0069 Coordination, define

Q69. Define "coordination" and give five examples of coordination problems that you dealt with today.

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0070 Coordination and cooperation, examples

Q70. If social order equals coordination and cooperation, provide some illustrations that support the authors' contention that "the problem of social order underlies questions of central concern to sociologists in substantive areas as diverse as crime and deviance, social movements, organizations, politics, religion, international relations, and the family" (xiii.1). Use this an opportunity to show you can distinguish cooperation and coordination and in general "get" the course. Perhaps add a category or two of your own.

cooperation coordination f15_exam1 f15_exam3 indivs-poso r001 soc116 social-order whatisorder

0150 Marx Production of Consciousness

Q150. Consider this passage and draft explication1. Work through it and suggest how you might improve it.

Text Explication
In "The Production of Consciousness," Marx (1845-1846) writes,“Men can be distinguished from the animals by consciousness, by religion, or by whatever one wants. They begin to distinguish themselves from the animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of life, a step which is determined by their physical organisation. In producing their means of life they indirectly produce their material life itself” (46). In other words, Marx is saying that the difference between a human being and an animal is that human beings have consciousness and work and contribute to production that allow them to produce their means of life; therefore, work is essential to humans’ interactions.

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0160 Fleck: "Genesis and the Development of a Scientific Fact"

Q160. Comment on and improve upon the following text explication

Text Explication
In ‘Genesis and the Development of a Scientific Fact’, Fleck refers to language as a key form of interaction. He writes, “Thoughts pass from one individual to another, each time a little transformed, for each individual can attach to them somewhat different associations” (55). That is, thoughts that are submitted through language can inspire new and different meanings once shared through spoken word.

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0161 Fleck: "Genesis and the Development of a Scientific Fact"

Q161. Comment on and improve upon the following text explication

Text Explication
“Whether an individual construes (language) as truth or error, understands it correctly or not, a set of findings meander throughout the community, becoming polished, transformed, reinforced or attenuated, while influencing other findings, concept formation, opinions, and habits of thought” (56). Thus, Fleck argues, language creates thought collectives. A thought collective is defined as a community of persons mutually exchanging ideas or maintaining intellectual interaction. Fleck believes that through the use of language, human’s form thought collectives with others whom they wish to share ideas with. With a sense of shared meaning evolves a sense of coordination.

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0162 Durkheim: "Origin of Beliefs"

Q162. Explain this passage by Durkheim:

In “The Origin of Beliefs,” Emile Durkheim writes

" Thus it is not the intrinsic nature of the thing who name the clan bore that set it apart as the object of worship. Furthermore, if the emotion elicited by the thing itself really was the determining cause of totemic rites and beliefs, then this thing would also be the sacred being par excellence, and the animals and plants used as totems would play the leading role in religious life. But we know that the focus of the cult is elsewhere. It is symbolic representations of this or that plant or animal. It is totemic emblems and symbols of all kinds that possess the greatest sanctity. And so it is in totemic emblems and symbols that the religious source is to be found, while the real objects, represented by those emblems receive only a reflection” (49).

The totem is above all a symbol, a tangible expression of something else. But of what? (49)

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0163 Durkheim: "Origin of Beliefs"

Q163. Work through this passage by Durkheim:

…it is with the people of his clan that he has most in common, and it is the influence of this group that he feels most immediately, and so it is also this influence, more than any other, that was bound to find expression in religious symbols” (55).

Can you make any connections to Mead's generalized other? Or the generic idea of having some of our mental content being social?
beliefs durkheim f15_exam1 indivs-poso r006 soc116


Q174. Consider this data on the thresholds in a population. Draw a frequency histogram and cumulative frequency diagram. How does this system behave when the expected number is 10? 20? 50? 60? 90?


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0193 Hayek: "Cosmos & Taxis"

Q193. In "Cosmos & Taxis" Friedrich von Hayek distinguishes two kinds of order. What does he call them? What are some synonyms for his terms? Demonstrate your understanding of the difference by giving examples of social order of each type.

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0194 "the invisible hand"

Q194. Who wrote about the "invisible hand" and what does it mean for us?

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0195 It is not from the beneficence of the baker….

Q195. Complete or paraphrase the passage that begins "It is not from the beneficence of the baker…." Who said it? In what context? What does it mean?

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0196 Prisoner's Dilemma

Q196. Explain this table:


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0197 Prisoner's Dilemma

Q197. Explain and give an example of a dominant strategy in a prisoner's dilemma game.

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0198 The "tit-for-tat" strategy

Q198. What is "tit-for-tat" and why, according to Robert Axelrod, is it so effective?

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0199 Game Theory: Lame Ducks

Q199. In the November 2012 general elections some sitting members of congress and the senate failed in their re-election effort and some opted not to run for re-election. After the election we describe those who are still in office but won't be in January as "lame ducks." Drawing on theoretical ideas and empirical ideas in the work of Robert Axelrod, make some predictions of how the dynamics of voting and deal making might be different during a lame duck session.

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0200 Game Theory: Equilibrium

Q200. One of the most important concepts coming out of market, rational choice, and game theory models is "equilibrium." What do we mean by an equilibrium in game theory? Give an example and explain what we would mean if we said "get caught in a bad equilibrium."

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0201 Schelling's "dying seminar"

Q201. (1) Explain what 'the allegory of the dying seminar' was in Thomas Schelling's work. (2) What (incorrect) conclusion about human behavior might observers draw from the dying seminar? (3) What other examples of this phenomenon does Schelling offer? (4) What generic phenomenon are these all examples of?

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0208 Hayek: "Cosmos and Taxis"

Q208. Explicate and comment:

One of our main contentions will be that very complex orders, comprising more particular facts than any brain could ascertain or manipulate, can be brought about only through forces inducing the formation of spontaneous orders (Hayek 1976: 143.5).

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0209 Hayek: "Cosmos and Taxis"

Q209. Explicate and comment.

The distinction of this kind of order from one which has been made by somebody putting the elements of a set in their places or directing their movements is indispensable for any understanding of the processes of society as well as for all social policy. There are several terms available for describing each kind of order. The made order which we have already referred to as an exogenous order or an arrangement may again be described as a construction, an artificial order or, especially where we have to deal with a directed social order, as an organization. The grown order, on the other hand, which we have referred to as a self-generating or endogenous order, is in English mosts conveniently described as a spontaneous order (Hayek 1976: 142.1-3).

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0210 Hayek: "Cosmos and Taxis"

Q210. Explicate and comment:

This means that, though the use of spontaneous ordering forces enables us to induce the formation of an order of such a degree of complexity (namely comprising elements of such numbers, diversity and variety of conditions) as we could never master intellectually, or deliberately arrange, we will have less power over the details of such an order than we would of one which we produce by arrangement. In the case of spontaneous orders we may, by determining some of the factors which shape them, determine their abstract features, but we will have to leave the particulars to circumstances which we do not know. Thus, by relying on the spontaneously ordering forces, we can extend the scope or range of the order which we may induce to form, precisely because its particular manifestation will depend on many more circumstances than can be known to us-and in the case of a social order, because such an order will utilize the separate knowledge of all its several members, without this knowledge ever being concentrated in a single mind, or being subject to those processes of deliberate coordination and adaptation which a mind performs (Hayek 1976: 145.5-7).

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0211 Hayek: "Cosmos and Taxis"

Q211. Explicate and comment:

To put this differently: in a social order the particular circumstances to which each individual will react will be those known to him. But the individual responses to particular circumstances will result in an overall order only if the individuals obey such rules as will produce and order. Even a very limited similarity in their behavior may be sufficient if the rules which they all obey are such as to produce an order. Such an order will always constitute an adaptation to the multitude of circumstances which are known to all the members of that society taken together but which are not known as a whole to any one person (Hayek 1976: 147.7).

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0212 Hayek: "Cosmos and Taxis"

Q212. Explicate and comment:

In any group of men of more than the smallest size, collaboration will always rest both on spontaneous order as well as on deliberate organization. There is no doubt that for many limited tasks organization is the most powerful method of effective co-ordination because it enables us to adapt the resulting order much more fully to our wishes, while where, becuase of the complexity of the circumstances to be taken into account, we must rely on the forces making for a spontaneous order, our power over the particular contents of this order is necessarily restricted.

That the two kinds of order will regularly coexist in every society of any degree of complexity does not mean, however, that we can combine them in any manner we like. What in fact we find in all free societies is that, although groups of men will join in organizations for the achievement of some particular ends, the co-ordination of the activities of all these separate organizations, as well as of the separate individuals, is brought about by the forces making for a spontaneous order. The family, the farm, the plant, the firm, the corporation and the various associations, and all the public institutions including government, are organizations which in turn are integrated into a more comprehensive spontaneous order (Hayek 1976: 149.5-7).


0213 Hayek: "Cosmos and Taxis"

Q213. Explicate and comment:

What the general argument against 'interference' thus amounts to is that, although we can endeavor to improve a spontaneous order by revising the general rules on which it rests, and can supplement its results by the efforts of various organizations, we cannot improve the results by specific commands that deprive its members of the possibility of using their knowledge for their purposes (Hayek 1976:153.1).

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0214 Schelling, Akerlof, Lemons

Q214. Explicate and comment:

Akerlof generalized this model to a number of markets in which there is unequal information on the two sides - insurance companies know less than you do, usually, about whether you are accident prone, or susceptible to hereditary diseases, or are contemplating suicide. Life insurance rates for sixty-five-year-olds must allow for a large fraction who are not long for this world. And those who know they are healthy and have a family history of longevity and are exposed to few risks have to pay the same premium as the poorer risks; life insurance being unattractive [to them] at that price, few of them buys it. The average life expectancy of the customers goes down, the rates go up further, and the bargain now looks poor even to those of normal life expectancy. And so forth.

…. It is akin to, and sometimes coincides with, those situations in which the below average, or the above average, withdraw or won't join, causing some potential market or institution to unravel. Because people vary and because averages matter, there may be no sustainable critical mass; and the unraveling behavior, or initial failure to get the activity going at all, has much the appearance of a critical mass that is almost but not quite achieved (Schelling 1978: 159.5-7).

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0215 Smith: "Division of Labor"

Q215. Explicate and comment:

The division of labour, from which so many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion. It is the necessary, though very slow and gradual consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another (Smith 1776: 171.8).

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0216 Smith: "Division of Labor"

Q216. Explicate and comment:

But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethern, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likley to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favor, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages (Smith 1776: 172.5).

exam3 markets-poso r016 smith soc116

0217 Axlerod: Cooperation

Q217. Sociologists and anthropologists gripe endlessly about rational actor models, failing, over and over again, to understand that they are MODELS, not descriptions. Explicate and comment on this passage to show that you understand what the value of a model like prisoner's dilemma is for social theory.

The Cooperation Theory that is presented…is based upon an investigation of individuals who pursue their own self-interest without the aid of a central authority to force them to cooperate with each other. The reason for assuming self-interest is that it allows an examination of the difficult case in which cooperation is not completely based upon a concern for others or upon the welfare of the group as a whole. It must, however, be stressed that this assumption is actually much less restrictive than it appears. … So the assumption of self interest is really just an assumption that concern for others does not completely solve the problem of when to cooperate with them and when not to (Axelrod 1984: 177.2).

axelrod cooperation exam3 f15_exam2 game-theory markets_poso r017 soc116

0218 Axelrod: "tit-for-tat"

Q218. Explicate and comment:

The result was another victory for TIT FOR TAT! The analysis of the data from these tournaments reveals four properties which tend to make a decision rule successful: avoidance of unnecessary conflict by cooperating as long as the other player does, provocability in the face of an uncalled for defection by the other, forgiveness after responding to a provocation, and clarity of behavior so that the other player can adapt to your pattern of action.

These results from the tournaments demonstrate that under suitable conditions, cooperation can indeed emerge in a world of egoists without central authority (Axelrod 1984: 184.5).

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0232 Durkheim, “Collective Representations”

Q232. Durkheim lived in an age when the role and existence of “god” as ultimate source of right and rule and order was under question. Rather than choose between “the human” and “the divine” Durkheim stared religion in the face, so to speak, and showed how what we think of as divine/sacred is in fact human (social). How do the following passages convey Durkheim’s theory of the special power of social norms and his idea about society as god and the notion that the individual, with norms and values of society internalized, can be a source of social order?

Durkheim, “Collective Representations” from Elementary Forms

“An individual or collective subject is said to inspire respect when the representation that expresses it in consciousness has such power that it calls forth or inhibits conduct automatically, irrespective of any utilitarian calculation of helpful or harmful results” (50.8).

“The ways of acting to which society is strongly enough attached to impose them on its members are for that reason marked with a distinguishing sign that calls forth respect” (51.1).

“Because social pressure makes itself felt through mental channels, it was bound to give men the idea that outside him there are one or several powers, moral yet mighty, to which he was subject” (52.1).

“In the midst of an assembly that becomes worked up, we become capable of feelings and conduct of which we are incapable when left to our individual resources” (52.5).

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0233 Hobbes, from "Leviathan"

Q233. Hobbes sees social order as impossible without hierarchy. Address both the question of coordination and cooperation (to see the cooperation here, we might think about Adam Smith’s notion of bartering as a means by which two actors can both get what they want) as you explain how Hobbes gets from his assumptions about human nature to the need for a “Leviathan” if human-kind is to achieve social order.

Hobbes, from "Leviathan"

“So that in the first place I put for a general inclination of all mankind a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. And the cause of this is not always that a man hopes for a more intensive delight than he has already attained to, or that he cannot be content with a moderate power; but because he cannot assure the power and means to live well which he hath present, without the acquisition of more” (89).

“Hereby it is manifest that, during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war as is of every man against every man” (93).

“In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and, which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (93-4).

“If a covenant be made wherein neither of the parties perform presently but trust one another, in the condition of mere nature, which is a condition of war of every man against every man, upon any reasonable suspicion, it is void; but, if there be a common power set over them both with right and force sufficient to compel performance, it is not void” (97).

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0234 Hayek "Cosmos & Taxis"

Q234. Hayek is sometimes taken to be saying that the modern world throws up problems that are too complex to be handled by planning and policy making. Some things can be handled that way, but big and complex things cannot. What are the differences between the two types of order and the limitations and possibilities Hayek suggests each has and how does he get from there to social order?

cooperation coordination f15_exam2 hayek markets_poso r014 soc116 socialorder

0235 Schelling "Micromotives, Macrobehaviors"

Q235. Schelling’s piece, “Micromotives, Macrobehaviors,” is included because it demonstrates some specific conditions under which market interactions may lead to coordination but not cooperation. What are his two examples and what are the conditions that can affect whether market interactions lead to cooperation? Explain the role they play, perhaps using our class chairs and offices simulation as a point of reference, in limiting the optimism of Smith and Hayek for markets as a source of social order.

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0236 Axelrod: "The Evolution of Cooperation"

Q236. In a prisoner’s dilemma game, the rational thing for both players is to defect. This makes mutual defection an equilibrium, though it is not a preferred one (the collective would be better off with another outcome). In other words, in a single game of prisoner’s dilemma, cooperation is “impossible.” But cooperation does happen in the world.

Demonstrate your understanding of Axelrod's ideas by describing the mechanism and conditions under which this can happen without assuming anything “social” about the agents.


Explain how this works and how it adds to or modifies Smith’s and Hayek’s story about how markets can be a source of social order.

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0237 Centola, Willer, and Macy “The Emperor's Dilemma"

Q237. In "The Emperor's Dilemma," Centola, Willer, and Macy talk about “the popular enforcement of unpopular norms.” What does that mean? Why is it a puzzle? What is (are) the mechanism(s) that they think explains it?

Centola, Willer, and Macy “The Emperor's Dilemma"

“Naked emperors are easy to find but hard to explain. It is easy to explain why people comply with unpopular norms—they fear social sanctions. And it is easy to explain why people pressure others to behave the way they want them to behave. But why pressure others to do the opposite? Why would people publicly enforce a norm that they secretly wish would go away? (278)

“One hypothesis is that very few would actually enforce the norm, but no one knows this. If people estimate the willingness to enforce based on the willingness to comply, and they comply based on the false belief that others will enforce, they become trapped in pluralistic ignorance—an equilibrium in which few people would actually enforce the norm but no one realizes this. However, this equilibrium can be extremely fragile. As in the Andersen story [The Emperor’s New Clothes], all that is needed is a single child to laugh at the emperor and the spell will be broken (278).

“A more robust explanation is that most people really will enforce the norm, and for the same reason that they comply—social pressure from others in the group, for whom mere compliance is not enough. To the true believer, it is not sufficient that others go to the right art galleries, display the right body jewelry, purchase the right sports car, or support the right wing. They must do it for the right reason. Zealots believe that it is better not to comply at all than to do so simply to affirm social status (Kuran 1995a, p. 62). Such compliance lasts only so long as behavior can be monitored and social pressure is sufficient to induce acquiescence (Hechter 1987). Thus, true believers reserve special contempt for imposters. Those who comply for the wrong reason must worry about being exposed as counterfeit (278-9).

“The hypothesized anxiety is supported by research on the ‘illusion of transparency’ (Gilovich, Savitsky, and Medvec 1998). This refers to a tendency to overestimate the ability of others to monitor our internal states… (279).

“Applied to the emperor’s dilemma, the ‘illusion of transparency’ suggests that those who admire the emperor out of a desire for social approval fear that their posturing will be apparent to others. They then look for some way to confirm their sincerity. Enforcing the norm provides a low cost way to fake sincerity, to signal that one complies—not as an opportunist seeking approval—but as a true believer” (279).


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0238 Fehr and Gintis



Fehr and Gintis describe experiments using a "public goods game." In the regular game, players tended to free-ride more and more as the game progresses. These results suggest that the sociological idea that people do the right thing because they are socialized to care about others is naive. Most people do not act in a “pro-social” manner. They free-ride.

When punishment is permitted, players punish free-riders even at a cost. Public goods increase as free-riding drops. Results like this defy the economic idea of people as selfish maximizers. They also suggest that hierarchy (surveillance/punishment) need not be centralized.

In the light of these results and the rest of the course, how do you think individual internalization of social values/norms, hierarchy, decentralized market interaction, and groups combine to create social order?

f15_exam3 fehr game-theory gintis groups hierarchy individuals indivs-poso markets r003 soc116 socialorder whatisorder

0333 Weber: Types of Social Action

Q333. Consider each of the actions listed in the left column of this table. Thinking like Max Weber, in the other columns of each row, give a short explanation of how the action could be oriented in each of four ways (instrumentally rational, value rational, affectual, traditional). In some cases, you might conclude that it is simply too far fetched for an action to be subject to a particular orientation; these can be noted with an "X."

Action Instrumentally Rational
Value Rational
Affectual Traditional
Picking a major
Helping an elderly person
Clipping coupons
Setting the table
Observing holy days
Doing a class assignment
Going to college
Respecting one's elders

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0334 Social Order and Policy

Q334. Describe, with examples, the policy implications of a theory that has individuals and their shared meanings as the main source of social order.

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0335 Marx, Consciousness, and Work

Q335. Consider Marx on the production of consciousness. How important does the kind of work seem to be as over against the kinds interaction among people who do the same kind of work for Marx? Compare, perhaps, Uber drivers and fast food workers. Would Marx expect less or a different kind of shared consciousness among the one or the other?

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0336 Fleck Thought Collective

Q336. What does Ludwick Fleck mean by a "thought collective"?

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0337 Fleck Cognition as Socially Conditioned

Q337. In "Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact" Ludwik Fleck starts out with the bold statement that "cognition is the most socially-conditioned activity…." Why is this a bold statement? What conventional assumption is he contradicting at the outset?
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0338 Fleck Thought Collective

Q338. "As an entity [a thought collective] is even more stable and consistent than the so-called individual, who always consists of contradictory drives" (57.8). Explain what Fleck means.

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0339 Fleck Thought Collective

Q339. Ludwik Fleck wrote: "what actually thinks within a person is not the individual himself but his social community" (Hechter & Horne 59.5). Explain what Fleck's theory of thought collectives is all about by explaining what this means.

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0340 Nominalism and Realism

Q340. Explain sociological wholism (vs. methodological reductionism) and sociological realism (vs. nominalism)

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0341 Mead Self Consciousness

Q341. Explain what George Herbert Mead means when he describes "self consciousness" as becoming aware of oneself as an object for others. How is it that this is what gives rise to the "social self"?

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Q342. With which theorists do we associate this diagram? Explain what it means in the context of their work.


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Q343. Dov Cohen and Joe Vandello report on several lab experiments in the article on cultures of violence. One experiment involved "annoying" subjects who thought they were doing an experiment on "art therapy." Describe the design of this experiment, its findings, and their relevance to the theoretical ideas explored in Cohen and Vandello's article.

f15_exam1 indivs-poso r009 soc116


Q344. Cohen and Vandello offer a number of supporting findings in their work on culture of honor violence in the American south. Explain what's going on in each of these four summary tables and how this fits in with their analysis.

cohen-vandello-03-table.png cohen-vandello-04-table.png
cohen-vandello-05-table.png cohen-vandello-06-table.png

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Q345. Explicate and explain this selection from Cohen and Vandello's "Meanings of Violence":

As Reed has suggested, Southerners "actually don't see much of the violence around them, don't register it as 'lawlessness,' because it isn't 'lawless.' It is lawful violence in the sociological if not the legal sense: more-or-less predictable, more-or-less expected, (in consequence) more or less taken for granted. It's effectively invisible-something like wallpaper." (Reed 1981)

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Q346. Cohen and Vandello describe a world that may not be politically or morally attractive to you. And yet we read it in a section of the course where we are saying that collective beliefs can be a source of coordination and social order. How does this article illustrate the theoretical points being made by Marx, Durkheim, Mead, and Fleck, indeed of the entire section of the course, that shared meanings can produce order?

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Q347. George Herbert Mead writes of "taking the attitude of the other" as a necessary part of social life.

"…the complex co-operative processes … organized human society are also possible only in so far as every individual involved in them … can take the general attitudes of all other such individuals … and can direct his own behavior accordingly" (61.5).

Give an example of a social situation that bears this out, describing the various participants and how they can "take the attitude of the others" and what would happen if they got it wrong, or in situations where people do this less well or less completely.

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0348 Mead's two step socialization

Q348. At 63.2 (in Hechter and Horne reader) Mead says there are two stages in the development of the social self. First the organization of particular attitudes of particular others toward oneself. Second is characterized by "an organization of the social attitudes of the generalized other or the social group…." Although we usually interpret this in terms of the development of a social self in children, we can use it to describe our joining of any new group or social environment. Explain what this means using an example of an individual's socialization into some concrete scene of your own conjuring.

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0349 language as social

Q349. Language is the paramount example of a SOCIAL phenomenon - the "code system" of language exists in our collective, shared consciousness and anyone who wishes to communicate has to participate in this. Use language and the acquisition and use of language to explain Mead's idea of taking the role of the other, the generalized other, etc.

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Q350. Some people summarize Durkheim's "theory of religion" by saying that he discovered that "god is society." Explain the logic of this.

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Q351. Define cooperation and give five examples where you have seen it (or its absence) recently.

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0352 Hedstrom on decomposition

Q352. Explain what Hedstrom ("Dissecting the Social") meant when he said "differences in some social states or events are considered explained if the decomposition eliminates them" (13.8)?
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0353 Hedstrom on statistical explanations

Q353. In "Dissecting the Social," Hedstrom suggests that "a statistical analysis is a test of an explanation, not the explanation itself" (13.9). Explain this distinction.

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0354 Hedstrom on realism

Q354. In "Dissecting the Social," what does Hedstrom mean by "realism" (14.9)? How is does this compare to Durkheim's dictum to "treat social facts as things"?
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0355 Marx Consciousness

Q355. Explain what Marx means by "It is not consciousness that determines life, but life that determines consciousness" (47.7).

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0356 Mead summary

Q356. Demonstrate your understanding of the George Herbert Mead excerpt and its connection to ideas about how the nature of the social individual is a "source" of social order by explaining this diagram. Use examples to illustrate your ideas.


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0357 Durkheim summary

Q357. Demonstrate your understanding of the Durkheim excerpt and its connection to ideas about how the nature of the social individual is a "source" of social order by explaining this diagram. Use examples to illustrate your ideas.


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0358 Fleck summary

Q358. Demonstrate your understanding of the Ludwik Fleck excerpt and its connection to ideas about how the nature of the social individual is a "source" of social order by explaining this diagram. Use examples to illustrate your ideas.


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0359 Marx summary

Q359. Demonstrate your understanding of the Karl Marx excerpt and its connection to ideas about how the nature of the social individual is a "source" of social order by explaining this diagram. Use examples to illustrate your ideas.


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0360 Cohen & Vandello, structural background

Q360. What is the relevance of the diagram below to the Cohen and Vandello excerpt?


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Q361. In the public goods game described by Fehr and Gintis, explain why we impose a cost on the punishER for each punishment issued. What does willingness to impose a punishment despite a cost suggest about the actor who does so?

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0362 Culture poured into the self

Q362. The theorists whose work was included in the section on individuals and social order each suggest mechanisms for how shared meaning happens through actual social interaction. Describe how each thinker is saying that the picture below is NOT how it happens - that is, we don't just magically have a bunch of social/cultural content in our heads; it gets there through a process, there's a mechanism that we can describe.

If it's later in the course, relate this to life in groups - how is this social content connected to ideas on internalization and socialization of group members?


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0363 Weber types of social action

Q363. Demonstrate your understanding of Weber's typology of social action in the context of this course by explaining this diagram.


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Q364. Thinking back to the Kanazawa article on evolutionary biology, use this diagram to talk about at least six different ideas from this course.


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0365 Storyboarding Marx

Q365. A storyboard is a technique for graphically organizing the telling of a story. Think about how you would explain Marx's theory of consciousness as a theory of how the human individual is a vehicle for the generation of social order. Imagine how you would represent the theory visually and how you would explain it textually.


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0366 Storyboarding Mead

Q366. A storyboard is a technique for graphically organizing the telling of a story. Think about how you would explain Mead's theory of the social self as a theory of how the human individual is a vehicle for the generation of social order. Imagine how you would represent the theory visually and how you would explain it textually.


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0367 Storyboarding Weber

Q367. A storyboard is a technique for graphically organizing the telling of a story. Think about how you would explain Weber's typology of social action as it relates to our concerns with the generation of social order. Imagine how you would represent the theory visually and how you would explain it textually.


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0368 Storyboarding Durkheim on collective representations

Q368. A storyboard is a technique for graphically organizing the telling of a story. Think about how you would explain Durkheim's theory of collective representations (shared meaning) as a theory of how the human individual is a vehicle for the generation of social order. Imagine how you would represent the theory visually and how you would explain it textually.


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0369 Storyboarding Fleck

Q369. A storyboard is a technique for graphically organizing the telling of a story. Think about how you would explain Fleck's theory of thought communities as a theory of how the human individual is a vehicle for the generation of social order. Imagine how you would represent the theory visually and how you would explain it textually.


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0370 Storyboarding Cohen & Vandello

Q370. A storyboard is a technique for graphically organizing the telling of a story. Think about how you would explain Cohen and Vandello's work on violence and cultures of honor as an illustration of theories of how the human individual is a vehicle for the generation of social order. Imagine how you would represent the theory visually and how you would explain it textually.


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0371 Storyboarding Kanazawa

Q371. A storyboard is a technique for graphically organizing the telling of a story. Think about how you would explain Kanazawa's description of evolutionary biology and its connection to our thinking about the basis for social order. Imagine how you would represent the theory visually and how you would explain it textually.


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0373 Necessary but not sufficient

Q373. Explain what we mean by the phrase "necessary but not sufficient" AND how this applies to the idea that a common language and shared meaning are necessary for social order.

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0374 Coercion and state of nature

Q374. "Social order triumphs over the state of nature by coercion…." Attribute and explain.

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0375 Hobbes and Engels

Q375. Hobbes and Engels both give us a vision of the state. Hechter and Horne suggest that "Instead of a world made up of equal individuals, Engels's starting point is a society made up of unequal classes." Show what you know about Hobbes and Engels but explaining this statement.

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0376 Engels on class

Q376. In the context of Engels, what is a class? What are the main classes under feudalism? Capitalism?

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Q377. Explain, in your own words, the concept of "sociological clones" (H&H 84).

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0378 Weber coercion too expensive

Q378. "From an economic point of view, coercion is simply too expensive to be the sole basis of social order" (Hechter and Horne, 85). Explain what this is getting at. How does it lead us to Weber's concept of legitimate domination.

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0379 Marx Engels ideology

Q379. "Marx and Engels suggest that the disadvantaged are duped by the institutions and ideology of the ruling class" (Hechter and Horne, 85). Elaborate.

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0380 The efficiency of different types of authority

Q380. Compare patrimonialism, bureaucracy, and charismatic authority in terms of the efficiency of maintaining order and ensuring loyalty among a leader's staff.

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0381 H&H summary of hierarchy section

Q381. Convert penultimate paragraph of Hechter & Horne's introduction into a table that summarizes the theories in this section. Start with their suggestion that each theory has some group dominating others and each has different process leading to this and different consequences deriving from it.

"Each of the readings in this section argues…. from generation to generation."

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0382 Government matters

Q382. "A central idea in the readings in this section is that government matters" (87). Extend this idea to say that "organizations matter" in an argument about why some hierarchy is needed if we are to cooperate in groups of more than a few to get things done.

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0383 Vocabulary in Hobbes

Q383. Define the following words/phrases as used by Hobbes

felicity (89.3)
laudable actions (90.5)
redound … to their posterity (90.6)
thraldome (90.7)
hope of requitall (90.8)
secret machination (92.2)
Prudence (92.3)
diffidence (92.6)
cattell (93.5)
dommage (93.5)
Cardinall (94.8)
Jus and Lex (95.7)
Covenants (97.7)

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0384 State of nature, no industry…

Q384. Hobbes suggests that in a state of "warre" "there is no place for Industry…no culture…no Navigation…no commodious Building…no Knowledge…." (93.9). Explain how this can be translated as "none of the benefits of cooperation."

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0385 Engels vocabulary

Q385. Explain the following words, terms, phrases found in Engels' "The Origin of the State" excerpt.

gentile constitution (99.3):
plebs (99.4):
mark constitution (99.5)
bondsmen (101.2)
joint-stock company (101.5)
universal suffrage (102.1)
Bonapartism (101.3)
proletariat (101.3)
Prussian Junkers (101.4)

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0386 Engels origin of state

Q386. "…the state arose from the need to keep class antagonisms in check…." Attribute and explain.

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0387 Weber legitimate domination vocabulary

Q387. Explain the following words/terms as used in Weber's excerpt on types of legitimate domination:

wertrationale (103.6)
material interests (103.6)
charismatic (104.4)
abstract rules (105.2)
impersonal order (105.3)
rationally delimited jurisdiction (105.5)
[absence of] "appropriation of his official position by the incumbent" (106.4)
office (106.7)
plebiscite (106.9)
administrative staff (107.2)
monocracy (107.4)
"principle of appointment" (108.5)
"red tape" (109.7)
dilettantism (109.8)
levelling (111.4)
sine ira et studio (111.5) - See Wikipedia
formalism (111.8)
utilitarian expediency (112.7)
patrimonial (113.4) - See Wikipedia
prebendal (114.6)
formal system of rules (116.7)
routinization of charisma (118.7)

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0388 Weber legal authority

Q388. Explain what Weber means by legal authority.

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0389 Weber traditional authority

Q389. Explain what Weber means by traditional authority.

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0390 Weber charismatic authority

Q390. Explain what Weber means by charismatic authority.

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0391 Weber bureaucracy

Q391. Weber describes "monocratic bureaucracy" as an ideal type. What is an ideal type? Describe the five characteristics of an ideal typical bureaucracy.

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0392 Weber bureaucratic impersonality

Q392. Weber suggests that bureaucratic domination is marked by "the dominance of a spirit of formalistic impersonality" (111.45). Explain.

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0393 Weber social levelling

Q393. What does Weber mean by "social levelling"? (111)

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0394 Weber routinization of charisma

Q394. What does Weber mean by "the routinization of charisma"? (118ff)

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0395 Willis vocabulary

Q395. Explain the following terms or phrases in the context of Paul Willis' Learning to Labour.

"an aimless air of insubordination" (124.4)
'ear'oles (124.9)
"universal taboo…yielding incriminating information…to those with formal power" (129.3)
"grassing" (129.4)

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0396 Willis 'ear'oles

Q396. Discuss the role of the 'ear'oles in the oppositional ideology of the "lads." Why and in what ways are they important in the lads' concept of self?

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0397 Willis lads resistance culture at school

Q397. Describe the "resistance culture" of the lads at school.

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0398 Willis shopfloor culture

Q398. According to Willis, what is the "main theme of shopfloor culture"? Explain and give examples.

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0399 Willis shopfloor and school culture

Q399. Identify and elaborate on three ways in which the shopfloor culture described by Willis parallels the counter-school culture he talks about.

(for final exam) Bring the phenomena Willis describes into conversation with material from the "groups" section of the course. What mechanisms described in that section might illuminate the lads' oppositional culture or shop floor culture?

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0400 Willis class reproduction

Q400. Willis' Learning to Labour is often cited as an example of the social science concept of the "reproduction of social class." Explain what that phrase means to you after reading the excerpt from Willis' book.

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0401 Weber legitimacy

Q401. What does Weber mean by legitimacy?

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0402 Engels state for ruling class

Q402. Engels suggests that throughout history the state has been "for the ruling class." Identify the three historical periods he talks about and characterize how this plays out in each.

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0403 Engels democracy

Q403. In the excerpt from "The Origin of the State," Engels discusses the role of universal suffrage in the contemporary state. What role does he see the proletariat playing initially in this context? What trajectory does he suggest as the history unfolds?

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Q404. Give a summary of the developmental story Engels tells in "The Origin of the State." Be sure your answer makes connections to the course and to our discussion of hierarchy as a source of order.

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Q405. Weber says (103.5) that "rule over a considerable number of persons requires a staff…." If you read carefully you will see that the types of "authority" he is talking about refer to the leader's capacity to control and direct the staff as much as to the leader's capacity to dominate "the led." Discuss Weber's types of legitimate domination as forms of maintaining organizational integrity.

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Q406. Attribute and explicate: "…every genuine form of domination implies a minimum of voluntary compliance, that is, an interest in compliance."

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Q407. Weber's definition, please:


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Q408. Show what you know about Willis' lads' world by doing a compare and contrast with a contemporary phenomenon like "gutter punk."

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0409 Willis and Punk

Q409. Is punk rock anti-hierarchical? Or is there a Willis-ian way in which it reproduces the hierarchy it loathes? Does this dynamic track with Weber's notion of "voluntary submission"?


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0410 Schelling Models

Q410. Show what you know about Schelling's "micromotives macrobehavior" models by explaining this diagram.


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0411 Axelrod's Problem

Q411. What is Axelerod's fundamental question in "The Evolution of Cooperation"? It has four parts.

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0412 Axelrod Prisoner's Dilemma

Q412. Explain the basic idea of the prisoner's dilemma.

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0413 Axelrod PD

Q412. Explain the basic idea of the prisoner's dilemma.

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0414 Axelrod International Relations

Q414. Explain why the study of the "emergence of cooperation" might be especially relevant in international relations. How does this observation suggest a fundamental limit to the Hobbesian model?

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Q415. Explain what we mean by "norm of reciprocity" and how it is relevant to the course.

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0416 Axelrod one-shot v repeated play

Q416. Explain what we mean by distinguishing a one-shot PD from an iterated PD and why this is important.

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0417 Axelrod cheap words

Q417. In the context of game theory/prisoner's dilemma, what does "words are cheap" mean?

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0418 Axelrod propositions

Q418. Context and explication, please: "if the future is important, there is no one best strategy."

If the discount parameter, w, is sufficiently high, there is no best strategy independent of the strategy used by the other player.

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0419 Hayek teleological shorthand

Q419. What does Hayek mean by "teleological shorthand"?

The use of “purposive" in this sense as a sort of ‘teleological shorthand’, as it has been called by biologists, is unobjectionable so long as we do not imply an awareness of purpose on the part of the elements, but mean merely that the elements have acquired regularities of conduct conducive to the maintenance of the order — presumably because those who did act in certain ways had within the resulting order a better chance of survival than those who did not." (143.9)

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0420 Why Willis' Learning to Labour?

Q420. Explain why Paul Willis' "Learning to Labour" was a reading in the hierarchy section of this course.

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0422 Axlerod

Q422. What do we mean saying that Axelrod is trying to discover the conditions in which cooperation can emerge?

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0423 Zimmer Ants and People

Q423. The article "From Ants to People, An Instinct to Swarm" suggests that humans might not (yet) be like ants because we have not had enough time to adapt to living in groups (195.5). What does this mean? Demonstrate what you learned from this article (and from this section of the course) by talking about how humans are and are not like ants and what might be involved in an evolution toward being more like ants.

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0424 Hierarchy Summary

Q424. Fill in the blank boxes in this summary diagram for how hierarchy can generate social order. Note that the diagram is purely schematic - you might decide there are more or fewer boxes in different cases or the arrows might not go directly to coordination first, etc.


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0425 Axelrod Live and Let Live

Q425. What research questions did the "live and let live" phenomenon from WWI raise for Robert Axelrod?

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Q426. Weber's definition, please:

traditional authority
rational legal authority
charismatic authority

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Q427. Show what you know by attributing and explaining this diagram:


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0428 Freud CAID

Q428. Attribute and explicate.

Fate is regarded as a substitute for the parental agency. If a man is unfortunate it means that he is no longer loved by this highest power; and, threatened by such a loss of love, he once more bows to the parental representative in his super-ego — a representative whom, in his days of good fortune, he was ready to neglect. This becomes especially clear where looked Fate is looked upon in the strictly religious sense of being nothing else than an expression of the Divine Will. The people of Israel had believed themselves to be the favorite child of God, and when the great. Father caused misfortune after misfortune to rain down upon this people of his, they were never shaken in their belief in his relationship to them or questioned his power or righteousness. Instead, they produced the prophets, who held up their sinfulness before them; and out of their sense of guilt they created the over-strict commandments of their priestly religion. It is remarkable how differently a primitive man behaves. If he has met with a misfortune, he does not throw the blame on himself but on his fetish, which has obviously not done its duty, and he gives it a thrashing instead of punishing himself.

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0429 Freud guilt

Q429. Briefly explain Freud's theory of where guilt comes from.

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0430 Durkheim anomic suicide

Q430. At 239.4 Durkheim writes, "As a matter of fact, at every moment of history there is a dim perception, in the moral consciousness of societies, of the respective value of different social services [he means jobs, occupations, etc. not social work], the relative reward due to each, and the consequent degree of comfort appropriate on the average to workers in each occupation." Translate this into everyday English.

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0431 Durkheim anomic suicide

Q431. Discuss the relationship between "desires" and "means," ambitions and expectations, contentment and aspiration that characterize the NON-anomic equilibrium that society can provide.

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0432 Durkheim anomic suicide

Q432. At 240.5 Durkheim talks about social classification (by which he means the way people are sorted into different roles/occupations/classes in society) and about what the basis of these are (and how we accept them or take them for granted - note that this is what Goffman was talking about too in "The Arrangement Between the Sexes.") Why should (or how can) people be content with their lot in life when they are aware that the lots people have are vastly unequal?

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0433 Durkheim anomic suicide

Q433. Discuss how one might be "content" with one's inequality in a society where:

  • status is based on heredity
  • a program is in place to give everyone an equal start (imagine whatever's needed for this)
  • a strictly equal opportunity meritocratic society
  • a society with every imaginable balancing of privilege

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0434 Durkheim anomic suicide

Q434. On p241 Durkheim talks about the anomy (disruption) caused by economic disaster (a person losing everything, say, or sudden drop in a set of people's economic circumstances as when a local industry closes and everyone loses jobs) OR when sudden wealth comes (again, to an individual or to a community or group). Explain what Durkheim sees happening and how it's the same process in both situations.

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0435 Durkheim-Marx-Engels-Weber

Q435. Discuss: Durkheim talks about how society gets us to "accept our lot"; Marx and Engels talk about false consciousness and ideology (we buy into our oppression) and religion as "opiate of the masses"; Weber gave us the notion of legitimate authority. Points of similarity and difference?

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0436 Durkheim anomic suicide

Q436. At 242.5 Durkheim writes "Poverty protects against suicide because it is a restraint in itself." What does he mean?

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0437 Durkheim anomic suicide globalization

Q437. On p 243 we read "this liberation of desires has been made worse by the very development of industry and the almost infinite extension of the market." Consult the text (including the text before this passage) and say something about what Durkheim's take on globalization of markets and products might be.

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0438 Durkheim anomic suicide advertising

Q438. Consult the text at 243.9ff : "Reality seems valueless by comparison with the dreams of fevered imaginations; reality is therefore abandoned, but so is possibility abandoned when it in turn becomes reality. A thirst arises for novelties…." Use Durkheim to say something about advertising - for products, for body images, etc.

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0439 Freud and Durkheim on conscience

Q439. Freud in "Civilization and Its Discontents" gives us a theory of how conscience arises and functions. In the selection on anomic suicide Durkheim gives an account of conscience as controlling our otherwise potentially infinite (and unsatisfiable) desires. Compare and contrast.

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0440 Durkheim anomic suicide vocabulary

Q440. Define:
regimen (239.6)
erethism (242)
equanimity (242)
apotheosis (243.6)
sacrilege (243.6)
(purely) utilitarian (regulation) (243.7)
liberal professions (244.8)
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0441 Durkheim egoistic suicide

Q441. Explain the scientific logic behind Durkheim's suggestion that the three propositions on suicide varying with integration in religious, domestic, and political society lead to the suggestion that social integration is the property behind the variation in suicide rates.

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Q442. Explain what Durkheim is talking about when he suggests that egoism is the opposite of social.

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0443 Durkheim egoistic suicide vocabulary

Q443. Define:
supra-physical (234.5)
raison d'être (234.7)
(instinct) acquits (itself) (234.8)
(collective) asthenia (236.2)

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Q444. Tocqueville writes that "Americans combat individualism with free institutions" (246). Explain what he means.

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0445 Tocqueville

Q445. What is the mechanism behind Tocqueville's endorsement of involvement in local politics as a way of building "the social" into citizens?

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0446 Tocqueville

Q446. Walk us through Tocqueville's contrast of aristocratic society where citizens are bound to, say, their local noble, and democratic society where citizens are independent. He wants to say that the latter can't get anything done unless they know how to organize and associate.

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0447 Tocqueville

Q447. What is Tocqueville's argument that associations help to stabilize democratic regimes?

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0448 Tocqueville

Q448. Why is the Tocqueville selection in the "groups as a source of social order" section of the text?

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0449 Hechter group solidarity

Q449. What does Hechter mean by "the extensiveness of corporate obligations"?

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0450 Centola-Schelling

Q450. Centola, et al. describe a process whereby people collectively "produce" something that is contrary to their individual beliefs/interests/preferences. Thomas Schelling, similarly, described a process whereby socially irrational results emerged from individually rational action. Identify points of similarity and difference, using it as an opportunity to show what you know about the two thinkers' ideas as well as your ability to compare markets and groups as generators of social order.

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Q451. If the phenomenon described by Centola et al. is common, what are the implications for Schelling's critical mass and tipping models?

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Q452. Develop a summary diagram for the entire course. Some examples of the genre from a social control class in solutions.

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0454 Rewriting "When Society Disappears"

Q454. Consider the essay you wrote for the warm-up assignment at the start of this course on a film or book in which social order "disappeared." How would you re-write it in a manner that would show off some of what you learned in this course?

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Q455. Think about the articles by Fehr & Gintis and Centola et al. Show what you take away from these articles by talking about how norms can support cooperation and social order and how they can support an order that might be high on coordination but low on the benefits of cooperation.

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Q456. Provide a high level comparison of shared meaning, hierarchy, markets, and groups as sources of social organization understood as coordination and cooperation.

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0457 Groups Incentives and Regulation

Q457. The overall logic of the final section of the course was that groups can promote social order through internalization of norms and provision of incentives. Explain how each of these work and what the difference is using at least one thinker to illustrate each.

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Q458. If you are doing a thesis this year or have a general topic in mind for one in the future, pick two theorists, each from a different section of the course, and show what you have learned about their ideas by "applying" them to your research topic.

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0459 Best article of the course

Q459. What, to your mind, was the best article of the course - the one you really understood or that really clicked for you or that you've taken to explaining to friends and family it's so awesome. Describe it in a manner that shows the depth of your understanding.

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