EC 333 Oregon Environmental and Resource Economic Issues Ralf Doering Worksheet

DescriptionEC 333 Environmental and Resource Economic Issues (Ralf Doering)
Name of Student:
Note: Each question is worth a certain number of points. The exam includes three categories of
questions: 1) Multiple Choice Block, 2) Definitions and 3) Two General Questions.
Please convert your final version of the exam to a pdf and upload it no later than 11:59 pm
May 5th. Late submission will not be accepted!
Please provide the definitions and the answers to the general questions in your own words.
Simply copying and pasting definitions, for example, from publications, websites etc. is not
allowed and we will check your document for plagiarism!
Multiple Choice Block (Each question 1 point) – Check all boxes that apply!
Question: Please pick the concept(s) which is/are part of the core principles of
Environmental Economics.
x
The economic system is a subset of the broader ecosystem.
x
The theory of environmental externalities.
The economic subset is well inside the limits of the biosphere.
x
The economic valuation of environmental goods and service
Question: What is/are (a) problem(s) for a Pigouvian tax?
x
The right level of taxation is not easy to calculate.
Need to ask people how they value the environment.
x
Not clear who will pay for the external costs at the end.
x
Companies already pay enough taxes.
Question: What is a main problem of the genuine savings concept?
x
The concept includes the depreciation of natural capital.
The concept does not distinguish in which capital stock a society invests as it may
lead to a further reduction in natural capital.
The concept includes the requirement of investments in diverse capital stocks.
Question: The Environmental Kuznets Curve assumes that
We have no ongoing increase in per capita income.
There is no connection between income per capita and level of e.g. pollution.
x
With increasing income societies invest in reduction of e.g. pollution which then
decreases.
The government will always decide to reduce pollution when societies become
richer.
Question: What is normally not assumed as justification for Discounting?
We need to discount to be able to maximize e.g. Net Present Value.
That we have higher levels of natural resources in the future.
Future generations will be richer and, therefore, we can discount to redistribute
future wealth to today (not invest too much in future consumption).
Availability of natural resources in the future is not relevant.
Question: What was an argument in favor of strong sustainability?
Strong sustainability can accept concessions easier than weak sustainability.
Leaves us less options for the future.
We want to avoid a false negative outcome (development followed hypothesis of
full substitutability but natural capital was in reality essential).
Natural capital and man-made capital are fully substitutable.
Question: What was the assumption of Robert Solow when he introduced resources into
the production function in his 1974 article?
The economy produces the GDP only with Capital and Labor.
The economy produces the GDP with Labor, Capital and Resources.
The economy produces the GDP with Labor, Resources and Human Capital.
The economy produces the GDP with Knowledge Capital, Resources and Capital
Question: Hans Carl v. Carlowitz discussed which three principles for forestry?
Substitution, Investment and Efficiency
Effectiveness, Investment and Substitution
Investment, Efficiency and Non-Substitution
Question: What is a plausible reason for reduction in SO2 emissions in the 1980’s in
Germany?
The government issued a plea to the industry to reduce emissions.
The government negotiated a level of pollution with the industry.
The government introduced a ban on SO2 emissions.
The government introduced a law fixing allowed emission levels for the industry.
Question: Which of the following are not private goods?
An apple
Nice view at the coast
A pair of socks
Playing golf in a golf club
Definitions Block (each definition 2 points) – Please use the space in the table. Longer answers
will not be considered. Please answer in your own words.
What are the three elements of natural capital in the Greifswalder Sustainability Theory?
What is an environmental externality?
What is the discount rate in a cost-benefit analysis?
What are the two characteristics of public goods?
What are two basic assumptions of the Coase theorem?
General Questions (each 5 points). Your answer should not exceed 4300 characters (including
spaces) per question – about 1 page.
1) The government asks you for advice what instruments it can implement to reduce the
sulphur dioxide emissions of companies. We have discussed four instruments in class,
please explain advantages and disadvantages of those instruments (from an economic
standpoint but not only).
2) How would you justify the rejection of weak sustainability to another college student
who has never taken a class that covers sustainability?
Introduction to Sociology
Professor Jill Ann Harrison
Graduate Employee Discussion Leaders:
Gabriella Altmire
Kason Carte
Katie Clarke
Ben Dreon
Uri Guerra
Jiayan Lin
Alejandra Pedraza
Jinsun Yang
Welcome!
• Today is about introductions
• What is sociology?
• What can sociology teach us?
• How are we going to learn about it?
• Syllabus stuff…
What Is Sociology?
• Sociology is a social science. It involves the
systematic study of society.
• But what does that mean?
• Science: using systematic, scientific tools &
methods to understand the social world.
• Society: an enduring and cooperating social
group whose members have developed
organized patterns of relationships through
interaction with one another.
But what sets sociology apart?
Sociology
• Sociologists seek to understand how different social things are related to
each other
• Psychologists → individual actions linked to brain/cognitive function
• Sociologists → individual/group actions linked to social environment &
interactions with others
• Economists → economic markets & rational calculations
• Sociologists → how social networks & culture influence our economic
behavior and access to resources
• Political science → political power, structures, outcomes
• Sociologists → how political identity and behavior is reflective of
culture, networks, resources, interactions. Power relations.
Important Sociological Concepts
• Social institutions: a complex group of interdependent positions that, together,
perform a social role and reproduce themselves over time.
• Social structure: patterned relationships between institutions and large social
groups; we aren’t just behaving randomly, but there is an order, almost by
unwritten rules to society. Provides stability.
Thinking Sociologically
• Sociology is an empirical discipline, but you don’t
need to be a trained sociologist to think
sociologically.
• Sociology asks us to see our familiar world in a new
or different way (and perhaps even reevaluate our
opinions about the world and our place in it).
• Sociological imagination
Sociological Imagination
• Our job this term will be to develop our
sociological imaginations
• The ability to connect the most basic,
intimate aspects of an individual’s life
to seemingly impersonal and remote
historical forces.
• It doesn’t teach us what to think,
but will enable us to think more
comprehensively about our
shared social world.
• It enables us to consider the
human face of social action – to
identify our own capacities to
defend and transform social life.
What Can
Sociology Tell Us?
What Can Sociology Tell Us?
What Can
Sociology Tell Us?
What Can Sociology Tell Us?
• Sociology can also tell us things that can help us to understand
ourselves.
• Why might we be interested in the things we are interested in?
• Why might we feel weird in certain situations?
• Why might we make the choices that we do?
About Me
• Associate professor of sociology at UO
• Study work, place, and identity; working class people &
issues
• Born & raised in Youngstown, Ohio
• Graduated with a BA in sociology from Youngstown State
University
• Phd The Ohio State University
About Me
• I am interested in how the work that we do
shapes who we are.
• Projects I’ve worked on:
• Studied deindustrialization of the
Louisiana shrimp fishing industry & its
effects on fishers.
• How the BP oil spill affected shrimp
fishers in Louisiana
• Rust Belt revitalization
• Meanings of place & work →
revitalization processes & placemaking.
How Will We Learn About
Sociology?
• Readings
• Online textbook: A Sociology Experiment
• Supplemental readings
• Lectures
• Discussion sections
• Attendance & participation
• Activities
• Weekly lecture activities
• Two papers
• midterm & final exam
The
Course
• The lecture
• Discussion section
• Once a week for
50 minutes
• Check your CRN
The Structure of the Course
• Part 1
• First, we will explore a variety of topics that will enable
us to hone our sociological imaginations.
• We start with the basics: key concepts and foundations.
• Part 2
• We then move to understanding ourselves
• Socialization, interaction → social control, social order,
deviance.
• How on Earth can it be an act of deviance to hug or shake
hands?
The Structure of the Course
• Part 3
• Last, we move to understand people who occupy other
statuses & positions
• Class, race, gender, sexuality, place
• Positionality matters for understanding social
outcomes.
Women have shouldered a bigger
burden to perform carework duties
during the pandemic. Why?
Some states have much lower
vaccination rates than other states.
Why?
LGBTQ+, Black, and LatinX people
experience health disparities that made
the Covid-19 worse for them. Why?
Those with more money and power
had quicker access to COVID-19 tests
& vaccines. Why?
Other Important Things to Mention
• If you find yourself confused, falling behind, or just
wanting to chat more about something you find
interesting, reach out!
• Email: As a general rule, please email your
discussion leader first (unless your question is
specifically for me)
• Office hours: Friday 9-11
Next Class
WE WILL CONTINUE TO
DISCUSS WHAT
SOCIOLOGY IS & WHAT
SOCIOLOGISTS DO.
WE WILL THINK MORE
ABOUT THE
SOCIOLOGICAL
IMAGINATION
Foundations
of Sociology
Where We Have Been
• The Industrial Revolution was a game-changer
• And, from it sociology was born!
• The sociological imagination
• Connection between our lives and the larger society (aka structure)
• Linking structure and action
Where We Are Going
• Continuing to learn how to think sociologically
• Sociology as social science = theory + methods
• Today: we will better understand how to think sociologically by learning a wee bit
about the earliest sociological thinkers.
• But why is this useful?
• Their ideas serve as “lenses” that can challenge us to think differently
about the world → thinking sociologically.
• Can help us to grasp the connections between social structure & social
action.
The “Canon” for Sociological Scholarship
• Credit usually goes to 3 people: Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile
Durkheim.
• Each understood the rapid changes of the industrial revolution somewhat
differently
Marx → conflict
Durkheim → structure
Weber → social action
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Conflict theory
Karl Marx
• He wrote about capitalism → class conflict
• Capitalism: An economic system in which property and goods are privately owned;
investments are determined by private decisions; prices, production, distribution are
determined by market competition.
• Social conflict: a struggle between groups with different interests and needs.
Capitalism
• In March 2020, the cost of ventilators soared from $25K to $45K because of COVID-19
• WHY did this happen?
• Capitalism.
• Social conflict: different groups have different needs.
• US public & medical community: life-saving ventilators
• Manufacturers, companies, shareholders: profit
SOURCES:
https://www.propublica.org/article/taxpayers-paid-millions-to-design-a-low-cost-ventilator-for-a-pandemic-instead-the-company-is-selling-versions-of-it-overseashttps://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-ventilator-new-york-cases-andrew-cuomo-price-cost-a9431861.html
Labor & Wages
• The basis of conflict regards who owns the “means of production” (and thus controls the
sale & distribution of goods) and who does not
• Capitalists vs. workers
• Marx: If you want to understand a society, look at how things are made and
distributed.
• Capitalists own everything, workers only own their labor (capacity to work)
• Workers sell their labor for wages
• But capitalists don’t want to pay workers too much, because this would threaten
their wealth.
• Wealth = power
Marx & Alienation
• Alienation: the feeling of being disconnected from each other, and from our core
self.
• Marx argued that this is a key feature of capitalism.
• Have you ever felt disconnected from yourself or others after a long day’s
work?
• Marx’s approach was relational, meaning people are defined by their
relationships to others & to institutions (economy).
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)
Structural functionalism
Émile Durkheim: Structural Functionalism
• Interested in capitalism, but he focused more on structure
• Structure: the organized set of social institutions and patterns of institutionalized
relationships that together compose society.
• Instead of conflict, he asked, “How are people connected?”
• Solidarity – social cohesion; unity.
• Division of labor: the separation of work and life into different, more
specialized parts.
• Traditional: simple society → shared beliefs because we know most people (and our place)
• Modern: complex society → varied beliefs; we have to rely on people we don’t know
People in these
societies are bound
together by
commonalities and
likeness.
Social stability as a result of shared
beliefs & experiences, as in a family
unit. Clear expectations (norms).
Different people with
different gods, jobs,
experiences, values.
What creates
solidarity?
Inter-dependence.
Anomie: a sense of aimlessness or despair when we
can’t expect life to be predictable; too little social
regulation; normlessness.
How Might This Matter?
• Division of labor doesn’t just affect work and productivity, but had social & moral
consequences as well.
• He wrote Suicide, an empirical analysis that connects this individual act to social forces
• The degree to which we are integrated into group life
• The degree to which our lives follow routines
• Anomie
Max Weber (1864-1920)
Max Weber
• Also interested in capitalism and structure
• He thought Marx focused too exclusively on economy & social class, at the
expense of other influences.
• Weber focused more on culture and how the organization of social life
is connected to social action.
• Culture: values that people hold and that ultimately guide their social actions
• Social action: our behaviors and beliefs that help to produce & sustain social
structures.
• Argued that it is important to understand the subjective meanings of action →
interpretive.
Protestant Work Ethic
• Weber examined how religious belief facilitated the
emergence and spread of capitalism.
• Protestant work ethic: “Idle hands are the devil’s
playthings”
• The idea that hard work gets you into heaven was
surely a benefit to the capitalists who needed
people to work hard for very little in return!
Sir Topham Hatt: Thomas, I have a job for you.
Thomas: What is it, sir? You know I only want to
be a Really Useful Engine.
The Sum: The “Canon”
• These varying ideas draw our attention to the nuanced ways that our
social world is organized.
• Don’t get too hung up on feeling you like you need to have a solid grasp
on these three perspectives
• They demonstrate ways we can probe the connections between self & social
structure, that is, to think sociologically!
• But were there people other than European white men thinking about
the changes happening in the world?
• Why yes!
The Forgotten Canon
• Marx, Weber, Durkheim enjoy a privileged status within classical sociology.
• They were written by people with a privileged status (white, European, educated).
• There is lots that their ideas leave out.
• They did not adequately theorize race, gender, or colonialism, among other social
processes we now consider important.
• There were others who were writing & thinking at the time.
• They were often ignored or not elevated due to racist and gendered structures that
did not privilege their perspectives.
• Barriers to access for universities; societal expectations attached to race & gender
likely silenced countless numbers of voices…
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois
(1868-1963).
W.E.B. Du Bois (pronounced doo-BOYSS) (1868-1963)
• The first African American to earn a PhD from Harvard, 1895.
• Sociology professor & social reformer
• He contributed to understanding of capitalism by bringing in an analysis
of slavery (which Marx ignored & saw incompatible with capitalism)
• Slavery & the growth of capitalism were interrelated.
• He did this in part by analyzing how economic wages are not the only
factor that drives our behavior. Race matters.
• “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”
Psychological Wages
• Slavery was unethical, immoral & absolutely devastating for African American
and Black individuals & communities.
• And it also undercut white workers’ wages.
• Why didn’t low-paid & exploited white workers join forces with enslaved
people to overthrow capitalists?
• Psychological wages of whiteness – getting paid in things other than money
• Status: relative social standing in a society; status has value
• White workers generally supported the myth of racial inferiority of Black
individuals because they benefitted from it.
• White privilege is still alive today; many institutions are rooted in white supremacy.
Du Bois wrote that, “the white group of laborers,
while they received a low wage, were compensated
in part by a sort of public and psychological wage.
They were given public deference and titles of
courtesy because they were white. They were
admitted freely with all classes of white people to
public functions, public parks, and the best schools.
The police were drawn from their ranks, and the
courts, dependent on their votes, treated them
with such leniency as to encourage lawlessness.
Their vote selected public officials, and while this
had small effect upon the economic situation, it
had great effect upon their personal treatment
and the deference shown to them.”
Double Consciousness
• A concept to describe the two behavioral scripts, one for moving
through the world and the other incorporating the external opinions
of prejudiced onlookers, which are constantly maintained by African
Americans.
• “A sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of
measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused
contempt and pity.”
“It’s not enough to be educated, accomplished and professional;
to navigate the obstacles created by racist stereotypes, POC
must also hide their emotions, and this comes with great
psychological costs. Jackson’s hearings help shine light on this
difficult mental balance of maintaining the dual identity of one’s
true self and the self POC have to display for the comfort and
acceptance of white society.”
https://thecolgatemaroonnews.com/36037/commentary/judge-ketanji-brown-jacksons-hearingsreveal-plight-of-black-women-in-the-workforce/
Jane Addams (1860-1935)
Jane Addams
• An American sociologist considered the founder of the
field of social work.
• She helped co-found the
American Civil Liberties Union
(in 1920) and was the first
American woman to win the
Nobel Peace Prize (in 1931).
Jane Addams
• She drew attention to the ways that poverty (as a function of the
industrial revolution) created unique problems for women, children, and
the working class.
• Hull House: A settlement house in Chicago that provided women social and
educational opportunities.
• Socially engaged scholarship: scholarship was not about studying other
people; it meant engaging with them and learning from that
experience.
The Takeaways
• Thinking like a sociologist means considering the links between the
individual and social structure.
• How do you understand the world?
• We tend to think in individualist terms
• “Common sense” is often wrong and can reflect biased or stereotypical thinking.
• The goal is to broaden your perspective a bit, to consider how social action
is embedded within a larger context.
Next Time
• Sociological thinking is grounded in empirical evidence
• Sociology requires us to move past superficial observations of our own worlds to
uncover the hidden social processes beneath
• We use a variety of research methods to help us locate these social
processes
• In the next class, I scratch the surface of the research methods
sociologists use
Doing Sociology:
Methods of
Inquiry
Today
• Today we will continue to explore sociological ways of
knowing.
• Focus: How does it differ from other ways of
knowing?
• How do sociologists study society?
• What does it mean to think scientifically?
• I will also discuss some ethical issues that we need to
think about when studying people.
Isn’t Sociology Just Stuff That Is Obvious?
• How do we know what we know?
• Our own experiences
• What we’ve been told
• What we see on TV or social media
• “Common sense”
But how might these ways of
knowing lead us to be wrong or
have inaccurate understandings
about the world?
Beliefs, Opinions, Facts
• Opinions: a judgement; an honest attempt to draw a reasonable conclusion from factual
evidence.
• “We need paid parental leave in this country.”
• Potentially changeable based upon evidence.
• Beliefs: a conviction; ideas about the world that are rooted in tradition, religion, or values.
• “Women’s essential nature is as a mother and caregiver.”
• Not based on facts or evidence; can’t be disproved with evidence; difficult to change.
• A fact is verifiable. We can determine whether it is true by researching & evaluating the
evidence.
• “In 2021, women earned 83% of what men earned, according to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics.”
Social Research is Grounded in Scientific Logic
• Scientific research privileges knowledge based in facts or empirical evidence,
information gathered through observation and documentation.
• It is systematic and uses the logic of science
• “When total time use is compared between mothers and fathers of young children,
mothers spend more combined time working, doing household labor, and caring for
children than fathers.” (citation below)
Sandra L. Hofferth, Sarah M. Flood, and Matthew Sobek, “American Time Use Survey Data Extract Builder: Version 2.6” (College Park, MD: University of Maryland
and Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, 2017), available at https://doi.org/10.18128/D060.V2.6.
5/6/2023
Scientific Logic
• We look for evidence that might show that our beliefs are wrong.
• Skepticism is a big part of scientific endeavors.
“Whether we’re testing subjects in a lab or wandering
the hallways of a school observing its inner workings,
the basic approach is the same: we look for other
potential explanations for what we observe, or any
evidence that our claim isn’t accurate” (Sociology
Experiment Pg. 4).
Confirmation Bias
• The tendency we all have to look for and accept information that
reinforces what we already believe about something.
“People in the south are
don’t seem to care about
Coronavirus or infecting other
people.”
“People in the south are
backward and selfish,
probably due to low
education.”
“People in the south place
too much faith in God and
not on science.”
In reality, people in the
south have to travel farther
to get basic necessities.
People in the south may be
more reliant on public
transportation.
What are other factors that
might not be included here?
There are many variables
that are at play here.
Relying solely on beliefs or
opinions can lead us to
misunderstand reality.
“The data offers
real-time evidence
of a divide laid
bare by the
coronavirus
pandemic — one
in which wealthier
people not only
have more job
security and
benefits but also
may be better able
to avoid becoming
sick.”
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/03/us/coronavirus-stay-home-rich-poor.html?referringSource=articleShare
Sociological Research Methods
• The goal here is to introduce you to sociological research methods by briefly describing
the types of methods and data we use.
• Quantitative
• Qualitative
• In doing so, hopefully you can be a little more familiar with the research findings I’ll use
throughout the rest of the term to explore a variety of topics.
We Begin With a Research Question
• The choice of tools we use to study society are related to our research questions.
• Example: “Is COVID-19 concern & behaviors shaped by partisanship?”
• Quantitative Methods: involve things that can be counted.
• Analysis of existing data
• Number crunching data that has been numerically coded
• Surveys: sets of questions that people answer
• The US Census is an example of a survey
• Experiments: systematically controlling factors that affect some outcome or interest
Quantitative Research
• Experiments: a process that allows researchers to examine a specific factor’s effect on
individual-level behavior by comparing it to control groups (not exposed to effect).
• Example: the way that the COVID-19 vaccine is framed to people has an effect on
whether one is likely or not likely to receive it (Adbi, Chatterjee, & Sharma 2021).
• People in India were more likely to take the vaccine when it was framed as
having an individual benefit rather than a societal benefit.
CITE: https://hmpi.org/2021/12/02/framing-covid-19-vaccine-hesitancy-experimental-evidence-from-india/
Qualitative Research
• Gathering non-numerical data that is focused on examining both behaviors and
meanings of actions for individuals and groups.
• Example: “Why do democrats have higher concern about COVID-19 than
republicans?”
• Interviewing: Asking people open-ended questions without a survey device
• Observation: Understanding people by observing them within their social contexts.
• Content analysis: Systematically coding social artifacts (diaries, websites, newspapers,
etc) to uncover meaning. Can actually be quite quantitative.
How I Was Proven Wrong Through My Own
Work (And Why This Was Awesome)
• I am a qualitative researcher
• The Louisiana shrimp fishing industry is
crumbling. What will they do next?
• Me: “The oil industry has many jobs. I bet they will
leave. How will they feel about it?”
• Most said they were planning on staying in
fishing even though they could get a better
paying job in the oil industry.
• What are the non-economic costs of
deindustrialization?
• People’s identities are tied to work, culture, place.
The Voices of Deindustrialization
I was so fed up and disgusted, and I wanted to sell the boat. I had people that was
coming to look at the boat. Me and my wife went, my wife went and cleaned inside
the cabin and everything. I went and cleaned everything in the engine room, top to
bottom. And, ya know, me, my heart was broken because I didn’t want to sell my boat.
And uh, it makes me, anyway, I ended up not selling the boat. I don’t like to talk about
that. It’s just that part right there, ya know? It’s just that we came so close to losing
everything, that I went to sell what I worked all my life for. You know? But uh, you
know, we pulled through. We pulled through and we still going, so far. (Charles
LaBoeuf, Innovator)
To Sum, So Far
• Social research is conducted using systematic methods that are guided by
the principles of science.
• Science is concerned with how our world works in fact.
• Sociological knowing is grounded in empirical evidence.
• Next: sociologists often study people. What challenges and responsibilities
does this raise?
• Research ethics
Ethical Research
• Working with human subject requires a commitment to ethics, or
critical reasoning about moral questions.
• Ethics weighs the benefits of research against potential harm to human
subjects.
• History is filled with cases where human subjects were badly
mistreated, abused, or even killed.
• Nuremberg Code of 1948 was established after WWII as a response to medical
experiments on Jewish prisoners conducted in Nazi concentration camps.
• Avoid all unnecessary physical and mental pain & suffering, and end the study if pain or
suffering becomes apparent
• Allow participants to stop participation at any time
• Weigh any risk to participants against the benefits to society.
Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment
• Study of syphilis in Black men in Alabama
• Lasted from 1932 to 1972
• Told they had “bad blood” – real diagnosis not revealed
• Once cure became available, researchers didn’t tell men about it
• Whistleblower led to end of study in 1972
• Study led to lifelong complications and preventable deaths
Doctor drawing blood from
Tuskegee study participant.
Source: National Archives, Atlanta.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
• All research involving human and animal research is overseen by the IRB
• Goal: protect subjects from physical or psychological harm.
• They define and monitor informed consent – must tell people that they
are being studied, and what the risks and benefits of their participation
might be.
• Ethical implications of studies are often difficult to predict
Lasting Effects of Tuskegee
• “Black patients consistently express
less trust in their physicians and
the medical system than white
patients, are more likely to believe
medical conspiracies, and are much
less likely to have common,
positive experiences in health-care
settings.”
• Source:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics
/archive/2016/06/tuskegee-studymedical-distrust-research/487439/
Although there was initially vaccine hesitancy
among Black adults, it quickly decreased once
vaccine was made widely available.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.go
v/35061038/
To Sum
• Sociological research is an empirical endeavor.
• Sociological ways of knowing attempt to reduce bias by being aware of our tendencies
toward it.
• Our research questions dictate which methods we choose (and our findings/conclusions
can be limited by our method).
• It’s important to be aware of the ethical implications that that arise from one’s study.
The Self and Social Structure
Structure & Agency
• Last class: Structure is influential for shaping social action.
• What is structure? What are the components of structure?
• Today: Do we have the ability to act on our own, given structural constraints and
opportunities? Yes. This is called agency.
• First, we will discuss our self-concept – focusing on the social aspects of it
• Then, we examine the links between structure and the individual
Who Are You?
• Self: the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves as physical, social, and
emotional beings.
• How did you become who you are?
• Socialization: the lifelong process of learning – through interaction – our society’s
norms, customs, ideologies.
• Provides us with skills necessary for participating in society.
• How we learn about rules and roles
• Extreme social isolation – especially at a young age – can negatively affect physical and
cognitive functioning.
Sociological Understandings of the Self
• Through socialization, we develop a sense of identity and self, that is
largely connected to our interactions.
• Interaction: the exchange of verbal and nonverbal messages.
• Praise, validation, unconditional love
• Punishment, shaming, shunning, ignoring, excluding
• We receive and interpret messages from our social environments.
• So how is this related to our self-concept?
Looking-Glass Self: Charles Horton Cooley, 1922.
• We can only reflect and form images of ourselves
through imagining the views that others hold of us.
• Three principal elements:
1.We imagine how we appear to others
2.We interpret how others may be judging that
appearance
3.We develop a self-feeling and respond based on
our imagined response
• We experience feelings of pride or shame
based on this imagined appearance and
judgment.
The
LookingGlass Self
• Looking-glass self is not a direct reflection but, rather,
one based upon our own interpretations.
Do I seem competent, cool, nerdy, confident, approachable, or an oddball?
Is how others are perceiving me the way I want to be perceived?
Yes: pride, assuredness, confident
No: shame, embarrassed, frustrated
But How Do We Develop the Ability to Do This?
• Cooley’s views were influential, but
somewhat simplistic
• George Herbert Mead: We develop
the self through learning to roletake. It happens during early
childhood.
1. Preparatory (imitation)
stage: I clap, you clap.
Learning your name
provides capacity for selfreflection.
2. Play stage: “Play superhero”
(role of 1 other). Role-taking
ability inconsistent &
unorganized.
3. Game stage: must grasp the
roles assigned to all the
others involved in that
game (baseball, house,
board games)
Our “Self” Is the Product of Interactions
• Generalized other – when we grasp the expectations of
a community as a whole. We see ourselves from the
vantage point of all others; their
standards/expectations become our own.
• Self-consciousness is a product of grasping the
generalized other.
• Socialization: the process by which we internalize
values, beliefs, norms of a given society
• From whom do we learn?
George Herbert Mead
Agents of Socialization
• People, groups, organizations, and
institutions that shape who we are
and how we act.
• Primary: parents, family, child peer
groups. Also media.
• Secondary: beyond childhood.
Workplace, schools, clubs, orgs,
online worlds, etc.
• Institutions: Mass media, religion,
government, education system, legal
systems, etc.
You
Gender Socialization
• We learn to be boys and girls based upon
prevailing expectations attached to gender.
• Begins at birth. Sociologists believe that
socialization is more significant than biology in
shaping one’s self-concept.
• Our gender beliefs often…
• …shape the way we interact with babies
• …influence what we expect from babies/kids
• …interpret infants’ emotional responses
• Is a baby sad, or angry?
Income Disparities by Field
Income Disparities By Field
Resocialization
• When social norms and
expectations shift, we shift to
adjust to them.
• The pandemic!
• Institutional
• Military, boarding school, jail or
prison, churches, fraternity or
sorority
Interested in Learning More About Self
and Society?
• SOC 328: Self and Society
• SUMMER: Professor Ken Liberman
• FALL: Professor CJ Pascoe
To Sum So Far…
• Social structure plays a powerful
role in shaping our self-concept
• Our sense of self is always evolving, as
we confront shifts or changes in
expectations and/or how we perceive
them.
• Next, I drill down on the connection
between structure & agency.
The Sociological Imagination
• Did you think we were done talking about that?
• The sociological imagination is being able to understand the
connections between structure & agency.
• It’s a complex interaction
• The ways people will decide to act (agency)
• The rules & resources we tap into to make our decisions
The Muslim Practice of Veiling for Women
• Why do some women practice veiling while others do not?
• In a study by Read and Bartowski (2000), they found that:
• Some women felt liberated by wearing it
• Others felt liberated for not wearing it.
https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/womenreveal-why-they-choose-to-wear-a-hijab
Muna Jama,
Former Miss
Universe
contestant
True beauty is defined
by our behaviour
towards one another
and should not be
measured by what we
wear. The hijab is a
wonderful way to
practice the Islamic faith
but not the only way.
Hijab is part of my identity
as a Black Muslim woman
and I wear it with pride. You
look at me and see a
Muslim woman and I like
that visibility especially
when I’m on the pitch
playing rugby because I feel
like I’m smashing
stereotypes
Zainab Alema,
athlete
The Decision to Veil
• The key is: women exercised agency by deciding to wear it or not.
• But how can we understand the differences in perceptions and actions among
them?
• Sociologists study this kind of thing!
• Sociologists collect and examine data to see if patterns exist that might
help us to understand what factors may lead a person to conform to
“rules”, and others to reject them.
• In the study mentioned, the ways that women viewed gender roles
was a key variable to describe their different choices.
Relationship Between Action & Structure
• It’s so incredibly complex! How do sociologists even begin to study this?
• Generally, sociological perspectives offer various ways of looking at the social
world.
• The perspectives we use are linked to what our questions are.
• Microsociology: individuals and small-scale interactions
• Macrosociology: larger-scale groups, structures, patterns of action
Relationships Between Action & Structure
• Microsociology: Focus on individual identities and
interactions
• What are the meanings that people bring to their
lives? How are these meanings significant for
shaping outcomes?
• Symbolic interaction → theoretical perspective
that focuses on meaning & action.
• Veiling: how women made sense of the veil is at
least partly dependent upon their socialization &
experiences.
Relationship Between Action & Structure
• Macrosociology: Examines large-scale social structures & influences
• What are the social forces that influence action?
• How does access to resources shape preferences and actions?
Structure of Opportunity
The distribution of resources and
opportunities across society that
shapes the choices individuals
make.
Reflexivity
• So, does structure shape us? Or
do we shape structure?
SOCIAL STRUCTURE
• Both!
• In some cases we reinforce
structure, in others we may alter
it.
INDIVIDUAL
actions
identities
rules
resources
statuses
roles
groups
networks
institutions
Your job
Your vulnerability → age
Your political orientation
Family status
Health status
https://morningconsult.com/2020/03/26/coronavirushealth-vs-economy-trump-poll/
Access to healthcare

This Week’s Lecture Activity
• This week you will think about how your self-concept may be rooted in social
structure and a product of socialization.
• You will take Kuhn’s Twenty Statements Test and provide an analysis of your
answers.
• Please write the 20 statements before you look at what is involved in the
analysis.
• You will find a handout linked in the module that has questions you will
answer.

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