Sociology key words

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  • Created by: Laura M
  • Created on: 03-12-11 14:57

Poverty trap.

Where a person gets a job and experiences a drop in income, because their wages are lower than the welfare benefits they were receiving when they were unemployed.

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Minimum wage

The lowest wage and employer can pay.

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Person who takes risks in order to make a profit.

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Displinary Tendency

Where people are forced into certain patterns of behaviour eg. the unemployed are forced to undertake skills training or lose their right to state behaviour.

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Child Tax Credits.

They give wage earners (up to a certain level of salary) additional payments for each child they have.

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Term used by Charles Murray to describe those people who he claims have developed a lifestyle which depends upon state support (benefits etc) and who have no desire to seek employment.

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To mark something out as bad- i.e labelling someone, or judging someone according to factors like their race, or levels of income etc.

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Someone who claims welfare benefits that they are not entitled to and/or manipulates the benefits system to their own advantage (they may ask for even more than the normal amount given).

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Labour Market

Jobs and employment conditions that people have.

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The belief that individuals are far more important than social groups.

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Individual Deficiency.

A person's specific faults or weaknesses which makes them unable to get on in society and to be successful.

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'Hidden' Economy.

All the 'cash-in-hand' and casual work that is never reported to authorities such as the Inland. For an example, someone may work at a hair dresers at the weekend and get paid in cash rather than by check, therefore, the company doesn't have to pay taxes for those wages- so its cheaper for them.

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Acceptance that what happens is the result of luck or 'fate'. I.e poor people can be said to continue to live  in poverty, because they show fatalism- they believe that they are in poverty because of 'fate' and so  they don't try to get out of 'poverty' because you can't change your 'fate'.

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The idea that some people are prevented from being able to get on in life and enjoy the benefits of an affluent society.

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The state of being dependent. It is used to refer to the idea that some people live off the hard work of others i.e of benefits.

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Culture of Poverty.

A set of values that some poorer people in society share which they pass onto their children. The result is that they get trapped in society.

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The belief that people living in British society have certain rights including the rght to have a decent standard of living.

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Sick and Disabled people.

'Sick' refers to chronic illness, where people are unwell on a long term basis. 'Disabled' refers to people officially classified by the government (through a medical report) as sufferring from one or more disability(ies).

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Risk of Poverty.

Refers to a way of analysing poverty figures by classifying groups by their change of being in poverty.

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Older people.

Refers to the people of pensionable age, currently 60 for women and 65 for men.

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Low pay.

Defined as earning less than 1/2 the average male's wage (women's average is lover than men's).

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Household Status.

Used interchangeable with 'family status'.

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Family status.

Way of classifying poor people by the sort of family types they belong to. Used interchangely with 'household status'.

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Economic Status.

Way of classifying poor people by how they obtain their income.

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Disposable Income.

How much people actually have left to spend after paying fixed bills (such as council tax or housing costs).

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Compostion (of the poor).

A way of analysing poverty figures by illustrating which groups provide the largest proportions of people living in poverty.

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Social Exclusion.

Type of poverty :When people suffer a series of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing and high crime, which prevent them from enjoying full membership in their society.

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Relative Income Measure ( of poverty).

A form of the relative definition of poverty, based on having only a certain proportion of the average income in a society.

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Relative definition of poverty.

A person is in poverty if they are unable to afford the standard of living that is considered acceptable by the majority of people in society.

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How sociologists define a concept, i.e poverty.

So to operationalise 'poverty' . they would define 'poverty' in order to measure 'poverty'.

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Median Income.

The middle band of income.

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House holds below average income. (HBAI)

The measure used by the British government which puts the poverty threshold at 60% of median income.

So if you're only earning 60% or less of the median income, you'd be classified as being in 'poverty'.

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Failure to obtain the absolute necessities to keep life going. (extreme 'poverty').

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Consenual Measure (of Poverty).

A form of the relative definition of poverty ; based on lack of the goods and services deemed neccessary by most people in society. Mack and  Lansley 1980's/90's approach.

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Absolute definition of Poverty.

A person is in poverty if they're unable to afford the most basic necessities of life. Poverty is seen as destitution. Townsend ,Rowntree. (sociologists who have conducted research on this type of 'poverty').

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The ownership of property,shares, savings and other assets that make up your wealth.

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VAT (Value Added Tax)

A tax charged on most goods and services. It is an indirect tax because it is not taken directly from people's wages.

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The transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor. So taxes that the rich pay, are used to fund services (and benefits) for the poor.

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Personal Wealth.

Wealth owned by individuals. Can be compared with institutional wealth which is wealth owned by companies.

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A regular payment made to someone when they retire from paid employment.

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Marketable Wealth.

All a person possesses (doesn't include their pension or their house).

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Life Cycle

The change in a person's economic and social situation over their lifetime.

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Inland Revenue.

The government department that is responsible for taxes on earnings and wealth.

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Inheritence Tax

Tax on wealth when a person dies.

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Inheritence Tax

Tax on wealth when a person dies.

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Global Economy.

The way in which investment and trading now span the entire world. This hinders individual gov's control of the economy, because companies can simply move to other countries.

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This is a great set of flashcards which is very useful in order to test or consolidate key terminology knowledge. The test yourself tool is great and the cards can be printed and used as a taboo game.

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