SOC 4050/5050 Sociology of
Exam 1 Study Questions
- What is sociology? What is unique
about the sociological approach? How do
sociologists see human beings and explain human behavior?
- What are some of the social systems and
structures that sociologists argue shape our daily
lives? How are theses systems and structures
produced? Where do they come from? How are
they related to each other?
- Discuss the assertion that families are
social constructions. What are some of the
implications of viewing families as humanly created?
- Discuss some of the variation in family
structure and form that has occurred historically and
cross-culturally. What are some factors that
account for this variation?
- Discuss each of the following as they
relate to the development of the Western family:
(a) the Greco-Roman family, (b) the Judeo-Christian
beliefs about family, (c) the Age of Chivalry and courtly
love, (d) industrialization and modernization, including
the rise of the modern state and economy, and (e) the
- Discuss the relationship between love,
sex and marriage and how this relationship has changed
- Discuss the evolution of the American
family from the colonial period to the present. How
has the American family changed? What factors
account for these changes?
- How would you characterize and describe the
contemporary American family?
- Discuss the impact of culture and sub-cultures on
family values, norms, structures, and behaviors? How do variations in
class, race, region, and religion impact family values, norms, structures,
- How are black families, Hispanic families, Asian
families, and Native American families similar to and different from white
families? How are they similar to and different from each other?
- Compare and contrast functionalist,
conflict, interactionist, phenomenological, and exchange
theories of the family. Which framework do you
think is most useful for understanding families?
- What are some of the methods used by sociologists to
study marriage and the family? What makes studying families more
difficult than studying most other social institutions?
- What is the difference between sex and gender?
In which of the two are sociologists most interested? From where do
gender differences come?
- What is gender socialization? Discuss how males and females are socialized differently
in the U.S. Is gender socialization changing?
- What are traditional gender roles? What is their source? How
and why are gender roles changing? Are these changes good or bad?
- What is love? What are its origins? Is all love the
same? Do men and women experience love in the same way? Explain
- How is love related to sexual attraction, infatuation, and
passion? What is its connection to friendship and companionship?
What about attachment and dependency or commitment and loyalty?
- Distinguish between verbal and non-verbal communication? What is
there relative importance to interpersonal relationships? Discuss how
gender impacts the use of both verbal and non-verbal communication in
interpersonal relationships? Discuss the different types of non-verbal
- Discuss the role of power in interpersonal relationships? From
where is power derived? Is power in interpersonal relationships
relatively fixed and stable or is it situational and negotiable?
Explain your answer.