Sociological concepts are key ideas in the study of sociology, and are generally taught in introductory sociology classes and texts. Examples of sociological concepts include ethnocentrism, taboos and social groups.Continue Reading
Sociology is the study of human society and of how individuals and groups interact within that society. Sociology is a science and, like any other science, it has key concepts that have been developed through the years by prominent sociologists. It also has a unique terminology, and borrows words from common usage that may have different definitions in a sociological context.
One basic sociological concept is groups. A social group, as defined by sociologists, is simply a collection of people who interact with each other. This could include a tribe, a town, or a group of coworkers. A primary group is an intimate group that interacts by direct, face-to-face communication, such as a family or close friends. A secondary group relies on rules to enforce behavior and is highly impersonal. Workers in a factory are a type of secondary group. This categorization of groups is based on the work of sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies, who studied the changes that took place in society when it changed from a traditional, rural environment to a modern, industrialized one.
Ethnocentrism is another key concept. It refers to feelings of superiority for one’s own culture, and judgment of other cultures. Another concept is taboos. A taboo is a behavior that is prohibited by a particular culture. Many taboos are not universal. Bigamy, for example, is taboo in some cultures yet perfectly acceptable elsewhere.Learn more about Social Sciences
General topics within sociology include the study of the social order, societal change over time, and individual versus societal human behavior. Specific topics within sociology include social stratification and mobility, ideology and culture, race and immigration, among many more. As sociology is the study of human society, researchers may pick almost any aspect of human life to examine in a sociological way.Full Answer >
Social studies is a field of study that seeks to unify the diverse subjects of history, politics, economics, sociology, geography and anthropology, ultimately aiming toward a comprehensive understanding of society. It is often taught to young students as a preparation for college or careers.Full Answer >
In the fields of psychology and sociology, structuralism proposes that consciousness is best understood through the systematic study of the anatomy of the brain while functionalism suggests that cognitive processes were governed by the function of the mind. Structuralism emerged in Germany while functionalism started in the United States.Full Answer >
The study of sociology provides valuable insights into how human behavior is shaped and influenced by the societal forces of group interaction. The insight gained from a study of sociology leads to a greater understanding of how individuals and groups interact at the local, national and worldwide level. This understanding also better prepares an individual for a wide variety of career paths in the areas of human resources, business management, assessment, research and any area in which a global awareness coupled with critical thinking skills is an asset.Full Answer >