agricultural society

society that uses farming technology, enabling the massive harvesting of crops


process of adopting the practices of another culture to become a fully integrated member of mainstream society


type of power that is exercised over people and is accepted as legitimate by members of society


idea people hold to be unwaveringly true, rooted in the shared values of a culture

collective identity

shared identity of a group that draws from its members' common interests and experiences

conflict theory

theory that society is characterized by conflict between social groups. Groups with unequal power and competing interests compete for scarce resources.


group that actively opposes widely accepted cultural patterns in the larger society

cultural hegemony

dominance of one cultural group over a broader society

cultural relativism

approach that posits that all cultures are equal in value and avoids viewing or judging a culture from the perspective of another culture


set of shared practices, symbols, values, beliefs, norms, and traditions that shape a specific society or group

culture shock

feeling of disorientation or strangeness people may experience when they find themselves in an unfamiliar cultural environment


perspective based on the belief that one's own culture is a universal norm. It promotes value judgments about cultures.


practice of considering the history, culture, and traditions of western Europe as universal norms

feudal society

strictly defined system of power based on land ownership and the protection of resources


approach that views society as a system of parts working together to maintain a social equilibrium

horticultural society

society that has a tribal organization that relies on the immediate environment but has stabilized crops and permanent settlements

hunter-gatherer society

tribally based society; relies on the immediate environment to collect food and resources

industrial society

uses engines to power machines, facilitating manufacturing and mass production

mass media

platforms of information that reach masses of people, such as television, radio, film, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet


philosophical or political view that promotes cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity


cultural expectation for behavior

pastoral society

society defined by the ability to farm and breed animals and by specialized occupations

popular culture

cultural products, such as art, literature, fashion, film, cyberculture, print media, and music, that are consumed by the majority of members of a society

postindustrial society

society that relies on digital technology and emphasizes the production and distribution of knowledge


ability of individuals or groups to achieve their goals, despite resistance

preindustrial society

society characterized by the use of machines powered by human or animal labor, the use of resources available in the immediate environment, and social structure based on kinship ties


process through which people learn the values, norms, beliefs, and expectations of their society


human-made system that organizes and connects people who interact, live in a defined territory, and share a culture


small group within society with its own set of cultural patterns


something that carries meaning to people who share a culture