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114 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
conflict theory
a theoretical perspective that emphasizes the role of power and coercion in producing social order
content analysis
the analysis of meanings in cultural artifacts like books, songs, and other forms of cultural communication
controlled experiment
a method of collecting data that can determine whether something actually causes something else
a statistical technique that analyzes patterns of association between pairs of sociological variables
the systematic information that sociologists use to investigate research questions
data analysis
the process by which sociologists organize collected data to discover what patterns and uniformities are revealed
the process of looking behind the facades of everyday life
deductive reasoning
insight wherein specific influences are derived from general principles
dependent variable
the variable that is a presumed effect
the variety of group experiences that result from the social structure of society
refers to something that is based on careful and systematic observation
the period in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe characterized by faith in the ability of human reason to solve society's problems
evaluation research
research assessing the effect of policies and programs
exchange theory
theory arguing behavior is determined by the rewards or punishments people receive as they interact with others
feminist theory
analysis of women and men in society intended to improve women's lives
a theoretical perspective that interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole society
the ability to make claims that a finding represents something greater than the specific observations on which the finding is based
a statement about what one expects to find in research
independent variable
a variable that is the presumed cause of a particular result
something that points to or reflects an abstract concept
inductive reasoning
insight wherein it arrives at general conclusions from specific observations
problems that affect large numbers of people and have their origins in the institutional arrangements and history of a society
the sum of a set of values divided by the number of cases from which the values are obtained; an average
the midpoint in a series of values that are arranged in numerical order
the value (or score) that appears most frequently in a set of data
organic metaphor
refers to the similarity early sociologists saw between society and other organic systems
participant observation
a method whereby the sociologist becomes both a participant in the group being studied and a scientific observer of the group
parts per hundred
a relatively large collection of people (or other unit) that a researcher studies and about which generalizations are made
a system of thought that regards scientific observation to be the highest form of knowledge
a theoretical perspective based on the idea that communication in all its forms is reality, such that understanding society requires studying all forms of communication, including cultural ideas, languages, texts, and self-conceptions
qualitative research
research that is somewhat less structured than quantitative research but that allows more depth of interpretation and nuance in what people say and do
quantitative research
research that uses numberical analysis
random sample
a sample that gives everyone in the population an equal chance of being selected
parts per some number
rational choice theory
theory positing that choices human beings make are guided by logical reason
the likelihood that a particular measure would produce the same results if the measure were repeated
replication study
research that is repeated exactly, but on a different group of people at a different point in time
any subset of units from a population that a researcher studies
scientific method
the steps in a research process, including observation, hypothesis testing, analysis of data, and generalization
social change
the alteration of social interaction, social institutions, stratification systems, and elements of culture over time
social Darwinism
the idea that society evolves to allow the survival of the fittest
social facts
social patterns that are external to individuals
social institution
an established and organized system of social behavior with a recognized purpose
social interaction
behavior between two or more people that is given meaning
social structure
the patterns of social relationships and social institutions that comprise society
sociological imagination
the ability to see the societal patterns that influence individual and group life
the study of human behavior in society
symbolic interaction theory
a theoretical perspective claiming that people act toward things because of the meaning things have for them
privately felt problems that come from events or feelings in one individual's life
the degree to which an indicator accurately measures or reflects a concept
something that can have more than one value or score
the process of understanding social behavior from the point of view of those engaged in it
shared ideas held collectively by people within a given culture
subculture created as a reaction against the values of the dominant culture
cultural capital
(also known as social capital) cultural resources that are socially designated as being worthy (such as knowledge of elite culture) and that give advantages to groups possessing such capital
cultural diffusion
the transmission of cultural elements from one society or cultural group to another
cultural hegemony
the pervasive and excessive influence of one culture throughout society
cultural relativism
the idea that something can be understood and judged only in relationship to the cultural context in which it appears
the complex system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a given group or society
culture shock
the feeling of disorientation that can come when one encounters a new or rapidly changed cultural situation
dominant culture
the culture of the most powerful group in society
the belief that one's in-group is superior to all out-groups
a technique for studying human interaction by deliberately disrupting social norms and observing how individuals attempt to restore normalcy
the general standards of behavior adhered to by a group
global culture
the diffusion of a single culture throughout the world
a statement about what one expects to find in research
a set of symbols and rules that, when put together in a meaningful way, provides a complex communication system
the written set of guidelines that define what is right and wrong in society
mass media
channels of communication that are available to very wide segments of the population
material culture
consists of the objects created in a given society - its buildings, art, tools, toys, print and broadcast media, and other tangible objects
strict norms that control moral and ethical behavior
nonmaterial culture
includes the norms, laws, customs, ideas, and beliefs of a group of people
the specific cultural expectations for how to act in a given situation
popular culture
the beliefs, practices, and objects that are part of everyday traditions
reflection hypothesis
the idea that the mass media reflect the values of the general population
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
a theory that language determines other aspects of culture since language provides the categories through which social reality is defined and perceived
social capital
same as cultural capital
social sanctions
mechanisms of social control that enforce norms
the culture of groups whose values and norms of behavior are somewhat different from those of the dominant culture
things or behavior to which people give meaning
the strictest norms in society - those behaviors that bring the most serious sanctions
the abstract standards in a society or group that define ideal principles
adult socialization
the process of learning new roles and expectations in adult life
age cohort
an aggregate group of people born during the same time period
age discrimination
different and unequal treatment of people based solely on their age
age prejudice
a negative attitude about an age group that is generalized to all people in that group
age stereotype
preconceived judgements about what different age groups are like
age stratification
the hierarchial ranking of age groups in society
the institutionalized practice of age prejudice and discrimination
anticipatory socialization
the process of learning the expectations associated with a role one expects to enter in the future
disengagement theory
theory predicting that as people age, they gradually withdraw from participation in society and are simultaneously relieved of responsibilities
the part of the self representing reason and common sense
game stage
the stage in childhood when children become capable of taking a multitude of roles at the same time
generalized other
an abstract composite of social roles and social expectations
the part of the personality that includes various impulses and drives, including sexual passions and desires, biological urges, and human instincts
how one defines oneself
imitation stage
the stage in childhood when children copy the behavior of those around them
life course
the connection between people's personal attributes, the roles they occupy, the life events they experience, and the social and historical context of these events
looking glass self
the idea that people's conception of self arises through reflection about their relationship to others
those of similar status
play stage
the stage in childhood when children begin to take on the roles of significant people in their environment
psychoanalytic theory
a theory of socialization positing that the unconscious mind shapes human behavior
the process by which existing social roles are radically altered or replaced
rite of passage
ceremony or ritual that symbolizes the passage of an individual from one role to another
the expected behavior associated with a given status in society
what we imagine we are; it is not an interior bundle of drives, instincts, and motives
significant others
those with whom we have a close affiliation
social control
the process by which groups and individuals within those groups are brought into conformity with dominant social exceptions
social learning theory
a theory of socialization positing that the formation of identity is a learned response to social stimuli
the process through which people learn the expectations of society
socialization agents
those who pass on social expectations
the dimension of the self representing the cultural standards of society
taking the role of the other
the process of imagining oneself from the point of view of another