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Flashcards in Sociology 2 Deck (98):

Understanding Social Structure

  • Macrosociology vs. Microsociology

  • MACROsociology
    • large groups and social institutions
  • MICROsociology
    • small groups or individuals


Understanding Social Structure

  • Name the "Six Major Sociological Theories"

  1. Functionalism
  2. Conflict Theory
  3. Symbolic Interactionism
  4. Social Constructionism
  5. Exchange Theory
  6. Rational Choice Theory


Understanding Social Structure

  • Six Major Sociological Theories
    • Functionalism
      • Provide: 
        • A conceptua definition of the theory
        • The unique ways in which this theory explains or accounts for social or group behavior
        • Two real-life examples that illustrate each theory or approach


  • Sees society as being a complex system made up of interdependent institutions
    • ...that work together to promote:
      • stability
      • the status quo

Any change is seen as dysfunctional

  • Members of society have generally reached consensus on what is right and wrong, good and bad
  • Functionalists are interested in:
    • the social system as a whole
      • how it operates
      • how it changes, and
      • the consequences produced
  • Functionalism asks four fundamental questions about each of the social institutions
    1. How is this institution related to the other institutions?
    2. Where does this institution fit within the larger social system?
    3. Are there consequences resulting from this institution?
    4. Do these consequences interfere with the operation of the social system or do these consequences contribute to the operation of the social system?
  • An example of this theory is studying the family institution
    • Families perform many functions including:
      • nurturing and socializing children
      • regulating sexual behavior
      • loving and caring for its members
  • Deviating from any of these functions produces consequences
    • For instance, divorce can be financially devastating causing interference with the operation of the social system
  • A high divorce rate has a ripple effect on other social institutions
    • including the economy
      • This is seen as dysfunctional
  • Another example of this theory is studying the institution of religion
    • Religion performs many functions including: 
      • instilling what is right and wrong and good and bad
      • providing basic philanthropic services, like:
        • food pantry
        • soup kitchen
        • emergency funds
  • Deviating from any of these functions produces consequences
    • For instance, if fewer people belong to and attend church and provide financial support interference with the operation of the social system is experienced
      • This results in a ripple effect on other social institutions, including the family
        • This is seen as dysfunctional

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Understanding Social Structure

  • Six Major Sociological Theories
    • Conflict Theory​
  • Provide: 
    • A conceptual definition of the theory
    • The unique ways in which this theory explains or accounts for social or group behavior
    • Two real-life examples that illustrate each theory or approach

Conflict Theory

"The haves and the have nots"

  • Sees social life as characterized by inequality
    • where groups and individuals compete for scarce resources
      • This results in various levels of wealth, power and prestige across society
  • Social inequality effects everyday interaction at the micro level and more macro phenomena
    • (race and ethnicity, social class, sexuality)


  • Typically, those who are advantaged:
    • want to stay advantaged
  • Whereas those disadvantaged:
    • continue to struggle to get more for them

Conflict theory asks three questions:

  1. How is society divided?
  2. How do the advantaged members protect what they have?
  3. How do the disadvantaged members attempt to challenge the status quo in order to promote change?
  • An example of this theory is analyzing the American educational system and how inequality is reproduced generation to generation
    • Young people from advantaged backgrounds:
      • are tracked toward college
    • Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds:
      • are tracked toward vocation
    • This results in perpetuating financial instability among the disadvantaged
      • because vocational jobs are typically low paying
  • Another example of this theory is analyzing the distribution of power among men and women
    • In our society we see a clear difference in how men are seen as having power over women in several domains, in:
      • the home
      • the workplace
      • mass media
  • Conflict theory brings this information into our awareness WITH THE INTENTION OF PROMOTING SOCIAL CHANGE!!!!!!


Six Major Sociological Theories

Social Constructionism 

(also known as ______ology)

  • Is the study of _____ _________ in everyday life
  • This theory is interested in how individuals ___, ___, and ___ about social life
  • Central to the theory is the concept of...?

    • this is how individuals assign _____ to perceptions and experiences  through ______

  • Give 2 modern examples of social constructionism

Social constructionism

also known as phenomenology or

phenomenological sociology

It is the study of HUMAN EXPERIENCE in everyday life


The theory is interested in how individuals:

  • Perceive
  • Think
  • Talk
    • ...about social life


Central to the theory is the concept of the:


=how individuals assign meaning to perceptions and experiences through interaction

Consequences follow from the construction of reality



An example of using this theory provides an understanding of how the United States became involved in the war in Iraq in 2003

  • Reality was constructed for all of us (including our President and Vice President), that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction
  • Serious consequences followed from this social construction of reality
    • including many lives lost and
    • injuries sustained from engaging in war
  • We came to another construction of reality when it was discovered there were no weapons of mass destruction after all

Another example of using this theory provides a framework for explaining why Leelah (Josh) Alcorn committed suicide

  • Leelah was a transgender teen from Cincinnati, OH
  • Her construction of reality was feeling alone and afraid
  • On several occasions she told her few friends of being rejected and bullied because of her sexuality
  • Leelah wrote a note on social media that was released after her death that said, “The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgendered people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans with valid feelings and human rights”
  • She continued, “My death needs to mean something”
  • The consequences of her social construction of reality resulted in her tragic death

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Understanding Social Structure

  • Six Major Sociological Theories
    • Exchange Theory
      • Provide: 
        • A conceptual definition of the theory
        • The unique ways in which this theory explains or accounts for social or group behavior
        • Two real-life examples that illustrate each theory or approach

Exchange theory

  • Explains that people act rationally to get what they need by exchanging goods and services with others

Relationships continue with others (or not) based on:

  • a simple calculation of rewards minus costs equal outcome
    • If the outcome is either neutral or positive, meaning the individual gets more from the interaction that it costs, the relationship is likely to continue
    • If, however, the outcome is consistently negative, this theory predicts the relationship is likely to end
      • ​ the relationship costs more than the individual benefits from it

An example of applying this theory facilitates an understanding of why some people stay married and others divorce

  • Those who stay married perceive they get and much as they give or get more from the relationship than they give over the years
  • Those who get divorced perceive they give more than they receive over the years
  • Rewards include:
    • love and support
    • physical affection
    • financial support
  • Costs include:
    • conflict
    • financial support

Another example of applying this theory helps explain why some employees stay employed at the same company for a period of years and others quit

  • Those who stay employed perceive they get as much as they give or get more from the work experience than they give over the years
  • Those who quit perceive they give more than they receive over the years
  • Rewards include:
    • Money in the form of a paycheck
    • other benefits such as:
      • health and life insurance
      • paid vacation
      • sick leave
      • general working conditions
  • Costs include long working hours, under compensation and poor working conditions

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Understanding Social Structure

  • Six Major Sociological Theories
    • Rational Choice Theory
      • Provide: 
        • A conceptual definition of the theory
        • The unique ways in which this theory explains or accounts for social or group behavior
        • Two real-life examples that illustrate each theory or approach

Rational Choice Theory

  • Sees all actions as fundamentally rational, and 
    • people ascertain the costs and benefits of any action prior to acting
  • Actions are RATIONALLY motivated
    • despite appearing otherwise
  • It is related to social exchange theory including the same sort of cost/benefit analysis
    • ...but differs with its emphasis on the individual acting rationally
  • There are three components to Rational Choice Theory:
    1. Individualism
    2. Maximization of goals
    3. Self-interest

An example of applying this theory can be used to explain voting behavior in the United States

  • Rational choice theory claims that voting behavior is governed less by race / ethnicity, age, gender, social class or party loyalty than by rational calculations of self-interest
    • In other words, which political candidate is most likely to benefit MY family and ME?

An example of applying this theory facilitates an understanding of criminal behavior

  • Criminals think about themselves and how to achieve their goals
    • They rationally choose to follow the laws or break them following a cost/benefit analysis
      • If the benefit of:
        • money
        • status and
        • the thrill of the act

...outweigh the risk of being caught by the authorities, the criminal will likely break the law


  • Social Institutions
    • Education
      • Describe "Hidden Curriculum"

  • An unofficial curriculum of social norms taught to students at school

​Is an agent of socialization


Social Institutions

  • Education
    • Teacher Expectancy
      • Which examples illustrate hidden curriculum and why?
      • Which are examples of publicized curriculum?
      • Which are examples of teacher expectancy?
        1. Students learn that most knowledge and learning comes via reading textbooks
        2. Teachers are to be given the utmost respect as dominant authority figures
        3. Johnny is absent and the teacher believes his parents have probably taken him out of school for a family event or vacation; Pablo is absent and the teacher believes he has skipped class to hang out with friends
        4. Students are expected not to speak out of turn
        5. One student scores an 80 percent on an exam and is told: “You can do better, Sarah, I know you can.
          • Another student earns the same score and is told: “Excellent work David, you did it.”
        6. The higher level of performance by boys in one particular science class may not be based on actual aptitude differences between the boys and girls in that class

Hidden curriculum

  • is a concept that describes the unacknowledged, unarticulated curriculum students are taught in school
    • ...that contribute to how the educational system creates and recreates social inequality

Publicized curriculum

  • Defines:
    • what students are supposed to learn and
    • what teachers are supposed to teach

The sociological study of the hidden curriculum:

  • draws attention to the unintended consequences of social institutions OVERALL

Sociological studies of teacher expectancy (the impact of a teacher’s expectations on a student’s performance):

  • have found that student background and socioeconomic status were more important in determining educational achievement
    • ...than were differences in school resources
  1. Publicized curriculum
    • ​​it is what students are supposed to learn and how teachers are supposed to teach
  2. Publicized curriculum –
    1. we all have a general understanding that teachers are to be given respect as authority figures
  3. Teacher expectancy
    • Johnny is from an upper-middle class family whose parents travel to educational places.
    • Pablo is from a poor family whose parents do not value education and don’t provide adequate supervision for him
  4. Publicized curriculum
    • we all have a general understanding that students are not to speak out of turn while in the classroom
  5. Teacher expectancy
    • the teacher has higher expectancies for Sarah than they do for David
      • based on unknown factors
  6. Hidden curriculum
    • boys have been treated differently than girls in science, technology, engineering and math
  7. Boys have been advantaged by this preferential treatment
    • therefore more boys have engaged in upper level classes and college majors
      1. resulting in more men in those careers than women


Social Institutions

  • Educational Segregation & Stratification
    • Compare & Contrast the two


  • Students tend to be segregated into groups or classes within a school, or even into different schools, based on:
    • race
    • socioeconomic class, or
    • similar differences


  • Students tend to be separated into different classes or schools THAT HAVE STRATIFIED CURRICULUM of unequal difficulty
    • For example, private schools generally have harder curriculum but are mostly restricted to children from upper-income families
    • In public schools children are often stratified into tracks or classes that are for the:
      • “remedial,”
      • normal, and
      • “gifted or talented” 


  • Social Institutions
    • Family
      • Describe Kinship
        • What is it based on?
        • What is it derived from? (2)
        • What does kinship regulate? (2)
        • Name the 3 forms of Kinship
        • Differentiate between primary, secondary, and tertiary kins

  • Kinship is based on:
    • the recognition of the relationships
  • Is derived from:
    1. descent
    2. marriage
  • Everyone in society is a kin and has a kin
  • Kinship is both voluntary and involuntary
  • Kinship as important for regulating:
    1. behavior
    2. interrelationships

There are three levels of kinship that are recognized: Primary, secondary and tertiary

  1. Primary kin
    • is a person belonging to the same nuclear family as ego
  2. Secondary kin
    • is the primary kin of ego’s primary kin
  3. Tertiary kin
    • is the primary kin of the secondary kin


  • Social Institutions
    • Family
      • Marriage & Divorce
        • What 4 things should you focus on? 


Focus on the concepts of:

  1. Interpersonal attraction 
  2. Mate-choice
  3. The diverse forms of marriage
    • polygamy
    • polyandry
    • same-sex
  4. Increasing divorce rates
  • It is clear that 20th -century divorce rates were much higher than other historical periods
  • It was thought that divorce rates peaked in the 1970s
    • but new research from the most recent census indicates that divorce rates may have actually been increasing since 1970
  • This same study also indicated more older and longer-married couples are divorcing than ever before
  • MCAT-2015 might expect you to recognize that divorce is FAR MORE LIKELY FOR YOU than it was for your grandparents


  • Social Institutions
    • Family
      • Family Violence
        • List the 3 things you should be "generally familiar with" for the MCAT

  1. Child abuse
  2. Elder abuse
  3. Spousal abuse


  • Social Institutions
    • Family
      • Diversity in Family Forms 
        • What should know wrt changing family forms?
        • What are 4 family forms that are increasingly more common?

NUCLEAR FAMILY ⇒DIVERSE FAMILIES (increasingly more common)

  • The traditional nuclear family of mother, father, and children is decreasing in frequency across many cultures

Other increasingly common family forms include:

  1. Single parents
  2. Cross-generational families
    • e.g., grandparents or great grandparents are generally expected to live in the same house
  3. Polygamist parents
  4. Same-sex parents


  • Social Institutions
    • Religion
      • Religion vs. Religiosity


  • Formal beliefs, doctrines, or values taught or associated with a SPECIFIC CHURCH OR GROUP


  • A more broad term encompassing any guiding belief or behavior by an individual 
      • ...regarding ultimate or transcendent issues
        • e.g., the purpose of life, death, life after death, morality, ethics


  • Social Institutions
    • Religion
      • Types of Religious Organizations
        • Differentiate between a church, a sect, and a cult

  • Religion is a social institution involving beliefs and practices based on the sacred
    • "Sacred"= all things extraordinary and awe-inspiring
  • Religion provides a collective way of dealing with life and death and moral decisions


  • is one type of religious organization that is a part of the larger society
  • It possesses the following traits:
    • Attempts to appeal to everyone
    • Has a formalized worship style
    • Leaders are educated, trained and ordained
    • Long-term established and organized
    • Attracts members that are mainstream


  • is one type of religious organization that stands apart from the larger society
  • It possesses the following traits:
    • Holds rigid religious convictions and does not have universal appeal
    • Has a spontaneous and emotionally charged style of worship
    • Leaders are charismatic
    • Less stable than church, typically splitting off from other groups
    • Attracts social outsiders


  • is another type of religious organization that stands apart from the larger society
  • It differs from sect because it is outside of a society’s cultural traditions
  • Cults can be seen as deviant
  • One prominent example was the Heaven’s Gate cult in California where 39 members committed suicide as a group in 1997
  • They claimed this was the way to a higher existence.


  • Social Institutions
    • Religion
      • is a _____ _____ involving _____s and _____s based on ___ _____
      • What does Religion provide? (2)

  • Religion is a social institution involving beliefs and practices based on the sacred

    • "The sacred"= all things extraordinary and  awe-inspiring

  • Religion provides a collective way of:
    1. Dealing with life and death 
    2. Moral decisions


Social Institutions

  • Religion
    • Religion & SOCIAL CHANGE
      • ​Describe:
        • Modernization
        • Secularization
        • Fundamentalism
          • Is often a direct reaction to what?
          • Fundamentalists tend to...? (4) 


  • A societal transformation away from:
    •  a traditional, rural, agrarian society
  • ...and toward:
    • a secular, urban, industrial society


  • A societal transformation away from:
    • close identification with religious values or institutions
  • and toward:
    • non-religious, secular values or institutions


  • Religious movements focused on “returning to” or “preserving” pure, original, or unchanged values, teachings or behaviors

This is often a direct reaction to social change

  • ​...especially modernization and secularization

Fundamentalists tend to:

  1. Have stronger levels of commitment,
  2. Be more absolute in their beliefs,
  3. Less tolerant of opposing views,
  4. In some cases resort to extremism or terrorism


  • Social Institutions
    • Government & Economy
      • Compare Power & Authority
        • What are some examples of Power with and without consent?
        • How does the concept of "legitimacy" factor in here?


  • the ability to obtain one’s desires or goals
    • ...even in the face of opposition


  • the legitimate, approved use of power by a leader
    • over persons who recognize or have granted that power to the leader

Force, coercion, and tyrannical forms of government (such as totalitarianism)

  • ...are examples of power without consent
    • and are said to have little or no legitimacy

Authority-dependent uses of power, such as:

  • democratic forms of government
    • that require the consent of the governed
  • ...are examples of power with consent
    • and are said to have a high level of legitimacy


Government & Economy

  • Comparative Economic and Political Systems
    • Define:
      1. Capitalism
        • 3 features
      2. Socialism
        • 3 features
        • Name some Socialist countries
      3. Monarchy
        • ​The ones in Europe are considered "______ Monarchies"
          • Royals are simply _______s
          • Who actually holds the power?
      4. Democracy
        • most democracies are actually "______ democracies"


  • is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned
  • In an ideal capitalist economy, there are three distinct features:
    1. Private ownership of property
    2. Pursuit of personal profit
    3. Competition and consumer choice
  • The United States is considered to have a capitalist economy--
    • although it isn’t pure capitalist
      • because of the large role the government plays in regulating the economy


  • is an economic system in which the means of production are COLLECTIVELY held
  • In an ideal socialist economy, there are three distinct features:
    1. Collective ownership of property
    2. Pursuit of collective goals
    3. Government control of the economy
  • The largest countries with socialist economies include:
    • Cuba
    • Venezuela
    • North Korea
    • China


  • is a political system in which a single family rules from generation to generation
  • Of the monarchies in Europe, all are considered to be constitutional monarchies, 
    • with the royal families being figurehead
    • and with the ACTUAL governing power vested in elected officials


  • is a political system in which power is given to the people
  • It is unrealistic for all citizens to have a voice, so most nations claiming to be democracies are actually "REPRESENTATIVE democracies"
    •  ...where elected officials act on their behalf 
  • The United States along with most high-income nations are democracies


Government & Economy

  • Comparative Economic and Political Systems
    • Describe & give countries as examples 
      1. Authoritarianism
        • Totalitarianism
          • govt has control over what 4 broad things?
      2. Oligarchy
        1. Describe the "Iron Law of Oligarchy"
      3. Plutocracy
      4. Egalitarianism


  • is a political system that denies the people participation in government
  • Authoritarian governments:
    • control the lives of the people
      • and there is no freedom of speech
  • An example of a contemporary authoritarian government is Iran


  • is the MOST EXTREME TYPE of authoritarianism
  • is a political system that:
    • Is highly centralized
    • Extensively regulates people’s lives
  • The government has:
    1. Economical,
    2. Political,
    3. Social, and
    4. Cultural control
  • In other words, the reach of the government is endless
  • An example of contemporary totalitarianism is North Korea


  • is a social system under the control of a SMALL ELITE
  • The "Iron Law of Oligarchy" (Robert Michel) claims all large, complex societies become oligarchies because of the following:
    • People prefer to let others make decisions for them
    • The system is so complex that people can’t possibly know enough to intelligently participate in the decision-making
    • Those in power tend to stay in power
      • and are unwilling to give any of that power up
  • The United States can be seen as an oligarchy


  • is a social system where the wealthy rule
  • It refers to the disproportionate influence the wealthy has on the political process
  • Many claims have been made about the United States being a plutocracy--
    • particularly since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010 in the Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission that the government may not keep companies or unions from spending money to support or denounce candidates in elections
      • This opened the door for wealthy companies to influence elections


  • is a social system where EQUALITY OF ALL PEOPLE in political, economic and social life EXISTS (yay!!)
  • Though a noble belief, in realityTHIS DOES NOT OCCUR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, nor has it in history :*(


Government & Economy

  • Division of Labor

    • Why did Emile Durkheim theorize that Division of Labor was BENEFICIAL to society as a whole? 

      • What (of the workers) does it INCREASE? (2)

      • What does it CREATE? (1) 

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Emile Durkheim theorized that the division of labor is BENEFICIAL for society because:


It increases :

  2. SKILL

​ ....of workers

It creates:

  1. SOLIDARITY ("we're in this together!")

He argues that division of labor helps establish social and moral order within a society


  • Social Institutions
    • Health & Medicine
      • Describe "Medicalization"
      • Does it favor the medical or social model?


  • The process by which all human illness, disability, discomfort, or related problems, are assumed to have:
    • a medical or clinical CAUSE 
    • and/or SOLUTION
  • The healthcare system and healthcare providers have considerable prestige
    • and are viewed as central to solving these issues
  • Medicalization favors the medical model over the social model of understanding illness or disability
  • The term most often has a negative connotation


Health & Medicine

  • Provide a conceptual definition that differentiates between the MEDICAL and SOCIAL models of understanding illness and disability
    • Primary approach=?
    • "Problem"=?
  • Provide examples of:
    • approaches
    • attitudes, or
    • behaviors
  • ...reflective of both models

The Medical Model

Problem: the illness or impairment

  • The illness or disability is the target of cure
    • and the individuals are the passive receivers of services

Primary approach:   Diagnosis and treatment

  • Often these individuals receive more health care than they need--
    • ex: think one expensive diagnostic test after another, after another, after another...etc.

The Social Model

Problem: the structures within a society 

  • The ill or people with disability are active (NOT PASSIVE) participants with working in partnership with others

Primary approach: Prevention and integration (rather than treatment) 

  • The team approach is emphasized--
    • shifting medical care from expensive medical specialists (DOCTORS) to less expensive NP's and PA's
  • This approach benefits everyone--
    • pushing society to evolve


Social Institutions

  • Health & Medicine
    • Describe "The Sick Role"
      • Describe their special rights & obligations
      • What ISNT explained very well by the Sick Role? 
        • Why?

The Sick Role

  • A theory that explains a sick person as having a UNIQUE ROLE in society that includes both:
    • rights
    • obligations
  • Being sick is seen as a TEMPORARY FORM OF DEVIANCE 
    • ...that prevents the person from being a productive member of society during their illness

Rights of a sick person

  • Exempt from normal social roles and expectations
  • Not responsible or to be blamed for their condition

Obligations of a sick person

  • Attempt to get well ASAP
  • Seek help and cooperate with medical professionals

CHRONIC ILLNESSES are NOT well explained by the Sick Role, because they NEVER END 

  • The Sick Role theory would therefore predict that anyone with a chronic illness is ALWAYS a societal deviant


  • Social Institutions
    • Health & Medicine
      • Describe "The Illness Experience"
        • Compare Illness and Disease

The ways in which individuals define and adapt to a perceived LACK OF good health

  • Illness
    • A person’s SUBJECTIVE experience of a health problem
  • Disease
    • A medical professional’s SCIENTIFIC DEFINITION of a health problem
      • based on signs and symptoms


Social Institutions

  • Health & Medicine
    • Social Epidemiology
      • Define "Epidemiology"
      • What 3 things does it focus on?

  •  A branch of medicine focused on the:
    1. incidence
    2. prevalence, and
    3. wide-spread control

...of diseases and other factors relating to public health


Social Institutions

  • Health & Medicine
    • Social Epidemiology
      • Differentiate between Incidence and Prevalence
        • Give the formulas for Incidence Rate & Prevalence Rate


  • is a measure of disease that allows:
    • the determination of a person’s probability of being diagnosed with a disease
      • over a given period of time
  • In other words, incidence is the NUMBER of newly diagnosed cases of a disease

An "Incidence Rate" is: 

  • the number of new cases of adisease divided by the number of persons at risk for the disease


  • is a measure of disease that:
    • allows us to determine a person’s likelihood of HAVING a disease
  • Therefore, the number of prevalent cases is:
    • the total number of cases of disease existing in a population 
    • Longer lasting-- prevalence takes into account new AND existing cases

A "Prevalence rate" is:

  • the total number of cases of a disease existing in a population divided by the total population


  •  Culture
    • Elements of Culture
      • Name the 5 Elements of Culture
      • Hint: BLuRSiVe (kinda like "cursive")
        • Gives examples 

  1. Beliefs
    • e.g., religion, politics
  2. Language
  3. Rituals
    • e.g., ceremonies, religious rites of passage, symbolic acts
  4. Symbols
    • e.g., flags, emblems
  5. Values
    • e.g., individualism, patriotism, communalism, Judeo-Christian values in the U.S.



  • Material vs. Symbolic (Non-Material) Culture
    • Provide a conceptual definition for both


  • ​Compare and contrast them
    • What professions usually study each of the two cultures?
    • Give some examples of both types of culture

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Material culture

  • includes all of the physical artifacts created by members of society
  • There is a wide variety of material culture, ranging from simple to complex

Principally interested in studying material culture:

  1. Anthropologists
  2. Archeologists 

Examples include:

  • chairs
  • tables
  • smart phones and tablets

Symbolic Culture

  • includes the IDEAS created by members of society

Principally interested in studying non-material culture:

  1. Sociologists 

Examples include:

  • Symbols
  • language
  • norms
  • values
  • beliefs 



  • Important Concepts Related to Culture:
    • Provide a conceptual definition of the following terms as they related to culture
      • culture shock
      • culture lag
      • cultural barrier
      • language barrier
      • assimilation
      • multiculturalism

Culture shock

  • is the feeling of disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life
  • It can be felt when traveling within one’s own country
    • but is the most intense when traveling abroad
  • An example of culture shock is driving in Europe where cars drive on the left side of the road instead of the right side in the United States

Culture lag

  • refers to the fact that some cultural elements change more quickly than others
    • causing conflict with the cultural system
  • An example of this is the use of drones
  • The technology outpaced the public policy
    • resulting in policymakers trying to play catch up in creating laws governing the use of these unmanned aerial vehicles

Cultural barriers

  • may occur when a person of one culture interacts with someone of another culture
  • Their beliefs and attitudes, customs and practices may clash
    • This may result in a barrier to success in the workplace, the classroom, or community at large
  • An example of this is accommodating religious observances in the workplace
    • A conflict may arise during the month of Ramadan when the employee is expected to fast (abstain from food and drink) from dawn until dusk
  • Another source of conflict may arise from the employee’s need to pray five times per day

Language barrier

  • may occur when a person speaking one language interacts with someone speaking another language
  • An example of this is attempting to communicate symptoms to an English-speaking physician when the patient only speaks Spanish


  • is the process by which minorities gradually adopt practices of the dominant culture
  • Second and third generation immigrants become less like their first generation family members and more Westernized


  • is a perspective recognizing the cultural diversity of the United States and promoting equal standing for all cultural traditions
  • This stands in opposition to the concept of the "melting pot"
    • where everyone becomes like each other


  • Culture
    • Describe the difference between SUBCULTURE and COUNTERCULTURE


  • A secondary culture existing within a mainstream culture that has its own set of values and norms,
    • ...but is generally able to co-exist with mainstream culture
  • Subculture refers to cultural patterns
    • ...that set apart some segment of a society’s population
  • An example of a subculture is marathon runners


  • A secondary culture that is antagonistic toward mainstream culture
    • and has the overt goal of changing it
  • Countercultures are often political in nature
    • because they are focused on enacting change
  • Counterculture refers to cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society
  • An example of counterculture is ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq


  • Culture
    • Cultural Transmission & Diffusion
      • Differentiate between cultural transmission and cultural diffusion
      • How does the transmission of language between generations relate to cultural transmission and diffusion?

Cultural transmission

  • also known as cultural learning
  • is the way a group of people within a society or culture learns and passes on new information

Cultural diffusion

  • is the spread of cultural beliefs and social activities from one group to the next

Language is crucial to every culture

  • It is made up of words and rules (syntax) for how the words are appropriately arranged
  • Language is important because that is how we are able to create the meaning of the experiences we have
  • Language is how we create and express reality

** Cultural transmission is the primary way one generation passes along language to the next generation **

  • Sociological and anthropological research on smaller, less well-known languages describes the process by which these languages become endangered and eventually dormant
  • Parents cease to use the second language in communication with their children and eventually only the written record of the language remains
  • The cultural transmission of language ceases.

***Cultural diffusion is responsible the melting pot of words in the English language***

  • It contains a mixture of words from many other languages from around the world
    • For example, siesta is commonly used when referring to taking a short nap in the middle of the day
    • Another example is rendezvous, meaning to meet
  • Looking at other countries, we can see cultural diffusion at work, too
  • American slang is introduced to foreign countries after hearing it in American movies or television shows


  • Culture
    • Mass Media (MM) & Cultural Values (CV) 
      • Define both
      • How are they interrelated?

Mass Media (MM)

  • methods or instruments of conveying information
    • allow for communication with large numbers of people at once
    • e.g., radio, television, internet, etc.

Cultural values (CV)

  • influence WHAT the media presents

...and what the media presents influences cultural values



  • Culture
    • Evolution & Human Culture

aka "Cultural Evolution"

  • ______ speeds up human evolution! 
    • creating WHAT? 
      • ​...that DRIVES what?

Culture speeds up human evolution!

The existence of culture creates:

    • ...that DRIVE natural selection


Homo sapiens becoming agricultural meant:

  1. Evolution of digestive enzymes was necessary 
  2. Selection of disease-resistant genes gained adaptive value 


The rate of human evolution increased dramatically when Homo sapiens sapiens transitioned from a hunter-gatherer culture to an agricultural society

  • The more concentrated agriculturalists had more problems with disease--
    • resulting in selection for disease-resistant genes
  • Similarly, a decrease in meat and an increase in grains and vegetables in their diets created selective pressures
    • that drove the evolution of digestive enzymes and other alleles that conferred an advantage

It is cultural change that most directly drives evolution

The more dramatic the cultural change, the more likely that change is to speed up evolution


  • Demographic Characteristics and Processes
    • Name the 5 demographics of society we need to know

  1. Age
  2. Gender
  3. Race and Ethnicity
  4. Immigration Status
  5. Sexual Orientation


  • Demographic Structure of Society
    • Age
      • Aging and the Life Course
        • Define Gerontology


  • The scientific study of the:
    • biological
    • psychological, and
    • social aspects of aging


Demographic Structure of Society

  • Age
    • Aging and the Life Course
      • Describe "The Life Course"
      • Describe transitions and trajectories
        • Give examples of both


  • A theoretical approach to studying human experience, aging or development
  • It considers an individual’s entire lifetime as a whole

Pays particular attention to life transitions and trajectories

  1. Transition
    • a significant, discrete change or event in one’s life
      • e.g., first day of school, graduation, first marriage, first real job, etc.
  2. Trajectory
    • a stable, long-term sequence of linked states, roles, or experiences
      • e.g., education, career, parenthood, etc.


Demographic Structure of Society

  • Age
    • Define an "Age Cohort"
      • Describe the "85+" and "Baby Boomer" cohorts

Age Cohorts=

  • Generational segments of society that share common characteristics or life experiences
    • because of the time period in which they were born
      • Ex: Baby Boomers, Gen-X, Millennials, etc.


  • The 85+ cohort is dramatically increasing in today’s society
  • Because this was formerly thought of as the end-of-life for most individuals, this creates new challenges regarding:
    • caring for the elderly
    • strains on the healthcare system, and so forth


  • This cohort was created by a large increase in the number of births immediately following World War II
  • Baby Boomers began retiring in approximately 2010 and will continue at a rate of a quarter-million people per month for the next two decades
  • This will have dramatic impacts upon Social Security, the healthcare system, the U.S. economy and many other social institutions


Demographic Structure of Society

  • Age
    • Social Significance of Aging
      • Define "Ageism"

stereotyping or discrimination

.....based on one’s age


  • Demographic Structure of Society
    • Gender
      • Differentiate between the concepts of sex and gender


  • is a BIOLOGICAL matter
  • Human beings are grouped into two sexes:
    • Male and female
  • Biological differences can be found between these two groups in chromosomes, anatomy and hormones


  • refers to the personal traits and social positions that members of a society attach to "being male" or "being female"
  • Gender is seen by sociologists to be socially constructed through SOCIALIZATION
    • Parents dress boys differently from girls and encourage different activities depending on the gender of their children
    • Mass media portrays men and women differently in television shows and movies
  • This has an impact on what is learned about what boys should do differently from girls


Demographic Structure of Society

  • Gender
    • The Social Construction of Gender
      • What is a "Construct?"
      • Constructs are more ___ than ___, and more ___ than ___ 
      • "Construct" is a term used frequently used in ____ and ____
      • A Social Construct is a construct created by...? 

Construct =

  • Something developed or created
    • ...rather than directly observable or measurable
  • Constructs are thought of as:
    • more subjective than objective
    • and more theoretical than empirical

The term is used frequently in both psychology and sociology

  • A social construct is a construct created by a society


  • Demographic Structure of Society
    • Gender
      • Describe "Gender Segregation"
      • Give some examples 

Gender Segregation

  • Is the:
    • Physical,
    • Legal, or
    • Social segregation of individuals
      • ...according to sex


  • separate gym classes for boys and girls
  • different legal treatment of men versus women
  • encouraging young women to pursue traditional female careers (such as teaching or nursing)
    • rather than traditional male careers such as firefighting or joining the military


Demographic Structure of Society

  • Gender
    • Describe "Gender Inequality"
      • What is a "Patriarchy?"


  • A general term describing any aspect of society wherein individuals are treated differently based upon gender


  • any societal, political, cultural, or familial structure wherein men are thought to have greater:
    • power
    • authority
    • privilege, or
    • rights
      • ....than women
  • Historically, it is used to refer to the family structure in which the father is established as the “head of the household”
    • And holds authority over women and children


Demographic Structure of Society

  • Race and Ethnicity
    • The Social Construction of Race
      • Differentiate b/t Race & Ethnicity


  • NOT genetic or directly measurable
  • It is inferred or determined subjectively based on a certain set of phenotypic traits
    • such as facial features and skin color


  • Groups people according to:
    • culture
    • religion
    • language, or
    • national origin


  • Demographic Structure of Society
    • Race and Ethnicity
      • Compare Racialization with Racial Formation


  • ascribing a racial or ethnic identity to a group
    • that DOES NOT self-identify as that race or ethnicity

Racial Formation

  • Racial categories are NOT permanent or easily defined
    • ...but are constructed by various forces in history and society
  • Racial identities can be created, strengthened, and destroyed
    • ...and are always fluid


Demographic Structure of Society

  • Immigration Status
    • Patterns of Immigration
      • Just know how immigration has affected the US in the past and present 

  • The United States is often said to be a nation of immigrants
  • Native Americans were the original inhabitants of America, but were quickly overwhelmed by European immigrants
  • For most of its early history, immigration to the U.S. was predominantly from Europe
  • The slave trade must also be considered as a form of forced immigration bringing many African and Caribbean slaves to the U.S. Immigration from Mexico and (to a lesser degree) from other Central and South American countries has increased significantly in recent decades
  • “Illegal Immigration” has become a hot political topic, separating immigrants into “documented” (legal) and “undocumented” (illegal) status based upon whether they entered the country with or without permission and legal documentation


Demographic Structure of Society

  • Immigration Status
    • The Intersection of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
      • Graduate degrees are now offered at many universities in “Race, Ethnicity and Immigration"
      • Propose multiple ways in which the concepts of race and ethnicity impact or influence the study of immigration
      • "Immigration" and "Emigration" imply WHAT wrt location? 

The concepts of race and ethnicity are often times confused


  • is a socially constructed category of people that share biologically transmitted traits
    • which members of society consider to be important
  • Meanings of race differ from place to place, time to time and between various categories of people


  • is a shared cultural heritage
  • People identify themselves and others with a common ancestry, religion and language that give them a distinct social identity
  • Examples of ethnicities found in the multi-ethnic United States include:
    • Hispanic
    • Latino
    • Irish
    • German


  • is the physical movement of people within and between social systems
    • This movement has an effect on the area that loses migrants (emigration) as well as the area that receives migrants (immigrants)

The study of race, ethnicity and immigration has become popular in graduate schools across the United States

  • The majority of the programs study social structures and processes that shape patterns of inequality related to race, ethnicity, nationality and citizenship
  • Having an awareness of these factors and their influence on migration helps to inform social policy

IMMIGRATION & EMIGRATION IMPLY MOVING TO/FROM A COUNTRY!!!!!  (Supposedly...per the question set)


  • Demographic Characteristics and Processes
    • Demographic Shifts and Social Change
      • Define a "Demographic Shift"

Demographic shift

  • a change in the makeup of a population over time
    • measured by demographic factors such as:
      • age
      • population size
      • diversity, etc.


Demographic Characteristics and Processes

  • Demographic Shifts and Social Change
    • Theories of Demographic Change
      • Malthusian Theory
        • Provide a conceptual definition for the Malthusian Theory of Population

The Malthusian Theory of Population

  • was developed in response to a SPIKE in the population growth
  • Thomas Robert Malthus was an English economist who warned that unbridled population growth would lead to chaos (Think: Bertrant Zobrist from "Inferno")

He calculated that:

  • population would increase by a geometric progression
    • by the series of numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. 
  • and claimed world population WOULD SOAR OUT OF CONTROL

Further, Malthus claimed that food production would increase, but only in geometric progression

  • by the series of numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.
  • ...because of the limitation on farmland

This lead to his conclusion that people would reproduce beyond what the planet could sustain

  • leading to starvation and conflict over limited resources


  • Demographic Characteristics and Processes
    • Demographic Shifts and Social Change
      • Define Fertility Rates and Mortality Rates

Fertility Rate (a.k.a., Fecundity)

  • the average number of children born to EACH woman in a given population

Mortality Rate

  • the number of deaths per unit time


Demographic Characteristics and Processes

  • Demographic Shifts and Social Change
    • Fertility and Mortality Rates
      • Define:
        • "Total Fertility Rate"
        • "Crude Birth Rate"
        • "Age-Specific Fertility Rate"

Total fertility rate

  • refers to the average number of children a woman gives birth to in her lifetime

Crude birth rate

  • refers to the number of live births in a given year]
    • ...for every 1,000 people in a population
  • This measurement is entitled crude because it includes both women AND men in the population
  • In addition, it ignores differences among various groups in the population
    • Ex: Asian Americans have very low birth rates when compared to the Amish but are combined together in the crude birth rate

Age-specific fertility rate

  • refers to the number of births during a specific year or reference period
    • ...per 1,000 women of reproductive age
    • single or five-year groups


Demographic Characteristics and Processes

  • Demographic Shifts and Social Change
    • Fertility and Mortality Rates
      • Define:
        • "Total Mortality Rate"
        • "Crude Mortality Rate"
        • "Age-Specific Mortality Rate"

Total mortality rate

  • would refer to the number of deaths the average person suffers in their lifetime, and because this rate does not vary it is not a term commonly used to describe mortality rates

Crude mortality rate

  • refers to the total number of deaths per year
    • ...per 1,000 people
  • This measurement can be misleading
    • b/c it depends upon age and gender specific mortality rates and the age and gender distribution in the population
  • Also, the number of deaths per 1,000 can be higher in developed nations as compared to lower developed nations
    • ..because in developed countries there are a higher proportion of older people
      • This is due to:
        • lower birth rate
        • lower mortality rate
      • the developed countries compared to lower developed nations

Age-specific mortality rate

  • is the total number of deaths to residents of a specified age or age group in a specified geographic area (country, state, county, etc.)
    • ...divided by the population of the same age or age group in the same geographic area
    • ...for a specified time period (usually one year
    • ...and multiplied by 100,000


  • Demographic Characteristics and Processes
    • Demographic Shifts and Social Change
      • Define "Demographic Transition"

Demographic Transition

  • A trend observed in birth and death rates as
  • ...a society transitions from a pre-industrial to an industrial society


  • Demographic Shifts & Social Change
    • Demographic Transition
      • Describe the 4 Stages of Demographic Transition
      • Describe fertility & mortality trends during each stage

Stage 1:

  • Pre-industrial society
    • High fertility
    • High mortality

Stage 2:

  • Still pre-industrial
  • Decreasing mortality as a result of societal improvements
    • e.g., sanitation, healthcare, nutrition

Stage 3:

  • Shift from agricultural ⇒ industrial
  • Decreasing fertility as a result of:
    • contraception
    • women’s rights, and
    • smaller family size

Stage 4:

  • Industrial society
    • Low fertility
    • Low mortality


  • Demographic Shifts & Social Change
    • Demographic Transition
      • Describe Patterns of Fertility & Mortality that can be deduced from the 4 population stages

The four population stages demonstrate that:

  • across time, as most populations proceed from preindustrial ⇒industrialized, fertility and mortality are PREDICTABLE
    • For example, early, preindustrial societies have very high fertility and very high mortality
    • ...while late, fully industrialized societies have both low fertility and low mortality


  • Demographic Shifts & Social Change
    • Population Growth & Decline
      • Populations are thought to have  a ____ _____ based on ___ _____
      • Demographic Transition shows that populations grow and decline via? (3)

  •  Populations are often thought to have a theoretical limit
    • based on resource availability

Demographic Transition shows that populations grow and decline via:

  1. Fertility (birth)
  2. Mortality (death)
  3. Migration (immigration or emigration)


  • Demographic Shifts & Social Change
    • Population Growth & Decline
      • Population Projections 
        • Population growth is inversely related to? (2)
        • When is the world's population expected to PEAK? Why so soon?
        • What 3 things are expected to LIMIT world population? 

Generally, population growth is inversely related to industrialization and modernization

  • Because birth rates are falling world-wide, world population is expected to peak sometime in the next one to two centuries
  1. Limited resources
  2. Pollution
  3. Economic pressures
  • ...are also expected to limit total world population


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Population Growth & Decline
    • Population Projections 
      • Graph:
        • birth-rate
        • death-rate
        • total population vs. time
      • ...for a society progressing from pre-industrial to fully industrialized

  • Time One
    • represents pre-industrial society
  • Time Two
    • represents agricultural society
  • Time Three
    • represents industrial society
  • Time Four
    • represents post-industrial society
  • Time Five
    • represents *speculation* for the next stage of society

A image thumb

Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Population Growth & Decline
    • Population Pyramids
      •  Draw a population pyramid graph for a population undergoing:
        • a) rapid growth
        • b) slow growth
        • c) negative growth

Be sure to label both axes


  • Percentages
    • ex: -5%⇒+5%


  • Age Range
    • ex: 50-54

A image thumb

Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Population Growth & Decline
    • Population Pyramids
      • Draw a population pyramid graph representing each of the four stages of demographic transition
      • (pre-industrial to industrialized)

A image thumb

Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Population Growth & Decline
    • Push & Pull Factors in Migration
      • Define:
        • Immigration 
        • Emigration
        • Push Factors
        • Pull Factors
      • Give examples of Push & Pull factors


  • movement INTO a nation or region


  • movement OUT OF a nation or region

Push Factors

  • Aspects of a society that ENCOURAGE EMIGRATION (out)
  • Examples include:
    • low wages
    • low standard of living
    • lack of employment
    • religious persecution
    • war

Pull Factors

  • aspects of a society that ATTRACT IMMIGRANTS (in)
  • Examples include:
    • higher wages
    • higher standard of living
    • employment opportunities
    • political freedom


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Describe "Social Movements"
    • Define "Relative Deprivation"
      • it is said to be _____. Why?
      • it is considered to be a potential cause of...? (2)
      • A person's sense of deprivation causes _____

Social Movements

  • Is a large alliance of individuals who share a common interest in:
    • creating or
    • blocking social or political change

Relative Deprivation

  • the experience of being deprived of something to which one feels entitled
  • It is said to be RELATIVE
    • because it usually arises from comparing one’s own situation to that of others
    • and feeling that one has less than what one deserves

"Comparing your behind the scenes to someone else's highlight reel"

  • Relative deprivation is considered a potential cause of:
    1. Social movements
    2. Deviance
  • A person’s sense of deprivation causes grievances--
    • which the social movement or deviance seek to resolve


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Social Movements

    • Organization of Social Movements

      • Define LOOSE Organization

        • When will you typically see this type of organization?

        • Describe Leaders of these kinds of social movements

Loose Organization

  • At the overall “movement” level, a social movement usually has little organization
  • There is rarely a centralized, recognized organization
    • ...that officially represents or speaks for the movement as a whole

“Leaders” of social movements are often:

  1. Unofficial or even
  2. Self-appointed


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Social Movements
    • Organization of Social Movements
      • Describe Social Movement Organizations
      • aka SMOs
        • Give an example in the US
        • Describe inter-member relationships in SMOs

Social Movement Organizations (SMOs)

  • These are formal organizations (often nonprofits) that constitute a sub-component of the movement
  • For example, “Environmentalism” is a movement in the U.S that includes many SMOs, such as:
    • The Sierra Club
    • Earth Share
    • The Nature Conservancy, etc.

Members of individual SMOs: 

  • often disagree about strategy and tactics, or
  • Have slightly different objectives WITHIN the broader movement


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Social Movements
    • Social Movement Strategies and Tactics 
      • Describe a movement's STRATEGY
        • A mvmt's demands must be: (2) 
        • The most effective mvmts have: (2)
        • What kind of tactics impede progress of a mvmt? 
        • How could something bad, like legal battles & imprisonment, be a blessing in disguise?

  • Movements must balance various competing factors strategically

Their demands must be:

  • dramatic enough to:
    • draw attention, and
    • inspire support
  • ...but NOT SO RADICAL that:
    • the general public will dismiss them as "unreasonable"

The most effective movements have:

  1. Actionable STEPS supporters can take to further the movement, and
  2. Measurable outcomes
  • Some tactics, such as disruption or violence could result in:
    • imprisonment or legal ramifications
      • that could impede progress of the movement
  • At the same time, however, legal battles or imprisonment could attract media attention for the movement


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Social Movements
    • Social Movement Strategies and Tactics 
      • Provides examples of Confrontational and Peaceful Tactics that Social Movements employ

Confrontational Tactics

  1. Obstruction
    • Sit-ins
    • Human-chain
    • Blocking access, etc.
  2. Property Damage
    • e.g., PETA burning Animal Science Labs
  3. Violence

Peaceful Tactics

  1. Candlelight Vigils
  2. Mass Demonstrations
  3. Cultural Politics
    • e.g., AIDS quilts
    • Benefit concerts, etc.
  4. Political Lobbying
    • i.e., Working WITH elected officials to change policy


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Globalization
    • Define "Globalization"
      • Name 4 factors that contribute to Globalization


  • Is the integration of:
    1. Individual economies and
    2. Cultures

...into a more unified GLOBALeconomy and culture


  1. Free trade between nations
  2. Eeconomic interdependence
  3. Ease of travel
  4. Access to technology
    • i.e., the internet

...tend to blur national boundaries and encourage globalization


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Globalization

    • Name & describe the "Three Major Perspectives on Globalization"

      • What are the respective CAUSES of these differing perspectives? 

  1. Hyperglobalization Perspective
    • Globalization is a major NEW EPOCH in human history
    • And national boundaries will be dissolved
    • CAUSE=
      • ECONOMIC LOGIC of a global economy
  2. Skeptical Perspective
    • Current globalization is:
      • fragmented
      • regionalized
    • The peak of globalization occurred in the 19th century
    • ...and nationalism is now on the rise
    • CAUSE = N/A
      • ...because globalization isn’t really occurring—it's a myth
  3. Transformationalist Perspective
    • Globalization may be occurring, but:
      • the degree to which it is, and
      • its eventual outcomes

...are undetermined

  • CAUSE = no single cause is known


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Globalization
    • Describe the "World Systems Theory"
    • What is it similar to on an individual society scale?
      • Define:
        1. Core Countries
        2. Peripheral Countries
        3. Semi-Peripheral Countries

World Systems Theory

  • Theory emphasizing a global inequality 
  • is similar to the stratified inequality present in individual societies
  1. Core Countries
    • Dominate and exploit peripheral countries for:
      • labor
      • raw materials
  2. Peripheral Countries
    • Dependent on core countries--
      • ESPECIALLY for capital
  3. Semi-Peripheral Countries
    • Feature characteristics of BOTH core AND peripheral countries


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Globalization

    • Define "Civil Unrest" and "Terrorism"

      • How do they relate to Globalization?

    • What is one aspect shared by Globalization & Terrorism, and how do terrorists use it?


  • Civil unrest can result from globalization
    • because some theorists propose that globalization creates global inequality--
      • by making the entire world a single capitalist market
  • Globalization can also make previously isolated groups aware of their relative deprivation compared to others around the world--
    • leading to uprisings (Think of the "Arab Spring")


  • Globalization may be impeded by the threat of terrorism
  • Free flow of people, goods, and money is needed for globalization, but leaves countries more susceptible to terrorism
  • Terrorism may also be exacerbated by globalization--
    • as technology increasingly puts images of Western modernization in the face of traditional Muslim societies that find them offensive

Technology is part of globalization and is often used by terrorists for recruitment and radicalization


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Define "Urbanization"
    • What 2 things are often centralized in ONE particular city within each country?
      • What does this result in?  

  • The tendency of population to move away from rural or agricultural settings and be concentrated in urban settings—
    • usually because of the lure of economic opportunity
  • Global trade and economic exchange is often centralized in one particular city within each country
    • resulting in hyper-urbanization of cities such as:
      • New York
      • Tokyo
      • Hong Kong, etc.


  • Demographic Shifts & Social Change
    • Urbanization
      • Describe Industrialization & Urban Growth 


  • As society and the economy become more industrialized, people migrate to the urban centers


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Urbanization
    • Describe Suburbanization & Urban Decline


  • Urban overcrowding leads to sprawling suburbs
  • As people migrate out of the urban centers what they leave behind becomes depressed
    • --resulting in slums and ghettos


Demographic Shifts & Social Change

  • Urbanization

    • Describe Gentrification & Urban Renewal 


  • After an urban area has declined, demand for real estate from buyers wanting to live in the city leads to revitalization projects that convert lessdesirable urban areas into high-rent urban apartments and shopping areas
  • The process is called gentrification because although the area is revitalized, only the wealthy can afford to live there


Social Inequality

  • Define "Spatial Inequality"
    • Describe "Residential Segretation"

Spatial Inequality

  • Inequality in some variable between persons living in geographic locations


  • physical separation of individuals with different characteristics or backgrounds into different neighborhoods
    • This is usually according to:
      • race
      • ethnicity
      • SES


Social Inequality

  • Spatial Inequality

    • How does Neighborhood Safety & Violence demonstrate Spatial Inequality? 

  • Most poor, inner-city neighborhoods are also more likely to be plagued by crime
    • --and therefore be less safe than communities inhabited by those of a higher socioeconomic class
  • This is a prime example of spatial inequality


Social Inequality

  • Spatial Inequality

    • Describe "Environmental Justice"


  • A state in which the benefits and burdens of interacting with the environment are equally distributed among all people-- independent of race, ethnicity or class
    • For example, wealthy segments are sometimes thought to primarily benefit from use of environmental resources
      • inexpensive energy
      • personal cars or planes
      • ample resources for business, etc.
    • While those of lower socioeconomic status may primarily bear the burdens of using those resources
      • air pollution
      • polluted public water supplies
      • harm to agriculture
      • dangerous public transportation systems, etc.


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification
    • Social Class and Socioeconomic Status
      •  Based upon how sociologists use the terms, differentiate between the related concepts of social class and socioeconomic status

Social class

  • is an important concept in the study of social inequality and stratification
  • It refers to a social distinction and division resulting from the unequal distribution of rewards and resources--
    • including wealth, power and prestige

Socioeconomic status

  • refers to the composite ranking based on various dimensions of social inequality
  • It is indicated by:
    • occupational prestige
    • educational attainment
    • income and wealth


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification

    • Class Consciousness and Social Capital

      •  Provide a conceptual definition for the following terms related to social class:

        1. Class consciousness

        2. False consciousness

        3. Cultural capital

        4. Social capital

  1. Class-consciousness
    • is a social condition in which members of a social class are aware of themselves as a class
      • This particularly applies to members of the working class
  2. False consciousness
    • is a social condition in which members of a social class are unaware of themselves as a class
      • This produces distorted perceptions of the reality of class and its consequences
  3. Cultural capital
    • consists of ideas and knowledge people draw upon as they engage in social life
      • Examples of cultural capital include:
        • Being able to speak in public
        • Using the correct utensils at the dinner table
  4. Social capital
    • is the expected collective or economic benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups
      • An example of social capital is the individual who belongs to a fraternity or sorority and upon graduation is hired by an alumnus from the same fraternity or sorority
      • Also: Cheerleader becomes a coach later on


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification
    • Class Consciousness and Social Capital
      •  Provide a conceptual definition for the following terms related to social class:
        1. Social reproduction
        2. Power
        3. Privilege
        4. Prestige

  1. Social reproduction
    • is the process through which entire societies and their cultural, structural and ecological characteristics are reproduced
    • It includes:
      • economic institutions
      • religious institutions
      • language
      • varieties of music
      • and other cultural products
  2. Power
    • is one of the most important concepts in sociology
    • It is defined as the ability to control others, events or resources
      • In other words, to make happen what one wants to have happen despite opposition or obstacles
    • Sociologists are interested in how power is distributed within social systems, from societies to intimate relationships to everything else in between
  3. Privilege
    • consists of some groups of people have advantages when compared to other groups
    • Advantage can be financial and/or emotional
    • Sociologists explore privilege, as it exists in:
      • race
      • ethnicity
      • gender
      • age
      • sexual orientation
      • disability
      • and social class
  4. Prestige
    • is honor or deference attached to a social status and distributed unequally as a dimension of social stratification
    • Prestige is distributed according to three factors:
      1. possessions
      2. qualities
      3. performance
    • Occupational prestige is of interest to sociologists
    • Research shows consistency over time and place with how people rank occupations 


Understanding Social Structure

  • Six Major Sociological Theories
    • Symbolic Interactionism
      • Provide a conceptual definition of the theory 
      • What are its 3 main principles?
      • What 3 questions does it ask? 
      • The unique ways in which this theory explains or accounts for social or group behavior
      • Two real-life examples that illustrate each theory or approach

Symbolic interactionism

  • sees society as the product of everyday interactions among Individuals
  • Unlike functionalism and conflict theories that take a macro approach, symbolic interactionism is a micro level theory --
    • meaning that its focus is on social interaction in specific situations
  • It focuses on three main principles
    1. Humans act toward things on the basis of the meanings they have for them
    2. The meanings arise from the interactions with others
    3. The meanings are changed through interaction
  • Symbolic interaction asks three questions:
    1. How do individuals experience their day-to-day life?
    2. How is their reality shaped by their interactions?
    3. How does reality change from person to person and situation to situation?

An example of using this theory helps us understand why teens continue smoking cigarettes despite their knowing the detrimental health effects

  • Research shows that teens think smoking is cool, THEY will escape the dangers of smoking, and their peers will think more positively about them

Another example of this theory helps us understand how individuals confined to wheelchairs manage their emotions

  • Research shows anger and humor are two ways individuals coping with being wheelchair bound


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification

    • Define "Intersectionality"

      • Give an example


  • Various forms or systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination interact with one another--
  • to create a new form of oppression or experience that cannot be understood by considering each concept individually (i.e., “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”)
    • Race
    • Gender
    • Age


  • The discrimination experienced by a woman, and the discrimination experienced by blacks, is not sufficient to understand the “black female experience.”
  • The black female experience is its own form of discrimination that lies at the intersection of racism and sexism


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification

    • Global Inequality

      • Define it

      • What are countries stratified according to? (3) 


  • The same inequalities already discussed, applied to a global scale
  • For example, countries are stratified according to:
    • resources
    • economic strength
    • wealth (Gross Domestic Product or GDP)
  • Discrimination and injustice can happen to a nation within world culture in much the same way it happens to individuals within national culture.


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification

    • Patterns of Social Mobility 

      • Describe Inter- and Intragenerational Social Mobility


  • change in social class by one or more members of a family between generations


  • change in social class by an individual within their lifespan


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification
    • Patterns of Social Mobility 
      • Describe Vertical vs. Horizontal Mobility
        • Give examples

Vertical Mobility

  • a CHANGE in social status or class
    • e.g., poor individual marries into a rich family

Horizontal Mobility

  • a change in position within a class that DOES NOT result in a change in social status
    • e.g., a working-class man gets a new job with a small pay raise; the job comes with no new status or significant increase in wealth


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification
    • Patterns of Social Mobility 
      • Define a "Meritocracy"


  • A society where advancement or opportunity is based on merit
    • i.e., ability, accomplishment
  • The term also refers to societies where government leaders are selected based on MERIT
    • --as opposed to class (aristocracy) or pedigree (monarchy). 


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification

    • Poverty

      • Define Relative vs. Absolute Poverty

Relative Poverty

  • Low income compared to other individuals

Absolute Poverty

  • Income too low to provide LIFE NECESSITIES
  • Persisting for a period long enough to:
    • cause harm or
    • endanger life


Social Class

  • Aspects of Social Stratification
    • Poverty
      • What is Social Exclusion?
        • Describe the "Neighborhood Effect"

Social Exclusion

  • The systematic blocking of a segment of society from the rights and opportunities available to others


  • Segregation of the elderly, disabled, minorities, or the poverty-stricken into neighborhoods or housing projects
    • it can lead to social exclusion and even social isolation 
      • ​--an extreme case where a person has no contact, or nearly no contact, with society


  • Health and Healthcare Disparities
    • Socioeconomic gradients in health
      • Gradient shows that as ____ ____s improve, ____ ____ improves 
      • Differences in what 3 areas have demonstrated this?

Socioeconomic Gradients in Health

  • There is a clear and continuous gradient along which health outcomes improve as socioeconomic status improves
    • This gradient has been clearly demonstrated for differences in:
      1. Income
      2. Occupation
      3. Highest Level of Education 


Health and Healthcare Disparities

  • Socioeconomic gradients in health
    • Differentiate between the concepts of: 

      • Health Disparity

      • HealthCARE Disparity

Health Disparity

  • Refers to the higher burden of:
    • illness
    • injury
    • disability or
    • mortality

experienced by ONE  population group RELATIVE TO ANOTHER

Healthcare Disparity

  • Refers to differences between groups in:
    • Health care coverage
    • Access to care
    • Quality of care


  • Health and Healthcare Disparities
    • Class Differences
      • Socioeconomic Class is STRONGLY CORRELATED with WHAT 3 THINGS both in the U.S. and worldwide?

Socioeconomic Class is strongly correlated with:

  1. Overall health
  2. Access to healthcare
  3. Healthy behaviors

both in the U.S. and worldwide


Health and Healthcare Disparities: 

  • Class Differences
    • What are the 4 main things that "THE POOR" do perpetuate class differences?

1) The poorest people are the most sick

  • The wealthiest people are the most healthy, in terms of overall health

2) The poor, and poor countries as a whole, are susceptible to more diseases and disease outbreaks

  • ...than are wealthy persons or countries
  • including INFECTIOUS diseases
    • such as smallpox or malaria
      • that have been essentially been eradicated among wealthier people and nations

3) The poor are less likely to be vaccinated

  • The poor have less access to healthcare than do the wealthy
    • This can be either:
      • A complete lack of geographical access
        • e.g., no hospital anywhere near a village in Mozambique
      • Or it could be a lack of the resources necessary to purchase healthcare
        • e.g., there's a hospital next door, but unable to pay for care and/or cannot afford health insurance

4) The poor engage in unhealthy behaviors at a much higher rate than do the wealthy

  • e.g., smoking, drug use, unprotected sex


Health and Healthcare Disparities: 

  • Gender Differences
    • How to Gender differences compare to SES when accounting for Health & Healthcare disparities?
    • Describe Health & Healthcare disparities for women in:
      • Developed countries (2)
      • In more "Patriarchal" societies (3)
    • What chronic health issues are men more prone to? (3)
    • Men are also more prone to death from what other 2 things? 

Differences are less clear than for socioeconomic status

  • In developed countries,:
    • women have longer life-expectancy than do males
    • Negative female health disparities are less-pronounced 
      • However, in patriarchal societies (where women are considered inferior):​
        • They are more prone to abuse
        • Have less access to healthcare
        • Have lower life expectancies

Men are more prone to:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Asthma

Men are also more prone to death from:

  1. Injury
  2. As casualties of war


Health and Healthcare Disparities

  • Racial Differences
    • How do Racial differences compare to SES when accounting for Health & Healthcare disparities? 
    • What 3 things do MINORITIES have when considering Health and Healthcare Disparities?
      • Give an general example of a healthcare disparity experienced by a minority

Racial disparities closely follow socioeconomic trends 

  • Minorities have:
    1. Poorer health
    2. Less access to healthcare
    3. Are more prone to engage in unhealthy behaviors
  • For example, the prevalence of hypertension and diabeetus is 2.5 times higher among black males than it is among white males


Health and Healthcare Disparities

  • Racial Differences

    • How do Race and Class compare as social constructs?

    • How are they regarded when it comes to Health Disparities? 

      • Why?


  • However, they are often considered together with regard to health disparities

    • This is because when racial disparities are adjusted for class...


        • or even ELIMINATED!


Government & Economy

  • Define "Division of Labor"

    • ​What 3 things are division of labor BASED on?

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Division of Labor

A range of social tasks must be completed in any society

..and there is usually some form of

division OF  those tasks among individuals

Based on:

  1. Specialization
  2. Training
  3. Talent



Six Major Sociological Theories

Social Constructionism 

Aside from the Social Construction of Reality, 

  • What is another CENTRAL CONCEPT of Social Constructionism? 
    • These are everyday ______s and ______s that are taken for granted

What are these things the SOURCE of?

What 2 things do they help SHAPE?


These are the everyday ROUTINES and EXPERIENCES that are taken for granted

Are the SOURCE of:

  • individual experiences

Help to SHAPE:

  • groups and societies

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