Henslin ch 5: Societies and Social Networks
Nov 18, 2015
Henslin ch 5: Societies and Social Networks
societies and their transformation
stages of society
hunting and gathering societies
"A human group that depends on hunting and gathering for its survival."
"The healing specialist of a tribe who attempts to control the spirits thought to cause a disease or injury; commonly called a 'witch doctor'.
the success rate of shamans is about comparable to the success rate of psychiatrists
1/3 get better, 1/3 stay the same, 1/3 get worse
typically small with about 25-40 members
given more prestige
just like hunters, not always
provide upwards of 80% of the society's food
still a few hunter-gatherer societies around, but they are often kept in artificial 'preserves' where they are studied by researchers from other societies
attempts to stop cultural diffusion are typically not very successful
pastoral and horticultural societies
"A society based on the pasturing of animals."
"A society based on cultivating plants by the use of hand tools."
the use of tools is the significant difference from gathering in hunting and gathering societies
began to develop about 10,000 years ago
"The first social revolution, based on the domestication of plants and animals, which led to pastoral and horticultural societies."
the division of labor becomes more complex and the accumulation of wealth creates inequality
the beginning of status equaling wealth
"a society based on large-scale agriculture"
"The second social revolution, based on the invention of the plow, which led to agricultural societies."
occurred 5,000-6,000 years ago and is marked by the invention of the plow
happened different times in different places
also the time that writing began, thus beginning recorded history
gender inequality grew in many societies as males took over metal work and plowing, which had more prestige
obvious question to which we do not have an answer: why did women not take over metal work and plowing?
"A society based on the harnessing of machines powered by fuels."
"The third social revolution, occurring when machines powered by fuels replaced most human and animal power."
began in England in 1765 with the invention of the steam engine
also the beginning of the modern period
there has not been just one industrial revolution
at least 3
first: England, steam engine
second: 1800s, movement to the factory system of production
third: 20th century, invention of the silicon chip
process of growing inequality began to be fought in the 19th and 20th centuries by the formation of unions and the fight for workers' rights
in the US, unions directly led to the formation of the middle class in the 20th century
post-industrial (information) societies
"A society based on information, services, and high technology, rather than on raw materials and manufacturing."
Third Industrial Revolution
marked by the invention of the microchip and the social shift to service sector labor
information becomes like money
eg Facebook makes money on advertising, selling your information
biotech societies (?)
"A society whose economy increasingly centers on modifying genetics to produce food, medicine and materials."
not well established as a new stage distinct from information society
all societies loosely (not exactly) follow this path of development
groups within society
"Individuals who temporarily share the same physical space but who do not see themselves as belonging together."
"People, objects, and events that have similar characteristics and are classified together."
family and close friends
interacted with more but have less influence
in-groups and out-groups
"Group toward which one feels loyalty."
enforce a high level of conformity
"Groups toward which one feels antagonism."
"A group whose standards we refer to as we evaluate ourselves."
the people whose opinions matter the most to you
very similar to primary groups
primary group is more specific, referring to family and close friends
reference group can include people you haven't even met
"The social ties radiating outward from the self that link people together."
can also act as social boundaries
just as we accept some people into our social networks, we reject others
exclusion from groups can increase inequality among groups
"A cluster of people within a larger group who choose to interact with one another."
social network analysis is a well-established methodology that helped the US forces find Saddam Hussein
Small World Phenomenon
Stanley Milgram (1933-1984) sent letters to "starters" and argued they took 6 moves to reach the "target", starting the game "six degrees of Kevin Bacon"
letters asking people to find a way they're connected to another person they don't know
Judith Kleinfeld (2002) found that only 30% actually found the target with some as low as 5% success rate
people are too separated by social boundaries for this to work but if people are in the same social network it does work
"the ways in which individuals affect groups and the ways in which groups influence individuals"
"A group small enough for everyone to interact directly with all the other members."
"The smallest possible group, consisting of two persons."
"A group of three people."
small groups as they get bigger become more stable but have less intimacy
"The alignment of some members of a group against others."
a problem with triads and larger groups
effects of group size on attitudes and behavior
John Darley and Bibb Latané (1968)
study where people went into booths and listened to a recording (they thought it was a real person) and were led to believe the person has a seizure
groups of 6 people
the diffusion of responsibility
the larger the group, the more people feel "someone else will help"
Kitty Genovese (1964)
mugged between two apartment buildings
people opened windows and yelled at the mugger but no one went to help and no one called the police
the people saw everyone else with the windows open and assumed someone else would help
counteracting diffusion of responsibility
if you're in a situation and need help, tell a particular person to help
"Someone who influences other people."
types of leaders
"An individual who tries to keep the group moving toward its goals; also known as a task-oriented leader."
a role you see more men stepping into than women
"An individual who increases harmony and minimizes conflict in a group; also known as a socioemotional leader."
generally more women than men
groups will generally have more than one leader
established by Ronald Lippitt and Ralph White (1958)
cultural bias -- studies performed in societies with democracy as a cultural value
studied only boys
leadership styles are not a "one-size-fits-all" and each is effective for different situations
"An individual who leads by giving orders."
"An individual who leads by trying to reach a consensus."
"An individual who leads by being highly permissive."
Asch experiment (1952)
line experiment of conformity
showing people a set of lines and asking which one is longest, with others in the group being confederates all agreeing the wrong one
33% went with the group 50% of the time
40% went with the group at least some of the time
only 25% refused to go with the group
having a single dissenter strengthened the likelihood of giving the right answer
Milgram experiment (1963, 1965)
Stanley Milgram (once a student of Solomon Asch)
Teachers, learners, authority, and electrocution
65% went all the way to 450 volts when there was no verbal feedback from learner and they could not be seen
40% went all the way when learners could be seen
when another confederate teacher is added who refuses to shock the learner, only 5% go all the way
criticized for ethics when it was done
moratorium placed on doing this experiment by all social scientists
Milgram ran 24 different variations of the experiment and in over half of the variations over 60% refused to go all the way
experiment was redone in 2009 under slightly different conditions
created a fake game show, offering money and prizes to shock people
80% gave what they thought were lethal shocks for money and prizes
Philip Zimbardo (1933-)
"The Stanford Prison Experiment" (1971)
in a mock prison in Stanford's basement subjects were randomly assigned to be either guards or prisoners
guards got progressively more sadistic and cruel
none of the prisoners walked out, even though the doors were unlocked
Zimbardo ended up internalizing the role of warden
the study was originally planned to go on for two weeks but was called off after six days
people end up internalizing roles relatively quickly
we want to live up to the social expectations of the role
"A narrowing of thought by a group of people, leading to the perception that there is only one correct answer and that to even suggest alternatives is a sign of disloyalty."
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