Sociology Key Words



Feminists use this term to refer to societies dominated by men and where women have little power.

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False Class Consciousness

Used by Marxist's to describe the ways in which material and ideological processes are said to mislead members of the proletariat and other classes within capitalist societies. 

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The effects of campaigning for women's rights have been called a 'genderquake' as there has been a fundamental change in attitudes towards women and their role in society.

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Social Solidarity

Social Solidarity is the idea of a well intergrated functioning society, where all members have been socialised into its shared values and norms. 

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Ruling Class Ideology

Ruling class ideology is the class that holds the money and power to shape the ideology of society. 

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Master Status

This is the social position that is the primary identification of an individual. It is a status that has exceptional importance for social identity which often shapes a person's life. This status can be ascribed or achieved. 

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Stigmatised Identity

This type of identity is socially devalued with negative stereotypes and beliefs attached to the identity. 

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Folk Culture

Folk culture relates to the products and practices of relatively small scale and homogeneous social groups living in rural locations. It is often associated with tradition, historical continuity, sense of place and belonging. 

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Organic Analogy

To help us understand how society develops and works, functionalists compare society to a body. In a body, cells are organised into organs that all have different functions for the body. In society, people are organised into different institutions that perform different tasks for society. 

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When a man is married to more than one wife at the same time, sociologists call this polygamy.

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This is when you are married to or in a sexual relationship with only one person.

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This refers to the decline in participation in religion and the accompanying decline in the influence religion has in society.

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Subculture is a culture within a broader mainstream culture, with its own seperate values, practices, and beliefs. 

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The basic beliefs that members of a society share, they provide the basis for acceptable behaviour. 

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These are the rules or guidelines for expected behaviour. 

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It's a cultural idea that describes a regular pattern behaviour which is considered the characteristic of life in a society. Examples of customs could be; shaking hands, kissing, etc as these are methods of greeting someone and sometimes help distinguish a culture from another.

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Popular Culture

Popular culture is the types of media that have mass accessibility and appeal, such as; music, art, literature, fashion, dance, film, etc.

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High Culture

This is persued by the upper class and refers to classical music, theater, fine arts and other sophisticated pursuits. 

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