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Sociology Concepts

Sociology Terms For Professor Huskin's Concepts Exam.
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sociology
"the scientific study of society and human behavior."  Sociology explores relationships....
common sense
Common sense is the knowledge people gain about the world through their everyday experience....
sociological perspective
The Sociological perspective is an approach to understanding behavior by placing behavior within...
functionalist perspective
Understanding society from a functionalist perspective is to visualize society as a system...
conflict perspective
Conflict theorists see society less as a cohesive system and more as an arena of conflict,...
interactionist perspective
The scope of investigation for these sociologists is very small. Interaction is generally face-to-face...
Culture
Culture is the totality of learned, socially transmitted behavior. Culture is all the values,...
culture shock
Culture shock is the disorientation that people feel when they come into contact with a fundamentally...
ethnocentrism
Ethnocentrism, according to Farley (1988:16-17), refers to the tendency to view one's own culture...
cultural relativism
To accurately study unfamiliar cultures, sociologists have to be aware of culturally-based...
norms
Norms are established rules of behavior maintained by a society are known as norms. Norms can...
folkways
Folkways are norms that ordinary people follow in everyday life. Society often tolerates nonconformity...
mores
Mores are norms are taken more seriously. Henslin (1999:44) considers them as "essential to...
taboos
Taboos approximate super mores. Henslin (1999:44) argues that taboos are so "strongly ingrained...
values
Each culture has a general consensus of what is worth working for (ends). Values refer to that...
socialization
Socialization is learning. Socialization is the process where by people acquire personality...
nature vs. nurture
Nature vs. Nurture refers to a great debate in sociology. Do we learn our character (e.g.,...
gender socialization
Henslin (1999:76) contends that "an important part of socialization is the learning of culturally...
resocialization
Resocialization refers to the process of discarding former behavior patterns and accepting...
total institutions
This term was coined in 1961 by Erving Goffman and was designed to describe a society which...
agents of socialization: family
Agents of socialization are people and/or groups that influence self concepts, emotions, attitudes...
agents of socialization: school
Schools are the agencies responsible for socializing groups of young people in particular skills...
agents of socialization: peers
Peer groups refer to people who are roughly the same age who are linked with common interests....
master status
Master Status is a label that supersedes all other labels. It is the most important of an individuals...
achieved status
An achieved status is earned. It's based on merit.
ascribed status
One is born with an ascribed status. Many argue that race and gender are ascribed statuses.
role
Roles refer to "expected" patterns of behavior, obligations, and privileges attached to a particular...
status
Status refers to the social positions that exist in society
role conflict
Some roles that have to be played contradict other important roles (See Henslin, 1999:108)....
Institution
Institutions (in Charon, 1986:229) are structures that define the right and correct ways of...
scientific method
The scientific method is a systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity...
percentages
A percentage is a portion, or rate, based on 100. Use of percentages allows one to compare...
variables
A hypothesis usually states how one aspect of human behavior influences or affects another....
theory
A theory is a set of ideas [generalizations] supported by facts. Theories try to make sense...
hypothesis
A hypothesis is a speculative statement about the relationship between two or more variables....
correlation
The simultaneous occurrence of two or more variables is known as a correlation. A correlation...
sample
Large populations are too big to study in most cases. The researcher, therefore, needs to look...
mean
The mean, or average, is a number calculated by adding a series of values and then dividing...
mode
The mode is the single most common value in a series of scores. For example, if we were looking...
median
The median is the midpoint or number that divides a series of values (which are ranked in ascending...
surveys
The researcher asks questions of the cases face to face or in a questionnaire. The advantages...
case study
Case studies are in depth studies of one group or individual. Its advantages are that the researcher...
existing data
Existing data refers to government records (census), personal documents, or mass communication...
experimental method
The experiment offers a high degree of exactness because one can control everything in a laboratory...
primary groups
Primary groups generally form around family and close friends. Individuals receive most early...
secondary groups
Secondary groups are more impersonal. They are more specialized (i.e., goal oriented -- Examples...
social networks and networking
The web of social relationships between an individual and his or her cliques, family, close...
reference groups
The groups we use as a standard to evaluate ourselves are reference groups. They can include...
in-groups and out-groups
Sociologists refer to groups which provide a sense of identification or belonging as in-groups....
bureaucracy
Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:90) contend that the authority structure of most large organizations...
goal displacement
Once created, its not easy to undo bureaucracies. Some times bureaucracy takes on a life of...
alienation
Alienation is a feeling of powerlessness and normlessness. Alienation occurs when workers'...
ideal type
Weber coined the term ideal type (Henslin, 1999:173) to describe typical (or pure forms) of...
peter principle
The Peter Principle argues that people rise to the level of their incompetence. It suggests...
degradation ceremonies
A court martial where the guilty officer is publicly stripped of his rank is an example of...
deviance / deviants
Deviants refer to people who violate rules, as a result of which others react negatively to...
illegitimate opportunity structures
The illegitimate opportunity structures theory is based on the functionalist perspective. It...
functionalist theories
Functionalist theories focus on the preservation of social order. Deviance helps maintain social...
differential association theory
Goode (1997:87-90) contends that Edwin Sutherland's Differential Association Theory is one...
conflict theory
People, as they interact, define what is appropriate and what is not, but some people in the...
social class
People who occupy the same layer of the socioeconomic hierarchy are known as a social class....
capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private ownership of the means of...
caste system
A caste system is a rigid system of inequality with almost no movement from one stratum to...
class system
The class system is an open form of stratification based primarily on economic criteria. The...
social class: Marx
In Marxist terminology, "a class consists of all the people who share a common relationship...
social class: Weber
Weber's position on class refers to layers based on more than just economic concerns. He includes...
modernization theory
The developmental or modernizationist' view of social change was the dominant paradigm during...
dependency theory
Dependency theories represent a critique of modernizationists assumptions that poor countries...
world-system theory
The world system represents a system of international stratification. It arose around during...
social stratification
The division of large numbers of people into layers according to their relative power, property,...
wealth
Wealth consists of income and assets. Appelbaum & Chambliss (197:134) defines income as...
power
Power, as defined by Max Weber, is the ability to mobilize resources and to carry out one's...
prestige
Prestige refers to the ability to impress or influence. It differs from power in that it is...
life chances (class consequences)
The probabilities concerning the fate an individual may expect in life are called life chances.
objective methods
Henslin (1999:278) suggests that researches can assign people to various social classes based...
subjective methods
Typically, determining class from a subjective point of view involves asking some one how they...
reputational methods
Class can be determined using the reputational method (Henslin, 1999:253). People identify...
gender stratification
Gender stratification, cuts across all aspects of social life, cuts across all social classes,...
sexual harassment
Sexual harassment refers to unwanted sexual comments, touches, looks, or pressure to have sex...
gender
Gender refers to behavioral differences between males and females that are culturally based...
sex
Kendall (1998:68) defines sex as the biological difference between men and women. It's the...
blocked opportunities
Economic independence is ultimately enhanced for some because their job allows them to experience...
glass ceiling
The glass ceiling is an invisible institutional barrier constructed by male management that...
comparable worth
Comparable worth is the belief that wages ought to reflect the worth of a job, not the gender...
pink collar occupations
Pink collar occupations refer to the relatively low-paying, nonmanual, semiskilled positions...
sexism
Kendall (1998:67) describes sexism as the subordination of one sex, usually female, on the...
sexual orientation
Sexual Orientation refers to a preference for emotional-sexual relationships with individuals...
patriarchy
Patriarchy refers to a hierarchical system of social organization in which cultural, political,...
prejudice
Prejudice refers to a positive or a negative attitude or belief directed toward certain people...
discrimination
Discrimination is a behavior, particularly with reference to unequal treatment of people because...
assimilation
The process of being absorbed into the mainstream culture is assimilation. The assimilation...
race
Race refers to inherited (biological) physical characteristics that distinguish one group from...
ethnic group
An ethic group is a group that shares similar cultural characteristics. These would include...
dominant/majority groups
A dominant group refers to the majority group in majority/minority relationships. They are...
minority group
A minority is a category of people who lack power, privilege, and prestige in social, political...
institutional discrimination
Institutional discrimination is the day-to-day practices of organizations and institutions...
amalgamation
Amalgamation is (The melting pot model) a process where by the cultural attributes of diverse...
ethnic pluralism
Ethnic Pluralism is a situation in which diverse racial-ethnic groups coexist in society but...
segregation
Segregation is the spatial and social separation of categories of people by race/ethnicity,...

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