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CLEP Sociology

Intro to Sociology for CLEP test

Anomie a feeling of aimlessness or despair.
Bureaucracy a large organization that is divided into jobs based on specific functions and staffed by officials ranked according to a hierarchy
Capitalism a sys of prod that contrasts radically w/ prev econ sys in history, in which those who own capital, or factories, form a ruling class and the mass of the popu. make up a class of wage workers, or a wking class, who don't own the means of their livelihood
Division of labor the growth of complex distinctions between different occupations.
Feminist theory a theory that uses the concepts of gender, class, and race to study and challenge power and inequality.
Functionalism a sociological approach that considers society as a whole, emphasizing the contribution a social activity makes to society.
Globalization the increasing interconnection of the local and the global.
Ideology shared ideas that serve to justify the interests of dominant groups; the concept of ideology connects closely with power, since ideological systems serve to legitimize power that groups hold.
Latent functions the unintentional consequences of a social act.
Macrosociology the analysis of large-scale social systems.
Manifest functions functions intended by the participants in a social activity.
Marxism a theory that focuses on power, ideology, class division, and social conflict. Those in power may depend mainly on the influence of ideology to retain their dominance.
Materialist conception of history a view of history, espoused by Marx, in which economic influences are the main cause of social change.
Microsociology the study of everyday behavior in situations involving face-to-face interaction.
Organic solidarity According to Emile Durkheim, the social cohesion that results from the various parts of a society functioning as an integrated whole.
Postmodernist theory the belief that society is no longer governed by history or progress. Postmodern society is highly pluralistic and diverse, with no "grand narrative" guiding its development.
Power the capability of individuals or groups to make their own concerns or interests count, even when others resist. Power sometimes involves the direct use of force but is almost always accompanied by the development of ideas (ideologies)
Rational choice theory the view that a person's behavior can be best explained by his or her self-interest.
Rationalization the organization of social, economic, and cultural life according to principles of efficiency, on the basis of technical knowledge
Science a discipline that uses systematic methods of empirical investigation, the analysis of data, theoretical thinking, and logical assessment of arguments to develop a body of knowledge about a particular subject matter
Social Constraint The conditioning influence on our behavior of the groups and societies of which we are members
Social facts aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals, such as the economy and religion
Social structure the patterns in our social behavior. It is not a stagnant, fixed force, and people are not simply passive receptors of social commands
Sociological imagination our ability to break free from our particular circumstances and see our social world in a new light. C. Wright Mills described the sociological imagination as the ability to "think ourselves away" from the familiarity of our behavior in order to see the
Sociology the study of human social life, groups, and societies, focusing on the modern world
Structuration a two-way process by which we shape our social world through our individual actions and by which we are shaped by society
Symbol something that stands for something else
Symbolic interactionism the view that stresses the exchange of symbols between individuals in social interaction. It emphasizes the small-scale interactions of an individual, not society as a whole
Theory an abstract interpretation that can be used to explain a wide variety of empirical situations
Theoretical approach a perspective on social life derived from a particular theoretical tradition. Some major theoretical traditions of sociology include functionalism, symbolic interactionism, and Marxism
Black feminism feminism that focuses on the problems facing black women. This theory argues that ethnic divisions among women are not considered by the main feminist schools of thought.
Comparable worth a policy that attempts to remedy the gender pay gap by adjusting pay so that those in female-dominated jobs are not paid less than men for equivalent work.
Feminist theory a sociological perspective that emphasizes the centrality of gender in analyzing the social world and particularly the uniqueness of the experience of women
Gender the psychological, social, and cultural differences between males and females.
Gender inequality the inequality between men and women in terms of wealth, income, and status.
Gender socialization the learning of gender roles with the help of social agencies such as families and the media.
Gender typing typing that results when women hold occupations of low status and pay and men hold occupations of high status and pay.
Glass ceiling a policy that prevents individuals (such as women or members of a minority) from achieving upward mobility within an organization.
Glass escalator the situation in which men in traditionally female jobs such as teaching find themselves riding to the top of the organizational ladder as a result of their gender.
Human capital theory a theory that argues that individuals invest in their own "human capital" in order to increase their productivity and earnings.
Liberal feminism feminism that seeks to change society by ensuring rights through legislation and policy.
Patriarchy the dominance of men in a society.
Radical feminism feminism that views men as dominating women in every area of society, including the interpersonal.
Rape the forcing of nonconsensual vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse
Sex the biological or anatomical differences between males and females.
Sexual harassment unwanted sexual advances, remarks, or behavior that are offensive to the recipient and interfere with job performance.
Social construction of gender the learning of gender roles through socialization and interaction with others
Antiracism forms of thought and/or practice that seek to confront, eradicate and/or ameliorate racism
Apartheid the system of racial segregation established in South Africa
Assimilation New immigrant groups take over the attitudes and languages of the dominant community.
Diaspora refers to the dispersal of an ethnic population from an original homeland into foreign areas, often in a forced manner or under traumatic circumstances.
Discrimination is the actual behavior that is directed toward another group in a negative manner. Although prejudice and discrimination often coexist, it is possible for them to exist separately. People may engage in discriminatory behavior without having any negative
Displacement the transferring of ideas or emotions from their true source to another object
Emigration the movement of people out of one country in order to settle in another
Ethnic cleansing the creation of ethnically homogeneous territories through the mass expulsion of other ethnic populations
Ethnicity refers to cultural practices and outlooks of a given community that have emerged historically and tend to set people apart. The main distinguishing factors are language, history or ancestry, religion and styles of dress. Ethnic differences are wholly lea
Genocide The systematic, planned destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.
Immigration the movement of people into one country from another for the purpose of settlement
Institutional racism Racism exists when larger structures conform to racist ideals, even though these institutions are not necessarily made up of racist people. This form of racism can be found in large structures like schools and businesses, as well as the government.
Melting pot When different cultures and outlooks of the ethnic groups in a society are merged together.
Minority groups are disadvantaged ethnic groups compared to the dominant group (a group possessing more wealth, power, and prestige).
Multiculturalism Ethnic groups exist separately and share equally in economic and political life.
Pluralism Ethnic groups exist separately, but participate in the larger society's economic and political life.
Prejudice refers to attitudes of one group toward another, while discrimination refers to actual behavior toward the other group.
Race refers to physical characteristics that are treated by members of a community or society as socially significant.
Racial literacy the skills taught to children of multiracial families to help them cope with racial hierarchies and to integrate multiple ethnic identities
Racialization the process by which understandings of race are used to classify individuals or groups of people
Racism is prejudice based on socially significant physical distinction.
Scapegoat an individual or group blamed for wrongs that were not of their doing
Segregation The practice of keeping racial and ethnic groups physically separate, thereby maintaining the superior position of the dominant group.
Situational Ethnicity When people emphasize or downplay their ethnicity based on the context or situation. An example of this is when a person will indicate their ethnicity on a job application, but will downplay their ethnic identity in other situations that are discriminato
Stereotype a fixed and inflexible category
Symbolic ethnicity occurs after one has been assimilated into the larger culture and a person retains their ethnic identity only for symbolic purposes. An example of this is St. Patrick's Day, when many people celebrate an ethnicity that does not play a part in their daily
AARP the American Association of Retired Persons, a nonprofit organization with 33 million members more than 50 years of age.
Activity theory argues that an active individual is more likely to remain healthy and to have a friendship network.
Ageism prejudice and/or discrimination based on age, partly fueled by stereotypes.
Aging the combination of biological, psychological, and social processes that affect people as they grow older.
Alzheimer's disease the progressive deterioration of brain cells.
Andragogy adult learning.
Conflict theory of aging a theory that focuses on how society produces various forms of inequality among the elderly.
Disengagement theory the theory that holds that the withdrawal of the elderly from their former roles and their preoccupation with their inner life and the prospect of dying are normal and healthy and should be encouraged.
Generational equity the fairness of governmental distributions to particular age groups.
Geragogys older-adult learning.
Graying a term used to indicate that an increasing proportion of a society's population is becoming elderly
Medicare a governmental insurance program instituted in 1965 that pays for acute medical costs for the elderly.
Oldest-old the segment of the population 85 years of age and older.
Old-old the segment of the population 75 to 84 years of age.
Social age the norms, values, and roles that are culturally associated with a particular chronological age.
Social gerontology a discipline concerning the social aspects of aging.
Social Security Instituted in 1935, a program that provides retirement pay for all elderly people who have worked a certain number of years and have contributed a portion of their paycheck into a government fund.
Young-old the segment of the population 65 to 74 years of age.
Authority a government's legitimate use of power.
Citizen a member of a political community, having both rights and duties associated with that membership
Civil rights the rights of the individual under the law.
Civil Society the realm of activity that lies between the state and the market, including the family, schools, community associations, and noneconomic institutions
Collective Action Action undertaken in a relatively spontaneous way by a large number of people assembled together.
Communism A set of political ideas associated with Marx, as developed particularly by Lenin and institutionalized in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and some Third World countries.
Constitutional monarchy a system of government with a royal family whose powers are severely restricted by a constitution, which puts authority in the hands of democratically elected representatives.
Democracy literally, rule by the people.
Democratic elitism the view that direct democracy is impossible because running a government requires decision-making by individual experts, not the mass of citizens.
Direct democracy a form of participatory democracy that allows citizens to vote directly on laws and policies
Ethnie a term used to describe a group that shares ideas of common ancestry, a common cultural identity, and a link with a specific homeland
Field of action Touraine examined the historical context of social movements and the field of action, the arena within which social movements interact with established organizations. Touraine argued that this process of interaction was central in shaping social movement
Government a political apparatus in which officials enact policies and make decisions.
Historicity the use of an understanding of history as a basis for trying to change history--that is, producing informed processes of social change
Interest group any organization that attempts to influence elected officials to consider their aims when deciding on legislation.
Legitimation crisis the failure of a political order to generate a sufficient level of commitment and involvement on the part of its citizens to be able to govern properly
Liberal democracy a system in which citizens have a choice to vote between at least two political parties for representatives who will be entrusted with decision-making.
Local nationalism the belief that communities that share a cultural identity should have political autonomy, even within smaller units of a nation-state.
Multiple sovereignty a situation in which there is no single sovereign power in a society
Nationalism a set of symbols and beliefs that provide the sense of being part of a single political community.
Nation-state a government apparatus that is recognized as having sovereign rights within the borders of a territorial area, able to back its claims to sovereignty by military power, and many of whose citizens feel committed to its national identity.
Nations without states Instances in which the members of a nation lack political sovereignty over the area they claim as their own.
New social movements a set of social movements that have arisen in Western societies since the 1960s in response to the changing risks facing human societies.
Participatory democracy democracy in which everyone is immediately involved in all decision-making, although this can be cumbersome for larger groups.
Pluralist theorists of modern democracy theorists who believe that the competition between interest groups ensures that political power is not concentrated in the hands of one group or class.
Political rights the right to take part in politics.
Politics The means by which power is employed to influence the nature and content of governmental activities.
Power the ability of individuals or groups to enforce their will, even when others resist.
Power elite Small networks of individuals who, according to C. Wright Mills, hold concentrated power in modern societies.
Relative deprivation the discrepancy between the lives people are forced to lead and what they think could realistically be achieved.
Revolutions a type of collective action that occurs in situations of multiple sovereignty, when a government lacks full control over its territory.
Social movement an organized collective attempt to further common interests through collaborative action outside the sphere of established institutions.
Social rights the right of every individual to enjoy a minimum standard of living.
Sovereignty governmental authority over a given area.
State a political apparatus (government institutions) ruling a given territory.
State overload A theory that holds that modern states face major difficulties as a result of being overburdened with complex administrative decisions.
Structural strains Smelser maintained that social movements develop in response to situations of structural strain.
Welfare state A political system that provides a wide range of welfare benefits for its citizens.
Alienation industrial production within capitalist settings where workers have little or no control over their work.
Automation the use of robots in the production process.
Capitalism a way of organizing economic life based on private ownership of the means of production; profit as an incentive; free competition for markets to sell goods, acquire cheap raw materials, and use cheap labor; restless expansion; and investment to accumulat
Corporation business firms or companies
Division of labor separation of work into an enormous number of different occupations in which people specialize.
Economic interdependence the fact that in the division of labor, individuals depend on others to produce many or most of the goods they need to sustain their lives
Economy the collection of institutions that provide the overall production and distribution of goods and services in a society.
Entrepreneur the owner/founder of a business firm
Ethnocentric transnationals companies in which management practices are standardized across all countries and are based on the cultural norms of the country where the company is based.
Family capitalism large firms run either by individual entrepreneurs or by members of the same family and then passed on to their descendants.
Flexible production process in which computers design customized products for a mass market
Fordism application of the principles of scientific management to mass production tied to the cultivation of mass markets.
Geocentric transnationals transnationals in which management is highly adaptive and mobile according to need.
Group production collaborative work groups such as the "quality circle," in which workers actively participate in the design and implementation of production methods.
High-trust system organizations or work settings in which individuals are permitted a great deal of autonomy and control over the work task
Informal economy transactions outside the sphere of regular employment, including the exchange of cash for services provided and the direct exchange of goods and services.
Institutional capitalism a form of capitalism characterized by a consolidated network of business leaders.
International division of labor the interdependence of countries or regions that trade in global markets
Knowledge economy an economy in which ideas, information, and forms of knowledge underpin innovation and economic growth.
Low-trust system an organizational or work setting in which people are allowed little responsibility for; or control over, the work task
Managerial capitalism a form of capitalism in which managers, not entrepreneurs or owners, make most of the corporate decisions.
Monopoly an exclusively commanding position in an industry.
Occupation work done in exchange for a regular wage.
Oligopoly a small group of large corporations that predominate in an industry.
Polycentric transnationals corporations in which management practices are based on broad guidelines adapted by local managers in each country.
Post-Fordism a new type of capitalist production in which flexibility and innovation are used to meet market demands for customized products.
Portfolio worker a worker who has a "portfolio" of different skills and can move readily from job to job.
Quality circle types of industrialized group production, where workers use their expertise to participate actively in decision making
Strike a temporary stoppage of work by a group of employees in order to express a grievance or enforce a demand.
Taylorism division of work into simple tasks that can be timed and organized.
Technology the application of knowledge of the material world to production; the creation of material instruments (such as machines) used in human interaction with nature
Transnational/multinational companies companies that operate across national boundaries in two or more countries and are of key importance to the international division of labor - the worldwide distribution of jobs.
Union density the number of union members as a percentage of the number of people who could be union members.
Welfare capitalism a practice that sought to make the corporation--rather than the state or trade union--the primary shelter from the vicissitudes of the market in modern industrial life.
Work the performance of tasks to produce goods and perform services that cater to human needs.
Affective individualism marriage partners are usually selected on the basis of romantic love.
Cohabitation living together in a sexual relationship outside of marriage.
Extended family a group made up of close-kin relatives, other than the nuclear family, living together in the same household.
Family a group of persons directly linked by kin connections, the adult members of which assume responsibility for the care of the children.
Family of orientation the family into which one is born.
Family of procreation the family one enters into as an adult.
Kinship family ties established through marriage or through lines of descent.
Marriage a socially acknowledged and approved sexual union between two adults.
Matrilocal family referring to a married couple living near or with the bride's parents.
Monogamy marriage to only one individual at a time.
Nuclear family a household in which a married couple or single parent live with their own or adopted children.
Patrilocal family referring to a couple living near or with the groom's parents.
Personality stabilization the role that the family plays in assisting adult family members emotionally.
Polyandry marriage in which a woman may be married to more than one man at a time.
Polygamy marriage to more than one spouse.
Polygyny marriage in which a man may be married to more than one woman at a time.
Primary socialization the process by which children learn the cultural norms of the society in which they are born.
Stepfamily a family in which at least one of the adults is a stepparent.
Communication the transfer of information from one person, context, or group to another.
Cultural capital the cultural advantages that coming from a good home confer on children.
Cyberspace the space of interaction formed by the global network of computers that compose the Internet.
Global village a community in which people throughout the world see major news items unfold and hence participate in the event together.
Hidden curriculum the teaching of values, attitudes, and habits (what is learned in school but has nothing to do with the formal content of the lessons).
Hyperreality An idea assoc. with Jean Baudrillard, who argued that as a result of the spread of e-commu., there is not longer a separate "reality" to which TV progs and other cult prods refer. Inst., what we take to be "reality" is structured by such commu. itself.
Information poverty a condition in which students who attend schools without the funds to purchase technological equipment are less able to compete with those with such equipment.
Intelligence level of intellectual ability, particularly as measured by IQ tests.
IQ (intelligence quotient) a score attained on tests of symbolic or reasoning abilities
Local knowledge In traditional cultures most knowledge is passed on through the local community and cultural diffusion is slow and inconsistent.
Mass media the collective means of communicating to large numbers of people, such as movies, television, radio, videos, compact discs, magazines, and newspapers.
Mediated interaction dialogical interaction involving the use of a media technology, which stretches out the interaction over time and space.
Mediated quasi-interaction the type of interaction created by the mass media; it is monological, or one-way, communication, from broadcaster to viewer.
Public sphere a sphere of public opinion and public debate.
Tracking dividing students into groups that receive different instruction on the basis of assumed similarities in ability or attainment.
World information order an inter. sys. of prod, distr., and consumption of informational goods. (Given the paramount position of the industrial countries in the world information order, many believe that the Third World countries are subject to a new form of imperialism.)
Alienation The sense that our own abilities as human beings are taken over by other entities.
Charisma the inspirational quality capable of capturing the imagination and devotion of a mass of followers.
Church a large, established religious body, having a bureaucratic structure.
Civil religion a set of religious beliefs through which a society interprets its own history in light of some conception of ultimate reality.
Cult a loosely knit group of people who follow the same leader or pursue similar religious ideals.
Denomination a sect that has become institutionalized, having a permanent form.
Disestablishment a period during which the political influence of established religions is successfully challenged.
Evangelicalism a belief in spiritual rebirth. It typ. inv the adm of personal sin and salvation through accept of Christ, a literal interp. of the Bible, an emphasis on highly emotional and personal spiritual piety, and a commitment to spreading "the Word" to others.
Fundamentalism a religious view that is antimodern in many of its beliefs, calling for strict codes of morality and conduct.
Liberation theology An activist Catholic religious movement that combines Catholic beliefs with a passion for social justice for the poor
Monotheism belief in a single god
cMonotheistic religions religions in which there is only one God
New religious movements the broad range of religious and spiritual groups, cults, and sects that have emerged in Western countries.
Polytheism belief in several or many gods.
Profane the ordinary objects of everyday life, such as chairs, tables, and sinks.
Religion a cultural system of commonly shared beliefs and rituals that provides a sense of ultimate meaning and purpose by creating an idea of reality that is sacred, all-encompassing, and supernatural.
Religious economy a view that holds that religion can be understood as organizations in competition with one another for followers.
Religious movement An association of people who join together to seek to spread a new religion or to promote a new interpretation of an existing religion
Religious nationalism the linking of strongly held religious convictions with beliefs about a people's social and political destiny.
Sacred objects such as crosses, bibles, and jewelry that have a direct spiritual connection to the divine
Sects small groups of believers with the of aim of restoring the original purity of doctrines that have become "corrupted" in the hands of official churches.
Secular thinking Worldly thinking, particularly as seen in the rise of science, technology, and rational thought in general
Secularization the process by which society becomes more concerned with worldly matters than with spiritual matters and religious organizations lose their influence over social life.
Theism a belief in one or more supernatural deities
Total institutions organizations in which members are expected to subsume their individual identities in world-rejecting movements, to adhere to strict ethical codes or rules, and to withdraw from activity in the outside world.
World-accommodating movement religious movements that emphasize the importance of inner religious life and spiritual purity over worldly concerns
World-affirming movement religious movements that seek to enhance followers' ability to succeed in the outside world by helping them to unlock their human potential
World-rejecting movement religious movements that are exclusive in nature, highly critical of the outside world, and demanding of their members
Biomedical model of health The set of principles underpinning Western medical systems and practices. Diseases are defined objectively, in accordance with the presence of recognized symptoms, and the healthy body is treated with scientifically based medical remedies.
Epidemiology The study of the distribution and incidence of disease and illness within a population.
Homophobia an aversion or hatred of homosexuals and their lifestyles, along with behavior based on such aversion.
Procreative technology new technology that enables women and men to control their reproductive behavior.
Sick role A term associated with the functionalist Talcott Parsons to describe the patterns of behavior that a sick person adopts in order to minimize the disruptive impact of his or her illness on others.
Social technology the means by which we try to alter our bodies.
Socialization of nature phenomena that used to be "natural," or given in nature (such as reproduction), have now become social--they depend upon our own control of social decisions.
Sociology of the body sociology that focuses on how our bodies are affected by social influences.
Stigma any characteristic that sets an individual or group apart from the majority of the population, with the result that the individual or group is treated with suspicion or hostility.
Collective consumption consumption of goods and services offered by corporations and governments.
Conurbation an agglomeration of towns or cities into an unbroken urban environment
Created environment the distribution of people in cities resulting from the spread of industrial capitalism.
Crude birth rate the number of live births per year per thousand of the population.
Crude death rate the number of deaths per thousand of population per year.
Demographic transition economic development generated by industrialization leading to population stability.
Demography The study of population.
Doubling time the time it takes for a particular level of population to double
Ecological approach a perspective on urban analysis emphasizing the "natural" distribution of city neighborhoods into areas having contrasting characteristics.
Environmental ecology the study of how we can best cope with and contain environmental damage and the very ways of life within industrial societies.
Exponential growth a geometric, rather than linear, rate of progression, producing a fast rise in the numbers of a population
Fecundity the potential number of children women are biologically able to bear.
Fertility the number of live-born children the average woman has.
Gentrification a process of urban renewal in which older, deteriorated housing is refurbished by affluent people moving into the area
Global city urban centers that are home to the headquarters of large, transnational corporations and a superabundance of financial, technological, and consulting services.
Infant mortality rate the number of babies per thousand births in any year who die before reaching their first birthday.
Inner city the areas composing the central neighborhoods of a city, as distinct from the suburbs
Life expectancy the number of years an average person can expect to live.
Life span the maximum number of years that an individual can live.
Malthusianism the belief that population growth tends to outstrip food production, leading to natural curbs on population, such as famine and war.
Megacity A term used by Manuel Castells to describe large, intensely concentrated urban spaces that serve as connection points for the global economy.
Megalopolis means the "city of all cities" in ancient Greek--use in modern times to refer to very large conurbations.
Mortality the number of deaths in a population.
Suburbanization the massive development and inhabiting of towns surrounding cities.
Sustainable development the use of renewable resources to promote economic growth, the protection of animal species and biodiversity, and the commitment to maintaining clean air, water, and land.
Urban ecology the study of urban settlements and the distribution of population in different types of neighborhoods. Such study can be understood through the processes of adaptation, invasion, competition, and succession.
Urban renewal The process of renovating deteriorating neighborhoods by encouraging the renewal of old buildings and the construction of new ones.
Urbanism a form of social existence characterized by fleeting, impersonal interactions; a rapid pace of life; and development of a homogeneous and anonymous mass.
Urbanization the movement of population from the countryside into towns and cities.
Causal relationship a relationship in which one event or situation brings about the other.
Causation the causal influence of one factor, or variable, upon another. A cause and effect relationship exists whenever a particular event is produced by the existence of another.
Comparative questions questions that relate one social context within a society to another society or contrasting examples from different societies
Comparative research comparison of research results among different countries or societies; this allows sociologists to clarify what is happening in an area of research.
Control variable a variable that is held constant to discover whether a correlation between variables involves a causal relationship
Correlation the existence of a regular relationship between two variables.
Dependent variable a variable that is affected by the independent variable
Developmental questions questions that relate to the knowledge produced when sociologists link a current phenomenon to historical forces
Empirical investigation factual inquiry carried out in any area of sociological study
Ethnography a way of studying people firsthand using participant observation
Experiment the testing of a hypothesis in a highly controlled environment
Factual questions questions that seek to determine the what and the how of a subject. They are also often called empirical questions
Hypothesis an idea or a guess about a given state of affairs, put forward as a basis for empirical testing
Independent variable a variable that produces an effect on another
Life histories biographical material assembled about particular individuals--usually as recalled by the individuals themselves
Oral History interviews with people about events they witnessed or experienced at some point earlier in their lives
Participant observation observation that involves spending time with subjects and participating in their daily lives
Pilot study a trial run in survey research
Population respondents who answer a survey
Random sample a sample in which every member of the population has the same probability of being included
Reflexivity the connections between knowledge and social life. For example, the knowledge we gain about society can affect the way in which we act in it
Representative sample a sample from a larger population that is statistically typical of that population
Research methods the diverse methods of investigation used to gather empirical (factual) material
Sample a small but representative proportion of the population
Sampling studying a proportion of individuals or cases from a larger population as representative of that population as a whole
Sociological questions distinct questions posed by sociologists and to which they try to find the answers through systematic research
Surveys the gathering of less-detailed information from a larger group of people
Theoretical questions questions that seek to interpret the answers to empirical questions
Triangulation a method in which researchers combine two or more methods, each being used to check or supplement the material obtained from the other(s)
Variable any dimension along which individuals or groups vary
External risk dangers such as drought, earthquakes, famines, and storms that spring from the natural world and are not related to the actions of humans.
Information society a society no longer based primarily on the production of material goods but on the production of knowledge
Knowledge society another common term for information society--a society based on the production and consumption of knowledge and information
Manufactured risks risks that are created by the impact of our own knowledge and technology on the natural world.
Postindustrial society society based on knowledge and information and distinguished by an economy made up mostly of service occupations.
Postmodernism the belief that society is no longer governed by history or progress. Postmodern society is highly pluralistic and diverse, with no "grand narrative" (overall conceptions of history) guiding its development.
Service society a concept related to the one of postindustrial society, it refers to a social order distinguished by the growth of service occupations at the expense of industrial jobs that produce material goods
Social change the transformation of the institutions and culture of society over time.
Transnational corporation business corporations located in two or more countries
Culture the values the members of a given group hold, the languages they speak, the symbols they revere, the norms they follow, and the material goods they create, from tools to clothing
Values abstract ideals
Norms Fixed principles or rules people are expected to observe; they represent the dos and don't of social life
material goods the physical objects that a society creates, which influence the ways in which people live
society a system of interrelationships that connects individuals together
cultural turn often used to describe sociology's recent emphasis on the importance of understanding the role of culture in daily life
sociobiology application of biological principles to explain the social activities of animals, including human beings
Instincts inborn, biologically fixed patterns of action found in all cultures
Subcultures refers to people from different cultural backgrounds, or who speak different languages, within a larger society and any segments of the population that are distinguishable from the rest of society by their cultural patterns
Assimilation the process by which different cultures are absorbed into a single mainstream culture
Multiculturalism calls for respecting cultural diversity and promoting equality of different cultures
Ethnocentrism judging other cultures in terms of the standards of one's own culture
cultural relativism The practice of judging a society by its own standards
cultural universals some common features of human behavior that are found in virtually all societies. Examples are marriage and a grammatically complex language
linguistic relativity hypothesis In the 1930s, the anthropological linguist Edward Sapir and his student Benjamin Lee Whorf advanced this theory, which argues that the language we use influences our perceptions of the world
signifier any vehicle of meaning--any set of elements used to communicate. The sounds made in speech, dress, pictures or visual signs are all examples of signifiers
Semiotics the analysis of nonverbal cultural meanings
hunting and gathering societies small groups or tribes often numbering no more than thirty or forty people
Pastoral societies relied mainly on domesticated livestock
agrarian societies grew crops (practiced agriculture)
Industrialization the emergence of machine production, based on the use of inanimate power resources (such as steam or electricity)
industrialized societies industrial production (whose techniques are also used in the production of food) is the main basis of the economy in industrialized societies
Nation-states political communities with clearly delimited borders dividing them from each other, rather than the vague frontier areas that used to separate traditional states
colonialism Fr the 17th-early 20th cent.the West count. est colonies in many areas prev occup. by trad soci.,using their sup military strgth where necces Alth virt. all colonies have now atta. thier indep., the proc. of was cent. to shap. the social map of the globe
developing world in which most of the world's population live, the developing world is almost all formerly colonized areas. The majority of the population works in agricultural production, some of which is geared to world markets
First World countries were (and are) the industrialized states of Europe, the United States, Canada, Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, and Melanesia), South Africa, and Japan. Nearly all First World societies have multiparty, parliamentary systems of government
Second World societies meant the communist count. of what was then the Soviet Union (USSR) and E. Europe, incl, ie, Czech., Poland, E. Germany, and Hungary. 2nd Wld soci were cent. planned econo., which allowed little role for priv. property or comp. econ. enterprise
Third World Another name for used for developing countries
Newly industrializing economy (NIE) Countries that have recently industrialized. The East Asian NIEs have shown the most sustained levels of economic prosperity
Age-grades formalized peer groups
Agencies of socialization structured groups or contexts within which significant socialization occurs. These include the family, peer groups, schools, mass media, and work environment
Cognition the child's active capacity to make sense of the world
Concrete operational stage the stage when the child learns to master abstractions and logical concepts
Egocentric Piaget's term for the characteristic quality of a child during the early years of her life. Egocentric thinking involves understanding objects and events in terms of the child's own position.
Formal operational stage the final stage of cognitive development. This stage, Acc to Piaget, kids begin to think like adult. They can now make jud. based on abst ideas, not neces. on concrete objs. Formal operational stage depends partly on sch. and is not ach. by every adult.
Gender role social roles assigned to each sex and labeled as masculine or feminine
Gender socialization the learning of gender roles, which begins virtually as soon as an infant is born.
Generalized other the general values and moral rules of the culture.
Identity the concept people hold about who they are and what is meaningful to them.
Life course the various transitions individuals experience during their lives.
Mass media forms of communication designed to reach mass audiences, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television etc.
Peer groups social groups with similar ages and social backgrounds.
Preoperational stage the stage during which the child learns language and symbolic representation.
Self-consciousness a state achieved by individuals when they see themselves as others view them.
Self-identity (personal identity) the process of self-development through which we formulate a unique sense of ourselves and our relationship to the world around us
Sensorimotor stage learning occurs through direct contacts with the outside world.
Social identity the characteristics that are attributed to an individual by others. Examples of social identities include student, mother, lawyer, etc
Social roles socially defined expectations that a person in a given social position follows.
Social self the identity conferred upon an individual by the reactions of others
Socialization the process whereby, through contact with other human beings, the helpless infant gradually becomes a self-aware, knowledgeable human being, skilled in the ways of the given culture and environment.
Achieved status status based on an individual's efforts
Ascribed status status based on biological factors, such as race, sex, or age
Back regions areas where people assemble the props and prepare themselves for interaction in the more formal setting
Civil inattention the nonintrusive recognition of others
Clock time time as measured by the clock rather than time based on events in the natural world (ex. setting of the sun)
Compulsion of proximityn the tendency to want to meet in person whenever possible
Conversational analysis examination of all facets of a conversation for meaning--from the smallest filler words (such as umm and ah) to the precise timing of interchanges (including pauses, interruptions, and overlaps)
Encounter a meeting between two or more people in a situation of face-to-face interaction
Ethnomethodology the analysis of the ways in which we actively make sense of what others mean by what they say they mean; a term first coined by Howard Garfinkel
Focused interaction interaction that occurs when two or more individuals directly attend to what the other or others are saying and doing
Front regions the social occasions or encounters in which individuals act out formal roles
Impression management the unconscious following of norms, such as dressing appropriately for a business meeting
Interactional vandalism behavior in which a subordinate breaks the tacit basis of everyday interaction of value to a more powerful person. It is closely tied up with overarching class, gender, and racial structures
Master status the status that generally determines a person's overall position in society
Nonverbal communication social interaction that includes facial expression, gestures, and body movements
Personal space a culturally defined boundary around which people interact with others
Regionalization one way sociologists think about how social interaction is zoned in time-space
Response cries exclamations that demonstrate our controlled management of the details of social life
Role socially defined expectations of an individual in a given status or social position
Social constructionism the theory that what individuals and groups perceive as reality is itself a creation of the social interaction of individuals and groups
Social interaction the process by which we act and react to those around us
Social position the social identity an individual has in a given group or society; social positions may be general in nature or more specific
Status the social honor that a particular group is accorded by other members of society
Status set an individual's group of social statuses
Time-space All social interaction is situated in time and space. We can analyze how our daily lives are "zoned" in time and space, combined by looking at how activities occur during definite durations and at the same time involve spatial movement
Unfocused interaction the awareness individuals have of one another in large gatherings when not directly in conversation together
Bureaucracy literally, "the rule of officials." Characteristics include hierarchy of authority, written rules, full-time and salaried officials, separation of work and home life, and no ownership by workers
Corporate culture the rituals, events, or traditions unique to a company. A distinctive corporate culture brings all employees together and strengthens group solidarity
Dyads a group with two members
Formal organization an organization that is rationally designed to achieve its objectives, often by means of explicit rules, regulations, and procedures
Groupthink a process by which the members of a group ignore ways of thinking and plans of action that go against the group consensus
Human resource management a style of management that regards a company's workforce as vital to economic competitiveness
Ideal type "A pure type," constructed by emphasizing certain traits of a social item that do not necessarily exist in reality. Ex. Weber's ideal type of bureaucratic organization
Information technology computers and electronic communication devices
In-group groups for which one feels particular loyalty and respect
International governmental organization (IGO) a type of international organization established by treaties between governments for purposes of conducting business between the nations making up its membership
International nongovernmental organization (INGO) a type of international organization established by agreements between the individuals or private organizations making up its membership
Iron law of oligarchy a theory that holds that large organizations tend toward centralization of power, making democracy difficult, if not impossible
Leader A person who is able to influence the behavior of other members of a group
Network all the direct and indirect connections that link a person or a group with other people or groups. A network confers economic and social benefits
Oligarchy rule by the few
Organization A group of people with an identifiable membership that engages in concerted collective actions to achieve a common purpose
Out-group a group toward which one feels antagonism and contempt
Primary group a small group characterized by face-to-face interaction, intimacy, and a strong, enduring sense of commitment
Reference group a group that provides a standard for judging one's attitudes or behavior
Secondary group large and impersonal group that often involves fleeting relationships
Social aggregate a simple collection of people who happen to be together in a particular place and time but do not significantly interact or identify with one another
Social capital the social knowledge and connections that enable people to accomplish their goals and extend their influence
Social category people who share a common characteristic, such as gender or occupation
Social group people who share a common identity and regularly interact with one another on the basis of shared expectations concerning behavior
Surveillance the supervision of activities in organizations, takes two forms: direct supervision and keeping employee records
Surveillance society a society in which information about the lives and activities of citizens is maintained by organizations
Timetables the means by which organizations regularize activities across time and space
Transactional leader a leader whose aim is to accomplish the group's tasks, get group members to do their jobs, and make certain that the group achieves its goals
Transformational leader a leader who instills in the members of the group a sense of mission or higher purpose, thereby changing the very nature of the group
Triad a group consisting of three persons
Anomie the lack of norms or clear standards of behavior. Robert Merton defines anomie as the strain put on an individual's behavior when accepted norms (such as becoming rich) conflicted with social reality (being poor)
Community policing A program that aims at crime prevention rather than at law enforcement through a police partnership with the community.
Conflict theory a theory that argues that deviance is deliberately chosen and often political. Individuals actively choose to engage in deviant behavior in response to the inequalities of the capitalist system.
Control theory a theory that views crime as a result of an imbalance between impulses toward criminal activity and the social or physical controls that deter it.
Corporate crime committed by large corporations in society.
Crime any behavior that breaks a law
Cybercrime criminal acts committed with the help of information technology.
Deviance nonconformity to a given set of norms that are accepted by a significant number of people in a community or society.
Deviant subcultures groups that deviate from larger society.
Differential association theory in areas of many different subcultures, some environments encourage illegal behaviors, whereas others do not.
Labeling theory the theory that holds that no act is intrinsically deviant (or normal). Instead, people in powerful positions define what is deviant.
Laws norms that are defined by governments and sanctions are used to enforce these laws.
New criminology theory analysis of crime and deviance is framed in terms of structure of society and the preservation of power among the ruling class.
Organized crime forms of activity that have some of the characteristics of orthodox business but are illegal.
Psychopath a person who is withdrawn, emotionless, and delights in violence.
Sanctions reactions that are meant to encourage a person to obey norms.
Secondary deviance a person's deviant behavior resulting from his/her inability to carry on as normal once he/she has been labeled a deviant.
Shaming a form of punishing criminal and deviant behavior that attempts to maintain the ties of the offender to the community. The fear of being shamed within one's community prevents one from committing crimes.
White-collar crime crimes carried out by people in more affluent sectors of society.
Absolute poverty a lack of the basic resources needed to maintain a healthy existence.
Ascription the basing of a person's social status on his or her family of origin, race, or sex.
Capitalists those who own the means of production.
Caste society A society in which different social levels are closed, so that all individuals must remain at the social level of their birth throughout life.
Caste system a social system in which one's social status is accorded at birth and held for life.
Class socioeconomic differences between groups of people that create differences in their material prosperity and power.
Contradictory class locations The dilemma one faces when he or she exploits and or dominates, but is also exploited and dominated.
Culture of poverty theory a theory that holds that because of an absence of motivation or a moral weakness, the poor cannot succeed in society. Thus, the poor are responsible for their own disadvantage.
Dependency culture theory a theory that posits that the welfare system erodes people's incentive to work.
Endogamy the forbidding of marriage or sexual relationships outside one's social group.
Exchange mobility a situation in which everyone has the same chance for social mobility, and a great deal of upward and downward mobility occurs.
Feminization of poverty a situation in which a greater and greater proportion of the poor are women.
Homeless people who have no place to sleep or reside and who either stay in free shelters on a temporary basis or sleep in places not meant for habitation, such as doorways or subway stations.
Income wages and salaries earned from paid occupations, plus unearned money from investments.
Industrialism hypothesis a theory that holds that achievement, or skill, rather than ascription characteristics become more important as societies become more open and more technologically advanced.
Intergenerational mobility movement across the generations.
Intragenerational mobility movement up or down the social scale within an individual's working life.
Kuznets curve A formula showing that inequality increases during the early stages of capitalist development, then declines, and eventually stabilizes at a relatively low level; advanced by the economist Simon Kuznets.
Life chances an individual's opportunities for achieving economic advancement.
Lower class A social class comprised of those whose household income is typically lower than $17,000 a year.
Means of production the means by which people earn a livelihood.
Middle class a segment of society composed of those working in white-collar and lower managerial occupations
Pariah groups Negative-status groups.
Poverty line an official governmental measure to measure those living in poverty.
Relative poverty assessing the gaps between the living conditions of some groups and those enjoyed by most of the population.
Short-range downward mobility Social mobility that occurs when an individual moves from one position in the class structure to another of nearly equal status.
Slavery A form of social stratification in which some people are literally owned by others as their property.
Social closure refers to the situation created by certain elite groups when they try to maintain exclusive control over resources in a society.
Social exclusion the processes by which individuals may become cut off from full involvement in the wider society.
Social mobility movement up or down the social scale.
Social stratification a social system that divides people socioeconomically into layers or strata.
Status the social honor or prestige that a particular group is accorded by other members of a society
Structural mobility upward mobility is made possible by an expansion of better-paid positions at the expense of poorly paid ones.
Structured inequalities social inequalities that result from patterns in the social structure
Surplus value in Marxist theory, the value of a worker's labor power left over when an employer has repaid the cost of hiring the worker
Underclass composed of those who are chronically poor and without a permanent occupation.
Upper class those who possess substantial amounts of wealth, especially inherited wealth.
Vertical mobility movement up or down the socioeconomic scale.
Wealth the material assets of an individual.
Working class those who work in blue-collar, or manual, occupations.
Working poor people who work but whose earnings are not high enough to lift them above poverty.
Colonialism a political-economic system under which powerful countries establish, for their own profit, rule over weaker peoples or countries.
Core countries the most advanced industrial countries, taking the lion's share of profits in the world economic system.
Dependency development theory under certain circumstances, poor countries can still develop economically, although only in ways shaped by their reliance on wealthier countries.
Dependency theory the poverty of low-income countries stems from their exploitation by wealthy countries, and the multinational corporations that are based in wealthy countries.
Global commodity chains worldwide networks of labor and production processes yielding a finished product.
Global inequality the systematic differences in wealth and power between countries.
Market-oriented theory a theory that argues that the best possible economic consequences result if individuals are free, uninhibited by any form of governmental constraint, to make their own economic decisions.
Modernization theory a theory that argues that cultural and institutional barriers to development explain the poverty of low-income societies.
Neoliberalism the economic belief that free market forces, achieved by minimizing governmental restrictions on business, provide the only route to economic growth.
Newly industrializing economies the rapidly growing economies of the world, particularly in East Asia, but also in Latin America.
Peripheral countries low-income, largely agricultural countries that are often manipulated by core countries for their own economic advantage.
Semiperipheral countries semi-industrialized, middle-income countries that extract profits from the more peripheral countries, in turn yielding profits to the core countries.
State-centered development theory appropriate government policies do not interfere with economic development, but rather can play a key role in bringing it about.
World-system theory a theory that argues that the world capitalist economic system must be understood as a single unit, not in terms of individual countries. It divides the world's economic systems into core, semiperiphery, and periphery countries.
Created by: amberhill20
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