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Chapter 1

anomie Emile Durkheim's designation for a condition in which social control becomes ineffective as a result of the loss of shared values and of a sense of purpose in society.

conflict perspectives the sociological approach that views groups in society as engaged in a continuous power struggle for control of scarce resources.

functionalist perspectives the sociological approach that views society as a stable, orderly system.

high-income countries nations with highly industrialized economies; technologically advanced industrial, administrative, and service occupations; and relatively high levels of national and personal income.

industrialization the process by which societies are transformed from dependence on agriculture and handmade products to an emphasis on manufacturing and related industries.

latent functions unintended functions that are hidden and remain unacknowledged by participants.

low-income countries nations with little industrialization and low levels of national and personal income.

macrolevel analysis an approach that examines whole societies, large-scale social structures and social systems.

manifest functions functions that are intended and/or overtly recognized by the participants in a social unit.

microlevel analysis sociological theory and research that focus on small groups rather than on large-scale social structures.

middle-income countries nations with industrializing economies and moderate levels of national and personal income.

positivism a term describing Auguste Comte's belief that the world can best be understood through scientific inquiry.

postmodern perspectives the sociological approach that attempts to explain social life in modern societies that are characterized by postindustrialization, consumerism, and global communications.

social Darwinism Herbert Spencer's belief that those species of animals, including human beings, best adapted to their environment survive and prosper, whereas those poorly adapted die out.

social facts Emile Durkheim's term for patterned ways of acting, thinking, and feeling that exist outside any one individual but that exert social control over each person.

society a large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.

sociological imagination C. Wright Mills's term for the ability to see the relationship between individual experiences and the larger society.

sociology the systematic study of human society and social interaction.

symbolic interactionist perspectives the sociological approach that views society as the sum of the interactions of individuals and groups.

theory a set of logically interrelated statements that attempts to describe, explain, and occasionally predict social events.

urbanization the process by which an increasing proportion of a population lives in cities rather than in rural areas.

Chapter 2

content analysis the systematic examination of cultural artifacts or various forms of communication to extract thematic data and draw conclusions about social life.

control group in an experiment, the group containing the subjects who are not exposed to the independent variable.

correlation a relationship that exists when two variables are associated more frequently than could be expected by chance.

dependent variable a variable that is assumed to depend on or be caused by one or more other (independent) variables.

ethnography a detailed study of the life and activities of a group of people by researchers who may live with that group over a period of years.

experiment a research method involving a carefully designed situation in which the researcher studies the impact of certain variables on subjects' attitudes or behavior.

experimental group in an experiment, this group contains the subjects who are exposed to an independent variable (the experimental condition) to study its effect on them.

field research the study of social life in its natural setting: observing and interviewing people where they live, work, and play.

Hawthorne effect a phenomenon in which changes in a subject's behavior are caused by the researcher's presence or by the subject's awareness of being studied.

hypothesis in research studies, a tentative statement of the relationship between two or more concepts.

independent variable a variable that is presumed to cause or determine a dependent variable.

interview a research method using a data collection encounter in which an interviewer asks the respondent questions and records the answers.


observation a research method in which researchers collect data while being part of the activities of the group being studied.

probability sampling choosing participants for a study on the basis of specific characteristics, possibly including such factors as age, sex, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment.

questionnaire a printed research instrument containing a series of items to which subjects respond.

random sampling a study approach in which every member of an entire population being studied has the same chance of being selected.

reliability in sociological research, the extent to which a study or research instrument yields consistent results when applied to different individuals at one time or to the same individuals over time.

research methods specific strategies or techniques for systematically conducting research.

respondents persons who provide data for analysis through interviews or questionnaires.

secondary analysis a research method in which researchers use existing material and analyze data that



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