Concepts_Intro_Exam_1_WORD - Sociology 101 Important...

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1 Sociology 101: Important Concepts for Exam I Why Do Sociology? Taken-for-Granted Assumptions: Peter Berger argues that sociology is a process of challenging or debunking the “matrix” of assumptions that define and guide our everyday lives; that is, a process of questioning those categories and relationships which we take for granted as “natural.” The Sociological Imagination: According to C. Wright Mills the sociological imagination involves the use of sociological theory to clarify the connections between our own personal biographies and the broader socio-historical processes which affect our lives. Sociological Methodology Levels of Analysis: sociological theories that emphasize a Micro Level of Analysis focus on face-to-face social interactions in everyday life and on the behavior of groups. Theories that stress a Macro Level of Analysis focus on the dynamics of larger-scale social structures that provide the context for everyday social interactions–e.g., organizations, institutions, classes, political parties, national states etc. Theory: A set of interrelated ideas that allow for the systematization of knowledge of the social world, the explanation of that world, and predictions about the future of the social world Hypothesis: a statement about the relationship between two or more variables. For a Positive Relationship as the value of one variable increases the value of the other variable also tends to increase. For a Negative Relationship as the value of one variable increases the value on the other variable decreases. Variable: a property of people or objects that can change value from case to case. A Dependent Variable is an effect, result or outcome–what you are trying to explain. An Independent Variable is a cause. Unit of Analysis: The level of social life which a theory focuses on–e.g., individual, family, organization, city, county or nation state. Methods of Data Collection : Sociologists employ Survey Research when they ask respondents a series of closed or open-ended questions. Data obtained from surveys (as well as other methods) is often analyzed using Inferential Statistics which allow researchers to use data from a relatively small sample of respondents to make a generalization about an entire population. In order to ensure that correct inferences, the sample must be Randomly Selected –i.e, each person in the population must have an equal probability of being chosen for the sample. This procedure ensures that the sample is Representative –i.e, the sample recreates on average the characteristics of the population. Secondary Analysis uses data that has been collected by someone else–e.g., the census bureau. Sociologists also conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses of Documents such as government reports, movies newspapers, organizational records. Likewise, they conduct structured Experiments where participants are randomly divided into an experimental group which is exposed to some treatment and a control group which is not. Unobtrusive Measures
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  • Fall '07
  • Sociology, social structures, economic crises

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