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A father who, as a result of divorce or for other reasons, has little or no contact with his children.
Poverty as defined in terms of the minimum requirements necessary to sustain a healthy existence.
Social status based on an individual`s effort, rather than traits assigned by biological factors. Examples of achieved status include `veteran`, `graduate` or `doctor`.
The belief in romantic attachment as a basis for contracting marriage ties.
The system found in small traditional cultures according to which people belonging to a similar age group are categorized together and hold similar rights and obligations.
The combination of biological, psychological and social processes that affect people as they grow older.
Discrimination or prejudice against a person on the grounds of age.
Agencies of socialization
Groups or social contexts within which processes of socialization take place. The family, peer groups, schools, the media and the workplace are all arenas in which cultural learning occurs.
Societies whose means of subsistence is based on agricultural production (crop-growing).
The sense that our own abilities, as human beings, are taken over by other entities. The term was originally used by Marx to refer to the projection of human powers onto gods. Subsequently he employed the term to refer to the loss of control on the part of workers over the nature of the labour task, and over the products of their labour. Feuerbach used the term to refer to the establishing of gods or divine forces distinct from human beings.
Also referred to as complementary medicine, this approach to the treatment and prevention of disease encompasses a wide range of healing techniques which lie outside of, or overlap with, orthodox medical practices. Alternative or complementary medicine embodies a holistic approach to health, addressing both physical and psychological elements of an individual`s well-being.
A belief that events in the world are mobilized by the activities of spirits.
A concept used by Durkheim to describe feelings of aimlessness and despair provoked by the processes of change in the modern world which result in social norms losing their hold over individual behaviour.
The official system of racial segregation established in South Africa in 1948 and practised until 1994.
Social status based on biological factors, such as race, sex or age.
The acceptance of a minority group by a majority population, in which the group takes on the values and norms of the dominant culture.
A person who has applied for refuge in a foreign country due to a fear of religious or political persecution in his or her country of origin.
Political systems in which the needs and interests of the state take priority over those of average citizens, and popular participation in political affairs is severely limited or denied.
Following Max Weber, many sociologists have argued that authority is the legitimate power which one person or a group holds over another. The element of legitimacy is vital to this understanding of authority and is the main means by which authority is distinguished from the more general concept of power. Power can be exerted by the use of force or violence. Authority, by contrast, depends on the acceptance by subordinates of the right of those above them to give them orders or directives.
Production processes monitored and controlled by machines with only minimal supervision from people.
An area away from `front region` performances, characterized by Erving Goffman, where individuals are able to relax and behave in an informal way.
Generally a preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment. In statistical sampling or testing, an error caused by systematically favouring some outcomes over others.
A family structure in which a child has parents living in two different homes after separating, both of whom are involved in the child`s upbringing.
The diversity of species of life forms.
Biomedical model of health
The set of principles underpinning Western medical systems and practices. The biomedical model of health defines diseases objectively, in accordance with the presence of recognized symptoms, and believes that the healthy body can be restored through scientifically based medical treatment. The human body is likened to a machine that can be returned to working order with the proper repairs.
An orientation of sexual activities or feelings towards other people of either sex.
A strand of feminist thought which highlights the multiple disadvantages of gender, class and race that shape the experiences of nonwhite women. Black feminists reject the idea of a single unified gender oppression that is experienced evenly by all women, and argue that early feminist analysis reflected the specific concerns of white, middle-class women.
An organization of a hierarchical sort, which takes the form of a pyramid of authority. The term `bureaucracy` was popularized by Max Weber. According to Weber, bureaucracy is the most efficient type of large-scale human organization. As organizations grow in size, Weber argued, they inevitably tend to become more and more bureaucratized.
The state-sanctioned execution of a person who has been convicted of a crime that is punishable by death. Capital punishment is commonly known as the `death penalty`.
A system of economic enterprise based on market exchange. `Capital` refers to any asset, including money, property and machines, which can be used to produce commodities for sale or invested in a market with the hope of achieving a profit. Nearly all industrial societies today are capitalist in orientation â€“ their economic systems are based on free enterprise and on economic competition.
Those who own companies, land or stocks and shares, using these to generate economic returns.
A form of stratification in which an individual`s social position is fixed at birth and cannot be changed. There is virtually no intermarriage between the members of different caste groups.
A relationship in which one state of affairs (the effect) is brought about by another (the cause).
The causal influence of one factor on another. Causal factors in sociology include the reasons individuals give for what they do, as well as external influences on their behaviour.
A large body of people belonging to an established religious organization. Churches normally have a formal structure, with a hierarchy of religious officials, and the term is also used for the building where their religious ceremonials are held.
A member of a political community, having both rights and duties associated with that membership.
The process whereby individuals who are in the same physical setting of interaction demonstrate to one another that they are aware of each other`s presence, without being either threatening or over-friendly.
The realm of activity which lies between the state and the market, including the family, schools, community associations and non-economic institutions. `Civil society`, or civic culture, is essential to vibrant democratic societies.
Although it is one of the most frequently used concepts in sociology, there is no clear agreement about how the notion should best be defined. For Marx a class was a group of people standing in a common relationship to the means of production. Weber also saw class as an economic category, but stressed its interaction with social status and the affinities of `party`. In recent times, some social scientists have used occupation extensively as an indicator of social class, others have stressedownership of property and otherwealth; still others are looking to lifestyle choices.
Time as measured by the clock â€“ that is, assessed in terms of hours, minutes and seconds. Before the invention of clocks, time reckoning was based on events in the natural world, such as the rising and setting of the sun.
Human thought processes involving perception, reasoning, and remembering.
Two people living together in a sexual relationship of some permanence, without being married to each other.
The situation of conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union,together with their allies, which existed from the late 1940s until 1990. It was a `Cold War` because the two sides never actually engaged in military confrontation with each other.
A concept used by Manuel Castells to refer to processes of consumption of common goods promoted by the city, such as transport services and leisure amenities.
The process whereby Western nations established their rule in parts of the world away from their home territories.
The transmission of information from one individual or group to another. Communication is the necessary basis of all social interaction. In face-to-face contexts, communication is carried on by the use of language, but also by many bodily cues which individuals interpret in understanding what others say and do. With the development of writing and of electronic media like radio, television or computer transmission systems, communication becomes to varying degrees detached from immediate contexts of face-toface social relationships.
A set of political ideas associated with Marx, as developed particularly by Lenin, and institutionalized in China and, until 1990, in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
Questions concerned with the drawing of comparisons between one context in a society and another, or contrasting examples from different societies, for the purposes of sociological theory or research.
Research that compares one set of findings on one society with the same type of findings on other societies.
A term associated with R. W. Connell`s writings on the gender hierarchy in society. Complicit masculinity is embodied by the many men in society who do not themselves live up to the ideal of hegemonic masculinity, yet benefit from its dominant position in the patriarchal order.
Compulsion of proximity
The need felt by individuals to interact with others in face-to-face settings.
Concrete operational stage
A stage of cognitive development, as formulated by Piaget, in which the child`s thinking is based primarily on physical perception of the world. In this phase, the child is not yet capable of dealing with abstract concepts or hypothetical situations.
A sociological perspective that focuses on the tensions, divisions and competing interests present in human societies. Conflict theorists believe that the scarcity and value of resources in society produces conflict as groups struggle to gain access to and control those resources. Many conflict theorists have been strongly influenced by the writings of Marx.
Active and contingent love, as opposed to the `forever` qualities of romantic love.
A theory which sees crime as the outcome of an imbalance between impulses towards criminal activity and controls which deter it.Control theorists hold that criminals are rational beings who will act to maximize their own reward unless they are rendered unable to do so through either social or physical controls.
A statistical or experimental means of holding some variables constant in order to examine the causal influence of others.
A clustering of towns or cities into an unbroken urban environment.
The empirical study of conversations, employing techniques drawn from ethnomethodology. Conversation analysis examines details of naturally occurring conversations to reveal the organizational principles of talk and its role in the production and reproduction of social order.
According to worldsystems theory, the most advanced industrial countries, which take the lion`s share of profits in the world economic system.
Offences committed by large corporations in society. Examples of corporate crime include pollution, false advertising, and violations of health and safety regulations.
A branch of management theory that seeks to increase productivity and competitiveness through the creation of a unique organizational culture involving all members of a firm. A dynamic corporate culture â€“ involving company events, rituals and traditions â€“ is thought to enhance employee loyalty and promote group solidarity.
A regular relationship between two dimensions or variables, often expressed in statistical terms. Correlations may be positive or negative. A positive correlation between two variables exists where a high rank on one variable is regularly associated with a high rank on the other. A negative correlation exists where a high rank on one variable is regularly associated with a low rank on the other.
A measure of the degree of correlation between two variables.
A term describing people or societies that share many social qualities as a result of constant exposure to new ideas and values.
Those aspects of the physical world deriving from the application of technology. Cities are created environments, featuring constructions established by human beings to serve their needs â€“ including roads, railways, factories, offices, private homes and other buildings.
Any action that contravenes the laws established by a political authority. Although we may tend to think of `criminals` as a distinct subsection of the population, there are few people who have not broken the law in one way or another during the course of their lives. While laws are formulated by state authorities, it is by no means unknown for those authorities to engage in criminal behaviour in certain contexts.
The study of forms of behaviour that are sanctioned by criminal law.
Crisis of masculinity
The belief, held by some, that traditional forms of masculinity are being undermined by a combination of contemporary influences, provoking a critical phase in which men are unsure of themselves and their role in society.
Crude birth rate
A statistical measure representing the number of births within a given population per year, normally calculated in terms of the number of births per thousand members. Although the crude birth rate is a useful index, it isonly a general measure, because it does not specify numbers of births in relation to age distribution.
Crude death rate
A statistical measure representing the number of deaths that occur annually in a given population per year, normally calculated as the ratio of deaths per thousand members. Crude death rates give a general indication of the mortality levels of a community or society, but are limited in their usefulness because they do not take into account the age distribution.
A fragmentary religious grouping, to which individuals are loosely affiliated, but which lacks any permanent structure. Cults quite often form round an inspirational leader.
The coexistence of several subcultures within a given society on equal terms.
The transmission of cultural values and norms from generation to generation. Cultural reproduction refers to the mechanisms by which continuity of cultural experience is sustained across time. The processes of schooling in modern societies are among the main mechanisms of cultural reproduction, and do not operate solely through what is taught in courses of formal instruction. Cultural reproduction occurs in a more profound way through the hidden curriculum â€“ aspects of behaviour learnt by individuals in an informal way while at school. Culture of poverty The thesis, popularized by Oscar Lewis, that poverty is not a result of individual inadequacies, but the outcome of a larger social and cultural atmosphere into which successive generations of children are socialized. The `culture of poverty` refers to the values, beliefs, lifestyles, habits and traditions that are common among people living under conditions of material deprivation.
The values, ceremonies and ways of life characteristic of a given group. Like the concept of society, the notion of culture is very widely used in sociology, as well as in the other social sciences (particularly anthropology). Culture is one of the most distinctive properties of human social association.
Criminal activities by means of electronic networks, or involving the use of new information technologies. Electronic money laundering, personal identity theft, electronic vandalism and monitoring electronic correspondence are all emergent forms of cybercrime.
Electronic networks of interaction between individuals at different computer terminals, linking people at a level â€“ in a dimension â€“ that has no regard for territorial boundaries or physical presence.
Decline in the predominance of Weberian-style bureaucracies as the typical organizational form within modern society.
In the context of welfare provision, the degree to which welfare services are free of the market. In a predominantly decommodified system, welfare services such as education and healthcare are provided to all and are not linked to market processes. In a commodified system, welfare services are treated as commodities to be sold on the market like other goods and services.
The destruction of forested land, often by commercial logging.Degree of dispersal The range or distribution of a set of figures.
The process by which individuals cared for in state facilities are returned to their families or to community-based residences.
A political system providing for the participation of citizens in political decision-making, often by the election of representatives to governing bodies.
An interpretation of population change, which holds that a stable ratio of births to deaths is achieved once a certain level of economic prosperity has been reached. According to this notion, in pre-industrial societies there is a rough balance between births and deaths, because population increase is kept in check by a lack of available food, and by disease or war. In modern societies, by contrast, population equilibrium is achieved because families are moved by economic incentives to limit the number of children.
The study of the characteristics of human populations, including their size, composition and dynamics.
A religious sect which has lost its revivalist dynamism, and has become an institutionalized body, commanding the adherence of significant numbers of people.
A term popularized by Charles Murray to describe individuals who rely on state welfare provision rather than entering the labour market. The dependency culture is seen as the outcome of the `nanny state` which undermines individual ambition and people`s capacity for self-help.
The ratio of people of dependent ages (children and the elderly) to people of economically active ages.
Theory of economic development derived from Marxism arguing that the poverty of low-income countries stems directly from their exploitation by wealthy countries and the transnational corporations that are based in wealthy countries.
A variable, or factor, causally influenced by another (the independent variable).
Instances of intense land degradation resulting in desert-like conditions over large areas.
Questions posed by sociologists when looking at the origins and path of development of social institutions from the past to the present.
Modes of action which do not conform to the norms or values held by most of the members of a group or society. What is regarded as `deviant` is as widely variable as the norms and values that distinguish different cultures and subcultures from one another. Many forms of behaviour which are highly esteemed in one context, or by one group, are regarded negatively by others.
The unintended consequences that can result when by labelling a behaviour as deviant, an agency of control actually provokes more of the same behaviour. For example, the reactions of police, the media and the public to perceived acts of deviance can `amplify` the deviance itself, creating a `spiral of deviancy`.
A subculture whose members have values which differ sub-stantially from those of the majority in a society.
The dispersal of an ethnic population from an original homeland into foreign areas, often in a forced manner or under traumatic circumstances.
The frameworks of thinking in a particular area of social life. For instance, the discourse of criminality means how people in a given society think and talk about crime.
Activities that deny to the members of a particular group resources or rewards which can be obtained by others. Discrimination has to be distinguished from prejudice, although the two are usually quite closely associated. It can be the case that individuals who are prejudiced against others do not engage in discriminatory practices against them; conversely, people may act in a discriminatory fashion even though they are not prejudiced against those subject to such discrimination.
A functionalist theory of ageing that holds that it is functional for society to remove people from their traditional roles when they become elderly, thereby freeing up those roles for others.
The transferring of ideas or emotions from their true source to another object.
Division of labour
The division of a production system into specialized work tasks or occupations, creating economic interdependence. All societies have at least a rudimentary form of division of labour, especially between the tasks allocated to men and those performed by women. With the development of industrialism, however, the division of labour became vastly more complex than in any prior type of production system. In the modern world, it is international in scope.
The time it takes for a particular level of population to double.
An approach to the study of social interaction based on the use of metaphors derived from the theatre.
Features of social life that challenge or create tensions in a social system.
The development of technologies that generate economic growth, but which do so at minimal cost to the environment.
Economic growth and development that incorporate positive policies for the environment. Supporters of ecological modernization believe that industrial development and ecological protection are not incompatible.
The outcome of specialization and the division of labour, when self-sufficiency is superseded and individuals depend on others to produce many or most of the goods they need to sustain their lives.
The system of production and exchange which provides for the material needs of individuals living in a given society. Economic institutions are of key importance in all social orders. What goes on in the economy usually influences many other aspects of social life. Modern economies differ very substantially from traditional ones, because the majority of the population is no longer engaged in agricultural production.
The transmission of knowledge from one generation to another bymeans of direct instruction. Although educational processes exist in all societies, it is only in the modern period that mass education has taken the form of schooling â€“ that is, instruction in specialized educational environments in which individuals spend several years of their lives.
According to Piaget, the characteristic quality of a child during the early years of her life. Egocentric thinking involves understanding objects and events in the environment solely in terms of the child`s own position.
A form of speech involving the deliberate and constructed use of words to designate precise meanings, and adaptable to various cultural settings.
The process by which bourgeois aspirations, and a bourgeois standard and style of life, becomes institutionalized in the working class. Marxists have argued that this phenomenon undermines working class consciousness and frustrates working class attempts to create social change.
The movement of people out of one country in order to settle in another.
The ability of individuals to use their emotions to develop qualities such as empathy, self-control, enthusiasm and persistence.
A term associated with R. W. Connell`s writings on the gender hierarchy in society. Emphasized femininity forms an important complement to hegemonic masculinity, because it is oriented to accommodating the interests and needs of men. Many representations of women in the media and advertising embody emphasized femininity.
Factual inquiry carried out in any given area of sociological study.
A meeting between two or more individuals in a situation of face-to-face interaction. Our day-to-day lives can be seen as a series of different encounters strung out across the course of the day. In modern societies, many of the encounters we have with others involve strangers rather than people we know well.
The forbidding of marriage or sexual relations outside one`s social group.
A concern with preserving the integrity of the physical environment in the face of the impact of modern industry and technology.
The study of the distribution and incidence of disease and illness within the population.
A form of stratification involving inequalities between groups of individuals established by law.
Religions which depend on the ethical appeal of a `great teacher` (like Buddha or Confucius), rather than on a belief in supernatural beings.
The creation of ethnically homogeneous territories through the mass expulsion of other ethnic populations.
Cultural values and norms which distinguish the members of a given group from others. An ethnic group is one whose members share a distinct awareness of a common cultural identity, separating them from other groups around them. In virtually all societies ethnic differences are associated withvariations in power and material wealth. Where ethnic differences are also regarded as racial, such divisions are sometimes especially pronounced.
A term used by Anthony Smith to describe a group that shares ideas of common ancestry, a common cultural identity and a link with a specific homeland.
Understanding the ideas or practices of another culture in terms of those of one`s own culture. Ethnocentric judgements fail to recognize the true qualities of other cultures. An ethnocentric individual is someone who is unable, or unwilling, to look at other cultures in their own terms.
The study of people at firsthand using participant observation or interviewing.
The study of how people make sense of what others say and do in the course of day-to-day social interaction. Ethnomethodology is concerned with the `ethnomethods` by means of which human beings sustain meaningful interchanges with one another.
A form of Protestantism characterized by a belief in spiritual rebirth (being `born again`).
A research method in which a hypothesis can be tested in a controlled and systematic way, either in an artificial situation constructed by the researcher, or in naturally occurring settings.
A social or institutional relationship in which one party benefits at the expense of the other through an imbalance in power.
A family group consisting of close relatives extending beyond a couple and their children living either within the same household or in a close and continuous relationship with one another.
Dangers that spring from the natural world and are unrelated to the actions of humans. Examples of external risk include droughts, earthquakes, famines and storms. Anthony Giddens â€” Sociology, 5th Edition
Questions that raise issues concerning matters of fact (rather than theoretical or moral issues).
A group of individuals related to one another by blood ties, marriage or adoption, who form an economic unit, the adult members of which are responsible for the upbringing of children. All known societies involve some form of family system, although the nature of family relationships is widely variable. While in modern societies the main family form is the nuclear family, a variety of extended family relationships are also often found.
Capitalistic enterprise owned and administered by entrepreneurial families.
A measure of the number of children that it is biologically possible for a woman to produce.
A sociological perspective which emphasizes the centrality of gender in analysing the social world, and particularly the uniqueness of the experience of women. There are many strands of feminist theory, but they all share in common the desire to explain gender inequalities in society and to work to overcome them.
The average number of live-born children produced by women of childbearing age in a particular society.
The group of nation-states that possesses mature industrialized economies, based on capitalistic production.
Process in which computers design customized products for a mass market.
Interaction between individuals engaged in a common activity or a direct conversation with one another.
The system pioneered by Henry Ford, involving the introduction of the moving assembly line, and crucially linking methods of mass production to the cultivation of a mass market for the goods produced â€“ in Ford`s case particularly his famous Model T Ford car.
Formal operational stage
According to Piaget`s theory, a stage of cognitive development at which the growing child becomes capable of handling abstract concepts and hypothetical situations.
Relations which exist in groups and organizations laid down by the norms or rules of the `official` system of authority.
A setting of social activity in which individuals seek to put on a definite `performance` for others.
A theoretical perspective based on the notion that social events can best be explained in terms of the functions they perform â€“ that is, the contributions they make to the continuity of a society â€“ and on a view of society as a complex system whose various parts work in a relationship to each other in a way that needs to be understood.
A belief in returning to the literal meanings of scriptural texts. Fundamentalism may arise as a response to modernization and rationalization, insisting on faith-based answers, and defending tradition byusing traditional grounds.
Social expectations about behaviour regarded as appropriate for the members of each sex. Gender does not refer to the physical attributes in terms of which men and women differ, but to socially formed traits of masculinity and femininity. The study of gender relations has become one of the most important areas of sociology in recent years, although for a long time they received little attention.
The differences in the status, power and prestige women and men have in groups, collectivities and societies.
A term associated with the writings of R. W. Connell, the gender order represents patterns of power relations between masculinities and femininities that are widespread throughout society.
The configuration of gender relations within a particular setting, such as a school, a family or a neighbourhood.
The societally patterned interactions between men and women.
Social roles assigned to each sex and labelled as masculine or feminine.
How individuals develop different gender characteristics in the course of socialization processes.
A concept in the theory of George Herbert Mead, according to which the individual takes over the general values of a given group or society during the socialization process.
Genetically modified organisms
GMOs are plants or crops that have been produced through manipulation of the genes that compose them.
The systematic, planned destruction of a racial, political or cultural group.
A concept applied in media studies to refer to a distinct type of media product or cultural item. In the world of television, for example, different genres include soap opera, comedy, news programmes, sport and drama.
A process of urban renewal in which older, decaying housing is refurbished by affluent people moving into the area.
A city, such as London, New York or Tokyo, which has become an organizing centre of the new global economy.
Global commodity chains
A worldwide network of labour and production processes yielding a finished product.
The framework of rules needed to tackle global problems, and the diverse set of institutions (including both international governmental organizations and national governments) needed to guarantee this framework of rules.
A notion associated with the Canadian writer Marshall McLuhan, who saw the spread of electronic communication as binding the world into a small community. Thus, people in many different parts of the world follow the same news events through television programming.
The gradual increase in temperature of the earth`s atmosphere. Global warming, or the `greenhouse effect`, occurs as built-up carbon dioxide traps the sun`s rays and heats up the earth. The effects of global warming are potentially devastating, including floods, droughts and other changes to the world climate.
Growing interdependence between different peoples, regions and countries in the world as social and economic relationships come to stretch worldwide.
The regular enactment of policies, decisions and matters of state by officials within a political apparatus. We can speak of `government` as a process, or the government to refer to the political authorities overseeing the implementation of their policies by officials. While in the past virtually all governments were headed by monarchs or emperors, in most modern societies the political authorities are elected and their officials are appointed on the basis of expertise and qualifications.
The build-up of heattrapping greenhouse gases within the earth`s atmosphere. While a `natural` greenhouse effect keeps the earth`s temperatures at a comfortable level, the build-up of high concentrations of greenhouse gases through human activities has been linked to global warming.
A term used to indicate that an increasing proportion of a society`s population is becoming elderly.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
All the goods and services on record as being produced by a country`s economy in a particular year, regardless of who owns these factors.
Gross National Income (GNI)
Gross Domestic Product plus net property income (interest, rent, dividends andprofits) from abroad. (The term GNI is now used in preference to a Gross National Product, or GNP, an older but similar measure.)
The means whereby a group establishes a clear boundary for itself and thereby separates itself from other groups.
Production organized by means of small groups rather than individuals.
The shift from acute, infectious diseases to chronic noninfectious diseases as the main cause of death in a society. In industrialized societies which have undergone the health transition, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera and malaria have been practically eradicated and chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease have become the most common cause of death.
A term first introduced by R. W. Connell, hegemonic masculinity refers to the dominant form of masculinity within the gender hierarchy. Although hegemonic masculinity subordinates other masculinities and femininities, it can be challenged by them. In most Western societies today, hegemonic masculinity is associated with whiteness, heterosexuality, marriage, authority and physical toughness.
An orientation in sexual activity or feelings towards people of the opposite sex.
Traits of behaviour or attitudes that are learned at school, but which are not included within the formal curriculum. The hidden curriculum is the `unstated agenda` involved in schooling â€“ conveying, for example, aspects of gender differences.
Organizations, or work settings, in which individuals are permitted a great deal of autonomy and control over the work task.
Education beyond school level, in colleges or universities.
People who have no place to sleep and either stay in free shelters or sleep in public places not meant for habitation.
An irrational fear or disdain of homosexuals.
According to R. W. Connell`s model of gender relations, homosexual masculinity is stigmatized and located at the bottom of the gender hierarchy for men. In the prevailing gender order, homosexuals are seen as the opposite of the `real man` embodied by hegemonic masculinity.
An orientation of sexual activities or feelings towards others of the same sex.
Housework (domestic labour)
Unpaid work carried on, usually by women, in the home; domestic chores such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping.
Human resource management
A branch of management theory that regards employee enthusiasm and commitment as essential to economic competitiveness. The human resource management (HRM) approach seeks to develop in workers the sense that they have an investment in company products and in the work process itself.
Hunting and gathering societies
Societies whose mode of subsistence is gained from hunting animals, fishing and gathering edible plants.
An idea associated with the French author Jean Baudrillard. Baudrillard argues that, as a result of thespread of electronic communication, there is no longer a separate `reality` to which TV programmes and other cultural products refer. Instead, what we take to be `reality` is structured by such communication itself. So the items reported on the news are not just about a separate series of events, but actually themselves define and construct what those events are.
An idea, or an educated guess, about a given state of affairs, put forward as a basis for empirical testing.
A `pure type`, constructed by emphasizing certain traits of a given social item into an analytical model which does not necessarily exist anywhere in reality. The traits are defining, not necessarily desirable, ones. An example is Max Weber`s ideal type of bureaucratic organization.
The distinctive characteristics of a person`s character or the character of a group which relate to who they are and what is meaningful to them. Some of the main sources of identity include gender, sexual orientation, nationality or ethnicity, and social class. An important marker of an individual`s identity is his or her name, and naming is also important for group identity.
Shared ideas or beliefs which serve to justify the interests of dominant groups. Ideologies are found in all societies in which there are systematic and ingrained inequalities between groups. The concept of ideology has a close connection with that of power, since ideological systems serve to legitimize the differential power held by groups.
The movement of people into one country from another for the purpose of settlement.
An idea associated with the American sociologist Erving Goffman. People `manage` or control the impressions others have of them by choosing what to conceal and what to reveal when they meet other people.
Sexual activity between close family members.
A variable, or factor, that causally influences another (the dependent variable).
Individual model of disability
A theory that holds that individual limitations are the main cause of the problems experienced by disabled people: bodily `abnormality` is seen as causing some degree of `disability` or functional limitation. This functional limitation is seen as the basis for a wider classification of an individual as `an invalid`. The individual model of disability has been criticized by supporters of the social model of disability.
The broad spectrum of social and economic transformations that surrounded the development of modern forms of industry. The Industrial Revolution launched the process of industrialization.
Societies in which the vast majority of the labour force works in industrial production.
The development of modern forms of industry â€“ factories, machines and large-scale production processes. Industrialization has been one of the main sets of processes influencing the social world over the past two centuries. Those societies which are industrialized have characteristics quite different from those of the less developed countries. For instance, with the advance of industrialization only a tiny proportion of the population works in agriculture â€“ a major contrast with pre-industrial countries.
Infant mortality rate
The number of infants who die during the first year of life, per thousand live births.
Economic transactions carried on outside the sphere of orthodox paid employment.
Relations which exist in groups and organizations developed on the basis of personal connections; ways of doing things that depart from formally recognized modes of procedure.
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• Bruce Dickinson (2)
• nearer (3)
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