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a category of people treated as distinct on account of physical characteristics to which social importance has been assigned

ethnic group

a category whose members are thought to share a common origin and important elements of a common culture

majority group

a group that is culturally, economically, and politically dominant

minority group

a group that is culturally, economically, and politically subordinate


the peaceful coexistence of separate and equal cultures in the same society


refers to mass killings aimed at destroying a population


an irrational, negative attitude toward a category of people


a preconceived, simplistic idea about the members of the group


occurs when people or groups blame others for their failures


the unequal treatment of individuals on the basis of their membership in categories


the belief that inherited physical characteristics associated with racial groups determine individuals' abilities and personalities and provide a legitimate basis for unequal treatment

concentrated poverty

refers to areas in which very high proportions of the population live in poverty

culture of poverty

a set of values that emphasizes living for the moment rather than thrift, investment in the future, or hard work

world systems theory

a conflict perspective of the economic relationships between developed and developing countries, the core and peripheral societies

self fulfilling prophecies

occur when something is defined as real and therefore becomes real in its consequences


refers to the sum value of money and goods owned by an individual or household

social construction of race

the process through which a culture defines what constitutes a race or an ethnic group

socioeconomic status

a measure of social class that ranks individuals on income, education, occupation, or some combination of these

near poor

live in households earning from just above the federal poverty level to twice the federal poverty level


(structures of inequality) an institutionalized pattern of inequality in which social statuses are ranked on the basis of their access to scarce resources

strengths of Structural functionalism in regards to stratification

consideration of unequal skills and talents and necessity of motivating people to work

strengths of conflict theory in regards to stratification

consideration of conflict of interest and how those with control use the system to their advantage

weaknesses of structural functionalism in regards to stratification

ignores importance of power and inheritance in allocated rewards; functional importance overstated

weaknesses of conflict theory in regards to stratification

ignores the functions of inequality and importance of individual differences

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