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Chapter 0: Introduction to sociology 2e

Preface Read Online

About openstax

OpenStax is a non-profit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Our free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of modern college courses. Unlike traditional textbooks, OpenStax resources live online and are owned by the community of educators using them. Through our partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.

About this book

Welcome to Introduction to Sociology 2e , an OpenStax resource created with several goals in mind: accessibility, affordability, customization, and student engagement—all while encouraging learners toward high levels of learning. Instructors and students alike will find that this textbook offers a strong foundation in sociology. It is available for free online and in low-cost print and e-book editions.

To broaden access and encourage community curation, Introduction to Sociology 2e is “open source” licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. Everyone is invited to submit examples, emerging research, and other feedback to enhance and strengthen the material and keep it current and relevant for today’s students. You can make suggestions by contacting us at

To the student

This book is written for you and is based on the teaching and research experience of numerous sociologists. In today’s global socially networked world, the topic of sociology is more relevant than ever before. We hope that through this book, you will learn how simple, everyday human actions and interactions can change the world. In this book, you will find applications of sociology concepts that are relevant, current, and balanced.

To the instructor

This text is intended for a one-semester introductory course. Since current events influence our social perspectives and the field of sociology in general, OpenStax encourages instructors to keep this book fresh by sending in your up-to-date examples to so that students and instructors around the country can relate and engage in fruitful discussions.

General approach

Introduction to Sociology 2e adheres to the scope and sequence of a typical introductory sociology course. In addition to comprehensive coverage of core concepts, foundational scholars, and emerging theories we have incorporated section reviews with engaging questions, discussions that help students apply the sociological imagination, and features that draw learners into the discipline in meaningful ways. Although this text can be modified and reorganized to suit your needs, the standard version is organized so that topics are introduced conceptually, with relevant, everyday experiences.

Changes to the second edition

Part of the mission of the second edition update was to ensure the research, examples and concepts used in this textbook are current and relevant to today’s student. To this end, we have rewritten the introduction of each chapter to reflect the latest developments in sociology, history and global culture. In addition to new graphs and images, the reader of the second edition will find new feature boxes on a diverse array of topics, which has been one of the goals of the update—bringing the world into greater focus through case studies on global culture.

In this assignment you will learn about the building blocks of society:

groups, statuses, roles, division of labor, and rank. You will discover how our behavior is governed by culturally defined social roles and how these influence our standing in society.

You will learn that peoples' statuses in life and the roles are expected to play are sometimes assigned them for very arbitrary reasons such as their sex or race.

You will learn the principles that govern the concept of descent.

You will become familiar with the various kinds of descent groups that have formed the basic social organization of most human societies throughout history.

Finally, you will learn how people symbolize their family relationships with various kinship terminology systems.

Assignment PDF eBook: 
Chapter 8: Social Organization and Kinship
Download #8 Social Organization Assignment PDF eBook
53 Pages
English US
Educational Materials

Sample Questions from the Chapter 8: Social Organization and Kinship Assignment

Question: Kindreds are most typical of which of the following?


industrialized and foraging societies

horticultural and foraging societies

pastoral and industrialized societies

pastoral and horticultural societies

Question: Crow kinship terminology is associated with which of the following descent systems?




double descent


Question: Which of the following best defines a minority group?


a numerically small group compared with other groups in the same society

people who hold master statuses with low power and honor

an ethnic group

people who cannot hold a master status

Question: Scottish clans traced ancestry with which of the following descent systems?



double descent



Question: Which of the following kinship systems is used by most people in Canada and the United States?






Question: Patrilineality is LEAST likely under which of the following circumstances?


when fraternal work groups are important in making a living.

in frontier areas

where internal warfare is common.

where man are absent from home for prolonged periods.

Question: Human groups differ from those found in other social animals in which of the following ways?


They have economic significance.

They have no ranking.

They identify themselves symbolically.

They have geographical boundaries.

Question: a kinship group whose members can trace their lines of descent to the same ancestor


social organization


social structure


complementary statuses

ascribed statuses


master status


ethnic group






bilateral descent

unilineal descent




Eskimo kinship terminology>

Hawaiian kinship terminology

fictive kinship

Question: Which of the following is true of the idea of kinship?


It is synonymous with biological relationships.

It is based on a connection between siblings.

It is a way of defining social relatives, based on a biological connection.

Each child is the offspring of two parents.

Question: What best defines class?


All classes are kinds of castes.

class is a broad stratum that is made up of unrelated families.

Membership is determined by birth and individuals cannot move from one social stratum to another.

Class is based on religious concepts.

Question: Which of the following statuses is characterized by high honor but little power?


a judge

a traffic cop

a pastor

a garbage collector

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Source:  Prof. Richley Crapo, Cultural Anthropology. (Utah State University), (Accessed 28 Mar, 2014). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
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