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50 terms

Sociology Chapter 1

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Sociological perspective
Understanding human behavior by placing it within its broader social context.
Society
People who share a culture and a territory
Social Location
The group of memberships that people have because of their location in history and society.
Scientific method
The use of objective systematic observations to test theories
Positivism
The application of the scientific approach to the social world
Sociology
The scientific study of society and human behavior
Class Conflict
Marx's term for the struggle between the capitalists and workers
Bourgeoisie
Marx's term for capitalists, those who own the means of production
Proletariat
Marx's term for the exploited class, the mass of workers who do not own the means of production.
Social integration
The degree to which members of a group or a society feel united by shared values and other social bonds also known as social cohesion.
Applied sociology
The use of sociology to solve problems-- from the micro level of family relationships to the macro level of global pollution
Theory
A statement about how some parts of the world fit together and how they work; an explanation of how two or more facts are related to one another.
Symbolic interactionism
A theoretical perspective in which society is viewed as composed of symbols that people use to establish meaning, develop their views of the world, and communicate with one another.
Functional Analysis
A theoretical framework in which society is viewed as composed of various parts, each with a function that, when fulfilled, contributes to society's equilibrium; also known as functionalism and structural functionalism
Conflict theory
A theoretical framework in which society is viewed as composed of groups that are competing for scarce resources.
Macro Level
An examination of large scale patterns of society
Micro Level
An examination of small scale patterns of society
Social interaction
What people do when they are in one another's presence.
Nonverbal interaction
Communication without words through gestures, use of space, silence, and so on.
Hypothesis
A statement of how variables are expected to be related to one another, often according to predictions from a theory
Variables
A factor thought to be significant for human behavior, which can vary from one case to another
Operational Definitions
The way in which a researcher measures a variable
Research method
One of seven procedures that sociologists use to collect data; surveys, participant observations, case studies, secondary analysis, documents, experiments, and unobtrusive measures.
Validity
The extent to which an operational definition measures what it is intended to measure.
Reliability
The extent to which research produces consistent or dependable results.
Survey
The collection of data by having people answer a series of questions
Population
A target group to be studied
Sample
The individuals intended to represent the population to be studied.
Random Sample
A sample in which everyone in the target population has the same chance of being included in the study.
Stratified Random Sample
A sample from selected subgroups of the target population in which everyone in those subgroups has an equal chance of being included in the research.
Respondents
People who respond to a survey, either in interviews or by self administered questionnaires.
Closed-Ended Questions
Questions that are followed by a list of possible answers to be selected by the respondent.
Open-Ended Questions
Questions that respondents answer in their own words.
Rapport
A feeling of trust between researchers and the people they are studying.
Participant observation
Research in which the researcher participates in a research setting while observing what is happening in that setting.
Case study
An analysis of a single event, situation, or individual.
Secondary analysis
The analysis of data that have been collected by other researchers.
Documents
In its narrow sense, written sources that provide data; in its extended sense, archival material of any sort, including photographs, movies, CDs, DVDs, and so on.
Experiments
The use of control and experimental groups and dependent and independent variables to test causation
Experimental group
The subjects in an experiment who are exposed to the independent variable.
Control Group
The subjects in an experiment who are not exposed to the independent variable.
Independent variable
A factor that causes a change in another variable, called the dependent variable.
Dependent variable
A factor in an experiment that is changed by an independent variable.
Unobtrusive Measures
Ways of observing people so they do not know they are being studied.
Value free
The view that a sociologist's personal values or biases should not influence social research.
Values
The standards by which people define what is desirable or undesirable, good or bad, beautiful or ugly.
Objectivity
Value neutrality in research
Replication
The repetition of a study in order to test its findings.
Public sociology
Sociology being used for the public good; especially the sociological perspective (of how things are related to one another) guiding politicians and policy makers.
Globalization
The extensive interconnections among nations due to the expansion of capitalism.