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an organized collection of individuals and institutions, bounded by space in a coherent territory, subject to the same political authority, and organized through a shared set of cultural expectations and values

Goffman's Dramaturgy

our performances change according to the characters on stage at the moment

Impression Management

actively trying to control how other perceive me by changing my behavior to correspond to an ideal of what they will find most appealing

Ascribed Status

status that we receive involuntarily, without regard to our unique talents, skills, or accomplishments

Achieved Status

status that we attain through talent, ability, effort, or other unique characteristics

Master Status

status that is presumed so important that it overshadows all of the others

Role Strain

when the same role had demands and expectations that contradict each other

Role Conflict

when we try to play different roles with extremely different or contradictory rules at the same time

Role Exit

process of adjustment that takes place when we move out of such a role


an assortment of people who share the same norms, values, and expectations


aggregate of individuals who happen to be together but experience themselves as essentially independent

Primary Groups

group of friends and family that come together for expressive reasons

Secondary Groups

group of co-workers or club members who come together for instrumental reasons


group I feel positively toward and to which I actually belong


group which I do not belong and do not feel very positively towards

Reference Groups

group toward which we are so strongly committed or one that commands so much prestige that we orient our actions around what we perceive that groups perceptions would be

Strength of Weak Ties (Granovetter)

it's not only your strong ties (people who actually know you) that most influence your life, but possibly, centrally, your weak ties (people who you only know of, or they only know of you)

Coercive Organization

organization where membership is not voluntary

Normative Organization

typically voluntary organization; members receive no monetary rewards and often have to pay to join

Utilitarian Organization

organization in which we belong for a specific, instrumental purpose, a tangible material reward

Diffusion of Responsibility

tends to occur in groups of people above a certain critical size when responsibility is not explicitly assigned

Characteristics of Bureaucracy (Weber)

Division of Labor, Hierarchy of Authority (job descriptions), Rules and Regulations, Impersonality, Career Ladders, Efficiency and Productivity

Problems with Bureaucracy (Weber)

Overspecialization, Rigidity and Inertia (stuck/lack of change), Ritualism (loss of meaning), Suppression of Dissent, The Bureaucratic "Catch-22" (more rules and regulationsthe less efficient)

Bureaucracy Personality (Merton)

those people who become more committed to following the correct procedures than they are in getting the job done aka ritualists


breaking a social rule or refuses to follow one/acting against the norms of a society; most of this is not illegal


acting against the current written laws of a society; not always deviant


attribute that changes you from a whole and usual person to a tainted and discounted one

Minstrelization Stigma

exaggerate the difference between the stigmatized and the dominant group

Normification Stigma

process by which one minimizes the differences between the stigmatized groups

Militant Chauvinism Stigma

maximize differences between the stgimatized groups by saying that they are better

Functions of Crime for Society (Durkheim)

Affirms cultural norms and values, Clarifies moral boundaries, Heightens group solidarity, Encourages social change

Differential Association (Deviance Theory)

deviance theory where it is a matter of rewards and punishment

Control Theory (Deviance Theory)

deviance theory where decision of whether or not to engage in an act by weighing the potential outcome

Labeling Theory (Deviance Theory)

deviance theory where the social context that determines whether an act is considered deviant or not and how much punishment it warrants

Conflict Theory (Deviance Theory)

deviance theory where it rests on a larger structural analysis of inequalities based on class, or race, or gender for their explanation of crime

Strain Theory (Deviance Theory)

deviance theory where there is conflict between accepted norms and social reality

Opportunity Theory (Deviance Theory)

deviance theory where crime arises from opportunity to commit crime

Broken Windows Theory (Deviance Theory)

deviance theory of how social controls can systematically weaken, and minor acts of deviance can spiral into sever crime and societal decay

Criminal Subcultures Theory (Deviance Theory)

deviance theory where criminals (such as gang members) not being socialized with the same norms and values as non-criminals (such as non-gang members)

White Collar/Corporate Crime

illegal actions of a corporation or people acting on its behalf

Street Crime

illegal actions usually in public places (assault, burglary, prostitution, drug possession, etc.)

Hate Crimes

criminal act committed by an offender motivated by bias against race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability status


system in which those at who are the most deserving of reward or praise will rise to the top and those who are less so will sink to the bottom

Marx's Theories of Social Class

social class of Bourgeoisie (owners) and Proletariat (workers)

Weber's Theories of Social Class

social class of Class Position (Wealth vs. Income), Status (Prestige, Status Symbols), Power (Party; Dimensions of Power)

Social Class (SES) in the United States

(income, assets, occupation, education, affiliations, etc.) middle class is ideal, but income has not kept up with inflation, home ownership, job prospects, investments and retirements, and health care are all iffy, growing gap between rich & middle/poor

Social Mobility in the United States

(the ability to move up or down in the rankings), increasingly downward due to global outsourcing, downsizing, shift from manufacturing to service/knowledge economy

1964 Formula for Poverty Line

what minimum wage is based on, never updated, 1/3 food, 1/3 shelter, 1/3 clothes; doesn't take into account child care, medical care, transportation, skyrocketing rents, and the variation of cost of living by region

Poverty in the United States

most are not ethnic minorities, most welfare recipients are white and female, most poor people are not unemployed, most poor live in rural areas, single or divorced mothers are more likely to be poor, children are more likely to be poor

Individual Explanation of Poverty

explanation of poverty that says people are poor because they lack something (such as initiative, drive, ambition, discipline); they are unmotivated and lazy

Cultural Explanation of Poverty

explanation of poverty that argues that poverty is not a result of individual inadequacies but of larger social and cultural factors

Structural/Sociological Explanation of Poverty

explanation of poverty that says people are unmotivated because they are poor; no matter how hard they try the cards are always stacked against them, so they eventually just give up

Working Poor (Ehrenreich)

those who are maintain employment but also remain poor due to low levels of pay and dependant expenses

Main point of Race:The Power of Illusion, Episode 1 video

people may be more similar genetically to someone of another race/color/ethnicity than their own, so we're not that different, we may even be more similar than you think

Race (Sociological)

classified by physical characteristics

Ethnicity (Sociological)

classified by cultural characteristics

Race (Social)

classified by assumptions of biological distinctions

Ethnicity (Social)

classified by assumptions of cultural distinctions

Origins of Taboo Against Racial Mixing

racial segregation, when the laws were lifted the ideology of segregation was still in the heads of many

1967 Loving v. Virginia

state banned interracial marriage, cohabitation, and sex until this court case

Legal Definition of "white" in the early United States

"white" people from England, Germany, and Scandinavia, but not from other parts of Europe

Legal Definition of "black" in the early United States

"black" people from Africa

Treatment of Early Immigrant Groups in the United States (Caucasian)

denied jobs and places to live, in the South many were lynched along with Blacks, looked at as born criminals, lazy, and savaged


minority groups abandon their cultural traditions altogether embracing the dominant culture

Cultural Pluralism

to live side by side but to keep different cultural practices alive

White Privilege (Peggy McIntosh)

hidden privileges of being Caucasian. The author explains how many whites are oblivious to these hidden tools and benefits that get them to the top because they are raised and molded not to see them.

Matrix of Domination (Patricia Hills Collins)

an interlocking system of control in which each type of inequality reinforces the others so that the impact of one cannot be fully understood without also considering the others


prejudice that is systematically applied to members of a group

Subtle Racism

a set of mental categories that we possess about the "other" based on stereotypes

Overt Racism

manifests in behaviors such as discrimination, or the refusal to associate with members of that group


generalization about a group that is oversimplified and exaggerated


set of beliefs and attitudes that cause us to negatively prejudge people based on their social location


set of actions based on prejudice and stereotypes

Conclusion About Race From W.E.B. Du Bois' Study The Philadelphia Negro

"race" is a social concept (socially constructed), structural conditions are not biology

Postindustrial Economy

an economy where automated machinery is substantially reducing and sometimes eliminating the need for human labor in production

Knowledge Economy

an economy less oriented around the actual production of a commodity and more concerned with the idea of the commodity

Service Economy

an economy dominated by services rather than goods


corporations derive raw materials from all over the world and use manufacturing and assembly plants in many different countries

Knowledge Work

less oriented around the actual production of a commodity; more concerned with the idea of a commodity and marketing and distributing it to consumers


moved workers into the wide world and out of factories


contracting out to another company work that had once been done internally by your company

Multinational Corporations

they operate through a network of offices all over the world

Main Point of the Video The Story of Stuff

a lot of things are wasted so try to cut back

Traditional Authority (Weber)

type of power that draws its legitimacy from tradition

Charismatic Authority (Weber)

type of power in which people obey because of the personal characteristics of the leader

Authoritarian Systems

Monarchy, Oligarchy, Dictatorship, and Totalitarianism


rule by single individual


rule of a small group of people, an elite social class or often a single family


ruled by one person who has no hereditary claim to rule


when political authority is extended over all other aspects of life including culture, the arts, and social relations

Forms of Democracy

Participatory, Representative, and Illiberal


every person gets one vote and the majority rules


citizens elect representatives to make the decisions for them


officials are elected by the people, but they pay so little attention to the constitution and other laws and to the opinion of their constituents that the country might as well be an oligarchy

Corruption in Political Systems

has little to do with whether a country is democratic or not and more to do with whether a country is poor or not (misuse of government funds, obey special interest groups instead of the people, and outside interests donate large sums of money)

Iron Law of Oligarchy (Michels)

no matter how democratic or authoritarian they may have been in the beginning, they all tend toward oligarchy

Party Affiliation

people are often socialized into their party affiliations based on class, education, race, and gender

Voting Patterns

The USA has the lowest voter turnout among democratic countries (however, the 2008 election had the highest voter turnout in decades)

Interest Groups

promote their interest among state and national legislators and often to influence public opinion

Terrorism as Political Tactic/New Form of War

publicizing political agenda, demands for change, or causing as much damage to the enemy as possible; see violence as a letitimate political tactic

Social Movements

collective attempts to further a common interest or secure a common goal through action outside the sphere of established institutions

Social Revolutions

changes of the social basis of political power; it changes the social groups or classes that political power rests on

Commonalities Between Religion and Science

Organized social institutions/systems of though, Claims to "truth" that govern our conduct, Professional practitioners, highly educated, "academic" subcultures, complex "rituals", Both resist change but do change over time

Function of Religion (Durkheim)

"social glue" (religion "integrates" society), creates a sense of unity, Sacred Rituals (holy), Profane Rituals (secular/not religious)

Religion and Social Control (Marx)

Religions keep social change from happening, prevents people from revolting even in miserable conditions of their lives, Religion provides a justification for the inequality

Religion and Social Change (Weber)

Religion causes change

Religion and Capitalism (Weber)

Protestantism (direct relationship with God, work hard to "prove" worthiness, attain wealth but spend thrifty, and you never know God's plan for you); The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism


forms around a specific person or idea drawn from an established religion


small subculture within an established religious institution


large-scale, extremely organized religious body


religion that is so pervasive (spread) that the boundary between state and church is nonexistent

Western and Eastern Religions

Exclusive, Evangelical, Syncretic, and Non-Evangelistic

Exclusive Religions

religion where only one "true" faith, all others are invalid

Evangelical Religions

religion where they want you to choose their faith based on one sacred book, concepts of heaven and hell, one lifetime only, has "holiest day"

Syncretic Religions

religion where it is perfectly acceptable to practice multiple religions at once, fewer religion wars

Non-Evangelistic Religions

religion where attraction is not promotion (with a few exceptions); no concept of heaven or hell, many lifetimes (reincarnation), many gods (or many emanations of a single god), no special holy day

Secularization Thesis

as societies become more modern, religion would decline

Global Religious Resurgence

the secularization theory was incorrect, religiosity seems to be increasing across the globe

The United States and Religion

only industrialized country where religiosity is not declining

Third Great Awakening

religious revival that further democratizes spirituality, making a relationship with the sacred attainable to even greater numbers of Americans

Liberation Theology

focuses on Jesus not only as savior but specifically as the savior of the poor and oppressed and emphasizes the Christian mission of bringing justice to the poor

Paradigm Shift (Kuhn)

a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science

Merton's Typology

Matrix of Domination

Legal-Rational Authority (Weber)

leaders are to be obeyed not primarily as representatives of tradition or because of their personal qualities, but because they are voicing a set of rationally derived laws

Primary deviance

any minor, usually unnoticed, act of deviance committed irregularly that does not have an impact on one's self-identity or how one is labeled by others

Secondary deviance

the moment when someone acquired a deviant identity, occurring when he or she repeatedly breaks a norm, and people start making a big deal of it, so the rule breaking can no longer be attributed to a momentary lapse in judgment or justifiable under the circumstances but is an indication of a permanent personality trait

Tertiary deviance

occurs when members of a group formerly labeled deviant attempt to redefine their acts, attributes, or identities as normal-even virtuous

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