Personality An individual's relatively stable pattern of behaviours and feelings
Nature vs. Nurture Debate between whether biological or environment define the person we
Socialisation The lifelong process by which we lean our culture, develop our personalities
and become functioning members of society
Social interaction The ways in which people interact in social settings, recognising each
person's subjective experiences and/or intentions
Sociobiology Uses evolutionary theory and genetic inheritance to examine the biological
roots of social behaviour
Evolutionary psychology Relabelled form of sociobiology that argues that Darwinian inheritance can
explain contemporary human behaviour
Self One's identity, comprising a set of learned values and attitudes that
develops through social interaction and defines one's self image
Self image An introspective composition of various features and attributes that people
see themselves as
I Mead's term for the element of the self that is spontaneous, creative,
impulsive and often unpredictable
Me Mead's term for the socialised element of the self.
Significant others People we want to impress or gain approval from
Generalised self A compilation of attributes associated with the average member of society;
represents an individual's appreciation that other members of society
behave within socially accepted rules and guidelines
Role-taking Assuming the position of another to better understand that person's
Primary socialisation Occurs when people learn the attitudes, values and appropriate behaviours
for individuals in their culture.
Secondary socialisation Follows primary socialisation and occurs through participation in more
specific groups with defined roles and expectations.
Defence mechanism Freud's term to describe the ways in which individuals manage painful
Id Freud's term for an individual's biological drives and impulses that strive for
instant gratification Superego Freud's term for all the norms, values and morals that are learned through
Ego Freud's term for the intermediary between the id and the superego that
provides socially acceptable ways to achieve wants.
Gender stereotyping The assignment of beliefs to women and men, respectively, that are not
based on fact.
Socioeconomic status Social status as determined by family income, parents' education, parents'
occupation, and the family's social standing within the community
Culture capital Social assets (values, beliefs, attitudes, competencies) that are gained from
one's family and help one to succeed in life.
Peer groups Consist of people who are closely related in age and share similar interests
Hidden curriculum The unconscious, informal and unwritten norms and rules that reinforce and
maintain social conventions
Mass media Forms of communication produced by a few people for the consumption by
Life course Socialisation that occurs throughout one's adult 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
Empty nest syndrome The depression that some parents feel when their children have left home
Gerontology Scientific study of age and aging
Dying trajectories The course that dying tales in both social and psychological senses
Resocialisation The profound change or complete transformation of a person's personality
as a result of being placed in a situation or an environment dedicated to
changing his or her previous identity
Total institutions A setting in which people are isolated from society and supervised by an
Mortifications of the self The first stage of the resocialisation process, in which a person's existing
identity is stripped away
Social stratification A society's hierarchical ranking of people into social classes
Social class A group of individuals sharing a position in a social hierarchy, based on birth
Social status An individual’s position within the class structure
Meritocracy A system of rewards based on personal attributes and demonstrated
abilities Social mobility Movement between social classes
Intergenerational The comparison of adult children's social class to that of their parents
Intragenerational Status movement throughout one's lifetime
Classism An ideology that suggests that people's relative worth is at least partly
determined by their social and economic status
Blaming the victim A perspective that holds individuals responsible for the negative conditions
in which they live
Culture of poverty fatalistic belief system held by the poor as an adaptation to systemic
Deferred gratification Ability to forgo immediate pleasures in the interest of achieving greater
rewards in the future.
Blaming the system Perspective that holds that systematic discrimination exists within the social
Deindustrialisation transformation of an economy from one based on manufacturing to one
based on services
Closed system A social system in which status is based on attributes ascribed at birth
Open system A social system in which status is based on achieved attributes
Caste system An ascribed system of hereditary class designation
Reincarnation The belief, associated with eastern religions, that one's essence does not die
and instead is reborn in another form
Class structure economic hierarchy that categorises groups based on their socio economic
Socio economic status Social position, based on income, occupational prestige and education.
Income Money received annually from all sources
Wealth Net accumulated assets including homes, land and stocks
Quintiles A measure that divides population into five categories, each representing
Davis Moore Thesis Social stratification is functional for society because it ensures that key
social positions are held by the most capable people.
Status group A group of people who share similar social status, lifestyles, world views,
occupations, and standards of living.
Power Ability to make others do something they would not otherwise do Status inconsistency occurs when an individual occupies several differently ranked statuses at the
Status symbol material indicators that demonstrates a person's social and economic