NATURE AND SCOPE OF SOCIOLOGY
• Define sociology.
• Discuss the development of sociology.
• Identify different methods of sociology.
• Give the importance of sociology.
Lesson 1. Sociology as Science
• What is Sociology?
Sociology is the scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture. The term sociology was first used by Frenchman Auguste Comte in the 1830s when he proposed a synthetic science uniting all knowledge about human activity. In the academic world, sociology is considered one of the social sciences.
• History of Sociology
Although sociology has its roots in the works of philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, and Confucius, it is a relatively new academic discipline. It emerged in the early nineteenth century in response to the challenges of modernity. Increasing mobility and technological advances resulted in the increasing exposure of people to cultures and societies different from their own. The impact of this exposure was varied, but for some people it included the breakdown of traditional norms and customs and warranted a revised understanding of how the world works. Sociologists responded to these changes by trying to understand what holds social groups together and also to explore possible solutions to the breakdown of social solidarity.
• The Birth Of Sociology
The term sociology was coined by French philosopher Auguste Comte in 1838, who for this reason is known as the “Father of Sociology.” Comte felt that science could be used to study the social world. Just as there are testable facts regarding gravity and other natural laws, Comte thought that scientific analyses could also discover the laws governing our social lives. It was in this context that Comte introduced the concept of positivism to sociology—a way to understand the social world based on scientific facts. He believed that, with this new understanding, people could build a better future. He envisioned a process of social change in which sociologists played crucial roles in guiding society.
Ginsberg defined sociology as the study of society that is of the web or tissue of human interactions and human interrelations. Man is a social-cultural being and society is both natural and necessary for man. It is difficult for men to live in isolation. They always live in various groups and associations. As members of these groups, they act and behave in a certain manner. The behavior of each ...
Other classical theorists of sociology from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries include Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber. As pioneers in sociology, most of the early sociological thinkers were trained in other academic disciplines, including history, philosophy, and economics. The diversity of their trainings is reflected in the topics they researched, including religion, education, economics, psychology, ethics, philosophy, and theology.
These pioneers of sociology all had a vision of using sociology to call attention to social concerns and bring about social change. In Europe, for example, Karl Marx teamed with wealthy industrialist Friedrich Engels to address class inequality. Writing during the Industrial Revolution, when many factory owners were lavishly wealthy and many factory workers despairingly poor, they attacked the rampant inequalities of the day and focused on the role of capitalist economic structures in perpetuating these inequalities. In Germany, Max Weber was active in politics while in France, Emile Durkheim advocated for educational.
• What Do Sociologists Study?
Sociologists study all things human, from the interactions between two people to the complex relationships between nations or multinational corporations. While sociology assumes that human actions are patterned, individuals still have room for choices. Becoming aware of the social
processes that influence the way humans think, feel, and behave plus having the will to act can help individuals to shape the social forces they face. Sociology as Science
• Why Is Sociology a Science?
Why is social science (sociology) science? Is sociology simply a pseudo-science? After all, its ability to predict the future is questionable! Isn’t it? What is science? In mathematics, 2 + 2 always = 4. Sociology often cannot make precise predictions. In response, one might argue that just because the subject matter of sociology is more difficult to study than the subjects pursued in other sciences, it does not mean that the scientific method is inappropriate for the social sciences. The subject matter of sociology experiences continuous change. This fact alone renders efforts at prediction difficult. Sociology is a science every bit as much as biology or chemistry. Social sciences, like natural and biological sciences, use a vigorous methodology. This means that a social scientist clearly states the problems he or she is interested in and clearly spells out how he or she arrives at their conclusions. Generally, social scientists ground the procedure in a body of existing literature. This is precisely how other sciences function.
The life of man is many sided. There is an economic aspect, legal aspect, a religious aspect, political aspect, and so forth. Sociology, therefore, can understand a social life as a whole, by taking help from other social sciences which study exclusively one or the other aspects of human society. Sociology, for example, in order to understand a particular society has to take material of the ...
The Founders of Sociology
Each field of academic study has its own cast of characters, and sociology is no exception. Although countless individuals have contributed to sociology’s development into a social science, several individuals deserve special mention.
The French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798–1857)—often called the “father of sociology”—first used the term “sociology” in 1838 to refer to the scientific study of society. He believed that all societies develop and progress through the following stages: religious, metaphysical, and scientific. Comte argued that society needs scientific knowledge based on
facts and evidence to solve its problems—not speculation and superstition, which characterize the religious and metaphysical stages of social development. Comte viewed the science of sociology as consisting of two branches: dynamics, or the study of the processes by which societies change; and statics, or the study of the processes by which societies endure. He also envisioned sociologists as eventually developing a base of scientific social knowledge that would guide society into positive directions.
The 19th-century Englishman Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) compared society to a living organism with interdependent parts. Change in one part of society causes change in the other parts, so that every part contributes to the stability and survival of society as a whole. If one part of society malfunctions, the other parts must adjust to the crisis and contribute even more to preserve society. Family, education, government, industry, and religion comprise just a few of the parts of the “organism” of society.
Social studies is defined by the Board of Director of the National Council for the social studies as, the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, ...
Not everyone has shared Spencer’s vision of societal harmony and stability. Chief among those who disagreed was the German political philosopher and economist Karl Marx (1818–1883), who observed society’s exploitation of the poor by the rich and powerful. Marx argued that Spencer’s healthy societal “organism” was a falsehood. Rather than interdependence and stability, Marx claimed that social conflict, especially class conflict, and competition mark all societies.
Despite their differences, Marx, Spencer, and Comte all acknowledged the importance of using science to study society, although none actually used scientific methods. Not until Emile Durkheim (1858–1917) did a person systematically apply scientific methods to sociology as a discipline. A French philosopher and sociologist, Durkheim stressed the importance of
studying social facts, or patterns of behavior characteristic of a particular group. The phenomenon of suicide especially interested Durkheim. But he did not limit his ideas on the topic to mere speculation. Durkheim formulated his conclusions about the causes of suicide based on the analysis of large amounts of statistical data collected from various European countries.
The German sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920) disagreed with the “objective evidence only” position of Durkheim. He argued that sociologists must also consider people’s interpretations of events—not just the events themselves. Weber believed that individuals’ behaviours cannot exist apart from their interpretations of the meaning of their own behaviours, and that people tend to act according to these interpretations. Because of the ties between objective behaviour and subjective interpretation, Weber believed that sociologists must inquire into people’s thoughts, feelings, and perceptions regarding their own behaviours. Lesson 2. Development of Sociology
... of Charles Darwin. As sociology and anthropology emerged as separate sciences. Social scientific criticism is an interpretive method that uses heuristic ... privileged conception of reality of a literate stratum of society revealing little or nothing of the ‘sub-literate culture’, ... Travellers’ reports from the Middle East of a culture radically different from that of the West; along ...
Historical Development of sociology
Sociology is the youngest of the recognized social sciences Auguste Comte in France coined the word ‘sociology’ in his Positive Philosophy published in 1838.He believed that a science of sociology should be based on systematic observation and classification not on authority and speculation. This was a relatively new idea at that time. Herbert Spencer in England published his Principles of Sociology in 1876. He applied the theory of organic evolution to human society and developed a grand theory of social evolution. Lester F Ward an American published his Dynamic Sociology in 1883 calling for social progress through intelligent social action which sociologists should guide. All these founders of sociology were basically social philosophers. They proclaimed that sociologists should collect, organize and classify factual data and derive sound social theories from these facts. While they called for scientific investigation they did relatively little of it themselves. Emile Durkheim gave the most notable early demonstration of scientific methodology in sociology. In his Rules of sociological Method published in 1895,he outlined the methodology which he pursued in his study ‘Suicide’ published in 1897.Instead of speculating upon the causes of suicide ,he first planned his research design and then collected a large mass of data on the characteristics of people who commit suicide and then derived a theory of suicide from these data. Lesson 3. Methods of Sociology
Methods of Sociology
• Comparative Method
The comparative method is carried out in the mind of the researcher. They identify two groups that are similar except for one variable. This method can be used to study past events, it avoids being artificial and poses no ethical issues.
The Phrase “comparative method” refers to the method of comparing different societies or groups within the same society to show whether and why they are similar or different in certain respects. Both Montesquieu and Auguste Comte, often regarded as the founders of sociology, used or recommended ‘comparison’ to establish and explain both differences and similarities between societies.
Culture, as often defined in most sociology textbooks, is the way of life of a society. It is the sum of the ideas, beliefs, behaviors, norms, traditions, and activities shared by a particular group of people (Appelbaum and Chambliss, 1997). According to Giddens (1989), any society cannot exist without a culture. This means that culture is an important element that makes a group of people be ...
• Historical Method
The historical method refers to, “a study of events, processes, and institutions of past civilisations, for the purpose of finding the origins or antecedents of contemporary social life and thus understanding its nature and working. ” This method is based on the idea that our present forms of social life, our customs and traditions, beliefs and values, and our ways of living as such have their roots in the past and that one can best explain them by tracing them back to their origins. • Case Study Method
Case study methods encompass a range of research techniques that are used to examine social phenomena. Researchers primarily focus their study on the micro level, concentrating on individuals, groups, organizations,
institutions, and/or events. The analysis is aimed at investigating contemporary issues or events within their real-life setting. A case study is considered a specific approach or strategy that can be used as a unit of analysis and also the means by which data have been gathered, organized, and presented.
• Functional Method (Functionalism)
Functionalism is the oldest, and still the dominant, theoretical perspective in sociology and many other social sciences. This perspective is built upon twin emphases: application of the scientific method to the objective social world and use of an analogy between the individual organism and society. It is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology. It has its origins in the works of Emile Durkheim, who was especially interested in how social order is possible or how society remains relatively stable.
For example, the government, or state, provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the state depends to keep itself running. The family is dependent upon the school to help children grow up to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. In the process, the children become law-abiding, taxpaying citizens, who in turn support the state. If all goes well, the parts of society produce order, stability, and productivity. If all does not go well, the parts of society then must adapt to recapture a new order, stability, and productivity.
Anthropology introduces culture as a means to perpetuate human existence, because without culture, we would not exist. Individuals are created biologically, while persons are created by social society. Anthropologists firmly believe that our existence is dependent on culture, because culture shapes the social roles people fill on a day to day basis. Without these social roles, people would not ...
• Scientific Method
The scientific method (or simply scientific method) is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as: “a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic
observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.
Lesson 4. Importance of Sociology
Importance of Sociology
Sociology helps us make our lives better by knowing the different societies. Sociology also helps improve the way we think about the attitude of different people in society. • Sociology makes a scientific study of society: Prior to the emergence of sociology the study of society was carried on in an unscientific manner and society had never been the central concern of any science. • Sociology has drawn our attention to the intrinsic worth and dignity of man: Sociology has been instrumental in changing our attitude towards human beings. • Sociology has changed our outlook with regard to the problems of crime etc : It is through the study of sociology that our whole outlook on various aspects of crime has change. The criminals are now treated as human beings suffering from mental deficiencies and efforts are accordingly made to rehabilitate them as useful members of the society. • Sociology has made great contribution to enrich human culture: Human culture has been made richer by the contribution of sociology. The social phenomenon is now understood in the light of scientific knowledge and enquiry. • The value of sociology lies in the fact that it keeps us update on modern situations: It contributes to making good citizens and finding solutions to the community problems. It adds to the knowledge of the society. It helps the individual find his relation to society.
NATURE OF CULTURE
• Define culture.
• Identify the elements, functions and characteristics of culture.
• Describe Philippine cultural values.
• Differentiate gender and culture.
Lesson 1. Definition of Culture
What is Culture?
Culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviours and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another group. In short, Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.
• National Cultures
Cultures are what make countries unique. Each country has different cultural activities and cultural rituals. Culture is more than just material goods, that is things the culture uses and produces. Culture is also the beliefs and values of the people in that culture. Culture also includes the way people think about and understand the world and their own lives.
Different countries have different cultures. For example, some older Japanese people wear kimonos, arrange flowers in vases, and have tea ceremonies.
• Regional or Non-regional Cultures
Culture can also vary within a region, society or sub group. A workplace may have a specific culture that sets it apart from similar workplaces. A region of a country may have a different culture than the rest of the country. For example, Canada’s east coast Maritime region has a different culture than the rest of Canada, which is expressed by different ways of talking, different types of music, and different types of dances.
A family may have a specific set of values, because of this people every time follow their religion to have or find new culture.
• Company Cultures
Culture can also vary within a region, society or sub group. A workplace may have a specific culture that sets it apart from similar workplaces. A region of a country may have a different culture than the rest of the country. For example, Canada’s east coast Maritime region has a different culture than the rest of Canada, which is expressed by different ways of talking, different types of music, and different types of dances.
A family may have a specific set of values, because of this people every time follow their religion to have or find new culture.
Lesson 2. Elements of Culture
What are the elements of culture?
The elements of culture are what make it unique, beautiful and intriguing to those who know nothing of it. • The Seven Elements of Culture
➢ Social Organization
❖ Creates social structure by organizing its members into small units to meet basic needs. ❖ Family Patterns: family is the most important unit of social organization. Through the family children learn how they are expected to act and what to believe. ❖ Nuclear family: wife, husband, children. This is a typical family in an industrial society (US).
❖ Extended family: Several generations living in one household, working and living together: grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins. Respect for elders is strong. ❖ Social classes: rank people in order of status, depending on what is important to the culture (money, job, education, ancestry, etc.)
➢ Customs and Traditions
· Rules of Behavior are enforced ideas of right and wrong. They can be customs, traditions, rules, or written laws.
❖ Answers basic questions about the meaning of life. ❖ Supports values that groups of people feel are important. ❖ Religion is often a source of conflict between cultures. ❖ Monotheism is a belief in one god.
❖ Polytheism is a belief in many gods.
❖ Atheism is a belief in no gods.
❖ Language is the cornerstone of culture.
All cultures have a spoken language (even if there are no developed forms of writing).
People who speak the same language often share the same culture. ❖ Many societies include a large number of people who speak different languages. ❖ Each language can have several different dialects.
➢ Arts and Literature
❖ They are the products of the human imagination.
❖ They help us pass on the culture’s basic beliefs. Examples: art, music, literature, and folk tales
➢ Forms of Government
❖ People form governments to provide for their common needs, keep order within society, and protect their society from outside threats. ❖ Definition of government: 1. Person/people who hold power in a society; 2 Society’s laws and political institutions. ❖ Democracy: people
have supreme power, government acts by and with consent. ❖ Republic: people choose leaders who represent them. ❖ Dictatorship: ruler/group holds power by force usually relying on military support for power.
➢ Economic Systems
❖ How people use limited resources to satisfy their wants and needs. ❖ Answers the basic questions: what to produce, how to produce it, and for whom. ❖ Traditional Economy: people produce most of what they need to survive (hunting, gathering, farming, herding cattle, make own clothes/tools).
❖ Market Economy: buying and selling goods and services ❖ Command Economy: Government controls what/how goods are produced and what they cost. Individuals have little economic power ❖ Mixed Economy: Individuals make some economic decisions and the government makes others.
• Visible Attributes of Culture
Artifacts are the physical things that are found that have particular symbolism for a culture. They may even be endowed with mystical properties. The first products of a company. Prizes won in grueling challenges and so on are all artifacts. Artifacts can also be more everyday objects, such as the bunch of flowers in reception. They main thing is that they have special meaning, at the very least for the people in the culture. There may well be stories told about them.
The purpose of artifacts are as reminders and triggers. When people in the culture see them, they think about their meaning and hence are reminded of their identity as a member of the culture, and, by association, of the rules of the culture. Artifacts may also be used in specific rituals. Churches do this, of course. But so also do organizations.
Stories, histories, myths, legends, jokes
Culture is often embedded and transmitted through stories, whether they are deep and obviously intended as learning devices, or whether they appear more subtly, for example in humor and jokes. A typical story includes a bad guy (often shady and unnamed) and a good guy (often the founder or a prototypical cultural member).
There may also be an innocent. The story evolves in a classic format, with the bad guy being spotted and vanquished by the good guy, with the innocent being rescued and learning the greatness of the culture into the bargain. Sometimes there stories are true. Sometimes nobody knows. Sometimes they are elaborations on a relatively simple truth. The power of the stories are in when and how they are told, and the effect they have on their recipients.
Rituals, rites, ceremonies, celebrations
Rituals are processes or sets of actions which are repeated in specific circumstances and with specific meaning. They may be used in such as rites of passage, such as when someone is promoted or retires. They may be associated with company events such as the release of a new event. They may also be associated with everyday events such as Christmas. Whatever the circumstance, the predictability of the rituals and the seriousness of the meaning all combine to sustain the culture.
Heroes in a culture are named people who act as prototypes, or idealized examples, by which cultural members learn of the correct or ‘perfect’ behavior. The classic heroes are the founders of the organization, who are often portrayed as much whiter and perfect than they actually are or were. Heroes may also be such as the janitor who tackled a burglar or a customer-service agent who went out of their way to delight a customer. In such stories they symbolize and teach people the ideal behaviors and norms of the culture.
Symbols and symbolic action
Symbols, like artifacts, are things which act as triggers to remind people in the culture of its rules, beliefs, etc. They act as a shorthand way to keep people aligned. Symbols can also be used to indicate status within a culture. This includes clothing, office decor and so on. Status symbols signal to others to help them use the correct behavior with others in the hierarchy. They also lock in the users of the symbols into prescribed behaviors that are appropriate for their status and position. There may be many symbols around an organization, from pictures of products on the walls to the words and handshakes used in greeting cultural members from around the world.
Beliefs, assumptions and mental models
An organization and culture will often share beliefs and ways of understanding the world. This helps smooth communications and agreement, but can also become fatal blinkers that blind everyone to impending dangers.
Attitudes are the external displays of underlying beliefs that people use to signal to other people of their membership. This includes internal members (look: I’m conforming to the rules. Please don’t exclude me).
Attitudes also can be used to give warning, such as when a street gang member eyes up a member of the public. By using a long hard stare, they are using national cultural symbolism to indicate their threat.
Rules, norms, ethical codes, values
The norms and values of a culture are effectively the rules by which its members must abide, or risk rejection from the culture (which is one of the most feared sanctions known).
They are embedded in the artifacts, symbols, stories, attitudes, and so on.
Lesson 3. Qualities/Characteristics of Culture
The Characteristics of Culture
The characteristics of culture are shared; group products; symbolic; learned; patterned; integrated; adaptive; compulsory; cumulative; dynamic and diverse.
• It is shared.
The culture is shared by the social interaction may take in many forms to transmit the beliefs, values and expectation of the human society. The exchange of social ideas may provide understanding and learning the human culture and tradition.
The culture works by social dynamism using language, communication technologies and commercial trade.
a) The use of language as a form of social communications such as group communication, informal communications, discussion and public speaking. The sharing of information is done through the transmittal of knowledge .The use of language or dialect may transmit information to the group of people that may later on learn and understand the culture, tradition, beliefs and expectations of a given society. The common human activities are the grapevine information, social occasions, and public debates.
b) The use of communication technologies through powerful media tools such as computers, televisions, DVD and cell phones. The modern technologies have gradually exposed universal culture that can easily transmit with mass media. The ethnic traditions and cultures are documentarily televised by cable programs such as national geographic or discovery channels. The modern fashion and fads of the western culture becomes the basis of global design in clothing for different occasions.
c) The commercial trade and global enterprises provide the better social exchange through the manufactured goods and services provide in the public
and private enterprise. These technological change given the opportunity to sell products that are now fuse in the modern living of the human society.
The traditional concept of shared culture emphasizes the ethnic traditions, beliefs, norms and other social activities that may be transmitted by the elders and parents in the family and the tribe. However, the modern life has changed so many things in the sharing of the universal culture for all.
• It is a group product.
The group product is the by-product of culture is shared by the social activities of the society. The group products provide important knowledge and experiences about the racial and ethnic activities.
It is the result of lifelong social experience made by those living in certain communities that governed by the family of elders. They formed tribe with their own cultures and traditions that have been dependent in hunting, fishing, and agriculture. The culture and tradition are passed on to the succeeding generation by educating the children from all the social life activities of the tribe.
Generally, the group product usually done by cultural diffusion, innovation and amalgamation of cultures.
a) The group product is made through the social interaction among the members of the group to form a unique life in a given geographical location. The social life has always imbibed the unique contribution of individual life. This is adjusted by the geographical conditions to ensure a better life.
b) The group product is multi-dimension activities that provide the understanding and learning the elements of culture such as values, beliefs, norms, language, folkways, mores, laws, material culture and technology. The complexities of culture have been integrated to form part the universal human society
c) The group products primarily use language and education of the offspring to ensure the survival of the culture and tradition of the tribe. The transmission of culture is done by giving informal and formal education.
• It is learned.
The cultural transmission or enculturation is the best way to describe culture is learned. The people acquire information about the culture by many ways. This is done by learning the language and other form of educational information of the society.
a) The members of the group learn to understand and apply certain ideals, values, expectations, beliefs and traditions to the society.
b) The younger generations readily accept the norms of the society as a part of their education to sustain the societal system within their family or tribe.
c) The culture is also learned by the language, literature, arts, music and local history that are passed across generation.
Usually, it is through formal and informal education that the culture is transmitted across generation. The parents provide the early education of their children from the way they live in the family and society. The social influence taken from their friends and relatives including their actual experiences provides the actual learning on a given societal culture. Modern society learns the culture by the formal education from varied levels such as the basic education and tertiary education. However, the advent of modern technology the culture is easily learned through mass media and internet.
• It is Symbolic.
The communication process uses symbols to identify the given actions, attitudes and behaviors of the people.
a) The use of language has varied types of symbols depending on its natural environment, exposure and education to groups or tribes, the social experience and influence.
b) The social experiences as a whole provides specific communicative symbols along arts, music, literature, history and other forms of societal actions.
c) The abstract knowledge is reinforce in the way they understand and learn the feelings, ideas and behaviors of certain group of people in the society.
• It is patterned and integrated
The culture is patterned by specific dimension of social life such as the economic and political activities. These are the norms of conformity for the human beings to follow in order to meet the psychological and social needs. The social activities
a)The economic activities are patterned by the innovation and inventions of cultural groups that need to be integrated by the social life of the members of the society.
b) There are activities that we always do such as going to toilet, washing the hands, cleaning the house, driving the car, going to bedroom and etc. We tend to follow certain habits that are patterned by specific culture of a given society. Remember that the American way of life maybe totally different to the Africans and Asian way of life.
c) There are cultural values that are patterned to be followed to live on specific group of people with unique cultures that individual must also follow to integrated similar social life.
• Culture is adaptive
The cultural adaptation is the evolutionary process that modifies the social life of the people in the given natural environment.
1. The social evolutionary process is created by the condition of the natural environment that human being constantly adapting on any changes.
2. The biological modifications and adjustments are always flexible to adapt even in the harsh conditions of the environment.
3. The human adaptations uses innovative way to create new cultural dimension on its way of life from the cultural transformation of clothing, food shelter, music, arts including the beliefs, traditions and history.
• Culture is compulsory.
The human beings always consider the harmonious relationship with any of group cultures being grown for a period of time.
1. The group members of the conformed with the ways of living within the bounds of beliefs, expectation, and norms.
2. The behavioral conformity is expected to follow any violations within the norms have specific sanctions as to the provisions of law or even a given set of norms in the social context.
3. The social interaction of man follows the collective activities with common goals including specific norms, traditions, and beliefs which is followed as a blue print of its distinct cultural existence in the society.
• Culture is cumulative.
The cumulative culture may be passed from one generation to the next generation. Those pertinent knowledge and culture are gradually built as it is useful to the society. However, those information that no longer useful to the society may gradually phased out.
• Culture is dynamic.
There is continuous change of culture as new ways of life evolved by the changing conditions of the societal life. There are cultural practices that no longer useful today.
• Culture is diverse.
The culture is different from each other as we must consider the social experiences, traditions, norms, mores and other cultural ways in the community.
Lesson 4. Functions of Culture
Functions of Culture
• Culture provides us with design for living. It is always learned and acquired. • Culture provides a series of pattern by which biological and socio-cultural demands of group members are met e.g. food, shelter, and reproduction and relationship with group and individuals. • Culture provides a set of rules to ensure co-operation of the individuals of a group in adjusting environmental situation. • Culture provides individual a set of ready-made definition of situation. • Culture helps in understanding and predicting the human behavior and also it provides channels of interaction for individuals within the group. • Culture provides us a guidepost or kind of map for all our life activities. It defines the pattern of behavior for individuals so that he acts according to the behavior pattern prescribed and defined by culture. • Culture acts as a means of social control through norms, folkway, and moves laws. • Thus culture functions to deeply influence control and direct behavior and life of the individual and of group. All these functions are controlled through norms or rules made in society. These norms may be governed by sanctions or punishment, so the study of norms, mores, folkways, laws etc. is necessary for knowing the culture of society.
Lesson 5. Philippine Cultural Values
Philippine Core Values
Philippine Values is defined by the way of people live their life as an influence of one’s culture. Philippines, having been an archipelago, has not become a hindrance towards having a single values system throughout the country. In whatever part of the country you may be, one will find the same hospitality that the Filipinos are known for as well as many other values that have originated from our forefathers.
The values of Filipinos have been looked upon by foreigners as a weakness instead of strength due to the nature of how they may be abused and manipulated due to these values. But values are what make up a certain nation both in growth and unity. Some may see that Filipino values as a hindrance to the growth of the country and yet others may say that his is what makes our country powerful.
In order to understand these concepts, let us look into the different values of the Filipinos and how they may be of influence to a person’s growth.
Filipino Cultural Values
Filipino cultural values are centered around family and the Roman Catholic Church. Filipinos’ home life centers around family. Elders in the family are highly respected and generally live in the homes of the adult children. Children often reside in their parents’ home until marriage. Many social activities are based around family. Filipinos are known to be devout Roman Catholics. Their Good Friday processions are world-famous for including re-enactments of the Crucifixion. All major religious holidays are observed and celebrated. Churchgoing in the Philippines is often not restricted to just Sundays; many Filipinos attend daily Mass, although this trend is decreasing.
The family is the center of Filipino culture and values. Bottom Line: Filipino Values are driven by Philippine dedication to Philippines families. Although there are always exceptions, the Philippine people place a high
priority on their families and the honor of their families. It is only when outside influences attack, such as extreme poverty or alcoholism, that the family is abandoned or neglected in any way.
Because of the necessity of having a strong community of support in the uncertain culture and day-to-day life in the Philippines, Filipinos get strength and stability from having a large and close-knit family. In fact, many Philippine children have several godparents in addition to their biological parents in order to provide for them in the absence of their true parents. Honorary relations are also given to close family friends as “sponsors”. Even I have been honored to be given this title at a wedding in which I participated because I am close friends with the bride’s family.
In many instances, families in the Philippines are very large and economically self-sufficient. Although understandably not nearly as affluent as families in the West, there is a close bond and a clear expectation between relatives that each member be ready and eager to help when difficult times arise – as they often do in the Philippines.
For example, in America, each individual is taught to “make their own way”, to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps”. However, Filipino values dictate that relatives be prepared to care for all family members to their utmost ability. This is an important distinction, especially for a Christian missionary.
Filipino Values Rule the Workplace Too
Filipino culture and values within the family also spill over into the workplace.
It is expected, if not 100% certain, that Philippine owners of businesses
will offer employment to members of their own family first, many time seven above more qualified individuals outside the family.
This is normal and not considered to be rude in any way by those outside the family. It is an open and well-known fact to all employees of a business in the Philippines that preferential consideration will be given to family members above other staff.
In fact, it is common for a rather large business to be operated completely by Filipino family members. As you can see from these short examples, the concept of the family is essential to Filipino culture and values. The family shapes and defines the Filipino values system. If you would like to experience it for yourself, check out my page on fundraisers for mission trips.
Lesson 6. Gender and Culture
Gender and Culture
Gender and culture are sometimes posed as in tension. But it is possible to think about gender and culture quite differently, reducing the sense of tension and the idea that what tension remains is a ‘problem’ to be avoided. In every society, there are many cultures, and a dominant culture rarely represents or fully captures this diversity.
Gender and Development: The Role of Religion and Culture
Religion is defined in terms of religious and cultural concepts. Which explains the impact of religion and culture on gender and development in a patriarchal society. Gender is viewed from a historical perspective, focusing on the gendered differentiation of roles and societal expectations, and relates this to violence and HIV/AIDS, before dealing with gender within the context of development concerns.
GROUPS AND SOCIAL PROCESSES
Identify the nature of groups, its major classification and functions. Define reference groups.
Enumerate group interaction and social processes.
Lesson 1. The Nature of Groups
The Nature of Groups
Man is gregarious. He lives and moves and has his being in associations. Human groups may be classified as either temporary or permanent. All are in transition—even the so-called permanent groups. Temporary Groups. Temporary groups are represented by the crowd, the mob, the assembly, and by the public (a quasi-temporary form of association).
Some crowds are heterogeneous, i. e., are composed of persons who at the given time possess conflicting purposes. A number of persons at a busy street corner are a heterogeneous group—they have varied purposes and are going in different directions. The real crowd is homogeneous; its members have a common aim. Further, each member is aware that the other individuals are stirred by the wine purposes as he is. The homogenous crowd must have a leader. It moves frantically until it gets a leader. The members of a homogeneous crowd ordinarily suffer a lessened sense of individual responsibility, because responsibility is distributed among all. Anonymity tends to prevail. Excitement reigns, feelings rise, and the rational processes of thought are hindered. The members experience a heightened state of suggestibility. Group: It’s Nature, Principle and Concept in the Development of Society The common notion that “man is a social being” and “No man is an island” defines the nature of group. This indicates that man is not isolated as to the development of particular pattern of behaviour as moulded by the influence of the group in the society.
These are the definitions of group:
• A group is defined as the interdependence and complementation of the share traditions, beliefs, norms and values.
• A group is the collective effort of the members in a given society with common aspirations, values and behaviours.
• A group is an organized members of the society with a given purpose, goal, and mission in the institution
• A group is the process of interaction and communication of the other members of the society.
In social group, it refers to the social relationships about the role and status as influence by the culture in a society. Usually, the social groups vary from various institution and organization wherein the collective purpose is achieved. It is also created by the professional organizations and associations in business, government and sectoral institutions. The examples of small groups are teams, fraternities, sororities, and other interest groups.
Importance of Group
The significance of group is the integration of the acceptable norms of the society including the development of social experiences. These are the gradual individual transformations along the interaction and communication of the groups; the social control; transmission of culture and tradition; and the development of language, behaviour and laws of the society.
• It is a means of social control to conform the acceptable standards in the society.
The individual is strongly influence by collective laws and norms usually imposed by the elders and the institutions. The gradual development of the
society has been constantly adhered by the imposition of socially acceptable laws. It also corresponds by the formulation of sanctions from those who would violate by the imposed law of the community. It neutralizes the social threats in the formation of stable society.
• The group transmits the norms, traditions, beliefs and values of a given culture.
The society exists by the interaction of social groups. It is the social transmitter indicates along the development of traditions and cultures. The social interaction may now shape as stable group and constantly evolved by the process of socialization, acculturation and amalgamation including outside influence that may affect the development of the culture.
• The group provides the development of personal influence as it interacts with the other members of the society.
The individual mingles by certain group of society. This is the basis of development of personality as it learns the norms, laws, beliefs, fads, values and other cultural values of the community .In psychology, the development of personality is the result of interaction of the social environment. It transmits the human activities and defines the personality of the individual as influenced by the attitudes, behavior and values in the society.
• The group creates and modifies the social environment based on common culture and tradition.
The society is shaped by the group who has been providing the creation of common tradition and culture. This is done by the amalgamation and acculturation of the social groups including the intervening complementation of the physical environment. Finally, the social modification translates by the discovery and invention; and physical adaptation of environment. The social results may also come in by the collective societal beliefs about their understanding and experience of super natural beings through religion
and morality. The human adaptation has its own flexibility and dynamism as to the conformed behavioural actions that later on collectively define the culture and tradition as it transformed to an ethnic group.
• The group is the sources of ideas and information through the interaction and communication of the members of the society.
The concept of interaction and communication provides the ingredient of the social transformation of the society. The individual learns the developed language and manage to teach them with the offspring. Likewise, it is the basis to communicate with other members of the group based on the result of the development of language. The language provides the conformity on the human sensory to analyze the social ideas of the collective group of people in the community.
Classification of Groups
• Social Membership
The common membership of the group is what we call in-group . It defines the social orientation along feeling of belongingness and companionship. The social preference of the in-group derives from group associations. The opposite side of this is the out-group , it connotes more on an antagonistic group that sometimes create group conflicts such as the existence of fraternities.
There are those groups that may identify certain level of reference based on political and economic affiliations. This group is called reference group that characterize by the idea of recognition and respect among other members of society. There are also the small grouping of the society which consider as the peer group.
In at larger scale of social interaction of the group, the voluntary association entails the membership of individual or group such as the regional associations, military organizations and other voluntary
• Social Interaction of Groups
The social group is further classified according primary group and secondary group. The primary group responds to the face-to-face communication which is more personal and intimate in nature. While the secondary group entails the formal communication in business or government organization. The organization position and designation gives credence in the way the group communicate each other.
• Nature of Social Groups
The group provides specific form as to the nature of interaction in the society. The nature of social group is either informal group or formal group. When the social interaction responds to the shared emotions, beliefs and sentiments of the members of the group then it is called informal groups . The advantage of this group is the sense of belongingness as interacts the common social interests and issues in the society. On the other hand, the formal organization adheres the rigid formal structure wherein the line authority in the position is respected in the organizational structure. It is therefore created by the organizational communication in public and private organization with formal sets of philosophy, mission, vision and goals as adhered by the motive for profit or service-oriented enterprise.
Social Role and Status of Groups
These are the important concepts we should know about the study of group along role and status of the society:
Social Role is the expected social position based on the particular status of the individual played in a given institution or organization. There is an expected behaviour pattern that connects to a particular role. These are some definitions of role:
• It is a pattern of expected behavioural actions in the society.
• It is a designation or position with a cloth of authority as prescribe by the organization
The role has its form as it plays in the societal interaction. The separation and departure to a vocation or career may be called as role exit. The prefix term as former or exemplifies the notion of role exit. While social functions on the multiple roles in the society which creates behavioural conflict and confusion is called role conflict. The dual role on social affection and friendship creates serious implication in applying the assigned organizational authority and power which is called role strain.
Social Status is the enforcement of organizational designation and position that needs to utilize the impersonal way of communication. The CEOs, presidents, supervisors, or managers may require the other members of the group to recognize the impersonal way to communicate in the organization. It requires the utmost respect to their assigned organizational positions.
Lesson 2. Major Classification and Functions of Groups
Major Classification of Groups and their Functions
• Economic Groups
Economic groups seek some sort of economic advantage for their members, are the most common type of interest group. Money has significant influence in capitalist societies, so economic interest groups are numerous and powerful. These groups are usually well funded because members willingly contribute money in the hopes of reaping greater political influence and profit.
Economic groups work to win private goods, which are benefits that only the members of the group will enjoy. When a labour union agrees to a contract, for example, its members benefit from the contract, whereas non-union
members do not. If there is no private good incentive, people might choose not to join (especially if there is a membership fee or dues).
There are four main types of economic groups: business groups, labour groups, agricultural groups, and professional associations.
Business groups are the most common type of interest group; more than half of all registered lobbyists work for business organizations. Some business lobbyists work for a single corporation, lobbying solely for that company. Businesses also form associations with companies from the same industry to promote all of their interests. Because they are usually well funded, business groups tend to be very influential. They work to promote the interests of private companies and corporations by seeking tax cuts, regulatory changes, and other pro-business benefits. Business groups do not always agree with one another, however. What benefits one industry may harm another, so advocates for those industries quite often work against one another.
Labor groups represent unions, which work to increase wages and improve working conditions for both skilled and unskilled workers. Individual workers have very little power, but banded together, they can wield significant influence. Labor unions have been a significant part of American economic and political life since the late nineteenth century. At the peak of the unions’ influence, roughly one-third of American workers belonged to labor unions.
Agricultural groups represent the interests of farmers. Farmers have been organized for centuries to protect themselves against price fluctuations and other issues.
➢ Professional Associations
Many professionals have formal organizations that set ground rules for the profession, regulate practices, and promote standards of conduct. Professional associations also lobby the government on issues related to their profession.
• Single-Issue Groups
Single-issue groups work solely on one specific issue. These groups tend to be very strongly driven, composed of members who are passionately committed to the particular cause. Over the last few decades, the number of single-issue groups has grown greatly; there are now groups covering a broad range of issues.
Lesson 3. Reference Groups
People whose attitudes, behavior, beliefs, opinions, preferences, and values are used by an individual as the basis for his or her judgment. One does not have to be (or even aspire to be) a member of a reference group to be negatively or positively influenced by its characteristics.
Characteristics of Reference Group
The following are the main characteristics of ‘Reference group’.
• Reference groups are the conceptual groups not the actual groups, because these are non-membership groups.
• Anticipatory socialisation is another basic element of reference group. In order to get a membership in the reference group the individuals undergo the process of socialisation that is, take on the values and lifestyles of the group to which they would like to belong in future.
• Reference group need not remain the same forever. An individual may change his reference groups as he takes on different statuses in life.
• Reference groups are not that much significant in simple societies as they are in modern societies. In modern complex societies reference groups are abundant.
• In reference group behaviour one relates oneself to the other individuals or groups and tries to adopt their values and standards.
Lesson 4. Group Interaction and Group Processes
Successful group interactions require active participation by members of the group. The aim is to fulfil the objectives of the meeting. In meeting the objectives of the meeting, the first thing a group may do is brainstorm for ideas. Then, gradually, through question and answer, irrelevant ideas can be weeded out and the group can come to a consensus. To this end, each member of the group has a role to play. Usually there is one person who manages the discussion. This person is either appointed by a higher authority or by the group, and has to open the discussion, introduce the subject, invite people to contribute ideas, interrupt to seek clarification, and finally close the discussion. The other members of the group are to put forth their arguments, substantiate them, negotiate, interrupt politely to ask questions or seek clarification, etc. If the discussion is managed well, members are cordial and polite to each other and the discussion may turn out to be a fruitful and enjoyable event. Tips for Positive Group Interactions
Everyday we meet with groups of people socially and professionally. Following these tips will give you a leg up in your next group meeting or social event.
• Dress consistently with how you want to be viewed-—You may think that dressing for success is an overused phrase or your attire really doesn’t
matter. But IT DOES. Remember you are marketing a product and that product is YOU.
• Arrive early—Being early is a stress reliever. You’ll feel prepared and confident and when others arrive you can be the first to greet them. But socially, don’t be too early or you’ll catch your host or hostess off guard and unprepared for your arrival.
• Put your cell phone away or place in silent or vibrate mode—Group meetings of any kind should not be interrupted with your personal cell phone activity-calls, texts or emails. It’s best to leave your phone in the car or place it in silent mode. If you absolutely must receive “important” information, put your phone on vibrate.
• Greet everyone—Make sure to greet all members of the group with a warm smile, a firm handshake if appropriate, and repeat his or her name.
• Be friendly—If you aren’t naturally outgoing and friendly, then this is “show time” for you. Put on your “game face” and do all you can to make a good impression. Being friendly is HUGE!
• Show an interest in others—Ask questions, pay someone a compliment or listen carefully to what is being discussed.
• Introduce yourself— Be proactive and introduce yourself to others in the group.
• Introduce others—make it a point to use everyone’s name several times in the course of the conversation, again, to help that person save face and feel more comfortable.”
• Wait to be seated—In a social setting ask the host or hostess where you should sit. You want to be respectful of how they would like the group seated.
• Body posture—Sit up straight. Poor posture is an indication of low self-esteem. Leaning forward indicates interest. Crossed arms indicate disinterest or possibly anger. All of your body language sends signals to the group members.
• Focus your attention on the person talking—Maintain eye contact with the person talking to demonstrate respect and interest in the conversation. This holds true even when the waiter arrives at your table to take a drink or dinner order. If you turn your attention to the waiter, you are indicating the waiter is more important than your dinner guest. • Don’t discount anyone’s comments—Don’t dismiss an idea just because it originates from someone who has a different point of view. Remember everyone is different and the ability to think differently can spark creativity and innovation. There’s just no way you can improve yourself or grow your business if you only value your own ideas.
• Think before you speak—Don’t be too quick to jump into the conversation. Instead be a respectful listener and observer. When you do talk, carefully consider what you say. Wouldn’t you rather keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it and prove it.
• Remember the “two second” rule- Don’t interject or comment until the person has clearly finished speaking. A good rule of thumb is to wait two seconds.
• Don’t talk about yourself—Resist the temptation to monopolize the conversation. Instead, show an interest in others by asking questions. Then listen attentively and continue the conversation accordingly.
• Include everyone when talking—When you are the one talking, be sure to share eye contact with each person in the group. Each member will feel valued and included.
• Don’t change the conversation—Unless there’s a clear indicator that the conversation is finished, don’t change the topic. You don’t want people to
feel you don’t have an interest in what’s being discussed or you think what you have to say is more important.
• Don’t start or participate in a side conversation—Never start or participate in a side conversation even if the person talking is not making eye contact with you. Don’t allow their mistake to prevent you from being a good listener. • Excusing yourself—Don’t get up to leave the table in the middle of a conversation. Wait until there is a pause or a shift in the conversation. Otherwise your actions could be interpreted as a lack of interest in the conversation and the person speaking may well take offense.
• Say goodbye to each person individually— Make sure to smile, shake hands or embrace and use each person’s name when the conversation or event is concluded. Make a good last impression.
Everything you do in a group setting makes an impression on everyone in the group. Don’t ever think something doesn’t matter. Everything matters.
SOCIALIZATION AND PERSONALITY
• Explain theories of socialization.
• Identify factors of personality development and agents of socialization. • Discuss gender role socialization and development.
• Define social norms and deviance.
Lesson 1. Theories of Socialization
Theories of Socialization
Some important facts on the Theories of Socialization (Development of self)
There are important theories to explain the development of self. These theories have been propounded by Cooley, Mead and Freud. A brief description to these theories is given below.
➢ Cooley’s Theory:
Cooley’s concept of self development has been termed “looking-glass self concept. According to him, man develops the concept of self with the help of others. Man does not come to form opinions about himself unless and until he comes into contact with other people and knows their opinions about himself.
He forms the concept of himself on the basis of opinions held by others about him. Thus when our associates call us intelligent or average, tall or short, fat or thin we react to their opinion and form the same opinion about ourselves as they have formed. In other words, just as the picture in the mirror gives an image of the physical self, so the perception of others gives an image of the social self.
The knowledge about ourselves comes to us from the reaction of other persons. These other comprise our social looking-glass through which we form the image of ourselves.
There are three principal elements of the looking-glass concept:
❖ Our perception of how we look to others.
❖ Our perception of their judgment of how we look.
❖ Our feelings about these judgments. Take an example. Suppose that whenever you enter a room and approach a small group of people conversing together, the members promptly leave the room with lame excuses.
➢ Mead’s Theory:
G.H. Mead has given a sociological analysis of the process of socialization. According to him the self develops out of the child’s communicative contact with others. The newborn infant has needs like those for food and clothing that press for satisfaction.
The mother satisfies these needs and the child comes to depend upon her and identifies himself with her emotionally. But in course of time the child differentiates himself from his mother and then he has to integrate himself and mother into a new social system, a two-person, tow role system, with the child taking a subordinate role to the superior role of the mother. Then the child repeats the process for his father.
He differentiates his father from his mother and then integrates him into the social system. In this way the number of ‘significant others’ increases for the child; and the child internalizes the role of these others. He puts himself in the role of the others and then responds to his own words and act in terms of the meaning they would convey to the other person.
In this way the self develops and grows. An essential characteristic of the self is its reflexive character. By this Mead, George H. means that the self can be both subject and object to itself. It can reflect upon itself, or in other words, it can be self-conscious.
➢ Freud’s Theory:
The theories of Cooley and Mead presume a basic harmony between the self and society. According to Cooley, society and individuals are not separate phenomena but are simply collective and distributive aspects of the same thing. Sigmund Freud, the father of psycho-analysis, does not agree with this concept of self and society. According to himself and society are not identical. He has explained the process of socialization in terms of his concept of Id, Ego and Superego which constitute the three systems of mind.
Different Forms of Socialization
• Group socialization is the theory that an individual’s peer groups, rather than parental figures, influences his or her personality and behavior in adulthood. Adolescents spend more time with peers than with parents. Therefore, peer groups have stronger correlations with personality development than parental figures do. For example, twin brothers, whose genetic makeup are identical, will differ in personality because they have different groups of friends, not necessarily because their parents raised them differently.
• Gender socialization Henslin (1999) contends that “an important part of socialization is the learning of culturally defined gender roles” (p. 76).
Gender socialization refers to the learning of behavior and attitudes considered appropriate for a given sex. Boys learn to be boys, and girls learn to be girls. This “learning” happens by way of many different agents of socialization. The family is certainly important in reinforcing gender roles, but so are one’s friends, school, work, and the mass media. Gender roles are reinforced through “countless subtle and not so subtle ways,” said Henslin (1999, p. 76).
• Cultural socialization refers to parenting practices that teach children about their racial history or heritage and, sometimes, is referred to as “pride development.” Preparation for bias refers to parenting practices focused on preparing children to be aware of, and cope with, discrimination. Promotion of mistrust refers to the parenting practices of socializing children to be wary of people from other races. Egalitarianism refers to socializing children with the belief that all people are equal and should be treated with a common humanity.
Lesson 2. Factors of Personality Development
Definition of Personality
Personality is defined as the enduring personal characteristics of individuals. Although some psychologists frown on the premise, a commonly used explanation for personality development is the psychodynamic approach. Factors that Affect the Development of Personality
• Biology- our genes, what we have inherited. Together they comprise a predisposition or innate tendency to respond in certain ways. Thus babies are born with a certain temperament.
• Environment. The society and culture in which we live shapes the set of attitudes (morals, values, beliefs) that we adopt. These, in turn, have a very strong impact on behaviour and personality development in general.
• Experience. Much of human behaviour is learned through modelling and experiential learning. Thus, many of the stable characteristics that make up an individual’s personality are acquired through learning. Negative experiences, like abuse and neglect, act negatively on personality development. On the contrary, positive experiences like being raised in a loving family, have a positive impact on the development of personality.
These factors do not exist in isolation. They interact to produce complex combinations for each individual-and that is why each person is unique. Therefore, the complex interaction between heredity, experience and environment is responsible for personality development.
Lesson 3. Agents of Socialization
Definition of Socialization
Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society. Socialization is thus ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’. Socialization describes a process which may lead to desirable, or ‘moral’, outcomes in the opinion of said society Agents of Socialization
In a society, an individual or an institution has the task of making a person worth being a part of it. These individuals or institutions are called
agents of socialization. It is these agents that are responsible for educating an individual about the expectations of society from him, and how he should fulfil them. The transfer of rules, expectations and values is thus carried out by these agents, which in turn enables society to function smoothly. The agents of socialization are as under:
For most people, the process of socialization begins in the family. Family is their first source through which they commence their social communication. As a child, a person learns to see and interpret himself and society through the eyes and understanding of his parents and other elders of the family. It is with the aid of the older family members that he/she becomes familiar with social culture. It is through family that ‘socially acceptable’ ways of thinking and behaving are imparted to a child. Values such as sharing, honesty, idealism, discipline, etc., are also cultivated in a person through his family. Therefore, it is vital how parents treat their children, and also how parents behave in front of them because it is through these interactions that a child will perceive and develop a sense of ‘self’.
• Peer Groups
A peer group is a group of people of approximately the same age, sharing similar interests and probably belonging to similar backgrounds. A person may belong to several peer groups at a single point in time. For instance, peer groups of a child may include his schoolmates, his friends at the sports’ club, and the children staying in his neighborhood. Even though all these groups are different, he may mingle with them every single day. What makes a peer group an important factor in socialization is that it enables a child to engage in experiences which he/she would otherwise never experience within his/her family. Things such as competition, conflict and cooperation as well as the concepts of hierarchy and egalitarianism can be learned and imbibed through a peer group.
Peer groups also, many times, promote the idea of independence from the
thought process of the family. Individuals begin to think and act in different ways which may be, sometimes, completely opposite of their family values. Nevertheless, peer groups, as agents of socialization, are important entities granting social approval and support.
Children spend about seven to eight hours in school. So, there is no denying the fact that school has an important and lifelong impact on their socialization process. Apart from teaching children to read and write, and initiating them in subjects such as math, languages and science (which is schools’ main function), they also have a latent function of nurturing within the students, the value of teamwork, punctuality and following a set schedule. In other words, a lesson stressing on the need for discipline in doing one’s day-to-day activities is pinpointed. Schools also play a major role in fostering the values of national pride and citizenship in the children. In schools, children also learn about concepts such as gender and race, not only through their textbooks but also practically. For example, segregating the seating arrangements of boys and girls may affect their behavior with the opposite sex thus elevating gender differences. Also, school is technically the institution wherein a child is first exposed to a hierarchical bureaucratic setup under which everything takes place within a set framework of rules and regulations. This means that a child, in order to get something done, has to follow a certain procedure and that makes this kind of setup a basic factor for making the child understand the importance of social rules and regulations.
Workplace is another agent of socialization. Just as the children spend a significant part of day at their school, the adults spend much of their day at their workplace. At the workplace, a person meets people of different age groups and belonging to different social and cultural backgrounds. This makes him come in close contact with different thought processes, belief systems, etc. The interaction that then happens helps a person to broaden
his/her horizons in terms of social acceptance and tolerance towards the others. It also sometimes helps in changing the notions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. It makes him understand the true difference between the ‘self’ and the ‘other’. The ‘other’ is only distinct from the ‘self’ but both are still ‘right’.
Religion is one of the most powerful agents of socialization which is linked with concepts and values people identify themselves with. At the same time, it is the most sensitive agent of socialization as well. People tend to develop their own religious beliefs from their parents, right from their inception. They begin to acquire knowledge of which god to believe in (or not?); when, where and how to pray; what rituals to follow; what to consume and what to avoid; etc., right from infancy, and it is these belief systems that evolve further and remain with them for the rest of their lives.
While the major function of religion in the process of socialization is teaching people, belonging to different religions, to be tolerant and respectful towards each other, things do not always work out as desired. Therefore, the power of religion as a socializing agent should be understood well, and any sort of misinterpretations need to be avoided.
Government or state is an indirect agent of socialization. This means, though we do not come in contact with the institution directly, it does have an impact on our social life and well-being. The government sets rules and regulations (most of which often become laws), which the people of the state/country need to follow, and breach of them often becomes not only a moral wrong but a social wrong as well. For instance, prohibition of drunk driving is a law passed by the state. Any person breaking it, not only commits a punishable offense but also puts others’ lives in danger.
Apart from setting various laws and laying sanctions on us, the
government, as a socializing agent, also has a responsibility of assuring social security for people.
• Mass Media
Mass media is the strongest and the most argued indirect agent of socialization. It puts across to us, lot of ideas and mannerisms without having any kind of interpersonal communication. Despite this, it influences our lives to a great extent, as we tend to learn a lot from mass media, which include newspapers, magazines, radio, Internet, video games and of course, the most dominant of them all, television. However, research shows that most people, adults and children alike, often tend to get so carried away by the influence of media that they get confused between the notions of ‘reality’ and ‘fiction’.
On the other hand, the amount of violence that is involved in case of the media might have an adverse effect on the people. For instance, children might behave more aggressively towards others, and this can make them ‘socially unacceptable’. Nevertheless, the fact is that mass media does help in building ideologies and beliefs of people and making them so strong and deep-rooted that they stay with them throughout their lifetime.
The agents of socialization thus have a very profound effect on our personal and conceptual development. They help us interact and communicate with society and also to understand our social roles. However, the impact these agents have on our lives, and consequently on society, also depends largely on the parameters of time and space. For instance, these agents, though performing similar functions worldwide, may have contradicting impact on the mindset of the people of a country at war, as opposed to the one at peace.
Lesson 4. Gender Role Socialization and Development
A gender role is a set of social and behavioral norms that are generally
considered appropriate for either a man or a woman in a social or interpersonal relationship. There are differences of opinion as to which observed differences in behavior and personality between genders are entirely due to innate personality of the person and which are due to cultural or social factors, and are therefore the product of socialization, or to what extent gender differences are due to biological and physiological differences. Gender roles differ according to cultural-historical context, and while most cultures express two genders, some express more. Androgyny, for example, has been proposed as a third gender. Others societies have been claimed to have more than five genders, and some non-Western societies have three genders – man, woman and third gender. Gender expression refers to the external manifestation of one’s gender identity, through “masculine,” “feminine,” or gender-variant or gender neutral behavior, clothing, hairstyles, or body characteristics. Gender Role Development
Gender-role development is one of the most important areas of human development. In fact, the sex of a newborn sets the agenda for a whole array of developmental experiences that will influence the person throughout his or her life. The often controversial study of the development of gender is a topic that is inherently interesting to parents, students, researchers, and scholars for several reasons. • First and foremost, one’s sex is one of the most salient characteristics that is presented to other people. • Second, who one is as a male or a female becomes a significant part of one’s overall identity; it is one of the first descriptors people use about themselves. Labelling oneself as a “boy” or “girl” can begin as early as age eighteen months. • Third, gender is an important mediator of human experiences and the way in which individuals interact with each other and the physical environment. Individuals’ choices of friends, toys, classes taken in middle school, and vocation all are influenced by sex. Both sex and gender have a developmental story to tell that begins before birth (prenatal) and continues throughout the lifespan. Important developmental changes occur from conception through the adolescence years, and there are important theoretical perspectives and research studies that have tried to shed light on these developmental accomplishments.
Gender-role development begins at conception. If the fertilized cell has an XY chromosomal pattern, the baby will become a genetic male; an XX chromosomal pattern will lead to a genetic female. There cannot be a genetic male without that Y chromosome. Sometimes there are aberrations to these patterns, which can ultimately lead to a number of syndromes such as females with only one X chromosome (Turner’s syndrome) or males with two Xs and one Y (Klinefelter’s syndrome).
Frequently these syndromes result in some form of cognitive and physical impairment.
Overall, the sex differences between boys and girls in the first year of life are minimal. Boys may be a bit more active or fussier and girls more physically mature and less prone to physical problems, but that may be the extent of the significant differences. Yet, baby boys are bounced and roughhoused, whereas girls are talked to more. Mothers tend to ignore the emotional expressions of their infant sons, while fathers spend more time with their boys than with their girls. Even during infancy, their names, their clothing, the “sugar and spice” messages in baby congratulation cards, and their room furnishings shape girls and boys. According to Marilyn Stern and Katherine H. Karraker, adults will characterize the same baby as strong and hardy if they think it is a male, and delicate and soft if they think it is a female.
The years from about age two to age six are crucial years in the development of gender roles. It is during these years that children become aware of The years from about age two to age six are crucial in the development of gender roles. During these years, children become aware of their gender, where play styles and behaviors begin to crystallize around that core identity of “I am a girl” or “I am a boy.” (Reflection Photo library/Corbis) their gender, where play styles and behaviors begin to crystallize around that core
identity of “I am a girl” or “I am a boy,” and that the social context of family, school, the peer group, and the media exert potent messages in stereotyped ways. Regardless of which theoretical explanation of gender roles is used, the early acquisitions of such ideas and behaviors make for very stereotyped youngsters. Because young children see the world in black- and-white terms, they may go as far as to insist that only men could be physicians, even when their own pediatrician is a woman!
Whereas parents play a significant role in gender socialization when their children are very young, when most Western boys and girls enter school they separate into gender-segregated groups that seem to operate by their own set of peer-driven rules. Gender segregation is such a widespread phenomenon that boys and girls seem to work and play together only when there is a coercive adult present
Erik H. Erikson believed that adolescence represented a crucial turning point in the development of a sense of identity. All of the physical, social, and cognitive changes of these years lead to frequent soul-searching about “Who am I?” Such uncertainty and insecurity also can further promote conformity into one’s gender role, or “gender intensification.” During early adolescence, boys may emulate “macho” role models and be quite homophobic; girls may adhere to strict dress codes (e.g., that which is “in”) and play down their intellectual talents and abilities. The timing of puberty may also have significant implications for adolescent gender development. Girls are more likely to encounter social difficulties when they mature early, but for boys the opposite is true. Lesson 5. Social Norms Deviance
Definition of Deviance
Deviance, in a sociological context, describes actions or behaviors that violate social norms, including formally-enacted rules (e.g., crime), as
well as informal violations of social norms (e.g., rejecting folkways and mores).
It is the purview of sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and criminologists to study how these norms are created, how they change over time and how they are enforced. Social Deviance
The study of Social Deviance is the study of the violation of cultural norms in either formal (criminal) or informal (deviant) contexts. Social deviance is a phenomenon that has existed in all societies where there have been norms. There are two possibilities for how an individual will act in the face of social norms; conform or violate.
• Identify the different social institutions.
• Discuss functions of family, economy, religion, government, education, health leisure and mass media as social institutions.
Lesson 1. Family
FAMILY―Most people experience family at a deeply personal level; many of one’s most intense interpersonal exchanges occur within one’s family. However, family is not just the location of interpersonal relationships. It is also a social institution that genders its members and is organized along gendered lines by other social forces. One cannot study gender in communication without studying communication in and about family. The construction and performance of gender/sex happen in public and discourse about family and in individual families.
The Family as a social Institution
FAMILY AS a SOCIAL INSTITUTION- The family generally suggests that only one
model of family exists, when in fact a variety of family structures exist within and across cultures. Despite the diversity of family forms, gender role expectations are delimited by the ideal of the traditional nuclear family, which is composed of two parents (one male and one female) and biological children, with the male as the primary wage earner and the female as the primary homemaker.( This ideal of the nuclear family exposes how family is an institution as it influences social interactions, creates ideology that persists across time, develops distinct social practices, and constrains and facilitates what is considered appropriate behaviour. The Specific Functions of the Family
• The control and regulation of sexual behavior.
• To provide for new members of society (children).
• To provide for the economic and emotional maintenance of individuals. • To provide for primary socialization of children.
The Three Important Functions of Family
The institution of family has three important functions:
• To provide for the rearing of children
• To provide a sense of identity or belonging among its members • To transmit culture between generations
In Western societies, we tend to think of a family as consisting of a mother, father, and children living under one roof: a nuclear family. Before societies modernize, families usually consist of several generations and branches of extended family living in the same dwelling, or in the same village. As modernization occurs, young people tend to move away from the villages in which they were raised in search of jobs, leaving the older generations behind. They relocate to cities and meet people they probably never would have met had they stayed home.
Marriage, a foundation of family life, exists in all cultures, with some variations: • Endogamy: Marriage between members of the same category, class, or group • Exogamy: Marriage between members of different categories, classes, or groups • Monogamy: Marriage between one man and one woman
• Polygamy: Marriage between one man and more than one woman • Polyandry: Marriage between one woman and more than one man In some cultures, after marriage, a couple lives in the wife’s family’s household—a practice called matrilocality. When couples live in the husband’s family’s household, the practice is called patriolocality. If they go out and get their own place to live, they practice neolocality.
Rearing children is a primary function of a family. Being in a family provides children with a sense of identity. They learn the norms and values of their societies, as well as the norms and values of the smaller groups to which they belong. By learning about their cultural heritages, children gain a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves. By teaching children about their heritage, families insure their culture will live on.
Not all families are centered on a married couple with children. To an increasing degree, U.S. households feature alternative types of families, such as the following: • Single-parent household
• Cohabitating, unmarried couples
• Gay and lesbian couples
• Single adults
Lesson 2. Economy
The Economy as a Social Institution
The economy is the institution that provides for the production and distribution of goods and services, which people in every society need.
Sometimes they can provide these things for themselves, and sometimes they rely on others to provide them. When people rely on others for goods or services, they must have something to exchange, such as currency (in industrialized societies) or other goods or services (in non industrialized societies).
The customs surrounding exchange and distribution of goods and services shape societies in fundamental ways. The Specific Functions of Economy
• Provide methods for the production of goods and services. • Provide methods for the distribution of goods and services. • Enable society’s members to consume goods and services which are produced.
These all functions are important aspects of society and if the duties should be performed in a proper and organized way than every society can improve even Pakistani society also. So, as a citizen it’s our duty to respect all the institutions and respect its functions for a betterment of society. Hence, it is concluded that social institutions can play a vital role in progress and development of society and its nation
The two dominant economic systems in the world are capitalism and socialism. Most societies have varying blends of the two systems. Common hybrids of capitalism and socialism are welfare capitalism and state capitalism.
Capitalism is a system under which resources and means of production are privately owned, citizens are encouraged to seek profit for themselves, and success or failure of an enterprise is determined by free-market competition. Example: The United States is one of the most purely capitalistic societies in the world. Most U.S. businesses are privately owned, but the government does regulate business practices.
Socialism is a system under which resources and means of production are owned by the society as a whole, rights to private property are limited, the good of the whole society is stressed more than individual profit, and the government maintains control of the economy. Example: China is a socialist country. The government owns and controls almost all natural resources. Lesson 3. Religion
Religion as a Social Institution
Religion is a social institution that answers questions and explains the seemingly inexplicable. Religion provides explanations for why things happen and demystifies the ideas of birth and death. Religions based on the belief in a single deity are monotheistic. Those that encompass many deities are polytheistic. • Uniting Traditions
When families attend religious services or put up decorations in honor of a holiday, they are teaching their children about their religion and how to observe it. By engaging in these activities and traditions, children are united with others of the same religion around the world. In this way, families teach their own culture as well as the culture of the society at large.
Major World Religions
Most of the world subscribes to one of the following religions: ➢ Christianity: The most widespread world religion, Christianity derived from Judaism. It is based on the belief that Jesus Christ was the son of God and the redeemer of mankind. There are many different Christian denominations. ➢ Islam: Followers of Islam are called Muslims. Muslims believe that the true word of God was revealed to the prophet Muhammad around 570 a.d. God in Islam is the same god as the Christian and Judaic deity. ➢ Judaism: Judaism is a monotheistic religion that predates Christianity, built on the belief that they are the “chosen people” of God. ➢ Hinduism: Hinduism is the oldest major world religion, dominant in India. Hindus do not worship a single person or deity but rather are guided by a set of ancient cultural
beliefs. They believe in the principle of karma, which is the wisdom or health of one’s eternal soul. Karma can be strengthened with good acts and harmed by bad acts. Hindus believe that karma plays a role in reincarnation, a cycle of continuous rebirth through which, ideally, the soul can achieve spiritual perfection. The state of a person’s karma determines in what form he or she will be reborn. ➢ Buddhism: Buddhists, most of whom live in Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma, follow the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, a spiritual teacher of the sixth century b.c.e. Buddhism, like Hinduism, does not feature any single all-powerful deity but teaches that by eschewing materialism, one can transcend the “illusion” of life and achieve enlightenment. The Specific Function of Religion
• Providing solutions for unexplained natural, phenomena. • Supplying a means for controlling the natural world. • Religion tends to support the normative structure of the society. • Furnishing a psychological diversion from unwanted life situations. • Sustaining the existing class structure.
• Religion serves as an instrument of socialization.
• Religion may both promote and retard social change.
• Religion may both reduce and encourage conflict in groups. Lesson 4. Government
Definition of Government
A government is an institution entrusted with making and enforcing the rules of a society as well as with regulating relations with other societies. In order to be considered a government, a ruling body must be recognized as such by the people it purports to govern. A person or group that considers itself the leading body of a society has no power if the members of the society do not recognize the person or group as such.
Types of Governments
Most of the world’s governments fall into one of four categories: monarchy, democracy, authoritarianism, or totalitarianism.
Monarchy is a political system in which a representative from one family controls the government and power is passed on through that family from generation to generation. Most of the world’s monarchies are constitutional monarchies, in which the reigning member of the royal family is the symbolic head of state but elected officials actually do the governing. Many European countries have constitutional monarchies. Example: Saudi Arabia is a monarchy. Until recently it was an absolute monarchy, meaning that the king had complete control of the country. The Saud royal family introduced a constitution in 1992.
Democracy is a political system in which citizens periodically choose officials to run their government. Example: El Salvador has a democratic form of government. Throughout most of the nineteenth century, El Salvador was beset by revolution and war, and from 1931 to 1979 it was ruled by military dictators. From 1980 to 1992, the country was torn apart by civil war. The country currently has a stable government and elected president. • Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism is a political system that does not allow citizens to participate in government. Example: Zimbabwe is controlled by an authoritarian leader whose human rights violations and disastrous economic policies have brought on international condemnation. However, not all authoritarian governments are outcasts. China has an authoritarian government, but it is a member of the World Trade Organization and a major player in international politics.
Totalitarianism is a political system under which the government maintains tight control over nearly all aspects of citizens’ lives. Lesson 5. Education
Definition of Education
Education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another.
Education – an important social institution
Education, one of the most important social institutions, affects aspects of the culture, from economic development to consumer behaviour. The literacy rate of a country is a potent force in economic development. Numerous studies indicate a direct link between the literacy rate of a country and its capability with less than 50 per cent literacy, but when countries have invested in education the economic rewards have been substantial. Literacy has a profound effect on marketing. To communicate with a literate market is much easier than communicating to one in which the marketer must depend on symbols and pictures.
Teachers in educational institutions direct the education of students and might draw on many subjects, including reading, writing, mathematics, science and history. This process is sometimes called schooling when referring to the education of teaching only a certain subject, usually as professors at institutions of higher learning.
Lesson 6. Health Leisure
Definition of Health
Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person’s mind and body, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain (as in “good health” or “healthy”).
The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Systematic activities to prevent or cure health problems and promote good health in humans are undertaken by health care providers. Applications with regard to animal health are covered by the veterinary sciences. The term “healthy” is
also widely used in the context of many types of non-living organizations and their impacts for the benefit of humans, such as in the sense of healthy communities, healthy cities or healthy environments. In addition to health care interventions and a person’s surroundings, a number of other factors are known to influence the health status of individuals, including their background, lifestyle, and economic and social conditions; these are referred to as “determinants of health”.
Simple Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle
When it comes to having a healthy lifestyle, eating fruits and vegetables is just one piece of the puzzle. For a long-term healthy lifestyle, you’ll need to find a balance between good eating habits and physical activity. Here are a few simple tips to help you and your children live a healthier life: • Eat five fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables are important sources of essential vitamins, regardless of your age. • Prepare dishes that are low in fat and sugars. For a healthier diet, buy low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, as well as cereals low in sugar. • Serve healthy snacks. It’s always a good idea to have healthy snacks around, especially if you have children. • Keep an eye on portion sizes. Portion sizes can have an impact on how much you eat, even after you are full. You can avoid overeating at your kitchen table by serving smaller portions, particularly to children. If they want more, they can ask for a second portion. Also, avoid making them eat everything on the plate if they say they are full. • Turn the TV off and go outside. Televisions are not the only devices that promote sedentary lifestyles. These days, computers, tablets and smart phones offer round-the-clock entertainment. Put these devices away for a moment and go to the park, ride a bike, run or walk. Children should engage in moderate physical activities for 60 minutes a day. • Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle, particularly when it comes to children. A recent study found that a child is 9 percent less likely to be overweight or obese for every additional hour of sleep he or she gets each night. Children who are five years or younger need 11 hours of sleep per day; children between 5 and 10 need 10 hours per day; and children older than 10 need nine hours of sleep.
Definition of Leisure
Leisure, or free time, is time spent away from business, work, and domestic chores. It also excludes time spent on necessary activities such as eating, sleeping and, where it is compulsory, education. The distinction between leisure and unavoidable activities is not a rigidly defined one, e.g. people sometimes do work-oriented tasks for pleasure as well as for long-term utility. A distinction may also be drawn between free time and leisure.
Factors That Affect People’s Leisure Time
Leisure time refers to time spent doing something we choose to do rather than something we must do. Throughout our lives the amount of leisure time available to us varies depending on our individual responsibilities. But, in general, the very young and very old have more leisure time than working-age adults. Even so, work is not the only factor affecting the quantity and quality of our leisure time.
• [pic]High-stress jobs interfere with both the quantity and quality of leisure time. For the average adult, working to earn a living takes up a significant portion of our day, about 7.5 hours on average. When adding in additional tasks, such as commuting, networking and fielding calls and emails, we realize that there really isn’t much time left over. It’s no surprise then that retired adults over the age of 75 report the most leisure time of any American demographic group, and adults aged 35 to 44 report the least.
• [pic]Sometimes the lines overlap between work and family time. Household and child care responsibilities further deduct from our leisure time pursuits. Both men and women report spending two or more hours on household chores daily. This includes activities, such as cleaning,
preparing meals, lawn care and other household maintenance chores. Households with children under six years of age estimate an additional two hours daily in child care tasks.
• [pic]Planning and prioritizing results in more leisure time. Across the spectrum of working Americans, leisure time varies even when circumstances are strikingly similar. Some individuals and families simply manage their time better to accommodate more leisure time. Efficient time managers know how to plan, prioritize and work together to get necessary tasks accomplished. Most importantly, they avoid taking on nonessential tasks by learning to say no to others to get their much-needed leisure time.
• [pic]TV watching tops the list for popular leisure activities. Closely tied to work, finances play a critical role not only in the amount of leisure time we spend, but also in the choice of activities. Even with days off of work, engaging in most leisure activities requires some amount of disposable income. Not surprisingly then, the most popular pastimes also are the cheapest and include TV watching, socializing, reading and using the computer. The number of Americans taking vacations decreases each year.
Lesson 7. Mass Media
The Mass Media
Mass media is media that is intended for a large audience. It may take the form of broadcast media, as in the case of television and radio, or print media, like newspapers and magazines. Internet media can also attain mass media status, and many media outlets maintain a web presence to take advantage of the ready availability of Internet in many regions of the world. Usually, mass media aims to reach a very large market, such as the entire population of a country. By contrast, local media covers a much smaller population and area, focusing on regional news of interest, while specialty media is provided for particular demographic groups. The Role and
Influence of Mass Media
Mass media is communication—whether written, broadcast, or spoken—that reaches a large audience. This includes television, radio, advertising, movies, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, and so forth. Communities and individuals are bombarded constantly with messages from a multitude of sources including TV, billboards, and magazines, to name a few. Mass media makes possible the concept of celebrity: without the ability of movies, magazines, and news media to reach across thousands of miles, people could not become famous. In fact, only political and business leaders, as well as the few notorious outlaws, were famous in the past. Only in recent times have actors, singers, and other social elites become celebrities or “stars.”
SOCIAL CHANGE STRATIFICATION AND MOBILITY
• Define Social Mobility.
• Give the dimension of social stratification.
• Identify and enumerate types of social stratification.
Lesson 1. Dimension of Social Stratification
What are the major dimensions of social stratification?
For one to attempt the question, “what are the major dimensions of social stratification?”, one must first define the term social stratification. Social stratification is often used interchangeably with social inequality and one must distinguish between the two terms. Social inequality refers to the existence of socially created inequalities. Social stratification is a form of social inequality; however, social inequality does not inevitably lead to social stratification. It is define as the presence of distinct social groups which are ranked one above the other in terms of factors such a prestige and wealth. These factors are called valued resources.
In hunting and gathering societies, social inequality is minimal and stratification absent. Members of this type of society, more or less, had equal access to valued resources. They also had equal life chances which are chances to obtaining thing that are valued in society. These societies are known as “egalitarian societies”. However, it can be stated that in these types of societies, individuals may have higher status or greater prestige than others. A good hunter may be highly esteemed but his as a hunter does not automatically give him a superior life style, neither does he pass his prestige to his offspring.
Lesson 2. Types of Social Stratification
Social stratification is a concept involving the “classification of people into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions … a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political and ideological dimensions.” When differences lead to greater status, power or privilege for some groups over the other it is called Social Stratification. It is a system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy Social stratification which is based on four basic principles:
• Social stratification is a trait of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences. • Social stratification carries over from generation to generation. • Social stratification is universal but variable.
• Social stratification involves not just inequality but beliefs as well. Types of Social Classes of People
Social class refers to a group of people with similar levels of wealth, influence, and status. Sociologists typically use three methods to determine social class: • The objective method measures and analyzes “hard” facts. • The subjective method asks people what they think of themselves. • The reputational method asks what people think of others. The Lower Class
The lower class is typified by poverty, homelessness, and unemployment. People of this class, few of whom have finished high school, suffer from lack of medical care, adequate housing and food, decent clothing, safety, and vocational training. The media often stigmatize the lower class as “the underclass,” inaccurately characterizing poor people as welfare mothers who abuse the system by having more and more babies, welfare fathers who are able to work but do not, drug abusers, criminals, and societal “trash.” The Working Class
The working class are those minimally educated people who engage in “manual labor” with little or no prestige. Unskilled workers in the class—dishwashers, cashiers, maids, and waitresses—usually are underpaid and have no opportunity for career advancement. They are often called the working poor. Skilled workers in this class—carpenters, plumbers, and electricians—are often called blue collar workers. They may make more money than workers in the middle class—secretaries, teachers, and computer technicians; however, their jobs are usually more physically taxing, and in some cases quite dangerous. The Middle Class
The middle class are the “sandwich” class. These white collar workers have more money than those below them on the “social ladder,” but less than those above them. They divide into two levels according to wealth, education, and prestige. The lower middle class is often made up of less educated people with lower incomes, such as managers, small business owners, teachers, and secretaries. The upper middle class is often made up of highly educated business and professional people with high incomes, such as doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers, and CEOs. The Upper Class
The upper class holds more than 25 percent of the nation’s wealth. This class divides into two groups: lower-upper and upper-upper. The lower-upper class includes those with “new money,” or money made from investments, business ventures, and so forth. The upper-upper class includes those aristocratic and “high-society” families with “old money” who have been rich for generations. These extremely wealthy people live off the income from their
inherited riches. The upper-upper class is more prestigious than the lower-upper class. Wherever their money comes from, both segments of the upper class are exceptionally rich. Both groups have more money than they could possibly spend, which leaves them with much leisure time for cultivating a variety of interests. They live in exclusive neighborhoods, gather at expensive social clubs, and send their children to the finest schools. As might be expected, they also exercise a great deal of influence and power both nationally and globally. Lesson 3. Social Mobility
Definition of Social Mobility
Social mobility is the movement of individuals or groups in social standing social position It may refer to classes, ethnic groups, or entire nations, and may measure health status, literacy, or education — but more commonly it refers to individuals or families, and their change in income. It also typically refers to vertical mobility—movement of individuals or groups up (or down) from one socio-economic level to another, often by changing jobs or marriage; but can also refer to horizontal mobility—movement from one position to another within the same social level.
Social Mobility and its Types
Social stratification is a characteristic of all society. We have also seen that classes and individuals are rated high or low on the basis of characteristics possessed by them according to the social value scale. Any change in the value scale or any change in the characteristics results in a change in the status of different classes. Mobility has been classified as ‘Horizontal Mobility’ and ‘Vertical Mobility’. Horizontal Mobility refers to change of residence of job without status change, such as a teacher’s leaving one school to work in another or even in a factory as a Welfare Officer. “Vertical Mobility” refers to movement in any or all of the three areas of living class, occupation and power. An individual’s mobility, up or down is a measurement of how is achieved status compares with his ascribed status. Social change is a natural phenomenon and the moment there is also social mobility. Probably no society absolutely forbids social mobility and no society is immobile.
What are the factors of social mobility?
Wages and earnings tend to correlate with the amount of education a person has obtained. With a college degree, it is more likely for one to attain a professional-level job wherein he or she may earn a higher salary in comparison to someone working in a secondary, service-based job.
Higher educational opportunities are necessary in order to pull away from the poverty line. Of the 30 fastest growing occupations, more than half require an associate’s degree or higher. Yet, these jobs are less likely to supply additional jobs to the labor market; meaning, the majority of job growth is found in low-wage jobs (Jacobs 2005).
These low-wage jobs are associated with those people who have less education. Workers in these areas are deemed unskilled because it does not require a great amount of education in order to perform these jobs, so the stereotype goes. White collar jobs, however, necessitate more human capital and knowledge and therefore produce higher earnings and require greater education.
GENDER and RACE FACTOR:
History has shown that women and minorities have a disadvantage in earning promotions; thus, being a woman or minority is one of the main determinants in hindering status mobility within the labor market. Women and minorities hold jobs with less rank, authority, opportunity for advancement. This concept is considered to be the “glass ceiling” effect. Despite the increased presence of blacks and women in the work force over the years, there remains a very small percentage that holds top managerial positions, implying the “glass ceiling.”
SOCIAL CHANGES AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
• Discuss theories of social change.
• Identify types of social change and its barriers.
• Give the types of social movements.
• Describe the Women’s Movement.
Lesson 1. Theories of Social Change
Definition of Social Change
Social change refers to an alteration in the social order of a society. The base of social change is change in the thought process in humans. It may refer to the notion of social progress or socio-cultural evolution, the philosophical idea that society moves forward by dialectical or evolutionary means. It may refer to a paradigmatic change in the socio-economic structure, for instance a shift away from feudalism and towards capitalism. Accordingly it may also refer to social revolution, such as the Socialist revolution presented in Marxism, or to other social movements, such as Women’s suffrage or the Civil rights movement. Social change may be driven by cultural, religious, economic, scientific or technological forces.
Theories of Social Change
• Evolutionary theory
Sociologists in the 19th century applied Charles Darwin’s (1809–1882) work in biological evolution to theories of social change. According to evolutionary theory, society moves in specific directions. Therefore, early social evolutionists saw society as progressing to higher and higher levels. As a result, they concluded that their own cultural attitudes and behaviors were more advanced than those of earlier societies. Identified as the “father of sociology,” Auguste Comte subscribed to social evolution. He saw human societies as progressing into using scientific methods. Likewise, Emile Durkheim, one of the founders of functionalism, saw societies as moving from simple to complex social structures. Herbert Spencer compared society to a
living organism with interrelated parts moving toward a common end. In short, Comte, Durkheim, and Spencer proposed unilinear evolutionary theories, which maintain that all societies pass through the same sequence of stages of evolution to reach the same destiny. Contemporary social evolutionists like Gerhard Lenski, Jr., however, view social change as multilinear rather than unilinear. Multilinear evolutionary theory holds that change can occur in several ways and does not inevitably lead in the same direction. Multilinear theorists observe that human societies have evolved along differing lines. • Functionalist theory
Functionalist sociologists emphasize what maintains society, not what changes it. Although functionalists may at first appear to have little to say about social change, sociologist Talcott Parsons holds otherwise. Parsons (1902–1979), a leading functionalist, saw society in its natural state as being stable and balanced. That is, society naturally moves toward a state of homeostasis. To Parsons, significant social problems, such as union strikes, represent nothing but temporary rifts in the social order. According to his equilibrium theory, changes in one aspect of society require adjustments in other aspects. When these adjustments do not occur, equilibrium disappears, threatening social order. Parsons’ equilibrium theory incorporates the evolutionary concept of continuing progress, but the predominant theme is stability and balance. • Conflict theory
Conflict theorists maintain that, because a society’s wealthy and powerful ensure the status quo in which social practices and institutions favorable to them continue, change plays a vital role in remedying social inequalities and injustices. Although Karl Marx accepted the evolutionary argument that societies develop along a specific direction, he did not agree that each successive stage presents an improvement over the previous stage. Marx noted that history proceeds in stages in which the rich always exploit the poor and weak as a class of people. Slaves in ancient Rome and the working classes of today share the same basic exploitation. Only by socialist revolution led by the proletariat (working class), explained Marx in his 1867 Das Kapital, will any society move into its final stage of development: a free, classless, and communist society.
Lesson 2. Types of Social Change
Types of Social Change
Social change is mostly brought about through social movements. There are two primary types of social movements. A reform movement seeks to preserve existing values but alter how they are interpreted or implemented. A revolutionary movement aims to replace existing values with new ones.
Social Change Strategies
Consider 4 things when planning social change activities:
• The target of social change
• The agents of social change
• Relation of agent to target
• What will gain public support for your goal?
TARGETS: Individual, Group/Organizations, Communities, Society
Always be sensitive to the needs of the change targets. If individuals, goals are to change attitudes, feelings, beliefs, values, perceptions and behaviors.If group or organization, goals are to change group size, group composition, structure of authority, status/power hierarchies, incentives to participate, communication styles and channels, relationships among group members, tasks associated with positions within the group. If community, goals are to change inter group relations such as prejudice and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, age, etc…
CHANGE AGENTS: Always seek simplest strategy.
Maintain good relations with change target and maximum cooperation with them. Change should benefit the change target. Three groups of change agents: (1)directors, administrators, organizers, (2)financial backers, political
supporters (3)volunteers, employees, technical and professional support staff/consultants .
RELATION OF AGENT TO TARGET
If there is inequality between the agents and target on some grounds, but not on others and the goal is to reverse this inequality, then use empirical-rational strategies. Example, Queer Rights
If agents want to convince the target group to join them and help them (want to win over the target, not defeat them), then use normative/re-educative strategies. Example, Women’s Rights
If the agents are completely oppressed and exploited by the target group and the agents need to defeat the target, then use power/coercive strategies. Example, Race Riots, Revolutions
WHAT WILL GAIN PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR YOUR GOAL?
What strategies will gain respect? Which will reinforce negative stereotypes or create new negative meanings? (Public support here are the people outside of your target group.) Violence usually does not lead to widespread public support of your goal or your organization.
General Social Change Strategies
Usually multiple strategies are best. And usually the simpler, the better. Change strategies are most effective when: (a) targets recognize problem (b) targets agree change is necessary (c) targets are open to external assistance in social change (d) targets willing to change.
Lesson 3. Barriers to Social Change
Four Principles For Creating Change, And Four Barriers That Make It Harder
Many people now are struggling to make change; to drive social or
environmental impact whether they are social entrepreneurs or people working from within organizations to make a difference. In this piece, we wanted to focus on thinking about how communities of change makers can thrive. It’s not enough for change making to be the sole remit of a handful of do-gooders or NGOs. By highlighting some of the barriers and core principles that are vital to the success of a world in which everyone is a change maker, we hope to begin to mainstream the art of change making and destroy the social entrepreneur’s monopoly on social change.
➢ Experts As Idols
Too often change making is outsourced to experts or social entrepreneurs rather than community members. While we may depend on experts for guidance, we often overly rely on them, believing “they” will fix problems. But it is rare for experts to move beyond diagnosing a problem to actually creating pathways for change. Social entrepreneurs, too, are illustrated as extraordinary superhuman individuals with talents that are beyond what you or I possess. This faith in social entrepreneurs as heroes and in experts as problem solvers provides a false story about how change in society occurs. Change does not happen by a few “chosen” individuals, but more often comes from ordinary citizens working to make a difference. ➢ Conditions Of Problem Solving Are Overlooked
Much of the time, we are quick to jump to tactical problem solving without fully reflecting on whether the conditions for it are put in place. Tackling the groundwork of problem solving can ensure that you go about diagnosing and resourcing the problem effectively. So, for example, ensuring that problem-solving communities are aligned in terms of a shared set of values or that the right diversity of thought, culture, and demographics are brought into the conversation from the beginning is critical to ensuring solutions that develop are properly embedded in a value system and process a community can get behind. ➢ Problems Aren’t Packaged For Change
One of the greatest difficulties in making change is feeling overwhelmed by
the problem you are trying to solve. Problems may seem too big to take on. As a result, many people can feel paralyzed with little possibility for making a difference. This kind of thinking makes change making seem burdensome rather than something that can be fun or exciting. In contrast, successful change makers are able to break problems into manageable chunks. Once you identify something about an issue that is moveable or changeable then you can actually begin to make progress. ➢ Learning Is One to One
How do we learn to be change makers? Much of the art of change making involves soft skills that we absorb from others that model or demonstrate change making behaviors. This means that learning opportunities are limited by one-to-one interactions and by exposure to other change makers. Compared to traditional fields like entrepreneurship, where there are plentiful resources for training, the practice of change making is still far from being widespread.
➢ Link Personal Stories With The Big Picture
The first step in making change is moving from seeing a problem as a personal symptom (something that only impacts you) to seeing that problem as shared by a community or as part of a bigger picture of an entire system. Once a change maker comes to see their individual experience as symptomatic of a systemic injustice or challenge they become better able to develop a vision for social change. ➢ Recognize Hidden Assets
Change making starts at home. Too often people look externally for resources or talent when there is great abundance in a local community. The move away from “deficit thinking” towards the recognition that communities have the assets to transform themselves is an important principle for change making. ➢ Design For Divergence And Convergence
Making change requires escaping day-to-day reality and being able to experiment and think differently. Many change makers stress the importance
of fostering “beginner’s mind” or a state of receptivity and openness. Sustaining change making also requires the creation of space for diverse collaboration between individuals and communities that don’t often get to converge. ➢ Create Self-Regulating Networks
Often leaders or institutions promote dependency with a community. But successful change making communities depend on reducing dependence on one anointed leader. Flat networks and peer-based accountability structures are necessary if a community is to sustain change beyond one individual. The need for change communities and networks to be self-regulating is vital for their sustainability. Lesson 4. Types of Social Movements
Definition of Social Movements
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations which focus on specific political or social issues. In other words, they carry out, resist or undo a social change.
Types of Social Movements
Social movements attempt to effect societal change through the organization of social movement organizations — large groups of like-minded people that promote the desired change. Sociologist William Bruce Cameron divided social movements into four distinct types — revolutionary, revisionary, conservative and reactionary. Though there are similarities shared by the four types, their distinctions lie in their objectives, methods and the degree of change they desire.
➢ Sociologist Henry L. Tischler characterizes revolutionary social movements as the most drastic of the four types. Revolutionary movements seek total change of an existing power structure, such as the American Revolutionary War or, from modern history, the Black Guerilla Movement in
Zimbabwe. The Black Guerilla Movement, which was ultimately successful in ending white rule of the country formerly known as Rhodesia, typified revolutionary social movements in its use of political agitation, illegal acts and violence to achieve change.
➢ A Revisionary social movement seeks limited or partial change, as opposed to complete overhaul of the existing order. The contemporary women’s movement, the early 20th century’s drive for women’s suffrage, and the civil rights movement are examples. This type of social movement tends to focus on one issue and generally operates within the system, using legal means.
➢ According to Tischler the conservative type of social movement seeks to maintain the status quo and traditional values. Often, this type of movement begins as a reaction to a perceived threat to those values, such as the pro-gun movement’s response to proposed gun control legislation in the United States. The Religious Right is another example of a conservative social movement in its attempt to protect traditional religion and family values. • Reactionary
➢ As with conservative social movements, reactionary movements are usually launched in reaction to a perceived threat to the status quo and values. Lesson 5. The Women’s Movement
The feminist movement (also known as the Women’s Movement, Women’s Liberation, or Women’s Lib) refers to a series of campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women’s suffrage, sexual harassment, and sexual violence, all of which fall under the label of feminism. The movement’s priorities vary among nations and communities and range from opposition to female genital mutilation in one country or to the glass ceiling in another.
RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND FAMILY PLANNING
• Define population and demography.
• Discuss responsible parenthood.
• Identify and enumerate methods of family planning.
Lesson 1. Population and Demography
Definition of Population
A population is all the organisms of the same group or species who live in the same geographical area and are capable of interbreeding. In ecology the population of a certain species in a certain area is estimated using the Lincoln Index. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals from other areas. Normally breeding is substantially more common within the area than across the border. In sociology, population refers to a collection of human beings. Demography is a social science which entails the statistical study of human populations. This article refers mainly to human population. Statistical Population
A statistical population is a set of entities concerning which statistical inferences are to be drawn, often based on a random sample taken from the population. For example, if we were interested in generalizations about crows, then we would describe the set of crows that is of interest. Notice that if we choose a population like all crows, we will be limited to observing crows that exist now or will exist in the future. In addition, geography will also constitute a limitation in that our resources for studying crows are also limited. The term statistical population is also used to refer to a set of potential measurements or values, including not only cases actually observed but those that are potentially observable.
Definition of Demography
Demography is the statistical study of human populations. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic living population, i.e., one that changes over time or space (see population dynamics).
It encompasses the study of the size, structure, and distribution of these populations, and spatial and/or temporal changes in them in response to birth, migration, aging and death. “Demo” means “the people” and “graphy” means “measurement”. Demographic analysis can be applied to whole societies or to groups defined by criteria such as education, nationality, religion and ethnicity. Institutionally, demography is usually considered a field of sociology, though there are a number of independent demography departments, Formal demography limits their objects of study to the measurement of populations processes, while the broader field of social demography population studies also analyze the relationships between economic, social, cultural and biological processes influencing a population. The term demographics refers to characteristics of a population. Lesson 2. Responsible Parenthood
Responsible Parenthood is not equivalent to the Reproductive Health Bill, it is not birth control, it is not population control. “If we consider the relevant physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have a large family or by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect for the moral law, choose not to have children for the time being or even for an indeterminate period (Humane vitae).
If we examine the innate drives and emotions of man, responsible parenthood expresses the dominion which reason and will must exert over them. Everything directly related to the transmission of life participates in the creative power of God; consequently, it should be treated with respect and responsibility. Parenting Goals
• Keep Your Eyes Open
Sometimes we notice that something does not feel right with a child but we
get distracted. We are all very busy, it’s true. We have great pressures and responsibilities pulling us in too many directions. The child who seems a little ‘off’, not himself, snappy or more quiet than usual is trying to tell us something. But it is easy to tuck this information away in a back pocket and only realize that something is wrong when a crisis occurs. We then think back and recognize that the signs were there, we were just too preoccupied to pay attention. Don’t allow problems with your child to fester and grow. Open your eyes and observe if a child seems sad, withdrawn, distant, more moody than usual, or angry. Recognize if there seems to be greater confrontation between this child and siblings, if friends stop calling or coming over, or if the child can’t seem to find his place in school. Because before you know it, half the year can go by and what could have been a small problem has now become a ‘situation’ that requires major time and investment and causes terrible aggravation. • Develop a Working Relationship with Teachers
Reach out to your child’s teachers before your child reaches ‘zero hour.’ Many parents feel as if teachers are their opponents and don’t realize that we are all here to try and help our children grow in the best way possible. If you think that there may be an issue, it is a good idea to set up a meeting with the teacher and ask how you can work in harmony. Too many parents call teachers to demand and accuse instead of saying that we would like to solve this problem together. Before going to the principal with a complaint, see if you can first diffuse the situation. If there are any special concerns going on in your home, do not wait for the teacher to find out through your child’s acting up in class or failure to keep up with schoolwork and poor grades. When a grandparent falls ill, if there is a health issue, financial stress, marital upheaval, problems with siblings, or any other factor that may affect your child’s academic or social success, it would be wise to enlist your child’s teacher as your confidential ally and gain her/his understanding. You can believe that most teachers would go the extra mile and extend to your child an open heart. • Work on Social Skills
Help your child be successful this year by preparing him not just
academically, but also socially. School is not simply about getting straight A’s, it is also about learning how to get on with others and knowing how to develop friendships. A child who is happy in school is a child who can focus on studying and doing well. He wants to be there and be a part of things. One who believes that school is all about academics and no social life unfortunately makes a big mistake. How can we better teach our children social skills?
➢ Set rules and follow through with consequences when needed. ➢ Set routines for meals and bedtimes that establish stability. ➢ Develop your child’s ability to put himself in the shoes of others and grow more sensitive. ➢ Help your child learn how to express frustration, disappointment and anger without hurting others or retreating into sullenness. ➢ Establish basic rules of conduct: no hitting, kicking, biting, spitting, (no hands allowed), and no hurting others through our words. • Help Children Become Independent
When children feel as if they are gaining skills and becoming self-sufficient, they grow more confident in their abilities. You will watch their self-esteem take off. Each year, every child should be able to point with pride to a newfound skill or added responsibility that comes with age. We can help our children grow independent and flourish by:
➢ Teaching our children to pick out their clothing, dress themselves as they grow older, tie their own shoes, pack school snacks, make lunches the night before, set their own alarm clocks instead of waking them up, and having children put away their books and organizing themselves.
➢ Allow a young child to complete puzzles and feed himself on his own and as he grows, to do his homework and projects by himself. It is much healthier to tell a child that you will check his work when he is done instead of sitting beside him and correcting the answers as he goes along. Book reports and science projects should not be parent’s homework.
➢ Have your child help around the house and gain responsibilities instead
of waiting to be served. Some skills children can help with are putting away laundry, setting and clearing the table, helping to serve guests, baking, cooking and keeping their room in order. • Communicate with Each Child
Our children should never be afraid to speak with us. No matter how tough the topic, even if they messed up badly, they should not fear that we will hate them or want to close the door on them. Our love must be unconditional. True, there may be consequences or emotions of disappointment, but they must know that we are here for them. After all, we are their parents and if they cannot believe in our love for them, whose love can they believe in? Work on communicating with your child. Share a smile, a good word, a laugh, a story, or a meal together. The main thing is that you put the time and energy in so that he knows that he matters in your life. ➢ Talk to your child every day-even if it’s just for a few minutes. ➢ Put down your iPhone , turn off your laptop when your child (or you) return home, at mealtimes and story times, and when you pick your child up from school. Look at him and make eye contact while having a conversation. ➢ Speak to your child in the tone and with the words that you wish he would use with others. ➢ Express your love every day, no matter how tough the day. Lesson 3. Methods of Family Planning
Family planning is the planning of when to have children, and the use of birth control and other techniques to implement such plans. Other techniques commonly used include sexuality education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counselling and management, and infertility management. Family planning is choosing the number of children in a family and the length of time between their births. Family planning is sometimes used as a synonym for the use of birth control, however, it often includes a wide variety of methods, and practices that are not birth control. It is most usually applied to a female-male couple who wish to limit the number of children they have and/or to control the timing of pregnancy (also known as spacing children).
Family planning may encompass sterilization, as well as abortion. What Is the Importance of Family Planning?
Family planning is important for the health of a mother and her children, as well as the family’s economic situation. According to the United States Agency for International Development, having children more than five years or less than two years apart can cause both a mother and her children serious health consequences. The financial consequence of having children involves the medical costs of pregnancy and birth and the high costs associated with actually bringing up children. Since parents are responsible for providing education, shelter, clothing and food for their children, family planning has an important long-term impact on the financial situation of any family.
The World Health Organization and other global and local organizations are actively seeking ways to increase the amount of information and access people have to contraception and other resources related to family planning all around the world. The organization is particularly focusing on low-income communities and developing countries where family planning is less prevalent. Planned Parenthood is an organization that has locations around the U.S. that provide low-cost family planning services and sex education for low-income and uninsured patients.
Objectives of Family Planning
• To avoid unwanted births.
• To bring about wanted births.
• To regulate intervals between pregnancies.
• To control the time at which births occur in relation to the age of the parent. • To determine the number of children in the family.
Methods of Family Planning
Family planning involves the use of all techniques, practices, and medical devices that help a couple plan their family. It not only helps in deciding
the number of children to have but also when to have and how to space their births.
• NATURAL METHODS
➢ Abstinence- It simply means refraining from sex during the fertile days of the woman. This requires knowledge and awareness of a woman’s fertility process. Couples who do not want to have a baby, and want to avoid taking artificial contraceptives, should keep away from sexual intercourse during ovulation and after it. The fertile days can be determined by the following methods.
❖ Calendar method- This method requires you to be aware of your menstrual cycle. The day one of your period is the first day of the cycle. Counting from day 1, mark day 8 in your calendar and move forward to day 19. The days from day 8 to day 19 are the most fertile days; hence sexual activities during these days should be completely avoided.
❖ Basal body temperature- Women who have irregular periods can benefit from this method. It requires a basal thermometer that can record even a slight change in the temperature. After your periods end, measure your body temperature orally every morning, at the same time, and record it. You will notice that the temperatures recorded each day are pretty consistent until you start ovulating. The day you ovulate, there will be a sudden increase in the temperature indicating high fertile period. You should abstain from intercourse till the temperature drops down to your normal body temperature as before ovulation.
❖ Cervical Mucus- The color (white, yellow), consistency (thick, sticky), and the feel (dry, wet) of cervical mucus can help in determining the safe and unsafe days to have sex. Examine your discharge, and if you notice it to be white, stretchy, or wet, it indicates your ovulation phase. During this phase sex should be avoided. Effectiveness %: 75% and less
➢ Coitus Interruptus- Popularly known as the withdrawal or pull out method, this is another way of practicing birth control. During sexual intercourse if the man pulls out his penis just before ejaculating, he can prevent any sperm from entering the woman’s vagina. However, this is not a foolproof method, as the fluid which is secreted before ejaculation also contains sperms, and are sufficient to fertilize an ovum. Effectiveness %: 75-80%
• ARTIFICIAL METHODS- These methods employ various products and devices that are used to avoid pregnancy, and in some cases STDs. Some of these are listed below.
➢ Physical Barriers- This method prevents the sperm from coming in contact with the egg, which in turn prevents its fertilization. Various products and contraceptive devices that are available in the market, and are safe to use are mentioned below.
❖ Condoms- These are the most commonly used devices to minimize the chances of pregnancy. Male condoms are used to cover an erect penis during sexual intercourse. This holds the ejaculate, preventing it from entering the vagina. Now female condoms are available in the market. These are inserted in the vagina which is held in position during the intercourse. Along with birth control, a condom also helps in preventing sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, etc. There have been cases where condoms have failed to avoid pregnancies, but this may be mostly due to defective ones or incorrect use of the condom. Effectiveness %: 76-85%
Possible side effects: Allergic reaction, irritation, etc.
❖ Diaphragm- These are dome-shaped cups made of either silicon or latex. These cups have flexible rims which are inserted into the vagina for blocking the sperms from uniting with the egg. A spermicide is applied to these cups that reduces the movement of sperms considerably. Effectiveness %: 75-85%
Possible side effects: Toxic shock, urinary tract infection, allergy, and irritation (due to spermicide)
❖ Implantable rods- These are commonly known as Implanon (brand name).
They are small rod-shaped devices implanted under the skin of the upper arm. They work by releasing synthetic progesterone, progestin that thickens the cervical mucus. This hinders sperm movement making it impossible to unite with an egg. Effectiveness %: 95-99%
Possible side effects: Ovarian cyst, weight gain, depression, acne, mood swings, sore breasts.
❖ Intrauterine device (IUD) – The IUD is a small T-shaped device which is inserted into a woman’s uterus. It is a convenient, safe, and reversible method which does not require a daily routine. It is basically of two types, Copper IUD and Hormonal IUD. Copper IUD works by releasing copper ions in small amounts into the uterus. Hormonal IUD works by releasing progestin into the uterus. Both the released copper and progestin block the union of sperms with an egg. Normally once it is inserted, it stays in place for 5 to 10 years, and inhibits the entry of sperms into the inner recesses of the vagina, and prevents fertilization as well. It should be inserted and removed (when pregnancy is desired) by a qualified medical practitioner to avoid complications. Effectiveness %: 99% and above
Possible side effects: Excessive bleeding, cramps, inflammation of pelvis.
❖ Birth control sponges- These are inserted deep into the vagina for effective inhibition of joining of sperms with an egg. It is a small round-shaped foam that releases spermicide, restricting the movement of sperms. It has a nylon strap for its easy removal. Today Sponge is the brand that is available in the US. Effectiveness %: 75-85%
Possible side effects: Toxic shock, allergic reaction, irritation.
❖ Contraceptive patch- This is a small, thin trans-dermal patch made of plastic which when placed on the skin releases estrogen and progestin. These hormones stop ovulation, hence the egg does not leave the ovaries for fertilization. It also tends to make the cervical mucus thicker, thus inhibiting sperm motility. It should be placed on the upper arms, buttocks, thighs, or abdomen. It is usually put on the first day of periods and kept in place for a week. Exactly on the seventh day (second week), the patch is replaced by another, and again by a new patch on the third week. The fourth week is the patch-free week, and this process is repeated again. Effectiveness %: 90-98%
Possible side effects: Weight gain, dizziness, irregular periods, depression, mood swings.
❖ Vaginal ring- It is a contraceptive ring that is inserted into the vagina. It releases certain hormones that prevent the egg to be released from the ovaries. It also restricts the movement of sperms by making the cervical mucus thicker. Effectiveness %: 90-98%
Possible side effects: Vaginal swelling, allergic reaction, mood swings, blood clots, depression.
➢ Birth Control Pills- Birth control pills, also known as oral contraceptives, stop the development of the egg, and also help in the thickening of the cervical mucus in the uterus, thus restricting the passage of sperms to the egg. This can be an effective method if the pills are taken regularly, and in the correct manner. Effectiveness %: 90-98% Possible side effects: High blood pressure, abdominal pain, irregular periods, mood swings, depression, weight gain, blood clots, bleeding between periods.
➢ Hormonal Methods- Hormonal shots are given every three months.
This essentially consists of progestin hormone that blocks the joining of sperms with an egg. It also prevents the entry of the egg into the uterus. These injections are usually given on the buttocks or upper arms. Effectiveness %: 90-98%
Possible side effects: Bone density loss (long-term use), weight gain, mood swings, headache, sore breasts, bleeding between periods.
➢ Surgical Method- Sterilization is a permanent surgical procedure, to avoid future pregnancies. It is a method of birth control suited for couples who do not want to have any more children, or couples who do not want to have a child. Vasectomy (blocks the tube carrying sperms) is the procedure for men and tubectomy or tubal ligation ( blocks the fallopian tube that releases the egg into the uterus) for women. Effectiveness %: 99% and above Possible side effects: Pain, bleeding, and other complications after surgery, ectopic surgery.
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