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The systematic study of human society

Sociological Perspective

The special point of view of sociology that sees general patterns of society in the lies of particular people

Global Perspective

The study of the larger world and out society place in it

High income countries

Nations with the highest overall standards of living

Middle income countries

Nations with a standard of living about average for the world

low income countries

Nations with a low standard of living in which most people are poor.


a way of understanding based on science


A statement of how and why specific facts are related.


support of social equality for women and men, in opposition to patriarchy and sexism


a simplified description applied to every person in some category.

Latent functions

the unrecognized and unintended consequences of any social pattern

race conflict approach

a point of view that focuses on inequality and conflict between people of different racial and ethnic categories

symbolic interaction approach

a framework for building theory that see's society as the product of the everyday interaction of the individuals.


a logical system basis knowledge on direct, systematic observation

Empirical Evidence

Information we can verify with our senses

Positivist sociology

the study of society based on systematic observation of social behavior.


a procedure for determining the value of a variable in a specific case


actually measuring exactly what you intend to measure.

independent variable

the variable that causes the change

dependent variable

the variable that changes


a relationship in which two (or more) variables change together

spurious correlation

an apparent but false relationship between (or more) variables that is caused by some variable.


repetition of research by other investigators

Interpretive sociology

the study of society that focuses on the meanings people attach to their social world.

critical sociology

the study of society that focuses on the need for social change


the personal traits and social positions that members of a society attach to beings female or male


a statement of a possible relationship between two (or more) variables.

Participant observation

a research method in which investigators systematically observe people while joining them in their routine activities.

Hawthorne effect

a change in a subjects behavior caused simply by the awareness of being studied


anything that carries a particular meaning reorganized by people who share the same culture.


a system of symbols that allow people to communicate with one another

cultural transmission

the process by which one generation passes culture to the next


culturally defined standards that people use to decide what is desirable, good and beautiful, and that serve as broad guidelines for social living


specific thoughts or ideas that people hold to be true.

social culture

attempts by society to regulate peoples thoughts and behavior.


knowledge that people use to make a way of life in their surroundings

high culture

cultural patterns that distinguish a society elite.

popular culture

cultural patterns that are wide spread among a society's population


a perspective recognizing the culture diversity of the united states and promoting equal standing for all cultural traditions


the dominance of European (especially English) cultural patterns


Emphasizing and promoting African cultural patterns

counter culture

cultural patterns that strongly oppose those widely accepted within a society.


The practice of judging another culture by the standards of ones own culture.

cultural relativism

The practice of judging a culture by its own standards


the ways of thinking, the ways of acting, and the material objects the together for a peoples way of life

non material culture

the ideas created by members of a society

material culture

the physical things created by members of a society

culture shock

personal disorientation when experiencing and unfamiliar way of life

social functions

The consequences of any social pattern for the operation of society as a whole.

culture integration

the close relationships among various elements of a cultural system

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