Category Archives: Sociological concepts

What is Socialization?

A Basic Definition: The social processes through which new members of society develop awareness of social norms and values and help them achieve a distinct sense of self. It is the process which transforms a helpless infant into a self-aware, … Continue reading

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What is Patriarchy?

Working definition The systematic domination of women by men in some or all of society’s spheres and institutions Origins of the Concept  Ideas of male dominance have a very long history, with many religions presenting it as natural and necessary. … Continue reading

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What is Alienation?

Working definition: the separation or estrangement of human beings from some essential aspect of their nature or from society, often resulting in feelings of powerlessness or helplessness. Today, the concept of alienation has become part of ordinary language, much used … Continue reading

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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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