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Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective

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Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective. Key Terms. sociology Systematic study of human society and social interaction. society Large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.

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sociologySystematic study of human society and social interaction.
  • societyLarge social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.
sociological imaginationThe ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society.

high-income countriesNations with highly industrialized economies; technologically advanced industrial, administrative and service occupations; and relatively high levels of national and personal income.

middle-income countriesNations with industrializing economies, particularly in urban areas, and moderate levels of national and personal income.
  • low-income countriesPrimarily agrarian nations with little industrialization and low levels of national and personal income.
industrializationProcess by which societies are transformed from dependence on agriculture and handmade products to an emphasis on manufacturing and related industries.
  • urbanizationProcess by which an increasing proportion of a population lives in cities rather than in rural areas.
positivismA belief that the world can best be understood through scientific inquiry.
  • Social DarwinismBelief that species of animals, including humans, best adapted to their environment survive and prosper, whereas those poorly adapted die out.
social factsPatterned ways of thinking, acting, and feeling that exist outside any one individual.
  • anomieA condition in which social control becomes ineffective as a result of the loss of shared values and a sense of purpose in society.
theoryA set of logically interrelated statements that attempts to describe, explain, and (occasionally) predict social events.
  • functionalist perspectivesBased on the assumption that society is a stable, orderly system.
manifest functionsFunctions that are intended or overtly recognized by the participants in a social unit.
  • latent functionsUnintended functions that are hidden and remain unacknowledged by participants.
conflict perspectivesAssumes that groups in society are engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources.
  • macrolevel analysisExamines whole societies, large-scale social structures, and social systems.
microlevel analysisFocuses on small groups rather than large-scale social structures.
  • Symbolic Interactionist perspectiveAssumes society is the sum of the interactions of individuals and groups.
postmodern perspectiveAttempts to explain social life in modern societies that are characterized by postindustrialization, consumerism, and global communications.