6 Must Know Sociological Concepts

On Everything Sociology, we've gone over many concepts. And since the holidays are here, I thought I'd make a (half) year in review so you can pick and choose what you want to re-read during the lonely, cold days of your break. So without further to do, here are the 6 must-know sociological concepts from Introduction to Sociology.

1) The Sociological Imagination

In this theory, Mills explains that to truly understand society and a person's situation, we must not just look at the social issue from an everyday viewpoint. We must use some creativity and imagination by trying to understand the person's story and the society that they were brought up in (or how the social institutions they were involved with affected them). READ MORE

2) The Four Paradigms of Sociology

The four paradigms of sociology are functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interaction, and feminists perspective.

  • Functionalism is the relationship and interdependency between all social groups, big and small.
  • Conflict theory looks at the inequalities of society.
  • Symbolic interaction looks at how individuals interact with one another.
  • The feminists perspective looks at the inequality between the genders. 

3) Socialization

Socialization is the process whereby social institutions teach its members how to properly interact in a society. It also helps its members develop a sense of self (the "self" is a unique sense of identity that distinguishes people from others). But socialization can also be negative. A lot of times it can develop people into conforming citizens rather than free-thinkers or people with agency (a person's capacity to act independently; to have free will).  READ MORE

4) Sex and gender

According to social scientists, sex and gender are two different things. A person's sex defines what they are biologically. Are you a girl or a boy? Male or female? Sex answers these questions.  READ MORE

5) Social Stratification

Social stratification is society's way of ranking people based on a hierarchal system of property, prestige, and/or power.

There are two different types of stratification. The caste system and the class system. Casteranks people based on whose family they were born into, while class ranks people based on both birth and a person's achievements. READ MORE

RELATED: Sociologist's Tools

6) Race and racism

'What is 'race'? 'Race,' contrary to popular belief, is a social creation (that is why some sociologists put single quotes around the word). It is not biological because people from same ethnic groups (a group of people who share the same culture) do not have the same behaviors, personalities, and philosophies on life. READ MORE

There you have it. These are the six must know sociological concepts from Introduction to Sociology. If you have any questions or comments, you can leave it in the comment's area. And while you are at it, why not follow me on Twitter @EverythingSLGY and on Facebook, and share this article on your favorite social media networks.


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