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01:920:101 Final: Final Study Guide. Central Ideas & Theories.1

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Sergei Erofeev
Study Guide

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What is sociology?
Sociology is the systematic study of human social life, groups, societies and the social context in
which behavior occurs. Sociology has implications for public policy; sociology requires
methodological rigor rather than anecdote
The meaning of the word society
A group of people who live in a particular territory, are subject to a common system of political
authority, and are aware of having a distinct identity from other groups
The birth of sociology and the role of industrial revolution
Auguste Comte coined the term after believing that scientific methods could be applied to the
study of human behavior and society
Different sociologists trying to interpret modern development
Division of labor as a basis for social cohesion and organic solidarity
Believed that sociology must study social facts as things, just as science would analyze the
natural world
Stressed the influence of social factors on a persons actions
Main dynamic of modern development is the expansion of capitalism
Society is divided by class differences; must study the divisions that are derived from the
economic inequalities of capitalism
Main dynamic of modern development is the rationalization of social and economic life
Focused on why Western societies developed so differently than other societies and
emphasized importance of cultural ideas and values on social change
The sociological imagination (Mills)
The application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions;
someone using the sociological imagination thinks himself away from the familiar routines of
daily life
The quality of mind that makes it possible to understand the larger meaning of our experiences
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