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Chapter 1: Introduction – Understanding Sociology

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Notes: key terms

Sociological Perspective: the process of understanding and explaining how individuals and groups interact within society
Social Structures: the distinctive and stable arrangements of social patterns that form the society as a whole
Social Problems: societal conditions that harm segments of society
Sociological Imagination: the ability to see the details of our own lives in the context of larger social structures as opposed to merely personal choices or personal troubles
Social Change: the forces that change society’s organization and social structures

Sociological Theory: a set of interrelated ideas that provide a systematic understanding of the social world

Macro Sociology: a level of analysis focusing on social systems and populations on a large scale
Micro Sociology: a level of analysis focusing on individuals and small groups within the larger social system

The Proletariat: the majority, who were the poor, property-less industrial working class
Bourgeois: the land and business owners; the small minority who were the wealthy class 

Conflict Theory: a sociological perspective emphasizing the role of political and economic power and oppression as contributing to the existing social order 
Functionalist Theory: a macro view of how the parts of society serve to maintain stability

Manifest Functions: intentional and formally sanctioned functions of social institutions and society
Latent functions: unintentional and informally sanctioned functions of social institutions and society, that occur in education include learning social skills, finding romantic partners, and even negative functions, such as bullying and learning how to cheat on exams
Dysfunction: the undesirable disruptions of social patterns resulting in negative consequences within society

Socialized Self: states that the self cannot develop apart from society

Symbolic Interaction: a micro view of how society is the product of interactions between people, which occur via symbols that have distinct meanings

Social Facts: social patterns that are external to individuals and greatly influence our way of thinking and behaving in society

Verstehen: an empathetic approach to understanding human behavior, loosely translated as understanding or interpretation

Feminist Theory: a view on anti-oppression, gender relations, and gender inequality, evolved from the conflict theory and is an important contemporary sociological perspective

Applied Sociology: the use of sociological theory, research, and methodologies to find solutions to problems in society

Queer Theory: a critical view that rejects the traditional categories of gender, sex, and sexuality in contemporary society

Postmodern Social Theory: a critical view rejecting the historical, scientific, and structured means of investigating and interpreting the social world

Social Problems: the societal conditions that harm segments of society, become less about personal feelings and more about measurable, evidence-based reality

objective conditions — the scope of a problem
subjective concerns — people’s feelings about a problem

Human Trafficking: a situation in which a person is smuggled, abused, and forced to work against their will for the economic gain of another

Fair Trade: an organizational movement and certification process to help producers in developing countries receive a fair price for their products with the goals of reducing poverty, providing for the ethical treatment of workers and farmers, and promoting environmentally sustainable practices

Sustainability: the idea that current and future generations should have equal or greater access to social, economic, and environmental resources
Sustainable Development: development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

Social Inequality: the unequal distribution of power, property, or prestige in society
Sociological Imagination: the ability to see the details of our own lives in the context of larger social structures as opposed to merely personal choices or personal troubles

Personal Troubles: matters experienced at the individual level, are limited to areas of the social life of which you are directly and personally aware
Public Issue: a matter that impacts society as a whole

Anomie: the breakdown of social values, norms, and order resulting in social instability

Social Change: the forces that change the organization and the social structures of society
Globalization: the worldwide integration of our cultural, economic, and political lives that results from ever-increasing levels of business, trade, and technology

Applied Sociology: the use of sociological theory, research, and methodologies to find solutions to problems in society