• Julianna Kearney

MCAT Monday: Society and Culture - Social Structures

Updated: Nov 9, 2020


Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section: Foundational Concept 9 focuses on Society and Culture. Cultural and social differences influence well-being.


Social structure and demographic factors influence peoples’ health and well-being. Knowledge about basic sociological theories, social institutions, culture, and demographic characteristics of societies is important to understand how these factors shape peoples’ lives and their daily interactions. (via AAMC)


Under this review, there are videos covering:

Practice Questions:


1. Which of these would describe a research question viewed from a microsociology perspective? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: How does the patenting of seeds for corn, soybeans and other crops by large businesses such as Monsanto cause a conflict between local farmers and agribusiness?

  • B: How does the conflict between Republicans and Democrats in Congress affect the U.S. role in the Middle East?

  • C: What impacts do cultural views of medicine have on the expectations of care provided?

  • D: What role do people who self-identify as locavores play in their community?

2. During reading time, students are required to sit quietly and listen attentively to the story the teacher is reading. The children who are able to do this are rewarded at the end of the week with a prize. How would the functionalist perspective describe this interaction? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: These children are formally learning about social roles and how to listen respectfully. This is a latent function of education.

  • B: These children are being openly taught reward and punishment for their actions. This is a latent function of education.

  • C: These children are being openly socialized to prepare for later roles in adult life. This is a manifest function of education.

  • D: These children are being informally taught social and political norms. This is a manifest function of education.

3. Which of these theorists is NOT associated with conflict theory? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Durkheim

  • B: Gumplowicz

  • C: Marx

  • D: Weber

4. How could a symbolic interactionist phrase a research question to investigate the relationship between medicine and education? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Where does social inequity cause unequal access to education and proper medical care?

  • B: What influences do stricter requirements for medical school admissions have on the medical community as a whole?

  • C: How do the labels a patient applies to the level of education differ between nurse practitioners and doctors?

  • D: How does gender inequity in medical education influence the opportunities women have in specialized medicine?

5. Which of these accurately describes the perspective of strong social constructionism?

Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Knowledge and language both depend on socially constructed understanding.

  • B: Brute facts, such as the central dogma of molecular biology, exist outside of social constructs.

  • C: Floods and other acts of nature are brute facts.

  • D: Institutional facts, such as the Euro, are created by social conventions.

6. Which of these best describes an assumption of exchange theory perspective? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Social interactions are static over time.

  • B: If a person receives social approval from an action, that action will be repeated.

  • C: The more often that one is rewarded, the higher the benefit associated with that choice.

  • D: People do not actually make rational choices.

7. Sonja’s teacher asked each student his or her favorite color. When Sonja replied that her favorite color was red, her teacher told her that pink was a more appropriate color for a girl to like. What is the term for this form of social reinforcement? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Gentrification

  • B: Formal education

  • C: Hidden curriculum

  • D: Gender stratification

8. Which of these terms describes a couple that lives with or close by to the wife’s family after marriage? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: Matrilocality

  • B: Neolocality

  • C: Patrilocality

  • D: Ambilocality

9. Which of these would be considered the least socially accepted type of religious organization? Choose 1 answer:

  • A: A cult

  • B: A sect

  • C: A denomination

  • D: An ecclesia

10. How are the medicalization of deviance and demedicalization related?

Choose 1 answer:

  • A: The medicalization of deviance is the process of changing a ‘bad’ behavior into a ‘good’ behavior. Demedicalization is the normalization of a ‘sick’ behavior.

  • B: The medicalization of deviance is the process of changing a ‘good’ behavior into a ‘bad’ behavior. Demedicalization is the normalization of a ‘bad’ behavior.

  • C: The medicalization of deviance is the process of changing a ‘good’ behavior into a ‘sick’ behavior. Demedicalization is the normalization of a ‘bad’ behavior.

  • D: The medicalization of deviance is the process of changing a ‘bad’ behavior into a ‘sick’ behavior. Demedicalization is the normalization of a ‘sick’ behavior.

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