39 terms

Intro to Sociology Ch. 1-4

group of people who shape their lives in ways that distinguish them from other people
systematic or scientific study of human society and social behavior
social sciences
disciplines that use the scientific method to examine the social world, in contrast to the natural sciences
level of analysis that studies face-to-face and SMALL-group interactions; focuses on small-scale pieces of society
level of analysis that studies LARGE-scale social structures; focuses on large-scale pieces of society
the process by which one gathers & analyzes data
quantitative research
translates the social world into NUMBERS that can be treated mathematically; often tries to find cause & effect relationships
qualitative research
NON-NUMERICAL data such as texts, field notes, interview transcripts, photographs, and tape recordings
sociological imagination
a quality of the MIND that allows us to understand the relationship between our particular situation in life and what is happening at a social level
culture shock
a sense of disorientation that occurs when one enters a radically new social or cultural environment
beginner's mind
approaching the world without preconceptions in order to see things in a new way
everyday actor
has the practical knowledge needed to get through daily life, but not necessarily the scientific or technical knowledge of how things work
social analyst
studies the social world in a systematic, comprehensive, coherent, clear, and consistent manner in the pursuit of scientific knowledge
global village
describe how radio and television create new kinds of social bonds by bringing people together as if they all belonged to the same tribe
an abstract proposition that explains the social world and makes predictions about future events
argues that sense perceptions are the only valid source of knowledge
scientific method
procedure for acquiring knowledge that emphasized collecting concrete data through observation and experiment normally used in the study of the physical world, and applied it to the study of social affairs
mechanical solidarity
type of social bond where shared traditions and beliefs created a sense of social cohesion
organic solidarity
a social bond based on a division of labor that created interdependence and individual rights
the economic system that is based on the private for-profit operation of industry
the application of economic logic to all human activity
the inevitable result of the dehumanizing features of bureaucracies that dominated modern societies
structural functionalism
views society as an ordered, unified system
the large-scale social institutions that make up society (family, education, politics, the economy)
manifest functions
the obvious intended functions of a social structure for the social system
latent functions
the LESS obvious unintended functions of a social structure
conflict theory
sees social conflict as the basis of society and social change and emphasizes a materialist view of society, a critical view of the status quo, and a dynamic model of historical change
symbolic interactionism
sees interaction and meaning as central to society and assumes that meanings are not inherent but are created through interaction
applied society
uses sociological theories to impact public policy
feminist theory
looks at gender inequalities in society and the way that gender structures the social world
queer theory
proposes that categories of sexual identity are social constructs and that no sexual category is fundamentally either deviant or normal
postmodern theory
suggests that no universal, knowable truth about social reality exists
a method based on studying people in their own environment in order to understand the meanings they attribute to their activities
participant observation
the researcher observes and becomes a member in a social setting
involve direct, face-to-face contact with respondents
closed-ended question
limits possible responses: for example, "Are you for or against couples living together before they are married?"
open-ended question
allows the answer to take whatever form the respondent chooses: "What do you think about couples living together before they are married?"
QUESTIONNAIRES that are administered to a sample of respondents selected from a target population
Content analysis
a specific use of existing sources that examines visual or written material, such as magazines or TV commercials