The scientific study of social behavior and human groups
Sociological imagination
The awareness that allows people to comprehend the link between their immediate, personal social settings and the remote, impersonal social world
The body of knowledge obtained using methods based upon systematic observation
Why is sociology considered a science?
Because sociologists engage in organized and systematic study of phenomena to enhance understanding
What are the social sciences
They study various aspects of human society
Natural science
Mostly likely to study a rock formation and composition in the Grand Canyon
Are common sense conclusions reliable to sociologists?
but natural scientist it is
An attempt to explain problems, actions, or behavior in a comprehensive manner
Émile Duekheim’s study of suicide
He related rates suicide rate to the extent to which people were integrated into the group life of society
The discipline of sociology was given its name by
The French theorists Augusta comte’
Harriet Martineau
Sociologist that translated the works of Aguste Comte into English
Emphasized impact the economy, laws, trade, and population could have on contemporary social problems
Refers to loss of direction that is felt in a society when social control of individual behavior becomes ineffective
The word max Weber used to stress the need for sociologists to take into account people’s emotions, thought, beliefs, understanding, and attitudes
Ideal type
Is a construct or model that serves as a measuring rod against which actual cases can be evaluated
Communist manifesto
Karl Marx argued that the working class must overthrow the existing class system of capitalist societies
Double consciousness
Developed by DuBois
Describe the experience of being black in White America- division of an individual’s identity into 2 or more social realities
Charles Horton Cooley focused on
intimate face-face groups in his study of society
Social inequality
A condition in which members of society have differing amounts of wealth, prestige, or power
Most effective sociological theories tend to have both explanatory and predictive power
Scientific method
Used to describe a systematic, organized series of steps that ensures maximum objectivity and consistency in researching a problem
2nd step of the scientific method is
Reviewing the literature
1st step of the scientific method
Define your problem
3rd step of the scientific method
Create your hypothesis
Measured trait or characteristic that is subject to change under different conditions
Ex. Income, religion, race, gender, and marital status
Independent variable
The variable that is hypothesized to cause or influence another variable

Ex. Researchers found pet owners live longer, healthier lives pet owners would be the independent variable

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Control variable
A factor held constant to test the relative impact of the independent variable
Casual logic
The relationship btwn a condition or a variable and a particular consequence, with one event leading to the other
Random sample
Each member of the entire population being studied have the same chance of being selected
Participant observation
When a sociologists actually joins a group for a period to get an accurate sense of how it operates
Hawthorne effect
The term sociologists use to describe the phenomenon whereby subjects deviate from their typical behavior because they realize they are under observation
Research design
Influences both the cost of a research project and the amount of time needed to collect the results of research
Reliable research
A research method that provides consistent results
The totality of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material object, and behavior
What if the largest form of a human group
Society is a fairly large number of people who live in the same territory
Common culture
Society of people who live in the same area and a relatively independent of people outside it
Cultural universals
General customs and practices that are found in every culture
Tendency to assume ones own culture is superior to all others
Cultural relativism
Concept that employs the kind of value neutrality in scientific study no bias
(max Webber sees as important)
Sapir and Whorf hypothesis
Hypothesis concerning the role of languages in shaping cultures
The systematic study of how biology affects human social behavior
Abstract system of word meaning and symbols from all aspects of culture
Form of governmental social control
Informal norms
Norms governing everyday social behavior, the violation of which raises little concern
Penalties and rewards for conduct relating to a social norm
Segment of society that shares a distinctive pattern of customs, rules, and traditions that differ from the patterns of the larger group
The use of 2 or more languages in particular setting while treating each language as equally legitimate
Ex workplaces
Education facilities
Culture shock
The feeling of surprise that is experienced when people witness cultural practices different from their own
Dominant ideology
Set of cultural beloveds that help maintain powerful social, economic, and political interests
Culture lag
Period of maladjustment during which the nonmaterial culture is still adapting to new material conditions
Process whereby people learn the attitude, values, and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particular culture
Nature v. Nurture
Relative importance of cultural and biological factors in the socialization process
The distinct identity that sets us apart from others
Looking glass self/theory
Development of one’s self identity based on misperceptions may lead to negative self identity
Gestures and words that form the basis of human communication
Generalized others
Term used by George Hebert Mead to refer to a child’s awareness of the attitudes, viewpoints, and expectations of society as a whole
Significant others
Charles Horton Cooley’s term for a child aware of attitudes viewpoints and expectation of society as a whole
Impression. Management
A person learns to alter ones self in order to create distinct appearance to satisfy particular audiences
Rights of passage
Rituals marking the symbolic transition from one social position to another
Life course theorists suggest
Socialization continues through all stages of the life cycle
What impacts an individuals socialization?
Education, religion, and the government
Social interaction
The ways in which people respond to one another
Refers to the full range of socially defined positions within a large group of society
Social role
Refers to the set of expectations for people who occupy a given social position or status
Social network
Series of social relationships that link a person directly to others and therefore indirectly to more people
Conflict perspective
Holds that social institutions maintain the privileges of the powerful individuals and groups within a society
Industrial society
A society that depends on mechanization to produce its goods and services
Hunting and gathering society
A preindustrial society in which people rely on what ever foods and fibers are readily available in order to live
Formal organizations
Special-purpose groups designed and structured in the interests of maximum efficiency
Component of formal organizations that uses rules and hierarchical ranking to achieve efficiency
Trained incapacity
The tendency of workers in a bureaucracy to become so specialized that they develop blind spots and fail to notice obvious problems
Reference groups
Groups that individuals use as a standard for evaluating themselves and their own behavior
Postmodern society
A society whose economic system is engaged in the processing and control of information
Formal organizations
Vary in size, degree of efficiency, and specificity of goals
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels charged that the capitalist system reduces workers to mere appendages of the machine
In group
Any group or category to which people feel they belong
Examples of Social networking
Friends and family
Mass media
Refers to print and electronic means of communication that carry messages to widespread audiences
Cultural convergence
Term used for the flow of content across multiple media and the accompanying migration of media audiences
Functionalist perspective of media
The role of media is to provide socialization, enforce social norms through public events, and create social stability and cohesion through collective experience
Promotion of consumption
The function of media advertising is to support the economy provide info about products and underwrite media costs
The process by which a relatively small number of people control what eventually reaches the audience
According to Pierre Bourdieu, Social capital is
The collective benefit of social networks, which are built on reciprocal trust
Option leader
Person who influences the options and decisions of others through day to day personal contact
Screen time
Has changed as new mass media like the internet have been developed
Media interpretation is influenced by
Social characteristics such as occupation, race education, and income
Conferral of status
Method used: People, organization and public issues appearing regular of the covers of magazines
Social structure
Refers to the ways in which society is organized into predictable relationships