SOC 1113 EX 1 SOC 1113 Exam 1 Terms

Term Definition
beliefs tenets or convictions that people hold to be true
folkways direct appropriate behavior in the day-to-day practices and expressions of a culture
formal norms established, written rules
ideal culture consists of the standards a society would like to embrace and live up to
informal norms casual behaviors that are generally and widely conformed to
language a symbolic system of communication
mores the moral views and principles of a group
norms the visible and invisible rules of conduct through which societies are structured
real culture the way society really is based on what actually occurs and exists
sanctions a way to authorize or formally disapprove of certain behaviors
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis people understand the world based on their form of language
social control a way to encourage conformity to cultural norms
symbols gestures or objects that have meanings associated with them that are recognized by people who share a culture
values a culture’s standard for discerning what is good and just in society
countercultures groups that reject and oppose society’s widely accepted cultural patterns
culture lag the gap of time between the introduction of material culture and nonmaterial culture’s acceptance of it
diffusion the spread of material and nonmaterial culture from one culture to another
discoveries things and ideas found from what already exists
globalization the integration of international trade and finance markets
high culture the cultural patterns of a society’s elite
innovations new objects or ideas introduced to culture for the first time
inventions a combination of pieces of existing reality into new forms popular culture:mainstream, widespread patterns among a society’s population
subcultures groups that share a specific identification, apart from a society’s majority, even as the members exist within a larger society
case study in-depth analysis of a single event, situation, or individual
content analysis applying a systematic approach to record and value information gleaned from secondary data as it relates to the study at hand
control group an experimental group that is not exposed to the independent variable
correlation when a change in one variable coincides with a change in another variable, but does not necessarily indicate causation
ethnography observing a complete social setting and all that it entails
experiment the testing of a hypothesis under controlled conditions
field research gathering data from a natural environment without doing a lab experiment or a survey
Hawthorne effect when study subjects behave in a certain manner due to their awareness of being observed by a researcher
interview a one-on-one conversation between the researcher and the subject
nonreactive research using secondary data, does not include direct contact with subjects and will not alter or influence people’s behaviors
participant observation when a researcher immerses herself in a group or social setting in order to make observations from an “insider” perspective
population a defined group serving as the subject of a study
primary data data that are collected directly from firsthand experience
quantitative data represent research collected in numerical form that can be counted
qualitative data comprise information that is subjective and often based on what is seen in a natural setting
random sample a study’s participants being randomly selected to serve as a representation of a larger population
research design a detailed, systematic method for conducting research and obtaining data
samples small, manageable number of subjects that represent the population
secondary data analysis using data collected by others but applying new interpretations
surveys collect data from subjects who respond to a series of questions about behaviors and opinions, often in the form of a questionnaire
conflict theory a theory that looks at society as a competition for limited resources
dramaturgical analysis a technique sociologists use in which they view society through the metaphor of theatrical performance
dynamic equilibrium a stable state in which all parts of a healthy society are working together properly
dysfunctions social patterns that have undesirable consequences for the operation of society
function the part a recurrent activity plays in the social life as a whole and the contribution it makes to structural continuity
functionalism a theoretical approach that sees society as a structure with interrelated parts designed to meet the biological and social needs of individuals that make up that society
grand theories attempts to explain large-scale relationships and answer fundamental questions such as why societies form and why they change
latent functions the unrecognized or unintended consequences of a social process
macro-level a wide-scale view of the role of social structures within a society
manifest functions sought consequences of a social process
micro-level theories the study of specific relationships between individuals or small groups
paradigms philosophical and theoretical frameworks used within a discipline to formulate theories, generalizations, and the experiments performed in support of them
social facts the laws, morals, values, religious beliefs, customs, fashions, rituals, and all of the cultural rules that govern social life
social solidarity the social ties that bind a group of people together such as kinship, shared location, and religion
symbolic interactionism a theoretical perspective through which scholars examine the relationship of individuals within their society by studying their communication (language and symbols)
theory a proposed explanation about social interactions or society
antipositivism the view that social researchers should strive for subjectivity as they worked to represent social processes, cultural norms, and societal values
positivism the scientific study of social patterns
qualitative sociology in-depth interviews, focus groups, and/or analysis of content sources as the source of its data
quantitative sociology statistical methods such as surveys with large numbers of participants
verstehen a German word that means to understand in a deep way
society people who live in a definable community and who share a culture
culture shared beliefs, values, and practices
sociology is the systematic study of society and social interaction

sociological imagination the ability to understand how your own past relates to that of other people, as well as to history in general and societal structures in particular
figuration the process of simultaneously analyzing the behavior of an individual and the society that shapes that behavior
empirical evidence evidence corroborated by direct experience and/or observation.
cultural imperialism the deliberate imposition of one’s own cultural values on another culture
cultural relativism the practice of assessing a culture by its own standards, and not in comparison to another culture
cultural universals patterns or traits that are globally common to all societies
culture shock an experience of personal disorientation when confronted with an unfamiliar way of life
ethnocentrism to evaluate another culture according to the standards of one’s own culture
material culture the objects or belongings of a group of people
nonmaterial culture the ideas, attitudes, and beliefs of a society
xenocentrism a belief that another culture is superior to one’s own