Glossary of key terms Sociology

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SOCIOLOGY KEY TERMS
BOURGEOISE
The `Ruling Class'
CAPITALISM
An economic system associated with modern societies, based on private ownership
of business and property.
CONSENSUS
A general agreement.
CULTURE
The way of life of particular society or social group.
CULTURAL CAPITAL
Cultural skills, such as knowing how to speak, behave and learn, passed on by
middle class parents to their children.
DEVIANCE
Rule breaking behaviour.
DIVERSITY
Variety.
ETHNOCENTRISM
The belief that one culture is `normal' and others inferior.
FALSE CLASS CONCIOUSNESS
The state of not being aware of our true identity as exploited workers.
FEMINISM
A Sociological and Philosophical perspective that studies society from the viewpoint
of women.
FUNCTIONALISM
A Sociological perspective that focuses on understanding how the different parts of
society work together to keep it running smoothly.
IDEOLOGY
The norms and values that justify the Capitalist system.
INDUSTRIALISATION
The transformation of societies from being agricultural to industrial, which took place
in the 18th and 19th centuries.
LABELLING THEORY
The idea that categorizing and stereotyping individuals or groups can seriously affect
their behaviour. Used in Education and Deviance.
MARXISM
A Sociological perspective based on the writings of Karl Marx. Marxism argues that
capitalist societies are unfair and consist of a minority `ruling class' and a majority
`working class'.
NATIONALISM
A movement or doctrine that stresses the rights to freedom and territory of a
nation.
NEW RIGHT
A group of thinkers who believe strongly in tradition. They tend to be against change
and have Conservative values.

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NORMS
Rules of behaviour in social situations.
MODERNITY
A period of time which started with the industrial revolution, production, urban
living, rational thinking and strong central government.
PATRIARCHAL
Male dominated.
POST MODERNITY
A term used by postmodernist Sociologists to describe the contemporary period,
which is characterised by uncertainty, media saturation and globalisation.
POSTMODERNIST
A Sociological perspective which argues Marxism and Functionalism are no longer
able to analyse society. Postmodernists argue that society is uncertain and stress the
relativity of knowledge, ideas and lifestyles.…read more

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