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Flashcards in Chapter 1 Deck (44):
1

Sociology

the scientific study of human social life, groups and societies

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personal troubles

individuals often believe the problems they (and others) face are personal

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public issues

personal troubles that are occurring in a patterned way to large numbers of individuals, consequences of social structure

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sociological imagination

learning to think sociologically, requires breaking free from the immediacy of personal circumstances and putting things in a wider context

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structuration

social contexts in our life do not just consist of random events or actions, there are regularities in the way we behave and in the relationships we have with one another. societies are being reconstructed constantly

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social facts

according to Derkheim, aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals e.g. the state of the economy or religion influences

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organic solidarity

Derkheim theory, for a society to function and persist over time, its specialized institutions (govt., religion, the family and education system) must work in harmony with each other and function as an integrated whole

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social constraint

theory by Derkheim, social structure constrains our activities in a parallel way, setting limits on what we can do as an individual. it is external to us

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anomie

discovered by Derkheim, a feeling of aimlessness or despair provoked by modern social life

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materialist conception of history

Marx's viewpoint, it is not the ideas or values people hold that are the main source of social change but social change prompted by economic influences, conflicts between social classes provide motivation for historical development

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capitalism

Marx, a system of production that contrasts radically with previous economic systems in history, involves the production of goods and services sold to a wide range of consumers

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symbolic interactionism

discovered by Mead, stated that language is a set of symbols, virtually all interactions between individuals involve an exchange of symbols

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symbol

something that stands for something else

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functionalism

to study the function of a social activity is to analyze the contribution the activity makes to the continuation of the society as a whole

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manifest functions

functions known to and intended by the participants in a specific type of social activity

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latent functions

consequences of the activity of which participants are unaware

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Marxism

supposed to generate a program of radical political change, lay more emphasis on conflict, class division, power and ideology

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power

the capability of the individuals or a group to make their own concerns or interests count, even when others resist, may involve the direct use of force

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ideology

the development of ideas, used to justify the actions of the powerful

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feminist theory

women's lives and experiences are central to the study of society

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feminism

beliefe that men and women should be equal

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postmodernism

there are no long any "grand narratives" or overall conception of history that make any sense

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microsociology

the study of everyday behavior in situations of face-to-face interactions

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macrosocioloy

analysis of large scale social systems like the political system or economic order

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science

the use of systematic methods of empirical investigation to develop a body of knowledge about a certain subject

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empirical investigation

the analysis of data, theoretical thinking and the logical assessment of argument

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factual questions

questions used to gather factual evidence before coming to conclusions

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comparative questions

relating ones social context in a society to contrasting examples drawn from different societies

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theoretical questions

encompass a wide array of specific phenomena

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hypothesis

an educated guess about what is going on at this stage

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data

the research material

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ethnography

firsthand studies of people using participant observation

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participant observation

participating directly in activities

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survey

subjects are asked to provide answered questions to structured questionnaires

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pilot study

a trial run in which a questionnaire is completed by a small number of people and problematic questions are identified and revised

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sampling

concentration on a small portion of a large group to then represent the group as a whole

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sample

a small portion of a large group

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representative

the group of individuals must be typical of the population as a whole

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random sampling

a sample is chosen by which each member of society has an equal probability of being chosen

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experiment

enables a researcher to test his hypothesis under highly controlled conditions

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comparative research

enables researchers to document whether social behavior varies across time and place and by ones social group memberships

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oral history

interviewing people about events they witnesses at some point earlier in their lives

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informed consent

the study participants are given a broad description of the study prior to agreeing to participate

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debriefing

after the study ends investigators discuss with the subjects their concerns and acknowledges whether strategies such as deception were used