MULTIPLE CHOICE. Choose the one alternative that best completes the statement or answers the question.


1) Garfinkel's research, called ethnomethodology, involves: 1) _______

A) studying unfamiliar cultural systems.

B) the study of interaction in terms of theatrical performance.

C) tracking people's roles over the life course.

D) studying the way people make sense of their everyday surroundings.


2) According to Lenski, the term sociocultural evolution refers to: 2) _______

A) cultural diffusion that brings ideas from other societies.

B) changes that occur as a society acquires new technology.

C) cultural diffusion that spreads ideas to other societies.

D) changes brought about by new ways of thinking.


3) What might a sociologist say about the reasons people select a marriage partner? 3) _______

A) Typically, a person marries someone of similar social background.

B) There is no accounting for personal taste.

C) People marry because they fall in love.

D) When it comes to love, opposites attract.


4) About how many adults in the United States speak a language other than English at home? 4) _______

A) 45 million B) 25 million C) 10 million D) 5 million


5) By saying that the sociological perspective shows us "the strange in the familiar," the text argues that sociologists: 5) _______

A) believe that people often behave in strange ways.

B) focus on the bizarre elements of society.

C) reject the familiar idea that people simply decide how to act in favor of the initially strange idea that society shapes our lives.

D) believe that even people who are most familiar to us have some very strange habits.


6) What term refers to measuring exactly what one intends to measure? 6) _______

A) repeatability B) reliability

C) congruence D) validity


7) The text defines which term as "a mental construct that represents some part of the world in a somewhat simplified form"? 7) _______

A) a concept B) operationalization

C) measurement D) a variable


8) C. Wright Mills pointed out that sociological awareness tends to be more widespread: 8) _______

A) among the very rich.

B) among members of the majority.

C) during times of peace and prosperity.

D) in times of crisis.


9) Peter Berger described using the sociological perspective as seeing the ________ in the ________. 9) _______

A) specific; general B) good; worst tragedies

C) general; particular D) new; old


10) According to Mead, social experience involves: 10) ______

A) the exchange of symbols.

B) acting but not thinking.

C) a mix of biological instinct and learning.

D) understanding the world in terms of our senses.


11) Tact is a common response in potentially embarrassing situations because: 11) ______

A) our cultural norms demand looking out for others.

B) everyone feels discomfort when a constructed reality breaks down.

C) we like most people we interact with.

D) most people are kind.


12) The Thomas theorem states that: 12) ______

A) people know the world only through their language.

B) a role is as a role does.

C) people rise to their level of incompetence.

D) situations defined as real are real in their consequences.


13) A theory states that increasing a person's formal education results in increased earnings over a lifetime. In this theory, "higher education" is the: 13) ______

A) random variable. B) spurious variable.

C) dependent variable. D) independent variable.


14) As societies generate a greater productive surplus, their people also: 14) ______

A) gain more productive specialization.

B) become less warlike.

C) become more socially equal.

D) All of the above are correct.


15) In the process of measurement, reliability refers to: 15) ______

A) whether you are really measuring what you want to measure.

B) how dependable the researcher is.

C) whether repeating the measurement yields consistent results.

D) whether or not everyone agrees with the study's results.


16) While Marx followed a philosophical approach called ________, Max Weber followed an approach called ________. 16) ______

A) idealism; materialism B) rationality; tradition

C) tradition; rationality D) materialism; idealism


17) On average, a U.S. household has at least one television turned on for ________ hours a day. 17) ______

A) fifteen B) two C) seven D) five


18) Durkheim claimed that one of the functions of society is to: 18) ______

A) help free people from human culture.

B) maintain the highest level of personal privacy.

C) help people "be all they can be."

D) regulate individuals, reining in their desires and passions.


19) At a given time you occupy a number of statuses. These are your: 19) ______

A) social parameters. B) individual social structure.

C) status set. D) occupational range.


20) C. Wright Mills claimed that the "sociological imagination" transformed: 20) ______

A) people into defenders of the status quo.

B) personal problems into public issues.

C) scientific research into common sense.

D) common sense into laws of society.


21) Durkheim used the term ________ to designate a condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals. 21) ______

A) anomie B) alienation

C) false consciousness D) division of labor


22) Which early sociologist claimed that the important task was not to simply understand society but to change it? 22) ______

A) Herbert Spencer B) Emile Durkheim

C) Talcott Parsons D) Karl Marx


23) In the nature versus nurture debate, most social scientists believe that: 23) ______

A) nurture is far more important than nature.

B) nature is far more important than nurture.

C) neither nature nor nurture creates the essence of our humanity.

D) nature and nurture have equal importance.


24) Which of the three millennial prophesies does Shweder identify most strongly with?

A) Cosmopolitan Liberals overseeing a culturally diverse world

B) Global Americanism

C) Diverse Cultures with uniformly high material standards of living


25) Ethnocentrism refers to:

A) judging another culture as better than one's own.

B) judging another culture by its own standards.

C) judging another culture by the standards of one's own culture.

D) taking pride in one's ethnicity.


26) Compared to college students of the late 1960s, more of today's college students are likely to be concerned with

A) developing a philosophy of life.

B) making money.

C) being involved in political affairs.

D) seeking justice in the world.


27) What process involves deciding exactly what is to be measured when assigning value to a variable?

A) operationalization B) validity

C) reliability D) conceptualization


28) Patterns of socialization vary by class; in child-rearing, lower-class parents stress ________, while well-to-do parents stress ________.

A) independence; protecting children

B) creativity; obedience

C) independence; dependence

D) obedience; creativity


29) According to Erving Goffman, the goal of a total institution is:

A) to help integrate a troubled patient into the outside world.

B) to encourage lifelong learning in a supervised context.

C) to radically alter a person's personality or behavior.

D) to give a person greater choices about how to live.


30) Marx described the widespread beliefs that supported the capitalist economic system as:

A) cultural consciousness. B) false consciousness.

C) class consciousness. D) revolutionary consciousness.


31) Cultural integration refers to the fact that:

A) change in one cultural pattern is usually linked to changes in others.

B) everyone is the United States shares most cultural values.

C) U.S. society contains many cultural patterns.

D) European cultural patterns dominate U.S. society.


32) Sociologists claim the main reason that many young people in the United States experience adolescence as a time of confusion is:

A) the effect of hormones as young people mature.

B) growth always involves change.

C) cultural inconsistency in defining this stage of life as partly childlike and partly adultlike.

D) All of the above are correct.


33) What is the term for the beliefs, values, behavior, and material objects that together constitute a people's way of life?

A) social structure B) society

C) culture D) social system


34) Which of the following best describes a "well-told" joke?

A) The conventional and unconventional definitions of reality are virtually the same.

B) The unconventional social definition of reality is given first, followed by the conventional definition of reality.

C) There is a very sharp contrast between the conventional and unconventional definitions of reality.

D) All of the above are correct.


35) Which of the following definitely does not describe sociology accurately?

A) the systematic study of human societies

B) an attempt to understand why people act in certain ways to create, maintain, and change their world

C) an account of what social strategies have worked for better or worse in organizing human societies

D) the study of why particular human groups perceive the world in different ways


36) What did Zygmunt Bauman argue that sociology needs to fulfill its mandate?

A) a more educated public

B) more rigorous research methods

C) attention to the finer points of justice and ethics

D) an enlarged public forum to reimagine the world


37) The effort to give some social choices preference over other alternatives is called ___________?

A) morality

B) sociology

C) justice

D) ethics

E) responsibility


38) Zygmunt Bauman believes that the biggest weakness of modernity is ______?

A) its increasingly unrestrained global power

B) its ability to change the structure of our lives

C) its focus on efficiency, speed, and scale of performance

D) its restless, unevaluated, and directionless change

E) its vagueness in knowing how to apply its power


39) Both Zygmunt Bauman and C. Wright Mills agree that for the most part, the roots of whatever troubles us most and stands in the way of a dignified and morally satisfied life are stuck well beyond the reach of

A) governmental action

B) individual action

C) international action

D) collective action

E) legal action


40) The perspective of rational choice theory , or the idea that all individuals behave the way they do out of calculated self interest, was popularized by __________?

A) behavioral psychologists

B) economists

C) sociologists

D) anthropologists

E) historians


41) Which of these was not a “cult of authenticity” that I mentioned involving tourism?

A) historical experiences

B) wilderness experiences

C) adventure experiences

D) the paradise experience

E) the primitive cultural experience


42) Which of these countries' citizens work the most hours on average?

A) U.S.A.

B) Japan

C) Germany

D) China

E) France


43) A study bounded within a specific location and a specific institution is best referred to as a ______?

A) case study

B) ethnography

C) focus group

D) action research


44) The tendency to underestimate situational influences and overestimate individual character/disposition/abilities when explaining the behavior of a person or a group of people in a social context is called the ______________?

  1. confirmation bias
  2. self-reference effect
  3. fundamental attribution bias
  4. false uniqueness
  5. availability heuristic


45) The idea that if you reward someone to perform a behavior they already enjoy doing, they may begin to attribute that behavior to your external reward instead of their intrinsic internal motivations is called the _____________?

  1. overjustification effect
  2. bystander effect
  3. cognitive dissonance effect
  4. adaptation level phenomena
  5. spotlight effect


46. Facing the back of the elevator and shopping out of other people's carts at the supermarket are examples of what kind of experiment?

A) Natural B) Clinical C) Random D) Breaching E) Double Blind


47) The most advanced (hint: American) accommodation sharing project on the Internet is



48) Radical behaviorists believe in only two forces shaping how individuals act, which is not one of them?

  1. Genetic predisposition
  2. Punishment/reinforcement
  3. Free will


49) If a sociologist spends all his time doing statistical analysis on census data, Mills might accuse them of

  1. grand theory
  2. sociological imagination
  3. abstract empiricism


50) What is the world's newest nation? Hint: it was born out of Indonesian genocide 30 years ago

  1. Banda Ache
  2. East Timor
  3. Sri Lanka




Prefabricated Essay Question (if you are completely stumped on how to make a teaching tool and want to wait till Exam 2 to try your hand at it...)

You and your friends are taking a cross country road trip from Chicago to Portland, OR. Passing through the Badlands of South Dakota on highway 90, you come across a Lakota Indian souvenir shop selling imitations of indigenous tools and cultural relics to tourists. Stopping at the nearby reservation restaurant for lunch, you notice local newspaper articles on the wall describing a litany of intergenerational problems in the area: poverty, alcoholism, family breakup, unemployment, and loss of cultural identity. You think to yourself, "If they only had more guns on the rez, this would be worse than inner city Detroit". Your friends are all very bright people considering graduate studies in law, business, engineering, and medicine, but they have little knowledge sociological or historical perspective.

When you show some concern for the plight of this population, one friend tells you to put a band-aid on your bleeding heart and make them take responsibility for their own situation. Another suggests that indigenous people just aren't genetically suited to life in the Western world, citing propensity for alcoholism as evidence. Another says their cultural heritage is responsible, having irrationally shunned individual property rights for so long. Mostly, they seem appalled at these people who can't seem get their lives and their community in order… why can't they do better with all we've given them - a free place to live, affirmative action in schools and jobs, ethnic commodity markets, and the privilege of legally peddling vice through casinos? This is how you respond...

Using concepts you remember from the first few weeks of your introductory sociology course, you try to explain 1) why the disparities in standard of living between "us" and "them" are so wide in the broadest historical sense 2) how both parties' worldviews might be specifically limited by their background 3) some other potential ways to think about prospects for making life better for the last indigenous populations in North America. Now, you don't want to make them feel excessively guilty for being descendants of the people who killed, displaced, and oppressed this specific group because you know it won't help your rhetorical effectiveness. You try to abstract your argument out beyond the particularities of one group (and especially the one individual passed out drunk in the road) and the specific battles they have fought. You attempt to give them access to the bigger picture that the sociological imagination has to offer. You hit them from as many angles as possible, offering up micro and macro analyses of how and why most Americans view this situation in a common way (or are ignorant of it altogether). You anticipate the counterpoints they make and offer them reasoning that doesn't discount their points, but builds upon them to paint a clearer picture of the social issues at hand. When you get back home, you turn this conversation into an eloquent essay complete with some specifics (maybe citing web sources like wikipedia or the nat'l anthropological archives) on how natives have been represented both culturally and politically in America over the last hundred years.