Sociology Topical Index And Dictionary
Aboriginal Peoples of Canada - Contrary to the belief of Europeans, that the "state of nature" can and should be improved through the labour of man, "Aboriginals view the natural world as perfect."
Aboriginal Culture and Tradition - Everything an Aboriginal does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles. When aboriginal people were strong and happy, all their power came to their sacred hoop of the nation and so long as the hoop was unbroken the people flourished.
Accounting - Accounting is rationalizations that people provide for their actions. In ethnomethodology the term accounting is used to refer to the practices of observation and reporting which make objects and events observable and objective.
Acculturation - Acculturation is the adoption of or adaptation to an alien culture. Acculturation takes place as societies experience the transforming impact of international cultural contact.
Acephalous Society - Acephalous literally means headless, society without any formalized or institutionalized system of power and authority. Related to acephalous concept are monocephalous and polycephalous.
Action Theory - Action theory is a sociological perspective that focuses on the individual as a subject. This approach has its foundations in Max Weber's interpretive sociology which claims that it is necessary to know the subjective purpose and intent of the actor before an observer can understand the meaning of social action.
Activism - Activism is a policy of vigorous action both social and political. Activism is protest or dissent. Activism can have many political colors. Activism can bring about social change and political change.
Actus Reus - Actus reus is one of two components of a crime, the other being mens rea. Actus reus refers to the physical component of a crime, the act of committing the crime. Mens rea is the mental component of crime, the existence of a criminal intent, and this requires the offender to have intended to carry out the physical act.
Affirmative Action - Affirmative action is positive steps that are taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in the areas like employment, education, and business. Affirmative action generates controversy where it involves selection on the basis of race, gender, and ethnicity.
Agency - Agency is linked to sociologies which focus on the individual as a subject and view social action as something purposively shaped by individuals within a context to which they have given meaning. Usually contrasted with those sociologies which focus on social structure.
Aging and Gerontology - Aging is a universal phenomenon that adversely affects human beings. Gerontology is the branch of science that deals with old age, the ageing process. The study of gerontology provides students with knowledge and critical understanding of the processes of aging and adult development.
Aging - Is a phenomenon that adversely affects all beings.
Agreement on TRIPS - TRIPS lays down the requirements that nations' laws must meet for copyright rights, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, monopolies for the developers of new plant varieties, trademarks, trade dress, and undisclosed or confidential information.
Alger Hiss - In 1948 a magazine editor, who confessed to being a communist, accused Hiss of assisting in the transmittal of documents to the Russians. Alger Hiss denied any involvement but was found guilty in his second trial and sentenced to five years in prison.
Alienation - Alienation is separation of individuals from control and direction of their social life. The term alienation was used widely in German philosophy in the 18th and 19th centuries, but it has become important for sociology through the ideas of Karl Marx.
Alterity - Alterity is a term central to postmodern discussions of identity in which the self is given meaning in terms of an other. Alterity is a state of, or condition of, otherness. The term alterity is useful for thinking about how many peoples throughout history have been cast in the role of inferior.
Altruism - Altruism is social behaviour and value orientation in which individuals give primary consideration to the interests and welfare of other individuals. In altruistic regard for others is the principle of action.
Altruistic Suicide - The term 'altruism' was used by Emile Durkheim to describe a Suicide committed for the benefit of others or for the community. Altruistic suicides reflect a courageous indifference to the loss of one's life
Amazon - Amazons are members of a legendary nation of female warriors in Greek mythology. The Kaska Indians performed a transformation ceremony to symbolically turn the daughter into a son. She dressed like males and engaged in hunting. The counterpart of this role among men is called berdache.
American Revolution - The American Revolution occurred during the last half of the 18th century when Britain's colonies in North America overthrew the governance of the Parliament of Great Britain, and also later rejected the British monarchy to join as the sovereign United States of America.
Amplification of Deviance - Deviance amplification refers to the unintended outcome of moral panics or social policies designed to prevent or reduce deviance. A media phenomenon, 'Amplification of Deviance' or 'deviancy amplification spiral' refers to an exagerated cycle of reporting on particular antisocial behavior.
Anarchism - Anarchism is political philosophy where society has no government, laws, or other authority. Libertarianism was often used as a synonym for anarchism. Anarchism is anti-authoritarian interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism or participatory economics.
Androgyny - Androgyny is a personality which holds a balance of feminine and masculine characteristics. Some feminists have advocated gender androgyny as a source of liberation from polarized cultural ideas of masculine and feminine.
Anomia - Anomia is a social psychological condition. Anomia describes the individual's lack of integration in social life. Anomia is more closely related to occupational aspiration than to occupational level
Anomic Division of Labour - There is anomic division of labour where the division of labour in the workplace is based on power and social and economic status and not on individual ability. According to David Emile Durkheim, the division of labour cannot command normative consensus and may become a source of anomie and breakdown of social solidarity.
Anomic Suicide - Durkheim linked anomic Suicide to disillusionment and disappointment. Durkheim borrowed the word anomie from the french philosopher Jean-Marie Guyau and used it in his book Suicide. In the concept of anomie individuals lack a sense of social regulation and people feel unguided in the choices they have to make.
Anthropology - Cultural - Cultural anthropology or Social anthropology is the science of human social and cultural behaviour and its development. Cultural anthropology is conceptually and theoretically similar to sociology.
Anthropology - Physical - Physical anthropology is the science of human zoology, evolution, and ecology. It is centred on the scientific study of the origins and development of human beings through analysis of fossil and skeletal remains.
Anti-Semitism - Anti-Semitism is a negative and hostile attitude to Jews and the Jewish religion. The extreme expression of anti-Semitism was the Holocaust, when six million Jews were murdered in German concentration camps during World War II.
Anticombines Law - In order to protect the principle of competition, valued by all capitalistic societies, anti-combines laws have been created to prevent and punish the undermining of free market economics by corporate combination.
Antisocial Personality Disorder - Antisocial personality disorder is a personality disorder that involves disregard for the rights of others and impulsive, irresponsible and aggressive behaviour. Antisocial personality disorder is connected to many of society's ills.
Apartheid - racial segregation - Apartheid is a policy of racial segregation maintained in South Africa from 1948 to 1991. Apartheid was maintained by laws that included the prohibition of inter-racial marriage and outlawed racially integrated political and social organizations.
South Africa - Nationalist Government in South Africa enacted laws to define
and enforce segregation.
Archaeology - Archaeology is one of the main fields of anthropology since it offers the only method for studying lost and forgotten cultures.
Architectural Sociology - Sociological theories that focus on cultural patterns, social relationships, and social psychology are especially used to explain and interpret architectural design.
Aristocracy - Aristocracy is government of a State run by its elite citizens. Oligarchy is a State so governed. Origins of the word aristocracy imply the meaning of "rule by the best."
Ascription - Ascription is assigning some quality or character to a person or thing. The principle of merit is consistent with liberal theory and assumes equality of opportunity. Meritocracy is rule by those chosen on the principle of merit.
Assumption of Discriminating Traits - The view that offenders are distinguished from non-offenders by, for example, their high levels of impulsivity and aggression. There is actually an assumption of discriminating traits.
Assumption of Offender Deficit - There is an assumption of offender deficit when there is an offence committed by a citizen. It is assumed that offenders against the law have some psychological deficit.
Astrosociology - The main purpose of the Astrosociology Research Institute (ARI) is to develop astrosociology as an academic field. A concentration on astrosocial phenomena ties theoreticians, researchers, and scholars together, as does a focus on the human dimension of space exploration in general terms.
Astroturfing - Astroturfing is advocacy, often in support of a political or corporate agenda appearing as a "grassroots" movement. Astroturfing may be by an individual promoting a personal agenda, or highly organized professional groups.
Atavism - Atavism is a tendency to reproduce ancestral type in plants and in animals; to resemble one's grandparents or great-grandparents more than parents. Atavism is the tendency of animals or plants to revert to an ancestral type. Resemblance to more remote ancestors rather than to parents.
Atheism - Atheism is as old as religion. We see Atheism so widespread in civilization 2,500 years ago that it takes a prominent place in history in the form of the Ionian philosophy of Greece and the ethic of Buddha and Confucius in Asia.
Audience - Audience refers to a group of individuals attending to a common media. They receive communication from the same source, but are not active participants and do not communicate with each other. In sociology, the terms 'audience' and 'audience studies' is used to draw attention to the way that media corporations develop audiences of readers, listeners and viewers with the business objective of selling access to this audience to advertisers.
Audience Studies - The field of scholarship including market-oriented research where audience is studied is commonly designated as Audience Studies.
Authority - Authority is the capacity of an individual or institution to secure compliance from others based on the possession of a recognized right to legitimately claim obedience.
Authoritarianism - Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by the authority of the state in a republic or union. A political system controlled by nonelected rulers. Authoritarianism is marked by indefinite political tenure. Totalitarianism is considered to be an extreme version of authoritarianism.
Autocracy - Autocracy is the concentration of power in the hands of one person. Autocracy refers to a situation where state power is controlled by a monarch, religious leader or political dictator. The term 'autocracy' can also be applied to particular social institutions where one individual has dominant power and authority.
Automation - Automation is methods of production that rely on mechanical or electronic technologies as a replacement for human labor. Human-centered automation problems have an attribute reflecting human goals and capabilities, and an attribute reflecting automation goals and capabilities.