Sociology - Macionis - Final Exam -MUHS

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Sociology

the systematic study of human society

Sociological Perspective

the special point of view of sociology that sees general patterns of society in the lives of particular people

Auguste Comte

coined the term sociology in 1838 to describe a new way of looking at society.

Structural-Functional Approach

is a framework for building theory that sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability.

Social-Conflict Approach

is a framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change.

Macro level orientation

a broad focus on social structures that shape society as a whole.

Micro level orientation

a close-up focus on social interaction in specific situations.

Symbolic-Interaction Approach

a framework for building theory that sees society as the product of the everyday interactions of individuals.

Positivism

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.

Emile Durkheim

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.

Cause and Effect

a relationship in which change in one variable causes change in another.

Variable

is a concept whose value changes from case to case.

Independent Variable

The variable that causes the change is called the independent variable.

Dependent Variable

The variable that changes is called the dependent variable. Allows us to predict the outcome of future events.

Research Method

is a systematic plan for doing research.

Experiment

a research method for investigating cause and effect under highly controlled conditions. Generates quantitative data.

Hypothesis

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.

Survey

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.

Sample

a part of a population that represents the whole

Questionnaire

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.

Interview

is a series of questions a researcher asks respondents in person.

Participant Observation

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.

Culture

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.

Symbols

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.

Language

is a system of symbols that allows people to communicate with one another.

Culture Shock

a condition of disorientation affecting someone who is suddenly exposed to an unfamiliar culture or way of life or set of attitudes

Values

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.

Beliefs

Values are broad principles that support beliefs. Beliefs are specific statements that people hold to be true.

Norms

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.

Mores

norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance. Mores distinguish between right and wrong.

Folkways

norms for routine or casual interaction. Examples include ideas about appropriate greetings and proper dress. Folkways draw a line between right and rude.

Material Culture

the physical things created by members of a society. Example: Everything from armchairs to zippers.

Nonmaterial Culture

the ideas created by members of society.
Example: Ideas that range from art to Zen.

High Culture

cultural patterns that distinguish a society's elite.
(distinguish social class)

Popular Culture

cultural patterns that widespread among a society's population.

Cultural Lag

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.

Ethnocentrism

the belief that one's own culture is superior to others

Cultural Relativism

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

Culture Shock

personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamilair way of life.

Culture Universals

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.

Sociobiology

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.

Eurocentrism

the dominance of European (especially English) cultural patterns.

Society

people who interact in a defined territory and share a culture

Socialization

the lifelong social experience by which people develop their human potential and learn culture.

Nature

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.

Nurture

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.

Social Isolation

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.

id

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.

ego

Freud's term for a person's conscious efforts to balance innate pleasure-seeking drives with the demands of society.

superego

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.

The self

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.

Erik H. Erikson

He explained that we face challenges throughout the life course. 8 Stages

Stage 1

Erikson - Infancy: the challenge of trust (versus mistrust)

Stage 2

Erikson - Toddlerhood: the challenge of autonomy

Stage 3

Erikson - Preschool: the challenge of initiative (versus guilt)

Stage 4

Erikson - Preadolescence: the challenge of industriousness (versus inferiority)

Stage 5

Erikson - Adolescence: the challenge of gaining identity (versus confusion)

Stage 6

Erikson - Young adulthood: the challenge of intimacy (versus isolation)

Stage 7

Erikson - Middle adulthood: the challenge of making a difference (versus self-absorption)

Stage 8

Erikson - Old age: the challenge of integrity (versus despair)

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.
1) Denial
2) Anger
3) Negotiation
4) Resignation
5) Acceptance

Social interaction

the process by which people act and react in relation to others.

Role

behavior expected of someone who holds a particular status

The Social Construction of Reality

The process by which people creatively shape reality through social interaction.

Nonverbal Communication

communication using body movements, gestures, and facial expressions rather than speech

Social Group

two or more people who identify and interact with one another

Patriarchy

a form of social organization in which males dominate females

Hirschi

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

Labeling theory

the idea that deviance and conformity result not so much from what people do as from how others respond to those actions

Stigma

a powerfully negative label that greatly changes a person's self-concept and social identity

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

The linguistic hypothesis holds that language predisposes us to see the world in a certain way was developed by these two.

Cultural Transmission

the process by which one generation passes culture to the next

Hawthorne Effect

phenomenon in which participants' knowledge that they're being studied can affect their behavior

Taboos

prohibitions against behaviors that most members of a group consider to be so repugnant they are unthinkable

Hidden Curriculum

Standards of behavior that are deemed proper by society and are taught subtly in schools

Correlation

a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other

Hurried Child

parents over-schedule their children's lives, push them for academic success, and expect them to behave as little adults

Deviance

behavior that departs from societal or group norms

Subculture

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

Secondary Analysis

a variety of research techniques that make use of previously collected and publicly accessible information and data

Primary Deviance

deviance involving occasional breaking of norms that is not a part of a person's lifestyle or self-concept

Secondary Deviance

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

Herbert Spencer

English philosopher and sociologist who applied the theory of natural selection to human societies (1820-1903)

Social Paradigms

basic image of how society works that guides thinking and research

Hate Crime

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

Sexism

the belief that one sex is innately superior to the other

George Murdock

anthropologist that examined hundreds of different cultures in an attempt to determine what general traits are common to all cultures

Glass Ceiling

the mostly invisible barrier that keeps women from advancing to the top levels at work

Beauty Myth

society teaches women to measure their worth in terms of physical appearance

Sexual Harassment

unwanted sexual attention, often from someone in power, that makes the victim feel uncomfortable or threatened

Talcott Parsons

Theory of complementarity argues that the social differentiation between male and female roles is functionally necessary for social cohesion and survival

Liberal Feminism

seeks equal opportunity for both sexes within the existing society

Socialist Feminism

a feminist theoretical perspective that interprets the origins of women's oppression as lying in the system of capitalism

Radical Feminism

based on the belief that patriarchy, or all systems of male dominance, is the primary source of the oppression of women

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