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Study Guide for Exam no 2

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by: Irvane Ngnie Kamga

Study Guide for Exam no 2 Sociology 101

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Irvane Ngnie Kamga
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Hello all! This is my extensive study guide for Sociology 101's second exam (Professor Dennis Rutledge). It covers Chapters 6 through 9. All essential definitions and key concepts are included and ...
Introduction to Sociology
Rutledge Dennis
Study Guide
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This 12 page Study Guide was uploaded by Irvane Ngnie Kamga on Wednesday November 11, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to Sociology 101 at George Mason University taught by Rutledge Dennis in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 176 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at George Mason University.

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Date Created: 11/11/15
SOCIOLOGY 101 EXAM No 2 STUDY GUIDE Chapter 6: Inequality by Race and Ethnicity Racial formation: A sociohistorical process, in which racial categories are created, inhibited, transformed, and destroyed. In this process, power groups establish a racist social structure. Race is socially constructed: people come to define a group as a race based in part on physical characteristics, but also on historical, cultural, and economic factors. It’s an ongoing, never- ending process. White privilege: rights or immunities granted to people as a particular benefit or favor simply because they are White. The “one-drop” rule: in the 1800s, if a person had even a single drop of “Black blood”, that person was defined and viewed as Black. The U.S. is a very diversified and multiracial society. This is due largely to the huge waves of immigration that have affected and continue to affect the United States, and to the interbreeding between members of those different races. Today, about 3% of the U.S. society claims multiracial ancestry. In spite of their acknowledged, broader cultural background, many individuals (especially young adults) experience social pressure to choose just one race (assume a single identity). Stereotypes: unreliable generalizations about all members of a group that do not recognize individual differences within the group. A racial group (e.g. Blacks) is set apart from others because of obvious physical differences, whereas an ethnic group (e.g. Latinos) is set apart from others primarily because of its national origin or distinctive cultural patterns. The contemporary diversity of the United States reflects centuries of immigration. The functionalist perspective on immigration For the receiving nation, it alleviates labor shortages (for example in the fields of healthcare and technology in the U.S.). It constitutes a source of cheap labor. For the sending nation that has difficulty supporting large numbers of people, it relieves unemployment problems. Moreover, immigrants annually send back a large amount of money to their home countries. However, immigration can be dysfunctional: areas that accept high concentrations of immigrants may have difficulty meeting short-term social service needs; immigration can be synonym of loss of valuable human resources for the sending nation. The conflict perspective on immigration There is an economic competition between native citizens (born on the territory) and immigrants (racial minorities). Immigration provokes intense intergroup conflict by taking jobs and opportunities away from American citizens to the benefit of immigrants. In the 1920s, America’s immigration laws were quite restrictive: they gave preference to people from Western Europe, while making it difficult for residents of southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa to enter the country. Since the 1960s, U.S. policies have encouraged the immigration of people who have relatives in the U.S. as well as of those who have needed skills, leading to a wave of immigrants coming primarily from Latin America and Asia these past decades. Symbolic ethnicity: emphasis on such concerns as ethnic food or political issues rather than on deeper ties to one’s ethnic heritage. All the major theoretical perspectives presume that culture, rather than biology, is the major determinant of racial-ethnic distinctions. Racial profiling: any arbitrary action initiated by an authority based on race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than on a person’s behavior. Prejudice: negative attitude toward an entire category of people, often an ethnic or racial group. Discrimination: the denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups based on some type of arbitrary bias. Discrimination is stronger and has greater social consequences than prejudice. Institutional discrimination: the denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups that results from the normal operations of a society. The conflict perspective on race and ethnicity The exploitation theory (aka Marxist class theory) couples race and class to analyze how capitalists exploit the population both race-wise and class-wise (Oliver Cox, Robert Blauner, Herbert Hunter). According to Marx, race is a fake reason, a pretext, used by the capitalist ruling class to justify class division and keep members of subordinate groups in low-paying jobs. Racial subordination in fact masks the real issue which is the dominant group’s exploitation of the lower class, which is inherent to a capitalist economic system. The interactionist perspective on race and ethnicity The contact hypothesis (Allport) states that interracial contact between people of equal status who are engaged in a cooperative task will cause them to become less prejudiced, more inclined to see the other as an individual, and to abandon previous stereotypes. As a way of making up for past (and current) ills against Blacks and other minorities, governments, businesses, and schools have developed affirmative action programs. Affirmative action: positive efforts to recruit members of subordinate groups or women for jobs, promotions, and educational opportunities. Black Americans through their fight for equality have paved the way for other minorities (who today do not have to fight as much because Black Americans already did years ago). The 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in public accommodations and publicly owned facilities on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, and gender. Racism: belief that one race is supreme and all others are innately inferior. Ethnocentrism: belief that one’s culture and way of life are superior to all others. Scapegoating: act of blaming minorities (immigrants) for all that is wrong in society. Glass ceiling: invisible barrier that blocks the promotion of a qualified individual in a work environment because of that person’s gender, race, or ethnicity. Color-blind racism: the use of the principle of race neutrality to defend a racially unequal status quo; the disregard of racial characteristics when selecting which individuals will participate in some activity or receive some service. Proponents believe that “color-blind” practices will lead to a more equal society in which racism and race privilege no longer exist. Opponents believe that “color-blindness” simply allows whites to ignore the disadvantages of the non-white population and to be covertly racist. Chapter 7: Inequality by Gender Gender roles: expectations regarding the proper behavior, attitudes, and activities of males or females. Like race, gender is socially constructed. Children are taught, very young, to behave a certain way that is socially in conformity with their gender. Boys must be masculine –aggressive, tough, daring, and dominant –and girls must be feminine –soft, emotional, sweet, and submissive. This process is known as gender role socialization, with parents being the primary agents. They play a crucial role in guiding children into those gender roles deemed appropriate by society. But other adults, older siblings, the mass media, and religious as well as educational institutions are also important agents of gender role socialization. Homophobia: fear of and prejudice against homosexuality. It is universal because it is human nature to fear the unknown and the unconventional. Men are allegedly more homophobic than women. Women tend to be more empathetic and understanding. According to Cornell’s theory of multiple masculinities, although society reinforces men’s traditional, dominating role, they in fact play a variety of gender roles, including a nurturing- caring role and an effeminate-gay role. Sociologists Talcott Parsons and Robert Bales explained that women take on the expressive, emotionally supportive role and men the instrumental, practical role, with the two complementing each other. As women become “anchored” in the family as wives, mothers, and household managers, men become “anchored” in the occupational world outside the home. Instrumentality emphasis on tasks; focus on more distant goals, and a concern for the external relationship between one’s family and other social institutions/for the family’s outreach in the community. Expressiveness a concern for the maintenance of harmony and the internal emotional affairs of the family. The functionalist perspective Functionalists view the relationship between men and women as a collaboration, in which the division of tasks is functional for the family unit. That is why boys/men specialize in instrumentality and girls/women in expressiveness. The conflict perspective From a conflict view, the relationship between men and women is one of unequal power, with men occupying the dominant position; that can be seen in the division of labor by gender where men’s instrumental tasks are much more appreciated and valued than women’s expressive tasks. Gender differences reflect the subjugation of women by men. The feminist perspective Friedrich Engels, close associate of Marx, argued that women’s subjugation coincided with the rise of private property during the Industrial Revolution. Moving from an agrarian economy to an industrial one enabled men to withhold rewards and privileges from women. Capitalism marked the beginning of a long-term exploitation of women. Feminism: movement committed to securing and defending rights and opportunities for women that are equal to those of men. Feminists view women’s subjugation as part of the overall exploitation and injustice that are characteristic of capitalist societies. Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Margaret Mead, Patricia Hill Collins, Arlie Hochschild, Ida Wells-Barnett and Jane Addams are all early influences on sociology who criticized the inferior position of women in society and culture. Radical feminists view the oppression of women as inevitable in all male-dominated societies, capitalist or not. Sexism: ideology that one sex is superior to the other. Genderism: allocation of certain roles specifically for men and women. Gender role discrimination: discrimination based on gender. Society’s expectations of men and society’s expectation of women are very different. Men are thought of to have certain skills, and women others; and men’s talents happen to be more valued than women’s. In general, society underestimates women and their capabilities. High and even unrealistic demands are placed on mothers who also work outside the home. Women’s work (whether unpaid labor at home or wage labor in the occupational world) is very devalued and underappreciated by society. There is a significant gap between men and women’s income, despite same qualifications and same job. Also, when a man or a woman does not satisfy society’s expectations of them or does not correspond to society’s image of what a man or a woman should be, they are looked at weirdly. Double-shift: the double burden –work outside the home, followed by childcare and housework –that many women face and few men share equitably. The study of the World Bank in 2012 concluded that although progress has been made in the status of women worldwide, in many parts of the world, women still lag far behind men in their earnings and in their ability to speak out politically. Everywhere in the world, they suffer from second-class status. Although they constitute one third of the world’s paid labor force and grow half the world’s food, they are found in the lowest-paying jobs and they rarely own land. It’s an ongoing struggle and women are still fighting to be considered and treated as men’s equals. Chapter 8: Social Institutions: Family and Religion Social institutions: organized patterns of beliefs and behavior that are centered on basic social needs, such as replacing personnel and preserving order. Government: body that has the power to make and enforce laws within an organization or group and the responsibility to preserve order; a political authority. The functionalist perspective on social institutions From the functionalist perspective, social institutions fulfill essential functions for society as a whole and satisfy basic human needs. Any society that hopes to endure must accomplish five major tasks or functional prerequisites. Failing on even one condition means running the risk of extinction. Functional prerequisites: the five major tasks every society or relatively permanent group must accomplish in order to survive –replacing personnel, teaching new recruits, producing and distributing goods and services, preserving order, and providing and maintaining a sense of purpose. The conflict perspective on social institutions Conflict theorists concur with functionalist theorists on the fact that social institutions are organized to meet basic social needs. However, they do not believe that the outcome is efficient or desirable. Major institutions help to perpetuate inequality by maintaining the privileges of the most powerful individuals and groups in a society, while contributing to the powerlessness of others. The Family: A Global View A family can be defined as a set of people who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption who share the primary responsibility for reproduction and caring for members of society. Nuclear family: composed of a married couple and their children living together. Extended family: A family in which relatives –such as grandparents, aunts, or uncles –live in the same house as parents and their children. Matrilocal/Patrilocal family: family living near the mother’s/father’s side of the family. Monogamy: a form of marriage in which one woman and one man are married only to each other. Serial monogamy characterizes people who have several spouses in their life span, but only one at a time. Polygamy: form of marriage in which an individual has more than one spouse at the same time. Polygyny: a type of polygamy in which a man may have several wives at the same time. Polyandry: a type of polygamy in which a woman may have several husbands at the same time. Kinship Patterns Kinship: the state of being related to others, of having an emotional attachment to others, of sharing a closeness with others. Kinship is culturally learned, rather than being entirely determined by biological or marital ties (adoption creates a kinship tie). Kinship group – clan. People may be assigned to kinship groups through the principle of descent/lineage. In the system of bilateral descent, both sides of a person’s family are regarded as equally important when it comes to tracing lineage. Patrilineal descent (more common than matrilineal descent) favors the father’s relatives in terms of property, inheritance, and emotional ties. Matrilineal descent favors the mother’s relatives. Patriarchy/Matriarchy: social system in which men/women dominate in the family decision making. Egalitarian family: social system in which spouses are regarded as equals. The egalitarian family is slowly replacing the patriarchal family as the social norm in the U.S. The functionalist perspective on the family The family satisfies the needs of its members and contributes to social stability. The six major functions of the family according to George Ogburn: 1. Reproduction to ensure society’s survival. 2. Protection of its members 3. Upbringing and socialization of the children 4. Regulation of sexual behavior. Although sexual norms are subject to change, standards of sexual behavior are most clearly defined within the family circle. 5. Affection and companionship. 6. Provision of social status. One’s family background and reputation determine one’s position in society and influence one’s life chances. The feminist perspective on the family Feminist theorists view the family as a perpetuator of gender roles through gender role socialization and home habits (if a child grows up seeing Dad make all the decisions and Mom silently nodding, he/she learns that men hold the power over women). Their family is women’s greatest support, whether physical through assistance or mental/social through advice. It is the source of their strength. Unlike functionalists who contend that the family performs essential social functions and is a contributor to social stability, conflict theorists view the family as a perpetuator of inequality: people inherit their social status from their parents (and sometimes earlier ancestors). Thus, poverty or wealth is transmitted across generations. Interactionists focus on the relationships among family members and note that the more invested fathers are in childcare, the fewer behavior problems children end up showing throughout time. They conclude that cohesion and harmony in the family unit is beneficial to children’s welfare. Religion as a Social Institution According to Durkheim, religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things. Manifest Functions of Religion Religion defines the spiritual world and gives meaning to the divine. It also provides an explanation for events that seem difficult to understand to mere humans. Latent Functions of Religion Durkheim viewed religion as an integrative power in human society: it binds people, brings them together, gives them ultimate values and ends to hold in common. It acts as “societal glue” by enabling people to transcend their personal differences to find a common ground through shared beliefs and values. Religion provides people with standards and moral values, thereby influencing human conduct. Religion also has a function of social support. In times of misfortune, religion has proven to be of great help. It is more comforting to believe that there is a reason for tragic events, even if we do not understand it at the moment, than to think that tragedy just happen senselessly (without cause or hidden divide purpose). Religious rituals: practices required or expected of members of a faith. Religious experience: feeling or perception of being in direct contact with the ultimate reality (such as a divine being) or of being overcome with religious emotion. Chapter 9: Social Institutions: Education, Government and the Economy Education: formal process of learning in which some people consciously teach while others adopt the social role of learner. The functionalist perspective Like other social institutions, education has both manifest (intended, open) and latent functions. Among its manifest functions are the transmission of knowledge (teaching students how to read and write arithmetic) and the bestowal of status. One of its latent purposes is to teach young people how to live together with peers in society, and how to conform to social norms. Other latent functions:  Transmitting Culture. Through history and civic education classes, we learn about important figures of our history and culture and their great achievements. We learn respect for social control that helps to maintain order, and we learn reverence for established institutions (e.g. religion, the presidency).  Promoting Social and Political Integration. Education serves to forge a common identity among members of a society and foster social integration, what contributes to societal stability and consensus.  Maintaining Social Control. At school, students learn that more often than not, their actions have consequences. Schools teach students various skills (organization, the ability to think critically, conceptual reasoning, etc…) and values (punctuality, honesty, discipline, etc…) as well as a sense of responsibility that will be very helpful to them later once they are immerged in the occupational world.  Serving as an Agent of Change. Education can be a vehicle for social change (e.g. affirmative action in admissions help minorities by providing them with opportunities to get a good education and climb up the social ladder). Acquiring an education in the U.S. improves one’s life chances. Education keeps people off the streets and in the best cases lead to well-earning professionals. The conflict perspective The Brown v. Board of Education decision declared unconstitutional the segregation of public schools. Hidden curriculum: standards of behavior that are deemed proper by society and are taught subtly in schools (e.g. don’t speak unless you are given permission to do so). The hidden curriculum shows the inhibiting effects of education. Conflict theorists are very critical of the differential way in which education bestows status, prestige and power. Because disadvantaged children don’t have the same educational opportunities as affluent children, most of them won’t reach a level of life as high as that of privileged children. This reasoning is what leads conflict theorists to believe that schools tend to preserve social class inequalities in each new generation. Credentialism: an increase in the lowest level of education needed to enter a field. Tracking: the practice of placing students in specific curriculum groups on the basis of their test scores and other criteria. The critic of these tracking programs is that they do not necessarily identify the students with the potential and the will to succeed. The interactionist perspective Teacher-expectancy effect: the impact that a teacher’s expectations about a student’s performance may have on the student’s actual achievements. Bureaucracy: a goal-oriented organization designed according to rational principles in order to efficiently attain its goals. How are schools/universities bureaucracies? 1. Division of Labor. Schools hire specialized experts (to teach, to manage, to supervise, etc…) 2. Hierarchy of Authority. Professors/Faculty/Dean/Department Chair/Provost/President 3. Written Rules and Regulations. Protocols regulate the organization and functioning of educational institutions. 4. Impersonality. Bureaucratic norms somehow encourage teachers to treat all students in the same way. 5. Employment based on technical qualifications. Theoretically at least, the hiring of teachers and professors is based on professional competence and expertise, and their firing must be legitimate as well and done according to certain rules. Government: Power and Authority Politics: a process involving the exercise of control, constraint and coercion in a society. Power: ability to exercise one’s will over others. Force: the actual or threatened use of coercion to impose one’s will on others. Influence: the exercise of power through a process of persuasion. Authority: power that has been institutionalized, legitimized, and is recognized by the people over whom it is exercised. Weber’s three ideal types of authority: traditional, rational-legal, and charismatic. N.B: all three forms can be present in a single society.  Traditional authority: legitimate power conferred by custom and accepted practice. (Sort of an ascribed characteristic). England with Queen Elizabeth. Traditional authority is only absolute when the ruler has the ability to determine a society’s laws and policies.  Rational-legal authority: power made legitimate by law –by the written rules and regulations of a political system. President Obama’s authority.  Charismatic authority: power made legitimate by a leader’s exceptional personal or emotional appeal to his/her followers. It is in fact derived more from the beliefs of followers than from the actual qualities of leaders. Joan of Arc. According to Mills’ Power Elite, in the American society, power rests in the hands of a small group of military, industrial, and governmental leaders. At the top of the pyramid illustrating his power structure model are the corporate rich, leaders of the executive branch of government, and heads of the military: they form the power elite. Just below, we find leaders of special interest groups, legislators, and local opinion leaders. At the bottom of the pyramid are the unorganized, exploited masses. The pluralist model suggests a wider distribution of power than the elite models. It describes power as being shared between many competing groups so that no single group is dominant. According to this model, few political actors exercise decision-making power on all issues. Economic Systems Economic system: system of production and distribution of goods and services that is also responsible for the allocation of resources among a society. Capitalism: economic system in which the means of production are held largely in private hands, and the main incentive for economic activity is the accumulation of profits. Laissez-faire: form of capitalism that demanded minimal government intervention. Under this principle, businesses retained the right to regulate themselves and could compete freely. Socialism: economic system in which the means of production and distribution are collectively, rather than privately, owned; characterized by government ownership of all major industries and the basic objective of meeting people’s needs (instead of maximizing profits). Communism: economic system in which all property is communally owned and no social distinctions are made on the basis of people’s ability to produce.


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