Sociology Part 1 Chapter 1 People and Vocab

Sociology
The social science that studies human society and social behavior.
Social Sciences
The disciplines that study human social behavior or institutions and functions of human society in a scientific manner.
Social Interaction
How people relate to one another and influence each other’s behavior.
Social Phenomena
Observable facts or events that involve human society.
Sociological Perspective
A view that involves looking at social life in a scientific and systematic way.
Sociological Imagination
The ability to see the connection between the larger world and your personal life. “[T]he capicity to range from the most impersonal and remote [topics] to the most intimate features of the human self– and to see the relations between the two.” – C. Wright Mills
American Sociological Association
The biggest professional organization that serves the interests and concerns of American Sociologists.
Anthropology
The comparative study of past and present cultures.
Psychology
The social science that deals with the behavior and thinking of organisms.
Social Psychology
The study of how the social environment affects an individual’s behavior and personality.
Economics
The study of the choices people make in an effort to satisfy their needs and wants.
Political Science
The examination of the organization and operation of governments.
History
The study of past events.
Auguste Comte
“Founder of sociology as a distinct subject.” Focused on social order and social change.
Believed that certain processes called “social statics” held society together, and that society changes in definite processes called “social dynamics”.
Herbert Spencer
Strongly influenced by the views of Darwin.
Believed that society is a set of interdependent parts that work together to maintain the system over time.
Considered social change and unrest to be natural occurrences during a society’s evolution toward stability and perfection.
Believed no steps should be taken to correct social ills.
Believed that only the fittest societies would survive over time, leading to a general upgrading of the world as a whole.
Social Darwinism
Based off of the views of Herbert Spencer.
“only the fittest societies would survive over time, leading to a general upgrading of the world as a whole.”
Karl Marx
Believed that the structure of a society is influenced by how its economy is organized.
Believed that society is divided into 2 classes, the burgeoisie; or the capitalists (who own the means of production; the materials and methods used to produce goods and services.), and the proletariat; or the workers (who own nothing.). And that this imbalance in power would inevitably lead to conflict between the two which would end only when the proletariat united to overthrow those in power, after which, the victorious workers would build a classless society in which each citizen would contribute according to his ability and be rewarded according to his needs.
Emile Durkheim
Viewed society as a set of interdependent parts that maintain the system throughout time in terms of their functions.
Particularly interested in the function of religion in maintaining social order.
Believed that shared beliefs and values were the glue that held society together.
Believed that sociologists should only study features of society that are directly observable, and could be tested by applying the scientific tool of statistical analysis.
Examined suicide rates in his 1897 study “Suicide”.
Function
The consequence that an element of society produces for the maintenance of its social system.
Max Weber
Interested in specific groups in society rather than in society as a whole.
Focused more on the effect of society on the individual.
Thought that sociologists should go beyond studying what can be directly observed and attempted to uncover the feelings and thoughts of individuals by using Verstehen.
Employed the concept of ideal type in much of his work.
Verstehen
An attempt to understand the meanings individuals attach to their actions. In essence putting putting oneself in the place of others and tries to see situations through their eyes.
Ideal Type
A description comprised of the essential characteristics of a feature of society.
Theory
An explanation of the relationships among particular phenomena.
Theoretical Perspective
A school of thought or a general set of assumptions about the nature of things.
The Functionalist Perspective
Broadly based on the ideas of Comte, Spencer, and Durkheim. People who employ this view society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system. They believe society is held together through consensus, meaning most people agree on what is best for society and work together to ensure that the social system runs smoothly.
Dysfunction
The negative consequence an element has for the stability of the social system, such as Crime.
Manifest Function
The intended and recognized consequence of some element of society.
Latent Function
The unintended and unrecognized consequence of an element of society.
The Conflict Perspective
Focuses on the forces in society that promote competition and change. Follows the tradition of Karl Marx in that it is interested in how those who posses more power in society exercise control over those with less power.
The Interactionist Perspective
Focuses on how individuals interact with one another in society, and how they respond to one another in everyday situations. Interested in the meanings that individuals attach to their own actions and to the actions of others.
Symbol
Anything that represents something else.
Symbolic Interaction
How people use symbols when interacting.
Harriet Martineau
Published “Theory and Practice of Society in America.” based on observations she made while traveling in the United States, and established the focus of sociological study.
Published a translation of Comte’s book “Positive Philosophy”.
Jane Addams
Published “Hull-House Maps and Papers” which covered subjects such as wage levels, sweat-shops, child labor, the immigrant experience, and living conditions in poverty stricken neighborhoods, providing the first serious discussion of the effects of two major social forces: industrialization and urbanization.