319 – Contemporary Social Theories
Midterm Examination – Part I
11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., March 1, 2006
questions in part A (15 points), one question in part B (15 points), and one
question in Part C (15 points).
Part II of the examination
(30 points) is an essay question, Friday, March 3. This will be on open-book examination so bring any of the written
materials you wish.
A. Definition (15 points). Select three of the following concepts and,
for each, identify the theorist most closely associated with it. Provide a short definition or explanation of
the concept. (3 x 5 = 15 points).
- Semi-autonomous employees
- Deep acting
- Interaction order
- Surplus repression
- Latent function
- Dialectic of enlightenment
B. Explanation (15 points). Select one of the following statements and
write a paragraph analyzing or explaining the statement.
- Explain how I and L in Parsons’s
AGIL system constitute a means of regulation.
- What is critical theory critical
- Explain the difference between
undistorted and distorted communication.
- Why are managers and supervisors
in a contradictory class location?
- Explain how world-system theory
can be used to explain Canadian history.
- Ritual connects individual and
C. Quote (15 points). Select one of the following quotes and write
an explanation of the quote. Discuss
how the ideas in the quote relate to the sociological perspective of the author
of the quote.
- “Among the occupational statuses of members of a family, if
there is more than one, much the most important is that of the husband and
father, not only because it is usually the primary source of family
income, but also because it is the most important single basis of the
status of the family in the community at large.” From Talcott Parsons, “Sex Roles in the American Kinship
- “Today this private space has been invaded and whittled down by
technological reality. Mass
production and mass distribution claim the entire individual, and industrial psychology has long since
ceased to be confined to the factory.
The manifold processes of introjection seem to be ossified into
mechanical reactions. The result
is, not adjustment but mimesis:
an immediate identification of the individual with his society and, through it, with the society as a
whole.” From Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man, p. 10.
- “It is important to see that both principles [justice and
solidarity] have one and the same root: the specific vulnerability of the
human species, which individuates itself through sociation. Morality thus cannot protect the one
without the other. It cannot
protect the rights of the individual without protecting the well-being of
the community to which he belongs.”
From Jurgen Habermas, “What is Discourse Ethics?” p. 200.
- “Human interaction is mediated by the use of symbols, by
interpretation, or by ascertaining the meaning of another’s actions.” From Herbert Blumer.
- “For if an individual is to show that he is a “nice guy” or, by
contrast, one much less nice than a human being need be, then it is
through his using or not using role distance that this is likely to be
done. It is right here, in
manifestations of role distance, that the individual’s personal style is to
be found.” From Erving Goffman.
- “The whole system of emotional exchange in private live has as
its ostensible purpose the welfare and pleasure of the people
involved. When this emotional
system is thrust into a commercial setting, it is transmuted. A profit motive is slipped in under
acts of emotion management, under the rules that govern them, under the
gift exchange.” From Arlie
Hochschild, The Managed Heart, p. 119.