Sociology 250

Final Examination

9 a.m. – 12 noon, December 9, 2002


Answer each of the three parts – within each part you have choices.  There are a total of 100 points for this examination.



A. Definition or Explanation.  Select five (5) of the following concepts and briefly define or explain the meaning or importance of each.  (5 x 5 = 25 points).

emotional labour

role distance

party (Weber)

situation (Blumer)

contradictory class location


acquisition class


affective neutrality

vertical mosaic

self (Mead)

ideal type

latent (Parsons)

size of group (Simmel)

cultural system



B. Short answer.  Answer any four (4) of the following.  (4 x 10 = 40 points).

  1. What were the main ideas Goffman demonstrated using the pictures from advertisements in “Gender Advertisements”?
  2. Give an example of a status group and explain why it is a status group in the Weberian sense.
  3. Explain Simmel’s argument that compared with traditional societies, individuals in modern urban society have greater freedom but are overwhelmed by objective culture.
  4. Explain the stages of development of the self in Mead’s approach.
  5. Explain how symbol, ritual, or emotion are part of symbolic interactionism.
  6. Weber’s analysis of patriarchy differs from much feminist analysis of patriarchy.  Explain.
  7. Particularism and universalism parallel diffuseness and specificity.  Explain.
  8. What is AGIL(P) and why is it an important aspect of the sociological approach of Parsons?
  9. While Canadian sociology has not developed new theoretical approaches, there are some distinctive aspects to Canadian sociology.  Explain with reference to one or more Canadian sociological approaches.
  10. Select one pair of pattern variables from Parsons and provide an example of how this could help explain some aspect of the social world.

C. Essay.  Select one (1) of the following topics and write an essay on this topic. 

(35 points). 

  1. Write an essay comparing and contrasting two sociological approaches to social action and interaction (i.e. compare and contrast two of Weber, Simmel, Blumer, Goffman, Hochschild, or Parsons on social action and interaction).
  2. The class structure model of Erik Olin Wright (and Wallace Clement) builds on earlier approaches of Marx and Weber.  Explain.
  3. Compare and contrast the approaches of Mead and Goffman to how individuals respond to stimuli.
  4. Blumer developed a systematic theory of symbolic interactionism.  Explain his approach and indicate how it builds on or relates to approaches of other theorists.
  5. In a unique way, Arlie Hochschild combines symbolic interaction perspectives, especially those of Goffman, with ideas from Marx.  Explain.
  6. The functionalist approach of Parsons builds on earlier approaches of Durkheim and Weber.  Explain.
  7. Talcott Parsons argues that nuclear family structure is functional for individuals, the family, and society.  Explain and critique.