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Sociological Perspective and Social Processes

Sociology a systematic approach to thinking about studying and understanding society, human social behavior, and social groups
Auguste Comte coined the term “sociology”; he’s considered the founder of sociology
Karl Marx a conflict theorist who believed that conflict was usually a result of economy; result of conflict is change in society
Emile Durkheim theorist who believed that societies were held together by common values/beliefs; looked at contribution of parts of a society and its impact on the whole; He did the 1st studies on suicide and was the 1st to apply the scientific method to human
Talcott Parsons considered the most influential American Sociologist; viewed society as a stable, though complex system of interdependent parts, each of which performed a function important to the system
C. Wright Mills an influential American Sociologist; his theories about the power elite set the stage for research on the American power structure; synonymous with term “sociological imagination”
Subjectivity basing an understanding on personal values and experiences; human judgment plays a role therefore; biases can & do occur
Objectivity basing an understanding independent of personal values and experiences; mathematical data is not biased
Applied sociology research conducted to provide solutions to immediate, practical problems
Academic sociology research conducted for the sake of knowledge
Methodology system of rules, procedures and principles that guides scientific investigation
Empirical research involves direct observance using the senses (sight, hearing)
Variable any characteristic that can change or differ from time to time, person to person or place to place
Causation when one variable has an influence on another
Correlation determining the relationship between two variables (can be positive, negative, or none)
Controls method used in experimentation that helps eliminate extraneous cause to a relationship between 2 Variables
Population entire group of people the researcher is focused on studying (single mothers, men age 21, etc)
Random sample subjects chosen in a way that allows every member of the population an equal chance of being selected for the sample (should be a representative sample)
Verstehen a principle used by Max Weber that means empathetic understanding;
Culture Glossary
beliefs shared ideas held collectively by people within a given culture
counterculture subculture created as a reaction against the values of the dominant culture
cultural capital (also known as social capital ) cultural resources that are socially designated as being worthy (such as knowledge of elite culture) and that give advantages to groups possessing such capital
cultural diffusion the transmission of cultural elements from one society or cultural group to another
cultural hegemony the pervasive and excessive influence of one culture throughout society
cultural relativism the idea that something can be understood and judged only in relationship to the cultural context in which it appears
culture the complex system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a given group or society
culture lag the delay in cultural adjustments to changing social conditions
culture shock the feeling of disorientation that can come when one encounters a new or rapidly changed cultural situation
dominant culture the culture of the most powerful group in society
ethnocentrism the belief that one's in-group is superior to all out-groups
ethnomethodology a technique for studying human interaction by deliberately disrupting social norms and observing how individuals attempt to restore normalcy
folkways the general standards of behavior adhered to by a group
frames specific schemes of interpretation that allow people to perceive, identify, and label events within their lives that can become the basis for collective action
global culture the diffusion of a single culture throughout the world
inner-directedness a condition wherein the individual's behavior is guided by internal principles and morals
language a set of symbols and rules that, when put together in a meaningful way, provides a complex communication system
law the written set of guidelines that define what is right and wrong in society
mass media channels of communication that are available to very wide segments of the population
mores strict norms that control moral and ethical behavior
norms the specific cultural expectations for how to act in a given situation
other-directedness a condition wherein the individual's behavior is guided by the behavior of others
popular culture the beliefs, practices, and objects that are part of everyday traditions
reflection hypothesis the idea that the mass media reflect the values of the general population
Sapir–Whorf hypothesis a theory that language determines other aspects of culture since language provides the categories through which social reality is defined and perceived
social capital see cultural capital
social sanctions mechanisms of social control that enforce norms
subculture the culture of groups whose values and norms of behavior are somewhat different from those of the dominant culture
symbols things or behavior to which people give meaning
tradition-directedness conformity to longstanding and time-honored norms and practices
values the abstract standards in a society or group that define ideal principles
Created by: 241152