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Sociology 101


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What is an "Experiment?
A controlled method of observation in which independent variables are manipulated in order to assess their effects on a dependent variable.
What is a critical consideration when doing a survey?
That the "sample" represent the whole group.
What do "Interactionists" believe?
That society consists of people interacting with one another, to understand society we must understand social interaction. It is through such interaction that groups, organizations and society as a whole are created, maintained and changed.
What is "Social Psychology"?
The study of how peoples thought, feelings and behaviors are influenced by their interactions with others.
What is the "Hawthorne Effect"?
People react to being observed and sociologists take this tendency into account when conducting their research.
Who argued that sociology should remain as value-free as possible because human values can distort sound scientific investigation.
Max Weber
What is "Ethics"?
Has to do with what is proper or improper behavior, with moral duty and obligation.
Basically, avoid violating the rights of the people being studied or harming them in any fashion.
What is "Reactivity?
The term refers to the fact that people react to being studied and may behave differently from the way they do when they don't think they are being studied.
What is "Applied Science"?
Focuses on solving some real world problem.
What are both "Basic and Applied" sociology based on?
Observation, but what they do with these observations is quite different.
What does "Basic Sociology" refer to?
Sociological research whose purpose is to advance our knowledge about human social behavior with little concern for any immediate practical benefits that might result.
What is "Basic Sociology"?
An attempt to develop theories that explain how societies work and why people behave the way they do; the goal of basic sociology is to subject theories to the process of hypothesis testing and theory verification.
What is "Applied Sociology"?
Research and other activities designed to focus sociological knowledge or research tools on a particular problem identified by some client with some practical outcome in mind.
What is the "Pimary Focus of applied sociology?
On policy or changes in behavior.
What do "Applied Sociologists" use to tackle a problem someone wants solved?
Sociological theories and research tools.
Where do "Applied Sociologists" generally work?
Universities, Federal, State and Local governments, private industries or nonprofit organizations.
Where do "Basic Sociologists" generally work?
Colleges or Universities
What does "replications" mean?
Scientific investigations that are repeated. They provide further verification for scientific findings.
What does the Sociological perspective offer?
The ability to understand that our own behavior and viewpoints are shaped by the intersection of biology and history: the point we are at in our lives and the point in history in which we live.
What does the term "Definition of the situation" refer to?
It refers to people's perceptions and interpretations of what is important in a situation and what actions are possible or appropriate.
What is at the core of sociological investigations?
A particular perspective that sets sociology apart from other approaches to human behavior.
What is "Psychology"?
Focuses on the mental processes of individuals, dealing with phenomena such as memory,perception, motivation and emotions.
What does "Provisional" mean?
The results of scientific investigations are considered tentative, and they are always open to question and possible repudiation.
What is "Anthropology"?
The study of the cultures, customs, origins, evaluting and physical characteristices of human beings.
What does "Causation" mean?
Scientists assume that all events are caused, or determined, by something else.
What is not foolproof but is the most effective means of acquiring systematic, verifiable knowledge about the world?
What does "Objective" mean?
Scientists strive to prevent their personal values from affecting their investigations.
What is "Political Science"?
It has traditionally been most involved with political philosophy and the study of governmental forms.
What does the "Interactionist Perspective" focus on?
On everyday social interaction among individuals rather than on large societal structures such as politics and education.
What are "Hypotheses"?
Tentative statements that can be tested regarding relationships between two or more variables.
What is "Economics"?
Concerned with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services and with peoples behavior as economic consumers.
What do the Natural Sciences study?
Nature and the physical universe. They include the physical sciences, such as biology and zoology.
What does Systematic mean?
Following methodical and generally accepted procedures.
What "Observational Technique" allows the investigators to take part in the activities of the people being studied?
Participant Observations
What is the modern definition of Sociology?
The scientific study of society and human social behavior.
What is an important ingredient of theories?
The practice of sociology actually involves the continual interplay of two key elements:
What are they?
"Theories" which embody the sociological perspective.
"Research' which is based on the scientific method.
What are the two types of "Variables" that theories have?
"Dependent Variables": Those that are changed.
"Independent Variables": Those that bring about changes in other variables.
What is a "Variable"?
A property or characteristic of something that can take on different values such as age and ethnicity.
What do "Theories" provide?
Ideas which can be investigated through reseach, whereas the research in turn provides evidence on the accuracy or veracity of the theories.
Which "Variable" is exposed to the Experimental Group?
The "Independent Variable".
The control group is not exposed to this factor.
What is "Basic Science"?
The primary focus is to advance our understanding of some phenomenon.
What was C. Wright Mills referring to when he coined the term:
"Sociological Imagination"?
The ability to understand the relationship between what is happening in people"s lives and the social forces that surround them.
Who was the founder of the field of sociology?
August Comte
What is the basic premise of sociology?
Human behavior is largely determined by the groups to which people belong and by the societies in which they live.
What is a "Representative Sample?
A sample that accurately reflects the characteristics of the population under study.
What school was the first to offer a Major in Sociology?
University of Chicago
What are the three most commonly used "Research Methods" used by sociologists?
a. Observational Techniques
b. Surveys
c. Experiments
What technique refers to the direct observation of behavior by sociologists, either by seeing or hearing what people do?
Observational Technique
What does the sociological perspective emphasize?
It emphasizes the powerful role that group membership and social forces play in shaping behavior.
What does science use to determine how the world works?
Systematic Observation.
Once hypotheses have been consructed, sociologists develop a detailed plan that specifies how observations will be made in order to test the hypotheses.
What are such plans called?
Research Methods.
What is the goal of a science like sociology?
To shape our knowledge into theories.
What is a "Theory"?
A set of statements that explains the relationship among phenomena.
What are the two different types of functions each element of society perform?
a. Manifest Functions
b. Latent Functions
What are "Functionalist and Conflict" approaches known as?
Macrosociology: because they focus on large groups and society as a whole.
How does the "Functionalist Perspective" see society?
As a system made up of a number of interelated and interdependent elements, each performing a function that contributes to the operation of the whole.
What are the "Three Theoretical Perspectives"?
a. Functionalism
b. Conflict Theory
c. Interactionism
What does Empirical mean?
Science is based on observation.
What is a Key insight to the Sociological Perspective?
That beliefs, values and behaviors are relative to particular groups or societies and can be understood only in the context of those affiliations. This means there is a tremendous diversity from one group to the next.
What are "Manifest Functions"?
They are intended consequences of some action or social process and refer to what most people expect to result.
What is the "Conflict Perspective" based on?
The idea that society consists of different groups who struggle with one another to attain the scarce societal resources that are considered valuable, be they money, power, prestige or the authority to impose ones values on society.
What are "Latent Functions"?
They are consequences that are unexpected or unintended.
What approach does sociology use to study people?
The "scientific approach", which distinguishes it from other means of understanding human behavior.
What are all scientific theories subject to?

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