Essentials Of Sociology (5th Ed.): Chapters 2-4

Culture
Values/Norms/Material goods characteristic of a given group

Values
Ideas held by individuals or groups about what is desirable, proper, good, and bad. They are influenced by an individual’s culture

Norms
Rules of conduct that specify appropriate behaviour in a given range of social situations (it either prescribes or forbids certain behaviours); breaking of these result in either disapproval or punishment

Material Culture
A culture ruled by material goods which has been rapidly becoming globalised due to modern information technology such as computers/smartphones/Internet. These physical objects created by society influence the way people live

Society
A group of people who live in a particular territory, are subject to a common system of political authority, and are aware of having a distinct identity from other groups

Sociobiology
An approach hat attempts to explain the behaviour of both animals and humans in terms of biological principles.

Biological Determinism
Belief that differences we observe between groups of people are explained wholly by biological causes

Nature vs. Nuture
Debate on whether nature or nurture are more influential on human behaviour. Within sociology, the nurture side of the debate is more widely accepted.

Subculture
Values and norms distinct from those of the majority, held by a group within a wider society

Assimilation
Acceptance of a minority group by a majority population, in which the new group takes on the values and norms of the dominant culture

Ethnocentrism
Tendency to look at other cultures through the eyes of one’s own culture, and thereby misrepresent them

Cultural Relativism
Practice of judging a society by its own standards

Linguistic Relatively Hypothesis
Hypothesis based on the theories of Sapir and Lee Whorf that perceptions are relative to language

Colonialism
Process whereby Western nations established their rule in parts of the world away from their home territories

Nationalism
Set of beliefs/symbols expressing identification with a national community

Globalism
A national policy of treating the whole world as a proper sphere for political influence

Socialization
Social processes through which we develop an awareness of social norms/values and achieve a distinct sense of self

Social Reproduction
Process whereby societies have structural continuity over time (way that parents transmit values/norms/social practices to children)

Resocialization
Process of learning new norms/values/behaviours when one joins a new group or takes on a new social role, or when life circumstances change dramatically

3 Stages of Development of Social Self
1. Imitation (imitating actions/facial expressions to leant how to act based on what other people are doing)
2. Play (beginning to understand that symbols can represent something and using the imagination and learning to think about others and how they are alike or different)
3. Game (understanding the relationships between different roles and figuring out how people work together)

4 Stages of Cognitive Development
1. Sensorimotor Stage (awareness of environment is dominated by perception/touch)
2. Preoperational Stage (advancing sufficiently to master basic modes of logical thought)
3. Concrete Operational Stage (thinking is based primarily on physical perception of the world but not yet capable of dealing with abstract concepts or hypothetical situations)
4. Formal Operational Stage (becoming capable of of handling abstract concepts/hypothetical situations)

Agents of Socialization
Groups of social contexts within which processes of socialization take place

Nuclear Family
Family group consisting of an adult or adult couple and their dependent children

Peer Group
Friendship group composed of individuals of similar age and social status

Social Roles
Socially defined expectations of an individual in a given status, or occupying a particular social position

Role Conflict
Occurs when people are confronted with incompatible role expectations in the various social statuses they occupy it may also occur when people disagree about what the expectations are for a particular role or when someone simply has difficulty satisfying expectations because their duties are unclear, too difficult, or disagreeable.

Role Strain
When the conflicting roles are both associated with the same status

5 Major Stages of the Life Course
1. Childhood
2. Teenager
3. Young Adulthood
4. Midlife or “Middle Age”
5. Later Life or “Old Age”

Identity
The ongoing process of self-development and definition of our personal identity through which we formulate a unique sense of ourselves and our relationship to the world around us

Gerontology
The study of aging and the elderly

Disengagement Theory
Functionalist theory of aging that holds that it is functional for society to remove people from their traditional roles when they become elderly , thereby freeing up those roles for others

Activity Theory
Functionalist theory of aging, which holds that busy, engaged people are more likely to lead fulfilling and productive lives

Continuity Theory
Theoretical perspective on aging that specifies that older adults fare best when they participate in activities consistent with their personality, preferences, and activities earlier in life

Social Conflict Theories of Aging
Arguments that emphasise the ways in which the larger social structure helps to shape the opportunities available to the elderly; unequal opportunities are seen as creating the potential for conflict

Life Course Theory
A perspective based on the assumptions that the aging process is shaped by historical time and place; individuals make choices that reflect both opportunities and constraints; aging is a lifelong process; and the relationships, events, and experiences of early life have consequences for later life

Elder Abuse
Mistreatment and abuse of older adults that may take place in many forms, such as physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse, neglect, or abandonment

Ageism
Discrimination or prejudice against a person on the grounds of age

Social Interaction
Process by which we act and react to those around us

Civil Inattention
Process whereby individuals in the same physical setting demonstrate to each other that they are aware of the other’s presence

Nonverbal Communication
Communication between individuals based on facial expression or bodily gestures rather than on language

Universal Hand Signs
No universally known gesture or bodily posture that is known by all cultures

Status
Social honour or prestige that a particular group is accorded by other members of a society. Status groups normally display distinct styles of life- patterns of behaviour that members of a group follow

Impression Management
Preparing for the presentation of one’s social role

Unfocused Interaction
Interaction occurring amount people present in a particular setting but not engaged in direct face-to-face communication

Focused Interaction
Interaction between individuals engaged in a common activity or in direct conversation with each other

“Give” vs. “Give-Off”
1st= Words/facial expressions people use to produce certain impressions on others
2nd= Clues that others may spot to check sincerity or truthfulness

Audience Segregation
Different social roles and different selves.
Used to perserve an individual’s dignity, autonomy, and respect

Conversation Analysis
Empirical study of conversations, examining details of naturally occurring conversations to reveal the organisational principles of communication

Interactional Vandalism
Deliberate subversion of the tacit rules of conversation

Response Cries
Seemingly involuntary exclamations individuals make when taken by surprise, expressing pleasure, or other similar situations

Compulsion of Proximity
People’s need to interact with other’s in their presence

Social Structure
Organised pattern of social relationships and social institutions that together compose society and that is not immediately visible to the untrained observer, however always present and affects all dimensions of human experience in society