Sociology Vocabulary

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Terms in this set (207)
Class ConflictDeveloped by Karl Marx. Chaos and struggle occur because of the economic organization of most societies. It is inevitable in capitalist societies because the interests of workers and capitalists are fundamentally at odds with each other.Social IntegrationDeveloped by Emile Durkheim. Feeling apart of society. ; It requires proficiency in the language, acceptance of the laws, and adoption of a common set of values.Harriet MartineauAbolitionist, studied moral principles in society, feminist, argued for improvement in women's education so marriage wouldn't be the only objective in life, claimed women were treated like slavesJane AddamsSponsored legislation to abolish child labor, established juvenile courts, founded the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, opposed WWl, wanted to limit working hours for women, recognize labor unions, make school attendance compulsory, advocated women's suffrageW.E.B. Du BoisCo-founded NAACP, published first case study of an African American Community "The Philadelphia Negro :A Social Study", opposed the idea of white superiority, vocally supported women's rights, opposed Booker T. Washington's "Atlanta Compromise", Pan AfricanismHuman interactionYoung children acquire social skills through this. Those who have lack of it "fail to thrive".Nature vs NurtureA longstanding debate regarding the effects of biology and social systems on individuals and behavior.Three key functions of socializationMorals (teaches impulse control and helps the child develop a conscience), family (teaches individuals how to prepare for and perform social roles), and values (cultivates shared sources of meaning and values)Moral ReasoningAn individual's collective reasoning about what, morally, one ought to do.Moral reasoning theoryDeveloped by Jean Piaget. Stage 1)Children between the ages of 5 to 10 see rules handing down by authority figures as absolute and unbreakable. They are followers to avoid negative consequences. Stage 2) This changes towards the end of middle childhood. Children become able to view situations from another's perspective. They develop the ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes.Moral development theoryDeveloped by Lawrence Kohlberg. Level 1) Pre conventional Morality - Children see rules as fixed and absolute. Obeying them is important because it avoids punishment. Level 2) Conventional Morality- Focuses on living up to social expectations and roles. There is an emphasis on conformity, being "nice" and considerate of how choices influence relationships. Level 3) Post conventional morality - At this stage people follow internalized principles of justice, even if they conflict with laws and rules.Agents of socializationPeople or groups responsible for our socialization during childhood. (Ex. Mass media, family, school)Role Exit TraumasWhen relieving a role is traumatizing; not being used to a new role. (Ex. An only child not being the only child anymore.)Total institutionsAn isolated, enclosed social system whose primary response is to control most aspects of its' participants lives. (Ex. Prisons, mental hospitals, boarding schools, military training camps)SocializationA continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behaviors, and social skills appropriate to his/her social position.Social InteractionA dynamic, changing sequence of social actions between individuals or groups. (Ex. A conversation between friends.)Social StructureThe internal institutionalized relationships built up by people living within a group especially with regards to the hierarchical organization of status and to the rules and principles. (Ex. Family)MacrosociologyThe branch of sociology concerned with the study and analysis of societies in their entirety.Micro sociologyThe sociological study of small groups and social units within a larger social system. (Ex. Conversation or group dynamics)DramaturgyThe idea that life is like a never-ending play in which people are actors. When we are born, we are thrust onto a stage called everyday life.Symbolic-interactionist perspectivePeople develop and rely upon symbolic meaning in the process of social interaction. People interpret one another's behavior and it is these interactions that form a social bond. George Herbert Mead introduced this perspective to American sociology in the 1920's. (Ex. Teens smoking cigarettes, ignoring the health risks, because they want to be seen as cool by their peers.)Achieved StatusSocial importance within a culture that somebody gains through personal effort. (Ex. Professional athlete, lawyer, criminal)Ascribed StatusBeyond an individual's control. Not earned, but rather something they were either born into or had no control over. (Ex. Socioeconomic status or homelessness is an ascribed status for children, sex and race)StereotypeA widely held, but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. (All black people are poor.)GroupA number of people who identify and interact with each other. (Ex. Family and friends)AggreggateA collection of people who are in the same place at the same time, but do not interact or have anything in common.CategoryA group defined by a certain characteristic. (Ex. College graduate)Primary groupsThe most important groups; characterized by intimate face-to-face association. (Ex. Family, friends, neighbors)Secondary groupsFunctional groups created to carry out a task or achieve a goal. They are interpersonal. (Ex. Students and coworkers)Out-groupPeople outside one's own group, considered to be inferior or alien. (Ex. Jewish people during the Holocaust; Muslim countries to the western world, currently)Reference groupsA social group that a person takes as a standard in forming attitudes and behavior. (Ex. Family and friends)Six degrees of separationThe belief that anyone can be connected through a chain of acquaintances. There are no more than five intermediaries.BureaucraciesGoal-oriented organizations designed according to rational principles in order to efficiently attain their goals. (Ex. A major corporation)SocietyA large group of people living together in an organized way, making decisions about how to do things and sharing the work that needs to be done.Group dynamicsThe behaviors and beliefs within a social group. (Ex. Values within an individual's family.)Milgram experimentAn experiment focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and moral conscience, conducted by Stanley Milgram, a psychology at Yale University (1963). He wanted to investigate whether Germans were particularly obedient to authority figures as this was a common explanation for the Nazi killings in WWll.Saphir-Whorf hypothesisThe theory that an individual's thoughts and actions are determined by the language or languages that individual speaks.LanguageThe method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.Language skillsThe ability to use language.ValuesImportant and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable.FolkwayThe traditional behavior or way of life of a particular community of group or people.MoresThe essentials or characteristics customs and conventions of a community.CountercultureA way of life and set of attitudes opposed to or at variance with the prevailing social norm. (Hippy movement in the 1960's and 1970's)SubcultureA cultural group within a larger culture often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture. (Ex. Bikers, mormons)Robert Edgerton's criticism of cultural relativismFelt the concept of cultural relativism didn't include the darker side of certain culture. He felt that the barbaric practices in primitive culture had been ignored.DevianceActions or behaviors that violate social norms, including formally-enacted rules, as well as informal violations of social norms. (Ex. Theft, fighting at school, lacking manners, blue hair)Shaming and degradation ceremoniesA process that serves to lower a person's social status within a group or society. For the purposes of shaming that person for violating norms, rules, or lawsuit and to inflict punishment by taking away rights or privileges. (Ex. Slut shaming, "peep walk", arrest and sentencing in court)Explanations of devianceCultural transmission, control theory (the social bonds that keep us from committing crimes), structural strain theory (where social strains become overwhelming to the point where they do deviance as a way to manage the strain)Sub cultural Deviance TheoryA particular behavior may be normal but from the perspective of the larger culture, the behavior is considered to be deviant. ( ex. Goth fashion and music)Medicalization of devianceIn earlier times, religious institutions had the social power to define deviant and "treat it". Now science and medicine has taken over the social control of "treating" deviance.Differential Association TheoryDeveloped by Edwin Sutherland. Criminal behavior is learned in interaction. A person becomes a delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violations of the law to violations of laws.Control TheoryThe theory of motivation developed by William Glasser. Behavior is never caused by an outside stimulus. Behavior is inspired by what a person wants most at any given time.Strain theoryCertain strains or stressors increase the likelihood of crime. (Ex. Unemployment leading to theft or drug dealing)Mental illnessA psychiatric disorder that causes untypical behavior.Functionalist perspective on devianceDeviance helps to create social stability by presenting explanations of non-normative and normative behaviors.Conflict perspective on devianceCapitalist class passes laws designed to benefit themselves. They are detrimental to the working class. Both groups commit acts of deviance, but the systems the capitalists created defines deviance differently for each group.The sociological imaginationDeveloped by C. Wright Mills. It is the ability to see things socially and how they interact and influence each other. (Ex. The simple act of drinking coffee. It is not just a drink, but rather it has symbolic value as part of day-to-day social rituals.)Theory of selfDeveloped by George Herbert Mead. Maintains that the conception a person holds of their mind emerges from social interaction with others. The "me" represents the expectations and attitudes organized into a social self. The "I" is the response to the "Me".Psychoanalytic TheoryPersonality develops through a series of stages, each characterized by a certain internal psychological (psychoanalytic theory)The primitive and instinctive component of personality. It consists of all inherited components of personality at birth. It is the compulsive part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts.Ego (psychoanalytic theory)Develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. It works by reason and is the decision making component.SuperegoIncorporates the values and morals of society which are learned by one's parents and others. Its function is to control the id's impulses. It consists of two systems: conscious and the ideal selfThe Protestant ethicAlso the spirit of capitalism. Developed by Max Weber. The values of hard work, thrift, and efficiency in one's world calling, were deemed signs of an individual's election or eternal salvation. He held that it was an important factor in the economic success in the early stages of European capitalism.Social StratificationA system by which society ranks its members in a hierarchy.Four systems of social stratificationCaste, class, slavery, estateSlaverySome people own other people (Ex. Debt, punishment for breaking law, free labor, defeat in battle)CasteStatus is determined by birth and is lifelong. (Ex. Apartheid, Jim Crow Laws, Indian caste system)ClassBased primarily on the possession of money or material possessions; Allows social mobility (Ex. Ascribed status from one's parents.)Karl Marx on social classSocial class is determined by one's relationship to the means of production- the tools, factories, land and investment capital used to produce wealth. As capital becomes more concentrated, the two classes will become increasingly hostile to each other.BourgeoisieCapitalists; own the means of productionProletariatWorkers; work for those who own the means of productionClass consciousnessAn awareness of a common identity based on position will develop.False class consciousnessMarx believed this is what held works back from rebellion; the mistaken identification of workers with the interests of capitalistsMax Weber on social classDid not believe that property was the sole basis of a person's position in the stratification system, but rather property, power, and prestige determine social class. He believed that there were only two social classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.PropertyWealth; powerful people like managers and corporations control the means of production, although they do not own them.PowerThe ability to control others, even over their objections.PrestigeMay be derived from ownership of property; however it also may be based on other factors, such as athletic skillsFunctionalist perspective on social stratificationSociety must make certain that it's important positions are filled; some positions are more important than others; more important positions need to be filled by more qualified people, these people must be offered greater rewardsConflict perspective on social stratificationEvery society has only limited resources to go around, and in every society, groups struggle with one another for those resources. Those in power use resources to benefit themselves and oppress others. Groups within the same class compete for scarce resources, resulting in conflict. (Ex. Young vs. old; women vs men)ElitesA group or class of persons considered to be superior to others because of their intelligence, social standing, or wealth.IdeologyA system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy; elites use ideology to maintain their position of power. (Ex. The king's authority was said to come from God and therefore he and his representatives must be obeyed.)How elites maintain stratificationIdeology, controlling information, fear, technology, legal establishment (ex. Police and military)EstateStratification system of medieval Europe, with three _______: nobility (wealthy rulers), clergy (church's power), and commoners (belonged to land)StatusThe relative social, professional, or other standing of someone or somethingRoleThe function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situationFirst WorldThe most industrialized nations; industrialized, capitalist nations; Most developed countries (ex. Canada, Great Britain, France, Singapore, Japan, and Australia)Second WorldThe industrializing nations; Communist or socialist nations; Includes most of the nations of the former Soviet Union and its former satellites in Eastern Europe; Developing countries (ex. China, Cuba, Trinidad, Brazil, South Africa, Trinidad, and Turkey)Third WorldThe least industrialized nations; most people live on farms or in villages with low standards of living; most of world's population growth occurs here; least developed countries (ex. Hungary, Jamaica, Peru, Sri Lanka, India, and Panama)Global stratificationA comparison of the economic stability, power, status, and wealth between countries; focusing on the unequal distribution of wealthColonialismThe policy or practice of acquiring full of partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and and exploring it economically.Neocolonialismthe use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence other countries, especially former dependencies.Culture of povertyA way of life that perpetuates poverty from one generation to the next. Most of the world's poor as farmers who lives on little plots of land, religion and traditional ways encourage them to accept their situation.Semi-peripheryThe economics of these nations, located around the Mediterranean, stagnated because they grew dependent on trade with core nations.PeripheryFringe nations, developed even less, sold cash to core nations, external area.WealthAn abundance of valuable possessions or money.IncomeMoney received, especially on a regular basis, for work or through investments.Social classA division of a society based on social and economic status.Status inconsistencyA condition that occurs when individuals have some status characteristics that rank relatively high and some that rank relatively low. (Ex. Teacher being a well-respected profession, but many are paid low wages.)Social mobilityThe ability of individuals or groups to move upward or downward in status based on wealth, occupation, education, or some other social variable.Deferred gratificationDelayed gratification; "Work hard now, play later."Horatio Alger MythThe belief that due to limitless possibilities anyone can get ahead if he or she tries hard enough.PropertyMaterial possessions: animals, bank accounts, bonds, jewlrey, businesses, carsPowerThe ability to carry out your will, even over the resistance of others.Power eliteC. Wright Mills' term for the top people in U.S. corporations, military, and politics who make the nation's major decisions.PrestigeRespect or regardStatus consistencyRanking high or low on all three dimensions of social class.StatusThe position that someone occupies in a social groupAnomicDurkheim's term for a condition of society in which people become detached from the usual norms at guide their behavior.Contradictory class locationsErik Wright's term for a position in the class structure that generates contradictory interests.UnderclassA group of people for whom poverty persists year after year and across generations.Intergenerational mobilityThe change that family members make in social class from one generation to the next.Upward social mobilityMovement up the social class ladderDownward social mobilityMovement down the social class ladder.Structural mobilityMovement up or down social class ladder that is due more to changes in the structure of society than the actions of individuals.Exchange mobilityA large number of people moving up the social class ladder, while a large number move down; it is as though they have exchanged social class ladder, while a large number move down; it is as though they have exchanged places, and the social class system shows little changePoverty lineThe official measure of poverty; calculated to include incomes that are less than three times a low-cost budget.Feminization of povertyA condition of U.S. poverty in which most poor families are headed by womenRaceA group whose inherited physical characteristics distinguish it from other groupsGenocideThe annihilation of attempted annihilation of a people because of their presumed race or ethnicity.EthnicityHaving distinctive cultural characteristicsMinority groupPeople who are singled out for unequal treatment and who regard themselves as objects of collective discriminationCapitalistsBusiness owners who employ many workersConsequences of social classPhysical health, mental health, family life, education, religion, politics, crime and social justice.Petty bourgeoisieSmall business ownersDominant groupThe group with the most power, greatest privileges, and highest social statusEthnic workActivities designed to discover, enchants, maintain, or transmit an ethnic or racial diversity.DiscriminationAn act of unfair treatment directed against an individual or a groupRacismPrejudice and discrimination on the basis of racePrejudiceAn attitude or prejudging, usually in a negative way.Contact theoryThe idea that prejudice and negative stereotypes decrease and racial-ethnic relations improve when people from different racial-ethnic backgrounds, who are of equal status, interact frequentlyIndividual discriminationPerson-to-person or face-to-face discriminationInstitutional discriminationNegative treatment of a minority group that is built into a society's institution.ScapegoatAn individual or group unfairly blamed for someone else's troublesAuthoritarian personalityTheodor Adorno's term for people who are prejudiced and rank high on scales of conformity, intolerance, insecurity, respect for authority, and submissive to superiors.Split labor marketWorkers split along racial-ethnic, gender, age, or any other lines; this split is exploited by owners to weaken the bargaining power of workersReserved labor forceThe unemployed; workers are hired (out of reserves) during high production and laid off (back in reserve) when no longer neededSelective perspectiveSeeing certain features of an object or situation, but remaining blind to others.CompartmentalizeTo separate acts from feelings of attitudesPopulation transferThe forced transfer of a minority groupEthnic cleansingA policy of eliminating a population; includes forcible expulsion and genocideInternal colonialismThe policy of exploiting minority groups for economic gainSegregationThe policy of keeping racial-ethnic groups apartAssimilationThe process of being absorbed into the mainstream cultureMulticulturalismPluralism; a policy that permits or encourages ethnic differencesWASPWhite Anglo Saxon ProtestantWhite ethnicsWhite immigrants to the U.S. whose culture differ from WASP (Irish, Jews, Italians, Polish)Rising expectationsThe sense that better conditions are soon to follow, which, if unfulfilled, increases frustrationIron law of oligarchyRobert Michel's term for the tendecy of formal organizations to be dominated by a small, self perpetuating elite.In-groupa group toward which one feels loyaltySocial networkthe social ties radiating outward from the self that link people together.CliqueA cluster of people within a larger group who choose to interact with one another.Goal DisplacementAn organization replacing old goals with new ones; also known as goal replacementAlienationMarx's term for workers' lack of connection to the product of their labor; caused by workers being assigned repetitive tasks on a small part of a product -- this leads to a sense of powerlessness and normlessness; others use the term in the general sense of not feeling a part of somethingSelf-fulfilling stereotypePreconceived ideas of what someone is like that lead to the person's behaving in ways that match the stereotype.Hidden corporate cultureStereotypes of the traits that make for high performing and underperforming workers.Small groupA group small enough for everyone to interact directly with all the other members.DyadThe smallest possible group, consisting of two persons.TriadA group of three peopleCoalitionThe alignment of some members of a group against others.LeaderSomeone who influences other people.Instrumental LeaderAn individual who tries to keep the group moving toward its goals; also known as task-oriented leaderExpressive LeaderAn individual who increases harmony and minimizes conflict in a group; also known as a socioemotional leaderAuthoritarian LeaderAn individual who leads by giving orders.Democratic leaderAn individual who leads by giving orders.Laissez-faire leaderAn individual who leads by being highly permissive.GroupthinkA narrorwing of thought by a group of people, leading to the perception that there is only one correct answer and that to even suggest alternative is a sign of disloyalty.Stigma"blemishes" that discredit a person's claim to a "normal" identitySocial ordera group's usual and customary social arrangements, on which its members depend and on which they base their lives.Social ControlA group's formal and informal means of enforcing its norms.Negative SanctionAn expression of disapproval for breaking a norm, ranging from a mild, informal reaction such as a frown to a formal reaction such as a fine or a prison sentence.Positive SanctionAn expression of approval for following a norm, ranging from a smile or a good grade in a class to a material reward such as a prize.Genetic PredispositionInborn tendencies (for example, a tendency to commit deviant acts)Street crimeCrimes such a mugging, rape, and burglary.Personality DisordersThe view that a personality disturbance of some sort causes an individual to violate social norms.Labeling theoryThe view that the labels people are given affect their own and others' perceptions of them, thus channeling their behavior into either deviance of conformity.Techniques of neutralizationWays of thinking or rationalizing that help people deflect (or neutralize) society's norms.Cultural goalsThe objectives held out as legitimate or desirable for the members of a society to achieve.Institutionalized meansApproved ways of reaching cultural goalsStrain theoryRobert Merton's term for the strain endangered when a society socializes large numbers of people to desire a cultural goal (such as success), but withholds from some the approved means of reaching that goal; one adaption to the strain is crime, the choice of an innovative means (one outside the approved system) to attain the cultural goal.Recidivism rateThe percentage of released convicts who are rearrested.Capital punishmentThe death penaltyPolice discretionThe practice of the police, in the normal course of their duties, to either arrest or ticket someone for an offense or to overlook the matter.MedicalizationThe transformation of a human condition into a matter to be treated by physicians.Bonded laborIndentured serviceEndogamyThe practice of marrying within one's own group.Gender StratificationMales' and female' unequal access to property, power, and prestige.SexBiological characteristics that distinguish females and males, consisting of primary and secondary sex characteristics.GenderThe behaviors and attitudes that a society considers proper for its males and females; masculinity or femininityPatriarchyMen-as-a-group dominating women-as-a-group; authority is vested in malesFeminismThe philosophy that men and women should be politically, economically, and socially equal; organized activities an behalf of these principlesGlass ceilingThe mostly invisible barrier that keeps women from advancing to the top levels at work.Life SpanThe maximum length of life of a species; for humans, the longest that a human has lived.Life ExpectancyThe number of years that an average person at any age, including newborn, can expect to live.Age CohortPeople born at roughly the same time who pass through the life course together.Disengagement TheoryThe view that society is stabilized by having the elderly retire (disengage from) their positions of responsibility so their younger generation can step into their shoes.Activity TheoryThe view that satisfaction during old age is related to a person's amount and quality of activity.Continuity TheoryA theory focusing on how people adjust to retirement by continuing aspects of their earlier lives.

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