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Chapter 13 Vocabulary Terms

born againa term describing Christians who have undergone a life-transforming religious experience so radical that they feel they have become a "new person"
charismaliterally, an extraordinary gift from God; more commonly, an outstanding, "magnetic" personality
charismatic leaderliterally, someone to whom God has given an extraordinary gift; more commonly, someone who exerts extraordinary appeal to a group of followers
churchaccording to Durkheim, one of the three essential elements of religion--a moral community of believers; used by other sociologists to refer to a highly bureaucratized religious organization
cosmologyteachings or ideas that provide a unified picture of the world
credential societya group that uses diplomas and degrees to determine who is eligible for jobs, even though the diploma or degree may be irrelevant to the actual work
culta new religion with few followers, whose teachings and practices put it at odds with the dominant culture and religion
cultural transmissionin reference to education, the ways by which schools transmit culture, especially its core values
ecclesiaa religious group so integrated into the dominant culture that it is difficult to tell where the one begins and the other leaves off
functional illiteratea high school graduate who has difficulty with basic reading and math
gatekeepingthe process by which education opens and closes doors of opportunity; another term for the social placement function of education
grade inflationgiving higher grades for the same work; a general rise in student grades without a corresponding increase in learning or test scores
hidden curriculumthe unwritten goals of schools, such as teaching obedience to authority and conformity to cultural norms
latent functionsthe unintended consequence of people's actions that help to keep a social system in equilibrium
mainstreaminghelping people to become part of the mainstream of society
manifest functionsthe intended consequences of people's actions designed to help some part of a social system
profaneDurkheim's term for common elements of everyday life
Protestant ethicMax Weber's term to describe the ideal of a self-denying highly moral life accompanied by hard work and frugality
religionaccording to Emile Durkheim, beliefs and practices that separate the profane from the sacred and unite its adherents into a moral community
religious experiencean awareness of the supernatural or a feeling of coming in contact with God
ritualsceremonies or repetitive practices; in this context, religious observances or rites, often intended to evoke a sense of awe of the sacred
sacredDurkheim's term for things set apart or forbidden, that inspire fear, awe, reverence, or deep respect
secta group larger than a cult whose members feel substantial hostility from and toward society
secularization of religionthe replacement of a religion's "otherworldly" concerns with concerns about "this world"
social placementa function of education; funneling people into a society's various positions
social promotionpassing students to the next grade even though they have not mastered the basic materials
spirit of capitalismWeber's term for the desire to accumulate capital as a duty--not to spend it, but as an end in itself--and to constantly reinvest it
trackingthe sorting of students enrolled into educational programs on the basis of real or perceived abilities

Social Science Instructor
Metropolitan Community College

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