Chapters 6, 7, 8, 12 Definitions
Agents of socialization: Individuals, groups, and social institutions that together
help people to become functioning members of society.
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.
Blaming the System: A perspective that holds that systemic discrimination exists
within the social system.
Blaming the Victim: A perspective holds individuals responsible for the negative
conditions in which they live.
Class Structure: A society’s economic hierarchy that categorizes groups of people
based in their socio-economic status.
Chilly Climate: The lack of warmth of encouragement that girls and women feel in
school as a result of sexism.
Classism: An ideology that suggest that people’s relative worth is at least partly
determined by their social and economic status.
Conspicuous consumption: The purchase of expensive goods simply because they
are valuable, not because there is any innate satisfaction in them.
Conspicuous Leisure: The demonstration of one’s high social status through forms
Conspicuous Waste: The disposal of valuable goods to demonstrate wealth.
Correspondence Principle: The principle whereby the structures of workplaces are
reflected in the structures of schools.
Credential Inflation: The ever-increasing cache of educational credentials required
for a particular job.
Cultural Capital: Social assets (values, beliefs attitudes, competencies) that are
gained from one’s family and help one succeed in life. Set of usable resources (e.g.
skills, habits, manners) that can translate into economic and social success.
Culture of Poverty: A fatalistic belief system held by the poor as an adaptation to
Darwinian inheritance can explain contemporary human behavior. 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.
Defense Mechanisms: Freud’s term to describe the ways in which individuals
manage painful memories.
Deferred gratification: The ability to forgo immediate pleasures in the interest of
achieving greater rewards in the future.
Deindustrialization: The transformation of an economy from one based on
manufacturing to one based on services.
Double Ghetto: A situation in which women who have full-time jobs outside the
home often work another “shift” when they get home.
Dying trajectories: The courses that dying takes in both social and psychological
Ego: Freud’s term for intermediary between the id and the superego that provides
socially acceptable ways to achieve wants.
Emphasized Femininity: The normative ideal of femininity, based on compliance ith
women’s subordination to men.
Empty Nest Syndrome: The depression that some mothers experience when their
children have left home.
Evolutionary psychology: A relabeled form of sociobiology that argues that Self:
One’s identity, comprising a set of learned values and attitudes that develops through
social interaction and defines one’s self-image.
Exchange Theory: The assertion that power flows from the resources that a
member brings to a relationship.
Feminization of Poverty: Te universal phenomenon whereby women are more
susceptible to poverty than are men.
Gini Index: A measure of the inequity of wealth or income distribution within a
Gender Stereotyping: The assignments of beliefs to men and women, respectively,
that are not based on fact.
Gender: Social distinctions between masculinity and femininity. Gender Relations: Organizing principles that shape and order interactions between,
as well as the relative social importance of women and men.
Generalized Other: A compilation of attributes associated with the average member
of society; represents an individual’s appreciation that other members of society
behave within certain socially accepted guidelines and rules.
Gerontology: The scientific study of old age and aging.
Hegemonic Masculinity: The normative ideal of dominant masculinity. (Bond,
Hidden Curriculum: The unconscious, informal, unwritten norms and rules that
reinforce and maintain social conventions. The informal or less overt aspects of
schooling that nonetheless influence and shape students.
I: Mead’s term for that element of self that is spontaneous, creative, impulsive, and
ID: Freud’s term for individual’s biological drives and impulses that strive for instant
Income: Money received annually from all sources.
Intergenerational Mobility: The comparison of adult children’s social class to that
of their parents. Status movement throughout one’s lifetime.
Intersectionality: The simultaneous influence of multiple social relations, including
race, gender, ethnicity, and class.
Intersexed individuals: Individuals born with ambiguous genitals.
Kuznet’s curve: A graphic representation of the relationship between society’s
economic development and its social inequity.
Life courses: Socialization that occurs throughout one’s life adult life. (Hetherington,
Baltes, Kobali, Zhang)
Lorenz Curve: A graphical line representing a society’s deviation from equal wealth
Low Income Cut-Off (LICO): The level of income at which a household spends 55
percent or more of its income on basic necessities. Mass Media: Forms of communication produced by a few people for consumption by
Massification: The mass increase in post-secondary enrolment, in contrast to the
smaller numbers that once constituted an elite group.
McDonaldization: The notion that universities are expected to function in ever more
efficient ways, with high degree of predictability and standardization.
Me: Mead’s term for the socialized element of the self.
Meritocracy: A system of rewards based on personal attributes and demonstrated
abilities. A society in which resources are distributed fairly on the basis of merit.
Mortifications of the Self: The first stage of the resocialization process, in which a
person’s existing identify is stripped away.
Nature versus Nurture: The debate between whether biological forces or
environment define the person we become.
Peer Group: Consist of people who are closely related in age and share similar
Personality: An individual’s relatively stable pattern of behaviors and feelings.
Power: The ability to make others do something they would not otherwise do.
Primary Socialization: Occurs when people learn the attitudes, values, and
appropriate behaviors for individuals in their culture.
Quintile: A measure that divides population into five categories, each representing
Resocialization: The profound change or complete transformation of person’s
personality as a result of being placed in a situation or an environment dedicated to
changing his or her previous identity.
Role Taking: Assuming the position of another to better understand that person’s
Secondary Socialization: Follows primary socialization and occurs through
participation in more specific groups with defined roles and expectations.
Self-image: An introspection composition of various features and attributes that
people see themselves as. Significant Others: People we want to impress or gain approval from.
Status Group: A group of people who share similar social status, lifestyles, world
views, occupations, and standards of living.
Status Inconsistency: Occurs when an individual occupies several differently ranked
statuses at the same time.
Socio-economic status (SES): Social position based on income, occupational
prestige, and education. Social status as determined by family income, parents
education level, parent’s occupations, and the family’s social standing within a
Social Class: A group of individuals sharing a position in a social hierarchy, based on
both birth and achievement.
Social Interaction: The ways in which people interact in social settings, recognizing
each person’s subj