(SLG) Understanding Sociology

(SLG) Understanding Sociology - C hapter 1: The...

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Chapter 1: The Sociological Perspective Chapter one introduces important sociological concepts, such as sociological imagination and the five key concepts of sociology: social structure, social action, functional integration, power, and culture. Social structure is the pattern of relationships, social positions, and the number of people in a group. Social action refers to the way in which someone's actions are coordinated with his or her environment. Functional integration is the interdependence among the parts of a social system. Power is the ability of one party to get other parties to do its will, or to ensure that it will benefit from these other parties' actions. Finally, culture is the language, norms, values, beliefs, knowledge, and symbols that comprise a way of life. The Persian Gulf War can be used to illustrate all of these terms. It is a good example of how divergent social forces collide, sometimes creating conflict. Chapter one also examines the history of sociology. The American and French revolutions, as well as colonialism and the Industrial Revolution, had a lot to do with disrupting the status quo, in turn creating an environment ripe for the development of sociology. Thinkers emerged with different sociological theories. Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, Max Weber, and George Herbert Mead were notable contributors to early sociology. For a long time, conflict theory, structural- functionalism, and symbolic interactionism dominated sociological thought. Sociologists today build on founding theories to form their own perspective on social life. Many sociologists today are employed as researchers, policy analysts, and interpreters of social phenomena. Sociologists make us aware that global issues have local consequences. Chapter 2: Methods of Sociological Research Chapter two examines sociological research, defining what it constitutes and describing the process by which it is undertaken. Some of the steps in the research process are defining the problem, reviewing the literature, forming a hypothesis, collecting data, analyzing the data, and drawing conclusions. Validity is the degree to which a study measures what it purports to measure, while reliability is the degree to which a study produces the same results when repeated. Quantitative research refers to research involving formally measurable phenomena, and
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qualitative research refers to research involving phenomena that can be observed but that cannot be formally measured. Specific methods of research include surveys, interviews, experiments, and ethnographies. There are different kinds of experiments and different kinds of ethnographies. Other sociological tools for research are comparative methods, in which two different groups are compared, and cross-cultural studies, in which the comparison involves different societies. Historical methods may also be used, and a content analysis can be helpful when
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(SLG) Understanding Sociology - C hapter 1: The...

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