Test questions may be designed to evaluate your ability to think
at any of six different levels of abstraction. To help you decide
how to study - since each level of abstraction will require use
of a different learning strategy - this handout provides examples
of questions typical of each of these six levels. Compare your
test questions (from old exams or midterms for your course) with
the examples on this handout and decide which level of learning
would be most appropriate to incorporate in your studying
To begin with, this handout provides a list of Sociology terms
upon which the sample questions, which follow, are based.
Patterns of family organization: vocabulary list
Kin - people who are related by common ancestry or origins; most
often blood relations.
Family - a group of kin who live together and function as an
ongoing co-operative unit for economic and other purposes.
Consanguine Family - biological relatives.
Conjugal Family - a group of relatives by marriage.
Patrilocal Family - a society where sons are expected to bring
their brides to their parents' house and daughters are expected
to go to their husband's household.
Matrilocal Family - a society where daughters are expected to
remain in their parents' household and the sons move in with
Neolocal Family - a society where newly married couples set up
separate residences independent of either spouses' parents.
Patrilineal - a pattern of descent where the children belong to
the kin group of their father. Often found in patrilocal
Matrilineal - a pattern of descent where the children belong to
the kin group of their mother. Often found in matrilocal
Bilateral - a pattern of descent where the children are equally
related to both their mother's and father's families. Often found
in neolocal societies.
Patriarchal Family - a form of family organization in which the
father is dominant.
Matriarchal Family - a form of family organization in which the
mother is dominant.
Egalitarian Family - a form of family organization in which the
father and mother share authority.
Extended Family - a family unit that consists of a nuclear family
plus one or more relatives living together.
Nuclear Family - a unit of family organization consisting of a
couple and their children living together.
Patterns of family organization: six types of test questions
Part A: Recognition Questions
- A society where daughters are expected to remain in their
parents' household and the sons move in with their wives is
a. a matrilocal society
b. a neolocal society
c. a matriarchal society
d. a bilateral society
- A group of relatives by marriage constitute
a. a conjugal family
b. an extended family
c. a nuclear family
d. none of the above
- People who are related by blood are kin. (True or False?)
Part B: Recall Questions
- Describe the major differences among patrilineal,
matrilineal, and bilateral societies.
a. extended family
b. nuclear family
Part C: Application Question
- Sammy's parents had a party for him on his fifth birthday.
They invited both sets of grandparents, and Sammy's father's
brother and his children. This is called a gathering of:
a. a consanguine family
b. a conjugal family
c. an egalitarian family
d. a patriarchal family
Part D: Analysis Questions
- Discuss the patrilocal society in terms of lineage and
dominance of the sexes.
- Discuss the term conjugal families, by making
reference to the different types of societies to which they could
- Kin can be best analyzed by examining
a. the society to which they belong
b. their pattern of descent
c. their form of family organization
d. the type of family unit to which they belong
Part E: Synthesis Questions
- Explain why it is likely that a matriarchal family system
would be found in a matrilocal or matrilineal society.
- Which one of these combinations of society descriptions is
unlikely to exist within one society:
a. neolocal, egalitarian, nuclear
b. patrilocal, patrilineal, patrilocal
c. bilateral, egalitarian, nuclear
d. extended family, conjugal family, kin
Part F: Evaluation Question
- Describe the economic consequence of a neolocal society.