Practice Terms & Questions
TERMS TO KNOW
- social network
- sociological imagination
- social context
- social interaction
- social structure
- social hierarchy
- urban area
- interdisciplinary research
- socialist society
- class struggle
- social facts
- social forces
- social solidarity
- mechanical solidarity
- division of labor
- organic solidarity
- interpretive sociology
- status group
- stratification system
- social closure
- social distance
- network analysis
- social networks
- structural functionalism
- natural selection
- conflict theory
- symbolic interactionism
- capitalist state
- capitalist world system
- feminist social theory
- social constructions
- sex differences
- cultural capital
- social capital
- symbolic capital
1. What is the "sociological imagination" and why does it matter? Connect to examples in your own lived
experience and please bring what you come up with to class with you next week (to discuss in class).
2. Compare and contrast Conflict Theory with Structural-Functionalism (SF): key arguments, central areas of
theoretical focus, assumptions, concepts, implications?
3. What does SF have to say about social inequality?
4. What do SF and Conflict Theory have to say about belief systems? About consciousness? And why is this
an important question that reveals central dimensions and foundational assumptions associated with both
5. What are social contexts, and why do they matter?
6. What assumptions do you have in your own life that can be thought of sociologically? Do you feel you
have a "map" of possibilities in mind for your life? To what extent has this been socially constructed, do
7. How do you commonly arrive at your ideas, impressions, associations? Are these uniquely your own?
8. Think of conventional wisdom as it relates to your own experience and journey so far: have there been
points when you began to doubt conventional wisdom? How might we scrutinize "conventional wisdom"
sociologically? And why might it be important to do so?
9. Why was Marx so concerned with economic inequality? Why did Durkheim prioritize consensus? In what
ways can Max Weber's ideas be seen to be conversant with and influenced by Marx's arguments?
10. The concepts of alienation and anomie: explain both. What theoretical models are these concepts
associated with? Do you see any common ground between the two concepts? Explain.
11. Is sociological theory bound to the political-economic landscapes in which the various theorists lived?
12. How did Marx, Émile Durkheim, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, and W. E. B. Du Bois make sense of the
social world? What did they focus on with their writings, and why?
13. How do the different social theorists and sociological models you're learning about view power?
14. How did neo-Marxist ideas, feminist social theory, theories of power, ideas relating to social inequality,
and analytical sociology emerge?