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164 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Durkheim’s Theory of Suicide
Durkheim argued that the suicide rate declines and then rises as social solidarity increases.
Social solidarity
Social solidarity refers to (1) the degree to which group members share beliefs and values, and (2) the intensity and frequency of their interaction.
Social structures
Social structures are relatively stable patterns of social relations
Three levels of social structures:
Microstructures, Macrostructures, and Global Structures
Microstructures are patterns of relatively intimate social relations formed during face to face interaction: Family, friends
Macrostructures are overarching patterns of social relations that lie outside and above your circle of intimates and acquaintances: Patriarchy
Patriarchy is the traditional system of economic and political inequality between women and men
Global Structures
Global structures are patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level: international organizations, trade, economics, etc.
sociological imagination
The sociological imagination is the quality of mind that enabless a person to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures
Three modern revolutions
The Scientific Revolution, the Democratic Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution
The Scientific Revolution
The Scientific Revolution began around 1550. It encouraged the view that the workings of society were based on solid evidence, not just speculation
The Democratic Revolution
The Democratic Revolution began in around 1750. It suggested that people are responsible for organizing society and that they could therefore solve social problems
The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution, often regarded as the most important event in world history since the development of agriculture and cities, refers to the rapid economic transformation that began in Britain in the 1780s. It involved the large-scale application of science and technology to industrial processes, the creation of factories, and the formation of a working class
Theories are tentative explanations of some aspect of social life that state how and why certain events are related
The process of carefully observing reality to assess the validity of a theory
Values are ideas about what is wrong and right
Functionalism (Durkheim)
Stresses that human behavior is governed by relatively stable social structures. It underlines how social structures maintain or undermine social stability. It emphasizes that social structures are based mainly on shared values or preferences. And it suggests that re-establishing equilibrium can best solve most social problems.
Dysfunctional consequences
Effects of social structures that create instability
Manifest functions
Visible and intended effects of social structures
Latent functions
Invisible and unintended effects of social structures
Conflict Theory (Marx)
generally focuses on large macrolevel structures and shows how major patterns of inequality in society produce social stability in some circumstances and social change in others
Class conflict
the struggle between classes to resist and overcome the opposition of other classes (Marx's theory)
Symbolic Interactionism (Weber, Mead, and Goffman)
focuses on interaction in microlevel social settings and emphasizes that an adequate explanation of social behavior requires understanding the subjective meanings people attach to their social circumstances.
Social constructionism
argues that apparently natural or innate features of life are often sustained by social processes that vary historically and culturally
Feminist Theory (Martineau and Addams)
claims that patriarchy is at least as important as class inequality in determining a person’s opportunities in life. It holds that male domination and female subordination are determined not by biological necessity but by structures of power and social convention. It examines the operation of patriarchy in both micro and macro settings. And it contends that existing patterns of gender inequality can and should be changed for the benefit of all members of society
The Postindustrial Revolution
refers to the technology-driven shift from manufacturing to service industries and the consequences of that shift for virtually all human beings
the process by which formerly separate economies, states, and cultures become tied together and people becoming increasingly aware of their growing independence
Filtering sociological research occurs in four stages:
Values, Theories, Previous research, and Methods
Different types of unscientific thinking
Knowledge bases on: tradition, authority, casual observation, overgeneralization, selective observation, qualification, illogical reasoning, ego-defense, premature closure of inquiry, and mystification
The Research Cycle
(1) Formulate a research question, (2) Review the existing literature, (3) Select a research method, (4) Collect data, (5) analyze data, and (6) publish the results
Four Ethical Considerations
(1) The right to safety, (2) the right to privacy, (3) The subject's right to confidentiality, and (4) the right to informed consent
Four Main Methods of Sociological Research
(1) Field research, (2) Ethnographic research, (3) Participant observation, and (4) Exploratory research
Unverified but testable statements about the relationship between two or more variables
A grounded theory
An explanation of events not based on speculation but on the controlled scrutiny of objects
Four Methodical Problems
Reliability (consistent results), Validity (actually measures what it's supposed to), Generalizability (exists outside the specific case), and Causality (cause and effect relationship errors)
An experiment is a carefully controlled artificial situation that allows researchers to isolate hypothesized causes and measure their effects precisely
Randomization involves assigning individuals to groups by chances processes
Experimental group
The group that is exposed to the independent variable
Control group
The group that is not exposed to the independent variable
Dependent variable
The presumed effect in the cause and effect relationship
Independent variable
The cause in the cause and effect relationship
Field experiment
When the sociologist introduces the independent variable themselves
Natural experiment
When the independent variable is introduced to one of the groups in the normal course of life
A survey
People are asked questions about their knowledge, attitudes, or behavior, either in face-to-face or telephone interview or in a pencil and paper format
A sample
the part of the population that is in interest to be researched
A population
the entire group about which the researcher wants to generalize
Voluntary response sample
a group of people who chose themselves in response to a general appeal
Representative sample
a group of people chosen so their characteristics closely match those of the population of interest
Convenience sample
Choosing the people who are easiest to reach
Probability sample
the units have a known and nonzero chance of being selected; respondents are chosen at random
A sampling frame
a list of all the people in the population of interest
Three ways to administer a survey
(1) the mailing out of a questionnaire, (2) face to face interview, or (3) telephone interviews
Two types of survey questions
(1) Close-ended question: a list of permitted responses, or (2) Open-ended questions: answer in their own words
Four threats to the validity of surveys
(1) Undercounting some categories of the population, (2) Non-response, (3) Response bias: dishonesty, and (4) Wording-effects: the way questions are phrased
Fiona Kay and John Hagan (1998) [Lawyer experiment]
Compared male and female lawyers. They found an association between gender and promotion
An association exists between two variables if the value of one changes with the value of the other
Four conditions of causality:
(1) Time order criterion: independent variable occurs before the dependent variable, (2) Association criterion: existence of a correlation between independent and dependent variables, (3) Spuriousness criterion: the effect resulted from the cause and not from some other factor, and (4) Rationale criterion: existence of a mechanism or process linking the cause and effect
A contingency table
A contingency table is a cross-classification of cases by at least two variables that allows you to see how, if at all, the variables are associated
the sum of practices, languages, symbols, beliefs, values, ideologies, and material objects that people create to deal with real-life problems
High culture
High culture is culture consumed mainly by upper classes
Popular culture (or mass culture)
culture consumed by all classes
Abstraction is the capacity to create general ideas or ways of thinking that are not linked to particular instances
things that carry a particular meaning, including the components of language, mathematical notations, and signs
the capacity to create a complex social life by establishing generally accepted ways of doing things and ideas about what is right and wrong
generally accepted ways of doing things
the human capacity to make and use tools. It improves our ability to take what we want from nature
Material culture
comprises the tools and techniques that enable people to get tasks accomplished
Non-material culture
composed of symbols, norms, and other intangible elements
Three types of norms
Folkways, Mores: core norms that are essential for survival, Taboos
Cultural relativism
the belief that all cultures have equal value
The rights revolution
the process by which socially excluded groups struggled to win equal rights under the law and in practice beginning in the second half of the twentieth century
Rites of passage
cultural ceremonies that mark the transition from one stage of life to another (baptisms, confirmations, weddings) or from life to death (funerals)
characterized by an eclectic mix of cultural elements and the erosion of consensus
the application of the most efficient means to achieve given goals and the unintended, negative consequences of doing so
the tendency to define ourselves in terms of the goods we purchase
a set of distinctive values, norms, and practices within a larger culture
Subversive subculture
the process by which people learn their culture—including norms, values, and roles—and become aware of themselves as they interact with others
A role
the behavior expected of a person occupying a particular position in society
Spitz’s test of socialization
Orphanage versus prison home. Orphans had less contact with social stimuli. The importance of childhood socialization
Freud's Theory
The Self (your ideas and attitudes about who you are), the Id (demands instant gratification), the Superego (repository of cultural standards), the Unconscious (repressed memories), and the Ego (balances conflicting needs of pleasure seeking Id and restraining Superego)
Cooley's Symbolic Interactionism
The "looking-glass self": From other people’s interactions with us, we make evaluations about ourselves
Mead's Theory of Socialization
(1) the I (subjective and impulsive part of self), and (2) the Me (objective component that takes emerges through interaction
Significant others
people who play important roles in the early socialization experiences of children
The generalized other
according to Mead, a person’s image of cultural standards and how they apply to him or her
Piaget's four stages of development
(1) Sensimotor, (2) preoperational, (3) concrete operational, and (4) Formal operational
Kohlberg's theory of children's 3-stage development of moral reasoning
(1) preconventionial stage (distinguish right from wrong based on gratification), (2) conventional stage (teenagers thing about right and wrong with considerations to if it will please their parents and teachers), and (3) Postconventional (whether the laws of society or authorities are good moral principals)
Vygotsky's theory of socialization
Ways of thinking are determined by your culture and social institutions you grow up in
Gilligan and gender difference
Demonstrated that sociological factors help explain differences in the sense of self that boys and girls usually develop
Primary socialization
the process of acquiring the basic skills needed to function in society during childhood
The hidden curriculum
The hidden curriculum in school involves teaching obedience to authority and conformity to cultural norms
Self-fulfilling prophecy
an expectation that helps bring about what it predicts
Peer group
comprises people who are about the same age and of similar status as the individual
refers to a recognized social position an individual can occupy
Self-socialization involves choosing socialization influences from the wide variety of mass media offerings
Gender role
the set of behaviors associated with widely shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act
Resocialization occurs when powerful socializing agents deliberately cause rapid change in person’s values, roles, and self-conception, sometimes against a person’s will
Initiation rite
a ritual that signifies the transition of the individual from one group to another and ensures his or her loyalty to the new group
Three state process of initiation
(1) ritual rejection (rejection of old ways), (2) ritual death (degradation, disorientation, and stress), and (3) ritual birth (acceptance of new culture)
Total institutions
settings in which people are isolated from the larger society and under strict control and constant supervision of a specialized staff
Das Prison Experiment
Radically altering your social setting and your self-conception and patterned behavior are also likely to change
Adult socialization is necessary for four main reasons
(1) adult roles are discontinuous, (2) some adult roles are largely invisible, (3) some adult roles are unpredictable, (4) adult roles change as we mature
Anticipatory socialization
Anticipatory socialization involves taking on the norms and behaviors of the role to which we aspire
Virtual community
an association of people, scattered across the country, continent, or planet, who communicate via computer and modem about a subject of common interest
a large, impersonal organization comprising many clearly defined positions arranged in a hierarchy. A bureaucracy has a permanent, salaried staff of qualified experts and written goal, rules, and procedures. Ideally, staff members always try to find ways of running the bureaucracy more efficiently
Social network
a bounded set of individuals who are linked by the exchange of material or emotional resources. The patterns of exchange determine the boundaries of the network. Members exchange resources more frequently with one another than nonmembers. They also think of themselves as network members. Social networks may be formal (defined in writing), but they are more often informal (defined only in practice)
Contrast of community and society
Tonnies: a community is marked by intimate and emotionally intense social ties, whereas a society is marked by impersonal relationships held together largely by self-interest
a social relationship between two nodes or social units: intense and intimate, need both to live only one to die
a social relationship among three nodes or social units: not as intense or intimate, restricts individuality, majority could outvote one, allows for factions
Social group
comprises one or more networks of people who identify with one another and adhere to defined norms, roles, and statuses
Social category
comprises people who share a similar status but do not identify with one another
Primary groups
, norms, roles, and statuses are agreed on but are not put in writing. Social interaction leads to strong emotional ties. It extends over a long period, and involves a wide range of activities. It results in group members knowing one another well
Secondary groups
larger and more impersonal than primary groups. Compared with primary groups, social interaction in secondary groups creates weaker emotional ties. It extends over a short period, and it involves a narrow range of activities. It results in most group members having at most a passing acquaintance with one another
Solomon Asch’s experiment
Conformity: likelihood increases as group size does, status affects likeliness, culture matters, appearance of unanimity affects
group pressure to conform despite individual misgivings
Bystander apathy
as the number of bystanders increase, the likelihood of any one bystander helping another decreases because the greater the number of bystanders, the less responsibility any one individual feels
people who belong to a group
people who are excluded from an in-group
The Robber’s Cave Study
Competition between two groups arbitrarily, only ended with shared task
Reference group
comprises people against whom an individual evaluates his or her situation or conduct
Imagined communities
“Imagined communities” are imagined because you cannot possibly meet everyone in it but are communities because people believe strongly in their existence and importance
Formal organizations
secondary groups designed to achieve explicit objectives
Four main criticism against bureaucracies
Dehumanization, bureaucratic ritualism, oligarchy, and bureaucratic inertia
Laissez-Faire leadership
leadership allows subordinates to work things out largely on their own, with almost no direction from above. It is the least effective type of leadership
Authoritarian leadership
demands strict compliance from subordinates. Authoritarian leaders are most effective in crisis, such as a war or the emergency room of a hospital
Democratic leadership
offers more guidance than the laissez-faire variety but less control than the authoritarian type. Democratic leaders try to include all group members in the decision-making process, taking the best ideas from the group and molding them into a strategy with which all can identify. Outside crisis situations, democratic leadership is usually the most effective leadership style
Organizational environment
comprises a host of economic, political, and cultural forces that lie outside an organization and affect the way it works
collectivities of interacting people who share a culture and a territory
Foraging Societies
are societies by which people live by searching for wild plants and hunting wild animals. Such societies predominated until about 10,000 years ago. Inequality, the division of labor, productivity, and settlement size are very low in such societies
Pastoral and Horticultural societies
(1) Horticultural societies are societies in which people domesticate plants and use simple hand tools to garden. Such societies first emerged about 10,000 years ago
(2) Pastoral societies are societies in which people domesticate cattle, camels, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, and reindeer. Such societies first emerged about 10,000 years ago
Agricultural societies
societies in which plows and animal power are used to substantially increase food supply and dependability as compared with horticultural and pastoral societies. Agricultural societies first emerged about 5000 years ago
Industrial societies
societies that use machines and fuel to greatly increase the supply and dependability of food and finished goods. The first such societies emerged about 230 years ago in Great Britain
Postindustrial societies
societies in which most workers are employed in the service sector and computers spur substantial increases in the division of labor and productivity. Shortly after World War II, the United States became the first postindustrial society
Postnatural societies
societies in which genetic engineering enables people to create new life forms. Although genetic engineering holds out much promise for improving productivity, feeding the poor, ridding the world of disease, and so on, social inequality could increase in postnatural societies unless people democratically decide on the acceptable risks of genetic engineering and the distribution of its benefits
Human capital
the sum of useful skills and knowledge that an individual possesses
Human capital theory
stresses the increasing centrality of education as a factor of affecting economic success
Social capital
the networks or connections that individuals possess
Cultural capital
the stock of learning and skills that increases the chance of securing a superior job
Low-income cutoff
Statistic Canada’s term for the income threshold below which a family devotes a larger share of its income to the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing than an average family would, likely resulting in strained circumstances
Global inequality
refers to differences in the economic ranking of countries
Cross-national variations in internal stratification
differences among countries in their stratification systems
Gini Index
a measure of income inequality. Its value ranges from zero (which means that every household earns exactly the same amount of money) to one (which means that all income is earned by a single household)
Social stratification
refers to the way in which society is organized in layers or strata
Ascription based system
a system in which the allocation of rank depends on characteristics a person is born with
Achievement bases system
a system in which the allocation of rank depends on a person’s accomplishments
Social mobility
the movement up or down in the stratification system
Caste system
an almost pure ascription-based stratification system in which occupations and marriage partners are assigned on the basis of caste membership
a caste system based on race that existed in South Africa from 1948 to 1992. It consigned the large black majority to menial jobs, prevented marriage between blacks and whites, and erected separate public facilities for members of the two races. Asians and people of mixed race enjoyed privileges between these two extremes
a legal arrangement in preindustrial Europe that bound peasants to the land and obliged them to give their landlords a set part of the harvest. In exchange, landlords were required to protect peasants from marauders and open their storehouses to feed the peasants if crops failed
Class consciousness
being aware of membership in a class
Class (in Marx's terms)
determined by a person’s relationship to the means of production
Class (Weber's usage)
determined by a person’s “market situation”
Bourgeoisie (in Marx's terms)
owners of the means of production, including factories, tools, and land. They do not do any physical labor. Their income derives from profits
Proletariat (in Marx's terms)
the working class. Members of the proletariat do physical labor but do not own means of production. They are thus in a position to earn wages
The petit bourgeoisie (Marx's terms)
the class of small-scale capitalists who own means of production but employ only a few workers or none at all, forcing them to do physical work themselves
Status groups (Weber)
differ from one another in terms of the prestige or social honor they enjoy and also in terms of their style of life
Parties (Weber)
organizations that seek to impose their will on others
Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore's Functional Theory of Stratification
argues that (1) some jobs are more important than others are, (2) people must make sacrifices to train for important jobs, and (3) inequality is required to motivate people to undergo these sacrifices
ability to impose one’s will on others: not an all-or-nothing attribute but a social relationship, the exercise of which may cause less-powerful people to become more powerful
legitimate, institutionalized power: rests on moral consent
Intragenerational mobility
social mobility that occurs within a single generation
Intergenerational mobility
social mobility that occurs between generations
Socioeconomic Status (SES)
combines income, education, and occupational prestige data in a single index of a person’s position in the socioeconomic hierarchy
“Equality of opportunity” versus “equality of condition”
Equality of opportunity focuses on chances of participation, while equality of condition focuses on chances of succeeding