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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 culture, the shared system of beliefs and feelings that guides people's customary behavior as members of society and that gives each society its unity and unique identity.

You will learn to distinguish between ideal and real culture, You will become familiar with the role of feelings such as ethnocentrism in perpetuating people's allegiance to their way of life while inhibiting understanding of other cultures.

You also will learn about culture shock and about the anthropological concept of cultural relatively as an anthropological tool for better understanding the meanings of customs.

Finally you will learn about the two basic approaches anthropologists use to understand cultures: humanistic interpretation of cultures and scientific explanation of cultures.

Assignment PDF eBook: 
Chapter 2: Cultural Anthropology Assignment
Download #2 Anthropology Culture Assignment PDF eBook
51 Pages
English US
Educational Materials

Sample Questions from the Chapter 2: Cultural Anthropology Assignment Assignment

Question: Which of the following best defines culture?


the pattern of ideas and feelings of a people and the customs that are related to them.

the pattern of a people’s ideas and the customs based on them

a people’s customs and rules for living, based on a pattern of legal concepts

biologically predetermined behavior patterns

Question: Ruth Benedict’s book Patterns of Culture illustrated which of the following:


Cultures do not differ much in the kinds or amounts of emotions they encourage a people to express.

Cultures differ in the kinds and amounts of emotions they encourage a people to express.

Cultures provide guidelines that mold people’s behavior, but many members in any society deviate from those guidelines.

Cultures encourage emotional reactions to similar situations but cannot control emotional intensity.

Question: Which of the following is true of belief systems?


Scientific beliefs are found only in complex societies.

Scientific beliefs are a distinctive trait of western cultures.

All cultures include beliefs that may be characterized as scientific.

Scientific beliefs are simply beliefs that are objectively true.

Question: According to the text, religious beliefs are _____________.


not based on real experiences

truths from a higher source

expressions of human feelings

beliefs that are informally organized

Question: Etiquette is best defined as _______________.


rules that define good and bad treatment of other people.

rules about religious obligations.

rules that govern manners and define what are considered courteous or civil ways of communicating.

any kind of value.

Question: How are the terms morality and piety related in this text?


Piety is a form of morality.

Morality is a form of piety.

Morality controls relationships between people, while piety controls relationships with the supernatural.

Both are kinds of beliefs.

Question: Which of the following is NOT a cultural universal?


youthful vitality and health are regarded as sexually attractive.

parents are expected to care for their young.

play and play-fighting function to establish status hierarchies.

a preference among men for women with high social status as mates.

Question: Which of the following is NOT an example of ideological communication?


small talk


a lecture on physics

being sworn in before giving testimony in court

Question: Which of the following best characterizes culture?


Cultures are homogeneously shared by members of society.

Diversity within a culture exists primarily because different specialists require different

"Culture" is really just an abstraction, since each individual has his or her own culture.

Although culture is said to be shared, everyone in a society does not share it equally.

Question: the idea that culture is a system that is governed by rules that are not explainable in terms of human biology but that must be studied as a phenomenon in its own right to identify the lawful characteristics that govern cultural processes





ethnic group










real culture

ideal culture



culture shock


cultural relativism


Question: A regional or social variant of a culture is called a(n) _______________.



ethnic group

minority group

local culture

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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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