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Chapter One: Total Vocabulary
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Social Sciences – Disciplines that study human social behavior or
institutions and the functions of human society in a scientific matter.
Sociology – The social science that studies human society and social
behavior.
Social Interaction – How people relate to one another and influence
each other’s behavior.
Social Phenomenon – Observable facts or events that involve human
society.
Psychology – The social science that studies behavior and mental
processes.
Sociological Perspective – A viewing of the behavior of groups in a
systematic way.
Sociological Imagination – The ability to see the connection between
the larger world and our personal lives.
Social Darwinism – The perspective that societies evolve towards
stability and perfection and only the fittest societies survive over time.
Verstehen – An attempt to understand the meanings that individuals
attach to their actions.
Theoretical Perspective – A “school of thought”, or a general set of
assumptions about the nature of things.
Functionalist Perspective – A theoretical perspective that involves
viewing society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to
make a stable social system.
Dysfunction – A negative consequence an element has for the stability
of the social system.
Manifest function – An intended and recognized consequence of some
element in society.
Latent Function – An unintended and unrecognized consequence of
some element in society.
Conflict Perspective – A theoretical perspective that focuses on the
forces in society that promote competition and change.
Feminist Perspective – A theoretical perspective that involves viewing
society as a system of gender inequality in which men dominate
women.
Interactionist Perspective – a theoretical perspective that focuses on
how individuals interact with one another in society.
Symbol – Anything that stands for something else and has shared
meaning attached to it, such as language, gestures, sounds, objects,
events, and elements to convey a particular meaning.
Symbolic Interaction – Interaction among people that takes place
through the use of symbols.
Globalization – The development of economic, political, and social
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relationships that stretch worldwide.
Macrosociology – A level of analysis that involves the study of large
scale systems of society as a whole, employed by the functionalist and
conflict perspectives.
Microsociology – The level of analysis that involves looking at smallscale settings and everyday interaction between group members.
Employed by interactionist perpstcive.
Scientific method – An objective, logical, systematic way of collecting
empirical data and arriving at reasoned conclusions.
Hypothesis – A statement that predicts the relationship of two or more
variables.
Variable – A characteristic that can vary from an individual, a group, or
situation in a measurable way.
Correlation – A change in one variable is regularly associated with the
change in another variable.
Survey – A collection of data on the attitudes and opinions from a large
number of people.
Sample – A small number of people drawn from a large population.
Historical sample – Examining materials from the past that contain
information of sociological interest.
Content analysis – Counting the number of times a specific word,
phrase, idea, event, symbol or other element appears in a given
context.
Participant Observation – Researchers become directly involved in the
situation being worked on.
Case study – An intensive analysis of a person, group, event or
problem.
Experiment – An event in which data is gathered under controlled
conditions set by the researcher.
Statistical Analysis – Analyzing data that has already been collected to
determine the strength of a relationship that may exist between two or
more variables.