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Midterm Sociology Questions

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1. Describe manifest and latent functions from the Functionalist Theoretical perspective and give an example of each.

A manifest function is any function of an institution that is planned and intentional. An example would be our government and homeownership. In the past the government thought it would be a benefit to society to offer pieces of land and or home ownership to give the people a hopeful working and financial future, something they can take pride in and grow as a family. It was a great motivation for many people, they had pride in owning something of their own with value and investment to look forward to and both emotional and physical attachment.

A latent function would be a function of an institution or other social phenomenon that is unintentional and often unrecognized. My thoughts on this are that some people saw the financial gain in home ownership and took it to a new level. A stream of income could be had by this homeownership idea. Many people and someone we have heard of like Donald Trump is an example of latent effects on a planned manifest function. He has found a way to build great wealth through real estate in this country.

2. Why did many of the subjects in Solomon Ash's experiment with the three lines give answers that they knew to be in correct? What would you do?

I think they felt pressure to conform. It could be for many reasons; they did not want to rock the "boat". They wanted to be done with the experiment and get out of there so agreeing was easier etc. I do think I would answer correctly. I feel like I am confident in my decisions and If I saw something to be to true to me, I would say so.

3. Explain what is meant by diffusion of responsibility. Discuss how this phenomenon is influenced by group size and authority. Give specific examples.

Diffusion of responsibility is a psychological phenomenon in which people are less likely to take action or feel a sense of responsibility in the presence of a large group of people. In a large group of people, people may feel that individual responsibility to intervene is lessened because it is shared by all of the onlookers. It is also called the bystander effect. For instance you come up on a car accident on the freeway and there are many people driving past so you might think that since there are other cars around or that you did not actually witness what happened that someone else has already called for help. Another example would be the famous story of the woman who was going into her apartment building in New York and was stabbed in front of many witnesses and no one called for help assuming that someone else probably already did.

4. What is the relationship between language and culture (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis)? Use an example from



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