Explore & learn sociological terms & concepts.
The flashcards are study tools for “Introduction to Sociology 3e” by OpenStax College which is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
1. Introduction to Sociology
Sociology is the systematic and scientific study of society and social interaction. By studying sociology people learn how to think critically about social issues and problems that confront our society.
2. Sociological Research
Using the scientific method, a researcher conducts a study in six phases: asking a question, researching existing sources, formulating a hypothesis, research design, collecting & analyzing data, and drawing conclusions.
A culture consists of many elements, such as the values and beliefs of its society. Culture is also governed by norms, including laws, mores, and folkways.
4. Society & Social Interaction
Society is based on the social construction of reality. How we define society influences how society actually is.
Socialization is important because it helps uphold societies and cultures; it is also a key part of individual development.
6. Groups & Organization
Groups largely define how we think of ourselves. There are two main types of groups: primary and secondary. The size and dynamic of a group greatly affects how members act.
7. Deviance, Crime, & Social Control
Deviance is a violation of norms. Whether or not something is deviant depends on contextual definitions, the situation, and people’s response to the behavior.
8. Media & Technology
Technology is the application of science to address the problems of daily life. The fast pace of technological advancement means the advancements are continuous, but that not everyone has equal access.
9. Social Stratification in the U.S.
Stratification systems, where people are ranked based on their wealth, power, and status within society. Movement and interaction between the layers may or may not be possible.
10. Global Inequality
Stratification refers to the gaps in resources both between nations and within nations. While economic equality is of great concern, so is social equality, like the discrimination stemming from race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and/or sexual orientation.
11. Race & Ethnicity
Race is fundamentally a social construct. Ethnicity is a term that describes shared culture and national origin. Minority groups are defined by their lack of power.
12. Gender, Sex, & Sexuality
When studying sex and sexuality, sociologists focus their attention on sexual attitudes and practices, not on physiology or anatomy.
13. Aging & the Elderly
The social study of aging uses population data and cohorts to predict social concerns related to aging populations.
14. Relationships, Marriage, & Family
Sociologists view marriage and families as societal institutions that help create the basic unit of social structure.
Religion describes the beliefs, values, and practices related to sacred or spiritual concerns.
Educational systems around the world have many differences, though the same factors—including resources and money—affect every educational system.
17. Government & Politics
Sociologists examine government and politics in terms of their impact on individuals and larger social systems.
18. Work & the Economy
Economy refers to the social institution through which a society’s resources (goods and services) are managed.
19. Health & Medicine
Medical sociology is the systematic study of how humans manage issues of health and illness, disease and disorders, and healthcare for both the sick and the healthy.
20. Population, Urbanization, & the Environment
Factors that impact population include birthrates, mortality rates, and migration, including immigration and emigration.
21. Social Movements & Social Change
Collective behavior is non-institutionalized activity in which several people voluntarily engage.