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sociology a down to earth approach
chapter 4 sociology a down to earth approach ed. 4
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Sociology
Undergraduate 1
05/05/2011

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Term
macrosociology 
Definition
analysis of social life that focuses on broad features of society, such as so-cial class and the relationships of groups to one another; usu-ally used by functionalists and conflict theorists
Term
microsociology 
Definition
analysis of social life that focuses on social interaction; typically used by symbolic interactionists
Term
social interaction 
Definition
what people do when they are in one another’s presence
Term
Levels of Sociological Analysis
Definition
Macrosociology and Microsociology
Term
To better understand human behavior, we need to understand 
Definition
social structure,
Term
social structure
Definition
, the framework of society that was already laid out before you were born. Social structure refers to the typical patterns of a group, such as its usual relationships between men and women or students and teachers.
Term
The sociological significance of social structure is that it 
Definition
guides our behavior.
Term
social structure tends to override 
Definition
personal feelings and desires.
Term
example of social structure
Definition
social structure of your col-lege is now shaping what you do. For example, let’s suppose that today you felt euphoric over some great news. I can be fairly certain ( not absolutely, mind you, but relatively con-fident) that when you entered the classroom, social structure overrode your mood. That is, instead of shouting at the top of your lungs and joyously throwing this book into the air, you entered the classroom in a fairly subdued manner and took your seat.
Term
people learn their behaviors and attitudes because of their
Definition
 location in the social structure ( whether they be privileged, deprived, or in between), and they act accordingly. This is as true of street people as it is of us.
Term
The differences in behavior and attitudes are due not to biology ( race- ethnicity, sex, or any other supposed genetic factors), but to 
Definition
people’s location in the social structure. Switch places with street people and watch your behaviors and attitudes change!
Term
social class according to Weber, 
Definition
a large group of people who rank close to one another in property power, and prestige; according to Marx, one of two groups: capitalists who own the means of production or work-ers who sell their labor
Term
status 
Definition
the position that someone occupies in a social group
Term
status set
Definition
 all the statuses or positions that an individual occupies
Term
social structure major components: .
Definition
culture, social class, social status, roles, groups, and social institutions
Term
culture 
Definition
a group’s language, beliefs, values, behaviors, and even gestures. Culture also includes the material objects that a group uses. Culture is the broadest framework that determines what kind of people we become. If we are reared in Chinese, Arab, or U. S. culture, we will grow up to be like most Chinese, Arabs, or Americans. On the outside, we will look and act like them; and on the inside, we will think and feel like them.
Term
 one of the most significant factors in social life. Fundamental to what we become, it affects our orientations to life.
Definition
Social class
Term
College Football as Social Structure 
Definition
 You probably know the various positions on the team: center, guards, tackles, ends, quarterback, running backs, and the like. Each is a status; that is, each is a social position. For each of the statuses shown in Figure 4.1, there is a role; that is, each of these positions has certain expectations attached to it. The center is ex-pected to snap the ball, the quarterback to pass it, the guards to block, the tackles to tackle or block, the ends to receive passes, and so on. Those role expectations guide each player’s actions; that is, the players try to do what their particular role requires.
Term
ascribed status 
Definition
a position an individual either inherits at birth or receives involuntarily later in life
Term
achieved status 
Definition
a position that is earned, accomplished, or involves at least some effort or activity on the individual’s part
Term
status symbols
Definition
 items used to identify a status
Term
master status 
Definition
a status that cuts across the other statuses that an individual occupies
Term
Each status provides guidelines for 
Definition
how we are to act and feel. Like other aspects of social structure, statuses set limits on what we can and cannot do. Because social statuses are an essential part of the social structure, all human groups have them.
Term
status inconsistency 
Definition
ranking high on some dimensions of social class and low on others, also called status discrepancy
Term
role 
Definition
the behaviors, obligations, and privileges attached to a status
Term
socialization
Definition
 the process by which people learn the charac-teristics of their group— the knowledge, skills, attitudes, val-ues, norms, and actions thought appropriate for them
Term
group 
Definition
people who have something in common and who believe that what they have in common is significant; also called a social group
Term
The sociological significance of roles is that 
Definition
they lay out what is expected of people. As individu-als throughout society perform their roles, those many roles mesh together to form this thing called society. As Shakespeare put it, people’s roles provide “ their exits and their entrances” on the stage of life. In short, roles are remarkably effective at keeping people in line— telling them when they should “ enter” and when they should “ exit,” as well as what to do in between.
Term
By belonging to a group, we assume an obligation to 
Definition
affirm the group’s values, interests, and norms. To re-main a member in good standing, we need to show that we share those characteristics. This means that when we belong to a group we yield to others the right to judge our behavior— even though we don’t like it!
Term
social institution 
Definition
social institution the organized, usual, or standard ways by which society meets its basic needs
Term
social institutions are: 
Definition
the family, religion, education, economics, medicine, pol-itics, law, science, the military, and the mass media.
Term
One of the most significant questions we can ask about this social institution is, 
Definition
Who controls it? That control, which in totalitarian countries is obvious, is much less visible in democratic nations.
Term
Who  might conclude that the media in a democratic nation represent the varied in-terests of the many groups that make up that nation.
Definition
Functionalists
Term
Who thinks the mass media— at least a country’s most influen-tial newspapers and television stations— represent the interests of the political elite. They give coverage to mildly dissenting opinions, but they stand solidly behind the government. The most obvious example is the positive treatment that the media give to the inauguration of a president. Since the mass media are so influential in our lives today, the answer to this question of
Definition
Conflict theorists
Term
What are society’s basic needs? Functionalists identify five functional requisites ( basic needs) that each society must meet if it is to survive ( Aberle et al. 1950; Mack and Bradford 1979).
Definition

Replacing members.

Socializing new members.

Producing and distributing goods and services.

Preserving order.

Providing a sense of purpose.

Term
conflict theorists stress that powerful groups control
Definition
 our society’s in-stitutions, manipulating them in order to maintaint heir own privileged position of wealth and power
Term
Functionalists view social institutions as working together to meet universal human needs, but conflict theorists regard social institutions as having a single primary purpose— to preserve the social order. For them, this means safeguarding the wealthy and powerful in their positions of privilege.
Definition
Term
social integration 
Definition
the de-gree to which members of a group or a society feel united by shared values and other social bonds; also known as social cohesion
Term
mechanical solidarity 
Definition
Durkheim’s term for the unity ( a shared consciousness) that people feel as a result of per-forming the same or similar tasks
Term
division of labor 
Definition
the splitting of a group’s or a society’s tasks into specialties
Term
organic solidarity 
Definition
Durkheim’s term for the inter-dependence that results from the division of labor; people depending on others to fulfill their jobs
Term
What Holds Society Together?
Definition
Mechanical and Organic Solidarity.
Term
 Ferdinand Tönnies ( 1887/ 1988) 
Definition
Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft.
Term

He used the term Gemeinschaft ( Guh- MINE- shoft), or “ in-timate community,” to describe village life, the type of society in which everyone knows everyone else. He noted that in the society that was emerging, the personal ties, kinship con-nections, and lifelong friendships that marked village life were being crowded out by short-term relationships, individual accomplishments, and self- interest. Tönnies called this new type of society Gesellschaft ( Guh- ZELL- shoft), or “ impersonal association.” He did not mean that we no longer have intimate ties to family and friends but, rather, that our lives no longer center on them. Few of us take jobs in a family business, for example, and contracts replace handshakes. Much of our time is spent with strangers and short- term acquaintances

Definition
Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. Ferdinand Tönnies ( 1887/ 1988) also analyzed this fun-damental shift in relationships. 
Term
What is Gemeinschaft
Definition
 a type of soci-ety in which life is intimate; a community in which everyone knows everyone else and people share a sense of togetherness
Term
Gesellschaft 
Definition
a type of society that is dominated by impersonal relationships, individual accom-plishments, and self- interest
Term
Whether the terms are Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft or mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity, they indicate 
Definition
that as societies change, so do people’s orientations to life. The sociological point is that social structure sets the context for what we do, feel, and think, and ultimately, then, for the kind of people we become. As you read the Cultural Diversity box on the next page which describes one of the few remaining Gemeinschaft societies in the United States, think of how fundamentally different your life would be if you had been reared in an Amish family.
Term
“ Looksism”—
Definition
 the last socially acceptable area of dis-crimination? Probably an overstatement. Gender is still a fair target, for you will find cards about women, even some depicting men’s helplessness in the kitchen.
Term
Stereotypes in Everyday Life. 
Definition
 how first impressions set the tone for interaction. When you first meet someone, you cannot help but notice certain features, especially the person’s sex, race– ethnicity, age, and clothing. Despite your best intentions, your assumptions about these characteristics shape your first impressions. They also affect how you act toward that person— and, in turn, how that person acts toward you.
Term
Personal Space.
Definition
 We all surround ourselves with a “ personal bubble” that we go to great lengths to protect. We open the bubble to intimates— to our friends, children, and parents— but we’re careful to keep most people out of this space.
Term
How people use space as they interact is studied by sociologists who have
Definition
 a microsociological focus.
Term
Who wondered whether stereotypes— our assumptions of what peo-ple are like— might be self- fulfilling. He came up with an ingenious way to test this idea. He ( 1993) gave college men a Polaroid snapshot of a woman ( suppos-edly taken just moments before) and told them that he would introduce them to her after they talked with her on the telephone. Actually, the photographs— showing either a pretty or a homely woman— had been pre-pared before the experiment began. The photo was not of the woman the men would talk to. Stereotypes came into play immediately.
Definition
Mark Snyder, a psychologist,
Term
How Self- Fulfilling Stereotypes Work
Definition

We see features of the person, or hear things about the person.

We fit what we see or hear into stereotypes, and then expect the person to act in certain ways.

How we expect the person to act shapes our attitudes and actions.

From how we act, the person gets ideas of how we perceive him or her.

The behaviors of the person change to match our expectations, thus confirming the stereotype.

Term
 analyzed situations like this, he observed that North Americans use four different “ distance zones.”
Definition
Hall ( 1969; Hall and Hall 2007)
Term
. This is the zone that the South American unwittingly invaded. It extends to about 18 inches from our bodies. We reserve this space for comforting, protecting, hug-ging, intimate touching, and lovemaking.
Definition
Intimate distance
Term
. This zone extends from 18 inches to 4 feet. We reserve it for friends and acquaintances and ordinary con-versations. This is the zone in which Hall would have pre-ferred speaking with the South American.
Definition
Personal distance
Term
 This zone, extending out from us about 4 to 12 feet, marks impersonal or formal relationships. We use this zone for such things as job interviews.
Definition
Social distance.
Term
 This zone, extending beyond 12 feet, marks even more formal relationships. It is used to separate dignitaries and public speakers from the general public
Definition
Public distance.
Term
Eye Contact. 
Definition
One way that we protect our personal bubble is by controlling eye contact. Letting someone gaze into our eyes— unless the person is an eye doctor— can be taken as a sign that we are at-tracted to that person, even as an invitation to intimacy.
Term
Smiling. 
Definition
In the United States, we take it for granted that clerks will smile as they wait on us. But it isn’t this way in all cultures. Apparently, Germans aren’t used to smiling clerks, and when Wal- Mart expanded into Germany, it brought its American ways with it. The com-pany ordered its German clerks to smile at their customers. They did— and the customers complained. The German customers interpreted the smiles as flirting ( Samor et al. 2006).
Term
Applied Body Language. 
Definition
While we are still little children, we learn to interpret body language, the ways people use their bodies to give messages to others. This skill in inter-preting facial expressions, posture, and gestures is essential for getting us through everyday life. Without it— as is the case for people with Asperger’s syndrome— we wouldn’t know how to react to others.
Term
stereotype
Definition
 assumptions of what people are like, whether true or false
Term
body language 
Definition
the ways in which people use their bodies to give messages to others
Term
Who  added a new twist to microsociology when he recast the theatrical term dramaturgy into a sociological term. He used the term to mean that social life is like a drama or a stage play: Birth ushers us onto the stage of every-day life, and our socialization consists of learning to perform on that stage. The self that we studied in the previous chapter lies at the center of our performances. We have ideas of how we want others to think of us, and we use our roles in everyday life to communi-cate those ideas. He called these efforts to manage the impressions that others re-ceive of us impression management.
Definition
Sociologist Erving Goffman ( 1922– 1982) 
Term
dramaturgy 
Definition
an approach, pioneered by Erving Goffman, in which social life is analyzed in terms of drama or the stage; also called dramaturgical analysis
Term
impression management 
Definition
people’s efforts to control the impressions that others receive of them
Term
front stage 
Definition
places where we give performances
Term
back stage 
Definition
places where people rest from their per-formances, discuss their pre-sentations, and plan future performances
Term
role performance
Definition
 the ways in which someone performs a role within the limits that the role provides; showing a partic-ular “ style” or “ personality”
Term
role conflict 
Definition
conflicts that someone feels between roles because the expectations at-tached to one role are incom-patible with the expectations of another role
Term
role strain 
Definition
conflicts that someone feels within a role
Term
sign- vehicle
Definition
 a term used by Goffman to refer to how peo-ple use social setting, appear-ance, and manner to communicate information about the self
Term
teamwork 
Definition
the collaboration of two or more people to manage impressions jointly
Term
face- saving behavior 
Definition
tech-niques used to salvage a per-formance ( interaction) that is going sour
Term
ethnomethodology 
Definition
the study of how people use back-ground assumptions to make sense out of life
Term
background assumption
Definition
 a deeply embedded common understanding of how the world operates and of how people ought to act
Term
Ethnomethodologists explore 
Definition
background assumptions, the taken- for- granted ideas about the world that underlie our behavior. Most of these assumptions, or basic rules of social life, are unstated. We learn them as we learn our culture, and we violate them only with risk. Deeply embedded in our minds, they give us basic directions for living everyday life.
Term
Thomas theorem 
Definition
William I. and Dorothy S. Thomas’ classic formulation of the definition of the situation: “ If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”
Term
social construction of reality 
Definition
the use of background assumptions and life experi-ences to define what is real
Term
Do all human groups share a similar sense of personal space? 
Definition
In examining how people use physical space, symbolic in-teractionists stress that we surround ourselves with a “ per-sonal bubble” that we carefully protect. People from different cultures use “ personal bubbles” of varying sizes, so the answer to the question is no. Americans typically use four different “ distance zones”: intimate, personal, so-cial, and public. Pp. 112– 113.
Term
Why are both levels of analysis necessary? 
Definition
Because each focuses on different aspects of the human experience, both microsociology and macrosociology are necessary for us to understand social life. P. 121.
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