Sociology Semester Project

By: Rose Neff


  • Culture: refers to the language, knowledge, customs, values, and physical objects that are passed from generation to generation among members of a group.
  • Material side of culture: cell phones, computers, skyscrapers, etc. Physical objects.
  • Non material side of culture: Rules, beliefs, customs, capitalist economy, and family systems.
  • Culture and instincts are different but if you were controlled by only instincts, humans would all behave in the same way with the respect of those instincts.
  • Sociobiology: is the systematic study of how biology influences human behavior.
  • Language frees humans from limits of time and place.
  • Types of norms: mores, taboo, laws.
  • Sanctions: rewards and punishments used to encourage conformity to norms.
  • Formal Sanctions: Sanctions that may be applied only by officially designated people. (example- teachers and judges)
  • Informal Sanctions: Sanctions that can be applied by most members of a group.
  • Ideal culture: cultural guidelines publicly embraced by members of a society.
  • Real Culture: Actual behavior patterns, usually will conflict with these guidelines.
  • Subculture: Part of the dominant culture but differs from it in important respects.
  • Counterculture: Subculture that is deliberately opposed to certain attitudes or beliefs of the dominant culture.


  • Socialization: Cultural process of learning to participate in group life.
  • Self-concept: your image of yourself having an identity separate from other people.
  • Imitation stage: Begins around one and a half or two years old, child imitates the verbal and physical behavior of a significant other.
  • Play Stage: The stage where a child takes on roles of others one at a time.
  • Game stage: Children learn to engage in more sophisticated roles as they are able to consider the roles of many people simultaneously.
  • Peer group: Composed of individuals of roughly the same age with the same interests.
  • Life Cycle: Stages pf development people will go through between birth and death.
  • Stages of life cycle: Childhood, adolescence,adulthood, and old age.
  • Five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance.
  • Desocialization: Process where people give up old norms, attitudes, behaviors and values.
  • Resocialization: Process where people adopt new attitudes, norms, values and behaviors.

Inequalities of Race and Ethnicity

  • Minority: The smaller number or part, especially a number that is less than half of the whole number.
  • Key features of a minority:
- A minority has distinctive physical or cultural characteristics that can be used to separate members of the minority from the majority.

-The majority dominates the minority.

-Members of the majority often will consider the minority traits to be inferior.

Members of a minority usually will have a common sense of strong group loyalty and identity.

- Members in the minority group is an ascribed status applied by the majority.

  • Race: Members of a race share biologically inherited physical characteristics that are considered important within society.
  • Racism: extreme prejudice based on race.
  • Ethnic minority: Socially identified by unique characteristics related to nationality or culture.
  • Assimilation: blending of minority group and the dominant society.
  • Genocide: systematic effort to destroy an entire population.
  • Institutionalized discrimination: results from unfair practices that are part of the structure of society that have grown out of traditional behaviors.

Inequalities of Gender

  • Biological determinism: the belief that behavioral differences are the result of inherited physical characteristics.
  • Gender Identity: Awareness of being feminine or masculine, based of culture.
  • According to conflict theory, it is to men's advantage to prevent women from gaining access to economic, social, and political resources.
  • Brains of men and women: men show more actively in a region of the brain. The female brain is less specialized than the male brain. Women have more activity in a more highly developed region of the brain.
  • Women tend to use both sides of the brain simultaneously when performing a task unlike men who process verbal tasks on the left side of the brain when women use both.
  • Gender Socialization: Focus on how girls and boys learn to act the way they are "Supposed to act".
  • Sexism: Defined as a set of attitudes, beliefs, norms, and values used to justify gender inequality.
  • Women's earnings: In 2010, girls who worked the same hours and jobs as men, would only earn 81 cents per dollar earned by men. It has gotten better, though, at the rate were going, it will take 30 more years before it will be equal.

Inequalities of Age

  • Ageism: A set of attitudes, beliefs, values, and norms used to justify prejudice and discrimination against a particular age group.
  • Interest groups: organized to influence political decision making.
  • Age stratification: when the unequal distribution of scarce resources in a society is based on the age of a person.
  • According to functionalists, elderly people are treated according to the role the aged play in that society.
  • Sociologists believe that the best way of exposing the blaming of elderly is to start considering them as a minority.
  • Elderly poverty level: Elderly poverty level has risen from 9.7 percent to 18.7 percent, which is greater than any other ages group, including children.
  • Large numbers of Americans over 65 live in poverty or close to it.
  • Interest groups: Organized to influence political decision making.
- Millions of Americans belong to interest groups that target ageism. (example: AARP- American Association of Retired Persons).

Connections Between These Topics

These topics all are intertwined in the topic of Sociology. They are all interesting topics that help you understand society and culture. The chapters about ageism, sexism, and racism all had similarities. They talked about minorities and how people get treated differently by looks, gender, and age. It's not fair, but it happens and needed to be addressed. They all are very similar but each had different, interesting information. Culture and socialization also have similarities. Sociology is made up a lot by socialization and especially with things that have to do with culture.

Why These Topics are Applicable

Each and every one of these topics are applicable in my life because of how important they are and how they affect the World. Every topic we discussed this semester was full of relevant information that taught me more about society. With this class I got a better grip on what different minorities and societies are like. I enjoyed this class very much.

Connecting Topics to Real Life Events

  • One example to the chapter about inequalities about race and ethnicity is a real life event from the past that became a movie. The movie was called "42". The main guy who the movie was about was the first African American Baseball player to play on a team of white people. It was a huge step in the world.
  • Another example is also a true story put into a movie called "The League of Their Own".This is with the chapter about inequalities of gender. It was very eye opening to see how different people were treated back then. It isn't perfectly equal still, but it is slowly getting better.