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Ch 1: Sociology & Sociological Theory

About This Chapter

Let these lessons help you study sociology and sociological theory. This chapter offers a full range of short lessons that each address a key sociology topic. These resources can help you prepare for a test, complete an assignment, or earn credit.

Sociology & Sociological Theory - Chapter Summary

This chapter gives you a structured view of some of the major theories in sociology. You'll examine micro and macrosociology, social Darwinism, and the theories of Talcott Parsons, Emile Durkheim, G. William Domhoff, Allan Schnaiberg, and more. Our expert instructors have carefully divided the chapter into short lessons that last about eight minutes each. The shorter lessons make it easier for you to stay focused on each sociological theory. When you finish the chapter, you will have enhanced your knowledge and be prepared to:

  • Summarize key themes in sociology and identify related careers
  • Differentiate between microsociology and macrosociology
  • Critique sociology's latent functions
  • Outline the social theories of Mills, Comte, Du Bois, and other theorists
  • Generalize the meaning of social Darwinism
  • Detail the four theoretical perspectives in sociology

13 Lessons in Chapter 1: Sociology & Sociological Theory
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Is Sociology? - Definition, Themes & Careers in Sociology

1. What Is Sociology? - Definition, Themes & Careers in Sociology

What is sociology? This lesson covers a basic definition of the field, identifies major themes or questions studied by sociologists, and identifies possible careers in sociology. Learn about the main ideas within this popular and fascinating field!

Microsociology: Definition & Examples

2. Microsociology: Definition & Examples

Microsociology involves studying the interactions between individuals. In this lesson, we will learn all about microsociology and its importance. Then we will discuss several examples of microsociology research topics.

Macrosociology: Definition & Examples

3. Macrosociology: Definition & Examples

This lesson provides information on macrosociology, discusses its usefulness within the field of sociology and provides examples of macrosociology research. After you've completed this lesson, test yourself with the quiz.

Latent Functions in Sociology

4. Latent Functions in Sociology

This lesson discusses the difference between latent and manifest functions and dysfunctions. After starting with a simple example from your own living room, we'll consider how sociologists use the concept to better understand the larger structures of society.

C. Wright Mills: Sociological Imagination and the Power Elite

5. C. Wright Mills: Sociological Imagination and the Power Elite

This lesson discusses the sociologist C. Wright Mills and his view on the power elite and the sociological imagination. In this lesson, you will also discover what the term sociological imagination means and how it relates to social issues.

Auguste Comte: Theories & Contributions to Sociology

6. Auguste Comte: Theories & Contributions to Sociology

How did a college dropout with a history of mental illness become one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century? Read this lesson to find out about Auguste Comte and his ideas about sociology and positivism.

Social Darwinism: Definition & Meaning

7. Social Darwinism: Definition & Meaning

Social Darwinism got its name due to the similar foundation it has to Charles Darwin's concepts of natural selection and the survival of the fittest. Darwin used these concepts to explain evolution. Learn about how these concepts are applied socially.

W.E.B. Du Bois: Theories, Accomplishments & Double Consciousness

8. W.E.B. Du Bois: Theories, Accomplishments & Double Consciousness

W.E.B. Du Bois was an important figure in American civil rights history, and his idea of the double consciousness delved into what it felt like to live as a black person in a white people's world. Learn more about his life and works in this lesson.

Talcott Parsons: Theories & Contributions to Sociology

9. Talcott Parsons: Theories & Contributions to Sociology

Talcott Parsons was a sociologist who aligned himself with the structural functional perspective. Learn about his contributions to the field, and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Emile Durkheim's Theories: Functionalism, Anomie and Division of Labor

10. Emile Durkheim's Theories: Functionalism, Anomie and Division of Labor

How does a society function? This lesson will help answer this question through an exploration of Emile Durkheim's theories of functionalism, anomie, and division of labor.

G. William Domhoff: Power Elite & Politics

11. G. William Domhoff: Power Elite & Politics

This lesson looks at G. William Domhoff's theory of power in America. The lesson describes who makes up the power elite - social upper class, corporate community, policy-planning network - and the means this group uses to influence politics.

Allan Schnaiberg: The Treadmill of Production & Environmental Sociology

12. Allan Schnaiberg: The Treadmill of Production & Environmental Sociology

In this lesson, we'll talk about the environmental sociologist Allan Schnaiberg. We'll go over his major contributions to the subfield of environmental sociologist and discuss his idea of a treadmill of production.

Sociology's Four Theoretical Perspectives: Structural-Functional, Social Conflict, Feminism & Symbolic Interactionism

13. Sociology's Four Theoretical Perspectives: Structural-Functional, Social Conflict, Feminism & Symbolic Interactionism

Theories are an essential part of the framework used to organize specific social phenomena within the social sciences. This lesson introduces the four major theoretical perspectives in sociology, including structural-functional, social conflict, feminism, and symbolic interactionism.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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