A series that presents 10 smart terms for your consideration. A small step toward a more informed society:
- Social capital: Those factors of effectively functioning social groups that include such things as interpersonal relationships, a shared sense of identity, a shared understanding, shared norms, shared values, trust, cooperation, and reciprocity. However, the many views of this complex subject make a single definition difficult.
- Social stratification: A kind of social differentiation whereby a society groups people into socioeconomic strata, based upon their occupation and income, wealth and social status, or derived power (social and political). As such, stratification is the relative social position of persons within a social group, category, geographic region, or social unit.
- Mired: When you’re mired in something, you’re stuck or entangled in it. You can’t get out.
- Advantageous: The adjective advantageous is useful for talking about things that are beneficial, or helpful, like when you find an advantageous spot to hang your yard sale sign — a spot where all the passing cars can see it.
- Kitsch: Also called cheesiness or tackiness, is art or other objects that, generally speaking, appeal to popular rather than “high art” tastes. Such objects are sometimes appreciated in a knowingly ironic or humorous way.
- Smoking gun: A reference to an object or fact that serves as conclusive evidence of a crime or similar act, just short of being caught in flagrante delicto. “Smoking gun” refers to the strongest kind of circumstantial evidence, as opposed to direct evidence.
- Malaise: If you are experiencing malaise, chances are you are feeling blue or looking green. Malaise is a slump; you’re not feeling your best — either mentally or physically.
- Magniloquent: If you want to impress people, you might try using magniloquent language. That is, fancy and flowery language.
- Collective efficacy: The ability of members of a community to control the behavior of individuals and groups in the community. Control of people’s behavior allows community residents to create a safe and orderly environment. Collective efficacy involves residents monitoring children playing in public areas, acting to prevent truancy and street corner “hanging” by teenagers, and confronting individuals who exploit or disturb public spaces.
- Cogent: When you make a cogent argument, it means your argument is clear and persuasive. In these days of 24-hour entertainment news and sound-bite sized explanations of complex government policy, it’s hard to find a cogent argument amidst all the emotional outbursts.
Definitions from Wikipedia and Vocabulary.com.