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Emile Durkheim

Structural Functionalism: using science to improve every aspect of life. Sociology would solve all problems in the world. Did suicide studies within religion

Durkheim: What holds early society together?


Mechanical Solidarity

Every person in society has same purpose

Durkheim: What holds modern/later society together?

Different jobs for different people

Organic Solidarity

Society is held together by the need for each other

How does structure functionalism survive?

The need for each others talents.

Structural Functionalism

Society has different parts and they must function together for society to work.

Manifest Functions

intended consequences of something

Latent Functions

unintended consequences of something

What kind of questions do structural functionalists ask?

What function does x fill? How is x functional or dysfunctional?

Pros of structural functionalism?

everyone has place in society (macro level)

Cons of structural functionalism?

doesn't explain social chance in society

Karl Marx?

believed social world could be studied and transformed

Dialetical Materialism

What causes society to change?

Dialetical Materialism

change is driven by the rise and subseqyent fall of economic systems in society

Means of production

Marx believe of most important relationship

Economic determinist

only important relationship is the economic one

False Consiousness

traded freedom for choice

Class Consiousness

the proletariot relation would cause a bond between people in similar class


the study of human society, and there is the sociology of different part of society

Sociological Imagination

the ability to connect the most basic intimate aspects of an individuals' life to seemingly impersonal and remote historical forces

Social Institution

a group of social positions, connected by social relations, performing a social role; also defined in a narrow sense as any institution in a society that works to socialize the groups or people within it

Social Identity

how individuals define themselves in relationship to groups with which they affiliate (or disassociate from).

Historical Materialism

a methodological approach that looks for the causes of developments and changes in human societies in the way in which humans collectively earn a living, thus emphasizing, through economic analysis, everything that coexists within the economic base of society


to interpret and understand the social world through experience

Interpretive sociology

the study of social meaning

Positivist sociology

a strain within sociology that believes the social world can be described and predicted by certain describable relationships

Formal Sociology

sociology of pure numbers


the theory that various social institutions and processes in society exist to serve some important function to keep society running

Conflict Theory

the idea that conflict between competing interests is the basic animating force of social change and society in general (Marx)


a condition characterized by a questioning of the notion of progress and history, the replacement of narrative within pastiche, and multiple, perhaps even conflicting, identities resulting form disjointed affiliations


is a state of dominance where the dominance is so complete that alternative options are difficult to imagine

What groups are in conflict? Racial, Gender, Economic? What are the scarce resources they are conflicting over? How is power being maintained? What are the hegemonic beliefs?

Research questions conflict theorists ask

Max Weber

Instead of studying books he talked to people and became a part of society (Social Interactionists)

Iron Cage of bureaucracy

no one controls the whole process because each section is so complex

Value free sociology

Sociologists should try to keep their own values from affecting their work (not objectivity)

Symbolic Interactionism

people attach meanings to symbols and create society through those shared meanings (micro level of society)

Herbert Blumer

coined the name symbolic interactionism off Weber's work

Critical Theory

Critical of the power relationships embedded in systems of society even in the system of science (Mass culture)

Mass culture

as created and sustained through media and advertising, it is oppressive

Feminist Theory

How are masculinity and femininity maintained, enacted, changed in society? Mix of conflict theory and symbolic interactionists


Distrustful of any claim of objectivity-reality is a wholly subjective construct
Current society is based on an amalgamation of empty, consumerist symbols without any framework of principles (pessimistic)


How sociologists look at society, like lenses.

Scientific Method

common language and allows critique and peer review

Qualitative Method

methods that attempt to collect information about the social world that cannot be readily converted to numeric form

Quantitative method

methods that seek to obtain information about the social world that is already in, or can be converted to, numeric form

Grounded Theory

no pre conceived notions into a situation and a hypothesis comes out of your data collected (qualitative)

Participant observer

takes a part in research

Non participant

sits on the side and watches

Focus groups

a group interview of people that have some quality or something in common

Random samples

everyone has an equal chance of being surveyed or question

Exploratory research

investigates something no one or very few have studied before (often qualitative research)

Descriptive research

gives additional precision about a known subject (US Census, tends to be quantitative research)

Explanatory research

tries to explain why and what is the cause of things


the ability of someone else to replicate your experiment and produce similar results


your experiment is testing what you actually intend it too


social heritage of a people

Material Culture

artifacts, objects, buildings

Non material culture

values, language, beliefs, norms, customs, (socio's focus)


group of people who live within same territory and share common culture


social rules that specify appropriate and inappropriate behavior


Small norms


Moral issues or larger norms


so bad you aren't even suppose to think about it. extreme sanctions


any written down (codified) norm


broad ideas that most people of society share


punishments for breaking a norm and is similar to the size of norm broken

External sanction

punishments that other people impose on us

Internal sanction

punishments that we impose on ourselves


the idea that our own rights and benefits are more important than the community


rights of community are more important than an individual


evaluating things in a different culture using your own cultural values

Cultural relativism

evaluating things in a different culture using their own values


a socially shared system of speech that allows to communicate to others


our language shapes what we think the world is like

Cultural universals

patterns that occur in every society (marriage, funeral rites, kinships)


a position in society that someone fills

status set

the group of positions that you fill and change all the time

Ascribed status

assigned and we can't control it

Achieved status

we choose and attain through our efforts

Master status

status that becomes primary in lifes and mind and the one that holds primary weight in daily interactions


set of expectations assigned to a status

Role performance

our actual behavior in a role

Role strain

when actions/ expectations are in compatible

Role conflict

expectations from 2 different statuses

language, values, norms, roles, statuses

The building blocks of culture


the process of becoming a part of your social world (life long process)

Social learning theory

socialization occurs through positive and negative reinforcement

observational learning

people imitate the behavior they see in others


you learn to repeat or avoid behavior depending on whether the behavior was reinforced or punished

Cognitive development theory

socialization occurs in steps with children developmental stages

Erikson's eight states of psychosocial personality development

the stages span an entire lifetime aren't limited to childhood or adolescence

Looking glass self

we imagine what other people think of us like looking in a mirror

self concept

relative stable idea of who we really are

self image

temporary idea about ourselves and they change from one situation to another

self esteem

evaluation we make of ourselves

self efficacy

the belief that one can overcome obstacles and achieve goals

self knowledge

direct feedback from others

reflected appraisals

messages we get from observing how others interact with us

social comparisons

comparisons based off of reference groups or off people that we see as relevant

social identity

identity we create based on group memberships and each person's social identity is unique

Erving Goffman

Came up with the idea of impression management

impression Management

we constantly work to influence how others see us

Dramaturgical Analysis

life is a stage and all people are merely players and looks at the roles that each person plays

Front state

where the public display takes place

back stage

changing customs, practicing scripts, the dirty work

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