Sociology and the Real World CH 1-4

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What is Sociology?
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Sociology is one of the social sciences—disciplines that examine the human or social world.
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Sociology
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the study of society
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What does Sociology do?
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looks at a broad range of institutions (structures in our society, like education, economics, politics) to better understand social relationships.
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Sociologists can use different levels of analysis to explore social relationships
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Microsociology Macrosociology
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Microsociology
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sociological investigation that stresses the study of small groups, often through experimental means
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Macrosociology
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Sociological investigation that concentrates on large-scale phenomena or entire civilizations.
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Methodological Approaches
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gathering and analyzing data in order to establish certain facts (quantitative & qualitative)
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Quantitative Research
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translates the social world into numbers which can be studied mathematically
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Qualitative Research
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Uses non-numerical data like texts, interviews, photos, and recordings to help understand social life
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Sociological Imagination
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ability to see the connection between the larger world and our personal lives
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Who coined the term \”Sociological Imagination\”?
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C. Wright Mills
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C. Wright Mills
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Class conflict, came up with \”social imagination.\”
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Seeing the Strange in the Familiar
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what you take for granted and how its familiar to you but realize how strange it is to others
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Sociological Perspective
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understanding human behavior by placing it within its broader social context
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Looking at life sociologically requires giving up
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the familiar in favor of the strange
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Culture Shock
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a condition of disorientation affecting someone who is suddenly exposed to an unfamiliar culture or way of life or set of attitudes
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The Beginner’s Mind
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\” is the opposite of an expert’s mind. Bernard McGrane says that to explore the social world, it is important that we clear our minds of stereotypes, expectations, and opinions so that we are more receptive to our experiences.
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The Beginner’s Mind in action
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Step back from familiar routines, Look at your lives with new curiosity
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Global Perspective
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The study of the larger world and our society’s place in it
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Global Village
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Marshall McLuhan’s term about radio and television were creating new kinds of social bonds, bringing people together as if they all belonged to the same small tribe.
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Macro Perspective
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assumes that society’s larger structures shape individuals’ interactions.
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Micro Perspective
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focuses on an individual meanings and interactions that individuals create
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Howard Becker’s definition of sociology?
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Our sense of self derives in part from our membership in society.
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The glass escalator effect refers to the
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rapid rate of upward mobility for men in female-dominated workplaces.
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What factor primarily differentiates the everyday actor from the social analyst?
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The social analyst would investigate everyday assumptions to gain a more complete understanding of them.
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Why did Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont travel to the United States in 1831?
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They wanted to learn about democracy in the United States so that French citizens could learn from America’s strengths and weaknesses.
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The central feature of postmodern society may be
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mass media and popular culture
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What are Sociological Theories?
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Theories in sociology are propositions that explain the social world and help to make predictions about future events.
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Founders of Sociology
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August Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, Emmile Durkheim, and Max Weber
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Auguste Comte 1798-1857
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French philosopher remembered as the founder of positivism. Saw human history as 3 stages: theological, metaphysical and scientific. Founded \”sociology.\”
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Harriet Martineau 1802-1876
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A social activist who traveled the United States and wrote about social changes. Translated Comte’s work into English. Largely discounted because she was a woman.
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Herbert Spencer 1820-1903
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major contribution to sociology was an evolutionary perspective on social order and social change. Social Darwinism – the belief that those human beings, best adapted to their environment survive and prosper, whereas those poorly adapted die out.
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Emile Durkheim 1858-1917
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french sociologist that contributed many important concepts to sociology. his comparison of the suicuide rates of several countries revealed an underlying social factor: people are more likely to commit suicide if their ties to others in their communities are weak. his identification of the key role of social integration in in social life remains central to sociology today.
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Karl Marx 1818-1883
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Wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848) in conjunction with Friedrich Engels -Society split between the bourgeoisie (middle class) and the proletariat (modern working class) -The proletariat would conquer to bourgeoisie in a violent revolution -The proletariat would grow in size and class-conciousness -The proletariat would be aided by a portion of the bourgeoisie who had gone over to the proletariat -United sociology, economics, and all human history -Synthesized French utopian socialists, English classical economics, and German philosophy Influenced by Hegel
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W.E.B. Du Bois 1868-1963
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DuBois argued strenuously with Booker T. Washington regarding the best way for African-Americans to progress. Du Bois urged blacks to fight segregation and win political rights, not accept defeat and concentrate on economic improvement, as Washington advocated.
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Jane Addams 1869-1935
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3 major theoretical paradigms
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-Structural Functionalism -Social Conflict -Symbolic Interactionism
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Structural Functionalism
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sees society as structure made out of pieces that function for the good of society
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Social Conflict
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the struggle between segments of society over valued resources
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Symbolic Interactionism
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approach that focuses on the interactions among people based on mutually understood symbols
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Robert K. Merton 1910-2003
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Pointed out that any social structure probably has many functions -Manifest Functions -Latent Functions -Social Dysfunction
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Manifest Functions
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the intended beneficial consequences of people’s actions
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Latent Functions
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the unintended beneficial consequences of people’s actions
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Social Dysfunction
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any social pattern that may disrupt operation of society
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Feminist Theory
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Looks at gender inequalities in society and the way that gender structures the social world, and considers remedies to these inequalities.
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Queer Theory
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-Proposes that categories of sexual identity are social constructs -Seeks to illuminate heterosexist bias in society
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Postmodernist Theory
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-Suggests that social reality is diverse, pluralistic, and constantly changing. -Critical of \”grand narratives\”
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An abstract proposition that both explains the social world and makes predictions about future events
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theory
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Who first applied a theory of evolution and \”survival of the fittest\” to societies?
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Herbert Spencer
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According to Durkheim, people in a modern car factory, where each worker is responsible for building a different part of the car, would experience:
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organic solidarity
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Is a paradigm that emphasizes a materialist view of society, a critical view of the status quo, and a dynamic model of historical change?
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Conflict Theory
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Is a paradigm that sees meaning as central to society and assumes that meanings are not inherent but are created?
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Symbolic Interactionism
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What theory proposes that categories of sexual identity are social constructs and that no sexual category is fundamentally either deviant or normal?
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Queer Theory
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A symbolic interactionist analysis of education might focus on
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he meanings that a teacher attaches to the various behaviors of students
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Max Weber’s most overriding concern was with the process of
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rationalization
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Anything that can be used to create more wealth, such as money and property, is referred to as
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the means of production
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Is true about the work of Emile Durkheim?
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He suggested that mechanical solidarity created the social bonds that held agrarian societies together.
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Symbolic Interactionism is derived from the teachings of
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George Herbert Meade
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The theoretical offshoot of Symbolic Interactionism that uses the metaphor of the theater to understand how individuals present themselves to others is called
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dramaturgy
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Who first attempted to apply the scientific method to the study of society?
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Auguste Comte
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According to Postmodern Theory, society is:
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diverse, pluralistic, and constantly in flux
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Teaching students to read and write would be an example of a __________ function of education.
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manifest
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According to Karl Marx, _______ is the source of all social change.
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conflict
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One of his greatest contributions to understanding human behavior was connecting the unconscious mind (psychology) to social behaviors.
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Sigmund Freud
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Keeping children busy for 8 hours a day and out of trouble would be an example of a __________ function of education.
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latent
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Class Consciousness
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Karl Marx’s term that refers to the recognition by people in a similar economic situation of a common interest.
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the maintenance of cultural patterns
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is a social structures might fulfill according to Talcott Parsons
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The ideal of objectivity
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An unattainable but theoretically conceivable condition of unbias
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Max Weber coined the phrase
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value-free sociology
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The Scientific Method
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a process used by scientist to investigate questions. It is a series of steps that allow scientist to meaningful experiments in an organized way.
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Correlations
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reliable associations between two or more events.
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Causations
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a relationship where one variable causes another variable to change
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Spurious Correlations
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a relationship that seems to appear between two variables, but is actually caused by something that external, or intervening variable.
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Methods
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the specific ways that scholars collect and analyze data which they then use to prove or disprove their theories
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Quantitative Research
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research that collects and reports data primarily in numerical form
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Qualitative Research
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research that relies on what is seen in field or naturalistic settings more than on statistical data
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ethnography
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a detailed description of a particular culture primarily based on fieldwork
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Field Notes
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Notes that describe what has been observed, heard, or otherwise experienced in a participant observation study. These notes usually are written after the observational session
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participant observation
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a research method in which investigators systematically observe people while joining them in their routine activities
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Interviews
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Face-to-face or telephone conversations between an interviewer and a respondent in which the interviewer asks questions and records the respondent’s answers.
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Surveys
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Questionnaires and interviews that ask people directly about their experiences, attitudes, or opinions.
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Examines large-scale social patterns and employs statistics and other mathematical means of analysis.
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Survey
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Experiments
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the use of control and experimental groups and dependent and independent variables to test causation
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experimental group
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the group that receives the treatment
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control group
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the group that does not receive the experimental treatment.
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Existing Sources
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Any data that have already been collected and are available for future research.
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Objectivity
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treating facts without influence from personal feelings or prejudices
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Reactivity
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responsive to stimulation
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The Hawthorne Effect
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a phenomenon whereby research subjects alter their behavior when they learn they are being observed
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code of ethics
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the standards of acceptable behavior developed by and for members of a profession
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A sample taken so that the findings can be generalized to the whole population is called a
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representative sample
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Ethnographies make it difficult to study groups that are often overlooked by other methods.
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Likert scale
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scale that uses numbers (5 strongly agree, 4 agree…)
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Survey research is
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one of the best methods for gathering a vast amount of original data on a large population.
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one of the basic goals for sociologists conducting an experiment?
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attempt to control for all possible variables except the one under investigation.
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The entire group about which a researcher would like to be able to generalize is a
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target population
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open-ended question
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a question that does not require a specific response and allows the individual to elaborate freely on a subject
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close-ended question
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a question designed to elicit a small range of specific answers supplied by the interviewer- \”yes\” or \”no\”
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Culture
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the way of life of a group of people
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Culture Guides
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What is acceptable behavior for people in a specific group.
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Culture is learned.
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For something to be considered cultural, it must be learned as well as shared. We acquire most of our information through spoken language.
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Culture ensures
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our survival as a species
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Material Culture
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the concrete, tangible objects of a culture
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Symbolic Culture
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word, gesture, music, language
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Can language shape not only our communication but our perceptions of how we see things as well?
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Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
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a theory claiming that language influences perception
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Values
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the beliefs and principles that guide the way a person lives
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Norms
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rules defining appropriate and inappropriate behavior
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Folkways
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norms that are not strictly enforced
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Mores
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accepted standards and customs of a social group
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Taboos
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Culturally forbidden behaviors
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Sanctions
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rewards or punishments used to enforce conformity to norms
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Ethnocentrism
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belief in the superiority of one’s own ethnic group
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Cultural Relativism
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the practice of judging a culture by its own standards
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Culture Shock
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personal disorientation when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life
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Multiculturalism
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view of cultural diversity as valuable and worth maintaining
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dominant culture
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The attitudes, values, beliefs and customs that the majority of people in a society hold in common
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subculture
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cultural patterns that set apart some segment of a society’s population
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counterculture
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cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society
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Popular Culture
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culture traits that are well known and widely accepted
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High Culture
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cultural patterns that distinguish a society’s elite
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Cultural Change
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a major shift in the norms, values, attitudes, and mindset of the entire organization.
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Cultural Diffusion
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the spread of cultural elements from one society to another
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Cultural Leveling
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the process by which cultures become similar to one another
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Cultural Imperialism
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the dominance of one culture over another
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Global Culture
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A culture in which people around the world are united through their common devotion to brand name consumer goods, movie stars, celebrities, and leisure activities.
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polysemy
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Having many possible meanings or interpretations.
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The spread of McDonald’s restaurants throughout Asia is an example of
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cultural diffusion.
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When Marshall McLuhan asserted that \”the medium is the message,\” he was arguing that:
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the changing forms of media dispersion (e.g., TV, radio, the Internet) are as important for cultural change as the content of the media.
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social control
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attempts by society to regulate people’s thoughts and behavior
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The idea that language structures thought, and that ways of looking at the world are embedded in language is called
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the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

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