These notes are raw and unedited. Probably very unhelpful for anyone but me.
previous notes were written in a physical notebook
Challenge 2: Sociological Theories
Social conflict theory – inequalities and conflicts lead to societal change.
“Philosophers have only interpreted the world. The point is to chage it.” – Karl Marx
This is macro-level orientation – zoomed out look at the structures that shape society
Writings approx 1840-1870
Class conflict was the motor of history
Not giving laborers their fair share is by its nature exploitative
Writings late 1800s
Power and “social honor”
Old boys clubs, political parties
People aren’t looking for capital, they are looking for social power
C. Wright Mills
“Power elite” – small gorup of people at the top of society
Runs counter to the interests of the rest of societ, therefore dangerous
Race Conflict Theory
Race conflict theory – Emphazises inequality and conflict between races
Born of slave parents, freed by the emancipation proclamation
Activist, journalist & lecturer who spoke out against lynching
W.E.B. Du Bois
First POC to receive doctorate from harvard
Founded Atlanta Sociological Labratory
Double consciousness – black people see themselves as themselves, but also as white people see them
Gender Conflict Theory
The chief conflict at a whole is between men and women.
19th century – first femail sociologist
Advocated for womens education
Founded the Hull House in Chicago in 1889 – services for the poor
Symbolic Interation Theory
Society results from everyday interactions. Basically society is the collection of social norms that just happen.
This is micro-level
Way to study society that focues on meanins that people attach to the things they do
“Social Darwinism” is actually discredited
English philosopher, mathemetician
Creator of social darwinism
Coined “survival of the fittest”
Only the most fit societies advance
Simple social organizations get replaced by more complex ones
Challenge 3 – Sociological Research
The scientific method
- Define the problem
- Review the work of others
- Design a research plan
- Collect data
- Interpret data
- Explain the findings
- Pose new questions
Four methods: experiments, survey, secondary sources, participant observation
Experiments: highlly controlled. Super rare because you can’t control society. “natural experiments” – just pay attention to society
Survey research: interview or questionnaire, focus groups
Secondary sources: look at other work. Census, eg.
Participant observation – Zoom in on one person and watch what they do
Research Methods: Examples
Lois Benjamin & In-Depth Interviewing
Benjamin studies successful black people. Wrote a book called The Black Elite.
Interviewed 100 people in depth. Open ended questions with follow ups.
William Foote Whyte & Participant Observation
Lived for three years in an Italian community of Bostin 1930.
Wrote a book called Street Corner Society.
Refuted a lot of stereotypes.
Conducting Sociologic Research
Value Relevant Research vs Value Free Research
Coined by Max Weber
Value-relevant: recognition that your values guide your research topics.
Value-free: research should be objective
Variables and Hypotheses
hypotheses: educated guess
independent variable: thing that drives the change. Eg, dads income
dependent variable: thing that changes. Eg, my income
sample – small representative group
snowball sampling – start with people you know and then people they know, and so on.
Standford Prison Experiment
Philip Zimbardo – this course says he found out prison makes people into sadists, but apparently hasn’t caught up to the modern day interpretation that this experiment was a crock of shit.
Informed consent – experimental subjects have a right to know about responsiblities, risks, dangers
Mean, median, and mode. Describe a typical subject. Typical, not average.
Using data to make inferences about the population as a hole.
Correlation and Causation
Spurious correlation – fucking up correlation
Hawthorne effect – Subjects change their behavior because of being studied.
Concept – a simplified
Indepent variable, dependent variable
Reliability and Validity
Reliability – consistency in measurement of variables
Validity – actual measure the thing
Max Weber coined it – German for To Understand. Look for subjective meanings that people attach to their lives.
Gender and Research
Androcentricity – Biased focus on the male perspective
Gynocentricity – Biased focus on the female perspective
Can lead to overgeneralizing.
DO pay attention to gender to avoid gender blindness.
When your gender can interfer with your research. Eg, a female research keeps getting houndeed for dates by male subject.
Authority – a person or org with recognized official expertise
Intro to Sociology – Unit 2
Challenge 1: Culture in Society
Society & Culture
Society – a group of people who live in a delineated space (like a nation), with shared common symboles, languages and beliefs
Culture – learned sets of behaviors and ideas in a society
Non-Material and Material Culture
Non-material culture – Ideas, beleifs, thoughts, spoken language
Material culture – Buildings, tools, artifacts
Adjusting to a new culture
Symbols and Language
Symbols help define culture
Cultural transmission – The way children adopt culture-appropriate behavior
Benedict Anderson – the US is an imageined community. Never see all of your society, but you share language and symbols.
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis – Culture and thought patterns of a people are strongly influenced by their language
Informal norms Eg, classroom ettiquette.
Formal norms Legally binding things
Prescriptive norms Tell you what you should do
Proscriptive norms Tell you what not to do
William Graham Sumner – American socialogist. Died 1910. Coined “mores and folkways”
Mores Elevated norms with moral dimensions. Eg, murder, incest, child abuse.
Taboo mores that have proscriptive bans
Folkways Norms that govern casual interaction. Minimal consequences, but widely followed.
Values & Beliefs
Values & Beliefs
Values Cultural guidelines for what is good & bad
Beliefs Things people think are true
Values come first and structure beliefs
Ten Core American Values
Robin Williams Jr – wrote a book in the 70s
- Equal opportunity
- Acheivement and success
- Material comfort
- Activity and work
- Practicality and efficiency
- Science and rational thinking
- Group superiority
Lenski’s Five Types of Society
Looked at the relationship between technology, environment, and society. Technology is the most basic driving force for sociocultural evolution.
Five Stages of Social Organization
- Hunting & Gathering – very simple tools
- Horticulturalism & pastoralism
- Agriculture – plows driven by animals – causes explosion in inequality
- Industry – really pouring gas on productivity and inequality
- Post-industry – modern day, knowledge working
Cultural integration – Culture is cohesive and systematic. One thing changing causes other changes
Cultural lag Some parts of culture change faster than others
Sociobiology – An approach to sociology which explains how culture is affected by biology.
Not actually Darwin’s term, from what I can tell, just based on his ideas.
Often focuses on behaviors in sex and family. Some think everything boils down to sex & reproduction. The author of this section clearly disagrees; eg, why do women now choose careers over family?
Challenge 2: Diversity in Culture
Real and Ideal Culture
Ideal culture what society wants to be
Real culture self explanatory
Eg, american exceptionalism
Subculture and counterculture
Subculture specific cultural patters of a subset of society
eg, dog owners, gun owners, trekkies
Subcultures that run counter to dominant cultures
Feminists were a counterculture, but are largely considered dominant culture at this point.
High Culture and Popular Culture
High vs Pop Culture
High Culture of society’s elite
Pop aka low culture – the rest of us
Sociologist, anthropoligist, social scientist
Studed how class position relates to people’s tastes & consumption
Book Distinction, A social Critique of the Judgment of Taste – People internalize their class position at a young age. Called it habitus
Ethnocentrism & Cultural Relativism
Cultural Universals Things found in all societies
Ethnocentris My culture is better than others
Understandable, sometimes necessary part of human social evolution
Cultural relativism Cultures should try and be understood on their own terms
Multiculturalism Recognizing and encouraging diverse cultures
Monoculturalism Going for just one monoculture
Challenge 3: Theories of Deviance
Justice System & Punishment
Criminal Justice System
Police, courts, law
Everybody follows the Bill of RIghts
Four Functions of Punishment
- Retribution – pure punishment
- Deterrent – set an example for others
- Rehabilitation – “fix” the offender
- Societal Protection – lock them away from everyone
Types of Crime
Three Types of Crime
- Crimes against the person
- Crimes against property
- Victimless crimes
White Collar and Organized Crime
White collar crime
White and blue collar terms came out in early 1900s
Ponzi schemes, embezzlement, insider trading
Knowingly selling contaminated produces, eg
Business-like complex criminal groups
Locking up or executing people to protect society
Shock probation a small shock of jail or prison, then probation
Parole Early release from prison
Prisons and Recidivism
US has a high rate, no real reform in prison
Data suggests it doesn’t work as a deterrent
Functions of Deviance
Emile Durkheim’s Theory of Deviance
He is a structural functionalist
Four functions of deviance
- Clarifies cultural values
- Helps to define morality
- Helps to unify society
- Promotes social change
Kai Erikson and the Study of the Puritans
No society without deviance
Witch trials are the most famous example, and helped serve the four functions
Robert K Merton American sociologist.
Society goals (wealth, honor, material comfort) creates deviance by people straining to achieve the goals by criminal means.
Deviance is structural, and will always exist
Merton’s four responses to strain
- Innovation – people make up culturally deviant ways to get to the goals
- Ritualism – People play by the rules, and pursue the goas, but internalize they will never reach them due to strain. Causes lots of pain
- Retreatism – People drop out an don’t bother to even chase the goals. drug addicts, homeless
- Rebellion – People reject the goals and means totally
Conflict Theory and Deviance
Alexander Liazos and Conflict Theory of Deviance
Deviants aren’t necessarily harful to society, just to the ruling elite. Deviance comes from being powerlesws
Symbolic Interaction Theory and Labeling Theory
Social actions happen, people interpret the action and attach labels to the behavior. If someone labels something as deviant, the offender might internalize that
Erving Goffman and Stigma
People get stigmatized, then live up to their labels
Retrospective and Projective Labeling
Retrospective labeling People re-interpret historical actions in light of new deviant behavior
Projective people look to the future and imagine behaviors based on current deviance
Medicalization of Deviance
Idea that illness causes deviance, not criminality. Labels shift, so treatment shifts. Medicine, not prison.
Travis Hirschi and Control Theory
People perceive their own actions through the eyes of others. If you know youra ctions will be perceived negatively, you might control your deviant behavior.
Hirschi’s Four Mechanisms of Control Theory
- Attachment – attachment to friends, family, society
- Opportunity – If you have a bright future, you’ll behave
- Involvement – This sounds exactly like attachment
- Belief – Strong morals and subscriptions to the authority of society
Differential Association Theory
Edwin Sutherland and Differential Association
Sutherland – crimonologist early 20th century
Theory is that your peer group will subscribe to deviance
Race Gender and Deviance
Gender and Deviance
Women historically have veen controlled by men. That makes it easy for them to get labeled as a deviant.
Harriet Matineau – advocate for equal education & opportunity
Race & Deviance
Whites historically occupy a position of power
Challenge 1 – Aspects of Social Life
Social Construction of Reality
Social construction of reality Reality is malleable and changeable. Groups get together and define reality.
Social Construction and Symbolic Interaction Theory
Interactions create the social construction of reality
Things are real as defined by their consequences. It doesn’t matter that there are no ghosts under the bed; the affect on a scared kid is the same as if there were.
Named after WI Thomas and Dorothy Thomas
Harold Garfinkel’s term for the study of the way people come to understand the world and their surroundings.
Common assumptions that underly everyday interactions. Eg, “How’s it going” – no one wants a real answer
Goffman’s Dramaturgical Analysis
Erving Goffman wrote The Presentation of Self in 1959.
Society is like a stage, and people are acting to present themselves
presentation of self
Front and back stage
Idealization – Creating favorable impressions of themselves so not to appear selfish
status Social position that a person occupies
Status sets The multiple statuses a person occupies
Ascribed & Acheived Status
The main, overarching status that defines you, good or bad
roles Duties and functions that correspond to your statuses
Role conflict & strain
conflict – stress from juggling roles from multiple statuses
strain – stress from ONE status
Quit your role, do something else.
Nature vs Nurture
Biology or upbringing
Socialization Learning ones culture and internalizing norms & behaviors
Personality What the fuck do you think it means
id biological impulses
superego collective norms & values of society
ego the in-between; balance of carnal desires and cultural norms
John Watson – everything we do is learned. Nurture only
Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
Sensorimotor Stage birth-2 – everything you know is based on sense
Preoperational stage 2-7 – Learning symbols and language
Concrete Operational Stage 7-11 – recognize cause & effect in relationships
Formal Operational Stage 12+ – think abstractly and use advanced symbols
Erikson’s 8 stages
- Toddlerhood learning skills
- Preschool – learning to negotiate the world
- Preadalescense 6-13 – industriousness vs failure
- Adolescense 13-19 – defioning self, unique identiy
- Young adulthood – trying to build intimate relationships
- Middle adulthood – meaning in life, world contributions
- Old age – integrity vs despair
Mead’s Theory of Self & Cooley’s Looking Glass Self
- self develops through social interactions
- interactions involves exchange of symbols
- understanding the symbols involces being able to take the role of another
The self is a product of our social interactions
- imagination of our appearance
- imagining others are evaluating us
- Feeling & reactions to the imagined
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
Moral reasoning – right vs wrong
- Preconventional level – grounded in physical feelings & sensations
- Conventional – grounded in cultural norms
- Post-conventional – abstract – quality, justice
Gender and Moral Development
Boys – justice perspective, rules make right & wrong
Girls – care & responsibility, interpersonal dynamics
Socialization: the Life Course
- a – childhood birth-12
- b – adolescence – 13-19 – confusing to navigate
- c. adulthood – 18-60 – most accomplishments
- d. old age
socialization – lifelong process
gerontocracy – old people have the most power
gerontology – studying old people
Socialization – Peer Groups & Media
Learning the social behaviors of a group to which you desire to belong; e.g. sororities and frats, coworkers and bosses, and the football team and cheerleaders.
Any outlet of social and cultural information that reaches a mass audience impersonally; e.g. television, internet, magazines, radio, movies, and newspapers.
A group of individuals who share common traits such as interests, age, and class position.
Resocialization & Total Institutions
The attempt to fundamentally change a person’s, typically and inmate’s or an enlistee’s, ingrained personality by carefully controlling the environment.
An institution set apart from the rest of society in which individuals are controlled, monitored, and shaped by an administrative staff.
Challenge 3 – Family Structures & Social Groups
A smaller social group whose members share intimate, lasting personal connections.
A larger and more impersonal social group that joins together for a specific purpose or goal.
Any collection of two or more people who regularly interact with each other for some purpose.
A social group with which people identify and to which they refer when evaluating themselves and their behavior.
Group Conformity Studies
Changing your behaviors or beliefs so that you are more in line with the sentiments and practices of a group.
Irving Janis’ advanced the idea that the tendency towards group conformity results in taking a narrow view of an issue, akin to “tunnel vision.”
Solomon Asch Study
Study of social conformity involving visual perception from the 1950’s where accomplices to the study answered incorrectly, putting pressure on the subjects to do so as well. Asch found that one-third of all subjects chose to conform by answering incorrectly.
Stanley Milgram Research
Series of research studies from the 1960’s to determine how people respond to authority. The premise of the study was that subjects were told they were participating in a study of how punishment affects learning. The subjects were assigned the role of a teacher and told to administer shocks for incorrect responses. Almost two-thirds of the subjects administered shocks up to potentially deadly levels at the prompting of the researcher.
Family Basic Concepts
A family composed of your nuclear family plus extended relatives such as grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.
A group of two or more people who cooperate economically and are related by blood, marriage, or affiliation.
A culturally patterned social relationship based on common ancestry, marriage, or adoption.
A legal union usually involving economic cooperation, sexual activity, and (sometimes) childbearing.
Limiting the scope of family to two adults and their children.
Theoretical Approaches to Family
Social Conflict Approach to Family
Conflict theories of families emphasize the family as an instrument for the consolidation and transfer of wealth and argue that patriarchy subjugates women within families.
Social Exchange Approach to Family
Social Exchange theorists base their understanding of families on cost benefit analysis, where people seek to maximize benefits and minimize costs. This same cost benefit calculus is brought to bear on partner selection and family and relationship dynamics.
Structural-Functional Approach to Family
Structural-Functional theories of families emphasize how families operate as institutions and relate to other institutions in society. In particular, they emphasize what the important functions of the family are for the maintenance of society.
Symbolic-Interactionist Approach to Family
Symbolic-interactionists assume that families create meaning for their members, and that family identities emerge from the combination of personality and social roles within families.
A marriage norm requiring someone to marry a person from inside his or her group.
A marriage norm requiring a person to marry someone from outside his or her group.
A marriage between two people who are socially and culturally similar.
A marriage between two people exclusively.
A marriage to multiple people at the same time.
Divorce, Blended Families, and Cohabitation
Families composed of children and some combination of biological and step-parents.
Causes of Divorce
Though not exhaustive, social scientists identify six general reasons particular people divorce: 1) Individualism; 2) Romantic Love Fades; 3) Women are Less Dependent on Men; 4) Stress; 5) Divorce is More Culturally Accepted; 6) Divorces are Easier to Obtain Legally.
When two adults occupy the same dwelling as part of a romantic relationship (i.e. living together).
Tracing descent through both the males and the females in society.
The system people use to trace their kinship relationships through generations.
Tracing descent through the females in society.
Tracing descent through the males in society.
Common, under-reported, confusing for kids
In Vitro Fertilization
In Vitro Fertilization
A process where sperm and egg are united outside of the human body and then implanted into the female uterus.
Challenge 4 Organizations & Behavior
Characteristis of Bureaucracy
A model for organization that is designed to accomplish tasks with the maximum efficiency possible.
Calculated, practical, cost-benefit reasoning designed to accomplish tasks efficiently.
Rationalization of Society (Process of, Max Weber)
The movement from traditional ways of thinking, behaving, and feeling, to modern, rational ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
Beliefs, values, practices, and customs that are handed down from generation to generation in society.
Weber’s Six Characteristics of Bureaucracy
Max Weber argued that the bureaucratic organizational form is characterized by six features: 1) Specialization and Division of Labor; 2) Hierarchical Authority Structures; 3) Rules and Regulations; 4) Technical Competence Guidelines; 5) Impersonality and Personal Indifference; 6) A Standard of Formal, Written Communications.
Problems of Bureaucracy
A sense of powerlessness caused by the impersonal and dehumanizing features of bureaucracy.
The tendency of bureaucratic organizations to perpetuate and recreate themselves.
A steadfast insistence on following the rules and regulations of a bureaucracy to the point of potentially undermining the bureau’s goals.
When a few people rule many people.
Organizations that are involuntary for their members (i.e. prisons and mental institutions).
Large social groups intentionally organized to achieve specific goals (i.e. government agencies, the United States Post Office, corporations, and higher education).
Organizations that exist to pursue some goal in common that participants believe has moral value or is good for society (also sometimes called voluntary associations).
Social influences outside an organization that affect its operation, and even its existence.
Organizations that pay people for their efforts and thereby provide jobs.
Leadership that is take-charge and demands conformity; typically effective at accomplishing group goals.
Leadership that includes all group members in the decision making process.
A form of group leadership that is focused on solving group conflicts and maintaining group cohesion and harmony.
A form of group leadership that is focused on completing tasks and accomplishing the goals of the group.
Leadership that lets the group run itself; typically least effective in accomplishing group goals.
McDonaldization of Society
The idea that many aspects of life are modeled after the approach taken by the restaurant chain. There are four main principles: 1) Efficiency, 2) Predictability, 3) Uniformity, 4) Control.
Scientific Management (Taylorism)
The application of scientific principles to analyze workflow and efficiency in business and production.
American sociologist who studies American patterns of consumption, as well as globalization and social theory. Ritzer developed the “McDonaldization of Society” in a book of the same name.
Challenge 1 – Elements of Diversity
Race and Ethnicity: Prejudice and Racism
Shared cultural characteristics, or shared ancestral origins.
A group that is different from the dominant majority, usually judged according to race, ethnicity, or gender.
An attitude or judgment about another group usually involving stereotypes.
The socially constructed meaning of human traits such as skin color, facial shape, eye color, and hair texture.
Prejudiced ideas and stereotypes put into action.
A statement of questionable validity that is indiscriminately applied to all members of a group.
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka
A landmark supreme court decision that ended institutional discrimination in the American education system.
Action based on prejudice.
Discrimination that results from the day-to-day operations of some institutions in society.
An attitude or judgment about another group that is unfair and usually involves stereotypes.
Theories of Inequality in Race
Authoritarian Personality Theory
A theory of prejudice that sees prejudice as the result of personality development throughout the lifecourse.
Conflict Theory of Prejudice
A theory of prejudice that sees prejudice as rooted in class, and that people in power use prejudicial attitudes to justify their position and entitlements.
Culture Theory of Prejudice
A theory of prejudice that holds that we live in a culture of prejudice and that prejudicial attitudes are transmitted through generations culturally.
A theory that holds that people blame another person or group for their problems, typically the powerless, when they cannot direct their anger at the appropriate agent.
Inequalities in Patterns of Interaction
An extreme form of segregation that is encoded in law.
When people of a minority group abandon their cultural traditions and adopt the cultural traditions of the dominant majority.
The mass killing of one group of people by another group of people.
Race Mixing between people, especially with respect to offspring.
A situation in which unique cultural traditions are upheld, but people are united under the umbrella of civic society or polity.
When groups are kept apart from each other.
Gender Roles and Sexism
Expectations for behavior based on one’s gender status (male or female).
A theory that multiple forms of oppression (e.g. race, gender, age, sexuality, disability) combine to create overlapping experiences of discrimination.
A form of social organization where women have power and control and hold the dominant positions in social life.
A form of social organization in which males hold the dominant positions in society and in the household, holding authority over wives and daughters.
The view that one sex is better than the other.
Argues that women are able to show their equality with men through individual pursuits. The basic inequalities between men and women, according to liberal feminists, are thought to be found in the divide between public and private.
A fringe form of feminist theory that argues that patriarchy is so entrenched that the socially constructed category of “gender” needs to be eliminated entirely by separating reproduction from women’s bodies.
The branch of feminist theory that argues that the inequality and exploitation of women is inextricably linked with the system of capitalist production (i.e. capitalism structures inequality).
Problems in Gender Inequality
The advocacy for equal rights between men and women.
Uninvited sexual advances in the form of words, gestures, or contact.
Functions of Religion
Emile Durkheim’s Three Functions of Religion
Durkheim highlighted three important functions of religion: 1) Social Cohesion; 2) Social Control; 3) Provides Meaning.
Everyday objects and ideas, or the mundane and the commonplace.
A term meant to capture how religious a person is, or in other words, how important religion is in someone’s life.
Objects and ideas in society that are treated with reverence, deference, and awe.
Stratification in Society
A rigid system of social stratification that does not allow for social mobility.
A system of social stratification based on economic achievements in the lifecourse.
Industrial Revolution and Societies
The industrial revolution and the transition to industrial capitalism largely got rid of caste systems of social stratification and replaced them with less rigid and more flexible class systems of stratification.
A condition in which members of a society have different amounts of wealth, power, and prestige.
The degree to which one can move upwards or downwards in society.
Like layers of soil, or “strata,” social stratification is the hierarchical layering of groups of people in society from high to low.
A system of social stratification based primarily on economic achievements over the lifecourse.
A system of social rewards based on individual efforts and achievements (i.e. on merit).
Consistency across various measures of inequality (i.e. wealth, prestige, and power).
Structural Social Mobility
Social mobility that occurs when structural changes, rather than individual efforts, cause groups of people to move up or down in society.
A graphical representation of the idea that as societies advance in technological sophistication, they at first become more unequal before later reaching industrial society, which tends to lessen the inequality that had been built up.
Davis Moore Thesis and the Egalitarian Society
David Moore Thesis
A theory that argues that some social stratification is good for society.
Belief that all people are equal and deserve rights and opportunities.
Marx and Class Conflict
Nineteenth century German philosopher who studied the economic and social consequences of the rise of industrial capitalism. Marx has had a profound impact on the development of many social science disciplines, including sociology. In particular, his work is often cited as the foundation of much of the conflict theoretical tradition in sociology.
Separation from a group, activity, or society.
Also known as the bourgeoisie, these people are the owners of the means of production.
Antagonism between social classes.
Means of Production
The raw materials, machines, inputs, and factories used in the act of commodity production.
Common laborers who do not own the means of production, only their labor
The institution of religion that is integrated into society as a whole.
A religious-like devotion to a state and the citizenship ideals of that state.
A small, close-knit group who devoutly follows the instruction of a charismatic leader.
A church that recognizes religious difference and exists separate from the nation state.
A highly traditional worldview that dismisses all other religious groups by taking one book as word-for-word truth.
A smaller, less formal and more spontaneous religious group that exists apart from the larger society.
A church that is linked to a nation state.
Calvinism and the Protestant Ethic
An ethos born of Calvinism that champions hard work, frugality, material prosperity, and disciplined labor in a calling as pleasing to God.
John Calvin was an influential thinker of the Protestant Reformation who advanced the idea of predestination and founded Calvinism. The doctrine of predestination asserts that either one’s salvation in heaven, or condemnation in hell, has been predetermined by God before they are born.
Hugely influential, founding sociologist who argued that the ideas of Calvinism, specifically predestination, imbued people in society with a strong work ethic such that traditional attitudes towards work and labor were replaced by a capitalist orientation towards work.
Oldest form of religion, hardly practiced
A religious belief that holds that the natural world, and elements within it like plants, animals, rocks, and clouds, have consciousness and affect the happenings of humanity.
Gender and Gender Stratification
An American anthropologist who studied cross-cultural comparisons of preindustrial societies.
Across societies, some tasks (e.g. cooking) were primarily performed by women; others (e.g. hunting) were mostly practiced by men.
An American cultural anthropologist whose work focused on gender.
The socially constructed identity (statuses and roles) associated with being male or female.
The ranking of groups based on perceived differences in the status of group members, in this case between men and women.
Challenge 3 – Stratification in the US and the World
Race and Ethnicity in the US
Americans who trace their ancestry to Africa.
Americans who trace their ancestry to the Middle East.
Americans who trace their ancestry to Asia.
Hispanic Americans (Latinos)
Americans who trace their ancestry to Spanish speaking Latin American countries.
Americans who trace their ancestry to the inhabitants of North and Central America prior to the arrival of Europeans.
Social Construction of Race
The notion that our ideas of race and our conceptual racial categories are created through social interaction, rather than being “natural” propensities.
White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs)
Americans who trace their ancestry to primarily English ancestors and have a Protestant cultural heritage.
White Ethnic Americans
Americans who trace their ancestry to disadvantaged, white European groups.
Income, Wealth, and Occupations
Occupations involving manual labor.
Buying goods and services to display social status publicly.
Money earned from goods, services, or investments.
Intergenerational Social Mobility
A change of social position or rank, moving up or down, from one generation to the next.
Intragenerational Social Mobility
A change of social position or rank, moving up or down, within one generation or lifetime.
Socioeconomic Status (SES)
A measure of social standing based on a composite picture that captures different dimensions of social inequality like differences in power, status, and class.
The monetary value of your assets and income, minus any money you owe as debts.
Occupations dealing more with information processing rather than physical labor.
Members make less than $30,000 a year.
Members make between $30,000-$200,000 a year; contains 3/5 of Americans.
Members make more than $200,000 a year.
Members from both the lower class and the upper class who make up to $50,000 a year and have little or no savings or investments.
People who work hard but cannot seem to get ahead, they live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet.
Poverty, Welfare and Power
A form of poverty that is so extreme that individuals suffering from absolute poverty live in danger.
Power gained through colonial settlement.
Aid or tax breaks to corporations with the hopes that they create jobs which trickle down to individuals.
Feminization of Poverty
A shift in the demographics of poverty in which we see a higher proportion of females in poverty than before.
A form of poverty in which a person can only meet their basic, functional needs of food and shelter with little else.
A social phenomenon describing members of society who do not have adequate housing.
Power gained through imperial expansion, through establishing economic control over a territory for the purpose of exploitation or resource extraction.
Aid to individuals directly.
A form of poverty where one person is poor relative to another.
Capitalist World Economy
American sociologist who developed World Systems Theory (Capitalist World Economy) to explain global economic stratification.
Capitalist World Economy (World Systems Theory)
A theory that holds that core countries are intimately connected with peripheral and semi-peripheral countries in a world system, and that the core exploits the periphery.
Powerful countries that economically, politically, and culturally control most of the world system.
Weak countries that have been integrated into the world system in a dependent position.
Countries in the middle that benefit from close relationships with core countries in the exploitation of periphery countries.
High, Middle and Low Income Countries
High Income Countries
Countries with an above average standard of living as measured against the average global standard of living.
Low Income Countries
Countries with a below average standard of living as measured against the global average.
Middle Income Countries
Countries with a standard of living that is consistent with the global average.
Colonialism and Neocolonialism
When a country expands and takes over another country for economic gain.
Global power based on economic exploitation by multinational corporations.
Slavery and Human Trafficking
A form of slavery which treats slaves as property.
The slavery of young people.
Debt Bondage (Economic Slavery)
A form of economic slavery where a company charges an employee for services and then pays that worker too little to ever be able to pay off the debt.
A form of global slavery where people are moved from one place to another for the purpose of forced labor.
Servile Forms of Marriage
The slavery of a marriage partner, typically a female.
Modernization and Dependency Theory
A theory that explains global inequalities with respect to historical oppression.
An explanation for global stratification that asserts that technological and cultural differences between nations serves as the basis of global stratification.
Rostow’s Stages of Modernization
A theory that holds that affluence can be attained by all nations if they move through the following stages: 1) Traditional Stage; 2) Preconditions for Take-off; 3) Take-Off; 4) Drive to Technological Maturity; 5) High Mass Consumption.
Challenge 1 – Modern Society
Individuals and Modernity
A social character in which people are grounded in tradition and steadfastly conform to time-honored ways of doing things.
A society where bureaucracy and the quest for material success have weakened traditional forms of social solidarity.
A social character in which people have an outward focus on making good impressions and being well-liked.
A stage society enters after modernity in which we move beyond modern social institutions.
The typical patterns of personalities and behaviors in society at a particular historical point in time.
A sociologist who studied social groupings and is famous for his categorization of social groups as Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft.
A form of community organization where group membership and tradition create bonds and solidarity.
A form of community organization where individualism, modernization, and inter-dependent social needs creates solidarity.
Alternative Social Movement
A social movement aimed at small change for a small number of people (i.e. Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, or MADD).
Redemptive Social Movement
A social movement aimed at big change in a small number of people (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous).
Reformative Social Movement
A social movement aimed at small changes for a large number of people, or for society as a whole (i.e. the environmental movement).
Revolutionary Social Movement
A social movement aimed at big changes for everyone in society (i.e. a socialist revolution.)
## Social Movement Theories
An explanation for social movements that asserts that movement participants draw on cultural resources and symbolic representations to communicate the message of the movement.
An explanation for social movements that asserts that movements happen because people feel like they lack something.
An explanation for social movements that asserts that movements attract people who are socially isolated and gain a sense of purpose from movement participation.
New Social Movement Theory
An explanation for social movements that asserts that movements now happen because of quality of life and identity issues.
Political Opportunity Theory
An explanation for social movements that asserts that movements happen as a reaction to the flaws of capitalism.
Where a person or a group of people feel deprived of something relative to another person or group.
Resource Mobilization Theory
An explanation for social movements that asserts that movements happen because of, and are benefited by, access to resources.
Technology that uses electronic devices for processing and storage.
Looking at a big area, wide focus, or society as a whole.
Looking at a small area, a locality, or at a personal level.
Challenge 2 – Education
Education and Schooling
American philosopher whose ideas were influential in education reform.
A social institution that transmits skills, knowledge, cultural norms, and the basic facts important to a society.
A principle advocating for the equality of life chances.
Mandatory Education Laws
American education laws requiring that children attend school until the age of sixteen or through the eighth grade.
The idea that schools should make an effort so that education is relevant to people’s lives.
A system of formal educational instruction.
Functions of Schooling
Cultural Innovation Function of Schooling
A function of schooling that creates new ideas and technologies that have ramifications for society and culture.
Latent Functions of Schooling
Latent functions of schooling are those things that are not immediately recognized like schooling providing childcare, and schooling keeping young people out of the workplace as competitors.
Social Integration Function of Schooling
A function of schooling that shapes all manner of diverse pupils so that they come to share similar cultural norms and values.
Social Placement Function of Schooling
A function of schooling that sorts individuals such that they go on to fill various positions in the division of labor as adults.
Socialization Function of Schooling
A function of schooling that passes on the skills and attributes that students will need in order to grow into successful, functional adults in society
Schooling and Literacy
The knowledge of basic reading and writing so that a person can function in everyday life.
A growing trend whereby students receive their formal schooling at home.
Schooling that provides religious instruction alongside regular academic coursework.
Preparatory School Model
A form of private education designed to prepare students ages 14-18 for higher education.
The absence of the basic reading and writing skills needed for everyday life.
The tendency to give work of comparable quality proportionately higher marks over time.
Bored, disinterested students who are passive about their educational success.
Separating students by virtue of their scores on standardized tests.
Jane Elliot and Jonathan Kozol
Jane Elliot Experiment
Jane Elliot, an American school teacher from Iowa, developed the blue-eyed/brown-eyed exercise to teach white third graders about racism. This experiment divided the class into privileges and disadvantages associated with eye color to mimic social privileges and disadvantages based on race.
Jonathan Kozol Reproduction Theory
Jonathan Kozol, an American educator and activist, has extensively researched how schools operate to pass advantage and disadvantage on to children through a process called social reproduction.
A situation where you expect something to happen to yourself or others, and knowingly or not, encourage that outcome.
Challenge 3: Health
A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.
A type of health care that asserts that all aspects of a person’s well-being should be considered in a preventative approach to health management.
A social institution that focuses on the treatment and prevention of illness.
Study of how various diseases on the one hand, and good health on the other, are distributed throughout a population.
Government owned and operated health care.
The acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that attacks the body’s immune system.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
A calculation which judges body weight by comparing it to height.
Abnormal eating habits which involve excessive behaviors and psychological instability.
A state of unhealthiness from carrying too much weight and fat.
Paying for Health Care in the US
2010 Health Care Reform
A health care reform in the US attempting to make health care affordable by reforming the system.
A system which has patients pay for medical services directly.
Health Maintenance Organization
A prepaid health care plan in which a fee is paid in advance for all necessary health care.
A mental illness with physical symptoms.
A temporary role a person assumes when sick that exempts them from normal day-to-day obligations.
Challenge 4: Population & Environment
The large difference between countries’ birth and death rates.
Evolution of Cities
The process by which human cities have evolved throughout our history.
The process of urban population growth, of more and more people living in cities.
Zero Population Growth
Occurs when the rate of population growth is not too big or too small, but maintains the population at a consistent level.
A rate of births over a specific time (normally expressed as x per 1,000 people).
A rate of deaths over a specific time (normally expressed as x per 1,000 people).
The empirical study involving the structure of human populations.
The ability to conceive children, which is measured statistically and referred to as birth rates.
Infant Mortality Rate
A rate of deaths of children under 1 year old over a specific time (normally expressed as x per 1,000 people).
The average years of life for a person within a group or population.
Movement of people into or out of an area.
Measuring how frequently death occurs in a given population
Occurs when colonial powers establish a community in a territory they have occupied.
An extensive metropolitan area containing numerous cities and suburbs.
Refers to the time period from 1860-1950 when urbanization expanded in the United States due to historical circumstances and industrialization.
Social movement of people away from city centers to the suburbs.
The growth of urban areas to cover more geographical area.
Malthusian Theory and Demographic Transition Theory
Demographic Transition Theory
A theory of population growth that argues that population growth varies as society progresses technologically.
A theory of population growth that argues that rapid population growth increases would outpace food production leading to social chaos.
This pyramid graphically represents a population broken down by age and sex.
A way to express the number of males relative to the number of females in a population
Louis Wirth and Urban Ecology
American sociologist from the Chicago school of urban qualitative researchers who studied city life.
people who live in urban areas become desensitized due to overstimulation
The study of human interactions with, and within, an urban environment.
The study of systemic interactions within the environment.
The natural interactions of organisms within an environment.
The idea that humans are causing lasting damage to the natural world, we’re taking more than we’re giving.
An equation that attempts to explain how much of an impact a population has on the environment.
The material reality of the natural world found on the Earth’s surface and atmosphere.
Sociological Understanding of the Environment
The diversity of biological life within an environment.
Ecological Sustainable Culture
A culture that allows for a healthy, long-term, and continued human interaction with the environment.
An institutionalized form of racism that results in minority groups suffering disproportionately from environmental dangers.
The rise in average temperature of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere since the late 19th century.