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1

macrosociology

analysis of social life that focuses on broad features of society, such as social class and the relationships of groups to one another; usually used by functionalists and conflict theorists

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microsociology

analysis of social life that focuses on social interaction; typically used by symbolic interactionists

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social interaction

one person’s actions influencing someone else; usually refers to what people do when they are in one another’s presence, but also includes communications at a distance

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social structure

the framework of society that surrounds us; consists of the ways that people and groups are related to one another; this framework gives direction to and sets limits on our behavior

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social class

large numbers of people who have similar amounts of income and education and who work at jobs that are roughly comparable in prestige

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status

the position that someone occupies in a social group; also called social status

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status set

all the statuses or positions that an individual occupies

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ascribed status

a position an individual either inherits at birth or receives involuntarily later in life

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achieved statuses

positions that are earned, accomplished, or involve at least some effort or activity on the individual’s part

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status symbols

indicators of a status, especially items in that display prestige

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master status

a status that cuts across the other statuses that an individual occupies

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status inconsistency

ranking high on some dimensions of social class and low on others; also called status discrepancy

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role

the behaviors, obligations, and privileges attached to a status

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group

people who have something in common and who believe that what they have in common is significant; also called a social group

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social institution

the organized, usual, or standard ways by which society meets its basic needs

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social integration

the degree to which members of a group or a society are united by shared values and other social bonds; also known as social cohesion

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mechanical solidarity

Durkheim’s term for the unity (a shared consciousness) that people feel as a result of performing the same or similar tasks

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division of labor

the splitting of a group’s or a society’s tasks into ­specialties

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organic solidarity

Durkheim’s term for the interdependence that results from the division of labor; as part of the same unit, we all depend on others to fulfill their jobs

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Gemeinschaft

a type of society in which life is intimate; a community in which everyone knows everyone else and people share a sense of togetherness

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Gesellschaft

a type of society that is dominated by short-term impersonal relationships, individual accomplishments, and self-interest

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stereotype

assumptions of what people are like, whether true or false

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body language

the ways in which people use their bodies to give messages to others

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dramaturgy

an approach, pioneered by Erving Goffman, in which social life is analyzed in terms of drama or the stage; also called dramaturgical analysis

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impression management

people’s efforts to control the impressions that others receive of them

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front stage

a place where people give their performances in everyday life

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back stages

places where people rest from their performances in everyday life, discuss their presentations, and plan future performances

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role performance

the ways in which someone performs a role; showing a particular “style” or “personality”

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role conflict

conflicts that someone feels between roles because the expectations are at odds with one another

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role strain

conflicts that someone feels within a role