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social institution involved with the distribution of goods

develops in certain ways to distribute goods

theoretical perspective associated with marx and his concept of "struggle"

conflict theorists

characteristics of a cult

new or different religion whose teachings and practices put it at odds with other dominant religions

reactive social movements

a social movement that resists some social change

social movement

a large, organized body of people who are attempting to create social change

macro perspective

broad features of sociology used by conflict theorists and funtionalists

theorist who said religion is the "opium of the people"

Marx, conflict perspective

marx's perspective on causes of religion

"religion teaches that the existing social arrangements of a society represents what G-d desires"

karl marx's view on religion

athiest. believed the existence of G-d is impossible.


the replacement of a religions spiritual or "other wordly" concerns with concerns about "this world"

benefits of social placement and tracking

it makes sure students are placed in the right places according to their abilities

durkheim's definition and view of religion

"elementary forms of the religious life" he identified elements that are common in all religions and seperated sacred from profane

latent function

positive consequences they did not intend

manifest function

positive things that people intend their actions to accomplish

criticisms against capitalism

leads to social inequality. produces a tiny top layer of wealthy, powerful people who exploit an immense bottom layer of poorly paid workers


1. public ownership of means of production. 2. central planning. 3. distribution of goods with out a profit motive


current form of US capitalism or state capitalism. Private citizens own the means of production and pursue profit but do so with in a vaste system of laws designed to protect the welfare of the population


1. private ownership of the means of production 2. market competition. 3. pursuit of profit

pluralist perspective of power

the decisions that have the greatest impact on the lives of americans and people accross the globe are made by power elite

rational-legal authority

based on written rules, not custom. matters that have been agreed to by reasonable people and written into law

bureaucratic authority

based on anorganizational structure that includes a clearly defined division of labor, hierarchy of authority, formal rules and impersonality

weber's concept of charismatic authority

people drawn to charismatic leaders because they believe individual was touched by g-d

routinization of charisma

transition of authority from a charismatic leader to either traditional or rational-legal authority


the power or right to give orders or make decisions


ability to carry out your will despite resistance

power elite

those who make the big decisions in US society

alienation and theorists associated with term

marx. perceived in terms of roles, rules, and functions rather than as individual. many workers feel like objects rather than people


rules of behavior


position someone occupies


behavior obligation and priveledges attached to statuses

social institution

the ways that each society develops to meet its basic needs

ascribed status

involuntary, born into or inherited

achieved status

voluntary, accomplished

status set

all statuses or positions you occupy

karl marx/conflict theory

key to human history is class conflict. some small groups control means of production and exploit those who aren't in control. bourgeoisie vs. proletariat

theoretical perspective for society that strives for equalibrium

functionalist perspective

collective behavior

is voluntary, often spontaneous activity that is engaged in by a large number of people and typically violates dominant group norms and values.

scientific inquiry

the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on evidence they gather

civil religion

religion that is such an established feature of society that the countries institutions and history are part of it


change social order of itself


seek to alter someones behavior


goal is total change in individual


change aspect of society


transfrom social order or itself


change specific condition that cuts across society

webers concept of rationalization

viewed bureaucracies as powerful form of social organization that he predicted would dominate social life


comparing tradition and industrial societie by characteristics. the characteristics are ideal societies don't possess every characteristic on the list


a form of socialism that abolishes private ownership

theoretical perspective associated with pluralism

functionalist perspective to protect themselves from oppressors

theoretical perspective over scarce resources

conflict theory

"hidden curriculum"

refers to the attitudes and the unwritten rules and behavior that schools teach in addition to formal curriculum. helps to perpetuate social inequlities

government decision making under pluralism

diffusion of power among many special interest groups. prevents any one group from gaining comtrol of the government and using it to oppress the pople. hence the three branches of government

protestant ethic

belief stressing hard work and self-discipline

spirit of capitalism

investing capital in order to make more money

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