A political system under which a king or queen has complete control of a country.
A status that we either earn or choose and that is not subject to where or to whom we were born.
People, groups, and experiences that influence our behavior and self-image.
A collection of people who happen to be at the same place at the same time but have no other connection to one another.
A society that raises crops by using animal-drawn plows.
The feeling of workers in a bureaucracy that they are being treated as objects rather than people.
The belief that all Americans, regardless of the conditions of their birth, have an equal chance to achieve success.
According to strain theory, the feeling of being disconnected from society that can occur when people aren’t provided with the institutionalized means to achieve their goals. The term was coined by Émile Durkheim.
The learning of new norms and values in anticipation of a future role.
A social system in which there is total separation of the races.
The way we look physically to other people.
A trait or characteristic people possess as a result of the circumstances of birth.
The process whereby members of a group give up parts of their own culture in order to blend in to a new culture.
A political system that does not allow citizens to participate in government.
A specific idea that people feel to be true.
Another term for the working class.
The ways in which we use our bodies consciously and unconsciously to communicate.
Karl Marx’s term for the owners of the means of production—factories, businesses, and equipment needed to produce wealth.
According to Weber, a type of formal organization in which a rational approach is used for the handling of large tasks.
The economic system in which the means of production are owned privately and individuals are free to keep the profits they make.
In industrialized societies, the rich and powerful and the owners of the means of production. It is also called the elite.
A system of stratification based on ascribed statuses.
A collection of people who share a particular characteristic but have nothing else in common.
Authority that depends on the personal magnetism of one person, according to Weber’s power theory.
A religious group integrated with society.
A system of stratification based on achieved statuses.
The middle stratum of the estate system of stratification, composed of Roman Catholic priests.
An internal cluster or faction within a group.
The tendency for a powerful country to invade a weaker country in order to exploit its resources by making it a colony.
The lowest stratum of the estate system of stratification, composed of the masses of people who spent their lives engaged in hard physical labor.
An economic system similar to socialism in which all the means of production would be owned by everyone and all profits would be shared equally by everyone.
Marx’s theory that in any capitalist society there is eternal conflict between the owners of the means of production and the workers.
The view that purports that equality in a capitalist society is an illusion. The owners of the means of production have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo by keeping the working class in a disadvantaged position.
According to Merton’s theory of goals and means, those who accept cultural goals and the institutionalized means of achieving them.
A monarchy in which the reigning member of the royal family is the symbolic head of state but elected officials actually do the governing.
Walter Reckless’s theory that posits that when a person is tempted to engage in deviance, inner controls and outer controls can prevent him or her from doing so.
A way of living that opposes the dominant culture.
The violation of a written law.
An act of violence either threatened or perpetrated against a person.
The theft of property or certain forms of damage against the property of another person.
A religious group that is outside standard cultural norms.
The process whereby an aspect of culture spreads throughout a culture or from one culture to another.
The attitude that in order to understand the traits of another culture, one must view them within the context of that culture.
Everything made, learned, and shared by the members of a society.
The tendency for changes in material culture to occur at a more rapid rate than changes in nonmaterial culture.
The phrase that Oscar Lewis used to describe the idea that poor people do not learn the norms and values that can help them improve their circumstances and hence get trapped in a repeated pattern of poverty.
The surprise, disorientation, and fear people can experience upon encountering a different culture.
Garfinkel’s term for the process whereby an individual with a spoiled identity is expelled from a group and stripped of his or her group membership.
A political system in which citizens periodically choose officials to run their government.
The violation of a norm.
A way of living that differs from the dominant culture, in which members share a particular form of deviance.
Edwin Sutherland’s theory that posits that deviance is learned behavior.
An ideology developed by the nobility during the Middle Ages that posited that the authority of the nobility came directly from God.
The culture held by the majority and/or by the most powerful group in a society.
Goffman’s theory that life is like a never-ending play in which people are actors.
A group composed of two people.
The institution responsible for the production and distribution of goods and services.
The institution responsible for preparing young people for a functional place in adult life and for transmitting culture from one generation to the next.
According to Freud, the part of the mind that resolves conflicts between the id and the superego.
Marriage between members of the same category, class, or group.
The three-tiered stratification system used during the Middle Ages.
The tendency to judge another culture by the standards of one’s own culture.
A theoretical perspective formulated by Garfinkel that examines how people’s background assumptions help them make sense of everyday situations.
Marriage between members of different categories, classes, or groups.
Several generations or branches of a family.
The institution responsible for the rearing of children.
The phrase that describes the increasing number of female-headed households living at or below the poverty level.
A norm followed out of convenience or tradition.
A secondary group that is organized to achieve specific goals and tends to be large and impersonal.
A set of behaviors, attitudes, and personality characteristics expected and encouraged of a person based on his or her sex.
The tendency for boys and girls to be socialized differently.
George Herbert Mead’s term for the internalization of the norms and values of a culture.
The stratification of nations.
The adoption of capitalism by countries around the world.
A formal organization’s displacement of one goal with another in order to continue to exist. It is also called goal replacement.
Robert Merton’s theory that examines how members of a society adapt their goals to the means that society provides of achieving them.
The institution responsible for making and enforcing the rules of society and for regulating relations with other societies.
Two or more people who interact over time, have a sense of identity or belonging, and have norms that nonmembers do not have.
A term that implies that our thoughts and behavior are influenced by the groups of which we are members and, in turn, we influence the thought process and behavior of the group as a whole.
A term coined by Irving Janis that refers to the tendency of people in positions of power to follow the opinions of the group, to the point that there is a narrow view of the issue at hand.
The assumption that a physically attractive person also possesses other good qualities.
The well-being of people.
A medical approach that involves learning about a patient’s physical environment and mental state.
A society in which hand tools are used to grow crops.
A society in which people acquire food by hunting game and gathering edible plants.
According to Freud, the first part of the mind to develop and the part of the self responsible for the satisfaction of physical states.
Max Weber’s theoretical model of how a formal organization should function.
A set of values that people devise to rationalize a particular social custom.
Cloward and Ohlin’s term for opportunities for crimes that are a basic part of our society.
Goffman’s term for the tendency of individuals to manipulate the impressions that others have of them.
A group to which one belongs and to which one feels loyalty.
A system of stratification in which an individual agrees to sell his or her body or labor to another for a specified period of time.
A society that uses advanced sources of energy, rather than humans and animals, to run large machinery.
Countries that are in the process of becoming industrialized; includes most of the countries of the former Soviet Union.
According to control theory, the thought processes such as morality or a conscience that reside within people and that can prevent them from committing acts of deviance.
According to Robert Merton’s theory of goals and means, those who accept cultural goals but reject the institutional means of achieving them.
A set of norms surrounding the carrying out of a function necessary for the survival of a society.
Legitimate, socially approved ways that societies offer their members to achieve culturally approved goals.
A theory of deviance put forth by Howard Becker that claims that deviance is that which is so labeled.
A norm that is written down and enforced by an official agency.
Primarily agricultural nations that account for half of the land on Earth.
Charles Horton Cooley’s theory of socialization, which posits that we form our self-images on the basis of what we perceive to be others’ views of us.
Sociological analysis focused on large-scale social forces.
The attitudes that we convey in an attempt to get others to form certain impressions about us. According to Goffman, it is one of the sign vehicles we use to present ourselves to others, along with the setting and our appearance.
Communications media that direct messages and entertainment at a wide audience.
A large impersonal society in which individual achievement is valued over kinship ties and in which people often feel isolated from one another.
A status we possess that overrides all other statuses and becomes the one by which we are known to others.
The tangible, visible items of a culture.
A social custom in which married couples live in the home of the wife’s family.
The institution responsible for defining and treating mental and physical problems among its members.
A term used to refer to a pluralistic society in which people who originally come from different societies blend together to form a new society.
A system of stratification in which positions are given according to individual merit.
Sociological analysis focused on social interaction between individuals.
The class that consists of people who earn their money by working at professional jobs, also called white-collar jobs.
A political system in which a representative from one family controls the government and power is passed on through that family from generation to generation.
Marriage between one man and one woman.
Belief in a single deity.
The reasons that people think the way they do about what’s right and wrong.
A norm based on notions of morality.
Highly industrialized, capitalistic countries, including America, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Japan.
A term often used instead of “melting pot” to denote a pluralistic society in which the original cultural heritages of its citizens are recognized and respected.
Large corporations that do business in a number of different countries.
A socially constructed expression of disapproval.
Michael Harrington’s term for the tendency of the most industrialized nations to exploit less developed countries politically and economically.
A social custom in which married couples move to a new home of their own together.
A series of social ties that can be important sources of information, contacts, and assistance for its members.
The class that consists of people whose wealth has been around only for a generation or two.
The highest stratum of the estate system of stratification. Members had significant inherited wealth and did little or no discernible work.
The intangible, invisible parts of a culture, such as values.
A guideline or an expectation for behavior.
One or both parents and their children.
The rule of the many by the few.
A group to which one does not belong and to which one does not feel loyalty.
According to control theory, individuals who encourage people not to stray into deviance.
A society that relies on the domestication and breeding of animals for food.
A social custom in which married couples live in the home of the husband’s family.
A social group in which members are usually the same age and have interests and social position in common.
The area immediately around one’s body that one can claim as one’s own.
A society composed of many different kinds of people.
Marriage between one woman and more than one man.
Marriage between one man and more than one woman.
Belief in many deities.
A socially constructed expression of approval.
A society that features an economy based on services and technology, not production.
An estimate set by the federal government of the minimum income that a family of four needs to survive.
According to Weber, the ability to achieve ends even in the face of resistance.
A term coined by C. Wright Mills that refers to his theory that the United States is actually run by a small group representing the most wealthy, powerful, and influential people in business, government, and the military.
According to Lemert, a deviant act that elicits little or no reaction from others.
A group in which there is frequent face-to-face contact, little task orientation, and emotional intimacy among members.
The learning that we experience from the people who raise us.
A law stipulating that only a first-born son could inherit his father’s wealth.
Karl Marx’s term for the working masses.
The things used to decorate a setting, according to Goffman’s theory of impression management. Props also include manner of dress.
Authority that rests on rules and laws, according to Weber’s power theory.
Weber’s theory that bureaucracies would gain increasing power over modern life, eventually governing almost every aspect of society.
According to Robert Merton’s theory of goals and means, those who reject both cultural goals and the institutionalized means of achieving them, but who replace them with goals and means of their own.
The tendency of convicted criminals to repeat offenses.
The group to whom we compare ourselves for purposes of self-evaluation.
The belief that while the physical body dies, the soul of a person is immortal and goes on to be reborn into another body.
The institution responsible for answering people’s larger questions and for explaining the seemingly inexplicable.
The learning of new norms and values.
According to Robert Merton’s theory of goals and means, those who reject cultural goals as well as the institutionalized means of achieving them.
A violent overthrow of the government by its citizens.
According to Robert Merton’s theory of goals and means, those who reject cultural goals but accept the institutionalized means of achieving them.
A set of norms, values, and personality characteristics expected of a person based on the setting he or she is in.
The conflict that can result from the competing demands of two or more roles.
A socially constructed expression of approval or disapproval.
According to Lemert, repeated deviant behavior that is brought on by other people’s negative reactions to the original act of deviance.
A group in which there is infrequent or short-term contact, little task orientation, and no emotional intimacy among members.
A religious group that sets itself apart from society as a whole.
The part of a person’s personality consisting of self-awareness and self-image.
The place where interaction takes place. According to Goffman, it is one of the sign vehicles we use to present ourselves to others, along with manner of interacting and appearance.
Goffman’s term for the mechanisms we use to present ourselves to others. Sign vehicles consist of setting, appearance, and manner of interacting.
According to Charles Horton Cooley, a person in our lives whose opinions matter to us and who is in a position to influence our thinking.
A worker who is literate and has experience and expertise in specific areas of production or on specific kinds of machines.
A system of stratification in which one person owns another, usually for economic gain.
The ways a society devises to encourage conformity to norms.
A theory suggesting that the way in which we present ourselves is shaped by our life experiences, as well as by our interactions with others.
Two or more people who interact and identify with each other.
The degree to which an individual feels connected to the other people in his or her group or community.
Movement up or down the social hierarchy.
The things a society holds in high esteem, such as wealth, power, and prestige.
A system under which resources and means of production are owned by the society as a whole, rights to private property are limited, the good of the whole society is stressed more than individual profit, and the government maintains control of the economy.
The process whereby we learn to become competent members of a group.
A collection of people with territory, interaction, and a culture.
A calculation based on a complex formula that takes into account education, occupation, and income.
Goffman’s term for an identity that has been permanently ruined because of a severe stigma.
A system under which resources and means of production are privately owned but closely monitored and regulated by the government.
The position that a person occupies in a particular setting.
Any inconsistency between various statuses.
The collection of all of our different statuses, from every setting in which we are a member.
A sign or symbol that we wear or carry that represents a particular status.
An assumption we make about a person or a group, often on the basis of incorrect or incomplete information.
Goffman’s term for a trait that we possess that causes us to lose prestige in the eyes of others.
Robert Merton’s theory that posits that people experience strain and frustration when they are prevented from achieving culturally approved goals through institutionalized means.
A societal system in which there is an unequal distribution of society’s rewards and in which people are arranged hierarchically into layers according to how many of society’s rewards they possess.
A sociological view of society as a complex unit made up of interrelated parts. Sociologists who apply this theory study social structure and social function.
A group that espouses a way of living that is different from that of the dominant culture.
According to Freud, the part of the mind that encourages conformity to societal norms and values. It is also called the conscience.
A sociological framework that views society as a product of the everyday social interactions of individuals.
A norm so strongly held by a society that its violation brings extreme disgust.
A politically motivated violent attack on civilians by an individual or group.
The theory espousing sociologist W. I. Thomas’s idea that “if a person perceives a situation as real, it is real in its consequences.”
According to Erving Goffman, a highly standardized institution in which all the residents’ actions are determined and monitored by authority figures.
A political system under which the government maintains tight control over nearly all aspects of citizens’ lives.
Authority that rests on well-established cultural patterns, according to Weber’s power theory.
According to Georg Simmel, a group composed of three people.
The highest social group, consisting of people with inherited wealth and a recognizable family name.
The process by which the majority of a population comes to live within commuting distance of a major city.
A culturally approved belief about what is right or wrong, desirable or undesirable.
Crimes in which laws are violated but there is no identifiable victim.
A group we choose to join, in which members are united by the pursuit of a common goal.
Armed conflict between nations or societies.
A system that features a market-based economy coupled with an extensive social welfare system that includes free health care and education for all citizens.
Middle-class workers; so called because of the tendency of middle-class men to wear white shirts to work.
Nonviolent crime committed by the capitalist class during the course of their occupations.
The class composed of people who sell their labor to a higher class. They may have had vocational or technical training and have jobs such as electrician or factory worker.
The class composed of people whose work leaves them vulnerable to falling below the poverty level.
Wallerstein’s theory that as societies industrialized, capitalism became the dominant economic system, leading to the globalization of capitalism.