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Sociological Terms 2

Updated 2007-03-18 11:24

Social Class in the United States

Question Answer
Feminization of PovertyThe Phrase referring to the increasing concentration of poverty among female-headed households.
Distribution of IncomeThe 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 ClassA U.S. Social Class characterized by professional and technical occupations and college and graduate school training.
Poverty IndexThe U.S. government's specification of income levels below which people are considered to be living in poverty.
Distribution of WealthThe degree of concentration or spreading out of property and other financial assets.
PovertyThe condition of which people do not have enough money to maintain a standard of living that includes the basic necessities of life.
Lower ClassA U.S. Social class characterized by unskilled labor, little interest in education, grade school completion, service work and farm labor.
Working ClassA U.S. Social Class made up of skilled and semiskilled laborers.
Social ClassA Category of people who share similar opportunities, similar economic and vocational positions, lifestyles, and similar attitudes and behaviors.
Class system of stratificationA system of stratification that includes several different social classes and permits social mobility.
Functionalist TheoryAn 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 ClassA U.S. social class characterized by coporate ownership, elite schools, upper-echelon politics, and a higher education.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Question Answer
PluralismThe developement and coexistence of separate racial and ethnic group identities within a society.
ExpulsionThe Process of forcing a group to leave the territory in which it lives.
Americanization MovementA social movement advocating the complete assimilation of immigrant groups to the United States.
DiscriminationDifferential treatment, usually unequal and injurious, accorded to individuals who are assumed to belong to a particular category or group.
PrejudiceAn irritionally based negative, or occasionally positive, attitude toward certain groups and their members.
AssimilationThe process whereby groups with different cultures come to share a common culture.
Anglo ConformityThe renunciation of other ancestral cultures in favor of Anglo-American behavior and values.
SubjugationThe domination of one group by another.
SegregationThe act, process, or state of being set apart.
Minority GroupA 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 GroupA group with a distinct cultural tradition with which its own members identify and that may or may not be recognized by others.
RaceA category of people who are defined as similiar because of a number of physical characteristics.

Gender Stratification


Question Answer
Patriarchal ideologyThe belief that men are superior to women and should control all important aspects of society.
Instrumental RoleBehaviors that focus on the accomplishment of specific tasks for a group rather than personal feelings.
Expressive RoleBehaviors that focus on feelings and relationships among members of a group.
Contigent Temporal WorldThe view that family and career responsibilities must be balanced
Linear Temoral WorldThe view that emphasizes a direct career path with little consideration for the distractions of family and noninstrumental relationships.
Gender Role SocializationThe process of accquiring and internalizing the ideas and behaviors deemed appropriate for males or females by their society.
Gender IdentityThe individual's sense of maleness or femaleness.

Health and Aging


Question Answer
Sick RoleA shared set of cultural norms that legitimates deviant behavior caused by illness and channels the individual into the health care system.
MedicalizationThe process by which problems become defined and treated as medical problems, usually in terms of illness or disorder.
Talcott-ParsonsAmerican Sociologist who developed the concept of the sick role.
Third-Party PaymentsA 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 RankingsA 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.
MedicareThe U.S. government program to pay for medical costs of the elderly.
MedicaidThe 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 CareA 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.