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Chapter One
Sociology in our times; The Essentials
53
Sociology
02/02/2011

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Term
Sociology
Definition
The systematic study of human society and social interaction.
Term
Society
Definition
a large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.
Term
Sociological Imagination
Definition
C.Wright Mill's term for the ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society.
Term

high-income countries 

or

industrial countries

Definition
nations with highly industrialized economies; technologically advanced industrial, administrative, and service occupations; and relatively high levels of national and personal income.
Term

middle-income

or

developing countries

Definition
nations with industrializing economies, particularly in urban areas, and moderate levels of national and personal income.
Term

low-income countries

or

underdeveloped countries

Definition
nations with little industrialization and low levels of national and personal income.
Term
Industrialization
Definition
the process by which societies are transformed from dependence on agriculture and handmade products to an emphasis on manufacturing and related industries.
Term
urbanization
Definition
the process by which an increasing proportion of a population lives in cities rather than in rural areas.
Term
positivism
Definition
a term Auguste Comte's belief that the world can best be understood through scientific inquiry.
Term
social Darwinism
Definition

Herbert Spencer's belief that those species of animals, including human beings, best adapted to their environment survive and prosper, whereas those survive and prosper, whereas those poorly adapted die out.

 

Term
social facts
Definition
Emile Durkheim's term for patterned ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that exist outside any one individual but that exert social control over each person.
Term
anomie
Definition
Emile Durkheim's designation for a condition in which social control becomes ineffective as a result of the loss of shared values and of a sense of purpose in society. 
Term
theory
Definition
a set of logically interrelated statements that attempts to describe, explain, and (occasionally) predict social events.
Term
functionalist perspectives
Definition
the sociological approach that views society as a stable, orderly system.
Term
manifest functions
Definition
functions that are intended and/or overtly recognized by the participation in a social unit.
Term
latent functions
Definition
unintended functions that are hidden and remain unacknowledged by participants
Term
conflict perspectives
Definition
the sociological approach that views groups in society as engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources
Term
macrolevel analysis
Definition
an approach that examines whole societies, large-scale social structures, and social systems.
Term
microlevel analysis
Definition
sociological theory and research that focus on small groups rather than on large-scale social structures
Term
symbolic interactionist perspectives
Definition
the sociological approach that views society as the sum of the interactions of individuals and groups.
Term
postmodern perspectives
Definition
the sociological approach that attempts to explain social life in modern societies that are characterized by post-industrialization, consumerism, and global communications.
Term
quantitative research
Definition
sociological research methods that are based on the goal of scientific objectivity and that focus on data that can be measured numerically
Term
qualitative research
Definition
sociological research methods that use interpretive description (words) rather that statistics (numbers) to analyze underlying meanings and patterns of social relationships.
Term
hypothesis
Definition
a statement of the expected relationship between two or more variables
Term
variable
Definition
in sociological research, any concept with measurable traits or characteristics that can change or vary from one person, time, situation, or society to another.
Term
independent variable
Definition
in an experiment, the variable assumed to be the cause of the relationship between variables
Term
dependent variable
Definition
in an experiment, the variable assumed to be caused by the independent variable(s)
Term
validity
Definition
in sociological research, the extent to which a study or research instrument accurately measures what it is supposed to measure.
Term
reliability
Definition
in sociological research, the extent to which a study or research instrument yields consistent results when applied to different individuals atone time or to the same individuals over time.
Term
research methods
Definition
specific strategies or techniques for systematically conducting research
Term
survey
Definition
a poll in which the researcher gathers facts or attempts to determine the relationships among facts.
Term
interview
Definition
a research method using a data-colletion encounter in which an interviewer asks the respondent questions and records the answers.
Term
secondary analysis
Definition
a research method in which researchers use existing material and analyze data that were originally collected by others
Term
content analysis
Definition
the systematic examination of cultural artifacts or various forms of communication to extract thematic data and draw conclusions about social life.
Term
participant observation
Definition
a research method in which researchers collet data while being part of the activities of the group over a period of years.
Term
ethnography
Definition
a detailed study of the life and activities of a group of people by researchers who may live with that group over a period of years.
Term
experiment
Definition
a research method involving a carefully designed situation in which the researcher studies the impact of certain variables on subjects' attitudes or behavior.
Term
experimental group
Definition
in an experiment, the group that contains the subjects who are exposed to an independent variable to study its effect on them.
Term
control group
Definition
in an experiment, the group that contains the subjects who are not exposed to the independent variable.
Term
correlation
Definition
a relationship that exists when two variable are associated more frequently then could be expected by chance.
Term
Auguste Comte
Definition
The french philosopher who coined the term sociology.
Term
Harriet Martineau
Definition
translated and condensed Comte's works
Term
Herbert Spencer
Definition
British, major contribution to sociology was an evolutionary perspective on social order and social change
Term
Emile Durkheim
Definition
French,stressed that people are the product of their social environment and that behavior cannot be fully understood fully in terms of individual biological and psychological traits.
Term
Karl Marx
Definition
German, stressed that history is a continuous clash between conflicting ideas and forces.
Term
Max Weber
Definition
German, made significant contributions to modern sociology by emphasizing the goal of value-free inquiry and the necessity of understanding how others see the world.
Term
Georg Simmel
Definition
theorized that society is a web of patterned interactions among people
Term
Chicago School
Definition
first depertmant of sociology established in the United States.
Term
Jane Addams
Definition
founded hull house
Term
W.E.B. Du Bois
Definition
created the second department of sociology
Term
Atlanta University
Definition
second department of sociology founded by W.E.B. Du Bois
Term
Talcott Parsona
Definition
most influential contemporary advocate of the functionalist perspective, stressing that all societies must provide for meeting social needs in order to survive.
Term
Robert Merton
Definition
refined functionalism, distinguished between manifest and latent functions of social institutions.