Social Class in the United States
Feminization of Poverty The Phrase referring to the increasing concentration of poverty among female-headed households.
Distribution of Income The degree to which all earnings in the nation are concentrated.
Conflict theory (8) An explanation that says social class arises and persists because those with more wealth and power use their means to enhance their own position at the expense of others.
Upper-Middle Class A U.S. Social Class characterized by professional and technical occupations and college and graduate school training.
Poverty Index The U.S. government's specification of income levels below which people are considered to be living in poverty.
Distribution of Wealth The degree of concentration or spreading out of property and other financial assets.
Poverty The condition of which people do not have enough money to maintain a standard of living that includes the basic necessities of life.
Lower Class A U.S. Social class characterized by unskilled labor, little interest in education, grade school completion, service work and farm labor.
Working Class A U.S. Social Class made up of skilled and semiskilled laborers.
Social Class A Category of people who share similar opportunities, similar economic and vocational positions, lifestyles, and similar attitudes and behaviors.
Class system of stratification A system of stratification that includes several different social classes and permits social mobility.
Functionalist Theory An explanation for the existence of social classes based on the idea that in order to attract talented individuals to each occupation, society must set up a system of differential rewards.
Upper Class A U.S. social class characterized by coporate ownership, elite schools, upper-echelon politics, and a higher education.
Racial and Ethnic Minorities
Pluralism The developement and coexistence of separate racial and ethnic group identities within a society.
Expulsion The Process of forcing a group to leave the territory in which it lives.
Americanization Movement A social movement advocating the complete assimilation of immigrant groups to the United States.
Discrimination Differential treatment, usually unequal and injurious, accorded to individuals who are assumed to belong to a particular category or group.
Prejudice An irritionally based negative, or occasionally positive, attitude toward certain groups and their members.
Assimilation The process whereby groups with different cultures come to share a common culture.
Anglo Conformity The renunciation of other ancestral cultures in favor of Anglo-American behavior and values.
Subjugation The domination of one group by another.
Segregation The act, process, or state of being set apart.
Minority Group A group of people who, because of physical or cultural characteristics, are singled out for differential and unequal treatment and who therefore regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination.
Ethnic Group A group with a distinct cultural tradition with which its own members identify and that may or may not be recognized by others.
Race A category of people who are defined as similiar because of a number of physical characteristics.
Patriarchal ideology The belief that men are superior to women and should control all important aspects of society.
Instrumental Role Behaviors that focus on the accomplishment of specific tasks for a group rather than personal feelings.
Expressive Role Behaviors that focus on feelings and relationships among members of a group.
Contigent Temporal World The view that family and career responsibilities must be balanced
Linear Temoral World The view that emphasizes a direct career path with little consideration for the distractions of family and noninstrumental relationships.
Gender Role Socialization The process of accquiring and internalizing the ideas and behaviors deemed appropriate for males or females by their society.
Gender Identity The individual's sense of maleness or femaleness.
Health and Aging
Sick Role A shared set of cultural norms that legitimates deviant behavior caused by illness and channels the individual into the health care system.
Medicalization The process by which problems become defined and treated as medical problems, usually in terms of illness or disorder.
Talcott-Parsons American Sociologist who developed the concept of the sick role.
Third-Party Payments A system in which the costs of an individual's health care are paid for by some form of public or private insurance or charitable organization.
Experience Rankings A process used by health companies to distribute insurance coverage across different groups based on their likelihood of illness
WHO (World Health Organization) An international organization that monitors health issues.
Medicare The U.S. government program to pay for medical costs of the elderly.
Medicaid The U.S. Government program to pay for medical costs of the poor.
CDC (Center for Disease Control) A part of the U.S. Public Health Service, this agency is charged with monitoring communicable ailments.
Managed Care A system where insurance companies set maximum fees they will pay to doctors.
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) A medical organization run by an insurance company, with doctors paid a salary and costs tightly controlled.