Sociology A01 definitions .docx

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Robert Brym

Chapter 1 Class conflict is the struggle between classes to resist and overcome the opposition of other classes see page 17Conflict theory generally focuses on large macrolevel structures and shows how major patterns of inequality in society produce social stability in some circumstances and social change in others see page 17Democratic Revolution began about 1750 It suggested that people are responsible for organizing society and that human intervention can therefore solve social problems see page 12Dysfunctional consequences are effects of social structures that create social instability see page 17Feminist theory claims that patriarchy is at least as important as class inequality in determining a persons opportunities in life It holds that male domination and female subordination are determined not by biological necessity but by structures of power and social convention It examines the operation of patriarchy in both micro and macro settings And it contends that existing patterns of gender inequality can and should be changed for the benefit of all members of society see page 21Functionalism stresses that human behaviour is governed by relatively stable social structures It underlines how social structures maintain or undermine social stability It emphasizes that social structures are based mainly on shared values or preferences And it suggests that reestablishing equilibrium can best solve most social problems see page 16Global structures are patterns of social relations that lie outside and above the national level They include international organizations patterns of worldwide travel and communication and the economic relations between countries see page 9Globalization is the process by which formerly separate economies states and cultures become tied together and people becoming increasingly aware of their growing interdependence see page 27Industrial Revolution often regarded as the most important event in world history since the development of agriculture and cities refers to the rapid economic transformation that began in Britain in the 1780s It involved the largescale application of science and technology to industrial processes the creation of factories and the formation of a working class see page 12Latent functions are invisible and unintended effects of social structures see page 17Macrostructures are overarching patterns of social relations that lie outside and above your circle of intimates and acquaintances These include classes bureaucracies and power systems such as patriarchy see page 9Manifest functions are visible and intended effects of social structures see page 17Microstructures are the patterns of relatively intimate social relations formed during faceto face interaction Families friendship circles and work associations are all examples see page 9Patriarchy is the traditional system of economic and political inequality between women and men see page 9Postindustrial Revolution refers to the technologydriven shift from manufacturing to service industries and the consequences of that shift for virtually all human activities see page 26Protestant ethic is the belief that religious doubts can be reduced and a state of grace ensured if people work diligently and live ascetically According to Weber the Protestant work ethic had the unintended effect of increasing savings and investment and thus stimulating capitalist growth see page 19Queer theory argues that peoples sexual identities and performances are so variable that conventional labels like male female gay and lesbian fail to capture the sexual instability that characterizes the lives of many people see page 20Research is the process of carefully observing reality to assess the validity of a theory see page 15Scientific Revolution began about 1550 It encouraged the view that sound conclusions about the workings of society must be based on solid evidence not just on speculation see page 12Social constructionism argues that apparently natural or innate features of life are often sustained by social processes that vary historically and culturally see page 20Social solidarity refers to 1 the degree to which group members share beliefs and values and 2 the intensity and frequency of their interaction see page 6Social structures are relatively stable patterns of social relations see page 9Sociological imagination is the quality of mind that enables a person to see the connection between personal troubles and social structures see page 11Symbolic interactionism focuses on interaction in microlevel social settings and emphasizes that an adequate explanation of social behaviour requires understanding the subjective meanings people attach to their social circumstancesTheories are tentative explanations of some aspect of social life that state how and why certain facts are relatedValues are ideas about what is right and wrong see page 16
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