Professional Stratification

Extended Family – A family that consists of more than just the parents and children. Included in the extended family are uncles, aunts, grandparents, nephews, cousins or even less closely associated “relations.” In western countries the extended family rarely exists. The household consists of parents, children and an aunt is too small to be called an extended family.

Group – A frequently used concept in sociology and psychology:
1. Two or more people who satisfy the following conditions: the relationships between the members are independent;the behavior of the one influences the behavior of the other; and/or, the members share an ideology.
2. A collection of individuals who possess some common characteristics and who strive for a common goal. See also: Sociology/Psychology

Group Comparison – A comparison between two groups of individuals. It normally occurs on the basis of a statistically representative value, such as an average.

Group Dynamics – 1. An area of study that concentrates upon the group. It concentrates on the basic structure of the group, the laws that determine its development and that of larger units (such as institutions).
2. The dynamic whole of (desired and undesired) interactions between the members of a discussion group. Factors can appear or be studied that would not appear in other kinds of investigation. See also; Group/Group Discussion/Interaction

Immaterial Culture – Together with material culture that which forms to complete culture. It includes, for instance, table manners, religious convictions, driving regulations, etc.
See also: Material culture/Culture

Material Culture – Together with the immaterial culture that which forms the culture. It includes, for instance, chop sticks, prisons, oil tankers and garden gates. See also: Immaterial culture/Culture

  • Norm – A written or unwritten rule of behavior. One can distinguish universal, special and formal norms:
    Universal norm: A norm that is valid for everyone in a particular region, for example, not walking naked on the street, helping people in need, not injuring others.
  • Formal norm: A norm that is established by means of rules, codes and laws: stopping for a red traffic light.
  • Special Norm: A norm that is valid for only a particular social group (soldiers, priests, pop singers: wearing a uniform, remaining celibate, owning a yacht). See also: Culture

Organization – Structure of a group of people (with various sub-groups). This structure can last a long time and possess its own ideology – a business enterprise (General Motors), a hospital (Mayo Clinic), the R.A.F. See also: Group

Participating Observer – A researcher who takes part in the group that he is studying. He thus becomes a group member, for example, a researcher “shops” with a housewife.

Personal data – Syn: Socio-economic criteria/Socio economic characteristics
See: Socio-ecomic characteristics

Position – 1. Sociology and psychology: Special relationships (centered upon a particular individual).
2. Computers: One of the 12 parts (holes) of the column of a punch card. See also: Sociology/Psychology/Punch card

Prestige – The influence that an individual exercises through status, success, know-how. Prestige can only be enjoyed when an audience values the qualities shown by the individual. See also: Status

Profession – Syn: Occupation
The daily activity that ensures an individual’s income (often refers to occupations that requires advanced training – the law, teaching etc,) An individual remains linked to his profession: an unemployed lawyer does not ceased to be a lawyer. One’s a profession makes possible the ascent of the social ladder and is closely linked to education, income and social class. See also: Social classified

Professional Stratification – Syn: Occupational Stratification
A ranking of profession/occupation from low to high. These are often experimentally determined by sampling in the population. The stratification is closely related to the education, status, prestige and incomes of the various professional groups. See also: Stratification/Occupational classification

Reference Group – A group with an individual associates or compares himself. A group that people wish to join or a group of which people enjoy being a member, e.g., an exclusive club. Not everyone associates with the group of which he forms a part: most conscripted soldiers generally wish to leave the army as soon as they can. Reference implies that the norms and values of the group are those that the individual will gladly adopt, e.g.,wearing a tie, carrying a portable radio (“ghetto blasters”).

Regional Norm – Syn: Local Norm
A norm that is valid only in a particular place or region. See also: Norm

Role – A frequently used concept in sociology and psychology: the composite of norms and expectations that one has for people in a particular situation. The same person can fulfill many roles: father, consumer, chairman of a club, salesman, manager. See also: Norm

Role Behavior – The behavior of a role player: he or she acts according to what is expected of him (unless he or she is a rebel). The role behavior of a consumer includes a search of information, reading advertisements, buying products, etc. See also: Role

Roleplay – The playing of a particular role together with other players, By the imitation of another person’s behavior (expected or stereotyped), one learns to recognize it better; one also learns how others observe and interpret one’s own behavior. Role play can be important in such situations as buyer and seller, interviewer and interviewee. In training sessions- for instance, in training interviewers- this technique is sometimes used: the interviewer learns via the technique of role play how to better interpret the behavior of an interviewee. See also: Role/Briefing

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