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

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Alienation Feeling of separation from one's group or society  
Auguste Comte (1798-1857) Functional Theorist who coined the term 'sociology'. Known as the Father of Sociology.  
Capitalism an economic system in which the ownership of the means of production - like land, factories, large sums of money, and machines - is in private hands.  
Capitalists The ruling elite who own the means of producing wealth  
Causation The things which cause the dependent variable  
Conflict Theory approach that examines the ways in which groups disagree, struggle over power, and compete for scarce resources (such as property, wealth, and prestige). Famous Conflict Theorists are Weber and Marx.  
Content analysis data collection method that systematically examines examples of some form of communication.  
Control group The group of subjects in an experiment who are not exposed to the independent variable.  
Correlation The relationship between variables  
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 shock a sense of confusion, uncertainty, disorientation, or anxiety that accompanies exposure to an unfamiliar way of life or environment.  
Culture the learned and shared behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, values, and material objects that characterize a particular group or society.  
Deductive reasoning reasoning that begins with a theory, prediction, or general principle that is then tested through data collection.  
Dependent variable that which is caused by the independent variable.  
Dependent variable the outcome, which may be affected by the independent variable.  
Division of labor an interdependence of different tasks and occupations, characteristic of industrialized societies, that produce social unity and facilitate change  
Dysfunctional social patterns that have a negative impact on a group or society  
Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) French sociologist and writer who agreed with Comte that societies are characterized by unity and cohesion because of their members' common interests and attitudes. His ideas laid the foundation for Functionalism and he was one of the first to use the scientific method and statistical techniques in sociological research.  
Ethnocentrism the belief that one's culture and way of life are superior to those of other groups.  
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.  
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.  
Functionalism an approach that maintains that society is a complex system of interdependent parts that work together to ensure a society's survival. Famous Functionalists were Comte and Durkheim.  
Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) English author and feminist who translated and condensed Comte's work and emphasized the importance of systematic data collection and an objective analysis of records; she published the first methodological text for sociology.  
Hypothesis a statement of a relationship between two or more variables that researchers want to test.  
Ideal culture the beliefs, values, and norms that people in a society say they hold or follow.  
Independent variable Social phenomenon that causes another phenomenon  
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.  
Industrial Revolution began in 1780 and spread throughout Western Europe and the US during the 19th century.  
Jane Addams (1860-1935) Social worker who founded Hull House, one of the first houses in Chicago to serve as a community center for the poor  
Karl Marx (1818-1883) German social philosopher who is often described as the most influential social scientist who ever lived. He tried to explain the changes in society during the Industrial Revolution  
Language a system of shared symbols that enables people to communicate with one another.  
Latent Functions Functions that are unintended and unrecognized' they are present but not immediately obvious.  
Laws formal rules about behavior that are defined by a political authority that has the power to punish violators.  
Manifest Functions Functions that are intended and recognized; they are present and clearly evident.  
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.  
Max Weber (1864-1920) German sociologist who rejected the Marxian view that economics was a major factor in explaining society. He focused on social organization, a subjective understanding of behavior, and a value-free sociology.  
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.  
Nonprobability sample a sample for which little or no attempt is made to get a representative cross section of the population.  
Norms a society's specific rules concerning right and wrong behavior.  
Operationalization defining what a variable is  
Petit Bourgeoisie Small business owners and owner workers who still have their own means of production but might end up in the proletariat because they are driven out by competition or their businesses fail  
Popular culture the beliefs, practices, activities, and products that are widely shared among a population in everyday life.  
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.  
Proletariat masses of workers who depend on wages to survive, who have few resources, and who make up the working class  
Qualitative research research that examines nonnumeric material and interprets it.  
Quantitative research research that focuses on a numerical analysis of people's responses or specific characteristics.  
Real culture the actual everyday behavior of people in a society.  
Reliability (consistency) Will the answer always be the same? Can we generalize from this? Is it replicable? (similar results)  
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.  
Sanctions rewards for good or appropriate behavior and/or penalties for bad or inappropriate behavior.  
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 facts aspects of social life, external to the individual, that can be measured  
Social research research that examines human behavior.  
Social Solidarity Social cohesiveness and harmony  
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.  
Surveys a systematic method for collecting data from respondents, including questionnaires, face-to-face or telephone interviews, or a combination of these.  
Symbol anything that stands for something else and has a particular meaning for people who share a culture.  
Symbolic Interactionism A micro-level perspective that looks at individuals' everyday behavior through the communication of knowledge, ideas, beliefs, and attitudes. G.H. Mead founded this.  
Validity (accuracy) Did I study what I said I was going to study?  
Validity the degree to which a measure is accurate and really measures what it claims to measure.  
Value-free separating one's personal values, opinions, ideology, and beliefs from scientific research  
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.  
Variable a characteristic that can change in value or magnitude under different conditions.  
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) Prominent black sociologist, writer, editor, social reformer, and passionate orator. First African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard. Helped found the NAACP.  
Anomie Personal condition resulting from a lack of norms. For Émile Durkheim, a lack of social ethic produces moral deregulation and an absence of legitimate aspirations. According to Merton, ‘a discontinuity between cultural goals and the legitimate means available for reaching them’  
C.W. Mill's ‘sociological imagination’ The three components that form the sociological imagination are 1. History: how a society came to be and how it is changing and how history is being made in it 2. Biography: the nature of ‘human nature’ in a society; what kinds of people inhabit a particular society 3. Social Structure: how the various institutional orders in a society operate, which ones are dominant, how are they held together, how they might be changing, etc.  
Ethnography a methodological strategy used to provide descriptions of human societies  
How does Sociological Imagination differ from common sense? ‘Common Sense’ is based on ethnocentric perception and is not always consistent with itself, let alone with reality. Sociological Imagination promotes the ability to see things from the perspective of any other culture and to set aside that ethnocentricity for the sake of evaluation.  
Talcott Parsons Parsons' general theoretical and methodological view that human action must be understood in conjunction with the motivational component of the human act. In this way social science must consider the question of ends, purposes and ideals in its analysis of human action  
participant observation Its aim is to gain a close and intimate familiarity with a given group of individuals (such as a religious, occupational, or subcultural group, or a particular community) and their practices through an intensive involvement with people in their natural environment, usually over an extended period of time.  
Robert Merton Developed these ideas: Manifest functions and dysfunctions are conscious and deliberate, the latent ones the unconscious and unintended. While functions are intended (manifest) or recognized (latent), and have a positive effect on society, dysfunctions are unintended (manifest) or unrecognized (latent) and have a negative effect on society  
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Language not only reinforces our perceptions of the world, it shapes them.  
sociological imagination ability to perceive the world from the viewpoints of other cultures  
Spencer He is best known for coining the phrase ‘survival of the fittest,’ after reading Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. This term strongly suggests natural selection, yet as Spencer extended evolution into realms of sociology and ethics, he made use of Lamarckism rather than natural selection.  
Verstehen systematic interpretive process in which an outside observer of a culture relates to an indigenous people or sub-cultural group on their own terms and from their own point-of-view, rather than interpreting them in terms of his or her own concepts.  

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