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sociologists use to describe the language, beliefs, values, norms, behavior, and material objects shared by members of society that are also passed from one generation to the next.


the tendency to use our own group's ways of doing things as the yardstick for judging the behavior, values, and beliefs of others.

culture relativism

a researcher analyzing a culture by applying its own standards and not those of another culture.

symbolic culture

Another term for nonmaterial culture and used to describe a group's way of thinking, gestures, language, values and social norms.

cultural shock

term used to describe feelings of disorientation and confusion when encountering values, behaviors and expectations totally different from those to which one is accustomed.


component of nonmaterial culture that is expressed by shaking one's head side to side to mean "no" and up and down mean "yes".


a system of symbols that can be strung together in an infinite number of ways for the purpose of communicating abstract thought.

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

hypothesis that language determines our consciousness and perceptions of objects and events.


the expectations or rules of behavior that develop out of a group's values.
Making social life possible and behavior predictable.

positive sanctions

term describes hugs, smiles and "high fives" that are freely given between two individuals as a sign of expressing approval for following a norm.


term describing a group that has a distinctive way of looking at life, but at the same time their values and norms reflect the dominant culture of their society.


term refers to the skills or procedures necessary to make and use tools.


a limited number of individuals chosen from a population for the purpose of conducting research.

Auguste Comte

a social scientist that proposed societies evolve from a lower, barbaric form to a higher, civilized form in a process he called Darwinism.

Karl Marx

developed classless society free of exploration, founder of modern communism.

Max Webber

a German sociologist and a contemporary of Durkheim, also held professorships in the new academic discipline of society. Referred to the self-denying approach to life as the protestant ethic.

Talcott Parsons

was the influential sociologist who developed abstract models to explain how the parts of society work together harmoniously.

gender socialization

sex-based criteria for gifts children receive.
The way in which society sets children onto different courses in life because they are male or female.

Charles Horton Cooley

a sociologist who describes primary groups as the "spring of life."

Stanley Milgram

psychologist responsible for popularizing the concept of "six degrees of separation".


the term used to describe the alignment of some members of a group against others.

life course

the stages we pass through from birth to death that includes childhood, adolescence, transitions, adulthood, the middle years, and the older years.


people who influence the behaviors, attitudes or opinions of others. Two types: instrumental and expressive.

Emile Durkheim

European sociologist who pointed out that deviance was inevitable and that it would exist even in a group of saints.


term refers to a racial, ethnic, or religious minority that a member of the dominant group uses to blame for their failure to achieve desired goals.

conflict theory

sociological perspective best explains the concepts of a reserve labor force and a split labor market.


belief African Americans are more likely to steal merchandise, describes actions, unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice.

symbolic interactionism

a sociological perspective that analyzes how social life depends on the way we define ourselves and others.


the intergroup strategy that involves separating minority groups from dominant groups so that minimal contact occurs between them.

community colleges

these institutions sprang up as a result colleges being to far away and costly.

negative sanctions

an expression of disapproval for breaking a norm, ranging from a mild, informal reaction such as a from to a formal reaction such as a prison sentence of execution.

social imagination

Frank is examining the broad stream of events that have occurred over the past 50 years and specific experiences his own life. By doing so, what sociological process has Frank undertaken.

Industrial Revolution

what event led to an uprooting of what had been traditional social arrangements.


a general statement about how some parts of the world fit together and how they work.

participant observation

research method that is known as fieldwork.

cultural relativism

a researcher analyzing a culture by applying its own standards and not those of another culture.


term that describes people who share the same physical space but do not see themselves as belonging together.


term that is not a component of culture.


describes attitudes


the adoption of the behavior patterns of the surrounding culture. In earlier societies and in some tribal societies today, schools and teachers did not exist. Rather children a culture or..

sociological perspective

A viewing of the behavior of groups in a systematic way (i.e. conflict perspective, neo-conflict perspective)

components of society

technology, symbols, language, values, and norms.

experimental group

in an experiment, the group that is exposed to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable.

value cluster

values that together form a larger whole.

twin studies

a common method of investigating whether nature or nurture affects behavior.

first social revolution

domestication of plants and animals.

group dynamics

the ways in which individuals affect groups and the ways in which groups influence individuals.


Behavior that violates significant social norms.

hate crimes

criminal acts against people and their property that are motivated by racial and ethnic prejudices and other social biases.

social integration

makes students similar in speech, appearance and ways of thinking.

C. Wright Mills

power elite- top leaders in business looks at people making laws some people see threat to freedom.


sorting students into different education programs on basis of real or perceived abilities.


Name given to Mexican-Americans, who in 1970, were the majority of migrant farm labor in the U.S.

control group

the group that does not receive the experimental treatment.


a group whose values, beliefs, norms, and related behaviors place its members in opposition to the broader culture.

crime rates

the number of crimes occurring per 100,000 people/ there has been a drop in crime but the US still the highest.


a standard of behavior that is socially approved but that isn't considered morally significant, norms that are not strictly enforced.


rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members.

Jean Piaget

Swiss psychologist remembered for his studies of cognitive development in children (1896-1980).

Stanley Milgram

social psychologist, obedience to authority; had participants administer what they believed were dangerous electrical shocks to other participants.

Merton's strain theory

argued that society can be set up in a way that encourages too much deviance. The type of deviance people engage in depends on whether a society them the means to achieve cultural goals.

social integration

the degree to which members of a group or a society feel united by shared values and other social bonds; also known as social cohesion.

background assumptions

deeply embedded common understandings of how the world operates and of how people ought to act.

cultural adaptation

a process by which individuals learn the rules and customs of new cultural contexts.


groups of individuals that belong to the same species and live in the same area.

Sigmund Freud

Austrian neurologist who originated psychoanalysis (1856-1939).

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