sociology-Unit 1, family and households glossary

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  • Created by: Lucy Kent
  • Created on: 18-04-13 19:11

Glossary - what is meant by....

Achieved status: a possition in society which affectsnthe way others view you that is earned at least partly through your own efforts (e.g a job)

Ageing population: a situation in which an increasing proportion of the population in a given country is middle-aged or older.

Apollonian image of the child: sees children as being born good but requiring the good aspect of their nature to be coaxed out of them sympathetically.

Ascribed status: a position in society which affects the way others view you that is given by birth (e.g being male or female)

Beanpole family: a family which links between generations i.e. between grandparents, parents and grandparents are strong but links with other relations such as aunts, uncles and cousins are weak.

Birth rate: the number of live births per thousand of the population per year.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Bourseoisie: the ruling class in capitalism who own property such as capital, business and states.

Breadwinner: the person doing all or most of the paid work in order to pay for the expenses of a family

Capitalist society/capatalism: a society in which people are employed for wages, and businesses are set up with the aim of making a profit.

Cereal packet image of the family: the image of the family often presented as a conventional heterosexualnuclear family of legally married couples with ine or more children, with a male breadwinner and a female housewife.

Child-centred: a situation in which the interests of children are put before the interests of adults.


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Glossary - what is meant by....

Civil partnership: a legal partnership of two people, whether homosexual or heterosexual, with similar rights and responsibilities to a marriage.

Class/social class: groups within society dustunguished by their economic position and who are therefore unequal (e.g. the middle class in better paid non-manual jobs and working class in less well0paid physical jobs)

Cohabitaion/ Cohabiting: living together in an intimate relationship without being married.

Confluent love: love that is dependent upon partners benefiting from the relationship rather than on unconditional devotion.

Conjugal roles: the roles of husband and wife within marriage (it may also be applied to male and female partners who cohabit but are not married)

Death rate: the number of people dying per thousand of the population per year.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Dependency ratio: the number of peole in non-economically active age groups (children and the retired) relative to the size of the population of working age.

Difference feminism: feminism which emphasizes that the position of women in society varies and women cannot be seen as a single united group.

Dionysian image of the child: sees children as pursuing their own desires, which can lead to them acting in evil ways.

Division of labour: the way in which jobs are divided up between two or more peole (e.g. who does particular tasks in a household.

Dispered extended family: kin who keep in touch with one another but are geographically spread out.

Diversity: variety in social life.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Divorce: the legal ending of a marrige.

Divorce rate: the number of peole who divorce per thousand married peole in a population per year.

Domestic abuse: actions whcih are damaging to current or former partners in an intimate relationship, this can include physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse.

Domestic labour: work done within the hime such as hoiusework and childcare, it may be unpaid but it create value just as paid work does.

Domestic violence: actions involving the use of force or the threat of force against current or former partners in an inanimate relationship which are harmful to the other partner. Domestic violence need not take place within the home but can take place anywhere.

Dual-earner families: families in which both partners are in paid employment.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Dysfunctional families; families which do not funtion well for family memberss or in fulfilling social roles (e.g. they fail to socialize children adequately)

Economic function: the role of the family in providing food, shelter and the ability to consume products for its members.

Education function: the role of the family in providing a stable environment in which children can be socialized into the culture of their society.

Emotion work: the time and effort involved thinking about and acting to produce the emotional well-being and happiness of others.

Empty-shell marriage: a marriage where the partners continue to live together but the emotional attachment and sexual relationship have come to an end.

Ethnic group: a group within a populetion regarded by themselves or by others as culturally distinctive; they usually see themselves as having a common geographic origin.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Extended family: the family wider than the nuclear family. as well as parents and children it includes other relatives such as aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Familistic- gender regimes: sets of government policies which support traditional nuclear families in which husbands are the main breadwinner and wives do most of the domestic work.

Family diversity: the growth of variety in the structure and nature of family types.

Female-headed family: family with a female head of households, usually without an adult male.

Feminism: theory of society which claims that women are disadvantaged and exploited by men, while men are dominant and run society in their own interests.

Fertility rate: the number of live births per thousand women aged 15 to 44 per year

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Functionalism: a belief that social institutions serve some positive purpose.

Function: a useful job performed by an institution for society.

Gay and lesbian households: households based around male partners or female partners in an intimate, sexual relationship.

Gender regimes: sets of policies which make assumptions about the roles of men and women in family life.

Gender roles: the socially expected behaviour of men and women in a particualr society.

Household: a group of peole who share the same accommodation.

Identity: the way people are seen by themselves or others in society.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Ideological state apparatus: according to Poulantzas, parts of society which encourage peole to accept the values favoured by the ruling class and which help to maintain capitalist society.

Ideology: a distorted set of beliefs which favours the interests of a particular social group.

Illegitimacy: children born to unmarried parents.

Individualism: an emphasis upon the desires or interests of individual people rather than thoose of wider social groups.

Individualistic gender regimes: sets od social policies which do not assume that husbands and wives will follow traditional roles and which accommodate the choices made by individuals regardless of whether they are male or female.

Industrialization: a process in which the wishes of individuals are seen as more important than the maintenance of traditional norms and values, and the prioritazation of the interests of individuals above those of social groups.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Infant-mortality rate: the number of children dying before their first birthday per thousand of live births per year.

Isolated nuclear family: a nuclear family which is relatively self-sufficient and has few contacts with extended kin.

Joint conjugal roles: relationships between husbands and wives in which both do some paid work and both do housework and provide childcare. typically with this type of role, men and women spend a good deal of time together.

Kin: poeple linked by blood or marriage.

Late modernity: according to giddens, the most recent phase in the development of modernity.

Liberal feminism: a version of feminism which is relatively moderate and believes that the position of women in society can be improved through reform rather than radical or revolutionary change.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Life expectancy: the average age to which a particular group of people is likely to live.

Lone parent family: family consisting of one parnet living with one or more of their children.

Marital breakdown: the ending of a marriage whether through divorce, seperation or the development of an empty-shell marriage.

Masculinity: the behaniour and social roles expected of men in a particular culture.

Matrifocal family: a family headed by the mother where she is not co-resident with a male partner.

Middle class: peolple who have white-collar jobsnwhich require some qualifications and are generally better paid than working class jobs.

Migration: people leaving or entering a country or area to live for a significant time.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Modernity: an era in the development of society chracterized by rationality i.e. planning to achieve goals, and in which the influence of tradition and religion is reduced campared with previous eras.

Neo-conventional family: a traditional nuclear family, but one in ehich both the husband and wife do paid work than having a single, male breadwinner.

Net migration: the difference between the numbers entering and leaving a country.

New reproductive technologies: technologies which allow previosly infertile couples or individuals to have children.

New right: poloticians, thinkers and writers who support the free market rather than state intervention and who believe that traditional moral values should be preserved.

Norms: specific, informal rules of behaviour in a particualr society.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Nuclear family: a co-resident family of two generations: parents and children.

Patriarchy/patriarchal: literally 'rule by the father' usually used by feminists to refer to a system in which men have more power than women and shape how societies run.

Plastic sexuality: behaviour where sex can be for pleasure as well as for concieving children.

Pluralization of lifestyles: a process in which people come to live in more varied ways rather than sharing similar ways of living.

Postmodernity/postmodern: the era following modernity in which rationality becomes less important, image becomes more important and in which many old social divisiond break down.

Pre-industrial society: societies that existed before industrialisation where most production was based upon agriculture.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Primary relationships: the most important and emotionally charged personal relationships (e.g. between parents and children)

Primary socialization: the first stge of the process through which children learn the culture of their society. this takes place in the family.

Radical feminism: the most extreme version of feminism which tends to see society as being completely dominated by men and sees the interests of men and women as being very different.

Rationality: behaviour which is geared towards achieving specified goals rather than based on emotion.

Reconstituted family: a family that includes members from previous families which have broken up but which come together as two new partners from a relationship.

Relative poverty: lacking the resources to pay for lifrstyles which is deemed the minimum acceptable when compared with other people in a particular society at a particular time.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Reproductive function: the function of the family in ensuring children are reproduced to enable the survival of society.

Ruling class: in marxist theory, the group who are dominant in society by virtue of their wealth and power.

Secularization: the process whereby religious thinking and religious institutions lose social significance.

Seperation: a couple living apart without getting divorced some seperations are legal and formal, but most are not.

Sexual function: the function of the family in controlling sexual behaviour through monogamy.

Single-person household: a person living on their own.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Social construction: a behaviour or practice which is produced by society even though it may seen natural or biological.

Social mobility: the movement of people between social groups, especially social classes.

Socialization: the process thorugh which a person learns the culture of their society.

Stabilization of adult personalities: to parsons, the role of the family in maintaining the phychological health of adults by providing warmth and security allowing them to act out childish elements on their personality.

Status: the amount of esteem in which people are held by others in society.

Subject class: in marxist throty, the group in society who are dominated by the ruling class whim they have to work for because they lack the property to produce goods for themselves. the subject class are exploited by the ruling class.

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Glossary - what is meant by....

Surrogate motherhood: where a woman gives birth to a child even though the child is not her genetic offspring.

Symmetrical family: a family in which both husband and wife do paid employment and both do some housework and provide childcare.

Triple shift: according to Duncombe and Marsden, the type of work whcih create a burden for women: ppaid work, domestic work and emotion work.

Values: general beliefs about what is right or wrong in a particular society.

Welfare state: agencies run or financed  by the government to provide for the well-being of members of society, such as education, the health service and social services.

Working class: peole who do manual jobs which require relatively few qualifications and are usually less well-paid then middle-class jobs.

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