Indicate whether the statement is true or false.
____ 1. Humans are essentially social beings.
____ 2. America is so powerful that it doesn’t need the support of other nations.
____ 3. Unlike other aspects of society, like the economy, the media have not become truly global in
____ 4. The most widely accepted definitions of sociology as a discipline are those that are narrow and
____ 5. When we ask psychologists to help us understand the behavior of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold,
who murdered 13 people and injured 24 more at Columbine High School in 1999, we are using our
____ 6. If a sociologist attempts to study whether men are really less emotional than women, she is
taking the role of the social analyst, rather than the everyday actor.
____ 7. The poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant” suggests that there is only one correct approach to
understanding social life.
____ 8. Conflict theory uses a dynamic model of historical change that presents change as constant,
ongoing, and inevitable.
____ 9. W. E. B. Du Bois became so disillusioned with the United States that he voluntarily exiled himself
to Ghana near the end of his life.
____ 10. Thomas Kuhn, a philosopher of science, argues that truth is relative, in that it is dependent on
the paradigm through which one understands the world.
____ 11. You are about to do a series of interviews about drug abuse and academic performance. In
order to make people feel more comfortable, you tell them that these interviews are about student
satisfaction with the university and have them sign a form showing that they’ve willingly agreed to
participate. You have the informed consent of your research subjects.
____ 12. The order in which a questionnaire asks about different issues cannot affect the way people
____ 13. Codes of ethics in the social sciences provide very strict guidelines for researchers to follow.
____ 14. Market research is probably the most common use of sociological methods for nonacademic
____ 15. Marxists are among the strongest supporters of value-free sociology.
Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question.
____ 16. Sociologists observe society:
a. by studying the various parts of a society and the ways they interact and influence each other
b. by studying the shape and boundaries of society as a whole
c. by studying society as if it were a concrete object, in the same way that a geologist studies rocks
d. by utilizing the preconceptions, assumptions, and beliefs that come from living in a society
e. through the use of special scientific tools that allow unmediated access to the very heart of society
____ 17. Even though a small number of people have been academically trained as sociologists, we all
can be described as “natural sociologists” because:
a. we are born with certain skills that naturally allow us to think sociologically
b. society is a part of nature, so everyone has to be a natural sociologist
c. our parents taught us to be sociologists even before they sent us to school
d. we are all members of society and so have a great deal of background knowledge about how society
e. sociologists are really just observers of conventional wisdom
____ 18. Howard Becker said that sociology can be best understood as the study of people “doing things
together.” This definition reminds us that:
a. neither society nor the individual exists in isolation; each is dependent on the other
b. sociology is only interested in the way people act, not in the way they think
c. only large-scale interactions that involve many people can be understood by sociologists
d. people must have some knowledge of each other before they can really do anything together
e. individuals exist independently of society and can be understood without considering social influence
____ 19. Most sociologists specialize in one particular method of study. The first distinction is usually
made between qualitative and quantitative methodologies. What do quantitative sociologists do
differently from qualitative sociologists?
a. Quantitative sociologists preserve the detail and diversity of their data so that each individual piece of
information can be analyzed to determine its meaning.
b. Quantitative sociologists look for signs of social conflict and tension in their data.
c. Quantitative sociologists translate their data into numbers so that it can be analyzed mathematically
d. Quantitative sociologists look for data exclusively in traditional cultures.
e. Quantitative sociologists only do interviews.
____ 20. Regardless of which methodology they use, what are all sociologists trying to do?
a. explain why social change happens
b. illuminate the connection between the individual and society
c. explain why poverty and inequality still exist
d. compare the present with the past
e. understand how our society is different from other cultures and other times
____ 21. What is the sociological imagination?
a. a property of society that ensures that people remain ignorant of the connections between their lives
and social change
b. a particular way of understanding the criminal mind, such as that of a serial killer
c. the sociological approach that assumes that large-scale social institutions structure individual
d. the ability to understand the connections between biography and history, or the interplay of the self
and the world
e. the sociological approach that assumes that individual decisions and interactions create larger social
____ 22. Bernard McGrane suggests we should practice using a beginner’s mind, the opposite of an
expert’s mind. Usually it’s good to be an expert. Why should we try to think like beginners instead?
a. An expert’s mind is so full of facts and assumptions that it has difficulty learning anything new.
b. To better understand the world, we need to defamiliarize ourselves with it.
c. We need to unlearn what we already know in order to become better sociologists.
d. A beginner’s mind allows us to approach the world without knowing in advance what we will find.
e. The approach of a beginner’s mind is more readily accepted by whoever is being studied.
____ 23. What does it mean to say that America is both a nation and an ideal?
a. All Americans have strong beliefs and ideals that are important to them.
b. America is both a geographic location and also an ideal concept that situates its citizens within a
c. America has standards, but it doesn’t always live up to them.
d. As a geographic place, America has certain principles of law that govern how government is
e. Everyone in the United States has a different understanding of what it means to be American.
____ 24. Most people are interested in the lives of others, but usually we express this only through
daytime talk shows and tabloid media. Although this sort of interest is completely understandable,
sociologists would say that it is sensationalistic and very selective. How does a sociological perspective
help to solve this problem?
a. It decreases our interest in daytime talk shows.
b. It helps us understand the people who appear on such shows in terms of individual pathology.
c. It allows us to see connections between individual experience and larger social patterns.
d. It increases the prurient value of such programs and makes them more appealing.
e. all of the above
____ 25. Although everyday cultural practices, such as greeting a friend, giving flowers, or using the
thumbs-up sign, seem like natural ways of acting, an awareness of how they vary across cultures
demonstrates a healthy sociological imagination because:
a. it ensures that we don’t accidentally make a faux pas
b. it reminds us that everyday interactions are connected to larger social structures
c. it helps us economically when we do business in different countries
d. it lets us understand how immigrants perceive America when they move here
e. all of the above
____ 26. The work of the French sociologist Jean Baudrillard, which inspired the movie The Matrix, is
fairly pessimistic about contemporary society. What is Baudrillard especially worried about?
a. that there are rising levels of inequality between the industrialized world and more traditional
b. that we’ve lost the ability to distinguish between reality and illusion
c. that racial hostility will ruin any chances for a meaningful democracy
d. that globalization will dilute the unique French identity as McDonald’s and Disney World take over
e. that rising levels of crime will make fear and apprehension the most common experiences of life in
cities in the twenty-first century
____ 27. According to William J. Mitchell, in The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic
Era, TV Guide once took a picture of Oprah and grafted her head onto the body of Ann-Margret.
Although this is an extreme example, Mitchell’s larger point is that almost every photo Americans now
look at in the media has been digitally altered, leading many to worry that:
a. we have lost the ability to distinguish between reality and special effects
b. Americans are spending too much time watching television
c. we are becoming a global village, all consuming the same media and becoming like one tribe
d. urban centers are becoming increasingly diverse, and some are important to a postmodern world
e. the United States is becoming part of a global community
____ 28. If you didn’t know anything about Pam Fishman but that Figure 1.2 features data from her
research, what could you logically determine about her?
a. that she is a conflict theorist
b. that she is a macrosociologist
c. that she is a structural functionalist
d. that she is very interested in inequality
e. that she is a microsociologist
____ 29. Look at the graphic representation of sociology’s Family Tree (figure 2.1). Given that they’re
both very influential in the classical stage of sociological theory, why are Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim
depicted so far apart?
a. Marx’s work is no longer considered very important.
b. Durkheim was greatly influenced by Marx, but not vice versa.
c. Emile Durkheim wasn’t really a sociologist, he thought of himself more as a psychologist.
d. The theoretical schools they founded are very different.
e. Durkheim was French, while Marx was born in Germany.
____ 30. Who coined the phrase “the survival of the fittest”?
a. Charles Darwin
b. Karl Marx
c. Emile Durkheim
d. Harriet Martineau
e. Herbert Spencer
____ 31. In Emile Durkheim’s work Suicide, he reported that suicide rates went up when the economy
slumped, but also spiked when the economy boomed. Which of Durkheim’s concepts from Chapter 2
explain why both positive and negative economic conditions could increase suicide rates?
c. mechanical solidarity
d. organic solidarity
____ 32. In 2008 Polish film maker Andrzej Wadja released his film Katyn, about the massacre of 20,000
Polish officers by the Soviet Union during World War II. When asked why he had made this movie,
Wadja said he wanted to make a film for “those moviegoers for whom it matters that we are a society
and not just an accidental crowd.” Wadja believed that it was still possible for people to be bound
together on the basis of shared traditions and experiences. In his statement, Wadja was expressing a
hope that Poland could still be united by:
a. organic solidarity
c. manifest functions
d. mechanical solidarity
____ 33. Karl Marx believed that the economy was closely related to other social processes, including
politics, values, beliefs, and norms. As a result, he also believed that:
a. the lower classes have the power to challenge the upper classes
b. the lower classes almost always understand the sources of their oppression
c. the ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling class
d. the ruling class has relatively little control over popular culture
e. the ruling ideas are meant to support the lower classes
____ 34. What was Marx criticizing when he said that religion is “the opiate of the masses”?
a. the lower classes
b. superstition and any belief in the supernatural
c. drug use and alcoholism
d. the use of religion by the ruling class
e. the way religion blinds people to scientific truth
____ 35. According to Karl Marx, how could a belief in heaven as a reward for earthly suffering serve the
interests of the ruling class?
a. by keeping the lower class from demanding better treatment in this life
b. by distracting the lower classes with gaudy spectacles
c. by using the church as a means to extract economic resources from the poor
d. by keeping the lower classes busy with religious activities so that they wouldn’t have time to organize
e. by making people meek
____ 36. In the United States today, the richest 20 percent of Americans have 85 percent of the
country’s wealth. Marx would call this:
c. social inequality
e. organic solidarity
____ 37. In Great Britain, in the eighteenth century, there were a series of Enclosure Acts, which broke
up small farms, forced many small farmers to move to large cities in search of wage labor, and increased
agricultural profits for landowners. What large-scale social system was this a part of?
b. agrarian utopianism
____ 38. If you were to hear someone singing a song with these lines:
It is we who plowed the prairies; built the cities where they trade;
Dug the mines and built the workshops, endless miles of railroad laid;
Now we stand outcast and starving midst the wonders we have made.
You might conclude, along with Karl Marx, that the people being described suffered from:
c. structural dysfunctions
e. a lack of solidarity
____ 39. In 1987, the software company Infocom released a game called Bureaucracy, scripted by the
science-fiction writer Douglas Adams. In the game, a character struggles to keep her blood pressure low
enough to avoid a heart attack while changing her address and dealing with a large, impersonal, and
inefficient bureaucracy. Although the game is meant to be humorous, what element of Bureaucracy
would be familiar to Max Weber?
b. the frustration that comes with dealing with a bureaucracy
c. the sense of humor and whimsy with which the game treats bureaucracies
d. the lack of efficiency associated with bureaucracies
e. the impersonal nature of bureaucracy
____ 40. Which two primary forces, according to Sigmund Freud, are essential to all human nature?
a. verstehen and disenchantment
b. Eros and Thanatos
c. ego and id
d. bourgeoisie and proletariat
e. self and society
____ 41. Although she made contributions to sociology, Jane Addams is perhaps best remembered for
her embrace of praxis, meaning that she:
a. was a pragmatist
b. acted on her intellectual convictions in practical ways
c. applied dialectics to her understanding of history
d. was the first person to translate Comte into English
e. embraced conflict theory
____ 42. Which if the following is a latent function of the educational system in the United States?
a. teaching reading and writing
b. keeping children out of trouble while parents are at work
c. preparing a modern workforce to use technology
d. instructing new immigrants in American values and history
e. all of the above
____ 43. Stricter control of the border between the United States and Mexico was implemented to curb
illegal immigration, but it also made illegal immigrants more likely to stay in the United States for longer
periods of time, as frequent border crossings became both dangerous and costly. The increase in the
number of illegal immigrants who stayed permanently or semipermanently is:
a. a manifest function of the border patrol
b. a latent function of increased security
c. a serious source of anomie
d. a source of mechanical solidarity
e. a cause for repression and sublimation
____ 44. Which of the following is a major critique of conflict theory?
a. It has a hard time explaining inequality.
b. It overemphasizes the importance of face-to-face interaction.
c. In focusing on conflict and change, it sometimes ignores the stable and enduring parts of society.
d. It overemphasizes continuity.
e. It fails to develop any theory of praxis that could help researchers put their theories into action.
____ 45. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer argue that:
Under monopoly all mass culture is identical, and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show
through. The people at the top are no longer so interested in concealing monopoly: as its violence
becomes more open, so its power grows. Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth
that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to justify the rubbish they deliberately
produce. They call themselves industries; and when their directors’ incomes are published, any doubt
about the social utility of the finished products is removed.
With which theoretical paradigm does this passage suggest that Adorno and Horkheimer identify?
a. queer theory
b. feminist theory
c. conflict theory
d. structural functionalism
e. symbolic interactionism
____ 46. Which social theory was developed mostly in the United States?
a. structural functionalism
d. symbolic interactionism
e. conflict theory
____ 47. According to symbolic interactionism, what is the relationship between the self and society?
a. The development of a sense of self is guided by society.
b. The self is shaped by society, but society is also shaped by the self.
c. Society is a product of individual actions.
d. Both the self and society are created by the course of history.
e. Both the self and society are shaped by larger external forces.
____ 48. Which of the following is an important aspect of symbolic interactionism?
a. the idea that the working class does not understand the true source of their oppression
b. the idea that society is mainly stable, orderly, and functional
c. the idea that individuals are mainly unaware of their role in a larger economic system
d. the idea that society is produced and reproduced by individuals interacting with each other, especially
e. the idea that conflict is the source of all social change
____ 49. Which theoretical perspective shows how large-scale social structures are produced by
individuals at the micro level?
c. social Darwinism
d. symbolic interactionism
e. structural functionalism
____ 50. Before beginning a research project, what will a good researcher always do?
a. use the scientific method to evaluate his survey questions
b. review the literature in order to become familiar with earlier research that relates to his topic
c. clearly define his variables
d. look for correlations between two or more different phenomena
e. form a hypothesis
____ 51. What do you call broad theoretical models of the social or natural world?
d. grounded theory
____ 52. A paradigm shift is a major break in the assumptions that are used to understand the world.
What causes a paradigm shift?
a. the study of history
b. new data forces a new way of looking at the world
c. religion and theology
d. increased awareness of the current paradigm
e. objective knowledge of the world
____ 53. A graduate student is almost done with his dissertation when he is informed that twenty years
ago someone did a very similar project and already demonstrated what he had hoped to be the first to
discover. What basic step of the scientific method could have saved him from this problem?
a. developing an operational definition
b. selecting a research method
c. analyzing data
d. reviewing the literature
e. creating relevant variables
____ 54. What are the goals of ethnography?
a. to explain ethnic differences using qualitative methods
b. to develop quantitative data sets that allow researchers to discover correlations
c. to conduct interviews with people who have very different ways of life
d. to describe activities sociologists observe and to understand what those activities mean to the people
e. to develop ethics and standards for sociological research
____ 55. What does it mean if ethnographers are overt about their roles?
a. They maintain narrow and limited definitions of appropriate research methodologies.
b. They spend a great deal of time reflecting on their roles in the research process.
c. They observe and record data without letting anyone know they are doing research.
d. They openly admit that they are doing sociological research.
e. They make their hypotheses explicit.
____ 56. Which of the following research techniques focuses on gaining an insider’s perspective of the
everyday lives of subjects under investigation, often dispelling stereotypes about the group being
a. participant observation
c. the analysis of existing data
e. content analysis
____ 57. The sociologist Mitch Duneier wrote his ethnography, Sidewalk, about street vendors in New
York City’s Greenwich Village. While writing the book, Duneier was particularly concerned that the
people he was studying would alter their behavior when he was present, especially since his background
was very different from theirs. What do sociologists call this problem?
b. response rate
e. thick description
____ 58. In her ethnography, Wheeling & Dealing, Patricia Adler investigates the social and professional
worlds of midlevel cocaine and marijuana smugglers. Her research started serendipitously when she
discovered that her next-door neighbor and friend was a drug smuggler; this was a huge advantage for
her because it meant that she already had ____________ with one of her informants.
a. informed consent
c. thick description
____ 59. One of Mitch Duneier’s main conclusions in his ethnography of street vendors in New York City
was that, despite the chaos and disorder they seem to bring to the street, the opportunity to sell
something actually gave vendors a sense of purpose and dignity. Disputing aspects of New York’s
crackdown on petty and nonviolent crimes, Duneier argues that politicians have failed to distinguish
between physical signs of decline, like graffiti, and street vendors who are working to improve their
lives. Which of the following advantages of ethnography does Duneier’s research demonstrate?
a. The detailed nature of ethnographies can help to reshape the stereotypes that we hold about others
and that are often the basis for social policy.
b. Ethnographies offer a means of studying groups that are often overlooked with other methods.
c. Ethnographies allow respondents to speak in their own words.
d. Ethnographies are not always representative.
e. Ethnographic research can be used to gather data on a population that is too large to study by other
____ 60. When he was writing Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture, the
ethnographer Walter Williams was always very open about his own sexual orientation, because he
believed that being open with the people he was studying was the only way to establish a trusting and
sharing interaction with them. What was Williams concerned with?
b. thick description
____ 61. Researchers should try to avoid double-barreled questions, or questions that:
a. ask about multiple issues
b. use emotional language that may bias the respondent
c. are vague or ambiguous
d. have a hidden agenda
e. allow for a wide variety of responses
____ 62. Researchers are often worried that interviewees have not been completely honest or
forthcoming, especially when asked about sensitive subjects. How did Arlie Hochschild attempt to deal
with this problem?
a. She asked each question in different ways to try to trap respondents in contradictions.
b. She interviewed each spouse separately to see if their stories matched.
c. She observed some respondents as they went about their daily routines to see if their actions
matched their answers.
d. She confronted respondents when they give answers that seemed dubious.
e. When respondents seemed to be giving questionable answers, she used leading questions.
____ 63. Which of the following is NOT a disadvantage of using interviews to conduct social research?
a. Interviewees are allowed to speak in their own words.
b. Interviewees are not always truthful.
c. Interviewees can be difficult to talk to.
d. Interviews are time consuming.
e. It can be difficult to generalize from interviews because the sample size is usually small.
____ 64. Why do social scientists who use interviews rarely speak with large numbers of people for a
a. It is hard to find people willing to be interviewed.
b. The transcription process takes a long time.
c. There are usually very few people who are interesting enough to be interviewed.
d. Face-to-face interviewing is a very time consuming process.
e. The data is so rich that only a few interviews are needed.
____ 65. Arlie Hochschild was concerned that her sample of interviewees was too small to guarantee
representativeness. How did Hochschild attempt to overcome this problem?
a. by very carefully selecting only totally representative interviewees
b. by deciding that she didn’t need to generalize to any larger population
c. by asking only open-ended questions
d. by doing follow-up interviews with each interviewee
e. by comparing demographic information about her interviewees with information about her target
____ 66. While it is always important to ask clear and unambiguous questions regardless of the method
that you use, it is especially important to avoid confusion when conducting surveys. Why?
a. Survey research methods commonly use statistics.
b. When using survey research methods, the researcher is usually not present to clarify any
c. Confusing and ambiguous questions create an ethical dilemma.
d. Survey researchers talk to many people.
e. Survey research tends to look at large-scale social patterns.
____ 67. When writing questions for a survey, researchers must avoid all of the following EXCEPT:
a. leading questions
b. double-barreled questions
c. negative questions
e. open-ended questions
____ 68. One of the key methods used to do political polling is random-digit dialing, in which every
phone number in an area code has an equal chance of being selected to take part in a survey. However
researchers have noticed that young people are more likely to only use a cell phone, and people with
cell phones are less likely to answer a call from an unknown number. As a result, polling organizations
often count responses from young people as being worth “more” than those from older people. What is
this technique called?
c. probability sampling
d. Likert scales
e. leading questions
____ 69. In 1936 The Literary Digest conducted a survey to predict the winner of the presidential
election. It sent ten million surveys to a variety of households identified through phone books,
automobile registries, and magazine subscriptions. Two million people returned the surveys and showed
a very strong preference for Alf Landon over Franklin Roosevelt. What was the response rate?
a. 20 percent
b. 10 million
c. 50 percent
d. 2 percent
e. 100 percent
____ 70. Which of the following are disadvantages of using existing sources of data for research?
a. Researchers often seek answers to questions that the data doesn’t directly address.
b. Researchers have to spend a great deal of time and money to get the data.
c. Researchers do not always understand how the data was interpreted or what it meant in its original
d. both A and B
e. both A and C
____ 71. Why are social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace so exciting to sociologists who
study social networks?
a. For the first time, social networking sites offer sociologists a data set rich enough to test ideas that
until now have only been theorized.
b. For the first time, sociologists have realized just how much the internet has changed social networks.
c. For the first time, sociologists don’t have to spend the time and money to go talk to people and can do
all their work from a computer.
d. For the first time, sociologists can find out what young people’s social networks look like.
e. For the first time, sociologists can track the spread of urban legends.
____ 72. What is the primary goal of comparative and historical research methods?
a. to enhance the validity of experiments
b. to understand relationships between parts of society in different times and different places
c. to uncover issues that been neglected by mainstream social research
d. to select participants who are very similar so that the independent variable can be isolated
e. to produce data that can be used to encourage social change
____ 73. What does it mean for a sociologist to control for a variable?
a. Research subjects are divided into two groups.
b. Change over time is measured in a dependent variable.
c. One group is allowed to understand the nature of the experiment while the other group is kept in the
d. Precise tools are developed with which to measure a variable.
e. All factors except for the independent variable are taken into account.
____ 74. A recent sociological experiment sought to determine the exact role that social support plays in
the health of expectant mothers. To conduct the experiment, the researchers asked midwives to flip a
coin each time they received a new client, and if it came up heads to try as hard as possible to put the
client in contact with others who could provide social support. If the coin came up tails, the midwives
would not discourage the woman from receiving social support, but would not facilitate it. What is the
dependent variable in this experiment?
a. coin flips
c. social support
e. expectant mothers
____ 75. When Elton Mayo did his now-classic experiment on worker productivity, he found that he
could increase productivity by changing variables in a work environment, but also that changing
variables back increased productivity. What did he conclude was the true cause of the increase in
a. a decrease in sick days
b. his own bias
c. the effect of being studied
d. the effect of change in the workplace, as it broke workers’ routines and made them more alert
e. increased lighting and longer breaks