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80 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Conflict Theory
a theoretical perspective that emphasizes the role of power and coercion in producing social order
Content Analysis
the analysis of meaning in cultural artifacts like books, songs, and other forms of cultural communication
Controlled Expirement
a method of collecting data that can determine whether something actually causes something else
Correlation
a statistical technique that analyzes patterns of association between pairs of sociological variables
Data
the systematic information that sociologists use to investigate research questions
Data Analysis
the process by which sociologists organize collected data to discover what patterns and uniformities are revealed
Debunking
looking beyond the facades of everyday life
Deductive Reasoning
the process of creating a specific research question about a focused point, based on a more general or universal principle
Dependent Variable
the variable that is a presumed effect
Diversity
the variety of group experiences that result from the social structure of society
Empirical
refers to something that is based on careful and systematic observation
Enlightenment
the period in the 18th and 19th century Europe characterized by faith in the ability of human reason to solve society's problems
Evaluation Research
research assessing the effect of policies and programs
Feminist Theory
analyses of women and men in society intended to improve women's lives
Functionalism
a theoretical perspectice that interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole society
Generalization
the ability to make claims that a finding represents something greater than the specific observations on which the finding is based
Hypothesis
a statement about what one expects to find in research
Independent Variable
a variable that is the presumed cause of a particular result
Indicator
something that points to or reflects an abstract concept
Inductive Reasoning
the process of arriving at general conclusions from specific observations
Issues
problems that affect large numbers of people and have their origins in the institutional arrangements and history of a society
Mean
the sum of a set of values divided but he number of cases from which the values are obtained; an average
Median
the midpoint in a series of values that are arranged in numerical order
Mode
the value (or score) that appears most frequently in a set of data
Organic Metaphor
refers to the similarity early sociologists saw between society and other organic systems
Participant Observation
a method whereby the sociologist becomes both a participant in the group being studied and a scientific observer of the group
Percentage
the number of parts per hundred
Populations
a relatively large collection of people (or other unit) that a researcher studies and about which generalizations are made
Positivism
a system of thought that regards scientific observation to be the highest form of knowledge
Postmodernism
a theoretical perspective based in the idea that communication in all its forms is reality, such that understanding society requires studying all forms of communication, including cultural ideas, language, text, and slef-conceptions
Qualitative Research
research that is somewhat less structured than quantitative research but that allows more depth of interpretation and nuance in what people say and do
Quantitative Research
research that uses numerical analysis
Random Sample
a sample that gives everyone in the population an equal chance of being selected
Rate
parts per some number
Reliability
the likelihood that that a particular measure would produce the same results if the measure were repeated
Replication Study
research that is repeated exactly, but on a different group of people at a different point in time
Research Design
the overall logic and strategy underlying a research project
Sample
any subset of units from a opoulation that a researcher studies
Scientific method
the steps in a research process, including observation, hypothesis testing, analysis of data, and generalization
Social Change
the alteration of social interaction, social institutions, stratification of systems, and elements of culture over time
Social Darwinism
the idea that society evolves to allow the survival of the fittest
Social Facts
social patterns that are external to individuals
Social Institution
an established and organized system of social behavior with a recognized purpose
Social Interaction
behavior between two or more people that is given meaning
Social Structure
the patterns of social relationships social institutions that make up society
Sociological Imagination
the ability to see the societal patterns that influence individual and group life
Sociology
the study of human behavior in society
Symbolic Interaction Theory
a theoretical perspective claiming that people act toward things because of the meaning things have for them
Troubles
privately felt problems that come from evetns or feeling in one individual's life
Validity
the degree to which an indicator accurately measures or reflects a concept
Variable
something that can have more than one value or score
Verstehen
the process of understanding social behavior from the point of view of those engaged in it
Beliefs
shared ideas held collectively by people within a given culture
Counterculture
subculture created as a reaction against the values of the dominant culture
Cultural Capital
cultural resources that are socially designated as being worthy (such as knowledge of elite culture) and that give advantages to groups posessing such capital
Cultural Diffusion
the transmission of cultural elements from one society or cultural group to another
Cultural Hegemony
the pervasive and excessive influence of one culture throughout society
Cultural Relativism
the idea that something can be understood and judged only in relationship to the cultural context in which it appears
Culture
the complex system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a given group or society
Culture Lag
the delay in cultural adjustments to changing social conditions
Dominant Culture
the culture of the most powerful group in society
Ethnocentrism
the belief that one's in-group is superior to all outgroups
Ethnomethodology
a technique for studying human interaction by deliberately disrupting social norms and observing how individuals attempt to restore normalcy
Folkways
the general standards of behavior adhered to by a group
Global Culture
the diffusion of a single culture throughout the world
Language
a set of symbols and rules that, when put together in a meaningful way, provides a complex communication system
Laws
the written set of guidelines that define what is right and wrong in society
Mass Media
channels of communication that are available to very wide segments of the population
Material Culture
the objects created in a given society
Mores
strict norms that control moral and ethical behavior
Nonmaterial Culture
the norms, laws, custooms, ides, and beliefs of a group of people
Norms
the specific cultural expectations for how to act in a given situation
Popular Culture
the belief, practices, and objects that are part of everyday traditions
Reflection Hypothesis
the idea that the mass media reflect the values of the general population
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
a theory that language determines other aspects of culture since language provides the categories through which social reality is defined and percieved
Social Sanctions
mechanisms of social control that enforce norms
Subculture
the culture of groups whose values and norms of behavior are somewhat different from those of the dominant culture
Symbols
things or behavior to which people give meaning
Taboo
those behaviors that bring the most serious sanctions
Values
abstract standards in a society or group that define ideal principles