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Dramaturgy-Life is a stage

Deconstructing role-playing. Irving Goffman (1922-1982; Dramaturgy. "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players"- Shakespeare.) We use props to help us be convincing as we "play our roles." We are constantly engaged in "impression management." Our performances exist both on front and back stages. Importance of "saving faces" and tact.

Social Control

Despite individual role performances, societies must have conformity and predictability from its members. This occurs through various mechanisms including: internalization, social institutions, and social sanctions.


We learn (socialization) and adopt acceptable behaviors.

Social institutions

Local environments "restrict" our lives and choices.

Social sanctions

Failure to conform brings unwanted negative reactions.


"Refers to people whose behaviors, beliefs, and/or appearance falls outside of the "normal range of social expectations." Social scientist generally reserve deviance for violations of significant social expectations.

Importance of negative reactions

Expectations, violation, and reaction.


Severe social disapproval of some personal characteristics (HIV/ AIDS, mental illness, smoking, poverty)

Absolute deviance vs. relative deviance

Changes with time, place, culture (ex. tattoo)

Why does deviance exist?

Always sexist because...functionalism (promotes conformity-you don't want to look like this!! Clarifies moral boundaries. Promotes social unity. Helps bring about social change...Conflict theory (deviance and immorality reflects power imbalances. Unethical behavior exists at all levels, but tends to be criminalized for the less powerful in society. Some groups do a better job at making their "definitions of what is a deviance" stick.

Theories of deviance

Deviance and crime require complex and interdisciplinary explanations (biological theories. psychological theories, economic/deterrence theories, and sociological theories.

Biological theories

Biological theories; deviance may occur because people are affected by factors like genetics, body chemistry, nutrition, etc. that pre-dispose them to deviant behaviors

Psychological theories

Deviance result from individual personality abnormalities (e.g. criminal personality or pathological personality.)

Economic/deterrence theories

Deviance occurs because people rationally weigh the rewards of deviant behavior against the potential costs, and determine the rewards are "worth the risk of punishment."

Sociological theories

Strain theory, control or social bond theory, social learning theory, and labeling theory.

Strain theory

Deviance is more likely when there is a discrepancy between culturally-defined goals (success) and legitimate means (education) for attaining those goals.

Control or social bond theory

Deviance occurs when the bond between individuals and society is weak and broken.

Social learning theory

Deviance is mainly learned through interactions with primary groups like peer groups.

Labeling theory

Deviance exists when some members of society "label" others as deviant, and that label becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Criminalizing deviance

Some deviance is serious enough to be called crime (acts that violate criminal statuses or laws)

How much crime is there in the U.S.?

Two main sources of "street" crime data (FBI- Iniform Crime Report and Department of Justice- National Crime Victimization Survey.) Importance of using crime rates with both sources. Compared to 30 years ago, crime rates are decreasing.

How do we control crime in U.S?

The Criminal Justice System---institutions and processes that enforces criminal law.

Why do we punish criminals?

Purposes. Incapacitation (protect ourselves), rehabilitation, and deterrence (use punishment to discourage criminality (incarceration) is the primary form.

Social Stratification

Are "all men (sic) created equal?" Systems for ranking socially-differentiated people (food comparision essay.)

Social differentation

Categorizing people based on different physical/social characteristics.

Key issues

How are people stratified? Why is there stratification? Is it necessary? Can people move from one strata to the another (mobility) and how do they do it?

How are people stratified?

Social scientists use basic characteristics to try to measure stratification. Prestige (social status), power, economic resources (social class.)

Prestige (social status)

Respect admiration attached to social status. Importance of occupation and education.


Ability to control others, even against their will (coercion- power through force. Authority- legitimate power.)

Economic resources (social class)

Distribution of income and wealth----income and wealth divergence in U.S. is the greatest ever!

Forms of Authority- Max Weber

Charismatic, traditional, and legal-rational.


Power arises from leader's personal characteristic. Inherently unstable, since it fades with individual.


Power rooted in custom.


Power is based on formal position or office. Power is limited to boundaries of office.

Why do we have inequality?

Is stratification necessary? What would appropraite starting salary be? How would you differentiate and why? Functialism (Davis and Moore)- Yes!

Functialism (Davis and Moore)

Inequality is necessary. Some positions in society are more important than others. Some people have more ability and are more competent. How do we motivate competent, able people to fill important positions?


Who/what determines what positions are important? Is it possible some talent goes undiscovered in schools? How are advantages passed from generation to generation?

Is stratiication necessary?


Defining Social Class

People who occupy the same relative rank in stratification system (Socio-economic status (SES) and it also includes attitudes, subcultural ideas and values.)

Socio-economic status (SES)

Income, education, occupational prestige.

American Social Class Structure

Think about differences in income, education, and occupation. American Class Structure Diagram (upper classes, middle classes, lower classes.)

Upper classes

Signicant income/wealth. Importance of inheritance. Proper upbringing.

Middle classes

Upper-middle: occupational security and importance of education.

Lower classes

Working poor-unskilled laborers.


Two conceptual ideas about this (absolute poverty and relative deprivation.)

Absolute poverty

Inability to provide minimal requirements to subsist.

Relative deprivation

Relative standard of comparison between "haves and haves not."

Poverty Defintion and Thresholds (U.S. Federal Government Definition)

Pre-tax income below which families are unable to provide basic necessities of life.

How does government calculate poverty?

Focus on pre-tax household income. Three times cost of economy food plan. Poverty thresholds or "poverty line."

What do critics argue about the old definition?

It does not reflect current spending patterns of Americans.

National Academy of Sciences recommendations

Use after-tax income plus cash-equivalent values of things like stamps and housing vouchers. Account for regional differences. There are other major necessities in life besides food and water.

2008 and 2009 poverty line

About 44 million Americans live below the poverty line (13%.) Largest number in history. Blacks and Hispanics most likely live in poverty. One of four children live in poverty. Married households have 30% less than female headed household.

Elderly only have 8.9 and children have 20.7 on poverty line. Why is this?

Elderly are given assistance like Medicare.

When did retirement come into effect?

1940's. You have to retire at age 65. We didn't want old people working anymore because we were in a depression and wanter younger people working.

Feminization of poverty

The trend toward more and more of the poor in the United States being women and children.

Theories of poverty (functialism)

Economic functions, positive social functions, conflict, and culture of poverty.

Economic functions (Functialism)

Labor force for society's "dirty work." Subsidize activities for affluent. Created jobs for services to poor. Outlet for undesirable goods.

Positive social functions (Functialism)

Help unhold legitimacy of convential norms. Help guarantee status of non-poor.

Conflict (Functialism)

Higher classes benefit from poverty.

Culture of poverty (Functialism)

Norms and values passed on across generations.

Misconceptions about poverty

Poor refuse to work (30 million poor or near poor already have jobs. Those who don't tend to be too young, too old, or disabled.) Welfare dependence (1996 Personal Responsibilty and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (direct assistance to poor no longer indefinite.) Most poor are chronically poor (1/2 of poor are temporary (only 2-4 months. Only about 6% are poor for more than 3 consecutive years.)) Social mobility (Can people move within the stratification system?--caste to class-->closed to open systems.

Race is:

People who appear to share SELECTED physical characteristics that are given social meaning and importance (No racial genotypes delineate clear differences in racial categories----racial mixing over human history makes racial classifications overly simplistic---> PERCEPTION APPEARS TO BE KEY! Skin color appears to be evoluntionary function of proximity to the equator. Racial formation--racial categories are not natural, biological categories; they are created, transformed, modified. Racial group- not the sharing of physical characteristics, but the shared experience being identified as a member of a group.

What does ethnicity refer to?

People who share socially identifiable characteristics associated with culture or nationality.

Census Burea and Race/Ethnicity

300 million (97%) self-identified only one race, 9 million about (3%) said they were more than one.

Definition of a minority

Customarily refers to relatively small number of people.

Key characteristics of a minority

1. Distinctive physical or cultural characteristics. 2. Minority status is reflected in a society's stratification structure (not all are valued the same.) 3. The distinctive traits of a minority can be judged be the majority to be inferior to their own and used to justify unequal treatment. 4. Because members of a minority regard themselves as objects of discrimination, they have a sense of common identity. 5. Membership in a minority is ascribed. People do not make an effort to join a minority; they become members by birth.

Racial and ethnicity are what?

Both sources of pride and conflict.


Generalizations of behaviors or tendencies that are attributed to all members of an entire group Whites' stereptypes of other groups.


Attitude that prejudges individuals based on those stereotpes. Often leads to scapegoating.


Placing blame on another group for one's own problems.

What happens when prejudice is translated into behavior?

Discrimination occurs.


Belief that an observable, inherited trait is a mark of inferiority that justifies discrimination against people with that trait.

Intergroup Relations: Assimilation

Anglo-conformity, melting pot, and cultural pluralism,


Immigrants are accepted as long as they conform to the host society. Traditional American institutions are maintained.

Melting pot

All ethnic and racial minorities blend together.

Cultural Pluralism

Recognizes immigrants desire to maintain at least a remnant of their "old" way while accommodating American values and n norms.

Intergroup Relations: Conflict

Segregation: physical and institutional seperation (forced or voluntary) of dominant and minority groups (de jure segregation and de facto segregation.)

de jure segregation

Legal segregation.

de facto segregation

Still exists.


Involuntary social seperation with unequal rights (e.g. slavery)


Forced removal of one population by another.


Systematic killing of a racial or cultural group

The dominant approach to crime control in the United States is

None of these; the United States does not have a consistent commitment to any single approach to crime control.

According to Shepard, which of the following is a negative effect of deviance?

Deviance erodes trust

In general, the means of promoting conformity to a group's or society's rules are known as ____.

Social control.

According to labeling theory, mental illness is considered to be a matter of ____.

Social definition.

In which of the following ways does deviance benefit society?

Deviance promotes social change.

Research indicates that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime; Americans believe that the death penalty

Satisfies their desire for revenge and retribution.

Insider trading, stock inflation, fraudulent rebates, producing hazardous products, and pollution are all examples of ____.

White-collar crime.

One of the profound ironies of the immigration debate discussed in the "Rethinking Immigration and Crime" article is the implication that the violent history of the U.S. most likely came from

The frontier justice associated with Irish and Scottish immigrants whose cultures emphasized the violent defense of one's honor and respect.

According to Sampson's article "Rethinking Immigration and Crime," what is the "Latino Paradox?"

The "Latino Paradox" refers to the fact that Hispanic Americans score better on a wide range of social indicators (including violence) than what might be expected given their socioeconomic disadvantages.

Differential association theory explains that deviance occurs when

Individuals have been exposed to more unfavorable attitudes toward the law than to favorable ones.

Official statistics from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports are known to be biased because of

Overrepresentation of lower classes and minorities.

A social condition in which norms are weak, conflicting, or absent is referred to as ____.


The ____ is composed of the police, the courts, and the correctional systems.

Criminal justice system

According to Shepard, strain theory has been used most extensively in the study of ____.

Juvenile delinquency

Identifying deviance is a challenge because

It is socially defined.

Negative deviance refers to ____.


The idea that the fittest individuals survive as a result of social selection and that the inferior are eliminated by the same process is called ____.

Social Darwinism

According to the Sachs' article on extreme poverty, about how many of the world's population still struggle to meet the basic needs of adequate nutrition, clean water, safe shelter, and sanitation?

1 in 6.

A segment of a population whose members hold a relatively similar share of scarce desirables and who share attitudes, values, norms, and an identifiable lifestyle is called a ____.

Social class.

According to Sachs' group estimates, about how much money per person per year would need to be invested to alleviate extreme poverty in tropical Africa?


The likelihood of securing the "good things in life," such as housing, education, health, and food, is known as ____.

Life chances.

____ refers to a sense of identification with the goals and interests of the members of one's own social class.

Class consciousness.

Upward mobility is more difficult in the United States than in other industrial nations because

There has been a reduction in the expansion of upper-level jobs.

What welfare program in the United States replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children?


In his argument that economic success and power do not always overlap completely, Weber made all of the following points except

An individual's power is a reflection of his or her relationship to the means of production.

Sociologists speak of the "feminization of poverty" because

Female-headed households are disproportionately represented among the poor.

A(n) ____ system is one in which an individual's social status is based on merit and individual effort.

Open class.

In the box "Globalization, Poverty, and Foreign Aid," Jeffrey Sachs answers as serious of questions about the effects of economic globalization on rich and poor countries. According to him, which of the following statements BEST describes the U.S. as a donor nation helping the extremely poor around the world?

The U.S. ranks near the bottom of all donor nations in terms of governmental and private donations to assist poor countries.

Individualism in America involves several central beliefs. They include all except

Social failure is society's fault and it reveals the limitations inherent in social alleviation of social problems.

The fact that communism did not produce classless societies is not seen by Marxists as evidence that Marx was incorrect because

It was adopted in pre-capitalist societies, and Marx saw capitalism as a precondition for classless societies.

The two most significant early contributions to the study of social stratification were made by ____.

Marx and Weber.

According to Shepard, Marx's work has been somewhat neglected by American sociologists because

His ideas did not fit well with the American emphasis on capitalism, achievement, and upward mobility.

Which of the following factors have played crucial roles in producing an economic boom in Asia while there has been economic stagnation on the African continent?

All of the above have been crucial.

According to Sachs, what factor is at least as important as "good governance" in determining the economic growth potential for a country?

The geography (including natural resources, climate, topography, and proximity to trade routes) of the country.

A set of ideas used to justify and defend the majority's interests and actions is known as a(n) ____.


An ideology that links the physical characteristics of a people with their psychological or supposed intellectual inferiority would be an example of ____.


A category of people who possess distinctive physical or cultural characteristics, are dominated by those with higher social status, and are denied equal treatment would be called a(n) ____.


From a symbolic interactionist perspective, prejudice and discrimination

Are learned in the process of socialization.

Which Latino minority in the United States comes closest to approximating the occupational profile of Anglos?


Which of the following are the two stages in learning prejudice?

The pregeneralized learning period and total rejection.

When is the minority population of the United States forecast to become roughly half of the total population?


The election of African Americans in predominantly white areas is referred to as ____.

Biracial politics.

What do social scientists call the personality type that is characterized by excessive conformity, inflexibility, fearfulness, and arrogance toward persons or groups thought to be inferior?

Authoritarian personality

Unfair practices that are part of the structure of society and have grown out of traditionally accepted behaviors are termed ____.

Institutionalized discrimination.

Suppose that you redirect blame for your own troubles, frustrations, or failures onto some convenient and less-feared target. To a sociologist, you would be using a ____.


Dual labor market theory contends that jobs for minority workers tend to be low-paying jobs in the ____.

Peripheral labor market

The concept of race may be considered as "man's most dangerous myth" because

All of these.

According to the insert in the text about hate groups, one of the most prominent racist groups in America is the ____.

Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC)


may be used as a justification for prejudice and discrimination.

According to Shepard, Asian Americans have been especially successful in the United States because they

Embrace education as the key to success.

Research by Bertrand and Mullainathan on bias in employment practices found that

Regardless of the level of credentials on their resumes, the resumes seemingly for whites generated more interviews than those perceived as African American.

Judging others by one's own cultural standards is referred to as ____.


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