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A particular point of view.


The scientific study of social structure (human social behavior)

Sociological Perspective

A view that looks at the behavior of groups, not individuals

Social Structure

The patterned interaction of people in social relationships

Sociological Imagination

The ability of individuals to see the relationship between events in their personal lives and events in their society


The belief that knowledge should be derived from scientific observation

Social Statistics

The study of social stability and order

Social Dynamics

The study of social change


Class owning the means for producing wealth


People who own or control the means for producing wealth


Class that labors without owning the means of production; those that labor for the bourgeoisie

Class conflict

The ongoing struggle between the bourgeoisie (owners) and the proletariat (working) classes

Mechanical Solidarity

Social dependency based on a widespread consensus of values and beliefs, enforced conformity, and dependence on tradition and family

Organic Solidarity

Social interdependency based on a high degree of specialization in roles


Understanding social behavior by putting yourself in the place of others


The mind-set emphasizing knowledge, reason, and planning

Theoretical Perspective

A set of assumptions accepted as true


Approach that emphasizes the contributions made by each part of society

Manifest Functions

Actions that produces an intended and recognized result

Latent Functions

Actions that produces an unintended and unrecognized result


Negative consequence of an aspect of society

Conflict Perspective

Approach emphasizing the role of conflict, competition, and constraint within a society


The ability to control the behavior of others


Anything that stands for something else and has an agreed-upon meaning attached to it

Symbolic Interactionism

Approach that focuses on the interactions among people based on mutually understood symbols


Approach that depicts human interaction as theatrical performances

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