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Intro to Soc Study Guide Ch. 1-4

by: P'Trice Notetaker

Intro to Soc Study Guide Ch. 1-4 Intro to Sociology 1004

P'Trice Notetaker
Virginia Tech

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These notes contain important vocabulary terms with some examples for better understanding; They also contain important people that are covered in chapters 1-4
Intro to Sociology
Theodore Fuller
Study Guide
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This 12 page Study Guide was uploaded by P'Trice Notetaker on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Intro to Sociology 1004 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Theodore Fuller in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 67 views. For similar materials see Intro to Sociology in Sociology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


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Date Created: 09/14/16
Intro to Sociology Study Guide Ch. 1-4  Chapter 1 Butterfly Effect: The far-ranging or global impact of a small change in a specific location, over both time and distance; can apply to physical or social phenomena. Sociology: Systematic study of the ways in which people are affected by, and affect the social structures and social processes that are associated with the groups, organizations, cultures, societies, and world in which they exist; relationship between people and larger social realities and changes. Society: A complex pattern of social relationships that is bounded in space and persists over time; largest unit of analysis in sociology. Globalization: Increasingly fluid global flows and the structures that expedite and impede those flows; greater access to goods, services, and information from around the globe & HIV/AIDS, terrorism, sex trafficking, black markets flow more easily. Consumption: The process by which people obtain goods & services; increase made possible by credit cards. McDonaldization: Process by which the rational principles of the fast food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of society and more societies throughout the world; 4 defining characteristics: efficiency, calculability, predictability, control. Technology: Interplay of machines, tools, skills .and procedures for the accomplishment of tasks; Ex: Assembly line, computers, smart phones. Sociological Imagination: A unique perspective that gives sociologists a distinctive way of looking at data and reflecting on the world around them. C. Wright Mills: The Power Elite (1956) argued that a “military-industrial complex” consisting of the military and many defense industries had come into existence in the US; also argued the sociological imagination. Micro: Microscopic; used to describe small scale social phenomena such as individuals & their thoughts & actions. Macro: Macroscopic; used to describe large scale social phenomena, such as groups, organizations, cultures, society, and the globe. Dangerous Giants: An entity that has agency. Agency: Individual social power and capacity for creativity; the potential to disrupt or destroy the structures in which one finds oneself. Social Construction of Reality: The continuous process of individual creation of structural realities and the constraint and coercion exercised by those structures; it is a continuous loop that is the heart of the agency. Social Structures: Enduring and regular social arrangements, such as the family and the state, based on persistent patterns of interaction and social relationships; these can change, but very slowly. Social Processes: Dynamic and changing aspects of the social world. Public Sociology: Sociological work addressing a wide range of audiences, most of which are outside the academy, including a variety of local, national, and global groups.  Chapter 2 Theories: are sets of interrelated ideas that have a wide range of applications, deal with centrally important issues, and have stood the test of time. Auguste Comte: invented the term sociology, development of a general theory of the social world, and interest in developing a science of sociology. Harriet Martineau: developed general scientific theory, feminist, women centered sociology. Herbert Spencer: interest in social change, specifically evolution in the physical, intellectual, and social domains. Capitalism: In Marx’s view, an economic system based on one group of people (the capitalists or owners) owning what is needed for production and a second group (the proletariat or workers) owning little but their capacity for work. Capitalists: Those who own what is needed for production (factories, machines, tools) in a capitalist system. Karl Marx: focused most of his attention on the structure of capitalist society. Proletariat: Workers as a group or those in the capitalist system who own little or nothing except for their capacity for work (labor), which they must sell to the capitalists to survive. Exploitation: A feature of capitalism in which the workers (proletariat) produce virtually everything but get few rewards, while the capitalists, who do little, reap the vast majority of the rewards; capitalists exploit the workers. Alienation: In a capitalist system, being unconnected to one’s work, products, fellow workers, and human nature; they are alienated because the work that they do, little connection to the finished product, in competition or no contact with fellow workers. Max Weber: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism; Analyze relationship between the economy and religion; focused on rationalization and its negative “iron cage” effect. Rationalization: The process by which social structures are increasingly characterized by the most direct and efficient means to their ends. Emile Durkheim: felt structures and their constraints are highly desirable; negative view of people as slaves to their passions; people need social facts that are capable of limiting and controlling their passions. Social Facts: Macro level phenomena (social structures and cultural norms and values) that stand apart from and impose themselves on people. Collective Conscience: The set of beliefs shared by people throughout society. Anomie: The feeling of not knowing what is expected of one in society or of being adrift in society without any clear, secure moorings. W.E.B. du Bois: saw a “color line” existing between whites & blacks in the US. Double Consciousness: Among black Americans, the sense of “two-ness,” of being both black & American. Georg Simmel: interested in the forms taken by social interaction (superiors & subordinates) & types of people who engage in interaction (rich & poor). Thorstein Veblin: The Theory of the Leisure Class; concerned with the ways the upper class demonstrates wealth. Conspicuous Leisure: Doing things that demonstrate quite publicly that one does not need to do what most people consider to be work; Difficult for others to witness these displays. Conspicuous Consumption: The public demonstration of wealth, through consumption, that one is able to waste money; ex. flaunting the use of expensive, high status goods and services (mansions, yachts, personal assistants, etc.). Structural-Functionalism: A set of ideas focused on social structures as well as the functions and dysfunctions that such structures perform. Functions: Observable, positive consequences that help a system survive, adapt, or adjust. Dysfunctions: Observable consequences that negatively affect the ability of a given system to survive, adapt, or adjust. Manifest Functions: Positive consequences that are brought about consciously and purposely; ex. tariffs. Latent Functions: Unintended positive consequences; ex. when foreign products become more expensive leads to US manufacturers producing more and more American jobs. Unanticipated Consequences: Unexpected social effects, especially negative effects. Structuralism: Social theory interested in the social impact of hidden or underlying structures. Debunking: Looking beneath and beyond the surface of social structures, which are seen as facades that conceal what is truly important; ex. US seems to emphasize peace but has a military industrial complex that is interested in war. Conflict Theory: A set of ideas focusing on the sources of conflict within society; this theory sees society as held together by coercion and focuses on its negative aspects. Ralf Dahrendorf: Conflict theorist; sees society as consensus & conflict; argues that authority resides in positions & not individuals. Critical theory: A set of critical ideas derived from Marxian theory but focusing on culture rather that the economy. Culture Industry: The rationalized and bureaucratized structures that control modern culture. Mass Culture: Cultural elements that are administered by large organizations, lack of spontaneity, and are phony; 2 features of this and its dissemination: Falseness & Repressiveness. Feminist Theory: A set of ideas critical of the social situation confronting women and offering solutions for improving, if not revolutionizing, their situation; critique of the patriarchy & the problems it poses for men & women; offers ideas on how women’s & men’s situation can be bettered. Queer Theory: A theory based on the idea that there are no fixed and stable identities (such as “heterosexual” or “homosexual”) that determines who we are. Critical Theories of Race and Racism: A set of ideas arguing that race continues to matter and that racism continues to exist and adversely affect blacks and others. Intersectionality: The confluence, or intersection, of various social statuses and the inequality and oppression associated with each in combination with others. Post Modern Theory: A set of ideas orientated in opposition to modern theory; ex. rejecting or deconstructing the grand narrative of modern social theory. Adopt nonscientific or antiscientific approach to the social world. Hyper consumption: Consumption of more than one needs, really wants, and can afford. Jean Baudrillard: argued that we are living in a consumer society where much of our lives is defined not by our productive work but by what we consume and how we consume it. Simulation: An inauthentic or fake version of something; ex. consuming McDonald’s meat. Symbolic Interaction: A sociological perspective focusing on the role of symbols and how their meanings are shared and understood by those involved in human interaction; Basic principles- Symbolic meanings are not set in stone, humans have great capacity for thought, people can modify symbol meanings because of their unique ability to think, Symbolic interaction is the basis of everything else in the social world. Ethnomethodology: A theory focusing on what people do rather than on what they think; study the way people organize everyday life. Exchange Theory: A set of ideas related to the rewards and costs associated with human behavior; George Homans; involves two or more people engaged in a variety of tangible and intangible exchanges. Exchange Relationships: Stable and persistent bonds between individuals who interact; generally formed because their interactions are rewarding; ex. developing friendships. Rational Choice Theory: A set of ideas that sees people as rational and as acting purposively to achieve their goals; constraints on ability to act rationally- access to scarce resources & requirements of social structure. Empiricism: The gathering of information and evidence using one’s senses, especially one’s eyes & ears, to experience the social world. Scientific Method: A structured way to find answers to questions about the world. Qualitative Research: Any research method that does not require statistical methods for collecting and reporting data; involves studies done in natural settings that produce in depth descriptive information about the social world. Quantitative Research: Any research method that involves the analysis of numerical data derived usually from surveys and experiments. Statistics: The mathematical method used to analyze numerical data; can aid researchers in two ways (descriptive & inferential). Descriptive Statistics: Numerical data that allow researchers to see trends over time or compare differences between groups, to describe some particular collection of data that is based on a phenomenon in the real world; ex. surveys. Inferential Statistics: Numerical data that allow researchers to use data from a small group to speculate with some level of certainty about a larger group; ex. field experiment. Observation: A research method that involves systematically watching, listening to, and recording what takes place in a natural social setting over some period of time; key dimensions- degree to which those being observed are aware, presence of observer affects what observes do, way process is structures. Participant Observation: A research method in which the researcher actually plays a role, usually a minor one, in the group or setting being observed. Nonparticipant Observation: A research method in which the sociologist plays little or no role in what is being observed. Ethnography: Observational research, often intensive and over lengthy periods, that leads to an account of what people do and how they live. Global Ethnography: A type of ethnography that is “grounded” in various parts of the world and that seeks to understand globalization as it exists in people’s social lives; Michael Burawoy. Interviews: A research method in which information is sought from participants (respondents) who are asked a series of questions that have been spelled out, at least to some degree, before the research is conducted. Netnography: An ethnographic method in which the internet becomes the research site and what transpires there is the sociologists’ research interest. Survey Research: A research methodology that involves the collection of information from a population, or more usually a representative portion of a population, through the use of interviews and, more importantly, questionnaire’s. Questionnaires: Self-administered, written sets questions. Descriptive Survey: A questionnaire or interview used to gather accurate information about those a group, people in a given geographic area, or members of organizations. Explanatory Survey: A questionnaire or interview used to uncover potential causes for some observation. Sample: A representative portion of the overall population. Random Sample: A subset of a population in which every member of the group has an equal chance of being included. Stratified Sample: A sample created when a larger group is divided into a series of subgroups and then random samples are taken within each of these groups. Convenience Sampling: Readily available groups of people who fit the criteria for participating in a research project; rarely representative. Experiment: The manipulation of a characteristic under study to examine its effect on another characteristic. Independent Variable: In an experiment, a condition that can be independently manipulated by the researcher with the goal of producing a change in some other variable. Dependent Variable: A characteristic or measurement that is the result of manipulating an independent variable. Laboratory Experiments: Research that occurs in a lab, giving the researcher greater control over both the selection of the participants to be studied and the conditions to which they are exposed. Natural Experiments: Experiments that occur when researchers take advantage of a naturally occurring event to study its effect on one or more dependent variables. Field Experiments: Research that occurs in natural situations but that allows researchers to exert at least some control over who participates and what happens during the experiment. Secondary Data Analysis: Reanalysis of data, often survey data, collected by others, including other sociologists. Historical Comparative Research: A research methodology that contrasts how different historical events and conditions in various societies (or components of societies) lead to deferent societal outcomes. Ideal Type: An exaggeratedly rational model that is used to study real-world phenomena. Reliability: The degree to which given question (or another kind of measure) produces the same results time after time. Validity: The degree to which a question (or another kind of measure) gets an accurate response, or measures what it is supposed to measure. Ethics: A set of beliefs concerning right and wrong in the choices that people make and the ways those choices are justified.  Chapter 3 Culture: A collection of ideas, values, practices, and material objects that mean a great deal to a group of people, even an entire society and that allow them to carry out their collective lives in relative order and harmony; constantly affected by internal (demographics) and external (technology) changes. Values: General and abstract standards defining what a group or society as a whole considers good, desirable, right, or important; its ideals. Norms: Informal rules that guide what a member of a culture does in a given situation and how that person lives. Laws: Norms that have been codified or written down, and are formally enforced through institutions such as the state. Sanctions: The application of rewards (positive sanctions) or punishments (negative sanctions) when norms are accepted or violated; most people follow norms because sanctions are associated with them. Folkways: Norms that are relatively unimportant and, if violated, carry few if any sanctions; college texting in class has negative sanctions that are generally mild. Mores: Important norms whose violation is likely to be met with severe sanctions; ex. using phone to cheat on test in class. Material Culture: All of the material objects that are reflections or manifestations of a culture; ex. clothes, homes, computers, military weapons. Symbolic Culture: Aspects of culture that exist in nonmaterial forms; 2 key forms are values & norms; ex. cloth vs disposable diapers means more “green” parenting. Language: A set of meaningful symbols that makes possible the communication of culture as well as communication ore generally within a given culture, and that calls out the same meaning in the person to whom an utterance is aimed as it does to the person making the utterance. Ideal Culture: Norms and values indicating what members of a society should believe in and do; ex. American value is democracy. Real culture: What people actually do and think in their everyday lives; ex. barely a majority of Americans vote. Subcultures: A group of people who accept much of the dominant culture but are set apart from it by one or more culturally significant characteristics; ex. LGBTQ community, Muslims, Harley Davidson motorcycle riders. Countercultures: Groups whose cultures not only differ in certain ways from the dominant culture, but whose norms and values may be incompatible with those of the dominant culture; Theodore Roszak; may consciously act in opposition; ex. Ku Klux Klan members. Culture Wars: A conflict that pits subcultures and countercultures against the dominant culture or that pits dominant groups within society against each other; can lead to disruption of status quo; conservative vs. liberal. Multiculturalism: The encouragement of cultural differences within a given environment, both by the state and by the majority group; ex. can be race, age, or language. Assimilation: The integration of minorities into the dominant culture; ex. immigrants/immigration. Identity Politics: The use of a minority group’s power to strengthen the position of the cultural group with which it identifies; ex. black power, feminist, gay pride movements. Cultural Relativism: The idea that aspects of culture such as norms and values need to be understood within the context of a person’s own culture and that there are no universally accepted norms and values; no set of norms & values is better than another; different cultures have different norms and values. Ethnocentrism: The belief that one’s own group or culture, including its norms, values, customs, and so on, is better than others; gives people sense of pride and identity; serves as a barrier to greater cultural understanding. Cultural Imperialism: The imposition of one culture, more or less consciously, on other cultures. Americanization: The importation by other countries of products, images, technologies, practices, norms, values, and behaviors that are closely associated with the US; ex. American movie industry or fast food. Anti-Americanism: An aversion to America in general, as well as to the influence of its culture abroad. Cultural Hybrids: Cultural phenomena combining inputs and impositions from other cultures with local realities; ex. Dutch watching Moroccan women engage in Thai boxing. Consumer Culture: A culture in which the core ideas and material objects relate to consumption and in which consumption is a primary source of meaning in life. Cultural Jamming: The radical transformation of an intended message in popular culture, especially one associated with the mass media, to protest underlying realities of which consumers may be unaware; ex. “Joe Chemo” instead of Joe Camel from smoking cigarettes. Cyber Culture: An emerging online culture that has the characteristics of all culture, including distinctive values and norms; distinctive values include openness knowledge sharing, and access; Norms include not hacking and not spamming. Prosumers: A consumer who produces value in the process of consumption; one who combines the acts of consumption and production.  Chapter 4 Micro-Macro Continuum: The range of social entities from the individual, even the mind and self, to the interaction among individuals, the groups often formed by that interaction, formally structured organizations, societies, and increasingly the global domain. Looking Glass Self: The self-image that reflects how others respond to a person, particularly as a child; Charles Horton Cooley; helps explain why feral children are unlikely to form a fully developed self-image. Gesture: A movement of one animal or human that elicits a mindless, automatic, and appropriate response from another animal or human from another animal or human; George Herbert Mead. Significant Symbol: A gesture that arouses in the individual the same kind of response, although it need not be identical, as it is supposed to elicit from those to whom gesture is addressed; can only be made by humans; communication on the fullest term. Symbolic Interaction: Interaction on the basis of not only gestures but also significant symbols; more complex interaction pattern. Mind: An internal conversation that arises in relation to, and is continuous with, interactions, especially conversations that one has with others in the social world; social phenomena. Self: The sense of oneself as an object; people need to take roles of others to get a sense of their own selves. Play Stage: Mead’s first stage in the socialization process where children learn to take on the attitudes of specific others toward themselves; ex. young children playing mommy & daddy; young children lack a more general and organized sense of themselves. Game Stage: Mead’s second stage in socialization process in which a child developed a self in the full sense of the term, because it is then that the child begins to take on the roles of a group of people simultaneously rather than the roles of discrete individuals; allows children to function in organized groups & greatly affects what they will do in a specific group. Generalized Other: The attitude of the entire groups or community adopted by individuals; central to the development of self during the game stage; ex. attitude of teammates on a baseball field. “I”: The immediate response of an individual to others; the part of the self that is incalculable, unpredictable, and creative; source of new and original responses; gives capacity to have impact on the group. “Me”: The organized set of others’ attitudes assumed by the individual; it involves the adoption by the individual of the generalized other; behaviors associated tend to be habitual and conventional. Dramaturgy: The view that social life is a series of dramatic performances akin to those that take place in a theater and on stage; Erving Goffman; Impression Management: People’s use of a variety of techniques to control the image of themselves that they want to project during their social performances; ex. typically good student in class, goes out partying, forgets homework, gets called on in class, still tries to act like they know what is going on and is a good student. Front Stage: The part of the social world where the social performance is idealized and designed to define the situation for those who observe it; Goffman. Back Stage: The part of the social world where people feel free to express themselves in ways that are suppressed in the front stage; we are always afraid that those in the front stage will find out about our backstage. Socialization: The process through which a person learns and generally comes to accept the ways of a group or of society as a whole. Erik Erikson: Promoted the idea of socialization across a life course; 8 stages beginning at birth and ending at death. Agents of Socialization: Those who do the socializing; first & most effective are parents (primary agents)’ Secondary agents could be educational system, media, and consumer culture. Primary Socialization: The acquisition of language, identities, gender roles, cultural routines, and norms, and values from parents and other family members at the earliest stages of an individual’s life; lays foundation for later personality development. Anticipatory Socialization: The teaching (and learning) of what will be expected of ones in the future; how parents prepare children for developmental changes. Reverse Socialization: The socialization of those who normally do the socializing; ex. children socializing parents. Resocialization: The unlearning of old behaviors, norms, and values and the learning of new ones; ex. when workers change jobs. Total Institution: A closed, all-encompassing place of residence and work set off from the rest of society that meets all of the needs of those enclosed within it; ex. prison. Interaction: A social engagement that involves two or more individuals who perceive, and orient their actions to, one another. Reciprocity: The expectation that those involved in an interaction will give and receive rewards of roughly equal value. Interaction Order: An area of interaction that is organized and orderly, but in which the order is created informally by those involved in the interaction rather than by some formal structure; ex. cliques that develop own norms. Status: A dimension of the social stratification system that relates to the prestige attached to people’s positions within society; ex. professor & students. Role: What is generally expected of a person who occupies a given status; ex. professors expected to show up to class prepared, and to teach engagingly. Ascribed Status: A position in which individuals are placed, or to which they move, that has nothing to do with what they have done or their capacities or accomplishments; ex. gender, age, racial status. Achieved Status: A position acquired by people on the basis of what they accomplish or the nature of their capacities; ex. becoming a parent, spouse, CEO, or college graduate. Master Status: A position that is more important than any others both for the person in the position and for all others involved; one’s race or being disabled. Role Conflict: Conflicting expectations associated with a given position or multiple positions; ex. a student trying to be a good student and being a friend and go out. Role Overload: Confrontation with more expectations than a person can possibly handle; ex. student during final exam week. Role Making: The ability of people to modify their roles, at least to some degree; ex. reducing work hours. Dyad: A two person group; George Simmel; most basic of interpersonal relationships; often evolve into triads. Triad: A three person group; George Simmel; ex. when a couple has a child; it is the group structure that matters, not the people involved or their personalities. Group: A relatively small number of people who over time develop a patterned relationship based on interaction with one another. Primary Groups: Groups that are small, are close knit, and have intimate face to face interaction; ex. family; can take unlikely forms. Secondary Group: Generally large, impersonal groups in which ties are relatively weak and members do not know one another very well, and whose impact on members is typically not very powerful. Reference Groups: Group that people take into consideration in evaluating themselves; can and do change over time.


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