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Flashcards in Unit 1 Deck (89):
1

conflict theory

a theoretical perspective that emphasizes the role of power and coercion in producing social order

2

debunking

Debunking refers to
looking behind the
facades of everyday
life.

3

diversity

the variety of group experiences that result from the social structure of society.

4

empirical

refers to something that is based on careful and systematic observation

5

Enlightenment

the period in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe characterized by faith in the ability of human reason to solve society’s problems.

6

feminist theory

analyses of women and men in society intended to improve women’s lives.

7

functionalism

a theoretical perspective that interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole society.

8

issues

affect large numbers of people and have
their origins in the institutional arrangements and
history of a society.

9

positivism

a system of thought that regards scientific observation to be the highest form of knowledge.

10

social change

the alteration of social interaction, social institutions, stratification systems, and elements of culture over time.

11

social facts

social pattern that is external to individuals.

12

social institution

the established and
organized systems of social behavior with a
particular and recognized purpose.

13

social interaction

behavior between two or more people that is given meaning.

14

social structure

the
organized pattern of social relationships and
social institutions that together constitute
society.

15

sociological imagination

the ability to see the societal patterns that influence individual and group life.

16

sociology

a scientific way of thinking about
society and its influence on human groups.

17

symbolic interaction

a theoretical perspective claiming that people act toward things because of the meaning things have for them.

18

troubles

privately felt problems that spring
from events or feelings in a person’s life.

19

verstehen

the process of understanding social behavior from the point of view of those engaged in it.

20

beliefs

shared ideas held collectively by people within a given culture.

21

countercultures

subcultures created as a reaction against the values of the dominant culture.

22

cultural capital

(alsoknownassocial capital) cultural resources that are socially designated as being worthy (such as knowledge of elite culture) and that give advantages to groups possessing such capital.

23

cultural diffusion

the transmission of cultural elements from one society or cultural group to another.

24

cultural hegemony

the pervasive and excessive influence of one culture throughout society.

25

cultural relativism

the idea that something can be understood and judged only in relationship to the cultural context in which it appears.

26

culture

the complex system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a given group or society.

27

culture lag

the delay in cultural adjustments to changing social conditions.

28

culture shock

the feeling of disorientation that can come when one encounters a new or rapidly changed cultural situation.

29

digital divide

the persistence of inequality in people’s access to electronic information.

30

dominant culture

the culture of the most powerful group in society.

31

ethnocentrism

the belief that one’s in-group is superior to all out-groups.

32

ethnomethodology

a technique for studying human interaction by deliberately disrupting social norms and observing how individuals attempt to restore normalcy.

33

folkways

the general standards of behavior adhered to by a group.

34

global culture

the diffusion of a single culture throughout the world.

35

laws

the written set of guidelines that define what is right and wrong in society.

36

mass media

channels of communication that are available to very wide segments of the population.

37

material culture

the objects created in a given society.

38

mores

strict norms that control moral and ethical behavior.

39

nonmaterial culture

the norms, laws, customs, ideas, and beliefs of a group of people.

40

norms

the specific cultural expectations for how to act in a given situation.

41

popular culture

the beliefs, practices, and objects that are part of everyday traditions.

42

reflection hypothesis

the idea that the mass media reflect the values of the general population.

43

Sapir–Whorf hypothesis

a theory that language determines other aspects of culture because language provides the categories through which social reality is defined and perceived.

44

social media

the term used to refer to the vast networks of social interaction that new media have created.

45

social sanctions

a mechanism of social control that enforces norms.

46

subculture

thecultureofgroupswhose values and norms of behavior are somewhat different from those of the dominant culture.

47

symbols

thing or behavior to which people give meaning.

48

taboo

behavior that bring the most serious sanctions.

49

values

the abstract standards in a society or group that define ideal principles.

50

concept

any abstract characteristic or attribute that has the potential to be measured.

51

content analysis

theanalysisofmeanings in cultural artifacts such as books, songs, and other forms of cultural communication.

52

controlled experiment

a method of collecting data that can determine whether something actually causes something else.

53

correlation

the degree of positive (direct) or negative (inverse) association between two variables.

54

covert participant observation

the form of participant observation wherein the observed individuals are not told that they are being studied.

55

cross-tabulation

a table that shows how the categories of two variables are related.

56

data

the systematic information that sociologists use to investigate research questions.

57

data analysis

the process by which sociologists organize collected data to discover what patterns and uniformities are revealed.

58

debriefing

a process whereby a researcher explains the true purpose of a research study to a subject (respondent); usually done after completion of the study.

59

deductive reasoning

the process of creating a specific research question about a focused point, based on a more general or universal principle.

60

dependent variable

the variable that is a presumed effect

61

evaluation research

research assessing the effect of policies and programs.

62

generalization

applying information obtained on a small sample of units (such as people) to a larger population of the units.

63

Hawthorne effect

the effect of the research process itself on the groups or individuals being studied; hence, the act of studying them often itself changes them.

64

hypothesis

a statement about what one expects to find in research.

65

independent variable

a variable that is the presumed cause of a particular resultt

66

indicator

something that points to or reflects an abstract concept.

67

inductive reasoning

the process of arriving at general conclusions from specific observations.

68

informant

in covert participant observation research, a single group member who provides “inside” information about the group being studied.

69

informed consent

a formal acknowledgment by research subjects (respondents) that they understand the purpose of the research and agree to be studied.

70

mean

the sum of a set of values divided by the number of cases from which the values are obtained; an average.

71

median

the midpoint in a series of values that are arranged in numerical order.

72

mode

the most frequently appearing score among a set of scores.

73

overt participant observation

the form of participant observation wherein the observed individuals are told that they are being studied.

74

participant observation

a method whereby the sociologist becomes both a participant in the group being studied and a scientific observer of the group.

75

percentage

the number of parts per hundred.

76

population

a relatively large collection of people (or other unit) that a researcher studies and about which generalizations are made.

77

qualitative research

research that is somewhat less structured than quantitative research but that allows more depth of interpretation and nuance in what people say and do.

78

quantitative research

research that uses numerical analysis.

79

random sample

a sample that gives everyone in the population an equal chance of being selected.

80

rate

parts per some number (for example, per 10,000; per 100,000).

81

reliability

the likelihood that a particular measure would produce the same results if the measure were repeated.

82

replication study

research that is repeated exactly, but on a different group of people at a different point in time.

83

research design

the overall logic and strategy underlying a research project.

84

sample

any subset of units from a population that a researcher studies.

85

scientific method

thestepsinaresearch process, including observation, hypothesis testing, analysis of data, and generalization.

86

serendipity

unanticipated, yet informative, results of a research study.

87

spurious correlation

a false correlation between X and Y, produced by their relationship to some third variable (Z) rather than by a true causal relationship to each other.

88

validity

the degree to which an indicator accurately measures or reflects a concept.

89

variable

something that can have more than one value or score.