Define: Settings in which people are isolated from the larger society and under the
strict control and constant supervision of a specialized staff. Primary purpose is to
control most aspects of its participants’ lives.
Describe: Coined by Erving Goffman
Analyze social significance: Operates as an agent of resocialization. These
institutions break down the barriers that separate our different spears of life. For a
total institution to be effective, every aspect of people’s daily lives are conducted in
the same place and has the same authority. All daily activities are covered by a
single rational plan. Resocialization is often rapid and thorough, even in the absense
of initiation rites.
Example: Asylums and prisons (or expirment involving mock prisons) Aim of
prison resocialization. When you are in a group (such as a prison), you are doing
the same thing and it’s hard for people to distinguish themselves among others.
Define: Lack of the usual social or ethical standards in an individual or group.;
Describe: It generally happens in periods of fast paced changes, when norms cannot
keep up with the pace of life. Anomie occurs when personal standards do not match
the social standards. Thus, a lack of social ethic forms and moral integration starts to
Analyze social significance: In a society where it is unknown what expected
behavior is, criminal activity can result because of lack of knowledge or
expectations. Durkheim proposed that individuals lead to anomie in industrialized
societies that contain social hierarchies based on economic or relational merit. It is
in these societies that crime and deviant behavior is increased. Term was also used
in his studies of suicidal behaviour.
Example: Anomic suicide is a suicide resulting from a lack of normative integration;
in such a situation, individuals feel rootless and disconnected from guiding norms
In simple words, anomic suicide occurs due to an individual not feeling as if he/she
fits into the society anymore-this feeling is a result of the society changing
drastically due to economic boom or industrialization or many such factors. Eg:
investors often commit suicide when they see that they have lost all the money they
Define: The tendency to judge other cultures exclusively by the standards of your
own. Describe: People tend to take their own culture for granted. IT usually seems so
sensible and natural they rarely think about it. In contrast, people are often startled
when confronted by cultures other than their own. The ideas, norms, values and
techniques of other cultures frequently seem odd, irrational and even inferior..
Analyze social significance: It’s a functionalist concept. It impairs sociological
analysis. Sociological understanding of culture can only be developed when
refraining from judging other societies by the standards of your own.
- it encourages solidarity of the group
- hinders the understanding of the cooperation with other groups (we believe
our group is the best, so we have little motivation to interact with inferior
Example: Cow worship among Hindu peasants in India – they refuse to slaughter
cattle and eat beef because the cow is a religious symbol. This is opposite to what
westerners understand. It seems irrational when judged by the standards of
Define: What results when a culture teachers people the value of material success
and society fails to provide enough legitimate opportunities for everyone to
Describe: Coined by Merton.
Analyze social significance: It’s an extension of the functionalise perspective on
deviance. Emphasized by the tensions caused between cultural goals and the means
people have to achieve these goals. •Conformity: means are limited and standards are set lower. (expectations are
lowered). the average person in the united states goes into this stage.
•Innovation: people who indentify the goals for success but do not accept the legal
means for obtaining these. (You want material wealth but do not want to attain it
legally). This causes crime.
•Ritualism: People who try to meet the goals but continuously fail to do so. These
people mix up their goals and means.
• Retreatism: People who reject the goals (the American Dream) and reject the
means. They often withdraw from society and exist outside the mainstream. Ie.
Artists, people living off the grid… These people are politically called apathetic.
Rebellion: People who reject the American Dream but actively engage in some type
of rebellion because they want to change the goals and values for the society. Ie. The
protesters at wall street, terrorist groups, freedom fighters, revolutionaries. (people
who think outside the box).
Example: (LOOK ABOVE)
Define: The way society is organized in layers or strata; a consequence of collective
judgements by which society (presumably people in general) evaluates the
worthiness of a person’s occupational position with regard to its importance or its
contribution to the collectivity.
Stratification describes the way in which different groups of people are placed within society. The status of people is
often determined by how society is stratified - the basis of which can include;
◦ Wealth and income - This is the most common basis of stratification
◦ Social class
◦ Political status
◦ Religion (e.g. the caste system in India)
Analyze social significance: Functional theory of stratification: argues that
- some jobs are more important than others
- people must make sacrifices to train for important jobs
- inequality is required to motivate people to undergo these sacrifices
Conflict theories of stratification see stratification as driven by resource
competition, with the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer. (the bullet points
listed above are examples) Example: Stratification of gender makes prominent the social ineqaulities existent
between men and women; men usually are in favour of having more power.
Vertical Occupational Sex Segregation
Define: Men’s domination in the highest paid and status occupations (in traditional
male and female occupations); when men dominate the highest paid positions in
Describe: Vertical occupational segregation exists when men and women both
work in the same job categories, but men commonly do the more skilled,
responsible or better paid work. For example the majority of school heads may be
men while the majority of teachers are women, the majority of hospital consultants
may be men while the majority of nurses may be women.
Analyze social significance: Often explain by:
Glass Ceiling Effect: “A social barrier that makes it difficult for women to rise to the
top level of management”
Example: Vertical segregation affects women far more than men. For example,
women are l