|Subfields and other major theories|
This is an index of sociology articles. For a shorter list, see List of basic sociology topics.
Sociology is the study of society, patterns of social relationships, social interaction and culture of everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order, acceptance, and change or social evolution. Sociology is also defined as the general science of society. While some sociologists conduct research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro-sociology level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure.
absolute poverty — achieved status — acute disease — adaptation — Adultism — affect control theory — affirmative action — affluent alienation — age grade — age structure — aging in place — ageism — agency — AGIL Paradigm — aggregate — ageism — agrarian society — agribusiness — AIDS — air pollution — alcoholism — altermodern — alienation — alien land law — alternative society — altruism — alzheimer's disease — Amae — amalgamation — Americanization — Anabaptist — anarchy — androgyny — animal abuse — animism — anomia — anomie — anthropology — antipositivism — antisemitism — apartheid — apollonian — applied science — approach — appropriate technology — The Archaeology of Knowledge — arms race — arms trade — arranged marriage — asceticism — Asch conformity experiments — ascribed status — assimilation — assisted living — attribution theory — autarky — authentic act — authoritarian personality — authoritarianism — authority — autocracy — automation — avant-garde — abortion
The poverty threshold, poverty limit or poverty line is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country.
Achieved status is a concept developed by the anthropologist Ralph Linton denoting a social position that a person can acquire on the basis of merit; it is a position that is earned or chosen. It is the opposite of Ascribed status. It reflects personal skills, abilities, and efforts. Examples of achieved status are being an Olympic athlete, being a criminal, or being a college professor.
In medicine, describing a disease as acute denotes that it is of short duration and, as a corollary of that, of recent onset. The quantitation of how much time constitutes "short" and "recent" varies by disease and by context, but the core denotation of "acute" is always qualitatively in contrast with "chronic", which denotes long-lasting disease. In addition, "acute" also often connotes two other meanings: sudden onset and severity, such as in acute myocardial infarction (AMI), where suddenness and severity are both established aspects of the meaning. It thus often connotes that the condition is fulminant, but not always. The one thing that acute MI and acute rhinitis have in common is that they are not chronic. They can happen again, but they are not the same case ongoing for months or years.
baby boomer — — balance of power — base and superstructure — The Bell Curve — belonging — berdache — biological determinism — bioethics — biosocial theory — Black Power — Black Panther Party — blended family — boomerang generation — bourgeoisie — brainwashing — bricolage — bureaucracy — bureaucratic collectivism — bureaucratization — bystander effect
In federations, the balance of power is occasionally used informally to designate the degree to which power is centralized in the federal government or devolved to the subnational governments. The term itself is largely a misnomer of its misapplication from geopolitics in the twentieth century and European politics in the nineteenth century involved, for example, in the assessment of the conditions of war following the Napoleonic campaigns across Europe In confederations, it is more likely that the balance of power will be in favour of the sub-national level of government. Canada is an example of such a federation. The Commonwealth of Australia is an example of a federation in which the balance of power has shifted in favour of the central (federal) government; although the states were constitutionally intended to be preponderant, the federal government has become dominant through various means of this power. The more refined use of the term usually defers to the designation of power at the domestic level using such terms as the separation of powers, or the distribution of powers among the states and institutions contained within a larger federal government.
In Marxist theory, capitalist society consists of two parts: the base and superstructure. The base comprises the forces and relations of production into which people enter to produce the necessities and amenities of life. The base determines society's other relationships and ideas to comprise its superstructure, including its culture, institutions, political power structures, roles, rituals, and state. While the relation of the two parts is not strictly unidirectional, as the superstructure often affects the base, the influence of the base is predominant. Marx and Engels warned against such economic determinism.
The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life is a 1994 book by psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray, in which the authors argue that human intelligence is substantially influenced by both inherited and environmental factors and that it is a better predictor of many personal outcomes, including financial income, job performance, birth out of wedlock, and involvement in crime than are an individual's parental socioeconomic status. They also argue that those with high intelligence, the "cognitive elite", are becoming separated from those of average and below-average intelligence. The book was controversial, especially where the authors wrote about racial differences in intelligence and discussed the implications of those differences.
capitalism — capitalists — carrying capacity — cash crop — caste — caste system — Catholic Worker — Catholicism — causation — cause marketing — charismatic movement — CBD — Chicago Area Project — Chicago school — Chicano — child labor — chronic disease — church — citizen — citizenship — civil disorder — civil inattention — civil religion — civil rights — civil society — clan — class — class conflict — class consciousness — class structure — classism — cognition — cohabitation — cold war — collective action — collective behavior — collective consciousness —collective punishment — collective representation — collective violence — colonialism — commodity — commodity chain — commodity fetishism — communal riot — communication — communism — community — community care — comparable worth — comparative sociology — complex society — computational sociology — conflict theory — conformity — conglomerates — conscience collective — consciousness — consensus — consensus decision-making — consumerism — content analysis — contingent work — contradiction — conversation analysis — core countries — corporation — correlation — corruption – Counterculture — counter-revolutionary — coup d'état — created environment — creole language — crime — critical theory — crowd psychology — crude birth rate — crude death rate — cult — cultural bias — cultural capital — cultural deprivation — cultural imperialism — cultural lag — cultural materialism — cultural pluralism — cultural relativism — cultural reproduction — cultural system — cultural transmission — cultural universal — culture — culture of poverty — culture wars — curative medicine
Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investments are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.
The carrying capacity of a biological species in an environment is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water, and other necessities available in the environment. In population biology, carrying capacity is defined as the environment's maximal load, which is different from the concept of population equilibrium. Its effect on population dynamics may be approximated in a logistic model, although this simplification ignores the possibility of overshoot which real systems may exhibit.
A cash crop or profit crop is an agricultural crop which is grown to sell for profit. It is typically purchased by parties separate from a farm. The term is used to differentiate marketed crops from subsistence crops, which are those fed to the producer's own livestock or grown as food for the producer's family. In earlier times cash crops were usually only a small part of a farm's total yield, while today, especially in developed countries, almost all crops are mainly grown for revenue. In the least developed countries, cash crops are usually crops which attract demand in more developed nations, and hence have some export value.
Darwinism — death — debt bondage — deconstruction — defensive medicine — deforestation — deinstitutionalisation — democracy — demographic transition — demography — dependency theory — dependent variable — depletion — desertification — deskilling — deterrence theory — devaluation — developmental state — deviance — deviance amplification — deviant subculture — dialectic — diaspora — differential association — differentiation — diffusion — dionysian — discourse — discrimination — division of labour — division of labour — domestic worker — domestic violence — double standard — doubling time — dramaturgical perspective — Disneyfication — dyad — dysfunction — dystopia
Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Also called Darwinian theory, it originally included the broad concepts of transmutation of species or of evolution which gained general scientific acceptance after Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, including concepts which predated Darwin's theories. English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley coined the term Darwinism in April 1860.
Death is the permanent cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include aging, predation, malnutrition, disease, suicide, homicide, starvation, dehydration, and accidents or major trauma resulting in terminal injury. In most cases, bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death.
Debt bondage, also known as debt slavery or bonded labour, is the pledge of a person's services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation, where the terms of the repayment are not clearly or reasonably stated, and the person who is holding the debt and thus has some control over the laborer, does not intend to ever admit that the debt has been repaid. The services required to repay the debt may be undefined, and the services' duration may be undefined, thus allowing the person supposedly owed the debt to demand services indefinitely. Debt bondage can be passed on from generation to generation.
ecologism — ecology — economic determinism — ecological modernization — economic interdependence — economies of scale — economy — ecosystem — education — education system — egalitarianism — elder abuse — elite — embourgeoisement thesis — emigration — empirical studies — encounter — endogamy — entrepreneur — entropy — environmentalism — environmental sociology — epistemology — estate — ethnic group — ethnic minority — ethnicity — ethnocentrism — ethnography — ethnomethodology — ethnostatistics - eutrophication — evolution — evolutionary sociology — evolutionism — exclusivist — existentialism — exogamy — experiment — exponential growth — export-processing zone — extended family —
false consciousness — family — fascism — fecundity — feedback — femininity — feminism — Ferdinand Tönnies Society — fertility — fetishism — feudalism — First World — flextime plan — forces of production — Fordism — forms of activity and interpersonal relations — functionalism — functions — fundamentalism — futures studies – futurist — futurist — futurology —
gang — GDP — gemeinschaft — Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft – gender — gendered division of labour — gendering — genealogy of power/knowledge — generalized other — generalized other — genetic engineering — genocide — gentrification — geopolitics — German Society for Sociology — gesellschaft — gestalt psychology — ghetto — globalization — glocalisation — GNP — government — Great Depression — grounded theory — group action — group behaviour — group dynamics — The Great Transformation — Green Revolution — greenhouse effect — gross domestic product — gross national product — guerrilla movement —
habitus — health maintenance organization — hegemony — heterophobia — heterosexuality — hidden curriculum — higher circles — higher education — Hispanic – historical materialism — historical sociology — holocaust — homelessness — homophobia — homosexuality — house work — hunter-gatherer — human ecology — hybridity — hyperreality — hypothesis – honour killing
'I' and the 'me' — iatrogenesis — ideal type — identity — identity politics — ideology — imagined communities — immigration — imperialism — ingroup — income — independent variable — industrial democracy — industrial production — industrial society — industrial sociology — industrialisation — industrialization of war — infant mortality— informal economy — information technology —infrastructure — inner city — instinct — institution — institutional discrimination — institutional racism — insurgency — intelligence — intelligence quotient — intelligentsia — intentional community — interaction — interest group — intergenerational mobility — internal colonialism — international division of labor — interpersonal violence — interpretive
Japanization — Jim Crow laws — jingoism — Judaism — justice, distributive — juvenile delinquency —
kin selection — kinship — kindness
labeling theory — labour power — laissez-faire — late modernity — Latino/a – latent function — law — legitimacy — legitimation crisis — Leipzig school — lesbianism — liberal democracy — life-course — life-cycle — life expectancy — lifeworld — limited war — literacy — local knowledge — longevity — longitudinal study — looking-glass self — love — luddism — luddite — lumpenproletariat —
macrosociology — malthusianism — managed care —managerial class — manifest function — marginalization — marriage — Marxism — masculinity — mass action — mass media — mass society — master status — materialism — matriarchy — matrilineality — matrilocal residence — McDonaldization — mean — means of production — mechanical solidarity — mechanization — median — medicaid — medical gaze — medical model — medicalization — medicare — megalopolis — mental disorder —mercantilism — medical sociology — meritocracy — metanarrative — methodology — microsociology — middle class — militarism — military-industrial complex — millenarianism — minority group — mixed economy — mode — mode of production — mode of reproduction — modernity — modernization — monogamy — monopoly — monotheism — moral panic — mores — mortality rate — multiculturalism — multilineal evolution — multinational corporation — murder
nation state — nationalism — nature — neocolonialism — neoliberalism — neo-locality — new international division of labour — non-state actor — non-tariff barriers to trade — norm — normal type — normlessness — nuclear family
objectivity — oligarchy — oligopoly — ontological security — ontology — organic solidarity — organization — organizational behavior — organizational studies — organized crime
paradigm — participant observation — participatory democracy — pastoral society — patient dumping — patriarchal — patriarchy — patrilineality — peasant — peer group — periphery countries — phenomenology — Physician Assistant — plea bargaining — pluralism — pluralist theory — police brutality — political economy — political party — politics — pollution — polyandry — polyarchy — polygamy — polygyny — polylogism — polytheism — popular culture — positivism — post-Fordism — post-realism — post-structuralism — post-industrial society — postmodernism — postmodernity — poverty — power — power elite — pragmatism — on pragmatic sociology, for now, see: George Herbert Mead — prejudice — primary deviance — Primary and secondary groups — primary labor market — primary sector — private health care — privatism — profanity — professionalism — profession — proletariat — prostitution — proto-globalization — psychopathy — psychosis — public order crime — public health — public sphere — purchasing power parity —
qualitative research — quantitative research
race — racism — radical — rape — rationalisation process — rationality — rationalization — realism — rebellion — recidivism — reciprocity — reductionism — reflexive — reflexivity — reform movement — reify — relations of production — relative deprivation — relative poverty — relativism — religion — remodernism — representative democracy — research methods — reserve army of labour — resocialization — retirement home — revolution — riot — risk — rite of passage — ritual — role — role conflict — rural sociology — ruling class — ruling elite
sacred — sampling — sampling frame — sanction — Sapir–Whorf hypothesis — scapegoating — schizophrenia — science — Second World — secondary data — secondary deviance — secondary group — secondary labor market — sect — secularization — self — self-consciousness — semi-periphery countries — semiotics — serial monogamy — serial reciprocity — sex — sex role — sexism — sexual harassment — sexual script — sick role — significant other — simulation — snowball sampling — for entries beginning with social, see sections below — socialism — socialization — society — sociobiology — sociocultural context — sociocultural evolution — for entries beginning with sociological, see sections below — sociology — for entries beginning with sociology of, see sections below — solid waste — solidarity — sovereignty — split labor market theory — standing army — state (polity) — stateless nation — status — status group — status inconsistency — status offense — stem cell — stepfamily — stereotype — stigma — stigmatise — Strategic Defense Initiative — stratification — strike — structural unemployment — structuration — structure — subculture — suburbanization — surplus value — surveillance — survey — symbol — Symbolic Convergence Theory — symbolic interactionism — symbolic system — systems theory
social actions — social activism — social actor — social analysis — social animal — social anthropology — social phobia — social assistance — social artifact — social attitude — social balance theory — social behavior — social bookmarking — social capital — social center — social change — social character — social chauvinism — social choice function — social choice theory — social circle — social class — social club — social closure — social cognition — social commentary — social complexity — social computing — social condenser — social conflict — social conservatism — social contact [ disambiguation needed ] — social contract — social construction — social constructionism — social construction of technology — social context — social control — social cost — Social Credit — social cycle theory — social dance — social Darwinism — social democracy — social demography — social development — social diffusion theory — social dilemma — social disobedience — social disorganization — social division — social ecology — social effect of evolutionary theory — social effects of rock and roll — social elite — social engineering — social environment — social enterprise — social epistemology — social equality — social evolution — social exchange theory — social fact — social fobia — social forces — social forum — social function — social geography — social geometry — social good — social group — social guidance film — social hacking — social hierarchy — social history — social housing — social hygiene movement — social identity — social implosion — social indicator — social inequality — social influence — social informatics — social infrastructure — social injustice — social insect — social institution — social insurance — social interaction — social issues — social judgment theory — social justice — social learning theory — social liberalism — social life — social loafing — social mania — social model of disability — social mobility — social movement — social network — social norm — social order — social organisation — social parasitism — social phenomenon — social philosophy — social policy — social position — social positivism — social power — social pressure — social prestige — social problem — social progress — social psychology — social rank — social reality — social reform — social relation - social reproduction — social research — social resonance — social responsibility — social risk — social risk positions — social robot — social role — social rule — social sciences — social simulation — social skills — social space — social statistics — social status — social stereotype — social stigma — social stratification — social structure — social studies — social support — social system — social theory — social unrest — social work — social trend — social science fiction — Social Solidarity — social work
sociology books — sociological framework — sociological imagination — sociological naturalism — sociological paradigm — sociological perspective — sociological positivism — sociological theory
sociology of aging — sociology of architecture — sociology of art — sociology of the body — sociology of childhood — sociology of conflict — sociology of deviance — sociology of disaster — sociology of education — sociology of emotions — sociology of the family — sociology of fatherhood — sociology of film — sociology of food — sociology of gender — sociology of government — sociology of health and illness — sociology of the history of science — sociology of immigration — sociology of knowledge — sociology of language — sociology of law — sociology of leisure — sociology of markets — sociology of medicine — sociology of the military — sociology of music — sociology of politics — sociology of punishment — sociology of race — sociology of religion — sociology of science and technology — sociology of sport — sociology of terrorism — sociology of work-sociology of motherhood
taboo — Scientific management — Taylorization — technology — terrorism — tertiary sector of economic activity — the Enlightenment — the Renaissance — theoretical approach — theory — Third World — total institution — total war — totalitarianism — totemism — totem — trading network — traditional state — transnational company — transsexualism — trust — temperament
unconscious — underclass — underdevelopment — unemployment — unilineal evolution — unintended consequences — unions — universal health care — upper class — urban ecology — urban renewal — urbanism — urbanization — urban sociology
value — value-added theory — verstehen — vertical mobility — Vested interest (communication theory) — victimless crime — violence — visual sociology
wealth – wealthfare – welfare – welfare state – whisper campaign – white-collar crime – white flight – white guilt – white privilege – women's liberation movement – work – working class – world-systems theory –
xenophobia — xenocentrism
youth, youth subculture, youth welfare
zero population growth
Please help the Wikipedia sociology project by adding relevant articles to this list. Articles marked red are yet to be created.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the discipline of sociology:
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline of sociology and—with W. E. B. Du Bois, Karl Marx and Max Weber—is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science.
In economics and sociology, the means of production are physical and non-financial inputs used in the production of economic value. These include raw materials, facilities, machinery and tools used in the production of goods and services. In the terminology of classical economics, the means of production are the "factors of production" minus financial and human capital.
A subculture is a group of people within a culture that differentiates itself from the parent culture to which it belongs, often maintaining some of its founding principles. Subcultures develop their own norms and values regarding cultural, political and sexual matters. Subcultures are part of society while keeping their specific characteristics intact. Examples of subcultures include hippies, goths and bikers. The concept of subcultures was developed in sociology and cultural studies. Subcultures differ from countercultures.
Karl Marx's theory of alienation describes the estrangement (Entfremdung) of people from aspects of their Gattungswesen ("species-essence") as a consequence of living in a society of stratified social classes. The alienation from the self is a consequence of being a mechanistic part of a social class, the condition of which estranges a person from their humanity.
Conflict theories are perspectives in sociology and social psychology that emphasize a materialist interpretation of history, dialectical method of analysis, a critical stance toward existing social arrangements, and political program of revolution or, at least, reform. Conflict theories draw attention to power differentials, such as class conflict, and generally contrast historically dominant ideologies. It is therefore a macro-level analysis of society.
Political sociology is concerned with the sociological analysis of political phenomena ranging from the State and civil society to the family, investigating topics such as citizenship, social movements, and the sources of social power. The lineage of this discipline is typically traced from such thinkers as Montesquieu, Smith and Ferguson through the founding fathers of sociology – Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber – to such contemporary theorists as Gellner, Giddens, Habermas and Mann. Where a typical research question in political sociology might have been, "Why do so few American or European citizens choose to vote?" or even, "What difference does it make if women get elected?", political sociologists also now ask, "How is the body a site of power?", "How are emotions relevant to global poverty?", and, "What difference does knowledge make to democracy?"
Environmental sociology is the study of interactions between societies and their natural environment. The field emphasizes the social factors that influence environmental resource management and cause environmental issues, the processes by which these environmental problems are socially constructed and defined as social issues, and societal responses to these problems.
The term new social movements (NSMs) is a theory of social movements that attempts to explain the plethora of new movements that have come up in various western societies roughly since the mid-1960s which are claimed to depart significantly from the conventional social movement paradigm.
Collective consciousness, collective conscience, or collective conscious is the set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. In general, it does not refer to the specifically moral conscience, but to a shared understanding of social norms. The term was introduced by the French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his The Division of Labour in Society in 1893. The French word conscience generally means "conscience", "consciousness", "awareness", or "perception". Commentators and translators of Durkheim disagree on which is most appropriate, or whether the translation should depend on the context. Some prefer to treat the word 'conscience' as an untranslatable foreign word or technical term, without its normal English meaning. As for "collective", Durkheim makes clear that he is not reifying or hypostasizing this concept; for him, it is "collective" simply in the sense that it is common to many individuals; cf. social fact.
Sociocultural evolution, sociocultural evolutionism or cultural evolution are theories of cultural and social evolution that describe how cultures and societies change over time. Whereas sociocultural development traces processes that tend to increase the complexity of a society or culture, sociocultural evolution also considers process that can lead to decreases in complexity (degeneration) or that can produce variation or proliferation without any seemingly significant changes in complexity (cladogenesis). Sociocultural evolution is "the process by which structural reorganization is affected through time, eventually producing a form or structure which is qualitatively different from the ancestral form".
In criminology, subcultural theory emerged from the work of the Chicago School on gangs and developed through the symbolic interactionism school into a set of theories arguing that certain groups or subcultures in society have values and attitudes that are conducive to crime and violence. The primary focus is on juvenile delinquency because theorists believe that if this pattern of offending can be understood and controlled, it will break the transition from teenage offender into habitual criminal. Some of the theories are functionalist assuming that criminal activity is motivated by economic needs, while others posit a social class rationale for deviance.
Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
Social conflict is the struggle for agency or power in society. Social conflict occurs when two or more actors oppose each other in social interaction, each exerts social power with reciprocity in an effort to achieve incompatible goals whilst preventing the other from attaining their own. It is a social relationship wherein action is intentionally oriented to carry out the actor's own will despite the resistance of others.
The Division of Labour in Society is the doctoral dissertation of the French sociologist Émile Durkheim, published in 1893. It was influential in advancing sociological theories and thought, with ideas which in turn were influenced by Auguste Comte. Durkheim described how social order was maintained in societies based on two very different forms of solidarity – mechanical and organic – and the transition from more "primitive" societies to advanced industrial societies.
In sociology, deviance describes an action or behavior that violates social norms, including a formally enacted rule, as well as informal violations of social norms. Deviance is a behavioural disposition that is not in conformity with an institutionalized set-up or code of conduct. Although deviance may have a negative connotation, the violation of social norms is not always a negative action; positive deviation exists in some situations. Although a norm is violated, a behavior can still be classified as positive or acceptable.
Marxian class theory asserts that an individual’s position within a class hierarchy is determined by their role in the production process, and argues that political and ideological consciousness is determined by class position. A class is those who share common economic interests, are conscious of those interests, and engage in collective action which advances those interests. Within Marxian class theory, the structure of the production process forms the basis of class construction.
Articles in social and political philosophy include:
Criminology is the scientific study of the nature, extent, management, causes, control, consequences, and prevention of criminal behavior, both on individual and social levels. Criminology is an interdisciplinary field in both the behavioral and social sciences, which draws primarily upon the research of sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, psychiatrists, biologists, social anthropologists, as well as scholars of law.
Classical Marxism refers to the economic, philosophical and sociological theories expounded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as contrasted with later developments in Marxism, especially Leninism and Marxism–Leninism.