Sociology Exam 1 Key Terms

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  • a social processes through which children develop an awareness of social norms and values and achieve a distinct sense of self

  • Although socialization processes are particularly significant in infancy and childhood they continue to some degree throughout life

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Life Course

most social roles we hold in life seem “natural” but actually involve intense socialization, or learning how to successfully navigate one’s roles and relationships throughout life’s course

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Social reproduction

  • the process whereby societies have structural continuity over time

  • especially in the early years, children learn the ways of their elders, thereby perpetuating their values, norms and social practices across the generations

  • All societies have characteristics that endure over time, even though their members change as individuals are born and die

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Agents of socialization

groups or social contexts in which significant processes of socialization occur

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  • refers to the process whereby people learn new rules and norms when entering a new social world

  • for example, mild resocialization might occur if we move to a different nation and must learn a new language, customs, eating habits, and basic rules of etiquette, such as bowing rather than shaking hands

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entails unlearning rules and shedding the privileges associated with particular role, such as an athlete who had retired from competitive sports

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Anticipatory socialization

  • refers to the process whereby we learn about what particular role might entails before we enter it

  • for example, parenting classes for pregnant women and their partners provide guidance that won’t be used for several months

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Hidden curriculum

  • refers to the subtle ways that boys, girls, and those who do not identify as a single gender, middle class versus working class, and black versus white are exposed to different messages and curricular materials from their teachers

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Peer group

  • consists of individuals of a similar age

  • in some cultures, particularly small, traditional societies, peer groups are formalized as age-grades

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Age- Grades

normally confined to males

ceremonies or rites that mark the transition from one age-grade to another

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Mass Media

  • newspapers, periodicals, and journals flourished in the West from 1800s but had limited readership

  • soo it included electronic communication-radio, television, audio recordings, videos and online communication (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)

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Social roles

socially defined expectations for a person in a given social position

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relates to people’s understandings about who they are and what is meaningful to them

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Social Identity

refers to the characteristics that other people attribute to an individual-makers that indicate who, in a basic sense, that individual is

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Master statuses

  • Everett Hughes noted that some identities can overpower all the other traits an individual possesses

  • Race, sex, age, and visible body features are among the most common master statuses

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Self-Identity (or Personal identity)

  • sets us a part as distinct individuals

  • refers to the process of self-development through which we formulate a unique sense of ourselves and our relationship to the world

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the ways in which children learn to think about themselves and their environment

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Social self

  • we achieve self-awareness, according to Mead, when we learn to distinguish the “me” from the “I”

    • the “I” is the unsocialized infant, a bundle of spontaneous wants and desires

    • the “me” is the ______

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by coming to see themselves as others see them

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Generalized other

the general values and moral rules of the culture in which they are developing

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Looking glass self

Proposes that the reactions we elicit in social situations create a mirror in which we see ourselves

for example, of others regularly laugh at our jokes, we may perceive that they view us as funny, and in turn, view ourselves as such

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at this stage, infants learn mainly by touching objects, manipulating them, and physically exploring their environment. Until they are about four months of age, infants cannot differentiate themselves from their environment

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Preoperational stage

During this stage, which lasts from age two to seven, children master language and use words to represent objects and images in a symbolic fashion

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  • children in this stage are in the sense that they interpret the world exclusively in terms of their own position

  • the child does not understand, that others see objects from a different perspective

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Concrete Operational stage

  • Lasts from age 7 to 11, children master abstract, logical notions such as causality

  • a child at this stage of development will recognize the false involved in the idea that the wide container holds less water than the narrow one, even though the water levels are different

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Formal operational stage

  • Age 11-15, the developing child becomes able to grasp highly abstract and hypothetical ideas

  • when faced with a problem, children at this stage are able to review all the possible ways of solving it and go through them theoretically to reach a solution

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G. H. Mead Theory of Self

Approach: children learn to adopt the perspectives of others and this becomes self-aware

Application: a child may feel proud when a parent praises them. By adopting the parent’s perspective, they become aware of their own good behavior

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Cooley’s Looking Glass Self

Approach: Our self-concept I based on our perceptions of how others see us

Application: a college student feels accepted and popular when they receive lots of “likes” on their Instagram photo

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Piaget’s Cognitive Development model

Approach: As children mature, they gradually acquire skills and capacities in reasoning with the final stage encompassing abstract reasoning

Application: Young teens may gravitate to poetry and symbolic lyrics because they have the capacity to understand abstractions

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Psychoanalytic Perspectives

Approach: Freud and Chodorow believe that gender identity develops out of one’s attachment to and separation from parents

Application: Cisgender girls may mimic the clothing and personal style of their mothers, whereas cisgender boys mimic their fathers

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Gilligan’s Moral Development Theory

Approach: Men and women use different moral criteria in their decision-making, due to early socialization processes

Application: Men and women on a jury may react very differently to a defendant, as they may apply different values when assessing the motive and behavior

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Race socialization

refers to the specific verbal and nonverbal messages that older generations transmit to younger generations regarding the meaning and significance of race, racial stratification, intergroup relations, and personal identity

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Gender Role socialization

the learning of gender roles through social factors such as the family and the media

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Gender roles

social roles assigned to each sec and labeled as masculine and feminine

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consists of the values the members of the group hold, the norms they follow, the material goods they create, and the languages and symbols they use to construct their understanding of the world, including both speech and writingsome elements are components of all social relationsrefers to the ways of life of individual members or groups a society’s manner of dress, their marriage customs and family life, their patterns of work, their religious ceremonies, and their leisure pursuits

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a system of interrelationships that connects individualsthe word was derived from a Latin term for the ties that bind people together, ties that make sustained human interaction possiblefriendships, family, religious organizations, businesses, or entire nationsa set of shared values to guide behavior

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Cultural Universals

Common features of human behavior are found in virtually all societiesall cultures incorporate ways of communicating and expressing meaning, and all cultures depend on material objects in daily lifeall cultures do not lack physical objects that share common cultural meanings, recognized form of the family system in which there are values and norms associated with the care of children

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an institution that is culturally universal, as are religious rituals and property rights-although what constitutes marriage, how many spouses one is entitled to, and what is considered acceptable behavior both within and outside the marriage can vary considerably from culture to cultureall cultures also practice some form of incest prohibition, others include art, dance, bodily adornments, games, gift-giving, joking, and rules of hygiene

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Nonmaterial Culture

the cultural ideas that are not themselves physical objects, and material culturecomprises the nonphysical components of culture, including values and norms, symbols, language, and speech and writing

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material culture

the physical objects that a society creates. Discussed each form of culture in turn

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are abstract ideals, being faithful to one marriage is a prominent value in most Western societies, but in some other cultures, a person may have several wives or husbands

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are principles or rules of social life everyone is expected to observebehavior in marriage includes the way husbands and wives are supposed to behave toward their in-laws: to develop a close relationship or keep a clear distance

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Expressed in speech and writing are the chief ways in which cultural meanings are formed and expressedmaterial objects and aspects of behavior can generate meanings

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any vehicle of meaningset of elements used to communicateother signifiers include dress, pictures, or visual signs, modes of eating, forms of building or architecture, and many other material features of culture

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the analysis of nonverbal cultural meaningsan example, the building in cities are not simply places where people live and work; they often have to a symbolic characterthe main temple or church symbolizes the all powerful influence of religion

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demonstrates both unity and the diversity of human culture because there are no culture without languageincludes all symbols are representations of reality

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Linguistics relativity Hypothesis

Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf argued that language influences our perceptions of the world because we are more likely to be aware of things if we have words for them

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Cultural Turn

describes Sociology’s recent emphasis on understanding the role of culture in daily lifeone result has been to challenge the assumption that culture rigidly determines our values and behaviorsAnn Swidler characterized culture as a “tool kit” from which people select different understandings and behaviors

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Hunting and Gathering societies

Humans have livid often in societies numbering no more than 30 or 40 peoplethey gain their livelihood from hunting, fishing, and gathering wild edible planetsmost cultures of this kind have been destroyed or absorbed by the spread of Western culture

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Hunting and Gathering: Period of existence and Characteristics

50,000 BCE to present; now on the verge of complete disappearance Few inequalities. differences of rank limited by age and gender

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Agrarian Societies: Period and Characteristics

12,000 BCE to the present; most are now part of larger political entities and losing their distinct identity based on small rural communities, without towns or cities livelihood gained through agriculture, often supplemented by hunting and gatheringstronger inequalities than among hunters and gathersruled by chiefs

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Pastoral Societies

relied mainly on domesticated livestock, whereas agrarian societies grew crops (practiced agriculture)

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Pastoral Societies: Period and Characteristics

12,000 BCE to present; today mostly part of largers states; their traditional ways of life are being undermined range from a few hundred people to many thousands depend on the tending of domesticated animals for their subsistencemarked by distinct inequalitiesruled by chiefs or warrior kings

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Traditional societies or civilizations: Period and Characteristics

6000 BCE to the nineteenth century; all traditional states have disappeared Very large in size, some numbering millions of people (though small compared with industrialized societies). some cities exist, in which trade and manufacturing are concentratedmajor inequalities exist among different classesDistinct apparatus of government headed by a king or emperor

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the emergence of machine production based on the use of inanimate power resources (such as steam or electricity)the industrialized, or modern, societies differ from any pervious type of social order in several key respects, and their development has had consequences stretching far beyond their European originsOriginated in eighteenth-century Britain as a result of the Industrial Revolution, a complex set of technological between 1750 and 1850 that affected people’s means of gaining a livelihood

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Industrialized Societies

extremely rapid compared with that of traditional social systems

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industrialized political communities with clearly delimited borders and shared culture, rather than vague frontier areas that separated traditional statesExtensive powers over many aspects of citizens’ lives, framing laws that apply to all those living within their borders

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Western countries established colonies in numerous areas previously occupied by traditional societies. These colonies attained independence through thishelped shape the social map of the globe as we know it

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Cultural Capital

the accumulated cultural knowledge within a society that confers power and status

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Bourdieu’s formulation, there are three kinds of cultural capital, each of which is strongly influenced by one’s socioeconomic position in society

what a person embodies in his or her very person (for example, one’s way of dressing, and speaking, and one’s mannerisms)Reflected in the material objects one possesses (such as one’s home, car, or computer)Socially determined by larger institutions (such as the academic credentials required for a particular job)

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Emerging Economies

formerly impoverished countries have successfully embarked on a process of industrialization

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Cultural Appropriation

occurs when members of one cultural group borrow elements of another’s culture, such as when a person who is not an American Indian dons a feathered headdress on Halloween or when a non-Japanese person wears a kimono

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small societies tend to be culturally uniform, but industrialized societies involving themselves culturally diverse, or multiculturalProcesses such as slavery, colonialism, war, migration, and contemporary globalization have led to populations settling in new areas, societies have emerged that are cultural composites: their population comprises groups from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds

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Groups that reject prevailing values and normsCan promote views that represent alternatives to the dominant cultureSocial movements or groups with common lifestyles are powerful forces of changes within societies, allowing people to express and act on their opinions, hopes, and beliefs

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is the process by which different cultures are absorbed into a mainstream cultureIdentification based on race or country of origin persists in the United States

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calls for respecting cultural diversity and promoting the equality of different cultures

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A key presupposition of sociologyWhich is the judging of other cultures in terms of the standards of one’s own. We must remove our own blinders to see the ways of life of different peoples in an unbiased light

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Cultural relativism

the practice of judging a society by its own standards

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Edward O. Wilson

the resurgence of biological explanations for human behavior began in 1975Published Sociobiology: the New SynthesisArgued that genes influence not only physical traits but also behavior

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refers to the application of biological principles to explain the social activities of animals, including human beings

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biology fixed pattens of action found in all cultures

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a sense of identification with one’s people expressed through a common set of strongly held beliefscan be highly based on shared ethic or racial identity over people of a different ethnicity or race

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Cultural Lag

the idea that cultural changes take time to catch up with changes in technology, resulting in challenges for societies undergoing

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Quantitative methods

Approaches to sociological research that draw on objective and statistical data and often focus on documenting trends, comparing subgroups, or exploring

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Qualitative methods

Approaches to sociological research that often rely on personal and /or collective interviews, accounts, or observations of a person or situation

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Ideas or educated guesses about a given state of affairs, out forward as bases for empirical testing

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Research methods

The diverse methods of investigation used to gather empirical (factual) material. Different research methods exist in sociology, but the most commonly used are fieldwork (or participant observation) and survey methods. For many purposes, it is useful to combine two or more methods within a single research project

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The firsthand study of people using observation, in-depth interviewing, or both. Also called fieldwork (38)

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Participant Observation

A method of research widely used in sociology and anthropology in which the researcher takes part in the activities of the group or community being studied

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A method of sociological research in which questionnaires are administered to the population being studied (40)

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The people who are the focus of social research

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Pilot Study

A trail run in survey research (41)

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A small proportion of a larger population

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Representative sample

A sample from a larger population that is statistically typical of that population

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Studying a proportion of individuals or cases from a larger population as representative of that population as a whole

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Random Sampling

Sampling method in which a sample is chosen so that every member of the population has the same probability of being included (42)

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Measures of Central tendeny

The ways of calculating averages

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Correlation coefficients

The measure of the degree of correlation between variables (43)

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A statistical measure of central tendency, or average, based on dividing a total by the number of individual cases (43)

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the number that appears most often in a given set of data. This can sometimes be a helpful way of portraying central tendency (43)

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The number that falls halfway in the range of numbers, a way of calculating tendency that is sometimes more useful than calculating a mean

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Standard deviation

A way of calculating the spread of a group of numbers

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Degree of dispersal

the range of distribution of a set of figures

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A research method by which variables can be analyzed in a controlled and systematic way, either in an artificial situation constructed by the researcher or in a naturally occurring setting

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Comparative Research

Research that compares one set of findings on one society with the same type of findings on other societies

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Empirical investigation

Factual inquires carried out in any area of sociological study

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Sociological Imagination

The application of imagination thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions. Some using the sociological imagination “thinks himself away” from the familiar routines of daily life (6)

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Social structure

the underlying regularities or patterns in how people behave in their relationships with one another

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social construction

An idea or practice that a group of people agree exists. It is maintained over time by people taking its existence for granted (7)

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the social processes through which children develop an awareness of social norms and values and achieve a distinct sense of self. Although socialization processes are particularly significant in infancy and childhood, they continue to some degree throughout life. No individuals are immune from the reactions of others around them, which influence and modify their behavior at all phases of the life course

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