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250 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What does sociology offer?
a perspective, a view of the world
Sociological perspective
stresses the social contexts in which people live
a group of people who share a culture and a territory
Social location
the corners in life that people occupy because of where they are located in a society
What makes us do what we do?
The society in which we grow up and our particular location in that society lie at the center of what we do and what we think
requires the development of theories that can be tested by systematic research
Measured by science, when did sociology appear on the human scene?
about the middle of the 1800s, when social observers began to use scientific methods to test their ideas
What resulted in the birth of sociology?
The scientific method was being tried out in chemistry and physics about the time that the Industrial Revolution ended. With tradition no longer providing the answers to questions about social life, the logical step was to apply the scientific method to these questions.
the idea of applying the scientific method to the social world - first proposed by Auguste Comte
What is sociology defined as?
the study of society
Who is often credited with being the founder of sociology? Why?
Auguste Comte because he developed this idea and coined the term sociology (even though his conclusions have been abandoned)
Who is sometimes called the second founder of sociology?
Herbert Spencer
What phrase did Herbert Spencer coin?
the survival of the fittest (social Darwinism) - only the most capable and intelligent members of the society survive, while the less capable die out
What did Karl Marx propose?
Class Conflict - workers unite in revolution and throw off their chains of bondage resulting in a classless society - people will work according to their capabilities and receive according to their needs
What did Emile Durkheim identify?
Social integration, the degree to which people are tied to thier social group, as a key social factor in suicide - people who have weaker social ties are more likely to commit suicide
From Drukheim's study of suicide, we see what principle as being central in his research?
Human behavior cannot be understood simply in individualistic terms; we must always examine the social forces that affect people's lives
What idea of Max Weber's is still controversial today?
Religion was the key factor in the rise of capitalism
What are sociological theories?
Statements about how facts are related to one another
What are sociological theories based on?
are based on certain basic core assumptions, or basic metaphysical, epistemological and moral premises, about the nature of the social world.
What are some major sociological research methods used?
Surveys, observation, experiment, and analysis of existing data
Functionalist perspective
Society is made up of interdependent parts that perform functions for society as a whole
Under the functionalist perspective, it is believed that society is held together by social consensus. What is it?
The majority agree on what would be good for everybody
Conflict perspective
Portrays society as always changing and marked by conflict
Symbolic interactionist perspective
A micro view of society - people assign meanings to each other's words and actions - our response to a person's actions is determined by our subjective interpretation of that action
What is participant observation?
The researcher takes part in the group they are studying
What is detached observation?
The researcher observes as an uninvolved outsider, from a distance
What are the three primary theoretical frameworks?
Symbolic interactionism, functional analysis, and conflict theory
What is symbolic interactionism?
concentrates on the meanings that underlie people's lives (usually focuses on the micro level)
What is functional analysis?
stresses that society is made up of various parts that, when working properly, contribute to the stability of society (focuses on the macro level)
What is conflict theory?
stresses inequalities and sees the basis of social life as a competitive struggle to gain control over scarce resources (also focuses on the macro level)
What is applied sociology?
sociology that is used to solve social problems
What is an independent variable?
A factor that causes a change in another variable
What is a dependent variable?
a factor that is changed by an independent variable
What is a rapport?
a feeling of trust between researchers and subjects
What are samples?
individuals among a target population
What is social interaction?
what people do when they are in one another's presence
What is sociology?
the scientific study of society and human behaviour
The ___________ stresses the social contexts in which people are immersed and that influence their lives.
sociological perspective
W.E.B. Du Bois
the first African American to earn a doctrate at Harvard - for most of his career he taught sociology at Atlanta University - was concerned about social injustice, wrote about race relations, and was one of the founders of the National Assocation for the Advancement of Colored People
Jane Addams
founder of Hull House - a settlement house in the immigrant community of Chicago - in 1931, was a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
Harriet Martineau
an Englishwoman who published Society in America decades before either Durkheim or Weber was born
Laud Humphreys
carried out doctoral research on homosexual activity - to obtain information, he misrepresented himself to his research subjects, when this became known he was questioned on his ethics
Herbert Spencer
believed that societies evolve from barbarian to civilized forms - first to use the expression "survival of the fittest"
Robert Merton
contributed the terms "manifest and latent functions" and "latent dysfunctions" to the functionalist perspective
Scientific research follows eight basic steps, what are they?
Selecting a topic, defining the problem, reviewing the literature, formulating a hypothesis, choosing a research method, collecting the data, analyzing the results, and sharing the results
What do surveys involve?
collecting data by having people answer a series of questions
What is a random sample?
everyone in the target population has the same chance of being included in the study
What is a stratified random sample?
a sample of specific subgroups of the target population in which everyone in the subgroup has an equal chance of being included in the study
Who are the respondents?
people who respond to a survey
What are close-ended questions?
the respondent selects one answer from a list of possible answers
What are open-ended questions?
respondents answer the questions in their own words
What are unobtrusive measures?
observing social behaviour of people who do not know they are being studied
Symbolic interactionists study what?
How people use symbols to develop their views of the world and to communicate with one another
What is the central idea of functional analysis?
Society is a whole unit; it is made up of interrelated parts that work together
What do functionalists say we need to look at to understand society?
Structure (how the parts of a society fit together to make the whole) and function (what each part does, how it contributes to society)
What is a manifest function?
An action that is intended to help come part of a system
What is a latent function?
Unintended consequences that help a system adjust
What do conflict theorists stress?
Society is composed of groups that engage in fierce competition for scarce resources
What is the macro-level?
large-scale patterns of society
What is a hypothesis?
a statemenet of what you expect to find according to predictions that are based on a theory
What are operational definitions?
precise ways to measure the variables
What is culture?
the language, beliefs, values, norms, behaviors, and even material objects that are passed from one generation to the next
What is material culture?
such things as jewelry, art, buildings, weapons, machines, hairstyles and clothing
What is nonmaterial culture?
a group's way of thinking (beliefs and values) and doing (common patterns of behavior: language, gestures, interaction)
What is culture shock?
the disorientation that people experience when they come in contact with a fundamentally different culture and can no longer depend on their taken-for-granted assumptions about life
What is ethnocentrism?
a tendency to use our own group's ways of doing things as the yardstick for judging others
What is cultural relativism?
trying to understand a culture on its own terms - looking at how the elements of a culture fit together without judging those elements as superior or inferior to one's own way of life
What is symbolic culture?
another name for nonmaterial culture - its central component is the symbols that people use
What are symbols?
something to which people attach meaning and that they then use to communicate (gestures, language, values, norms, sanctions, folkways)
What are gestures?
using one's body to communicate with others - shorthand ways to convey messages without using words
What is language?
symbols that can be strung together in an infinite number of ways for the purpose of communicating abstract thought
Our ability to speak provides us with what?
a social past and future - language allows culture to develop
What does the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis indicate?
rather than objects and events forcing themselves onto our consciousness, it is our language that determines our consciousness, and hence our perception, of objects and events
What are values?
ideas of what is desirable in life - standards by which people define what is good and bad, beautiful and ugly
What are norms?
rules of behavior that develop out of a group's values
What are sanctions?
reactions people get for following or breaking norms
What are folkways?
norms that are not strictly enforced
What are mores?
norms that we think of as essential to our core values and insist on conformity
What is a taboo?
a norm so strongly ingrained that even the thought of its violation is greeted with revulsion
What is a subculture?
a world within the larger world of the dominant culture
What is a counterculture?
some of the group's values and norms place it at odds with the dominant culture
What is a pluralistic society? What country is an example of one?
made up of many different groups - United States
What are some of the values in U.S. Society?
achievement and success; individualism; activity and work; efficiency and practicality; science and technology; progress; material comfort; humanitarianism; freedom; democracy; equality; racism and group superiority; education; religiosity; romantic love
What are value clusters?
independent values that are clutered together to form a whole
What is ideal culture?
refers to the values, norms, and goals that a group considers ideal, worth aspiring to
What is real culture?
the norms and values that people actually follow
What is technology?
tools and the skills or procedures necessary to make and use those tools
What is new technology?
an emerging technology that has a significant impact on social life
Technology does what?
sets a framework for a group's nonmaterial culture
What is cultural lag and who coined the term?
not all parts of a culture change at the same pace, when some part of a culture changes, other parts lag behind - William Ogburn
What did Ogburn point out?
a group's material culture usually changes first, with the nonmaterial culture lagging behind
What is cultural diffusion?
during contacts with other groups people learn from one another, adapting some part of the other's way of life - groups are most open to a change in their technology or material culture
What is cultural leveling?
a process in which cultures become similar to one another
What is social environment?
the entire human environment including direct contact with others?
What is socialization?
when people learn to be members of the human community through human contact
What is "self"?
the picture that we have of how others see us, our image of who we are
Who coined the term 'looking-glass self'?
Charles Horton Cooley
What is "looking-glass self"?
refers to the process by which our self develops thruogh internalizing others' reactions to us
What are the three elements of the "looking-glass self"?
1. We imagine how we appear to those around us; 2. We interpret others' reactions; 3. We develop a self-concept
When does the development of the "self" end?
Never - it is never a finished project, but is always in process
What do childern learn during play?
to "take the role of the other" - to put themselves in someone else's shoes, to understand how someone else feels and thinks and to anticipate how that person will act
What are significant others?
individuals who significantly influences one's life, such as parents or siblings
What is the generalized other?
oru perception of how people in general think of us
What are the three stages of "taking the role of others"?
1. Imitation (under 3 years old); 2. Play (3 - 6 years old); 3. Games
What is the sensorimotor stage?
(from birth to about age 2) understanding is limited to direct contact with the environment
What is the preoperational stage?
(from about age 2 to age 7) develop the ability to use symbols
What is the concrete operational stage?
(from the age of about 7 to 12) reasoning abilities are more developed, but they remain concrete
What is the formal operational stage?
(after the age of about 12) children are now capable of abstract thinking
What is Piaget's contribution to reasoning?
A basic structure underlies the way we develop reasoning, and children all over the world begin with the concrete and move to the abstract.
What three elements did Sigmund Freud say personality consisted of?
id - inborn drives that cause us to seek self-gratification
ego - the balancing force between the id and the demands of society that suppress it
superego - conscience
What does the superego represent?
the culture within us, the norms and values we have internalized from our social groups
What is the central principle of sociology?
factors such as social class and people's roles in groups underlie their behavior
What are the six basic emotions that Paul Ekman concluded are universal?
anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise
What is being referred to with the following phrase:
society within you
What is gender socialization?
expecting different attitudes and behaviors from us because we are male or female
What is the peer group?
individuals of roughly the same age who are linked by common interests
What is the mass media?
forms of communication that are directed to large audiences
What is social inequality?
giving privileges and obligations to one group of people while denying them to another
What are agents of socialization?
people and groups that influence our orientations to life
What is anticipatory socialization?
learning to play a role before entering it
What is resocialization?
learning new norms, values, attitudes, and bevahiors to match their new situation in life
What is total institution?
a place in which people are cut off from the rest of society and where they come under almost total control of the officials who run the place
What is a degradation ceremony?
an attempt to remake the self by stripping away the individual's current identity and stamping a new one in its place
What is the life course?
stages of life (from birth to death)
What is macrosociology?
places the focus on broad features of society
What is microsociology?
the emphasis is place on social interaction, what people do when they come together
What is social interaction?
what people do when they come together
What is social structure?
the typical patterns of a group, such as its usual relationships between men and women or students and teachers
What is a social class?
large numbers of people who have similar amounts of income and education and who work at jobs that are roughly comparable in prestige
What is status?
the position that someone occupies
What is a status set?
all the statuses or positions that someone occupies
What is an ascribed status?
involuntary - you inherit an ascribed status at birth at are also given to you later in life
What is an achieved status?
voluntary - you earn or accomplish as a result of your efforts
What are status symbols?
signs that identify a status
What is a master status?
one that cuts across the other statuses that one holds
What is status inconsistency?
a contradiction or mismatch between their statuses
What are roles?
the behaviors, obligations, and privileges attached to a status
What is the difference between roles and status?
You occupy a status and you play a role
What is a group?
consists of people who regularly interact with one another
What are social institutions?
the ways that each society develops to meet its basic needs
What are hunting and gathering societies?
depend on hunting and gathering for their survival - fewest social divisions - most egalitarian
What are pastoral societies?
based on the pasturing of animals
What are horticultural societies?
based on the cultivation of plants by the use of hand tools
What are agricultural societies?
many more people were able to engage in activities other than farming - to develop the things popularly known as culture
What are industrial societies?
far more efficient than anything the world had ever seen
What are postindustrial (information) societies?
one based on information, services, and the latest technology rather than on raw materials and manufacturing
What is the bioeconomic society?
an economy that centers on the application of genetic structures - both plant and animal - for the production of food and medicine
What is mechanical solidarity?
people who perform similar tasks develop a shared consciousness, a sense of similarity that unites them into a common whole
What is organic solidarity?
like organs - people perform different taks but depend on one another to make the whole
What is dramaturgy?
social life is like a drama or a stage play
What is impression management?
the efforts to manage the impressions that others receive of us
What is the difference between role conflict and role strain?
role conflict is conflict between roles, while role strain is conflict within a role
What is ethnomethodology?
study of how people use commonsense understandings to make sense of everyday life
What is an aggregate?
consist of individuals who temporarily share the same physical space but who do not see themselves as belonging together
What is a category?
consists of people who share similar characteristics, such as college women who wear glasses
What are primary groups?
those characterized by intimate face-to-face association and cooperation
What are secondary groups?
based on some interest or activity, and their members are likely to interact on the basis of specific statuses
What is oligarchy?
many are ruled by a few
What are in-groups?
groups to which we feel loyalty
What are out-groups?
those toward which we feel antagonism
What are reference groups?
groups we use as standards to evaluate ourselves
What are cliques?
clusters of people, internal factions
What is a social network?
the links between people
What are bureaucracies?
no other form of social organization is more efficient
What is the corporate culture of U.S. compared to Japan?
U.S. - individualism, job shopping/hopping, work has set hours, perform on job, make decision on own

Japan - teamwork, lifetime security, work is like a marriage, broa training, decision by consensus
What are group dynamics?
how groups influence us and how we affect groups
What is a small group?
few enough members that each one can directly interact with all the other members
What is a dyad?
smallest possible group, a group of 2 people
What is s triad?
group of 3 people
What is a coalition?
some group members aligning themselves agains others
What happens as a small group becomes larger?
it becomes more stabl, but its intensity and intimacy decrease
What is a leader?
someone who influences the behaviors, opinions, or attitudes of others
What is an instrumental leader?
tries to keep the group moving toward its goal
What is an expressive leader?
increases harmony, lifts group morale, and minimizes conflict
What is an authoritarian leader?
one who gives orders
What is a democratic leader?
one who tries to gain a consensus
What is a laissez-faire leader?
one who is highly permissive
What is groupthink?
collective tunnel vision that group members sometime develop
What makes something deviant?
it is not the act itself, but the reactions to the act, that make something deviant
What is deviance?
any violation of norms
What is stigma?
characteristics that discredit people
What is social order?
a group's customary social arrangements
What is social control?
formal and informal means of enforcing norms
What are negative sanctions?
ranges from frowns and gossip to imprisonment and capital punishment
What are positive sanctions?
from smiles to formal awards
What are genetic predispositions?
inborn tendencies; in this context, to commit deviant acts
What are personality disorders?
the view that a personality disturbance of some sort causes an individual to violate social norms
What is differential association?
we learn to deviate or conform to society's norms by the different groups we associate with
What is the control theory?
two control systems work against our motivations to deviate
What are the control systems?
inner controls - internailized mobility

outer controls - people
What is the labeling theory?
the view that the labels people are given affect their own and others perceptions of them, thus channeling their behavior into deviance or conformity
What are the 5 techniques of neutralization?
1. denial of resonsibility
2. denial of injury
3. denial of a victim
4. condemnation of the condemners
5. appeal to higher loyalties
What do labels do?
open and close doors of opportunity
According to functionalists, deviance is functional to society because it contributes to the social order by:
1. clarifying moral boundaries and affirming norms
2. promoting social unity
3. promoting social change
What are institutionalized means?
legitimate ways of achieving success
What is the strain theory?
when people strive to achieve cultural goals but are not presented with institutionalized means of getting there which may result in deviance
What is white-collar crime?
crimes that people of respectable and hgih social status commit in the course of their occupations
What is the recidivism rate?
percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested
How do conflict theorists explain deviance?
the position in power (the capitalist class) imposes its definitions of deviance on other groups (working calss and marginal working class)
What are common reactions to deviance in the U.S.?
imprisonment, capital punishment, degradation ceremonies, hate crimes
What is the medicalization of deviance?
deviance represents mental illness
What is social stratification?
a system in which groups of people are divided into layers according to their relative power, property, and prestige (does not refer to individuals)
What are the three major systems of social stratification?
slavery, caste, and class
What is an ideology?
beliefs that justify social arrangements
What is a caste system?
status is determined by birth and is lifelong
What is endogamy?
marriage within their own group, and prohibits intermarriage (caste system)
What is a class system?
based primarily on money or material possessions, which can be acquired - so this sysem is much more open
What is social mobility?
movement up or down the class ladder
What did Karl Marx say determined social class?
means of production - the tools, factories, land, and investment capital used to produce wealth
Marx said there are just two classes of people:
bourgeoisie - those who own the means of production

proletariat - those who work for the owners
What did Max Weber say made up social class?
a combination of property, prestige, and power
Why is social stratification universal?
-society must offer people greater awards to attract the most capable ones

-every society must have leadership

-resources are limited and an elite emerges as groups struggle for them
How are the world's nations stratified?
Most Industrialized, Industrializing, Least Industrialized
Why are some nations rich and others poor?
global stratification can be explained by: colonialism, world system theory, and the culture of poverty
What is colonialism?
one country making colonies out of other countries
What is the world system theory?
economic and political connections that tie the world's countries together
What is the culture of poverty?
a way of life that perpetuates poverty from one generation to the next
What is social class?
a large group of people who rank closely to one another in wealth, power, and prestige
What is the primary dimension of social class?
wealth - the value of a person's property
What is power?
the ability to carry out your will despite resistance
What is the power elite?
those who make the big decisions in U.S. society
What is prestige?
respect or regard
What is status consistency?
ranking high or low on all three dimensions of social class: education, income, and occupational prestige
What is status inconsistency?
rankin ghigh on some dimensions of social class and low on others
What is status?
our social ranking
What are the social classes?
Capitalist, Upper Middle, Lower Middle, Working, Working Poor, Underclass
Symbolic interactionsist emphasize what?
people perceive events from their own corner in life
What aspects of life go untouched by social class?
no aspects of life go untouched, from marriage to politics
What are the three basic types of social mobility?
intergenerational, structural, and exchange
What is intergenerational mobility?
a change that occurs between generations (when grown-up children end up on a different rung of the social class ladder than were their parents)
What is upward social mobility?
movement up the social class ladder
What is downward social mobility?
movement down the social ladder
What is structural mobility?
changes in society that cause large numbers of people to move up or down the class ladder
What is exchange mobility?
when large numbers of people move up and down the social class ladder but, on balance, the proportions of the social classes remain about the same
What is the poverty line?
the official measure of poverty; calculated to include those whose incomes are less than three times a low-cost food budget
What is one of the strongest factors in poverty?
As age increases, does poverty also do the same?
no - as age increases they are less likely than the general population to be poor
What is the culture of poverty?
the values and bevahiors of the poor "make them fundamentally different from other Americans, and that these factors are largely responsible for their continued long-term poverty"
Why are people poor?
Social structure - features of society deny some people access to education or learning job skills

Characterisitcs of Individuals - dropping out of school, having children in teen years, laziness, lack of intelligence
What is the Horatio Alger Myth?
the belief that anyone can get ahead if only he or she tries hard enough
What is race?
a group of people whose perceived physical characteristics distinguish it from another group
What is a genocide?
the attempt to destroy people because of their presumed race or ethnicity
What is ethnicity/ethnic?
people who identify with one another on the basis of common ancestry and cultural heritage
What is a minority group?
people who are singled out for unequal treatment and who regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination
What is a melting pot?
the view that Americans from different backgrounds would blend into a sort of ethnic stew
What is discrimination?
an action - unfair treatment directed against someone
What is prejudice?
an attitude - prejudging of some sort, usually in a negative way
What is institutional discrimination?
negative treatment of a minority group that is built into a society's institutions
What is gender stratification?
males' and females' unequal access to power, prestige, and property
Why are gender and age so significant?
they are master statuses