Sociology 111 Test 1

  1. Sociology
    The systematic study of social interaction at a variety of levels
  2. Social interaction
    The process by which we act toward and react to people around us
  3. Systematic study of social interaction
    Social behavior is regular and patterned and it takes place between individuals, in small groups, large organizations, and entire societies
  4. C. Wright Mills
    According to him our individual behavior is influenced by social factors--where and how others and we fit into the big picture
  5. Sociological imagination
    The intersection between individual lives and larger social influences
  6. What does the sociological imagination emphasize?
    The connection between personal troubles (biography) and structural (public and historical) issues
  7. What does a sociological imagination help us understand?
    The relationship between individual behavior and larger societal influences
  8. What does the sociological imagination rely on in examining the social world?
    Micro and macro-level approaches
  9. What does microsociology concentrate on?
    The relationships between individual characters
  10. What does macrosociology examine?
    Social dynamics across the breadth of a society
  11. Microsociolgy
    The study of small-scale patterns of individuals' social interaction in specific settings
  12. Macrosociology
    The study of large-scale patterns and processes that characterize society as a whole
  13. What is Macro, or "large", approaches especially useful in?
    Understanding some of the constraints--such as economic forces, social movements, and social and public policies--that limit many of our personal options on the micro level
  14. Social institution
    A set of widely shared beliefs and procedures that meet a society's basic needs
  15. Herbert Gans
    Says that sociologists study everything
  16. James White
    Describes theories as tools that don't profess to know the truth but may need replacing over time as our understanding of society changes
  17. Auguste Comte
    • -Coined the term sociology 
    • -Father of sociology 
    • -Maintained that the study of society must be empirical
    • -Saw sociology as the scientific study of two aspects of society: social statics and social dynamics
  18. Empirical
    Information that is based on observations, experiments, or experiences rather than on ideology, religion, or intuition
  19. Social statics
    Investigates how principles of social order explain a particular society, as well as the interconnections between structures
  20. Social dynamics
    Explores how individuals and societies change over time
  21. Harriet Martineau
    • -English author
    • -Emphasized the importance of systematic data collection through observation and interviews, and an objective analysis of records in explaining events and behavior
    • -Published the first methodology text for sociology 
    • -Feminist and strong opponent of slavery
    • -Denounced aspects of capitalism for being alienating and degrading
    • -Critical of machinery that resulted in injury and death, particularly of women and children 
    • -Advocated women's admission into medical schools 
    • -Emphasized issues such as the care of infants, the rights of the aged, and the prevention of suicide and other social problems 
    • -Criticized religious institutions for expecting women to be pious and passive rather than educating them in philosophy and politics
  22. Emile Durkheim
    • -Agreed with Comte that societies are characterized by unity and cohesion because its members are bound together by common interests and attitudes
    • -To be scientific sociology must study social facts
    • -One of his central questions was how people can be autonomous and individualistic while being integrated in society
    • -Showed the importance of testing theory empirically
  23. Social facts
    Aspects of social life, external to the individual, that can be measured
  24. social solidarity
    Social cohesiveness and harmony
  25. Division of labor
    An interdependence of different tasks and occupations, characteristic of industrialized societies, that produce social unity and facilitate change
  26. Karl Marx
    • -Often described as the most influential social scientist who ever lived
    • -Maintained that economic issues produce divisiveness rather than social solidarity
    • -The most important social changes reflected the development of capitalism
    • -Saw industrial society as composed of three social classes: capitalists, petit bourgeoisie, proletariat
    • -Believed that society is divided into the haves (capitalists) and the have-nots (proletariat)
    • -Capitalism was a class system where conflict between the classes was commonplace and where society was anything but cohesive 
    • -Argued that there was a close relationship between inequality, social conflict, and social class
    • -In industrial capitalist systems alienation is common across all social classes 
    • -Instead of collaborating, a capitalistic society encourages competition, backstabbing, and looking out for number one
  27. Capitalism
    An economic system in which the ownership of the means of production--like land, factories, large sums of money, and machines--is in private hands
  28. Alienation
    The feeling of separation from one's group or society
  29. Max Weber
    • -Focused on social organization (Subjective understanding of behavior, and a value-free sociology)
    • -Believed that a complete understanding of society must analyze the social organization and interrelationships among economic, political, and cultural institutions
    • -Stressed the differences, rather than the similarities, between the natural and the social sciences
    • -Posited that an understanding of society requires a "subjective" understanding of behavior
    • -Described two types of verstehen (understanding), direct observational and explanatory understanding
    • -Task of the teacher was to provide students with knowledge and scientific experience, and not to "imprint" the teacher's personal political views
  30. Social research
    Research that examines human behavior
  31. Tradition
    A handing down of statements, beliefs, and customs from generation to generation
  32. Authority
    A socially accepted source of information that includes experts, parents, government officials, police, judges, and religious leaders
  33. Why is sociological research important in our everyday lives?
    • -It creates new knowledge that helps us understand social life
    • -It exposes myths
    • -It affects social policies
    • -It sharpens our critical thinking skills
    • -It helps us make informed decisions about everyday lives
  34. Scientific method
    The steps in the research process that include careful data collection, exact measurement, accurate recording and analysis of the findings, thoughtful interpretation of results, and, when appropriate, a generalization of the findings to a larger group
  35. Variable
    A characteristic that can change in value or magnitude under different conditions
  36. Hypothesis
    A statement of a relationship between two or more variables that researchers want to test
  37. Independent variable
    A characteristic that determines or has an effect on the dependent variable
  38. Dependent variable
    The outcome, which may be affected by the independent variable
  39. Reliability
    The consistency with which the same measure produces similar results time after time
  40. Validity
    The degree to which a measure is accurate and really measures what it claims to measure
  41. Deductive reasoning
    An inquiry process that begins with a theory, prediction, or general principle that is then tested through data collection
  42. Inductive reasoning
    An inquiry process that begins with a specific observation, followed by data collection, a general conclusion, or theory construction
  43. Population
    Any well-defined group of people (or things) about whom researchers want to know something
  44. Sample
    A group of people (or things) that are representative of the population researchers wish to study
  45. Probability sample
    A sample for which each person (or thing, such as an e-mail address) has an equal chance of being selected because the selection is random
  46. Nonprobability sample
    A sample for which little or no attempt is made to get a representative cross section of the population
  47. What is the most desirable feature of a probability sample?
    The results can be generalized to the larger population because the people (or things) have had an equal chance of being selected through randomization
  48. How are nonprobability samples useful?
    When sociologists are exploring a new topic or want to get insights on how people feel about a particular topic before launching a larger study
  49. Steps in the scientific method
    • -Choose a topic to study
    • -Summarize the related research
    • -Formulate a hypothesis or ask a research question
    • -Describe the data collection method(s)
    • -Collect the data
    • -Present the findings
    • -Analyze and explain the results
  50. Qualitative research
    Research that examines non-numerical material and interprets it
  51. Quantitative research
    Research that focuses on a numerical analysis of people's responses or specific characteristics
  52. Surveys
    A systematic method for collecting data from respondents, including questionnaires, face-to-face or telephone interviews, or a combination of these
  53. Correlation
    The extent of the relationship between variables
  54. Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI)
    The interviewer uses a computer to select random telephone numbers, reads the questions to the respondent from a computer screen, and then enters the replies in precoded spaces, saving time and expense by not having to reenter the data after the interview
  55. Advantages of surveys
    • -Usually inexpensive
    • -Simple to administer
    • -Have a fast turnaround
  56. Disadvantage of surveys
    • -Response rate is low
    • -Respondents may be self-reflected
    • -Respondents offer unqualified opinions
    • -Respondents lie
    • -Respondents skip questions
  57. Secondary analysis
    Examination of data that have been collected by someone else
  58. Field research
    Data collection by systematically observing people in their natural surroundings
  59. Longitudinal
    Collected at two or more points in time based on the same or different samples of respondents
  60. Cross-sectional
    Collected at one point in time
  61. Advantages of Secondary analysis
    • -Convenient
    • -Inexpensive 
    • -Suitable in examining changes of behavior or attitudes by comparing similar populations during different years or following a particular group of people over time
  62. Disadvantages of secondary analysis
    • -Existing data sources may not have the information a researcher needs
    • -May be difficult to gain access to historical materials
  63. Participant observation
    Researchers interact with the people they are studying, and may or may not reveal their identities as researchers
  64. Nonparticipant observation
    Researchers study phenomena without being part of the situation
  65. Ethnologies
    Require a considerable amount of time in the field
  66. Advantages of field research
    • -Provides an in depth understanding of attitudes and behavior
    • -Observation is more flexible 
    • -Researcher doesn't directly influence the subjects
  67. Disadvantages of field research
    • -Observation can be expensive 
    • -May encounter barriers to collecting the desired data
  68. Content Analysis
    A method of studying social behavior that systematically examines some form of communication
  69. Advantage of content analysis
    • -It is usually inexpensive 
    • -Sometimes less time consuming 
    • -Researchers can correct coding errors fairly easily by redoing the work -Unobtrusive
    • -Often permits comparisons over time
  70. Disadvantages of content analysis
    • -Can be very labor intensive 
    • -Coding material is very subjective
    • -Often reflects social class biases
  71. Experiment
    A carefully controlled artificial situation that allows researchers to manipulate variables and measure the effects
  72. Experimental group
    The group of subjects in an experiment who are exposed to the independent variable
  73. Control group
    The group of subjects in an experiment who are not exposed to the independent variable
  74. Advantages of experiments
    • -Less expensive and time consuming 
    • -Subjects are usually readily available and don't expect much, if any, monetary compensation
    • -Experiments can be replicated many times with different subjects
  75. Culture
    The learned and shared behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, values, and material objects that characterize a particular group or society
  76. Society
    A group of people who have lived and worked together long enough to become an organized population and to think of themselves as a social unit
  77. Characteristics of culture
    It is learned, transmitted from one generation to the next, shared, adaptive and always changing
  78. Who creates culture?
  79. What does culture reflect?
    Who we are
  80. Material culture
    The tangible objects that members of a society make, use, and share
  81. Nonmaterial culture
    The shared set of meanings that people in a society use to interpret and understand the world
  82. Symbol
    Anything that stands for something else and has a particular meaning for people who share a culture
  83. Language
    A system of shared symbols that enables people to communicate with one another
  84. Values
    The standards by which members of a particular culture define what is good or bad, moral or immoral, proper or improper, desirable or undesirable, beautiful or ugly
  85. What are the major U.S. values?
    • -Achievement and success
    • -Activity and work
    • -Humanitarianism
    • -Efficiency and practicality
    • -Progress
    • -Material comfort
    • -Freedom and equality
    • -Conformity
    • -Democracy
    • -Individualism
  86. Norms
    A society's specific rules concerning right and wrong behavior
  87. Folkways
    Norms that members of a society (or a group within a society) see as not being critical and that may be broken without severe punishment
  88. Value free
    Separating one's personal values, opinions, ideology, and beliefs from scientific research
  89. Direct observational understanding
    The social scientist observes a person's facial expressions, gestures, and listens to his/her words
  90. Explanatory understanding
    The social scientist tries to grasp the intention and context of behavior
  91. Jane Addams
    • -Co-founded Hull house (one of the first settlement houses in Chicago that served as a community center for the neighborhoods
    • -Active reformer throughout her life
    • -Leader in the woman's suffrage movement 
    • -First American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her adocacy of negotiating rather than waging war, to settle disputes
  92. W.E.B. Du Bois
    • -Spent most of his life responding to the critics and detractors of black life
    • -First African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University
    • -Helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
    • -Examined the oppressive effects of race and class
    • -Described the numerous contributions of U.S. blacks to Western culture
    • -Advocated women's rights
    • -Played a key role in reshaping black-white relations in America
  93. Functionalism
    • -Grew out of the works of Auguste Comte and Emile Durkheim 
    • -Talcott Parsons and Robert K. Merton developed these earlier ideas of structure and function 
    • -A society is a system of major institutions such as government, religions, the economy, education, and the family 
    • -Herbert Spencer used an organic analogy to explain the evolution of societies 
    • -Each structure fulfills certain functions, or purposes and activities, to meet different needs that contribute to a society;s stability and survival
    • -Useful in seeing the "big picture" of interrelated structures and functions
  94. Conflict theory
    • -See disagreement and the resulting changes in society as natural, inevitable, and even desirable 
    • -Some societal arrangements are functional 
    • -Sees society not as cooperative and harmonious, but as a system of widespread inequality 
    • -Important in explaining how societies create and cope with disagreements
  95. Feminist Theories
    • -Gender inequality is central to al behavior, from everyday interactions to organization structures and political and economic institutions
    • -Liberal feminism emphasizes social and legal reform to create equal opportunities for women
    • -Radical feminism sees male dominance in social institutions as the major cause of women's inequality
    • -Global feminism focuses on how the intersection of gender with race, social class, and colonization has exploited women in the developing world
  96. Define functionalism (structural functionalism)
    An approach that maintains that society is a complex system of interdependent parts that work together to ensure a society's survival
  97. Dysfunctional
    Social patterns that a negative impact on a group or society
  98. Manifest functions
    Functions that are intended and recognized; they are present and clearly evident
  99. Latent functions
    Functions that re unintended and unrecognized; they are present but not immediately obvious
  100. Define conflict theory
    An approach that examines the ways in which groups disagree, struggle over power, and compete for scarce resources (such as property, wealth, and prestige)
  101. Define feminist theories
    Approaches that try to explain the social, economic, and political position of women in society with a view to freeing women from traditionally oppressive expectations, constraints, roles, and behavior
  102. Define symbolic interactionism (interactionism)
    A micro-level perspective that looks at individuals' everyday behavior through the communication of knowledge, ideas, beliefs, and attitudes
  103. Interaction
    Action in which people take each other into account in their own behavior
  104. Symbolic interactionism
    • -Focus on process and keep the person at the center of their analysis
    • -George Herbert Mead's proposal that the human mind and self arise in the process of social communication became the foundation of the symbolic and social psychology 
    • -Herbert Blumer coined the term symbolic interactionism 
    • -Emphasized that people interpret or define each other's actions instead of merely reacting to them, especially through symbols 
    • -Erving Goffman contributed significantly to these earlier theories by examining  human interaction in everyday situations ranging from jobs to funerals
  105. Disadvantages of Experiments
    • -Becomes difficult to generalize from them to the outside world
    • -Researchers must rely on volunteers, paid subjects, or a captive audience 
    • -Conclusions drawn form experiments may not be accurate
    • -Attrition among the subjects may be very high
    • -The members of experimental and control groups may communicate with each other about what's going on and behave differently as a result
    • -Controlled laboratory settings are not suitable for studying large groups of people
  106. Evaluation research
    Research that uses all of the standard data collection techniques to assess the effectiveness of social programs in both the public and the private sectors
  107. Advantages of evaluation research
    • -Examines actual efforts to deal with social problems 
    • -Collection costs are usually low
    • -Valuable to program directors or agency heads
  108. Disadvantages of evaluation research
    Practitioners rarely welcome the results of evaluation research if a sociologist concludes that a particular program isn't working
  109. Three golden rules of ethical research
    Do no harm, informed consent, confidentiality
  110. What do values express?
    General goals and broad guidelines
  111. What do norms do?
    Organize and regulate our behavior
  112. Characteristics of norms
    Unwritten, instrumental, explicit, change, conditional, flexible
  113. Mores
    Norms that members of a society consider very important because they maintain moral and ethical behavior
  114. Laws
    Formal rules about behavior that are defined by a political authority that has the power to punish violators
  115. Sanctions
    Rewards for good or appropriate behavior and/or penalties for bad or inappropriate behavior
  116. Positive sanctions
    Praise,hugs, smiles, new toys
  117. Negative sanctions
    Frowning, scolding, spanking, withdrawing love
  118. Cultural universals
    Customs and practices that are common to all societies
  119. Ideal culture
    The beliefs, values, and norms that people in a society say they hold or follow
  120. Real culture
    The actual everyday behavior of people in a society
  121. Ethnocentrism
    The belief that one's culture and way of life are superior to those of other groups
  122. Cultural relativism
    The belief that no culture is better than another and that a culture should be judged by its own standards
  123. Subculture
    A group of people whose distinctive ways of thinking, feelings, and acting differ somewhat from those of the large society
  124. Counterculture
    A group of people who deliberately oppose and consciously reject some of the basic beliefs, values, and norms of the dominant culture
  125. Multiculturalism (cultural pluralism)
    The coexistence of several cultures in the same geographic area, without one culture dominating another
  126. Culture shock
    A sense of confusion, uncertainty, disorientations, or anxiety that accompanies exposure to an unfamiliar way of life or environment
  127. High culture
    The cultural expression of a society's elite or highest social classes
  128. Popular culture
    The beliefs, practices, activities, and products that are widely shared among a population in everyday life
  129. Mass media
    Forms of communicate designed to reach large numbers of people
  130. Cultural imperalism
    The cultural values and products of one society influence or dominate those of another
  131. What are the major reasons for cultural change?
    Diffusion, invention and innovation, discovery, and external pressures
  132. Diffusion
    The process through which components of culture spread from one society to another
  133. Invention
    The process of creating new things
  134. Innovation
    Turning inventions into mass-market products
  135. Discovery
    Requires exploration and investigation, and results in new products, insights, ideas, or behavior
  136. Serendipity effect
    Discovery by chance
  137. Cultural integration
    The consistency of various aspects of society that promotes order and stability
  138. Cultural lag
    The gap when nonmaterial culture changes more slowly than material culture
  139. Functionalists on culture
    • -Focus on society as a system of interrelated parts
    • -Emphasize the social bonds that attach people to society 
    • -All societies have similar strategies for meeting human needs 
    • -Culture can be dysfunctional
  140. Conflict theory on culture
    • -Culture can generate considerable inequality instead of unify society
    • -Many cultural values and norms benefit some members of society more than others
  141. Feminist on culture
    -Feminist analyses expand our understanding of cultural components that other theoretical perspective ignore or gloss over
  142. Symbolic interactionism on culture
    • -Examine culture through micro lenses
    • -Most interested in understanding how people create, maintain, and modify culture 
    • -Explains how culture influences our everyday lives 
    • -As people construct their perception of reality, they create change, and reinterpret values and norms through interaction with others 
    • -Micro approaches are useful in understanding what culture means to people and how these meanings differ across societies
Card Set
Sociology 111 Test 1
Test 1