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The social institution through which power is acquired and exercised by some people and groups


The formal organization that has the legal and political authority to regulate the relationships among members of a society and between the society and those outside its borders.


The political entity that possesses a legitimate monopoly over the use of force within its territory to achieve its goals.

Traditional Authority

power that is legitimized on the basis of long-standing customs.

Charismatic Authority

power legitimized on the basis of a leader's exceptional personal qualities or the demonstration of extraordinary insight and accomplishment that inspire loyalty and obedience from followers.

Rational-Legal Authority (Bureaucratic Authority)

power legitimized by law or written rules and regulations
-Authority resides in the office, not the person


political system in which power resides in one person or family and is passed from generation through lines of inheritance.
-Common in agrarian societies and traditional authority patterns.


political system controlled by rulers who deny popular participation in government


political system in which the state seeks to regulate all aspect of people's public and private lives.
-Relies on modern technology and propaganda.
-Creates an environment of constant fear and suspicion


political system in which people hold the ruling power either directly or through elected representatives. "Rule by the People"

(Power and Political Systems) Functionalist Perspective

The Pluralist Model Theory:
an analysis of political systems that views power as widely dispersed throughout many competing interest groups.
-Maintaining law and order
-Planning and directing society
-Meeting social needs
-Handling international relations including war.

(Power and Political Systems) Conflict Perspective

The Elite Model Theory:
A view of society that sees power in political systems as being concentrated in the hands of a small group of elites whereas the masses are relatively powerless.

C. Wright Mills

Believes the Elite Model consists of 3 levels.
-Top Level: Leaders at the top of business, Executive branch of govern. And the military
-Middle level: legislative branch, special interest groups, local opinion leaders.
-Bottom level: unorganized masses who are powerless and vulnerable.

G. William Domhoff

Believes this about the Ruling Class:
-Ruling class = Corporate rich
-Wield sufficient power to constrain political process and serve underlying capitalist interest.

Political Party

an organization whose purpose is to gain and hold legitimate control of government.
-Develops and articulates policy positions
-Educates voters about issues and simplifies the choices
-Recruits candidates who agree with those policies.

Political Socialization

the process by which people learn political attitudes, values, and behavior.


Social institution that ensures the maintenance of society through the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

Primary Sector Production

the extraction of raw materials and natural resources from the environment

Secondary Sector Production

the processing of raw materials into finished goods.

Tertiary Sector Production

the provision of services rather than goods.


An economic system characterized by private ownership of the means of production, from which personal profits can be derived through market competition and without government intervention.
-private ownership of the means of production
-pursuit of personal profit
-lack of government intervention


large-scale organizations that have legal powers, such as the ability to enter into contracts and buy and sell property, separate from their individual owners.

Transnational Corporations

large corporations that are headquartered in one country but sell and produce goods and services in many countries.


a condition existing when several companies overwhelmingly control an entire industry


exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices.

Shared Monopoly

When four or fewer companies supply 50% or more of a particular market.


a combination of businesses in different commercial areas, all of which are owned by one holding company


an economic system characterized by public ownership of the means of production, the pursuit of collective goals, and centralized decision making.

Characteristics of Professions

1.Abstract, specialized knowledge of their field based on formal education.
2.Autonomy: They can rely on their own judgment for dealing with a problem.
4.Authority: Professionals expect compliance with their directions and advice
5.Altruism: Implies some degree of self-sacrifice to help a patient or client.

Contingent Work

part time work, temporary work, or subcontracted work that offers advantages to employers but that can be detrimental to the welfare of workers.

Underground Economy

Made up of a wide variety of activities through which people make money that they do not report to the government, and in some cases, their endeavors may involve criminal behaviors.

Cyclical Unemployment

occurs as a result of lower rates of production during recessions in the business cycle. (temporary)

Seasonal Unemployment

from shifts in demand for workers based on conditions such as weather. (temporary)

Structural Unemployment

arises because the skills demanded by employers do not match the skills of the unemployment or because the unemployment do not live where the jobs are located. (can be permanent)


means by which workers resist working conditions they consider to be oppressive


a state of being complete physical, mental, and social well-being.

Health Care

any activity intended to improve health.


an institutionalized system for the scientific diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness.

Life Expectancy

an estimate of the average life-time of people born in a specific year.

Infant Mortality

The number of deaths of infants under 1 years of age per 1,000 live births in a given year.

Social Epidemiology

The study of the causes and distribution of health, disease, and impairment throughout a population

Chronic Disease

Illnesses that are long term or lifelong and that develop gradually or are present from birth.

Acute Disease

Illnesses that strike suddenly and cause dramatic incapacitation and sometimes death.


any substance-other than food and water-that, when taken into the body, alters its functioning in some way.

Therapeutic Drug

a drug taken for a specific purpose to reduce a fever or control a cough.

Recreational Drug

a drug taken for no purpose other than achieving a pleasurable feeling or psychological state.


a liquor or brew containing alcohol as the active agent


Stimulates central nervous system receptors and activates them to release adrenaline, which raises blood pressure, speeds up the heartbeat, and gives the user a temporary sense of alertness.

Flexner Report

medical education should employ "laboratory men" to train students in the "science" of medicine, and the students should then apply the principles they had learned in the sciences of illnesses.

Private Health Insurance

Third-party fee for service is the main reason for medical inflation because it gives doctors and hospitals an incentive to increase medical services.


A program for persons age 65 or older who are covered by S.S. or who are eligible and "buy into" the program by paying a monthly premium.


A jointly funded federal-state-local program makes health care more available to the poor.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)

Companies that provide, for a set monthly fee, total care with an emphasis on prevention to avoid costly treatment later.

Managed Care

Any system of cost containment that closely monitors and controls health care providers' decisions about medical procedures, diagnostic tests, and other services that should be provided to patients.


One-third of all U.S. citizens are without health insurance or have had difficulty getting or paying for medical care.

Universal Health Care System

a health care system in which all citizens receive medical services paid for by tax revenue

Socialized Medicine

a health care system in which the government owns the medical care facilities and employs the physicians.

Holistic Medicine

an approach to health care that focuses on prevention of illness and disease and is aimed at treating the whole person-the body and mind-rather than just the part or parts in which symptoms occur.

(Health and Medicine) Functionalist Perspective

The Sick Role Theory:
A set of patterned expectations that defines the norms and values appropriate for individuals who are sick and for those who interact with them.

(Health and Medicine) Conflict Perspective

Inequalities in Health and Health Care Theory:
Emphasizes the political, economic, and social forces that affect health and health care delivery system.
-Problems in health care are rooted in the capitalist system, exemplified by the medical-industrial complex

(Health and Medicine) Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

The Social Construction of Illness Theory:
-Focus on the meanings that social actors give their illness or disease and how these meanings affect people's self-concept and relationships with others.


the process whereby non-medical problems become defined and treated as illnesses or disorders.


the process whereby a problem ceases to be defined as an illness or disorder.

(Health and Medicine) Postmodernist Perspective

The Clinical Gaze Theory:
Doctors gain power through observing patients to gather information, thus appearing to speak "wisely."


a reduced ability to perform tasks one would normally do at a given stage of life and that may result in stigmatization or discrimination.

(Disability) Functionalist Perspective

Disability is deviance, is a perspective of...

(Disability) Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

people with a disability experience role ambiguity because many people equate disability with deviance. This is a perspective of...

(Disability) Conflict Perspective

persons with a disability are members of a subordinate group who are against persons in positions of power in the government, health care industry, and in rehabilitation business, all of whom are trying to control their destinies. Perspective of...


a subfield of sociology that examines population size, composition, and distribution.
-Increase or decrease in population can have a powerful impact on the social, economic, and political structures of society.


the actual level of childbearing for an individual or a population


The potential number of children who could be born if every women reproduced at her maximum biological capacity.

Crude Birth Rate

the number of live births per 1,000 people in a population in a given year.


the incidence of death in a population

Crude Death Rate

the number of deaths per 1,000 people in a population in a given year.


the movement of people from one geographic area to another for the purpose of changing residency


movement of people into a geographical area to take up residency


the movement of people out of a geographical area to take up residency elsewhere.

Population Composition

the biological and social characteristics of a population, including age, sex, race, marital status, education, occupation, income, and size of household.

(Global Population Growth) Malthusian Perspective

Perspective that believes the population, if left unchecked, would exceed the available food supply. Thus, population growth inevitably surpasses the food supply, and the lack of food ultimately ends population growth and perhaps eliminates the existing population.

(Global Population Growth) Marxist Perspective

Perspective that believes the food supply is not threatened by overpopulation; technology, it is possible to produce the food and other goods needed to meet the demands of a growing population.

(Global Population Growth) Neo-Malthusian Perspective

Perspective that believes the overpopulation and rapid population growth results in global environmental problems ranging from global warming to rain-forest destruction to famine and vulnerability to epidemics.

Zero Population Growth

the point at which no population increase occurs from year to year.

Demographic Transition Theory

(Theory) The process by which some societies have moved from high birth rates and death rates to relatively low birth rates and death rates as a result of technological development.

Rational Choice Theory

Theory based on the assumption that people make decisions based on a calculated cost-benefit analysis.

City Development

Must have:
-A favorable physical environment: including climate and soil favorable to develop plant and animal life and adequate water supply
-Advanced technology: could produce a social surplus in both agricultural and non-agricultural goods
-Well-developed social organization, including a power structure, in order to provide social stability to the economic system


a set of social relationships operating within given spatial boundaries or locations that provides people with a sense of identity and a feeling of belonging.

(Urbanization and Growth of cities) Functionalist Perspective

Ecological Model Theory:
-Concentric Zone Model: due to invasion, succession, and gentrification, cities are a series of circular zones, each characterized by a particular land use.
-Sector model: cities consist of wedge-shapes sectors, based on terrain and transportation routes, with the most-expensive areas occupying the best terrain.
-Multiple nuclei model: cities have more than one center of development, based on specific needs and activities.

(Urbanization and Growth of cities) Conflict Perspective

Political Economy Model Theory:
-Capitalism and urban growth: Members of the capitalist class choose locations for skyscrapers and housing projects, limiting individual choices by others.
-Gender regimes in cities: Different cities have different prevailing ideologies regarding access to social positions and resources for men and women
-Global patterns of growth: Capital investment decisions by core nations result in uneven growth in peripheral and semi peripheral nations

(Urbanization and Growth of cities) Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

The Experience of City Life Theory:
-Simmel's view of city life: Due to the intensity of city life, people become somewhat insensitive to individuals and events around them
-Urbanism as a way of life: the size, density, and heterogeneity of urban population result in elaborate division of labor and space
-Gan's urban villagers: five categories of adaptation occurs among urban dwellers, ranging from cosmopolites to trapped city dwellers.
-Gender ad city life: Cities offer women a paradox: more freedom than in more isolated areas, yet greater potential danger.

Social Change

the alteration, modification, or transformation of public policy, culture, or social institutions over time.

Collective Behavior

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

Factors of Collective Behavior

-Structural factors that increase the chances of people responding in a particular way.
-A breakdown in social control mechanisms and a corresponding feeling of normlessness.

Dynamics of Collective Behavior

-Sometimes activists cannot get their point across unless they go outside established institutional patterns and organizations
-People's attitudes are not always reflected in their political and social behavior.
-People believe that there is strength in numbers.


a relatively large number of people who are in one anothers immediate vicinity.

Casual Crowds

relatively large gathering of people who happen to be in the same place at the same time; if they interact, it is only briefly.

Conventional Crowds

a crowd made up of people who come together for a scheduled event thus share a common focus.

Expressive Crowd

A crowd that provides opportunities for the expression of some strong emotion.

Acting Crowds

A Crowd so intensely focused on a specific purpose or object that they may erupt into violence or destructive behavior.

(Crowd Behavior) Contagion Theory

This theory argues that people are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior in a crowd because they are anonymous and feel invulnerable.

(Crowd Behavior) Social Unrest Theory

(Theory) Transmitted by a process of circular reaction-the interactive communication between persons such that the discontent of one person is communicated to other, who, in turn, reflects the discontent back to the first person.

(Crowd Behavior) Convergence Theory

(Theory) Focuses on the shared emotions, goals, and beliefs that many people may bring to a crowd behavior.
- People with similar attributes find a collectivity of like-minded persons with whom they can express their underlying personal tendencies.

(Crowd Behavior) Emergent Norm Theory

(Theory) When people define a new situation as highly unusual or see a long-standing situation in a new light
- Crowds develop their own definition of a situation and establish norms for behavior that fit the occasion.


a number of people who share an interest in a specific idea or issue but who are not in one anothers immediate vicinity.

Mass Behavior

Collective behavior that takes place when people (who often are geographically separated from one another) respond to the same event in much the same way.


unsubstantiated reports on an issue or subject.

Mass Hysteria (Panic)

form of dispersed collective behavior that occurs when a large number of people react with strong emotions and self-destructive behavior to a real or perceived threat.


a temporary but widely copied activity enthusiastically followed by a large number of people


a currently valued style of behavior, thinking, or appearance.

Public Opinion

consists of the attitudes and beliefs communicated by ordinary citizens to decision makers.


information provided by individuals or groups that have a vested interest in furthering their own cause or damaging an opposing one.

Social Movements

an organized group that acts consciously to promote or resist change through collective action.

Reform Movements

A seek to improve society by changing some specific aspects of the social structure. (Labor movements, animal rights movements, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the disability rights movement.)

Revolutionary Movements

movements seeking to bring about a total change in society.
- Do not attempt to work within the existing system; rather, they aim to remake the system by replacing existing institutions with new ones.

Religious Movements

movements that seek to produce radical change in individuals are typically based on spiritual or supernatural belief systems.

Alternative Movements

movements that seek limited change in some aspects of people's behavior.

Resistance Movements

movements that seek to prevent change or to undo change that has already occurred.
-Virtually all of the social movements previously mentioned face this type of movement from one or more reactive movements that hold opposing viewpoints and want to foster public policies that reflect their own beliefs.

Preliminary (incipiency) stage

A stage in social movements where widespread unrest is present as people begin to become aware of the problem.

Coalescence Stage

Stage in social movements where people begin to organize and to publicize the problem.

Institutionalization (bureaucratization) stage

Stage in social movements where an organizational structure develops, and a paid staff begins to lead the group. The initial zeal and idealism of members may diminish as admins take over management of the organization.

Relative Deprivation Theory

(Theory) Occur when an upswing in the standards of living is followed by a period of decline, such that people have unfulfilled rising expectations-newly raised hopes of a better lifestyle that are not fulfilled as rapidly as the people expected or are not realized at all
- Social movements arise as a response to people's perception that they have been deprived of their "fair share" thus, people who suffer ___ ___ are more likely to feel that change is necessary and to join a social movement in order to bring about that change.

Value-Added Theory

-Structural Conduciveness: people must become aware of a significant problem and have the opportunity to engage in collective action.
-Structural strain: when a society or community is unable to meet people's expectations that something should be done about a problem, strain occurs in the system.
-Spread of a generalized belief: must be a clear statement of the problem and a shared view of its cause, effects, and possible solution.
-Precipitating factors: to reinforce the existing generalized belief, an inciting incident or dramatic event must occur.
-Mobilization for action: leaders emerge to organize others and give them a sense of direction
-Social control factors: if there is a high level of social control on the part of law enforcement officials, political leaders, and others, it becomes more difficult to develop a social movement or engage in certain types of collective action.

Social Constructionist Theory

(Theory) Based on the assumption that a social movement is an interactive, symbolically defined, and negotiated process that involves participants, opponents, and bystanders.
-Frame analysis: to try to isolate some of the basic frameworks of understanding available in our society for making sense out of events and to analyze the special vulnerabilities to which these frames of reference are subject.

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