Ch.1 Understanding Sociology

Anomie
The loss of direction felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective; disruption in the rules and understandings that guide and integrate social life and give individuals a sense of their place in it.

Applied sociology
The use of the discipline of sociology when the specific intent of yielding practical applications for human behavior and organizations

Basic sociology
Sociological inquiry conducted with the objective of gaining a more profound knowledge of the fundamental aspects of social phenomena; also knows as “Pure sociology”

Capitalists
Members of the bourgeoisie

Class consciousness
A sense of shared interests and problems among members of a social class.

Conflict
Altercations that occur when the exercise of power meets resistance

Conflict perspective
A sociological approach that assumes that social behavior is best understood in terms of conflict or tension between competing groups.

Critical thinking
The attempt to develop an understanding that goes behind surface appearances to ask why and how events happen or conditions persist, whether social conditions could be changed, and in which different ways a given problem can be conceptualized.

Culture
The learned norms, customs, values, knowledge, artifacts, language, and symbols that are constantly communicated among people who share a common way of life.

Dramaturgical approach
view of social interaction that examines people as if they were theatrical performers

Dysfunction
Element or process of society that may disrupt a social system or lead to a decrease in stability

Functionalist perspective
Sociological approach emphasizing the way parts of a society are structured to maintain stability.

Functional integration
The ways in which the different parts of a social system are often so closely interrelated that what happens in one affects the others, and is influenced by them in turn.

Clinical sociology
Use of the discipline of sociology with the specific intent of altering social relationships and facilitating change.

Ideal type
A construct/model that serves as a measuring rod against which actual cases can be evaluated.

Interactionist perspective
Sociological approach that generalizes about fundamental, everyday forms of social interaction.

Latent functions
Unconscious or unintended functions; hidden purposes

Macrosociology
Sociological investigation that concentrates on large-scale phenomena or entire civilizations

Manifest functions
Open, stated, conscious function

Mechanical solidarity
Solidarity based on common beliefs, values, and customs

Microsociology
Sociological investigation that stresses study of small groups and often uses laboratory experimental studies

nonverbal communication
The sending of messages through the use of gestures, posture, etc.

Organic solidarity
interdependence among a group of people that is based on an intricate division of labor

Phenomenology
A philosophy that holds that people construct their own social reality in accordance with the ways they experience and understand their social world

Power
the ability of a social actor to control the actions of others, directly/indirectly

Proletariat
The members of a capitalist industrialized society who have no control over the means of production–mainly the workers

Social action
behavior which is shaped by a person’s understanding, interpretations, and intentions and which is in response to, coordinated with, or oriented toward the actions of others.

Social facts
Enduring properties of social life that shape or constrain the actions individuals can take.

Social science
The study of various aspects of human society

Social solidarity
the condition that results when underlying social forces bind people together

Social structure
stable, enduring patterns of social relationships, or social positions, and of numbers of people; patterns over which individuals have little control

Sociological imagination
An awareness of the relationship between an individual and the wider society; a way of looking at our personal experiences in the context of what is going on in the world around us.

Structural functionalism
A general perspective in sociology that places its main emphasis on functional integration and social structure

Symbolic interactionism
An approach to human behavior as constructed in interaction and interpreted through culture, stressing the collective attribution of meaning to social life; the most widespread theoretical orientation within interactionism

Verstehen
The German word for “understanding” or “insight”; used to stress the need for sociologists to take into account people’s emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes.