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Sociology Key Words


Submitted By safamahmood
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Glossary * Ageing population:
A population in which the average age is getting higher, with a greater proportion of the population over retirement age, and a smaller proportion of young people * Arranged marriage:
A marriage which is arranged by the parents of the marriage partners, with a view to compatibility of background and status. More a union between two families than two people, and romantic love between the marriage partners is not necessarily present. * Beanpole family:
A multi-generation extended family, in a pattern which is long and thin, with few aunts and uncles, reflecting fewer children being born in each generation, but people living longer. * Birth rate:
The number of live births per 1,000 of the population per year * Cereal packet family:
Sociologists also sometimes talk about ‘the cereal packet family’ - a certain type of nuclear - this refers to the image most people hold of the family. It is also the picture of the family that the media tends to present, especially in adverts. The cereal packet family comprises of Parents and Children. The woman is a housewife and full time mother and the man is the 'breadwinner' i.e. he is the one who has to go to work to earn money. * Classic extended family:
A family where several related nuclear families or family members live in the same house, street or area. It may be horizontally extended, where it contains aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., or vertically extended, where it contains more than two generations. See also modified extended family.

* Commune:
Self-contained and self-supporting communities, where all members of the community share property, childcare, household tasks and living accommodation. * Conjugal role:
The roles played by a male and female partner in marriage or in a cohabiting couple * Death rate:
The number of deaths per 1,000 of the population per year. * Demography:
The study of the characteristics of human populations, such as their size and structure and how these change over time * Dependency culture:
A set of values and beliefs, and a way of life, centred on dependence on others. Normally used by New Right writers in the context of those who depend on welfare state benefits? * Dependency ratio:
The dependency ratio is the number of young and elderly people in a population divided by the total adult population. The larger the dependency ratio is, the greater the burden on the average adult because the needs of the dependents must be met by the rest of the adult population. * Dependent age groups:

* Dependent population:

* Division of labour:
The division of work or occupations into a large number of specialized tasks, each of which is carried out by one worker or group of workers * Divorce rate:
The number of divorces per 1,000 married people per year. * Domestic division of labour:

* Domestic labour:
Unpaid housework, including cooking, cleaning, child-care and looking after the sick and elderly. * Emigration:

* Expressive role:

The nurturing, caring and emotional role, often linked by functionalists to women’s biology and seen as women’s ‘natural’ role in the family. * Extended family:
A family grouping including all kin (see kinship). There are two main types of extended family: the classic extended family and the modified extended family. See also ‘beanpole’ family, nuclear family. * Family:
A social institution consisting of a group of people related by kinship – ties of blood, marriage or adoption * Family ideology:
A set of dominant beliefs and values about what the family and family life should be like. * Fertility rate:
The number of live births per 1000 women of child-bearing age (15-44) per year. * General fertility rate:

* House hold:

An individual or group living at the same address and sharing facilities. * Ideological state apparatus:
Agencies which spread the dominant ideology and justify the power of the dominant social class.

* Immigration:

* Infant mortality rate:

* Instrumental role:

* Integrated conjugal role:

* Kibbutz:
A community established in Israel, with the emphasis on equality, collective ownership of property, and collective childrearing. * Kinship:
Relations of blood, marriage or adoption. * Life course:

* Life expectancy:

* Marriage rate:

* Meritocracy:
A social system in which rewards are allocated on the basis of merit or ability. * Migration: * Modified extended family:
A family type where related nuclear families, although living apart geographically, nevertheless maintain regular contact and mutual support through visiting, the phone, e-mail and letters. See also classic extended family. * Monogamy:
A form of marriage in which a person can only be legally married to one partner at a time. * Moral panic:
A wave of public concern about some exaggerated or imaginary threat to society, stirred up by exaggerated and sensationalized reporting in the mass media. * Natural population change:

* Net migration

* Norm: Social rules which define what is expected behaviour for an individual in a given society or situation * Nuclear family:
A family with two generations, of parents and children, living together in one household. See also extended family. * Patriarchy:
Power and authority held by males. * Polyandry:
A form of marriage in which a woman may have two or more husbands at the same time * Polygamy:
A form of marriage in which a member of one sex can be married to two or more members of the opposite sex at the same time * Polygyny:
A form of marriage in which a man may have two or more wives at the same time * Population projection: * Primary socialisation:
The early forms of socialization in the family and close community * Privatization: * A government policy which is centred on reducing the public sector as much as possible through the transfer of industries and utilities from state ownership and control into the hands of private shareholders. * Privatized nuclear family:
A nuclear family, cut off from extended kin, whose main concerns are focused on the home. * Reconstituted family:
A family where one or both partners have been previously married, and bring with them children of the previous marriage. * Scapegoat:
An individual picked out to be blamed for an action or event whether or not he or she is guilty. Very often applied to those who are innocent. * Secondary socialisation:
Socialization which takes place beyond the family and close community, such as through the education system, the mass media and the workplace * Secularization:
The process whereby religious thinking, practice and institutions lose social significance. * segregated conjugal role:
A clear division and separation between the roles of male and female partners in a marriage or in a cohabiting couple. * serial monogamy:
A form of marriage where a person keeps marrying and divorcing a series of different partners, but is only married to one person at a time * sexual division of labour:
The division of work into ‘men’s jobs’ and ‘women’s jobs’. * social construction:
The way something is created through the individual, social and cultural interpretations, perceptions and actions of people. Official statistics, notions of health and illness, deviance and suicide are all examples of social phenomena that only exist because people have constructed them and given these phenomena particular labels. * stereotype:
A generalized, oversimplified view of the features of a social group, allowing for few individual divergences between members of the group * structural differentiation:
The way new, more specialized social institutions emerge to take over functions that were once performed by a single institution * symmetrical family:
A family where the roles of husband and wife or cohabiting partners have become more alike (symmetrical) and equal. * total fertility rate:

* underclass:
A concept developed by Murray to describe a group considered to be outside the mainstream of society, below the working class.

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