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01:920:101 Final: Final Study Guide. Central Ideas & Theories.2

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Sergei Erofeev
Study Guide

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The invention of the word sociology
Invented by Auguste Comte in order to describe the discipline he wished to establish; he
believed that the scientific method could be applied to the study of human behavior and society
Social facts - the aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals; Durkheim believed that
social facts could be studied scientifically
What influences peoples behavior - social facts
Organic solidarity - the social cohesion that results from the various parts of a society functioning as
an integrated whole
Anomie - a situation in which social norms lose their hold over individual behavior (Emile
Durkheim); a feeling of aimlessness or despair due to the constant change typical of modern life
Marx, capitalism and the theory of conflict
Materialist conception of history-
the view to which material, or economic, factors have a prime
role in determining historical change
- an economic system based on the private ownership of wealth, which is invested and
reinvested in order to produce profit
Theory of conflict
- claims society is in a state of perpetual conflict because of competition for
limited resources
Social change - significant alteration over time in behavior patterns and cultural values and norms
(changes yielding profound social consequences);
alteration in basic structures of a social group or
Weber and the importance of cultural ideas for social change
In Webers view, economic factors are important, but ideas and values have just as much effect
on social change; cultural ideas and values shape society and affect individual actions
Weber on legitimacy and bureaucracy
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