Human-created social categories and characteristics acquired through some combination of personal choice, effort, and ability.
Human-created social categories and characteristics that are the result of chance in that people exert no effort to obtain them. Birth order, race, sex, and age qualify.
Group members hold statuses and enact roles tat relate to the group’s purpose.
Relatively stable and predictable social arrangement created and sustained by people that have emerged over time with the purpose of coordinating human activities to meet some need such as food, shelter, or clothing. Institutions consist of statuses, roles, and groups.
A status that takes on such great importance that it overshadows all other statuses a person occupies. That is, it shapes every aspect of life and dominates social interactions.
A group characterized by strong emotional ties among members who feel an allegiance to one another.
The behavior expected of a status in relation to another status. Ex: brother in relation to sister, the role of physician in relation to patient.
A predicament in which the roles associated with two or more distinct statuses that a person holds conflict in some way.
Norms about how a role should be enacted relative to other statuses.
The actual behavior of the person occupying a role.
The various role relationships with which someone occupying a status in involved.
A predicament in which there are contradictory or conflicting role expectations associated with a single status.
Groups that consist of two or more people who interact for a specific purpose. Secondary group relationships are confined to a particular setting and specific tasks. Members relate to each other in terms of specific roles.
A human-created and defined position in society such as female, teenager, patient, retiree, sister, homosexual, and heterosexual.
A largely invisible system that coordinates human activities in broadly predictable ways. It shapes relationships and opportunities to connect to others; gives people an identity; put up barriers to accessing resources and people; and determines the relative ease or difficulty with which those barriers can be broken.
All the statuses any one person assumes.
Division of Labor
Work that is broken down into specialized tasks, each performed by a different set of workers trained to do that task. The labor and resources needed to manufacture products often come from many locations around the world.
A web of closely to loosely knit social relationships linking people to one another.
Two people who have more than a superficial knowledge of each other’s personality and life; they know each other in a variety of ways.
The smallest group, consisting of two people.
Rule by the few, or the concentration of decision-making power in the hands of a few persons who hold the top positions in a hierarchy.
A two-person group in which the parties know little about each other’s personality and personal life; and what they do know is confined to a specific situation, such as the classroom, a hair salon, or other specialized setting.
A three-person group that is sociologically significant because a third person added to a two-person group significantly alters the pattern of interaction between them.