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Intro. Sociology

Based on the Introductory Sociology CLEP book by REA, parts 4-7

Culture Generally defined as a blueprint according to which the members of a group or society go about their daily lives. Consists of the common (learned and shared) social heritage that members pass on to one another.
Material culture Consists of the material things (cars, books, burial sites) that people attach meaning to and use
Non-material culture Consists of the abstract terms (languages, ideas, rules) that humans create for various purposes.
Symbol Something to which a certain meaning or value is attache by the person/persons who use it.
Aspects of culture symbols and language, norms and values, folkways, mores, cultural universals, cultural variability
Norms Rules or expectations that govern for to which people orient their behavior. Violation often results in some form of punishment.
Values Represents the things that give meaning and about which humans feel certain, as well as the ideas that make such things so important that humans are willing to go to great lengths for them.
Folkways The usual customs and conventions of everyday life. Different from values in that they lack a moral component.
Mores Norms of such moral and ethical significance to the members of a society or community that their violation is regarded as a very serious matter worthy of strong criticism, anger, punishment, or institutionalization.
Cultural universals Basic elements essential to individual and collective survival that are found in all cultures.
Cultural variability The variety of things humans have devised to meet their needs.
Ethnoecentrism The attitude that one's own cultural or ethnic values are the only good and true values, as well as the tendency to judge other cultures by one's own standards.
Cultural relativism Social scientists' efforts to be objective in their observations either by not imposing their own meaning on the events, being observed, or by focusing solely on the reason why the element exists.
Subcultures Not wholly separate from the larger culture, but represent unique cultures and cultural organizations unto themselves.
Countercultures Cultures whose values, beliefs, and ways of life do not conform to the norm. May be characterized by unconventional behavior. Are often found threatening.
Society Human association, the presence of a connecting link between humans.
Sociocultural evolution The tendency of society to become more complex over time.
The ecological approach Focuses on how much variation in cultural and social elements of the system can be attributed to the environment.
Types of societies hunting and gathering, horticultural and pastoral, agricultural, industrial, postindustrial
Hunting and gathering society A society whose economy is based on hunting animals and gathering vegetation.
Horticultural and pastoral society A society characterized by the domestication of animals and the use of hand tools to cultivate plants.
Agricultural society More complex than horticultural and pastoral societies in the level of technology used to support crops and livestock.
Industrial society Complex machinery and energy sources (rather than people and animals) are used for production.
Postindustrial society Information is created, processed, and stored, unlike industrial societies where the primary form of production centers around machine-generated goods.
Social structure The way in which people's relation in society are arranged to form a network.
Status May refer to a position in society and/or in a group.
Ascribed status Is automatically conferred on a person with no effort made or no choice involved on their part such as race or gender.
Achieved status A status that is assumed largely through one's own efforts or doings.
Master status The status with which a person is most identified. A person's most important status.
Status set Consist of all the statuses that a person occupies.
Role Refers to what a person does by virtue of occupying a certain status or position.
Role strain The situation where different and conflicting expectations exist with regard to a particular status.
Role conflict Occurs when a person occupies multiple statuses that contradict one another.
Group An assembly of people or things.
Association A type of relationship formed on the basis of an accommodation of interests or on the basis of an agreement.
Communal relationship A relationship formed on the basis of a subjective feeling of the parties that "they belong together" whether the feeling is personal or is linked with tradition.
Aggregate Consists of a number of people who happen to be in the same place at the same time.
Social category Consists of a number of people with certain characteristics in common.
Social group Consists of a number of people interacting with one another in an orderly fashion.
Who distinguished between primary and secondary groups? Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1924)
Primary group Interaction is direct, the common bonds are close and intimate, and the relationships among the members are warm, intimate, and personal.
Secondary group Interaction is anonymous, the bonds are impersonal, the duration of time of the group is short, and relationships involve few emotional ties.
Who distinguished between gemeinschaft and gesellschaft? Ferdinand Tonnies (1853-1936)
Gemeinschaft (community) Those small communities characterized by tradition and united by the belief in common ancestry or by geographic proximity in relationships largely of the primary group sort.
Gesellschaft (society) Contractual relationships of a voluntary nature of limited duration and quality, based on rational self-interest, and formed for the explicit purpose of achieving a particular goal.
Who made the distinction between the dyad and the triad? George Simmel (1858-1918)
Dyad A group of two people.
Triad A group of three people.
Who developed the interaction process anaylsis? Robert Bales
Interaction process anaylsis A technique of observing and immediately classifying in predetermined ways the ongoing activity in small groups.
Who developed the technique of sociometry? J. L. Moreno
Sociometry A technique focused on establishing the direction of the interaction in small groups.
In-groups Groups to which "we" belong.
Out-groups Groups toward which a person feels a sense of competition or opposition.
Reference Social groups that provide the standards in terms of which we evaluate ourselves.
Group conformity Refers to individuals' compliance with group goals, despite the fact that group goals may be in conflict with individual goals.
Groupthink Occurs when members of a group begin to think similarly and conform to one another's views.
Leader (of a group) A person who initiates the behavior of others by directing, organizing, influencing, or controlling what members do and how they think.
Instrumental leader A task-oriented leader who organizes the group in the pursuit of its goals.
Expressive leader A social-emotional leader who achieves harmony and solidarity among group members by offering emotional support.
Authoritarian leader A leader who gives orders.
Democratic leader A leader who seeks a consensus on the course of action to be taken.
Laissez-faire leader A leader who mainly lets the group be, doing little to nothing to provide direction or organization.
Organization A specific type of social relationship or arrangement between persons that is either closed to outsiders or limits their admission.
Formal organization Represents a type of group within which behavior is carried out in a society, is characterized by 1) formality, 2) a hierarchy of ranked positions, 3) large size, 4) a rather complex division of labor, and 5) continuity beyond its membership.
Bureaucracy A rationally designed organizational model whose goal it is to perform complex tasks as efficiently as possible.
1st characteristic of a bureaucracy Paid officials on a fixed salary which is their primary source of income.
2nd characteristic of a bureaucracy Officials who are accorded certain rights and privileged as a result of making a career out of holding office.
3rd characteristic of a bureaucracy Regular salary increases, seniority rights, and promotions upon passing exams
4th characteristic of a bureaucracy Officials who qualify to enter the organization by having advanced education or vocational training.
5th characteristic of a bureaucracy The rights, responsibilities, obligations, privileges, and work procedures of these officials are rigidly and formally defined by the organization.
6th characteristic of a bureaucracy Officials are responsible for meeting the obligations, privileges of the office and for keeping the funds and files of that office separate from their personal ones.
Created by: mjalldrin