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Sociology

The study of human behavior and society

1

Positivism

A system of thought that regards scientific observation to be the highest form of knowledge-Auguste Comte

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Functionalism

A theoretical perspective that interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole society

3

Social change

The alteration of social interaction, social institutions, stratification systems, and elements of culture over time.

4

Social Darwinism

The idea that society evolves to allow the survival of the fittest.

5

Symbolic interaction theory

A theoretical perspective claiming that people act toward things because of the meaning things have for them

6

Social structure

The patterns of social relationships and social institutions that make up society.

7

Social interaction

Behavior between two or more people that is given meaning.

8

Empirical

Refers to something that is based on careful and systematic observation.

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Verstehen

The process of understanding social behavior from the point of view of those engaged in it.

10

Social institutions

An established and organized system of social behavior with a recognized purpose.

11

Issues

Problems that affect large numbers of people and have origins in the institutional arrangements and history of a society.

12

Sociological imagination

The ability to see the societal patterns that influence individual and group life.

13

Debunking

Looking behind the facades of everyday life.

14

Troubles

Privately felt problems that come from events or feelings in one individuals life.

15

Organic metaphor

Refers to the similarity early sociologists saw between society and other organic systems.

16

Feminist theory

Analyses of women and men in society intended to improve women's lives.

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Social facts

Social patterns that are external to individuals.

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Diversity

The variety of group experiences that result from the social structure of society.

19

Enlightenment

The period in eighteenth- and nineteenth- century Europe characterized by faith in the ability of human reason to solve society's problem.

20

Conflict theory

A theoretical perspective that emphasizes the role of power and coercion in producing social order.

21

Social institution

An established and organized system of social behavior with a recognized purpose.