SOCI 2013 vocabulary and key notes from SOC textbook and Dr. Lori Holyfield's lecture

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content analysis data collection method that systematically examines examples of some form of communication.  
control group he group of subjects in an experiment who are not exposed to the independent variable.  
deductive reasoning reasoning that begins with a theory, prediction, or general principle that is then tested through data collection.  
dependent variable the outcome, which may be affected by the independent variable.  
experiment a carefully controlled artificial situation that allows researchers to manipulate variables and measure the effects.  
experimental group the group of subjects in an experiment who are exposed to the independent variable.  
field research data collection by systematically observing people in their natural surroundings.  
hypothesis a statement of a relationship between two or more variables that researchers want to test.  
independent variable a characteristic that determines or has an effect on the dependent variable.  
inductive reasoning reasoning that begins with a specific observation, followed by data collection and the development of a general conclusion or theory.  
nonprobability sample a sample for which little or no attempt is made to get a representative cross section of the population.  
population any well-defined group of people (or things) about whom researchers want to know something.  
probability sample a sample for which each person (or thing, such as an e-mail address) has an equal chance of being selected because the selection is random.  
qualitative research research that examines nonnumerical material and interprets it.  
quantitative research research that focuses on a numerical analysis of people's responses or specific characteristics.  
reliability the consistency with which the same measure produces similar results time after time  
sample a group of people (or things) that are representative of the population that researchers wish to study.  
scientific method the steps in the research process that include careful data collection, exact measurement, accurate recording and analysis of the findings, thoughtful interpretation of results, and, when appropriate, a generalization of the findings to a larger group.  
secondary analysis examination of data that have been collected by someone else.  
social research research that examines human behavior.  
surveys a systematic method for collecting data from respondents, including questionnaires, face-to-face or telephone interviews, or a combination of these.  
validity the degree to which a measure is accurate and really measures what it claims to measure.  
variable a characteristic that can change in value or magnitude under different conditions.  
counterculture a group or category of people who deliberately oppose and consciously reject some of the basic beliefs, values, and norms of the dominant culture.  
cultural imperialism the influence or domination of the cultural values and products of one society over those of another.  
cultural integration the consistency of various aspects of society, which promotes order and stability.  
cultural relativism the recognition that no culture is better than another and that a culture should be judged by its own standards.  
cultural universals customs and practices that are common to all societies.  
culture the learned and shared behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, values, and material objects that characterize a particular group or society.  
culture shock a sense of confusion, uncertainty, disorientation, or anxiety that accompanies exposure to an unfamiliar way of life or environment.  
ethnocentrism the belief that one's culture and way of life are superior to those of other groups.  
folkways norms that members of a society (or a group within a society) look upon as not being critical and that may be broken without severe punishment.  
ideal culture the beliefs, values, and norms that people in a society say they hold or follow.  
language a system of shared symbols that enables people to communicate with one another.  
laws formal rules about behavior that are defined by a political authority that has the power to punish violators.  
mass media forms of communication designed to reach large numbers of people.  
material culture the tangible objects that members of a society make, use, and share.  
mores norms that members of a society consider very important because they maintain moral and ethical behavior.  
multiculturalism (cultural pluralism) the coexistence of several cultures in the same geographic area, without any one culture dominating another.  
nonmaterial culture the shared set of meanings that people in a society use to interpret and understand the world.  
norms a society's specific rules concerning right and wrong behavior.  
popular culture the beliefs, practices, activities, and products that are widely shared among a population in everyday life.  
real culture the actual everyday behavior of people in a society.  
sanctions rewards for good or appropriate behavior and/or penalties for bad or inappropriate behavior.  
society a group of people that has lived and worked together long enough to become an organized population and to think of themselves as a social unit.  
subculture a group or category of people whose distinctive ways of thinking, feeling, and acting differ somewhat from those of the larger society.  
symbol anything that stands for something else and has a particular meaning for people who share a culture.  
values the standards by which members of a particular culture define what is good or bad, moral or immoral, proper or improper, desirable or undesirable, beautiful or ugly.  

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