Chapter 1: How Sociologists View Social Problems

Flashcard maker : Jose Escobar
Sociological Imagination
a framework of thought that looks at the broad social context that shapes people’s experiences; this perspective helps people transcend personal experiences and emotions in order to see the larger picture that affects their situation; also Sociological Perspective
Personal Trouble
an individual’s own experience of a social problem
Sociological Perspective
another term for Sociological Imagination
Social Location
an individual’s position within society or its groups
Social Problem
some aspect of society (an Objective Condition) that large numbers of people are concerned about and would like changed (Subjective Concern)
Objective Conditions
a condition of society that can be measured; one of the two essential characteristics of a social problem
Subjective Concern
the concern or distress that people feel about some aspect of society; one of the two essential characteristics of a social problem
Value
a belief about whether something is good or bad, desirable or undesirable
Power
the capacity to get your way even in the face of opposition
Sociology
the systematic and objective study of the groups that make up society; includes the relationships of those groups to one another and interaction within the groups
Common Sense
the ideas common to a society or to some group within a society that people use to make sense out of their experiences
Research Method
way of doing research; also Research Design
Research Design
the methods that sociologists use to study social life; for social problems, these are: Case Studies, Experiments, Field Studies, and Surveys; also Research Method
Case Study
a type of Research Design that focuses on a single case; the case or subject of the study can be an individual, an event, or an organization, such as a church, hospital, or abortion clinic
Survey
research using questionnaires or interviews that focuses on a Sample of people from a target Population; the sample is intended to represent the larger group from which it is selected
Sample
a relatively small number of people who are intended to represent the larger group from which they are selected
Population
in research, refers to the group that one wishes to study
Generalize
to apply the findings learned in one setting, group, or Sample to other settings or groups
Random Sample
a sample that gives everyone in the group being studied an equal chance of being included in the research
Experiment
a Research Design that divides a group into an Experimental Group (those who are exposed to some experience) and a Control Group (those who are not exposed to the experience); measurements are taken before and after to determine the effects of the experience
Experimental Group
the group in an experiment that is exposed to an experience (or independent variable
Control Group
the group in an experiment that is not exposed to an experience (or independent variable)
Field Study
a method of gathering information through direct observation of some setting; also Field Work or Participant Observation
Participant Observation
a method of gathering information through direct observation of some setting; also Field Study or Field Work
Interview
a method of gathering information in which the researcher asks questions; interviews may be Structured or Unstructured
Structured Interview
Interviews that use close-ended questions; the researcher asks preset questions
Unstructured Interview
Interviews that use open-ended questions; people talk about their experiences, with the researcher making certain that specific areas are covered
Questionnaire
written questions used to gather information in research
Documents
written records; in its extended sense, refers to moving images, such as videos and movies
Observation
a means of gathering information whereby the researcher directly observes what is occurring in a setting; may be Overt or Covert
Overt Observation
Observation in which participants know they are being studied
Covert Observation
Observation in which participants do not know they are being studied

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