Definitions: Starting Points Ch. 11-14

Chapter 11: Families and Socialization

Family: for the purpose of this chapter, any social unit, or set of social relations, that does what families are popularly imagined to do, by whatever means it does so.

Nuclear family: a group that usually consists of a father, a mother, and their children living in the same dwelling. Such a family comprises no more than three relationships: between spouses, between parents and children, and between siblings.

Extended family: multiple generations of relatives living together, or several adult siblings with their spouses and children who share a dwelling and resources. More than three kinds of relationship may be present.

Census family: a household that includes two spouses — married or cohabiting (if they have lived together for longer than one year) — with or without never-married children, or a single parent with one or more never-married children.

Socialization: the lifelong social learning a person undergoes to become a capable member of society, through social interaction with others, and in response to social pressures.

Primary socialization: learning that takes place in the early years of a person’s life that is crucial to the formation of an individual’s personality.

Secondary socialization: learning that occurs after childhood, usually involving learning specific roles, norms, attitudes, or beliefs, and sometimes involving self-imposed learning.

Anticipatory socialization: learning about and preparing for future roles, built on accumulated learning.

Resocialization: learning within social institutions aimed at retraining or reprogramming people.

Chapter 12: Schools and Formal Education

Education: a process designed to develop one’s general capacity for thinking critically, as well as a capacity for self-understanding and self-reliance.

Formal education: education received in accredited schools during formal teaching sessions.

Informal education: the variety of ways we undertake to gain knowledge for ourselves outside institutions of formal education (e.g. schools, colleges, and universities).

Training: a process designed to identify and practise specific routines that achieve desired results.

Hidden curriculum: lessons that are not normally considered part of the academic curriculum that schools unintentionally or secondarily provide for students.

Meritocracy: any system of rule or advancement where the rewards are strictly proportioned to the accomplishment and all people have the same opportunity to win these rewards.

Chapter 13: Churches and Religion

Religion: any system of beliefs about the supernatural, and the social groups that gather around these beliefs.

New religious movements (NRMs): groups and institutions comprising people who share similar religious or spritual views about the world but who are not part of mainstream religious institutions.

Church: any social location or building — church, mosque, synagogue, or temple — where people carry out religious rituals.

Seekers: people and groups who draw on the teachings of several religions and philosophies to fulfill their needs for spirituality.

Secularization: a steadily dwindling influence of formal (institutional) religion in public life.

Civil Religion: an organized secular practice that serves many of the same social functions as traditional religion, by giving people direction, explaining how the world works, and providing solidarity.

Chapter 14: Media and Mass Communication

Mass media: the technology that makes mass communication possible; it includes the printing press, radio, television, photocopier, and camera, among others.

Mass communication: the transmission of a message from a single source to multiple recipients at the same time.

Political economy perspective: a viewpoint that focuses on the ways private ownership affects what is communicated, and the ays it affects the exercise of power.

Conglomerate: a business structure that engages in several, usually unrelated business endeavours: for example, moviemaking gambling casinos, and alcoholic beverages.

Cross-ownership: a business structure in which one corporation owns media businesses of different types. For example, a large corporation may own newspapers, magazines, television networks, and radio channels.

Cultural studies perspective: a viewpoint that focuses on the types of communication to which people are regularly exposed and especially on messages conveying the dominant ideology.

Alternative media: channels of communication used by subordinate groups to promote their own messages and points of view.

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