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5. The feminist perspectivestresses gender as the key to understand-ing social interactions. Feminist sociologists charge that too often, scholars concentrate on male social roles, ignoring male–female differences in behavior. 6. The interactionist perspectiveis concerned primarily with the everyday ways in which individuals shape their society and are shaped by it. Interactionists see social change as an ongoing and very personal process. 7. The scientific methodincludes five steps: defining the problem; reviewing the literature; formulating the hypothesis;selecting the research designand collecting and analyzing data; and developing the conclusion. The hypothesisstates a possible relationship between two or more variables, usually one independent variableand a dependent variablethat is thought to be related to it. 8. To avoid having to test everyone in a population, sociologists use a samplethat is representative of the general population. Using a representative sample lends validityand reliabilityto the results of scientific research. 9. Sociologists use four major research designs in their work: surveysof the population; ethnographic studies of behaviors and communi-ties; experimentsthat test hypothetical cause-and-effect relation-ships; and analysis of existing sources. 10. Applied sociology—the practical application of the discipline to problems in human behavior and organizations—is a growing field that includes community research and clinical sociology.