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social interaction

the ways in which people respond to one another

social structure

the way in which a society is organized into predictable relationships


a term used by sociologists to refer to any of the full range of socially defined positions within a large groups of society

ascribed status

a social position assigned to a person by society without regard for the person's unique talents or characteristics

achieved status

a social position that is within our power to change

master status

a status that dominates others and thereby determines a person's general position in society

social role

a set of expectations for people who occupy a given social position or status

role conflict

the situation that occurs when incompatible expectations arise from two or more social positions held by the same person

role strain

the difficulty that arises when the same social position imposes conflicting demands and expectations

role exit

the process of disengagement from a role that is central to one's self-identity in order to extablish a new role and identity


any number of people with similar norms, values, and expectations who interact with one another on a regular basis

primary group

a small group characterized by intimate, face-to-face association and cooperation

secondary group

a formal, impersonal group in which there is little social intimacy or mutual understanding


any group or category to which people feel they belong


a group or category to which people feel they do not belong

reference group

any group that individuals use as a standard for evaluating themselves and their own behavior


a temporary or permanent alliance geared toward a common goal

social network

a series of social relationships that links individuals directly to others, and through them indirectly to still more people


a person's online representation as a character

social institution

an organized pattern of beliefs and behavior centered on basic social needs


a component of formal organization that uses rules and hierarchical ranking to achieve efficiency

ideal type

a construct or model for evaluating specific cases


loss of control over our creative human capacity to produce, separation from the products we make, and isolation from our fellow producers

trained incapacity

the tendency of workers in a bureaucracy to become so specialized that they develop blind spots and fail to notice potential problems

goal displacement

over-zealous conformity to official regulations of a bureacracy

Peter principle

a principle of organizational life according to which every employee within a hierarchy tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence


the process by which a group, organization, or social movement increasingly relies on technicalrational decision making in the pursuit of efficiency


the process by which the principles of efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control shape organization and decision making, in the United States and around the world

iron law of oligarchy

a principle of organizational life under which even a democratic organization will eventually develop into a bureacracy ruled by a few individuals

classical theory

an approach to the study of formal organizations that views workers as being motivated almost entirely by economic rewards

scientific management approach

another name for the classic theory of formal organizations

human relations approach

an approach to the study of formal organizations that emphasizes the role of people, communication, and participation in a bureaucracy and tends to focus on the informal structure of the organization


a close-knit community often found in rural areas in whcih strong personal bonds unite members


a community often urban, that is large and impersonal, with little commitment to the group or the conses on values

mechanical solidarity

social cohesion based on shared experiences, knowledge, and skills in which things function more or less the way they always have, with minimal change

organic solidarity

a collective consciousness that rests on mutual interdependence, characteristic of societies with a complex division of labor

hunting-and-gathering society

a preindustrial society in which people plant seeds and crops rather than merely subsist on available foods

agrarian society

the most technologically advanced form of preindustrial society. Members are engaged primarily in the production of food, but they increase their crop yields through technological innovations such as the plow

industrial society

a society that depends on mechanization to produce its goods and services

postindustrial society

a society whose economic system is engaged primarily in the processing and control of information

postmodern society

a technologically sophisticated, pluralistic, interconnected, globalized society

social control

the techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behavior in society


a penalty or reward for conduct concerning a social norm


the act of going along with peers-individuals of our own status who have no special right to direct our behavior


compliance with higher authorities in a hierarchical structure

informal social control

social control that is carried out casually by ordinary people through such means as laugher, smiles, and ridicule

formal social control

social control that is carried out by authorized agents


governmental social control

control theory

a view of conformity and deviance that suggests that our connection to members of society leads us to systematically conform to society's norms


behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society


a label used to devalue members of a certain social groups


a violation of criminal law for which some governmental law for which some governmental authority applies formal penalties

index crimes

the eight types of crime reported annually by the FBI in the Uniform Crime Reports: murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson

victimization survey

a questionnaire or interview given to a sample of the population to determine whether people have been victims of crime

white-collar crime

illegal acts commited by affluent, "respectable" individuals in the course of business activities

victimless crime

a term used by sociologists to describe the willing exchange among adults of widely desired, but illegal, goods and services

organized crime

the work of a group that regulates relations among criminal enterprises involved in illegal activities

transnational crime

crime that occurs across multiple national borders


Durkheim's term for the loss of direction felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective

anomie theory of deviance

Merton's theory of deviance as an adaptation of socially prescribed goals or of the means governing their attainment, or both

cultural transmission

a school of criminology that argues that criminal behavior is learned through social interactions

differential association

a theory of deviance that holds that violation of rules results from exposure to attitudes favorable to criminal acts

social disorganization theory

the theory that attributes increase in crime and deviance to the absense or breakdown of communal relationships

labeling theory

an approach to deviance that attempts to explain why certain people are viewed as deviants while others engaged in the same behavior are not

social-reaction approach

another name for labeling theory

differential justice

differences in the way social control is exercised over different groups

substantive definition of family

a definition of the family based on blood, meaning shared genetic heritage, and law, meaning social recognition and affirmation of the bond including both marriage and adoption


the state of being related to eachother

bilateral descent

a kinship system in which both sides of a person's family are regarded as equally important

patrilineal descent

a kinship system in which only the father's relatives are significant

matrilineal descent

a kinship system in which only the mother's relatives are significant

extended family

a family in which relatives- such as grandparents, aunts, unlcles- live in the same household as parents and their children

nuclear family

a married couple and their unmarried children living together


a form of marriage in which one woman and one man are married only to eachother

serial monogamy

a form of marriage in which a person may have several spouses in his or her lifetime but only one spouse at a time


a form of marriage in which an individual may have several husbands or wives simultaneously


a form of polygamy in which a man may have more than one wife at the same time


a form of polygamy in which a woman may have more than one husband at the same time

functionalist definition of families

a definition of familes that focuses on what families do for society and for their members


a society in which men dominate in family decision making


woman dominate in family decision making

egalitarian family

an authority pattern in which spouses are regarded as equals


the restriction of mate selection to people within the same group


the requirement that people select a mate outside certain groups

incest taboo

the prohibition of sexual relationships between certain culturally specified relatives


the conscious or unconscious tendency to select a mate with personal characteristics similar to one's own


a sense of virility, personal worth, and pride in one's maleness


pride in the extended family, expressed through the maintence of close ties and strong obligations to kinfolk outside the immediate family


in a legal sense, a process that allows for the transfer of the legal rights, responsibilites, and privileges of parenthood to a new legal parent or parents

single-parent family

a family in which only one parent is present to care for the children


the practice of living together as a male-female couple without marrying

domestic partnership

two unrelated adults who share a mutually caring relationship, reside together, and agree to be jointly responsible for their dependents, basic living expenses, and other common necessities

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