Sociology Week 1
Social solidarity: refers to the degree to which group members share beliefs and values, the intensity
and frequency of their interaction.
Values: Ideas about what is good and bad, right and wrong.
Theory: A tentative explanation of some aspect of social life that states how and why certain facts are
Altruistic suicide: Occurs in settings that exhibit very high levels of social solidarity, according to
Durkheim. Results from norms very tightly governing behaviour.
Egoistic suicide: Results from poor integration of people into society because of weak social ties to
Anomic suicide: Occurs in setting that exhibit low levels of social solidarity. Results from vaguely defined
norms governing behaviour.
Social Structure: Relatively stable patterns of social relations.
Sociological imagination: The quality of mind that enables one to see the connection between personal
troubles and social structures.
Microstructures: The patterns of relatively intimate social relations formed during face to face
Macrostructures: Overarching patterns of social relations that lie outside and above a person’s circle of
intimates and acquaintances.
Patriarchy: The traditional system of economic and political inequality between women and men.
Global structures: Patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level.
Functionalism: Theory that human behavior is governed by relatively stable social structures. It
emphasizes that social structures are based mainly on shared values or preferences. It suggests that re
establishing equilibrium can best solve most social problems.
Conflict theory: It shows how major patterns of inequality in society produce social stability in some
circumstances and social change in other. It suggests that eliminating privilege will lower the level of
conflict and increase the sum of total human welfare.
Class conflict: struggle between classes.
Class consciousness: Awareness of belonging to the social class of which one is a member of. Week 2
Emotion Management: The act of obeying “feeling rules” and responding appropriately to situations.
Emotion labour: Emotion management that many people do as part of their job and for which they are
Dramaturgical analysis: Views social interaction as a sort of play in which people present themselves so
they appear in the best possible light.
Role distancing: Involves giving the impression that we are just going through the motions and that we
lack serious commitment to a role.
Status cues: visual indicators of a person’s social position.
Bureaucracy: A large, impersonal organization composed of many clearly defined positions arranged in a
Social network: A bounded set of individuals who are linked by the exchange of material or emotional
Social group: a group composed of one or more networks of people who identify with one another and
adhere to defined norms, roles, and statuses.
Social category: a group composed of people who share similar status but do not identify with one
Primary group: social groups in which norms, roles, and statuses are agreed upon but are not put in
writing. Social interaction leads to strong emotional ties. It extends over a long period and involves a
wide range of activities.
Reference group: a group of people against whom an individual evaluates his or her situation or
Formal organizations: Secondary groups designed to achieve specific and explicit objectives. Week 3
High culture: Culture consumed mainly by upper classes.
Abstraction: The human capacity to create general ideas or ways of thinking that are not linked to
Material culture: the tools and techniques that enable people to accomplish tasks.
Non material culture: non tangible elements of culture.
Folkway: The least important norms, norms that evoke the least severe punishment when violated.
Mores: core norms that most people believe are essential for the survival of their group or their society.
Taboos: The strongest norms, when someone violates a taboo, it causes revulsion.
Postmodernism: Culture characterizes by an eclectic mix of cultural elements from different times and
places, the erosion of authority, and the decline of consensus around core values.
Socialization: The process by which people learn their culture. They do so by entering into and
disengaging from a succession of roles and becoming aware of themselves as they interact with others.
Role: set of expected behaviors, or the behaviour expected of a person occupying a particular position in
Self: a set of ideas and attitudes about who one is as an independent being.
Looking glass self: cooleys description of the way our feelings about who we are depend larg