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Sociology: the systematic study of human behaviour in social context. Our relations with other people create opportunities for us to think and act but also set limits on our thoughts and action. The chief value of sociology is that it can help us clarify the scope, direction and significance of social change. I t can also suggest ways of managing change. durkheim showed that even non-social and antisocial actions are influenced by social structures (levels of social solidarity affect suicide) sociologists analyze the influence of three levels of social structures on human actions. Microstructure: the pattern on relatively intimate social relations formed during face-to- face interaction (families, friends, work associations) Macrostructure: overarching patterns of social relations that lie outside and above one"s circle of intimates and acquaintances. Macrostructures include classes, bureaucracies, and power systems, such as patriarchy. Patriarchy: the traditional system of economic and political inequality between women and men.

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