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social structure

the way in which a society is organized into predictable relationships

social interaction

ways in which people respond to one another

social reality reflects ___

a group's power within a society

crucial aspects of the relationship between dominant and subordinate groups is the ___

ability of the dominant or majority group to define a society's values

William Thomas recognized

that the "definition of the situation" could mold the thinking a personality of the individual

Thomas thought in what type of perspective


What did Thomas observe?

that people respond not only to the objective features of a person or situation but also the meaning the person/situation has for them

Elements of social structure include

statuses, social roles, groups, social networks, and social institutions


any of the full range of socially defined positions within a large group or society, form the lowest to highest position; can hold a # of statuses at the same time

ascribed status

assigned to person by society without regard for the person's unique talents or characteristics; cannot be changed

give an example of ascribed status

gender, age, ethnic, and blood relations

achieved status

comes through our own efforts

give an example of achieved status

job, friend, student

master status

status that dominates others and determines a person's general position within a society

give an example of master status

president obama is most known as president than as a father, friend, brother, etc.

social roles

sets of expectations fro people who occupy a given social position or status

Roles are significant component of social structure. T/F


through a functionalist perspective roles do what?

it contributes to a society's stability by enabling members to anticipate the behavior of others and to pattern their own actions

role conflict

occurs when incompatible expectations arise from two or more social positions held by the same person

another type of role conflict occurs when

individuals move into occupations that are not common among people with their ascribed status; male nurses, female firefighters

role strain

describe the situation that occurs when the same social position imposes conflicting demands and expectations


any number of people with similar norms, values, and expectations who interact with one another on a regular basis

primary group

small group characterized by intimate, face-to-face association and cooperation

example of primary group

gang members, sororities, family living in same household

secondary group

formal, impersonal group in which there is little social intimacy or mutual understanding

example of secondary group



any group or category to which people feel they belong


group to which people feel they do not belong

reference group

any groups that individuals use as a standard in evaluating themselves and their own behavior

example of reference group

high school students joins social circle of rockers so he dresses up like a rockstar and listens and dresses to the same thing as his peers in that group

reference groups have two purposes which are

to serve normative function by setting and enforcing standards of conduct and belief, and to perform a comparison function by serving a standard against which people can measure themselves and others

social network

a series of social relationships that links a person directly to others and indirectly to more people through the others

social institutions

organized patterns of beliefs and behaviors centered on basic social needs, such as replacing personnel and preserving order

Durkheim argued that social structure depends on ___

the division of labor in a society or on the manner in which tasks are performed

mechanical solidarity

Durkheim implied that all individuals perform the same tasks; (e.g. all parents prepare food, take care of children, etc)

organic solidarity

collective consciousness resting on the need a society's members have for one another (Durkheim believed individuals become more interdependent in much the same way as organs of the human body)


community is of rural life in which people have similar backgrounds and life experiences (more primary)


ideal type characteristic of modern urban life in which people are strangers and feel little in common with others (more secondary)

sociocultural evolution

Lenski sees human societies as undergoing a process of change characterized by a dominant pattern;he views society's level of technology is critical to the way it is organized


cultural information about how to use material resources of the environment to satisfy human needs

preindustrial societies

hunting-and-gathering and horticultural

industrial societies

depend on mechanization to produce its goods and services

postindustrial societies

Daniel Bell defines it as societies whose economic systems are engaged primarily in the processing and control of information

postmodern society

technologically sophisticated society that is preoccupied with consumer goods and media images

formal organization

group designed for a special purpose and structured for maximum efficiency; fulfill enormous variety of personal and societal needs, shaping the lives of everyone


component of formal organization in which rules and hierarchical ranking are used to achieve efficiency

Max Weber's approach

emphasized the basic similarity of structure and process found in the otherwise dissimilar enterprises of religion, government, education, and business; saw bureaucracy as a form of organizations

ideal type

construct or model that serves as a measuring rod against which actual cases can be evaluated

Weber proposed that bureaucracy displays five characters:

division of labor, hierarchy of authority, written rules, impersonality, and employment based on technical qualifications

trained incapacity

workers become specialized that they develop blind spots and fail to notice obvious problems

Peter Principle

every employee within a hierarchy tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence

division of labor

produces efficiency on large-scale organization; trained incapacity; narrow perspective (e.g. teachers teach, janitors clean)

hierarchy of authority

clarifies who is in command;deprives employees of a voice in decision making; permits concealment of mistakes (e.g. pope is highest authority in catholic church)


reduce bias;contributes to cold and uncaring atmosphere;discourage loyalty to company (e.g. big companies and government)

employment based on technical qualifications

discourages favoritism and reduces petty rivalry; discourages ambition to improve; fosters peter principle

written rules

let workers know what is expected; stifle initiative and imagination; lead to goal displacement (e.g. doctors must know what they are doing)

social control

refers to the techniques and strategies for preventing deviant behaviors

social control occurs on all levels of our society for example

obeying our parents because they are our parents; peer groups introduce us to informal norms such as dress codes


penalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social norm

what is the ultimate formal sanction

death penalty

what is the challenge to effective social control

people often receive competing messages about how to behave

functionalists contend that people must respect social norms if ___

a group or society is to survive

Milgram defines conformity as

going along with peers-individual of our own status who have no special right to direct behaviors


compliance with higher authority in a hierarchical structure

Milgram made two distinction between what two important levels of social control?

obedience and conformity

informal social control

casually to enforce norms (e.g. smiles, laughter)

formal social control

carried out by authorized agents such as police officers, manager, etc


governmental social control

sociologists see the creation of laws as a __

social process; its created in response to a perceived need for formal social control

legal order reflects___

values of those in a position to exercise authority

what is the primary source of conforming and obedient behavior



behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group

deviance involves

the violation of group norms, which may or may not be formalized into law


describe the labels society uses to devalue members of certain social groups

Durkheim views through a functionalist perspective that punishment established within a culture help to define ___

acceptable behavior and thus contribute to social stability. If improper acts were not sanctioned, people might stretch their standards of what constitutes appropriate conduct


loss of direction felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective; state of normlessness that typically occurs during a period of profound social change and disorder, such as time of economic collapse

Merton's theory of deviance

people adapt in certain ways by conforming to or deviating from such cultural expectations

anomie theory of deviance

Merton believed that there was conformity (non-deviant), innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion (all four deviant); accepted was conformity ritualism and rebellion

cultural transmission through interactionist

emphasize that people learn criminal behavior through social interactions

Sutherland's differntial association

process through which exposure to attitudes favorable to criminal acts leads to rule violation

social disorganization theory

increases in crime and deviance can be attributed to the absence or breakdown of communal relationships and social institutions such as the family, school, church, and government

labeling theory

does not focus on why some individuals come to commit devianct acts but to explain why certain people are viewed as deviants, while other similar behavior are not seen in such harsh terms (sutherland -interactionist)

societal-reaction approach

also labeling theory; response to an act not behavior itself that determines deviance

conflict theorists view that people with power __

protect their own interests and define deviance to suit their own needs

anomie is what type of perspective; who; and what

functionalist; durkheim; adaptations to societal norms

cultural transmission; differential association what type of perspective; who; and what

interactionist; sutherland; patterns learned through others

social disorganization is what type of perspective; who; and what

interactionist; shaw; communal relationships

conflict is what type of perspective; who; and what

conflict;quinney;dominance by authorized agents discretionary justice

feminist is what type of perspective; who; and what

conflict/feminist; adler and chesney-lind; women as victims a perpetrators

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