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Comparative Method

Research technique that compares existing official statistics and historical records across groups to test a theory about some social phenomenon.


Systematic study of human societies.

Sociological Imagination

Ability to see the impact of social forces on our private lives

Individualistic Explanation

Tendency to attribute people's achievements and failures to their personal qualities.

Anomic Suicide

Happens when people's lives are suddenly disrupted by major social events, such as economic depression, war, and famine. These individuals may be left feeling helpless.

Egoistic Suicide

Happens in settings where the individual is emphasized over group or community connections.

Altruistic Suicide

Happens when the ties to one's community are too strong instead of too weak. The individual would literally live for the group and personality is merely a reflection of the collective identity of the community.

Theme of Sociology

Everyday thoughts and actions are the product of a complex interplay between massive social forces and personal characteristics.

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