflict Theory, Weber's ideas also dealt with culture.
a) true b)false c)no information
4. Status groups are based on things such as: race, ethnicity, religion, region, occupation,

gender, sexual preference, etc.

a) true b)false c)no information


II. To which part of the text belongs the following sentences:


  1. Weber also had the idea that people were motivated by their material and ideal interests.



  1. 1 b) 2 c)3 d) 4



2. Cultural sociologists tend to reject scientific methods, instead focusing on words, artifacts

and symbols.



  1. 1 b) 2 c)3 d) 4



  1. Marx's belief of culture is that the most powerful members of a society are those who live in the ruling class.




  1. 1 b) 2 c)3 d) 4


  1. "Cultural sociology" is one of the largest sections of the American Sociological Association..



  1. 1 b) 2 c)3 d) 4


  1. Choose the right answer to the following question:


Who held the belief that culture has many relationships to society?


  1. K. Marx

  2. M. Weber

  3. E. Durkheim

  4. C. Wright Mills




  1. Define the main idea of the text:




  1. Culture in the sociological field can be defined as the ways of thinking, the ways of acting, and the material objects that together shape a people's way of life.

  2. The sociology of culture concerns culture—usually understood as the ensemble of symbolic codes used by a society —as it is manifested in society.

  3. The sociology of culture grew from the intersection between sociology and with the growing discipline of anthropology.

  4. M. Weber innovated the idea of a status group as a certain type of subculture.

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