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SSC Sociology - Prof. Smith

material culture


non-material culture (symbolic)

Patters of behavior; a groups way of thinking and doing

social imagination

to develop you must understand how culture affects peoples lives

culture within us

learned and shared ways of believing and doing


the use of one's own culture as a yardstick for judging the ways of other individuals or societies, generally leading to a negative evaluation of their values, norms, and behaviors

culture relativism

not judging a culture but trying to understand it on its own terms

Robert Edgerton

suggested we develop a scale on "quality of life", an anthropologist who reported how differently human groups react to similar behaviors

symbolic culture


Components of Symbolic Culture

symbols, gestures, language, values, norms, sanctions, folkways, mores

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

that language creates ways of thinking & perceiving


rules of behavior


reactions people receive when breaking norm

positive sanctions

approval for following norm

negative sanctions

disapproval for breaking norm

moral holidays/moral holiday places

times/ places where norms are temporarily suspended


norms that are not strictly enforced


Fixed morally binding customs within a group


declare as sacred and forbidden


groups whose members share beliefs and common experiences that set them apart from other members of a culture.


a culture with lifestyles and values opposed to those of the established culture

pluralistic society

a society made up of many different groups

Robin Williams

sociologists who outlined a set of 15 values that are central to the American way of life.

Williams 15 values list

achievement and success, individualism, hard work, efficiency, science & technology, material comfort, freedom, democracy, equality, group superiority, education, religiosity, romantic love

value clusters

values grouped together

value contradictions

values that conflict with another or are mutually exclusive (race, women's rights, etc)

emerging values

leisure,self-fullfillment, physical fitness, youthfulness, concern for the environment

culture wars

clashes within the society as to what the norms should be

ideal vs. real

values norms and goals that a group deems ideal vs. what people really say and do

cultural universals

traits that are part of every known culture

George Murdock

Anthropologist who compiled a list of over 60 cultural universals but found they WAY they are done is not universal

Edward Wilson

was an expert on ants. Wrote the book about the cornerstone of interdisciplinary approach to animal and human behavior.; human behavior result of natural selection

Charles Darwin

English natural scientist who formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection (1809-1882)

Peter Conrad

Found that the Xq28 gene is not found in all homosexuals and not all that have the gene are not homosexuals

new technology

emerging technology that impacts social life

William Ogburn

Coined the term cultural lag;

cultural lag

not all parts of culture change at the same pace; material then nonmaterial

cultural diffusion

the process by which cultural characteristics or cultural patterns spread from one group of people to another and from one culture to another

cultural leveling

a process in which cultures become similar to one another

social environment

the entire human environment, including direct contact with others



heredity vs. environment

limits of certian physical and mental abilities are established by heredity and attitudes are result of environment; Nature vs Nurture


key to human development


key to what people become but without language there is no culture

Skeels & Dye

found absence of social interation causes low IQ - high inteligence depends on early close relationships with humans. must be done before age 13


husband and wife whose research found that physical contact not feeding creates bonding. also found that periods of isolation (especially lengthy) can affect stage of learning that may not be able to be compensated for.


the process of learning the rules of behavior of the culture within which an individual is born and will live

self concept

the mental picture people have of themselves; their opinion about themselves

Charles Horton Cooley

used the term "looking-glass self" to explain that we see ourselves as we imagine others see us

Looking glass 3 elements

imagine how we appear to others, how we interpret others reactions, we develop a self concept

George Herbert Mead

personalities are shaped by how we think people see us; "self" emerges from interaction with people; play is an important role; generalized other; I & ME

take the role of others

putting yourself in others shoes; think or anticipate how they will react

John Flavel

experiment of blindfolded and not blindfolded children and game rules being explained. Older children compensated for the blindfolded children and younger children did not.

significant other

those who influence our lives signoficanlty (parents, siblings, etc)

generalized other

Mead's term for widespread cultural norms and values we use as a reference in evaluating ourselves

3 stages in learning to take on the roles of others

imitation, play and team games

I & ME

I = self as subject & ME=self as object

Jean Piaget

Four stage theory of cognitive development: 1. sensorimotor, 2. preoperational, 3. concrete operational, and 4. formal operational. He said that the two basic processes work in tandem to achieve cognitive growth-assimilation and accomodation

Sigmund Freud

Said that human behavior is irrational; behavior is the outcome of conflict between the id (irrational unconscious driven by sexual, aggressive, and pleasure-seeking desires) and ego (rationalizing conscious, what one can do) and superego (ingrained moral values, what one should do)., founder of psychoanalysis

central principle of sociology

that factors such as social class and people's roles in groups underlie their behavior - conflicts with Freud's assertion that the social group in which we are born decides our norms and values that restrain our biological drives

Lawrence Kohlberg

His theory states there are 3 levels of moral reasoning and each level can be divided into 2 stages. 1. pre-conventional, 2. conventional, and 3. post-conventional. His theory focuses on moral reasoning rather than overt behavior; studied only boys

Carol Gilligan

Presented feminist critique of Kolhberg's moral development theory; believed women's moral sense guided by relationships;

global emotions

Universal understanding what certain facial expressions mean

Paul Ekman

an anthropologist studied emotions in several countries. He concluded that everyone experiences six basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear happiness, sadness, and surprise. Ekman stated that emotions are built into our biology, "a product of our genes."

Expressing Emotions

Body, voice and gestures


feelings we have when we se someone suffer

gender socialization

the ways in which society sets children onto different courses in life because they are male or female

Goldberg & Lewis

study of mothers that reward daughters for being passive and dependant and sons for being independant and active

agents of socialization

people or groups that affect our self-concept, attitudes, behaviors, or other orientations toward life

manifest function

intended and recognized consequence of some element of society

latent function

unintended and unrecognized consequence of some element of society

corridor curriculum

what students teach each other outside of the classroom

anticipatory socialization

The process by which an individual learns to assume a role in the future


the process of adopting new norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors

total institution

a setting in which people are isolated from the rest of society and manipulated by an administrative staff

degredation ceremony

Garfinkl to describe an attemp to make the self by stripping away the individuals current identity and putting a new one in its place

Philippe Aries

analyzed documents and paintings from medieval Europe and concluded that before 1600 European societies had little or no concept of childhood as we know it.

transitional adulthood

a term that refers to a period following high school when young adults have not yet taken on the responsibilities ordinarily associated with adulthood

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