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ISS 210 Society and the Individual
MSU ISS 210 Society and the Indvidual Final Exam Review
Social Studies
Undergraduate 1

Additional Social Studies Flashcards





System-blame v. person-blame approach

Victim Blame points to the pathologies of individuals  while system blame points to the situations in which deviants are involved. 
Victim blame assumes that the deviant is the problem, leaves the system without blame, and gives justification to social darwinism

Subjective nature of social problems

The subjective nature says that spcial problems are defined by the time and audience. (ex: different generations consider different thigns social problems, peoples perspectives on what is the problem varies)
The Sociological Imagination
  • willingness to view the world from others point of view 
  • focus on social, econimic, and historical circumstances that produce the problem
  • questioning of structural arrangements that shape behavior 
  • ability to see the link between individual circumstances and structure of society

Transnational corporations


Companies that outsource labor to underdeveloped nations.

Causes a drying up of unskilled or semiskilled jobs in the uS, discontent of the wokring class, etc. 
Meddle in internal affairs of other nations in an attempt to protect their own assets.  

  • Most ideas and social instititions benefit the wealthy 
  • to understand a society, understand its economic bae 
  • capitalism is an economic and social system of commodity production based on the private onwership of the means of production 
  • must grow 

Democracy v. plutocracy v. oligarchy

Democracy: a politcial system in which the majority rules 
Plutocracy: a government by or in the interest of the rich
Oligarchy: a governmenmt ruled by the few
the ability to get what one wanst from someone else by force, authority, manipulation, or persuasion
Citizens United v. FEC
struk down the laws created by the bipartisan campaign reform act, by saying that money is a form of speech, and people are entitled to free speech
Concentrated animal feeding operations 
CAFO-a production process that features confined feeding of large heards or flocks
Gestation crates 
where pregnant sows and mother pigs are kept to feed the children. It is deeply distressing for the pig, because when in nature, they form their own type of nests for the feeding process, and are very private about it. In the cages they are with other mothers and can't have privacy or nest 


bad for rural communities 
hard on workers

not humane  


Demographic transition stages

Agricultural-high birth and mortality rates 
Transition-high birth rarte, mortality rate drops (this is where most developing countries are)
Industrial/Urban Stage- birth and death rates stabalize
Food Scarcity

there is enough food produced to feed the world, yet...

  • 9 mil people die of malnutrition each year 
  • 1 in 7 people are malnurished 
  • 1 in 3 are food insecure  
Population growth and strategies to reduce it

9.1 Billion people are expected by 2050 
99% of growth occurs in underdeveloped nations

strong inverse relationship between GNP and population growth rates.
Methods to reduce population: education of females, reduce child mortality, contraception, encouragement of womens right to not have child 


Wealth Inequality 



Median household income: asians make the most, blacks make the least 
Median Net Worth:Whites have highest, Asians second, then latinos (have less than 7% of white wealth), then blacks (have less than 5% of white wealth)

41.4% of all those in poverty of white, however blacks have highest household poverty rate and whites have lowest

Black people are 3x as likely to be in poverty  

The study of the characteristics of human populations, such as size, growth, density, distribution, and vital statistics.
Immigration Trends to the US
  • from 1820-1924 immigration waves came from northern and southern europe 
  • 90% of todays immigrants are from non-european countries 
  • 1M immigrants annually, 2.5M illegally 
  • settle in the big 5: CA,NY,IL,TX,FL
  • by 2042 nonwhites are expected to exceed the number of whites
  • Arab American settlement in CA,MI,NJ,NY,FL

US demographics

  • 1 in 5 household owners are 65+ 
  • 63% of US is white 
  • 1 in 8 americans are foreign born (12.9%)
  • hispanics are the largest minority 
  • 25% of all those under 18 are latino 

an anti-immagrant backlash that believs that people born in the country are more worthy or deserving/better than those not born in it. Belief that immagrants hurt the country and its economy 

(in 2012 there were 38 nativist extremist groups in the US)

The process immigrants take to abandon their old cultural values and language, and adopt the one of their new home.
Characteristics of the Elderly Population
  •   Older women outnumber older men 3:2 
  • Racial minorities have a lower life expectancy than Whites
  • but wait! latinos have a longer life expectancy (latino paradox) 
  •  25% of all elderly Americans live in CA,FL and NY


    10% of people over age 65 are poor 


    1 in 3 seniors depends on Social Security for 90-100% of their income

  • 4-5% of people 65+ are confined to nursing homes 

Issues Related to Social Security and Medicare
  • not all workers are covered
  • coverage varies significantly (based on years in work force and wage) 
  • biased against women (paid less and may have to leave workforce to care for children) 
  • regressive tax, disadvantages low income wage earners 
  • will begin paying out more than it gets in 2018
  • medicare doesn't cover long term or dental care 
Poverty Trends & Poor Communities
  • 2011: 15% of Americans (46.2M) live in poverty, largest number in American history
  •    Women are more likely than men to be poor
  •  22% of children (1 in 5) live in poverty
  • Poverty rates highest in the South and West
  •  Counties where 20% are below poverty line are called "persistent poverty counties", are mostly rural 
  • 40% are in poverty is called extreme poverty neighborhood. results in 
      Limited educational opportunities, Reduction of Services, job loss, Declining neighborhood conditions, Higher incidence of poor physical health and mental health issues 


Theoretical perspectives on poverty: Structural Theories
  • Institutionalized discrimination
    -structural conditions create poverty
    -inequalities in schooling, job market, and health care make it difficult for people to thrive 
  • Political Economy of Society 
    -capitalism promotes poverty
    -political decisions perpetuate poverty
    -the surplus of laborers is maintained to keep them from having power, means some people must always be unemployed  
    -investment decisions made without regard to employees
Theoretical Perspectives on Poverty: Deficiency Theory
  • Innate inferiority 
    -biological deficiency
    -rationalizes poverty
    -ignores the influence of ascribed status'

  • Cultural Inferiority
    "culture-of-poverty hypothesis" says that the values and lifestyle of the poor are qualitatively different than those of the middle class and wealthy.  
    -ignores shared core values
    -cultural differences should ne viewed as adaptations to the conditions of poverty  
Theoretical Perspectives on Gender
Gender Role Approach: learning gender
-focus on the socialization of boys and girls to learn traits as masculine or feminine, and teach them how to intereact with each other
Gender Structure Approach: Reinforcing Male Dominance 
-Language uses derogatory terms to describe women 
-Interpersonal Behavior 
-mass media is 60% male 
-Politics underrepresent women 
-religion- clergy is male, language of religious texts
-the law  

Sex v. gender


Sex- the biological differences between male and female

-the social and cultural patterns attached to women and men 

Glass Ceiling  V. Glass Escalator
Women face a "glass ceiling" meaning they can only achieve so much success in the work place before they are halted for no visible reason 

Men are on a "glass escalator" which allows them to climb up the ladder in the work place with much less effort and continuously, regardless of their acknowledgement of said escalator
A social system in which males are the primary authoritative figures central to social organization, occupying roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property. It implies the institution of male privelge and female suboordination


the hatred of women

Occupational segregation

  • women are concentrated in lower paying occupation 
  • women work in secratarial and administrative jobs, nursing, cooks 
  • men work in the higher paying counter parts, such as doctors, chefs, CEOs 
  • women are unable to advance in the workplace because employers see them as a more risky investment. (they may leave work for husbands career, leave work for child, become pregnant) 

Wage gap

  • has remained (fairly) constant for the last 3 decades
  • 2011: females make 81 cents for every dollar made by a male 
  • hispanic people are the only group where women make more 
  • if it continues at this rate, will take 25 years for black men and women to reach equality, 50 years for white men and women 

Trends related to the family since 1970


-more families fit the post-modern model (less than 10% fit the modern model)

-rise in dual-worker families. 

-25% of all children live with one parent, 40% of those were born to unwed mothers 

-About 40-50% of all first marriages end in divorce (huge increase, new concept of "her divorce" )


Characteristics of children in poverty

  • less likely to finish school 
  • do worse in school
  • poor health 
  • more likely to use drugs or become involved in crime 
  • more likely to be abused 

Characteristics of families related to social class

  • Middle-Class families-Idealized,  Typically dual-earner. 
  • Working-Class families -Fictive Kin. friends and coworkers that are considered "like family"
  • Elite Families- Larger network of relatives 
Divorce trends

-About 40-50% of all first marriages end in divorce in the U.S.

-1 in 5 marriages ends in divorce within 5 years

-1 in 3 marriages dissolves within 10 years

-Latinos have divorce rates that are about the same as Whites

-Blacks have divorce rates that are twice as high as Whites 


Responsibility v. task v. emotional overload

responsibilty overload- the stress a single parent feels because they are forced to make important decisions that are good for the family on their own, without the support of another parent 
task Overload-the stress caused by the need to work in order to provide financial stabilty, to care for and nurture the children, and to maintain the household all while trying to maintain social ties outside of work and home
Emotional Overload-  the result of task and responsibilty overload, occurs when a single parents emotional resources are exhausted, leaving them unable to cope

Domestic violence trends

  • Intimate partner violence
    -  Victims are primarily women
    -More common in poor and/or minority households
    -Men’s unemployment increases the risk for abuse 
  •  2007:10.6 per 1,000 children abused and/or neglected
  • 1 in 5 women have been raped 

  • 1 in 4 have experienced severe physical violence 

  • occurs at similar rates in the LGBT community 

  • domestic violence rates highest in multiracial relationships
    (lowest in asian)

  • young girls are most at risk (80% raped before 25)

  • 1/3 of college students report having physically assaulted their partner in the last 12 months 

  • 1/4 of female student experience sexual assault over the course of their college career 


Defensive medicine

Doctors test patients for things that don't quite fit symptoms, send them to specialists, prescribe them medicine, etc. in order to prevent law suits

Factors associated with healthcare costs

  • Profit-driven
  • inefficient
  • Malpractice
  •  Defensive medicine
  •  Lawsuits
  • New and expensive technology
  • Shortage of primary-care physicians
  • Overuse of specialists
  • Wide use and cost of prescription drugs 


practice of managed care companies of maximizing the number of healthy patients and minimizing the number of unhealthy patients
Patient Dumping

practice of physicians and hospitals of treating only patients who can afford their services 


Affordable Care Act v.
Bismark v.

  • Affordable Care Act- 

    -Free contraception and basic women’s health services

    -No rescissions

    -Dependent coverage extended to 26

    -Eliminates pre-existing condition restrictions 

    -too soon to tell
  • Bismarck Model: complusory funding by employer and employees administrated by pre existing "sickness funds". Said that it was a right associated with labor status. Was not aimed at universal coverage
  • beveridge: funded by government revenues, with coverage of entire population (national healthcare model)
  • A teachers expectations for a student based on their history, including their past academic success, their appearance, socioeconomic status, etc. 
  • can result in a self fulfilling prophecy of a student not doing well. (they give up, "what is the point in tryign to combat other peoples opinions of you, maybe theyre right" thoughts)

Effects of poverty on education

  • drop out rates are higher for lower classes 
  • average SAT score is linked to income 
  • low income student under-represented in colleges
  • Teachers' labeling of students (tracking, sifting, sorting) causes them to do poorly. (labeling theory)
  • school funding comes from community, poor community, poor school 
  • hard to focus on school when finding next meal is a bigger concern

Promoting educational equality

  • increased funding for preschool programs 
  • offer free education 
  • set national education standards 
  • reduce funding disparities 
  • reduce class and school size 
  • attract and retain excellent teachers 
  • extend the school day & year 
  • public V private V charter V voucher options 

Charter v. public v. private schools

  • Charter Schools-publicly funded schools that are publicly funded but opperate independently of some of the typical rules and guidelines of public schools, and have other certain expectations
  • Public Schools-publicly funded schools that are controled by governmental regulations and rules
  • Private Schools- privately funded and operated schools
American economic policies over time 
  • Fordism(40's-60's)
    -standardized goods
    -specialized simple jobs
    -mass production, mass consumption
    -organized labor had truce with capital 
  • Keynesianism(30's-60's)
    -state spending to increase employment/business activity
    -during crisis: spend/cut taxes
    -during growth: save/increase taxes 
  • Post-Fordism(new way to organize workers and capital)
    -flexible labor market and shift to service jobs
    -small batch productions and "just in time" inventory/delivery
    -dependency on information and communication technologies
  • Neoliberalism (the current dominant economic doctrine)
    - state redistribution of wealth 
Sunset industries 
  • industries declining in both output and employment
  • the labor sector that used to be the main job provider is a sunset industry (transitioning to service jobs)


  • Belief in the primary importance of the individual and in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence.
  • A doctrine advocating freedom from government regulation in the pursuit of a person's economic goals.
  • A doctrine holding that the interests of the individual should take precedence over the interests of the state or social group.

Principles to guide public policy

  • Enhance our moral obligation to our neighbors and their children
  • Government programs that provide for those who cannot provide for themselves
  • Increase commitment to all children
  •  Redistribute societal resources
  • Institute more federal social welfare programs





Collective sin

The neglect of child welfare by our society
Sociological paradox
  • Sociologists have important knowledge that could help, but are rejected by those in power
  • Why?
    -it's subversive: it questions all social arrangements
    -unmasks institutional discrimination
    -challenges the dominant ideology
    -critiques the US emphasis on the individual 
  • Obama administartion first to hire people from academia 


Human agency
the ability for people to make choices, and therefor alter the current social status quo

Geographic distribution of modern slaves

  • 2.3 Million prostitutes in India, 
    highest number of modern slaves. 
    -estimated that 1/2 were coerced into brothels)
  • China has 10 Million prostitutes but fewer are forced
  • India, Pakistan, and Iran have highest numbers 
    (sexually conservative countries have higher rates)
  • mostly takes place in Asia and South America



Trafficking victims protection act (2000) 

  • define a human trafficking victim as a person induced to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion. 
  • one option that has become available to victims who assist in the prosecution of their traffickers is the “T-Visa” that allows the victim to remain in the United States.
  • only about 330 sex trafficking cases have been successfully prosecuted
  • too much proof is needed, and the burden is placed on the victim 

Religion v. culture
(Islam, misogyny, and terrorism)

  • 135 countries rated according to status of women, 9 0f the bottom 10 were majority Muslim
  • The Qur’an endorses gender discrimination
    -A Woman’s testimony in court is worth less
    -A woman inherits less than a man
    Islamic feminists argue that many passages of the Qur’an have been misinterpreted)


  • The Qur’an granted women the right to:
    -Own property
    -Have a choice in who they marry and divorce
  • Muhammad’s wife Aisha wrote many feminist hadith 
  • The Taliban came and required women to wear the burqa 
  • a country that has more men than women, particularly young men is often associated with crime and violence  



Honor-based violence

Phenomena where a person is subject to violence by her family or community to restore honor that is presumed to be lost by her behavior 
  • can be incited by expressions of personal autonomy, culture, or any individualistic choice. particular areas of conflict include sexual or marital partner,access to education or employment, dress, contact with/behavior toward opposite sex, conformity to the family and cultures expectations
  • can be expressed as rape, physical assault, or murder (honor killings)

Mass rapes

  • rape is used to intimidate and terrorize women in order to prevent them from running for political office or to force the girl into marriage 
  • Rape is an instrument of war (UN Declared in 2008)
    -reported in staggering numbers in recent conflicts
    -50% of women in sierra leone
    -90% of women in liberia 

Fistula, obstructed labor and cesarean sections

  • Fistula -an abnormal connection between two epithelium-lined organs that normally do not connect
    -Most commonly between the bladder or urethra &the vagina
    -caused by obstructed labor 
    90% of fistula is operable and cost $300
    -30,000-100,000 new cases of fistula/year in Africa 
  • Obstructed Labor -When the passage of the fetus through the pelvis is obstructed

    -One of the most common preventable causes of maternal morbidity and mortality in developing countries 

  • Cesarean Sections -  surgical operation for delivering a child by cutting through the wall of the mother's abdomen.
    - 10% of women giving birth need one 
    -used to prevent obstructed labor and fastula 

Steps to reduce maternal mortality
  • educate girls (they will have children later, and have higher economic value making their needs important)
  • train midwives
  • gain rights for women (with political voice they are more capable of demanding health care, they will matter more)
  • better rural health system
God Gulf & the Gag Rule
  • God Gulf: the disagreement between liberal and conservative aid groups
  • Global Gag Rule: forbids funds to aid groups with any ties to abortion (present when a conservative is in office)
    -excludes abortion after rape, abortion to save mothers life, and post abortion help 
    -results in "self Gagging" which means the organizations stay away from anything abortion related for fear of losing funding  
The Role of Christians Volunteers in the developing World
  • make up 25% of volunteers
  • operate medical clinics and donate large amount of money 
  • helps to teach abstinance and prevent spread of disease 
  • can be damaging because natives get offended

Characteristics of microfinancing

  • lend almost exclusively to women
  • very high repayment rates 
  • has been more successful in Asia than Africa 
  • groups of about 25 garauntee one anothers debt
  • internet donors can provide money through on the ground microfinancing agencies, and get the money back 


  • the programs “soft sell” is the most successful effort to end FGM
  • Founded by Molly Melching of Danville, IL in 1991
  • Place FGC within a larger framework of community development
    -Discuss human rights and health issues related to cutting
  • because it is linked to marriage,Tostan identified other villages and organized intervillage discussions of cutting 
  • 99% of tostan’s employees are African
  • Operates in 9 African countries in 22 languages
  • Over 4,500 communities have abandoned the practice  
  • Influenced changes in child labor, domestic abuse, women’s rights, child marriage, forced marriage as well  







The Role of Women in Legislature

  • 81 countries have reserved seats in parliament for women
  • 11 countries now have women as top leaders
  • Women hold 16% of national legislative seats around the world
    -Up from 9% in 1987
  • Women office holders at the local level are most attentive to the needs of women and children

Education and gender in Afghanistan

  •  Afghanistan has a low literacy rate (43% for men, 12% for women)
  • School attendance rates are low, particularly for girls
  • Only 36% of girls attend elementary school 
  • Obstacles for female education: Poverty (school supplies, uniforms,transportation is expensive),Lack of schools, Forced child marriages, Cultural beliefs, Since the talibans rule it is still very dangerous to send your daughter to school, Security problems, Shortage of female teachers (In many rural areas 1-3% of teachers are female, and girls must not interact with unrelated males )
  • back to school campaign


Economic Success of Women in Recent Years
  •   6 of the 10 richest self-made women in the United States are Chinese 
    China has a hospitable and welcoming environment encourages women to get an education and start their own businesses
  • a woman's economic success is dependent on her education 


Cost-effective strategies to promote education of girls

  • Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programs -Pay poor families to keep their children in school and take them for regular medical checkups
  • The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) donates food, parents prepare free meal, Also provides regular de-worming, Take-home rations for good attendance
  • Small scholarships offered to top students 
  • Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)- Assisted nearly 1.5 million students in rural southern Africa.  Long term educational support, job training and seed money, leadership training

  • Opportunidades- Payments made by central government to mothers based on School Attendance, immunizations, health checkups, attending health education lectures
  • the act of attempting to sway a governmental decison in favor of a corporation, interest group, or individual
  • often done by hiring a representative who is well connected to do the persuading 
Trickle Down Solutions
tax breaks or other economic benefits provided to businesses and upper income levels by the government in an attempt to stimulate the economy
Focuses of Half the Sky


  • Gender equality reduces violence
  • Educating girls and bringing them into the labor force:
    -Reduces local and national poverty
    -Reduces population growth and improves health
  • Four areas of primary concern:Maternal mortality, Human trafficking,Sexual violence, Daily discrimination
  • Four Tools to address the concerns: Girls’ education, Family planning,  Microfinance,  Empowerment of women 



factors contributing to poverty
feminists and antifeminists
Theoretical explanations for social problems related to the family
Social Entrepreneurs
Most effective Ways To Promote Social Change
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