The PRAXIS II Sociology Exam (5952) is designed for individuals who would like to teach sociology at the secondary level. You will be given 2 hours to complete this 120 multiple choice question exam. The exam can be broken down into the following sections:
Sociological Perspectives and Methods of Inquiry – 24 questions
Culture, Socialization, and Social Organization – 30 questions
Social Stratification – 18 questions
Deviance and Conformity – 18 questions
Social Institutions – 18 questions
Demography and Social Change – 12 questions
Questions regarding social inequality based on age, class, gender, race, prejudice, and discrimination will be covered in this section of the exam. Your knowledge of conflict and functional theories of stratification, lifestyle, education, income, occupation, wealth, and social class will also be assessed in this section of the exam. Questions regarding poverty and life changes will also be included in this section of the exam.
Demographics, Industrialization, Urbanization and Social Structure
This section of the exam will cover globalization, technology, social change, and environmental, occupational and social trends. Your knowledge of urban and rural life styles, the multiple-nuclei, sector, and concentric city models will be assessed in this section of the exam. Questions regarding voluntary and voluntary groups, political and economic institutions, simple to complex group changes, and the social institutions of religion, education, and family will be included in this section of the exam.
Culture, Socialization, and Social Organization
Your knowledge of cross-cultural comparisons, cultural diversity, cultural change, cultural universal’s, and ethnocentrism and cultural relativism will be assessed in this section of the exam. Questions regarding the cultural components of symbols, signs, sanctions, language values, and cultural norms will be included in this section of the exam. Your knowledge of the major theories of the self and socialization will also be assessed in this section of the exam.
Deviance and Conformity
Questions regarding social disintegration will cover deviant and criminal behavior, theories of social disorganization and social control. The following social interaction theories will be covered in this section of the exam: exchange theory, symbolic interaction theory, role theory, and dramaturgical theory. Additional social interaction questions will cover assimilation, accommodation, cooperation, exchange, conflict, segregation; and institutional and organizational context of interaction. Questions regarding socialization will cover stages of socialization, and the role of heredity and the environment.
Sociological Perspectives and Methods of Inquiry
Method of inquiry questions will cover research ethics, the relationship between method and theory, independent and dependent variables, hypotheses, the purpose of research, and scientific method. Questions regarding types of research such as observational, case study, experimental, survey, and secondary analysis will be included in this section of the exam. Questions regarding sociological perspective will cover structural functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, major sociological theories and sociology careers. Questions regarding sociologists such as Weber, Marx, and Durkheim will also be included in this section of the exam.
This section will include topics such as stages of and major transitions in family life, alternate family forms, the defining characteristics of major world religions, how religion and society influence each other, the functions of schools, the evolution of schooling and social inequality, and major models of power in society.
PRAXIS II Sociology Practice Questions
1. Members of an ethnic group are frequently bound by a:
A. common language
B. cultural heritage
C. religious belief
D. All of the above
2. Why is recognizing diversity in the school population important?
A. All children are capable of learning.
B. Home situations are the same.
C. Everyone is prepared for school.
D. School population does not change.
3. What happens when the curriculum reflects student diversity?
B. Cultural heritage impedes success.
C. All students benefit.
D. Inherent strengths make no difference.
4. How does recognizing and utilizing diversity enhance the educational experience?
A. Helps students function in a multicultural society
B. Understand how past actions affect today
C. Enhances the ability to get along with different groups
D. All of the above
5. How do cultural differences affect an adolescent’s emotional development?
A. Shapes his view of society
B. Use his ethnicity as an excuse for his behavior
C. Use his behavior to change society’s view of his cultural group
D. All of the above
Answer Key For Sociology
1. Answer: D
Diversity is the fact or quality of having distinct characteristics. When used as an adjective to describe a society, diversity means the cultural differences found within the language, dress, arts, and traditions of the aggregate group. There can also be differences in how the individual groups are organized, their understanding of morality, and the ways in which each group interacts both inside and outside their circle. Members of an ethnic group usually identify with a shared ancestry and are frequently bound by a common language, cultural heritage, religious belief, and behavior patterns.
Diversity used in a sociological sense suggests that acknowledging the various ethnicities represented in the aggregate group fosters understanding, improves communication, and eventually leads to acceptance of different viewpoints. Critics of this view claim that forcing people together just leads to a breakdown of any existing social cohesion. Arguments are made on both sides.
2. Answer: A
Educational institutions in the United States are being confronted with a diverse student population. The percentage of African-American, Hispanic, and Asian students has increased dramatically in the past several years. When some of these students come to school for the first time, many do not speak English and have had very different pre-school experiences. From cultural norms to language diversity to socioeconomic status, students come from a variety of home situations. Some are better prepared for school than others, both academically and socially.
It is imperative that educators develop programs and curricula that emphasize that all children are capable of learning and meeting high academic standards. Each student must understand that he has a bright future if he studies hard and develops strong relationships with caring adult mentors. It is the responsibility of educators to provide the tools and environment for students to achieve. Anything less is unacceptable.
3. Answer: C
Recognizing diversity exists and designing curricula and developing programs that address issues that arise because of that diversity should be a major goal of every educator. Diversity should never be just an add-on to the school’s established culture. Policies and practices must be based on the principle that no matter what the child’s pre-school experiences, every student has inherent strengths that can and should be used to help him succeed. When the curriculum reflects student diversity, all the children benefit. Every child must understand that where he came from will not hinder him from reaching his goals.
Another factor in the equation is parents. Most want their children to do well in school. Studies have shown that parents’ participation in their children’s education has a profound impact on the child’s performance and ultimate success. Schools must make it a priority to provide an environment that invites and encourages parents’ active involvement.
4. Answer: D
One of the main goals of twenty-first century education is to develop critical thinkers. When students are taught with a curriculum that embraces diversity, it enables them to function more effectively in a complex, multicultural society. Students need to understand the historical experiences of every cultural group in their society in order to appreciate how past actions affect present circumstances. America may be a melting pot, but that pot contains the hopes, dreams, history, and struggles of many ethnic groups. Each one made unique contributions to the society we have today.
An empowering educational culture that embraces multicultural diversity encourages educators to use different methods, materials, concepts, and values to reach their students. Integrating information about and studying the impact of all cultures greatly enhances students’ ability to understand, appreciate, and get along with different racial, ethnic, and gender groups. Mary Stone Hanley believes, “Multicultural education is about social change through education.”
5. Answer: D
The adolescent’s cultural identity can play a major role in the development of a healthy self-esteem. As he becomes aware of his ethnicity, the values, traditions, and practices of his cultural group can shape the adolescent’s view of society and his place in it. This can be a challenge in America because some minority groups carry negative stereotypes. This bias can potentially cause problems for the youngster simply because he is a member of a certain cultural group.
Since it is impossible to escape his ethnic identity, he may decide to act in the negative manner that seems to be expected of him. On the positive side, he may use the negative expectations as an incentive to improve his position in society and help change the negative stereotypes. An involved, compassionate, caring educator can have an enormous influence on the choices the adolescent makes and the path he follows.