Social Change

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Bottom of Form| | Sociology: A Brief Introduction, 4/eRichard T. Schaefer, DePaul University Glossary |
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Absolute poverty  | A standard of poverty based on a minimum level of subsistence below which families should not be expected to exist. (See 198) |
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Achieved status  | A social position attained by a person largely through his or her own efforts. (See 110, 190) |
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Activity theory  | An interactionist theory of aging that argues that elderly people who remain active will be best-adjusted. (See 276) |
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Adoption  | In a legal sense, a process that allows for the transfer of the legal rights, responsibilities, and privileges of parenthood to a new legal parent or parents. (See 303) |
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Affirmative action  | Positive efforts to recruit minority group members or women for jobs, promotions, and educational opportunities. (See 233, 371) |
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Ageism  | A term coined by Robert N. Butler to refer to prejudice and discrimination against the elderly. (See 279) |
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Agrarian society  | The most technologically advanced form of preindustrial society. Members are primarily engaged in the production of food but increase their crop yield through such innovations as the plow. (See 121) |

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Alienation  | The condition of being estranged or disassociated from the surrounding society. (See 141) |
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Amalgamation  | The process by which a majority group and a minority group combine through intermarriage to form a new group. (See 236) |
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Anomie  | Durkheim's term for the loss of direction felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective. (See 10, 168) |
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Anomie theory of deviance  | A theory developed by Robert Merton that explains deviance as an adaptation either of socially prescribed goals or of the norms governing their attainment, or both. (See 169) |

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Anticipatory socialization  | Processes of socialization in which a person "rehearses" for future positions, occupations, and social relationships. (See 89) |
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Anti-Semitism  | Anti-Jewish prejudice.
(See 247) |
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Apartheid  | The former policy of the South African government designed to maintain the separation of Blacks and other non-Whites from the dominant Whites. (See 237) |
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Argot  | Specialized language used by members of a group or subculture. (See 67) |
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Ascribed status  | A social position "assigned" to a person by society without regard for the person's unique talents or characteristics. (See 109, 190) |
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Assimilation  | The process by which a person forsakes his or her own cultural tradition to become part of a different culture. (See 237) |
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Authority  | Power that has been institutionalized and is recognized by the people over whom it is exercised. (See 356) |
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Bilateral descent  | A kinship system in which both sides of a person's family are regarded as equally important. (See 294) |
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Bilingualism  | The use of two or more languages in particular settings, such as workplaces or educational facilities, treating each language as equally legitimate. (See 70) |
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Birthrate  | The number of live births per 1,000 population in a given year. Also known as the crude birthrate. (See 384) |
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Black power  | A political philosophy promoted by many younger Blacks in the 1960s that supported the creation of Black-controlled political and economic institutions....
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