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University of Waterloo
SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

CHAPTER 1: UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION Values: cultural assessments that identify something as right, desirable, and moral Political economy: the interactions of politics, government and governing, and the social and cultural constitution of markets, institutions, and actors Globalization: a worldwide process involving the production, distribution, and consumption of technological, political, economic, and socio-cultural goods and services CHAPTER 2: CLASSICAL SOCIAL THEORIES Natural state: Hobbes’ conception of the human condition before the emergence of formal social structures Ideal types: classic or pure forms of a given social phenomenon (e.g., to some, the United States is an ideal type of capitalism) Philosophes: French philosophers during the Enlightenment period who advocated critical thinking and practical knowledge Organic analogy: the belief that society is like an organism with interdependent and interrelated parts Social Darwinism: Spencer’s assertion that societies evolve according to the same principles as do biological organisms Laissez-faire: a point of view that opposes regulation of or interference with natural processes Collective conscience: Durkheim’s concept highlighting the totality of a society’s beliefs and sentiments Anomie: Durkheim’s term for a state of normlessness that results from the lack of clear goals and may ultimately result in higher suicide rates Mechanical solidarity: describes early societies based on similarities and independence Organic solidarity: describes later societies organized around interdependence and the increasing division of labour Social action theory: Parsons’ framework attempting to separate behaviours from actions to explain why people do what they do Behaviours: for Parsons, the almost mechanical responses to specific stimuli Actions: for Parsons, the results of an active and inventive process Integration: the system needs to maintain solidarity while allowing the aspirations of subgroups Latency: the system needs to motivate individuals to release their frustrations in socially appropriate ways Tension maintenance: recognizes the internal tensions and strains that influence all actors Pattern maintenance: involves socially appropriate ways to display tensions and strains Dialectics: Hegel’s view of society as the result of oppositions, contradictions, and tensions from which new ideas and social change can emerge Idealism: the belief that the human mind and consciousness are more important in understanding the human condition than in the material world Alienation: Marxist concept to describe the process by which workers lack connection to what they produce and become separated from themselves and other workers Exploitation: the difference between what workers are paid and the wealth they create for the owner Superstructure: all of the things that society values and aspires to once its material needs are met (e.g., religion, politics, law) False consciousness: belief in and support of the system that oppresses you Class consciousness: recognition of domination and oppression and collective action to address it Thomas theorem: assertion that what people define as real are real in their consequences Verstehen: Weber’s term for a deep understanding and interpretation of subjective social meanings Formal sociology: Simmel’s theory that argues that different human interactions once isolated from their content, can be similar in form Sympathetic introspection: Cooley’s concept of the value of putting yourself into other persons’ shoes and seeing the world as they do CHAPTER 3: MODERN SOCIAL THEORIES Hegemony: domination through ideological control and consent Discourse: a system of meaning that governs how we think, act, and speak about a particular thing or issue Discipline: the means by which we become motivated to produce particular realities Liberal humanist assumption: the belief that everyone should be treated equally and recognized as human beings Imperialism: the conquest of land, resources, and people’s labour; the practices and attitudes of colonizers Colonialism: the concrete and ideological effects of imperialism within colonized territories Orientalism: Said’s concept of discourse of power that creates a false distinction between a superior West and an inferior East Disembedding mechanism: a mechanism that aids in shifting social relations from local to global contexts Expert systems: systems of knowledge on which we rely but with which we may never be directly in contact CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH, METHODOLOGY, AND ETHICS Operational definition: description of how a variable is measured CHAPTER 5: CULTURE Folkways: informal norms that suggest customary ways of behaving Mores: norms that carry a strong sense of social importance and necessity Sanction: a penalty for norm violation or a reward for norm adherence Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: the assertion that language determines thought (also known as linguistic determinism) Subculture: a group within a population whose values, norms, folkways, or mores set them apart from the mainstream culture Counterculture: a type of subculture that strongly opposes the widely held cultural patterns of the larger population Cultural adaptation: the process by which environmental pressures are addressed through changes in practices, traditions and behaviours CHAPTER 6: SOCIALIZATION AND SOCIAL INTERACTION Primary socialization: occurs when people learn the attitudes, values, and appropriate behaviours for individuals in their culture Secondary socialization: follows primary socialization and occurs through participation in more specific groups with defined roles and expectations Id:Freud’s term for an individual’s biological drives and impulses that strive for instant gratification Superego: Freud’s term for all of the norms, values, and morals that are learned through socialization Ego: Freud’s term for intermediary between the id and he superego that provides socially acceptable ways to achieve wants Cultural capital: social assets (values, beliefs, attitudes, competencies) that are gained from one’s family and help one to succeed in life Birth cohort: all of the people who are born during a given period of time and therefore experience historical events at the same points in their lives Mortifications of the self: the first stage of resocialization process, in which a person’s existing identity is stripped away CHAPTER 7: SOCIAL INEQUALITY Meritocracy: a system of rewards based on personal attributes and demonstrated abilities Deindustrialization: the transformation of an economy from one based on manufacturing to one based on services Davis-Moore thesis: the theory that social stratification is functional for society because it ensures that key social positions are held by the most capable people Kuznet’s curve: a graphical representation of the relationship between a society’s economic development and its social inequality Gini index: a measure of inequality of wealth or income distribution within a country Lorenz curve: a graphical line representing a society’s deviation from equal wealth allocation CHAPTER 8: GENDER Exchange theory: the assertion that power flows from the resources that a member brings to a relationship Intersectionality: the simultaneous influence of multiple social
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