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Old Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Sheeza Durrani Sheeza Durrani is offline
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Default I hope these short notes will prove to be helpful.

Question: What Is Culture?
Answer: Culture refers to the beliefs, values, behavior and material objects that, together, form a Peopleís way of life. Culture has two basic components: nonmaterial culture, or the intangible creations of human society, and material culture, the tangible products of human society.
Question: What is the difference between society and culture? Answer: Culture includes all the symbolic and material productions of people, groups, organizations, and institutions in society. Society refers to people who interact in a defined territory and share culture.
Question: How social ranking can be explained?
Answer: Social ranking is an important feature found to one degree or another in all societies. The degree to which societies rank individuals however varies and results in varying amounts of inequality to be found in the world.

Question: What is sociology?
Answer: The truth is, there can be several definitions of what sociology is. The rather clinical definition, according to Webster's dictionary, is "the study of the development and structure of society and social relationships."" Textbooks usually describe sociology as "the scientific study of human society and social behavior" or something very similar to that. These are the formal definitions of sociology.

Question: How do sociologists do their research?
Answer: Sociologists do research in basically one of two ways: qualitatively and quantitatively. Doing research qualitatively means one would get data by observing human interaction (and sometimes participating in those events yourself), doing interviews, or studying documents or other sources of data first-hand. Quantitative work involves using statistical procedures and mathematical programs to come up with various numerical measures of the issue one is trying to analyze.

Question: What is social work?
Answer: Social work is the profession of helping individuals, families, groups or communities to enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to that goal.
Question: What are the functions of families?
Answer: Families reduce competition for spouses. They also regulate the division of labor on the basis of gender. Families also meet the material, educational and emotional needs of children.
Question: What subjects or issues do sociologists deal with?
Answer: Human society itself is so complex and multidimensional; sociologists themselves deal with a wide variety of specific subjects and issues. A short list would include such issues as popular culture, the uses of language, social institutions, bureaucracies, social deviance and crimes, human sexuality, class differences, racial and
ethnic differences, gender differences, marriages and families, education, religion, economics and capitalism, types of political governments, social movements, population changes, and technology. Again, this is only a partial list of subjectís sociologists study.
Question: What is status quo?
Answer: The existing conditions or circumstances. There are always those who are interested in maintaining the status quo since they are doing well due to it and others who oppose the status quo since it tends to exploit them or puts them in a disadvantaged position.
Question: Why is sociology important?
Answer: It's important because what we're dealing with here is the nature of human society and the social environment that we're all a part of. Sociology frequently deals with some of the most critical and controversial issues concerning us today. No matter how we may feel about these issues or even about each other, we can probably all agree that society is constantly changing and that the need to understand each other is more crucial now than ever. In this sense, that is where sociology and sociologists can hopefully contribute some useful knowledge and wisdom.
Question: How is sociology different from anthropology?
Answer: Both sociology and anthropology study societies and cultures. Traditionally, anthropology was more likely to study hunting and gathering, herding, fishing, and other non-industrial societies, while sociology tended to focus more on industrial and postindustrial societies. There is also a whole division of anthropology called physical anthropology which examines teeth, bones, and other archeological evidence. Today, anthropologists may study aspects of contemporary culture in all types of societies. They are more likely than sociologists to use qualitative methods of research and less likely to use quantitative methods. Some sociologists use both qualitative and quantitative data.
Not all sociologists pay a lot of attention to culture, but most social anthropologists could never ignore culture.
Question: What is the function of kinship?
Answer: Vertical Function: Kinship systems provide social continuity by binding together a number of generations Horizontal Function: Kinships provide social solidarity and continuity within the same generation as well.

Question: How many residence patterns are there?
Answer: The most common types of residence patterns evidenced around the world are: Patrilocal: the couple can live with or near the relatives of the husbandís father (most prevalent)
Matrilocal: the couple can live with or near the relatives of the wifeís father
Avunculocal: the couple can live with or near the husbandís motherís brother Ambilocal or
bilocal: the couple can live with or near the relatives of either the wife or the husband Neolocal: Where economic circumstances permit, the couple can also establish a completely new residence of their own.
Question: What is Gender stratification?
Answer: Gender stratification contrasts the status assigned by different cultures on the basis of gender. It is important to release that status is itself a multidimensional notion involving issues of economic, social and political empowerment. Stratification on the basis of gender is a common phenomenon.
Question: What is theory?
Answer: A theory suggests a relationship between different phenomenonís. Theories allow us to reduce the complexity of reality into an abstract set of principles, which serve as models to compare and contrasts different types of realities.
Question: Name and explain important types of societies?
Answer: Stratified societies, which are associated with the rise of civilization, range from open class societies, which permit high social mobility, to more rigid caste societies, which allow for little or no social mobility Class societies are associated with achieved status, the positions that the individual can choose or at least have some control over.
Caste societies, on the other hand, are based on ascribed statuses into which one is born and cannot change.
Question: What are the prominent theories of stratification?
Answer: The Functionalists: Functionalists adopt a conservative position and maintain that social inequality exists because it is necessary for the functioning of society. Functionalists emphasize the integrative nature of stratification, which results in stability and social order. Conflict Theorists: Conflict theorists assume that the natural tendency of all societies is toward change and conflict. Conflict theorists believe that stratification exists because the upper classes strive to maintain their superior position at the expense of the lower classes.
Question: How cultural change occurs?
Answer: The two principal ways that cultures change are internally through the processes of invention and innovation and externally through the process of diffusion. It is generally recognized that the majority of cultural features (things, ideas, and behavior patterns) found in any society got there by diffusion rather than invention.
ABSOLUTE POVERTY : Poverty as defined in terms of the minimal requirements necessary to afford minimal standards of food, clothing, health care and shelter. BUREAUCRACY : A formal organization marked by a clear hierarchy of authority, the existence of written rules of procedure, staffed by full-time salaried officials, and striving for the efficient attainment of organizational goals.
CAPITALISM : An economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution in which the goal is to produce profit.
ACHIEVED STATUS : A position attained through personal ability and effort.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION : Government programs intended to assure minorities and women of equal hiring or admission opportunities.
AGE STRUCTURE : The relative proportions of different age categories in a population.
AIR POLLUTION : Refers to the contamination of the atmosphere by noxious substances
ARRANGED MARRIAGE : Marriage based on the family ties rather than the couple's personal preferences.
ASCRIBED STATUS: A social position that is given at birth (such as race or sex).

CAPITALISTS : Those who own companies, or stocks and shares, using these to generate economic returns or profits.
CARRYING CAPACITY : The number of a species that a particular ecosystem can support without suffering irreversible deterioration
CRUDE DEATH-RATE : A statistical measure representing the number of deaths per thousand population that occur annually in a given population.
CULTURAL LAG : A dysfunction in the sociocultural system caused by change occurring in one part of the system and the failure of another part of that system to adjust to the change. An example would be married women engaged in outside employment and the continuance of the domestic division of labor.
CULTURAL SUPERSTRUCTURE : Sociocultural materialism term used to refer to
the shared symbolic universe within sociocultural systems. It includes such components as the art, music, dance, rituals, sports, hobbies and the accumulated knowledge base of the system
CULTURAL TRANSMISSION : The socialization process whereby the norms and values of the group are internalized by individuals.
CULTURE : The values, norms and material goods shared by a given group. Your instructor prefers to restrict the term to refer to symbolic aspects (values and norms).
CULTURE OF POVERTY : The view that the poor have a different value system that contribute to their poverty.
ECONOMY : The organization of production and distribution of goods and services within a sociocultural system.
EDUCATION : The transmission of knowledge to members of society. The knowledge
passed on is in the form of technical and cultural knowledge, technical and social skills, as well as the norms and values of the society.
EDUCATION SYSTEM : The system of formalized transmission of knowledge and values operating within a given society.
EGALITARIAN FAMILY : Family arrangement in which power is shared more-orless equally by both the wife and the husband.
EMIGRATION : The movement of people out of their native land to other countries.
ENDOGAMY : A system in which an individual may only marry within the same social category or group.

ENVIRONMENT : The physical, biological and chemical restraints to which action is subject.
ETHNOCENTRISM : The tendency to judge other cultures by the standards one's own culture.
FECUNDITY : The number of children which is biologically possible for a woman to produce.
HIGHER EDUCATION : Usually refers to education beyond high school level, often in colleges or universities.
IDEOLOGY : Shared ideas or beliefs which serve to justify and support the interests of a particular group or organizations.
IMMIGRATION : The settlement of people into a country in which they were not born. LOCAL KNOWLEDGE : Knowledge of a local community possessed by individuals who spend long periods of their lives in them.
MALTHUSIANISM : Thomas Malthus' theory of population dynamics, according to which population increase inevitably comes up against the 'natural limits' of food supply. Population grows geometrically (1, 2, 4, 8, 16,. . .) while food supply grows arithmetically (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, . . .). The debate rages on, there are neo-malthusians and antimalthusians among us today!
MARRIAGE : A socially approved sexual and economic relationship between two or more individuals.

MATRILINEAL DESCENT : The tracing of kinship through only the female line
MINORITY GROUP (OR ETHNIC MINORITY) : A group of people who are defined on the basis of their ethnicity or race. Because of their distinct physical or cultural characteristics, they are singled out for unequal treatment within a society.
PROFESSIONS : Occupations requiring extensive educational qualifications, with high social prestige, subject to codes of conduct lay down by central bodies (or professional associations).
SELF (or SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS) : The individual's awareness of being a distinct social identity, a person separate from others. Human beings are not born with selfconsciousness, but acquire an awareness of self as a result of early socialization.
SERIAL MONOGAMY : The process of contracting several marriages in succession marriage, divorce, and remarriage.
SEX : The biological categories of females and males.
SEX ROLE : The gender specific role behavior that a person learns as a member of a particular society.
SOCIAL MOBILITY : Movement between different social positions within a stratification system.
SOCIAL MOVEMENT : A large grouping of people who are organized to bring about, or to block, a a change in the sociocultural system.
SOCIAL ROLE : The expected patterned behavior of an individual occupying a
particular status position.
SOCIALIZATION : The lifelong processes through which humans develop an awareness of social norms and values, and achieve a distinct sense of self.
STIGMA : A symbol (or a negative social label) of disgrace that affects a person's social identity.
STRATIFICATION : The existence of structured inequalities in life chances between groups in society.
STRUCTURE : Sociological term to refer to all human institutions, groups and organizations.
SUBCULTURE : A group within the broader society that has values, norms and lifestyle distinct from those of the majority.
SURPLUS VALUE : Marx's concept for the value of an individual's labor power (calculated by the amount of value the labor contributes to the product minus the amount of money paid to the worker by the capitalist). The conventional name for this difference is profit--thus the whole capitalist system is based on "expropriating" surplus value (or stealing labor) from workers.
THIRD WORLD : Societies in which industrial production is only developed to a limited degree. Many of these societies were former colonies of industrial states. The majority of the world's population (over 70 percent) lives in Third World countries.

TRANSITIONAL CLASSES : Marx's term to refer to social classes based on previous relations of production which linger on in the beginning stages a new one--such as peasants or landowners of a feudal system which has become capitalist.
CAUSATION : A 'cause and effect' relationship exists wherever a change in one variable (the independent variable) induces change in another (the dependent variable). Causal factors in sociology include individual motivation as well as many external influences on human behavior that often go unrecognized.
CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS : An objective awareness of the class system, including the common interests of people within your class.
COLONIALISM : The process whereby nations establish their political and economic rule over less powerful nations.
COMMODITY RIOTS : Riots in which the focus of violence is the destruction of property.
COMMUNICATION : The transmission of information from one individual or group to another.
COMMUNISM : A set of egalitarian political and economic ideas associated with Karl Marx in which the means of production and distribution system would be owned by the community. "Communism" as developed by Lenin and institutionalized throughout Eastern Europe (until 1990) and China bears little resemblance to Marx's vision.
DEVIANCE : Behaviors which do not conform to significant norms held by most of the members of a group or society. What is regarded as 'deviant' is highly variable across societies.
DYSFUNCTION : Refers to an institution's negative impact (or harmful effect) on the
sociocultural system.
ECOSYSTEM : A self-sustaining community of plants and animals within a natural
ESTATE : A form of stratification established by law.
ETHNICITY : An ethnic group is one of a common cultural identity, separating them from other groups around them. FEMINISM : Advocacy of the social equality of the sexes.
FERTILITY : The average number of live born children produced by women of childbearing age in a particular society.
FORCES OF PRODUCTION : Marx's term to refer to the technology used to produce economic goods in a society.
FUNCTIONS : The ways in which a sociocultural trait contributes toward the maintenance or adaptation of the entire sociocultural system.
FUNCTIONALISM : A theoretical perspective that focuses on the way various parts of the social system contribute to the continuity of society as well as the affect the various parts have on one another.
GANG : An informal group of individuals that engage in common activities, many of these activities may be outside the law.
GHETTO : A section of a city occupied predominantly by members of a single racial or
ethnic group, usually because of social or economic pressure.
HIDDEN CURRICULUM : Behavior or attitudes that are learned at school but which are not a part of the formal curriculum. For example, aspects of classism can often be "unintentionally" conveyed in learning materials.
INTERGENERATIONAL MOBILITY : Movement up or down the social hierarchy from one generation to another.
KINSHIP : The network of social relationships which link individuals through common ancestry, marriage, or adoption.
LATENT FUNCTIONS : The unintended consequences of one part of a sociocultural system. For example, the reform of big city political machines had a lot of unintended consequences on the governability of American cities
LEGITIMACY : The generally held belief that a particular social institution is just and valid.
LIFE EXPECTANCY : The number of years a newborn in a particular society can expect to live. Also refers to the number of further years which people at any given age can, on average, expect to live.

LIFE-SPAN : The maximum length of life that is biologically possible for a member of a given species.
MANAGERIAL CAPITALISM : A change in the control of capitalist enterprises from owners (which predominated in Marx's day) to control by (very well) salaried managers.
MANIFEST FUNCTION : The intended and known consequences of one part of a
sociocultural system. For example, the reform of big city political machines had the intended consequence of limiting (relatively) corruption by city officials
MASS MEDIA : Forms of communication designed to reach a vast audience without any personal contact between the senders and receivers. Examples would include newspapers, magazines, video recordings, radio and television
MATERIALISM : The view that 'material conditions' (usually economic and technological factors) have the central role in determining social change.
MECHANIZATION : The use of machinery to replace human labor.

MIDDLE CLASS : A social class broadly defined occupationally as those working in
white-collar and lower managerial occupations; is sometimes defined by reference to
income levels or subjective identification of the participants in the study.
MIGRATION : The movement of people from one country or region to another in order to settle permanently.
MORTALITY RATE : The number of deaths that occur in a particular population in a specified period of time (usually a year).
NATIONALISM : An individual's internalization of the set of beliefs and values expressing love, pride and identification with a given nation state. Ritual and symbols are important tools in fostering nationalism among the citizenry.
NEO-LOCALITY : A family residential pattern in which the married couple lives apart from the place of residence of both the bride's and the husband's parents
NORMS : Rules and expectations of conduct which either prescribes a given type of behavior, or forbids it.
NUCLEAR FAMILY : A basic family group consisting of married female and male parents and dependent children, living away from other relatives.
OPEN LINEAGE FAMILY : A family system found in preindustrial Europe in which family relationships are closely intertwined with the local community.
POLITICAL PARTY : An organization of people with similar interests and attitudes established with the aim of achieving legitimate control of government and using that power to pursue a specific program.
POLYGYNY : A form of marriage in which a man may have more than one wife.
SECONDARY GROUP STRUCTURE : A term used in sociocultural materialism to refer to structural groups in which members tend to interact without any emotional commitment to one another.
SECONDARY LABOR MARKET : Refers to the economic position of individuals engaged in occupations that provide insecure jobs, poor benefits and conditions of work.
SECULARIZATION : A process of decline in the social influence of religion.
UNCONSCIOUS : Freudian concept refering to motives and ideas unavailable to the conscious mind of the individual.
UNION : A social organization set up to represent the worker's interests in both the workplace and in the broader society as well.
UPPER CLASS : A social class roughly composed of the more affluent members of society, especially those who have great wealth, control over businesses or hold large numbers of stocks and shares.
URBAN ECOLOGY : An analysis of urban life that examines the relationship between the city and its physical surroundings--based on an analogy with the adjustment of plants and organisms to the physical environment.
URBANIZATION : The increasing concentration of the human population into cities.
VALUES : Culturally defined standards held by human individuals or groups about what is desirable, proper, beautiful, good or bad that serve as broad guidelines for social life.
VARIABLE : A characteristic that varies in value or magnitude along which an object, individual or group may be categorized, such as income or age.
VERTICAL MOBILITY : Movement up or down a social stratification system.
WELFARE : Government aid (in the form of services and money) to the poor.
WEALTH : Accumulated money and material possessions controlled by an individual, group or organization.
ZERO POPULATION GROWTH (ZPG) : Population stability achieved when each woman has no more than two children.
ACID RAIN : The increased acidity of rainfall which is caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from power plants and automobiles.
ADAPTATION : Refers to the ability of a sociocultural system to change with the demands of a changing physical or social environment. The process by which cultural elements undergo change in form and/or function in response to change in other parts of the system.
AGE GRADES : System found in some traditional cultures which group the population by sex and age. Age grades go through rites of passage, hold similar rights and have similar obligations.
AUTHORITY : Power that is attached to a position that others perceive as legitimate.
BUREAUCRATIZATION : Refers to the tendency of bureaucracies to refine their procedures to ever more efficiently attain their goals. More generally, refers to the process of secondary organizations taking over functions performed by primary groups
CULTURAL PLURALISM : The more or less peaceful coexistence of multiple subcultures within a given society.
CULTURAL UNIVERSALS : Values or practices shared by all human cultures.
EXPERIMENT : A research method in which variables can be analyzed under carefully controlled conditions--usually within an artificial situation constructed by the researcher.
GESELLSCHAFT : According to Toennies, social organization based on loose personal ties, self interest, rationalization, and impersonality.
GREENHOUSE EFFECT : The accumulation of gasses in the atmosphere that act like the glass roof of a greenhouse, letting sunlight in but trapping the radiant heat.
IDEAL TYPE : Weber's construct of a 'pure type', constructed by emphasizing logical or consistent traits of a given social item. The traits are defining ones, not necessarily desirable ones. Ideal types do not exist anywhere in reality, rather they are "measures" that we can use in comparing social phenomena. One example is Weber's ideal type of bureaucratic organization (which are anything but desirable). More widely used (and understood) examples would include "ideal democracy" and "ideal capitalism."
INCOME : Payment of wages usually earned from work or investments.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION : Economic production carried on through the use of machinery driven by inanimate sources of power.
INDUSTRIALIZATION : The continual expanding application of sophisticated technology designed to efficiently draw energy and raw materials out of the environment and fashion them for human use.
INFANT MORTALITY RATE : The number of infants who die during the first year of life, per thousand live births. Infant mortality rates have declined dramatically in industrial societies.
INFORMAL RELATIONS : Relations in organizations developed on the basis of personal connections. These ties are often used to pursue organizational goals instead of the formally recognized procedures
IN-GROUP : A social group an individual belongs to and identifies with.
INSTITUTIONAL CAPITALISM : A condition that exists when large institutions such as pension plans, banks, and insurance companies hold large shares of capitalistic enterprises.
MEANS OF PRODUCTION : Marx's term referring to the means whereby the production of material goods is carried on in a society. Marx included in this concept both technology and the social relations among the producers (based on the ownership of that technology).
RACE : A socially defined category of people who share genetically transmitted physical characteristics.
RACISM : The attributing of characteristics of inferiority to a particular racial category. Racism is a specific form of prejudice focused on race.
REBELLION : Rebellions are aimed at removing particular rulers or regimes rather than bringing about significant structural changes in a society.
RELATIVE POVERTY : Poverty defined by reference to the living standards of the majority in any given society.
RESEARCH METHODS : The diverse strategies used to gather empirical (factual) material in a systematic way.
REVOLUTION : A process of change involving the mobilizing of a mass social movement in order to radically transform the society.
RIOTS : An outbreak of collective violence directed against persons, property or both.
SOCIAL CHANGE : Alteration in social structures or culture over time.
SOCIAL DARWINISM : An early and now largely discredited view of social evolution emphasizing the importance of "survival of the fittest" or struggle between individuals, groups, or societies as the motor of development. Social Darwinism became widely popular and was often used to justify existing inequalities.
SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION : A structural condition of society caused by rapid change in social institutions, norms, and values.
SOCIAL EVOLUTION : Theories of social change which generally hold that human msocieties move from simple to complex forms of organization.
SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS : Major structural entitities in sociocultural systems that address a basic need of the system. Institutions involve fixed modes of behavior backed by strong norms and sanctions that tend to be followed by most members of a society.
STEREOTYPE : A rigid and inflexible image of the characteristics a group. Stereotypes attribute these characteristics to all individuals belonging to that group.
ASSIMILATION : A minority group's internalization of the values and norms of the dominant culture.
CASTE : A closed form of stratification in which an individual's status is determined by birth and cannot be changed.
CIVIL DISORDERS : Social conflict (such as riots) that the government becomesinvolved in to restore public order.
CIVIL RIGHTS : Legal rights held by all citizens in a given state.
CLAN : A broad extended kin group found in many preindustrial societies.
CLASS : Most sociologists use the term to refer to socioeconomic differences betweengroups of individuals which create differences in their life chances and power.
COMMUNAL RIOTS : Riots in which the focus of violence is other groups (usuallyother race or ethnic groups)
.COMMUNITY : A group of people who share a common sense of identity and interact with one another on a sustained basis.
CONFLICT : A clash of interest (sometimes escalating to active struggle) between individuals, groups or society.
CULTURAL MATERIALISM : A macro-social theory that attempts to account for the similarities and differences between sociocultural systems by focusing on the environmental constraints to which human action is subject. Your instructor uses avariant of this theory constantly
DEMOGRAPHY : The scientific study of human population--including size, growth, movement, density, and composition.
DEPENDENCY THEORY : The thesis that many Third World countries cannot control major aspects of their economic life because of the dominance of industrialized societies.
DEVIANT SUBCULTURE : A subculture which has values and norms which differ substantially from those of the majority in a society.
DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION : Theory of crime and delinquency that holds that deviance is learned as a result of long-term interaction with others.
DIFFERENTIATION : The development of increasing complexity and division of labor within sociocultural systems.
DIFFUSION : The spread of cultural traits from one sociocultural system to another.
DISCRIMINATION : The denial of equal access to social resources to people on the basis of their group membership.
DIVISION OF LABOR : The specialization of work tasks or occupations. All societies have some division of labor based on age and sex. But with the development of industrialism the division of labor becomes far more complex which affects many parts of the sociocultural system.
EXOGAMY : A system in which an individual may only marry outside their social category or group.
EXTENDED FAMILY : A family group consisting of more than two generations of the same kinship line living either within the same household or, more usually in the west, very close to one another.
FAMILY : A group of individuals related to one another by blood ties, marriage or adoption. Members of families form an economic unit, the adult members of which are responsible for the upbringing of children. All societies involve some form of family, although the form the family takes is widely variable. In modern industrial societies the main family form is the nuclear family, although a variety of extended family relationships are also found.
FAMILY OF ORIENTATION : The family into which an individual is born.
FEMININITY : The characteristic behaviors expected of women in a given culture.
GEMEINSCHAFT : According to Toennies, social organization based on close and personal ties and traditional norms and values.
GENDER : Socially defined behavior regarded as appropriate for the members of each sex.
GLOBALIZATION : The development of extensive worldwide patterns of economic relationships between nations.
GREEN REVOLUTION : The tremendous increase in farming productivity that occurred beginning in the 1950s with the application of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers and the development of plant varieties especially bred to respond to these chemical inputs.
HUNTING AND GATHERING SOCIETIES : Societies whose subsistence is based primarily on hunting animals and gathering edible plants.
HYPOTHESIS : A tentative statement about a given state of affairs that predicts a relationship between the variables, usually put forward as a basis for empirical testing.
IMPERIALISM : The establishing of colonial empires in which domination is both political and economic.
INSTINCT : A genetically fixed pattern of complex behavior (that is, beyond reflex)which appears in all normal animals within a given species. The behavior of humans is not instinctual.
INTERNAL COLONIALISM : The economic exploitation of a group within a society whereby their labor is sold cheap and they are made to pay dear for products and services.
LONGEVITY : A long duration of life Or a long tenure in an organization. MASCULINITY : The characteristic forms of behavior expected of men in any given culture.
MASTER STATUS : A position that is so central to the identity of the individual that it overshadows all other statuses.
MATRIARCHY : Social organization in which females dominate males.
MODE OF PRODUCTION : The technology and the practices employed for expanding or limiting basic subsistence production, especially the production of food and other forms of energy. Examples would include the technology of subsistence, technological/environmental relationships, and work patterns.
MODERNIZATION : The process of general social change brought about by the transition from an agrarian to an industrial mode of production.
NEO-COLONIALISM : The informal dominance of some nations over others by means of unequal conditions of economic exchange (as between industrial and Third World countries)..
ORGANIZED CRIME : Criminal activities carried out by organizations established as businesses.
PASTORAL SOCIETIES : Societies whose subsistence is based on domesticated animals
PEASANTS : People in agrarian societies who produce food from the land, using traditional farming methods of plow and animal power. Farm workers in agrarian societies.
PEER GROUP : A friendship group with common interests and position composed of individuals of similar age.
POLITICS : Attempts to influence governmental activities
POLLUTION : One of the principal constraints of the environment. Refers to the contamination of soil, water, or air by noxious substances
POLYANDRY : A form of marriage in which a woman may have more than one husband.
PRIMARY GROUP STRUCTURE : A term used in sociocultural materialism to refer to structural groups in which members tend to interact on an intimate basis. They perform many functions such as regulating production, reproduction, socialization, education, and enforcing social discipline. Examples include family, community, voluntary organizations, and friendship networks.
RATIONALIZATION : Weber's concept to refer to the process by which modes of precise calculation based on observation and reason increasingly dominate the social world. Rationalization is a habit of thought that replaces tradition, emotion, and values as motivators of human conduct. Bureaucracy is a particular case of rationalization applied to human social organization.
RECIPROCITY : A system of the exchange of goods based on social ties.
RELIGION : A set of beliefs involving symbols regarded as sacred, together with ritual practices in which members of the community engage.
RITUAL : Formalized ceremonial behavior in which the members of a group or community regularly engage.
SAMPLING : Taking a small representative part of a population for purposes of drawing inferences from the analysis of the sample characteristics to the population as a whole.
SANCTION : A reward for conformity or a punishment for nonconformity that reinforces socially approved forms of behavior.
SAPIR-WHORF HYPOTHESIS : The conjecture that people perceive their world through the framework of language.
SCAPE GOATING : Blaming, punishing, or stigmatizing a relatively powerless individual or group for wrongs that were not of their doing.
SCIENCE : The application of systematic methods of observation and careful logical analysis; the term also refers to the body of knowledge produced by the use of the scientific method.
SECONDARY GROUP : A group of individuals who do not know each other on a personal level interacting in pursuit of a goal.
SOCIAL FORCES : The term refers to the fact that society and social organizations exert an influence on individual human behavior.
SOCIAL GROUPS : Two or more individuals who interact in systematic ways with one another and share a high degree of common identity. Groups may range in size from dyads to large-scale societies.
SOCIOBIOLOGY : An approach which attempts to explain the social behavior of humans in terms of biological principles.
SOLID WASTE: Refers to the accumulation of noxious substances.
STATE : Government institutions ruling over a given territory, whose authority is backed by law and the ability to use force.
STATUS : A social position within a society. The term can also refer to the social honor or prestige which a particular individual or group is accorded by other members of a society.
SYMBOL : One item used to meaningfully represent another--as in the case of a flag which symbolizes a nation.
TABOO : A sociocultural prohibition on some act, person, place, animal, or plant.
TECHNOLOGY: The application of logic, reason and knowledge to the problems of exploiting raw materials from the environment. Social technologies employ the same thought processes in addressing problems of human organization. Technology involves the creation of material instruments (such as machines) used in human interaction with nature as well as social instruments (such as bureaucracy) used in human organization
TERRORISM : The use of violence to achieve political ends. Many would restrict the definition to include only those acts committed by non-government groups, but state terrorism is also a major factor in the social world.
THEORY : Summary statements of general principles which explain regularly observed events.
TRADITIONAL STATES : Societies in which the production base is agriculture or pastoralism.
CONFORMITY: Human behavior which follows the established norms of a group or society. The bulk of human behavior is of a conforming nature as people accept and internalize the values of their culture or subculture
CONSENSUS: Agreement on basic social values by the members of a group or society.
CONTRADICTION: Marx's term to refer to mutually antagonistic tendencies within institutions or the broader society such as those between profit and competition within capitalism.
CORPORATIONS: A legally recognized organization set up for profit--the powers and liabilities of the organization are legally separate from the owners or the employees.
CRIME: Any action that violates criminal laws established by political authority.
CRUDE BIRTH-RATE: A statistical measure representing the number of births per thousand population within a given year.
DEFORESTATION : The removal of all trees from an area
DEMOCRACY: A form of government that recognizes the citizen as having the right to participate in political decision-making, or to elect representatives to government bodies.
DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION: A stabilization of population level in industrial society once a certain level of economic prosperity has been reached. Population is thought to stabilize because of economic incentives on families to limit the number of children.
DENSITY : A measure of human crowding usually expressed as the number of people per square mile.
ECOLOGY : The study of the system of relationships between organisms and their environment.
ECONOMIC INTERDEPENDENCE: Comte and Durkheim both refer to the fact that in societies with a high division of labor individuals depend more on others to produce most of the goods they need to sustain their lives.
FAMILY OF PROCREATION : The family we create through marriage.
LAW : A written rule established by a political authority and backed by government.
MARXISM : Contemporary social theory deriving its main elements from Marx's ideas. Marxist theory strongly emphasizes class struggle and material causation.
MATRILOCALITY: A family residential pattern in which the husband is expected to live near to the wife's parents
MONOGAMY : A form of marriage that joins one male and one female at any given time.
MORES : Norms that have strong moral significance, violation of which cause strong social reaction (murder, sexual molestation of children).
OBJECTIVITY : Objectivity means striving as far as possible to reduce or eliminate biasing the conduct of research.
ORGANIZATION : A large group of individuals that is formally organized for the purpose of attaining a goal.
PATRIARCHY: Social organization that structures the dominance of men over women.
PATRILINEAL DESCENT: The practice of tracing kinship only through the male line.
POLYGAMY: A form of marriage in which a person may have more than one spouse.
POSITIVISM : A philosophical position according to which there are close tiesbetween the social and natural sciences, which share a common logical framework.
POSTINDUSTRIAL SOCIETY : A society based on the production of services and information rather than material goods. A notion advocated by those who believe that the industrial order is passing.
POWER : The ability to achieve aims or further the interests you hold even when opposed by others.
POWER ELITE: According to C. Wright Mills the power elite are men in the highest positions of government, corporations and the military who hold enormous power in modern industrial societies.
PREJUDICE: The holding of unfounded ideas about a group, ideas that are resistant to change.
PRESTIGE: Social respect accorded to an individual or group because of the status of their position.
PRIMARY DEVIANCE : The deviant act itself, the violation of a norm.
PRIMARY GROUP: A typically small group of individuals standing in an enduring personal relationship to one another examples would include parents, spouse, or close friends.
SOCIALISM : An economic system in which the means of production and distribution of goods and services are publically owned.
SOCIETY: A society is a group of people who live in a particular territory, are subject to a common system of political authority, and share a common culture.
SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION: A term used by C. Wright Mills that refers to the application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions.
SOCIOLOGY: The study of human behavior and societies, giving particular emphasis to the industrialized world.
SURVEY: A questionnaire or interview.
SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM: A theoretical approach in sociology which focuses on social reality as constructed through the daily interaction of individuals and places strong emphasis on the role of symbols (gestures, signs, and language) as core elements of this interaction.
WELFARE STATE: A government system which provides a range of human services for its citizens.
WHITE-COLLAR CRIME : Criminal activities carried out by white-collar or professional workers in the course of their jobs.
WORKING CLASS : A social class of industrial societies broadly composed of people involved in manual occupation. The bulk of these jobs are unskilled, poorly paid and provide few benefits or job security.
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