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Sociological Perspective


applied sociology

use of research about social behavior to create solutions to specific social issues or for specific client needs


set of shared practices, values, beliefs, norms, and traditions that shape a specific society

empirical statement

assertion based on data collected through careful and systematic observations

macro-level analysis

examination of society as a whole

mechanical solidarity

sense of unity between people who share ties, values, and beliefs, leading to cooperation

meso-level analysis

detailed examination of a specific group, community, or organization

micro-level analysis

detailed examination of one-to-one interactions between individuals

normative statement

assertion based on value judgments and opinions

organic solidarity

social unity that develops when individuals depend on one another for labor and services


philosophy that holds that truth can be determined by scientifically verifying or proving ideas and assertions


refers to society or things pertaining to the public, group, or collective

social change

shifts in the patterns that characterize a society

social cohesion

sense shared by members of a society or community of being bound together as a group

social institution

complex set of interdependent social forces that meet basic needs and serve to reproduce patterns of behavior

social interaction

social exchange between two or more individuals, emphasizing their actions and reactions toward one another

social structure

organized pattern of relationships and social institutions that make up a society


human-made system that organizes and connects people who interact, live in a defined territory, and share a culture

socioeconomic status (SES)

combined measure of economic and social ranking based on income, education, and occupation

sociological imagination

awareness of a relationship between personal experiences and larger forces of society

sociological perspective

view that human behavior is shaped by group affiliation and the social behaviors that take place within those groups


study of social behavior, including social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior

theoretical sociology

study and analysis of society, social groups, and social behaviors

value-free sociology

objective, unbiased approach to sociological research