Chapter 1: Understanding Our Social World

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Sociology
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-The scientific study of social life, social change, social causes, and social consequences of human behavior and group patterns.
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Dyads
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-Two person interactions -The smallest units sociologists study -IE: Husband and wifey
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Small Groups
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-Three or more interacting people -IE: Family or peer group
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Large Groups
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-Organizations on a larger scale -IE: A sporting club
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Nations
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-Nation wide groups -IE: Republican/Democratic Political Parties
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Globalizations
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-The entire world becoming a single interdependent entity
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Common Sense
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-Taken for granted ideas that seem reasonable -IE: Opposites attract
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Stereotypes
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-Rigid beliefs, often untested and unfounded about a category of people -IE: Women are bad drivers
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Sociological Imagination
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-Founded by C. Wright Mills -Complex interactive relationship between micro-level individual experiences and macro-level public issues -IE: Unemployment resulting in divorce versus the unemployment rate/cause on a macro-level scale
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Levels of Analysis
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-The study of social groups from smallest to largest
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Social World Model
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-The levels of analysis in our social surroundings as an interconnected series of small groups, organizations, institutions, and societies -Global community -Society -National organizations, institutions -Local organizations and community -Me and my inner circle
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Social Structures
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-Made of units and parts that when combined, create our social world
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Social Units
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-Connect to make the social structures in our societies -Include groups of various sizes
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Social Institutions
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-Provide guidelines for behavior and help the society meet basic survival needs -Family, education, religion
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National Society
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-One of the largest social units -A population of people who are connected by common ideas and are subject to a particular political authority
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Social Processes
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-Take place through the actions of people in institutions and other social units or structures
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Environment
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-Everything that influences the social unit
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Micro-level analysis
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-A focus on individual or small-group interaction in specific situations -Face to face interactions where everyone knows all group members -IE: families, abusive relationships
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Meso-level analysis
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-Analysis of intermediate-size social units -Smaller than a nation but larger than the local community or region -Too large for members to know everyone in the group -IE: states and provinces
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Macro-level analysis
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-The largest social unit in the social world -Entire nations, global forces, and international social trends -IE: Rape trends

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