Social Structure and Demographics Flashcards Preview

MCAT Behavioural Sciences > Social Structure and Demographics > Flashcards

Flashcards in Social Structure and Demographics Deck (53):
1

Social structure

A system of people within a society organized by a characteristic pattern of relationships

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Functionalism

Study of the structure and function of each part of society
-society is in a normal state if all parts are fulfilling their functions

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Function - definition

Later theorist defined it as the beneficial consequences of people's actions
-help keep society in balance

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Dysfunctions

Harmful consequences of peoples actions as they undermine a social system's equilibrium

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Manifest function

Action is intended to help some part of a system

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Latent functions

Manifest functions that have unintended positive consequences on other parts of society

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Conflict theory

Based on the works of Karl Marx

Focuses on the power differentials: how they are created and how they contribute to the maintenance of social order

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Symbolic interactionism

study of the way individuals interact through a shared understanding of words, gestures, and other symbols

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Social constructionism theory

Focuses on how individuals put together their social reality

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Social constructs

arise from humans communicating and working together to agree on the significance of a concept or principle
-ex: work ethic, dress code, gender roles

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Rational choice theory

Focuses on decision making in an individual
-attempts to reduce this process to a careful consideration of benefits and harms

In any given social situation the individual chooses the action that has the highest benefit to harm ratio

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Exchange theory

Extension of rational choice theory - focuses on interactions in groups
-behaviour that is met with approval will be reinforced
-behaviour that is met with disapproval is punished which discourages its continuation

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Feminist theory

Attempts to explain social inequalities that exist on the basis of gender
-focus on the subordination of women through social structures and institutional discrimination

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Social Institutions

well-established social structures that dictate certain patterns of behaviour and are accepted as fundamental part of culture
-ex: family, education

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Social Institution: Family

Influences by a number of factors like gender, age, race, beliefs, practices, etc.

Patterns of kinship reflected by different terms that are not conserved across cultures (mother, cousins, brother..)

Sociologists look at stages of coupling, relationships between spouses, parenting etc.

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Divorce rates in the US have been...?

Increasing significantly in the later 20th century but have started to drop in the past 2 decades

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Domestic violence

Seen across all social classes

#1 cause of injury to american women

Most common in families with drug abuse (especially alcoholism)

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Elder abuse

Usually manifests itself as neglect of an older relative

caretaker of the individual is most often the source of abuse

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Child abuse

Most commonly manifests as neglect
-physical, sexual, and psychological abuse are also common

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Hidden curriculum

Education not only includes information and cognitive skills but also is a methods of transmitting social norms, attitudes and beliefs

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Teacher expectancy

Refers to the fact that teachers tend to get what they expect from students
-ones who places high demand AND believes the students can succeed tend to see more student success

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Religion

pattern of social activities organized around a set of beliefs and practices that seek to address the meaning of existence

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6 social institutions

1. Education
2. Family
3. Religion
4. Government
5. Economy
6. Medicine/Heathcare

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Healthcare and Medicine

Institutions aimed at maintaining or improving the health status of the individual, family, community
-increase access with decreased cost

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4 tenants of medical ethics

1. Beneficence: the physician had a responsibility to act in the patients best interest

2. Nonmaleficence: "do no harm" - responsibility to avoid treatments in which the potential for harm outweighs the good

3. Respect for patient autonomy: physician has a responsibility to respect the wishes of the patient

4. Justice: responsibility to treat all patients with the same standard of care and to distribute resources fairly

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Material culture

Meaning of objects within a given society
-can be studied by looking at the artifacts of a population
-often very visible during ceremonies, birthdays, funerals, weddings, etc.

Often the tangible embodiment of symbolic culture

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Symbolic culture

aka. nonmaterial culture is focused on the ideas that represent a group of people

Has a behavioural and cognitive component
-informs values and beliefs as well as norms and communication styles

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Culture lag

Symbolic culture is often "slower" than material culture

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Demographics

statistics of populations and the mathematical applications of sociology

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Gender inequality

intentional or unintentional empowerment of one gender to the detriment of the other

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Race

Social construct based on phenotypic differences between groups of people
-can be real or perceived differences

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Racialization

Definition or establishment of a group as a particular race

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Racial formation theory

Posits that racial identity is fluid and dependent on concurrent political, economic, and social factors
*racial identities are always on display

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Ethnicity

Social construct that organizes people based on cultural factors including race, nationality, religion...
*ethnic identities are not always on display

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Symbolic ethnicity

Specific connection to one;s ethnicity in which ethnic symbols and identity remain important even when ethnic identity does not play a significant role in everyday life

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Kinsey scale

Ranks sexual orientation from 0-6 with 0 = only heterosexual and 6 = only homosexual

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Intersectionality

The interplay between multiple demographic factors that can lead to discrimination and oppression

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Fertility rate

children per woman per lifetime
•primary driver of population expansion in many countries

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Birth rate

children born per 1000 people per year

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Mortality rate

Deaths per 1000 people per year

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Migration rate

Immigration rate - emigration rate

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Demographic transition

specific kind of demographic shift referring to changes in birth and death rates in a country

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Demographic shift

changes in population makeup over time

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Stage 1

preindustrial society
-birth and death rates are both high

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Stage 2

Improvements in health care, nutrition, sanitation
-birth rate = high
-death rate = starts to drop

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Stage 3

Improvements in contraception, women's rights and a shift from agriculture to industry
-birth rates drop
-families have fewer children as children spend more time in school

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Stage 4

An industrialized society
-both birth and death rates are low

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Malthusian theory

focuses on how the exponential growth of population can outpace growth of the food supply and lead to social degradation

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Social movements

either promote (proactive) or resist social change (reactive)
-motivated by perceived relative deprivation

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Globalization

process of integrating the global economy with free trade and the tapping of foreign markets

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Urbanization

dense areas of population creating a pul for migration
-more than half the world's population lives in urban areas

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Slum

densely populated area of a city with low-quality, often informal housing and poor sanitation

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Ghetto

areas where specific racial, ethnic, or religious minorities are concentrated
-usually due to social or economic inequities