the special point of view of sociology that sees general patterns of society in the lives of particular people
is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability.
is a framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change.
a framework for building theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals.
Auguste Comte's contribution came in applying the scientific approach. Comte's approach is called positivism, a way of understanding based on science.
Robert K. Merton
expanded our understanding of the concept of social function by pointing out that any social structure probably has many functions. He distinguished between manifest functions and latent functions.
Applied scientific methods to sociology. Concerned with social order. Saw society as a set of interdependent parts each with functions. He was interested in the function of religion in maintaining social order. Did a study on suicide.
The variable that changes is called the dependent variable. Allows us to predict the outcome of future events.
a research method for investigating cause and effect under highly controlled conditions. Generates quantitative data.
a statement of possible relationship between two (or more) variables. A hypothesis typically takes the form of an if-then statement: If one thing were to happen, then something else will result.
a research method in which subjects respond to a series of statements or questions in a questionnaire or an interview. Are good for studying attitudes - such as beliefs about politics, religion, or race-since there is no way to observe directly what people think. Useful for descriptive and explanatory research. Generates quantitative or qualitative data.
a series of written questions a researcher presents to subjects. One type of questionnaire provides not only the questions but also a selection of fixed responses (similar to a multiple-choice examination). This is a closed-ended format.
a research method in which investigators systematically observe people while joining them in their routine activities. Allows an inside look at social life settings ranging from nightclubs to religious seminaries. Called fieldwork to study communities and other societies.
is the values, beliefs, behavior, and material objects that together form a people's way of life. Culture includes what we think, how we act, and what we own. Culture is a way of life shared by members of society.
Elements of Culture
Although cultures vary greatly, they all have common elements, including symbols, language, values, and norms.
is anything that carries a particular meaning recognized by people who share a culture. A word, a whistle, a wall graffiti, a flashing red light, a raise fist - all serve as symbols.
a condition of disorientation affecting someone who is suddenly exposed to an unfamiliar culture or way of life or set of attitudes
culturally defined standards that people use to decide what is desirable, good, and beautiful, and that serve as broad guidelines for social living. Values are standards that people who share a culture use to make choices about how to live.
Values are broad principles that support beliefs. Beliefs are specific statements that people hold to be true.
rules and expectations by which society guides the behavior of its members. Norms which guide human behavior, are of two kinds: mores, which have great moral significance and folkways, which are norms for everyday interaction.
norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance. Mores distinguish between right and wrong.
norms for routine or casual interaction. Examples include ideas about appropriate greetings and proper dress. Folkways draw a line between right and rude.
the physical things created by members of a society. Example: Everything from armchairs to zippers.
the ideas created by members of society.
Example: Ideas that range from art to Zen.
the fact that some cultural elements change more quickly than others, disrupting a cultural system.
Note: Technology moves quickly, generating new elements of material culture (things) faster than nonmaterial culture (ideas) can keep up with them.
the perspective that a foreign culture should not be judged by the standards of a home culture and that a behavior or way of thinking must be examined in its cultural context
traits that are part of every known culture.
Example: The family, which functions everywhere to control sexual reproduction and to oversee the care of children.
theoretical approach that explores ways in which human biology affects how we create culture.
Note: Sociobiology rests on theory of evolution proposed by Charles Darwin regarding natural selection.
the lifelong social experience by which people develop their human potential and learn culture.
Charles Darwin 1859 study of evolution, led people to think that human behavior was instinctive, simply our "nature". Example: that some people are "born criminals", or that women are "naturally" emotional while men are "naturally rational. Nature is biology (height, hair color) and heredity plays a part in intelligence, musical and artistic talent.
Unless children are stimulated to use their brains early in life, the brain does not fully develop. Therefore, the ability to realize any inherited potential depends on having the opportunity to develop it. Nurture matters more in shaping human behavior.
A feeling of unconnectedness with others caused by and reinforced by infrequency of social contacts.
Sigmund Freud's Elements of Personality
Freud combined basic needs and the influence of society into a model of personality with three parts: id, ego and the superego.
Freud's term for the human beings basic drives, which are unconscious and demand immediate satisfaction. Represents innate human drives (the live and death instincts). Rooted in biology, the id is present at birth, making a newborn a bundle of demands for attention, touching, and food.
Freud's term for a person's conscious efforts to balance innate pleasure-seeking drives with the demands of society.
the cultural values and norms internalized by an individual. The superego operates as our conscience, telling us why we cannot have everything we want.
Lawrence Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development
applied Piaget's approach to moral development. We first judge rightness in preconventional terms, according to our individual needs. Next, conventional moral reasoning takes account of parental attitudes and cultural norms. Finally, postconventional reasoning allows us to criticize society itself.
The I and Me
George Herbert Mead - the self has two parts. One part of the self operates as subject, being active and spontaneous. Mead called the active side of the self the "I" . The other part of the self works as an object, the way we imagine others see us. Mead called the objective side of the self the "me".
The Looking Glass Self
Charles Horton Cooley used the term looking-glass self to explain that we see ourselves as we imagine others see us.
George Herbert Mead - the part of an individual's personality composed of self-awareness and self-image. Mead saw the self as the product of social experience.
Development of the Self
For George Herbert Mead, self develops only as the individual interacts with others.
Agents of Socialization
Usually, the first setting of socialization, the family has the greatest influence on a child's attitudes and behavior. Schools expose children to greater social diversity and introduce them to impersonal bureaucracy. Peer groups free children from adult supervision and take on great significance during adolescence. The mass media, especially television, have great impact on the socialization process.
Death and Dying
Psychologist Elisabeth Kuber-Ross (1969) - described death as an orderly transition involving five distinct stages.
The Social Construction of Reality
The process by which people creatively shape reality through social interaction.
communication using body movements, gestures, and facial expressions rather than speech
made a social control theory is based on the assumption that deviant behavior is minimized when people have strong bonds that tie them to families, schools, peers, churches, and other social institutions
the idea that deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do as from how others respond to those actions
The linguistic hypothesis holds that language predisposes us to see the world in a certain way was developed by these two.
phenomenon in which participants' knowledge that they're being studied can affect their behavior
prohibitions against behaviors that most members of a group consider to be so repugnant they are unthinkable
Standards of behavior that are deemed proper by society and are taught subtly in schools
a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other
parents over-schedule their children's lives, push them for academic success, and expect them to behave as little adults
a social group within a national culture that has distinctive patterns of behavior and beliefs
Relative Opportunity Structure
crime results not just from limited legitimate (legal) opportunity, but from readily accessible illegitimate opportunity; Cloward and Ohlin
Criminal Justice System
the system of police, courts, and prisons set up to deal with people who are accused of having committed a crime
a variety of research techniques that make use of previously collected and publicly accessible information and data
deviance involving occasional breaking of norms that is not a part of a person's lifestyle or self-concept
subsequent acts of rule-breaking that occur after primary deviance and as a result of your new deviant label and people's expectations of you
English philosopher and sociologist who applied the theory of natural selection to human societies (1820-1903)
a criminal offense committed because of the offender's bias against a race, religion, ethnic group, national origin, or sexual orientation
White Collar Crime
crime committed by people of high social position in the course of their occupations
anthropologist that examined hundreds of different cultures in an attempt to determine what general traits are common to all cultures
the mostly invisible barrier that keeps women from advancing to the top levels at work
unwanted sexual attention, often from someone in power, that makes the victim feel uncomfortable or threatened
Theory of complementarity argues that the social differentiation between male and female roles is functionally necessary for social cohesion and survival
a feminist theoretical perspective that interprets the origins of women's oppression as lying in the system of capitalism