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people who interact in a defined territory and share a culture

sociocultural evolution

Lenski's term for the changes that occur as a society acquires new technology

hunting and gathering

the use of simple tools to hunt animals and gather vegitation


the use of hand tools to raise crops


the domestication of animals


large-scale cultivation using plows harnessed to animals or more powerful energy sources


the production of goods using advanced sources of energy to drive large machinery


technology that supports an information-based economy

social conflict

the struggle between segments of society over valued resources


people who own and operate factories and other businesses in pursuit of profit


people who sell their productive labor for wages

social institutions

major spheres of social life, or societal subsystems, organized to meet human needs

false consciousness

Marx's term for explanations of social problems as the shortcomings of individuals rather than as the flaws of society

class conflict

conflict between entire classes over the distribution of a society's wealth and power

class consciousness

Marx's term for workers' recognition of themselves as a class unified in oppostition to capitalists and, ultimately, to capitalism itself


the experience of isolation and misery resulting from powerlessness


an abstract statement of the essential characteristics of any social phenomenon


refers to sentiments and beliefs passed from generation to generation


a way of thinking that emphasizes deliberate, matter-of-fact calculation of the most efficient means to accomplish a particular task

rationalization of society

Weber's term for the historical change from tradition to rationality as the dominant mode of human thought


Durkheim's designation of a condition in which a society provides little moral guidance to individuals

mechanical soliditary

Durkheim's term for social bonds based on common sentiments and shared moral values that are strong among members of preindustrial societies

organic soliditary

Durkheim's term for social bonds based on specialization and interdependence that are strong among members of industrial societies

division of labor

refers to specialized economic activity

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