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Flashcards in Chapter 1 Section 2 Deck (10):

Difference-equals-Deficit Error

The mistaken belief that a deviation from some norm is necessarily inferior to behavior of characteristics that meet the standard. "Norm" is the standard for the observer and difference is anyone unlike themselves.


Social Construction

An idea that is built on shared perceptions, not on objective reality.



A system of shared beliefs, norms, behaviors, and expectations, that persist over time and prescribe social behavior and assumptions.


How are opinions on sexual orientation an example of the difference-equals-deficit error?

Some teens are attracted to people of their own sex. This perceived deficit led school bullies to target LGBT youth and many LGBT youth felt inferior. As a result they committed suicide at a much higher rate than their heterosexual peers. Over time science, activism, and other factors this difference is less assumed to be a deficit. As a result depression snd crippling anxiety among LGBT youth is less common.


How can cultural values been seen as a social construction?

Cultural values, learned in childhood, tend to persist even when the even when the overall culture has shifted.


What is the relationship between ethnic group and culture?

They are both social constructions. People of a particular ethnicity do not need to share a culture and some cultures include people of several ethnic groups.


Ethnic Group

People whose ancestors were born in the same region and who often share a language, culture, and religion.


Socioeconomic Status (SES)

A person's position in society as determined by income, occupation, education, and place of residence.


Why is it more useful to consider ethnicity and culture instead of the differences in appearance that re used to indicate race?

Skin color is misleading, because dark-skinned people with African ancestors have high levels of genetic population diversity and dark skinned people with non-African ancestors share neither culture nor ethnicity with Africans. Although most genes are identical in every human those few genetic differences that distinguish one person from another are poorly indexed by appearance.


What factors are used to indicate a person's SES?

Education, income, occupation, and place of residence