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Sociology Notes and Topics on Sociology

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Old Friday, November 21, 2014
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Default glossary

i know there is a glossary in sticky threads but this one has few extra words in it, considering 2014 paper, i thought they'll be of help if examiner tries to play with terms this time again.


Glossary

Absolute poverty A standard of poverty based on a minimum level of subsistence below which families should not be expected to exist.

Achieved status A social position attained by a person largely through his or her own efforts.

Activity theory An interactionist theory of aging that argues that elderly people who remain active will be best-adjusted.

Adoption In a legal sense, a process that allows for the transfer of the legal rights, responsibilities, and privileges of parenthood to a new legal parent or parents.

Affirmative action Positive efforts to recruit minority group members or women for jobs, promotions, and educational opportunities.

Ageism A term coined by Robert N. Butler to refer to prejudice and discrimination against the elderly.

Agrarian society The most technologically advanced form of preindustrial society. Members are primarily engaged in the production of food but increase their crop yield through such innovations as the plow.

Alienation The condition of being estranged or disassociated from the surrounding society.

Amalgamation The process by which a majority group and a minority group combine through intermarriage to form a new group.

Anomie Durkheim's term for the loss of direction felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective.

Anomie theory of deviance A theory developed by Robert Merton that explains deviance as an adaptation either of socially prescribed goals or of the norms governing their attainment, or both.

Anticipatory socialization Processes of socialization in which a person "rehearses" for future positions, occupations, and social relationships.

Anti-Semitism Anti-Jewish prejudice.

Apartheid The former policy of the South African government designed to maintain the separation of Blacks and other non-Whites from the dominant Whites.

Argot Specialized language used by members of a group or subculture.

Ascribed status A social position "assigned" to a person by society without regard for the person's unique talents or characteristics.

Assimilation The process by which a person forsakes his or her own cultural tradition to become part of a different culture.

Authority Power that has been institutionalized and is recognized by the people over whom it is exercised.

Bilateral descent A kinship system in which both sides of a person's family are regarded as equally important.

Bilingualism The use of two or more languages in particular settings, such as workplaces or educational facilities, treating each language as equally legitimate.

Birthrate The number of live births per 1,000 population in a given year. Also known as the crude birthrate.

Black power A political philosophy promoted by many younger Blacks in the 1960s that supported the creation of Black-controlled political and economic institutions.

Bourgeoisie Karl Marx's term for the capitalist class, comprising the owners of the means of production.

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

Bureaucratization The process by which a group, organization, or social movement becomes increasingly bureaucratic.

Capitalism An economic system in which the means of production are largely in private hands and the main incentive for economic activity is the accumulation of profits.

Castes Hereditary systems of rank, usually religiously dictated, that tend to be fixed and immobile.

Causal logic The relationship between a condition or variable and a particular consequence, with one event leading to the other.

Census An enumeration, or counting, of a population.

Charismatic authority Max Weber's term for power made legitimate by a leader's exceptional personal or emotional appeal to his or her followers.

Class A term used by Max Weber to refer to a group of people who have a similar level of wealth and income.

Class consciousness In Karl Marx's view, a subjective awareness held by members of a class regarding their common vested interests and need for collective political action to bring about social change.

Classical theory An approach to the study of formal organizations that views workers as being motivated almost entirely by economic rewards.

Class system A social ranking based primarily on economic position in which achieved characteristics can influence mobility.

Closed system A social system in which there is little or no possibility of individual mobility.

Coalition A temporary or permanent alliance geared toward a common goal.

Code of ethics The standards of acceptable behavior developed by and for members of a profession.

Cognitive theory of development Jean Piaget's theory explaining how children's thought progresses through four stages.

Cohabitation The practice of living together as a male-female couple without marrying.

Colonialism The maintenance of political, social, economic, and cultural dominance over a people by a foreign power for an extended period of time.

Communism As an ideal type, an economic system under which all property is communally owned and no social distinctions are made on the basis of people's ability to produce.

Community A spatial or political unit of social organization that gives people a sense of belonging, based either on shared residence in a particular place or on a common identity.

Concentric-zone theory A theory of urban growth that sees growth in terms of a series of rings radiating from the central business district.

Conflict perspective A sociological approach that assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between competing groups.

Conformity Going along with one's peers, individuals of a person's own status, who have no special right to direct that person's behavior.

Contact hypothesis An interactionist perspective that states that interracial contact between people of equal status in cooperative circumstances will reduce prejudice.

Content analysis The systematic coding and objective recording of data, guided by some rationale.

Control group Subjects in an experiment who are not introduced to the independent variable by the researcher.

Control theory A view of conformity and deviance that suggests that our connection to members of society leads us to systematically conform to society's norms.

Control variable A factor held constant to test the relative impact of an independent variable.

Correlation A relationship between two variables whereby a change in one coincides with a change in the other.

Correspondence principle A term used by Bowles and Gintis to refer to the tendency of schools to promote the values expected of individuals in each social class and to prepare students for the types of jobs typically held by members of their class.

Counterculture A subculture that deliberately opposes certain aspects of the larger culture.

Creationism A literal interpretation of the Bible regarding the creation of man and the universe used to argue that evolution should not be presented as established scientific fact.

Crime A violation of criminal law for which formal penalties are applied by some governmental authority.

Cult Due to the stereotyping, this term has been abandoned by sociologists in favor of new religious movements.

Cultural relativism The viewing of people's behavior from the perspective of their own culture.

Cultural transmission A school of criminology that argues that criminal behavior is learned through social interactions.

Cultural universals General practices found in every culture.

Culture The totality of learned, socially transmitted behavior.

Culture lag Ogburn's term for a period of maladjustment during which the nonmaterial culture is still adapting to new material conditions.

Culture shock The feeling of surprise and disorientation that is experienced when people witness cultural practices different from their own.

Death rate The number of deaths per 1,000 population in a given year. Also known as the crude death rate.

Defended neighborhood A neighborhood that residents identify through defined community borders and through a perception that adjacent areas are geographically separate and socially different.

Degradation ceremony An aspect of the socialization process within total institutions, in which people are subjected to humiliating rituals.

Deindustrialization The systematic, widespread withdrawal of investment in basic aspects of productivity such as factories and plants.

Demographic transition A term used to describe the change from high birthrates and death rates to relatively low birthrates and death rates.

Demography The scientific study of population.

Denomination A large, organized religion not officially linked with the state or government.

Dependency theory An approach that contends that industrialized nations continue to exploit developing countries for their own gain.

Dependent variable The variable in a causal relationship that is subject to the influence of another variable.

Deviance Behavior that violates the standards of conduct or expectations of a group or society.

Differential association A theory of deviance proposed by Edwin Sutherland that holds that violation of rules results from exposure to attitudes favorable to criminal acts.

Diffusion The process by which a cultural item is spread from group to group or society to society.

Discovery The process of making known or sharing the existence of an aspect of reality.

Disengagement theory A functionalist theory of aging introduced by Cumming and Henry that contends that society and the aging individual mutually sever many of their relationships.

Domestic partnership Two unrelated adults who have chosen to share one another's lives in a relationship of mutual caring, who reside together, and who agree to be jointly responsible for their dependents, basic living expenses, and other common necessities.

Dominant ideology A set of cultural beliefs and practices that helps to maintain powerful social, economic, and political interests.

Downsizing Reductions taken in a company's workforce as part of deindustrialization.

Dramaturgical approach A view of social interaction, popularized by Erving Goffman, under which people are examined as if they were theatrical performers.

Dyad A two-member group.

Dysfunction An element or a process of society that may disrupt a social system or lead to a decrease in stability.

Ecclesia A religious organization that claims to include most or all of the members of a society and is recognized as the national or official religion.

E-commerce Numerous ways that people with access to the Internet can do business from their computers.

Economic system The social institution through which goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed.

Education A formal process of learning in which some people consciously teach while others adopt the social role of learner.

Egalitarian family An authority pattern in which the adult members of the family are regarded as equals.

Elite model A view of society as ruled by a small group of individuals who share a common set of political and economic interests.

Endogamy The restriction of mate selection to people within the same group.

Environmental justice A legal strategy based on claims that racial minorities are subjected disproportionately to environmental hazards.

Equilibrium model Talcott Parsons's functionalist view of society as tending toward a state of stability or balance.

Esteem The reputation that a particular individual has earned within an occupation.

Ethnic group A group that is set apart from others because of its national origin or distinctive cultural patterns.

Ethnocentrism The tendency to assume that one's culture and way of life represent the norm or are superior to all others.

Ethnography The study of an entire social setting through extended systematic observation.

Evolutionary theory A theory of social change that holds that society is moving in a definite direction.

Exogamy The requirement that people select mates outside certain groups.

Experiment An artificially created situation that allows the researcher to manipulate variables.

Experimental group Subjects in an experiment who are exposed to an independent variable introduced by a researcher.

Exploitation theory A Marxist theory that views racial subordination in the United States as a manifestation of the class system inherent in capitalism.

Expressiveness A term used by Parsons and Bales to refer to concern for maintenance of harmony and the internal emotional affairs of the family.

Extended family A family in which relatives-such as grandparents, aunts, or uncles-live in the same home as parents and their children.

Face-work A term used by Erving Goffman to refer to the efforts of people to maintain the proper image and avoid embarrassment in public.

False consciousness A term used by Karl Marx to describe an attitude held by members of a class that does not accurately reflect its objective position.

Familism Pride in the extended family, expressed through the maintenance of close ties and strong obligations to kinfolk.

Family A set of people related by blood, marriage (or some other agreed-upon relationship), or adoption who share the primary responsibility for reproduction and caring for members of society.

Fertility The amount of reproduction among women of childbearing age.

Folkways Norms governing everyday social behavior whose violation raises comparatively little concern.

Force The actual or threatened use of coercion to impose one's will on others.

Formal norms Norms that generally have been written down and that specify strict rules for punishment of violators.

Formal organization A special-purpose group designed and structured for maximum efficiency.

Formal social control Social control carried out by authorized agents, such as police officers, judges, school administrators, and employers.

Functionalist perspective A sociological approach that emphasizes the way that parts of a society are structured to maintain its stability.

Gemeinschaft A term used by Ferdinand Tönnies to describe close-knit communities, often found in rural areas, in which strong personal bonds unite members.

Gender roles Expectations regarding the proper behavior, attitudes, and activities of males and females.

Generalized others A term used by George Herbert Mead to refer to the child's awareness of the attitudes, viewpoints, and expectations of society as a whole that a child takes into account in his or her behavior.

Genocide The deliberate, systematic killing of an entire people or nation.

Gentrification The resettlement of low-income city neighborhoods by prosperous families and business firms.

Gerontology The scientific study of the sociological and psychological aspects of aging and the problems of the aged.

Gesellschaft A term used by Ferdinand Tönnies to describe communities, often urban, that are large and impersonal with little commitment to the group or consensus on values.

Glass ceiling An invisible barrier that blocks the promotion of a qualified individual in a work environment because of the individual's gender, race, or ethnicity.

Goal displacement Overzealous conformity to official regulations within a bureaucracy.

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

Growth rate The difference between births and deaths, plus the difference between immigrants and emigrants, per 1,000 population.

Hawthorne effect The unintended influence that observers or experiments can have on their subjects.

Health As defined by the World Health Organization, a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.

Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) Organizations that provide comprehensive medical services for a preestablished fee.

Hidden curriculum Standards of behavior that are deemed proper by society and are taught subtly in schools.

Holistic medicine A means of health maintenance using therapies in which the health care practitioner considers the person's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual characteristics.

Homophobia Fear of and prejudice against homosexuality.

Horizontal mobility The movement of an individual from one social position to another of the same rank.

Horticultural societies Preindustrial societies in which people plant seeds and crops rather than subsist merely on available foods.

Human ecology An area of study concerned with the interrelationships between people and their spatial setting and physical environment.

Human relations approach An approach to the study of formal organizations that emphasizes the role of people, communication, and participation within a bureau-cracy and tends to focus on the informal structure of the organization.

Hunting-and-gathering society A preindustrial society in which people rely on whatever foods and fiber are readily available in order to live.

Hypothesis A speculative statement about the relationship between two or more variables.

Ideal type A construct or model that serves as a measuring rod against which specific cases can be evaluated.

Impression management A term used by Erving Goffman to refer to the altering of the presentation of the self in order to create distinctive appearances and satisfy particular audiences.

Incest taboo The prohibition of sexual relationships between certain culturally specified relatives.

Incidence The number of new cases of a specific disorder occurring within a given population during a stated period of time.

Income Salaries and wages.

Independent variable The variable in a causal relationship that, when altered, causes or influences a change in a second variable.

Industrial city A city characterized by relatively large size, open competition, an open class system, and elaborate specialization in the manufacturing of goods.

Industrial society A society that depends on mechanization to produce its economic goods and services.

Infant mortality rate The number of deaths of infants under one year of age per 1,000 live births in a given year.

Influence The exercise of power through a process of persuasion. Informal norms 61 Norms that generally are understood but are not precisely recorded.

Informal social control Social control carried out by people casually through such means as laughter, smiles, and ridicule.

In-group Any group or category to which people feel they belong.

Innovation The process of introducing new elements into a culture through either discovery or invention.

Institutional discrimination The denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups that results from the normal operations of a society.

Instrumentality A term used by Parsons and Bales to refer to emphasis on tasks, focus on more distant goals, and a concern for the external relationship between one's family and other social institutions.

Interactionist perspective A sociological approach that generalizes about fundamental or everyday forms of social interaction.

Interest group A voluntary association of citizens who attempt to influence public policy.

Intergenerational mobility Changes in the social position of children relative to their parents.

Interview A face-to-face or telephone questioning of a respondent to obtain desired information.

Intragenerational mobility Changes in a person's social position within his or her adult life.

Invention The combination of existing cultural items into a form that did not previously exist.

Iron law of oligarchy A principle of organizational life developed by Robert Michels under which even democratic organizations will become bureaucracies ruled by a few individuals.

Issei The early Japanese immigrants to the United States.

Kinship The state of being related to others.

Labeling theory An approach to deviance that attempts to explain why certain people are viewed as deviants while others engaging in the same behavior are not.

Laissez-faire A form of capitalism under which people compete freely, with minimal government intervention in the economy.

Language An abstract system of word meanings and symbols for all aspects of culture. It also includes gestures and other nonverbal communication.

Latent functions Unconscious or unintended functions; hidden purposes.

Law Governmental social control.

Legal-rational authority Max Weber's term for power made legitimate by law.

Liberation theology Use of a church, primarily Roman Catholicism, in a political effort to eliminate poverty, discrimination, and other forms of injustice evident in a secular society.

Life chances Max Weber's term for people's opportunities to provide themselves with material goods, positive living conditions, and favorable life experiences.

Life expectancy The average number of years a person can be expected to live under current mortality conditions.

Looking-glass self A concept used by Charles Horton Cooley that emphasizes the self as the product of our social interactions with others.

Luddites Rebellious craft workers in nineteenth-century England who destroyed new factory machinery as part of their resistance to the industrial revolution.

Machismo A sense of virility, personal worth, and pride in one's maleness.

Macrosociology Sociological investigation that concentrates on large-scale phenomena or entire civilizations.

Manifest functions Open, stated, and conscious functions.

Master status A status that dominates others and thereby determines a person's general position within society.

Material culture The physical or technological aspects of our daily lives.

Matriarchy A society in which women dominate in family decision making.

Matrilineal descent A kinship system that favors the relatives of the mother.

McDonaldization The process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant have come to dominate certain sectors of society, both in the United States and throughout the world.

Megachurches Large worship centers affiliated only loosely, if at all, with existing denominations.

Megalopolis A densely populated area containing two or more cities and their surrounding suburbs.

Microsociology Sociological investigation that stresses study of small groups and often uses laboratory experimental studies.

Minority group A subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than the members of a dominant or majority group have over theirs.

Modernization The far-reaching process by which a society moves from traditional or less developed institutions to those characteristic of more developed societies.

Modernization theory A functionalist approach that proposes that modernization and development will gradually improve the lives of people in peripheral nations.

Monogamy A form of marriage in which one woman and one man are married only to each other.

Monopoly Control of a market by a single business firm.

Morbidity rates The incidence of diseases in a given population.

Mores Norms deemed highly necessary to the welfare of a society.

Mortality rate The incidence of death in a given population.

Multilinear evolutionary theory A theory of social change that holds that change can occur in several ways and does not inevitably lead in the same direction.

Multinational corporations Commercial organizations that are headquartered in one country but do business throughout the world.

Multiple-nuclei theory A theory of urban growth that views growth as emerging from many centers of development, each of which may reflect a particular urban need or activity.

Natural science The study of the physical features of nature and the ways in which they interact and change.

Negotiated order A social structure that derives its existence from the social interactions through which people define and redefine its character.

Negotiation The attempt to reach agreement with others concerning some objective.

Neocolonialism Continuing dependence of former colonies on foreign countries.

New religious movement (NRM) or cult A generally small, secretive religious group that represents either a new religion or a major innovation of an existing faith.

New social movements Organized collective activities that promote autonomy and self-determination as well as improvements in the quality of life.

New urban sociology An approach to urbanization that considers the interplay of local, national, and worldwide forces and their effect on local space, with special emphasis on the impact of global economic activity.

Nisei Japanese born in the United States who were descendants of the Issei.

Nonmaterial culture Cultural adjustments to material conditions, such as customs, beliefs, patterns of communication, and ways of using material objects.

Nonverbal communication The sending of messages through the use of posture, facial expressions, and gestures.

Normal accidents Failures that are inevitable, given the manner in which human and technological systems are organized.

Norms Established standards of behavior maintained by a society.

Nuclear family A married couple and their unmarried children living together.

Obedience Compliance with higher authorities in a hierarchical structure.

Objective method A technique for measuring social class that assigns individuals to classes on the basis of criteria such as occupation, education, income, and place of residence.

Observation A research technique in which an investigator collects information through direct participation in and/or observation of a group, tribe, or community.

Open system A social system in which the position of each individual is influenced by his or her achieved status.

Operational definition An explanation of an abstract concept that is specific enough to allow a researcher to measure the concept.

Organized crime The work of a group that regulates relations between various criminal enterprises involved in the smuggling and sale of drugs, prostitution, gambling, and other activities.

Out-group A group or category to which people feel they do not belong.

Patriarchy A society in which men dominate family decision making.

Patrilineal descent A kinship system that favors the relatives of the father.

Personality In everyday speech, a person's typical patterns of attitudes, needs, characteristics, and behavior.

Peter principle A principle of organizational life, originated by Laurence J. Peter, according to which each individual within a hierarchy tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence.

Pluralism Mutual respect between the various groups in a society for one another's cultures, which allows minorities to express their own cultures without experiencing prejudice.

Pluralist model A view of society in which many competing groups within the community have access to governmental officials so that no single group is dominant.

Political action committee (PAC) A political committee established by an interest group-say, a national bank, corporation, trade association, or cooperative or membership association-to solicit contributions for candidates or political parties.

Political socialization The process by which individuals acquire political attitudes and develop patterns of political behavior.

Political system The social institution that relies on a recognized set of procedures for implementing and achieving the goals of a group.

Politics In Harold D. Lasswell's words, "who gets what, when, and how."

Polyandry A form of polygamy in which a woman can have several husbands at the same time.

Polygamy A form of marriage in which an individual can have several husbands or wives simultaneously.

Polygyny A form of polygamy in which a husband can have several wives at the same time.

Population pyramid A special type of bar chart that shows the distribution of the population by gender and age.

postindustrial city A city in which global finance and the electronic flow of information dominate the economy.

Postindustrial society A society whose economic system is primarily engaged in the processing and control of information.

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

Power The ability to exercise one's will over others.

Power elite A term used by C. Wright Mills for a small group of military, industrial, and government leaders who control the fate of the United States.

Preindustrial city A city with only a few thousand people living within its borders and characterized by a relatively closed class system and limited mobility.

Prejudice A negative attitude toward an entire category of people, such as a racial or ethnic minority.

Prestige The respect and admiration that an occupation holds in a society.

Prevalence The total number of cases of a specific disorder that exist at a given time.

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

Profane The ordinary and commonplace elements of life, as distinguished from the sacred.

Professional criminal A person who pursues crime as a day-to-day occupation, developing skilled techniques and enjoying a certain degree of status among other criminals.

Proletariat Karl Marx's term for the working class in a capitalist society.

Protestant ethic Max Weber's term for the disciplined work ethic, this-worldly concerns, and rational orientation to life emphasized by John Calvin and his followers.

Qualitative research Research that relies on what is seen in the field or naturalistic settings more than on statistical data.

Quantitative research Research that collects and reports data primarily in numerical form.

Questionnaire A printed research instrument employed to obtain desired information from a respondent.

Racial group A group that is set apart from others because of obvious physical differences.

Racism The belief that one race is supreme and all others are innately inferior.

Random sample A sample for which every member of the entire population has the same chance of being selected.

Reference group Any group that individuals use as a standard in evaluating themselves and their own behavior.

Relative deprivation The conscious feeling of a negative discrepancy between legitimate expectations and present actualities.

Relative poverty A floating standard of deprivation by which people at the bottom of a society, whatever their lifestyles, are judged to be disadvantaged in comparison with the nation as a whole.

Reliability The extent to which a measure provides consistent results.

Religion According to Émile Durkheim, a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things.

Religious beliefs Statements to which members of a particular religion adhere.

Religious experience The feeling or perception of being in direct contact with the ultimate reality, such as a divine being, or of being overcome with religious emotion.

Religious rituals Practices required or expected of members of a faith.

Representative sample A selection from a larger population that is statistically found to be typical of that population.

Research design A detailed plan or method for obtaining data scientifically.

Resocialization The process of discarding former behavior patterns and accepting new ones as part of a transition in one's life.

Resource mobilization The ways in which a social movement utilizes such resources as money, political influence, access to the media, and personnel.

Rites of passage Rituals marking the symbolic transition from one social position to another.

Role conflict Difficulties that occur when incompatible expectations arise from two or more social positions held by the same person.

Role exit The process of disengagement from a role that is central to one's self-identity and reestablishment of an identity in a new role.

Role strain Difficulties that result from the differing demands and expectations associated with the same social position.

Role taking The process of mentally assuming the perspective of another, thereby enabling one to respond from that imagined viewpoint.

Routine activities theory The notion that criminal victimization increases when there is a convergence of motivated offenders and suitable targets.

Sacred Elements beyond everyday life that inspire awe, respect, and even fear.

Sanctions Penalties and rewards for conduct concerning a social norm.

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis A hypothesis concerning the role of language in shaping cultures. It holds that language is culturally determined and serves to influence our mode of thought.

Science The body of knowledge obtained by methods based upon systematic observation.

Scientific management approach Another name for the classical theory of formal organizations.

Scientific method A systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity and consistency in researching a problem.

Secondary analysis A variety of research techniques that make use of publicly accessible information and data.

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

Sect A relatively small religious group that has broken away from some other religious organization to renew what it views as the original vision of the faith.

Secularization The process through which religion's influence on other social institutions diminishes.

segregation The act of physically separating two groups; often imposed on a minority group by a dominant group.

Self According to George Herbert Mead, the sum total of people's conscious perceptions of their own identity as distinct from others.

Self-fulfilling prophecy The tendency of people to respond to and act on the basis of stereotypes, leading to validation of false definitions.

Serial monogamy A form of marriage in which a person can have several spouses in his or her lifetime but only one spouse at a time.

Sexism The ideology that one sex is superior to the other.

Sexual harassment Behavior that occurs when work benefits are made contingent on sexual favors (as a "quid pro quo") or when touching, lewd comments, or appearance of pornographic material creates a "hostile environment" in the workplace.

Sick role Societal expectations about the attitudes and behavior of a person viewed as being ill.

Significant others A term used by George Herbert Mead to refer to those individuals who are most important in the development of the self, such as parents, friends, and teachers.

Single-parent families Families in which there is only one parent present to care for children.

Slavery A system of enforced servitude in which people are legally owned by others and in which enslaved status is transferred from parents to children.

Small group A group small enough for all members to interact simultaneously, that is, to talk with one another or at least be acquainted.

Social change Significant alteration over time in behavior patterns and culture, including norms and values.

Social constructionist perspective An approach to deviance that emphasizes the role of culture in the creation of the deviant identity.

Social control The techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behavior in any society.

Social epidemiology The study of the distribution of disease, impairment, and general health status across a population.

Social inequality A condition in which members of a society have different amounts of wealth, prestige, or power.

Social institutions Organized patterns of beliefs and behavior centered on basic social needs.

Social interaction The ways in which people respond to one another.

Socialism An economic system under which the means of production and distribution are collectively owned.

Socialization The process whereby people learn the attitudes, values, and actions appropriate for individuals as members of a particular culture.

Social mobility Movement of individuals or groups from one position of a society's stratification system to another.

Social movements Organized collective activities to bring about or resist fundamental change in an existing group or society.

Social network A series of social relationships that links a person directly to others and therefore indirectly to still more people.

Social role A set of expectations of people who occupy a given social position or status.

Social science The study of various aspects of human society.

Social structure The way in which a society is organized into predictable relationships.

Societal-reaction approach Another name for labeling theory.

Society A fairly large number of people who live in the same territory, are relatively independent of people outside it, and participate in a common culture.

Sociobiology The systematic study of the biological bases of social behavior.

Sociocultural evolution The process of change and development in human societies that results from cumulative growth in their stores of cultural information.

Sociological imagination An awareness of the relationship between an individual and the wider society.

Sociology The systematic study of social behavior and human groups.

Squatter settlements Areas occupied by the very poor on the fringes of cities, in which housing is often constructed by the settlers themselves from discarded material.

Status A term used by sociologists to refer to any of the full range of socially defined positions within a large group or society.

Status group A term used by Max Weber to refer to people who have the same prestige or lifestyle, independent of their class positions.

Stereotypes Unreliable generalizations about all members of a group that do not recognize individual differences within the group.

Stigma A label used to devalue members of deviant social groups.

Stratification A structured ranking of entire groups of people that perpetuates unequal economic rewards and power in a society.

Subculture A segment of society that shares a distinctive pattern of mores, folkways, and values that differs from the pattern of the larger society.

Suburb According to the Census Bureau, any territory within a metropolitan area that is not included in the central city.

Survey A study, generally in the form of interviews or questionnaires, that provides sociologists and other researchers with information concerning how people think and act.

Symbols The gestures, objects, and language that form the basis of human communication.

Teacher-expectancy effect The impact that a teacher's expectations about a student's performance may have on the student's actual achievements.

Technology Information about how to use the material resources of the environment to satisfy human needs and desires.

Telecommuters Employees who work full-time or part-time at home rather than in an outside office and who are linked to their supervisors and colleagues through computer terminals, phone lines, and fax machines.

Theory In sociology, a set of statements that seeks to explain problems, actions, or behavior.

Total fertility rate (TFR) The average number of children born alive to a woman, assuming that she conforms to current fertility rates.

Total institutions A term coined by Erving Goffman to refer to institutions that regulate all aspects of a person's life under a single authority, such as prisons, the military, mental hospitals, and convents.

Tracking The practice of placing students in specific curriculum groups on the basis of test scores and other criteria.

Trade unions Organizations that seek to improve the material status of their members, all of whom perform a similar job or work for a common employer.

Traditional authority Legitimate power conferred by custom and accepted practice.

Trained incapacity The tendency of workers in a bureaucracy to become so specialized that they develop blind spots and fail to notice obvious problems.

Triad A three-member group.

Underclass Long-term poor people who lack training and skills.

Unilinear evolutionary theory A theory of social change that holds that all societies pass through the same successive stages of evolution and inevitably reach the same end.

Urban ecology An area of study that focuses on the interrelationships between people and their environment.

Urbanism Distinctive patterns of social behavior evident among city residents.

Validity The degree to which a scale or measure truly reflects the phenomenon under study.

Value neutrality Max Weber's term for objectivity of sociologists in the interpretation of data.

Values Collective conceptions of what is considered good, desirable, and proper-or bad, undesirable, and improper-in a culture.

Variable A measurable trait or characteristic that is subject to change under different conditions.

Verstehen The German word for "understanding" or "insight"; used by Max Weber to stress the need for sociologists to take into account people's emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes.

Vertical mobility The movement of a person from one social position to another of a different rank.

Vested interests Veblen's term for those people or groups who will suffer in the event of social change and who have a stake in maintaining the status quo.

Victimization surveys Questionnaires or interviews used to determine whether people have been victims of crime.

Victimless crimes A term used by sociologists to describe the willing exchange among adults of widely desired, but illegal, goods and services.

Vital statistics Records of births, deaths, marriages, and divorces gathered through a registration system maintained by governmental units.

Wealth An inclusive term encompassing all of a person's material assets, including land and other types of property.

White-collar crime Crimes committed by affluent individuals or corporations in the course of their daily business activities.

World systems analysis Immanuel Wallerstein's view of the global economic system as divided between certain industrialized nations that control wealth and developing countries that are controlled and exploited.

Xenocentrism The belief that the products, styles, or ideas of one's society are inferior to those that originate elsewhere.

Zero population growth (ZPG) The state of a population with a growth rate of zero, achieved when the number of births plus immigrants is equal to the number of deaths plus emigrants.

Zoning laws Legal provisions stipulating land use and architectural design of housing sometimes used as a means of keeping racial minorities and low-income people out of suburban areas.

Discrimination The process of denying opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups because of prejudice or other arbitrary reasons.

everyone is encouraged to add terms or whole list of glossary from other sources.
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