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41 Cards in this Set

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archival research
The use of existing records that have been produced or maintained by persons or organizations other than the researcher.
class conflict
The view of Karl Marx that society is divided into those who own the means of producing wealth and those who do not, giving rise to struggles between classes.
constructed reality
Our experience of the world. Meaning is not something that inheres in things; it is a property that derives from, or arises out of, the interaction that takes place among people in the course of their daily lives.
control group
The group that affords a neutral standard against which the changes in an experimental group can be measured.
correlation
A change in one variable associated with a change in another variable.
dependent variable
The variable that is affected in an experimental setting.
dialectical materialism
The notion in Marxist theory that development depends on the clash of contradictions and the creation of new, more advanced structures out of these clashes.
dysfunctions
Observed consequences that lessen the adaptation or adjustment of a system.
economic determinist
A believer in the doctrine that economic factors are the primary determinants of the structure of societies and social change.
experiment
A technique in which researchers work with two groups that are identical in all relevant respects. They introduce a change in one group but not in the other group. The procedure permits researchers to test the effects of an independent variable on a dependent variable.
experimental group
The group in which researchers introduce a change in an experimental setting.
functions
Observed consequences that permit the adaptation or adjustment of a system.
hypothesis
A proposition that can be tested to determine its validity.
independent variable
The variable that causes an effect in an experimental setting.
latent functions
Consequences that are neither intended nor recognized by the participants in a system.
macrosociology
The study of large-scale and long-term social processes.
manifest functions
Consequences that are intended and recognized by the participants in a system.
microsociology
The detailed study of what individuals say, do, and think moment by moment as they go about their daily lives.
operational definition
A definition developed by taking abstract concepts and putting them in a form that permits their measurement.
participant observation
A technique in which researchers engage in activities with the people that they are observing.
power
The ability of individuals and groups to realize their will in human affairs even if it involves the resistance of others.
The ability to control the behavior of others, even against their will.
random sample
A sampling procedure in which researchers select subjects on the basis of chance so that every individual in the population has the same opportunity to be chosen.
secondary data analysis
Analysis of data collected by others.
social darwinism
The application of evolutionary notions and the concept of survival of the fit-test to the social world.
social dynamics
Those aspects of social life that pattern institutional development and have to do with social change.
social facts
Those aspects of social life that cannot be explained in terms of the biological or mental characteristics of the individual. People experience the social fact as external to themselves in the sense that it has an independent reality and forms a part of their objective environment.
social statics
Those aspects of social life that have to do with order and stability and that allow societies to hold together and endure.
social imagination
The ability to see our private experiences and personal difficulties as entwined with the structural arrangements of our society and the historical times in which we live.
sociology
The scientific study of social interaction and social organization.
spurious correlation
The apparent relationship between two variables produced by a third variable that influences the original variables.
stratified random sample
A sampling procedure in which researchers divide a population into relevant categories and draw a random sample from each of the categories.
survey
A method for gathering data on people's beliefs, values, attitudes, perceptions, motivations, and feelings. The data can be derived from interviews or questionnaires.
unobtrusive observation
A technique in which researchers observe the activities of people without intruding or participating in the activities.
value-free sociology
The view of Max Weber that sociologists must not allow their personal biases to affect the conduct of their scientific research.
variable
A concept that can take on different values; the term scientists apply to something they think influences (or is influenced by) something else.
Verstehen
An approach to the study of social life developed by Max Weber in which sociologists mentally attempt to place themselves in the shoes of other people and identify what they think and how they feel; translates roughly as "understanding."
Auguste Comte
The founder of sociology. Emphasized that the study of society must be scientific and he urged sociologists to use systematic observation, experimentation, and comparative historical analysis as their methods.
Harriet Martineau
Like Comte, insisted the study of society represents a seperate scientific field. Wrote the first book on the methodology of social reseawrch, How to Observe Manners and Morals
Herbert Spencer
Saw society as a system, a whole made up of interrelated parts or institutions. What sociologists now call structural-functional theory. Applied the concept of survival of the fittest to the social world.
Karl Marx
Viewed science not only as a vehicle for understanding society, but as a tool for transforming it.Eager to change the structure of capitalist institutions and to establish new institutions in ther service of humanity. Focused on the economic environments in which societies develop, particularly the current state of their techonolgy and their method of organizing production. Marx's perspective is called dialectical materialism.
Emile Durkheim
Emphasized social solidarity. Proposed that human behavior is not only the result of individual factors, but a product of society.