Category Archives: Sociological concepts

What is the Sociological Imagination?

A brief summary of, and elaboration on Anthony Giddens’ take on what the sociological imagination involves…  Learning to think sociologically means cultivating the sociological imagination.  Studying sociology cannot be just a routine process of acquiring knowledge.  A sociologist is someone … Continue reading

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Giddens – What is Sociology?

A summary of Giddens’ ‘Sociology’ (2017): The Introduction ‘The world we live in today can feel liberating and exciting but, at the same time confusing and worrying. Global communications and friendships across national boundaries are in many ways easier to … Continue reading

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Sociological Perspectives in Five Shapes

If you could represent the five sociological perspectives in sociology as five shapes, I think they’d look something like this: Functionalism – a rectangle as it emphasizes structure and order. Marxism – a triangle to represent the class structure, Bourgeoisie … Continue reading

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What is society, and should sociologists study it?

Working Definition: ‘Society is a concept used to describe the structured relations and institutions among a large community of people which cannot be reduced to a simple collection or aggregation of individuals.’ (1) Origins of the Concept: The concept of society … Continue reading

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Sociological Perspectives: Key Concepts

Definitions of key terms for the five basic sociological perspectives – Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Social Action Theory and Postmodernism. Functionalism Norms and Values Norms = the normal, typical or expected patterns of behaviour associated with societies or specific contexts or … Continue reading

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The Long History of the ‘Underclass’ Thesis

Charles Murray’s Underclass Theory – the idea that there is a ‘hardcore’ of a few hundred thousand families and individuals who are welfare-dependent and responsible a disproportionate amount of crime in society has a long history: In Victorian times there … Continue reading

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What are ‘Social Facts’ ?

Social Facts are one of Emile Durkheim’s most significant contributions to sociology. Social facts are things such as institutions, norms and values which exist external to the individual and constrain the individual. The University of Colorado lists as examples of … Continue reading

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Key Concepts for A Level Sociology – Crime and Deviance

A list of definitions of some of the key concepts relevant to the A level sociology crime and deviance module. Anomie Where modern social systems encourage excessive individualism – as a consequence there is a general lack of agreement around … Continue reading

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