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Terms of Sociology

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An explanation of declining working class support for radical political movements as a result of increased affluence causing workers to adopt middle class values and life styles.Embourgeoisement was a popular argument in Germany and Britain during early and middle of 20th century. It was tested by Goldthorpe.

Practice of marrying with a prescribed group e.g a kinship category, a tribe a religious denomination etc.

This refers to a minority group which has power or influence over others and is recognized as bring in some ways superior. The sociology of elite is traditionally dealt with the ruling elites. The classical theory of elite is found in the works of Pareto and Mosca.In these theories the elites are shown as possessing superior psychic qualities. A more recent theory is given by C.W Mills who does not regard elites as those who dominate the key institutions of society. The concept of ruling elites is a modification of the concept of ruling class. Theorists regard that power is concentrated in the hands of a small minority rather than being shared by members of the ownership class. The assumption common to all elite theories is that there will always be a divide between the rulers and ruled even in nominally democratic societies and institutions although the elites may vary in extent to which they are integrated into a socially cohesive or solitary group.

Ethnic group
Membership of a distinct group based on their own customary ways or culture, common language, common customs, traditions etc.

Term was coined by W.G Sumner in book Folkways 1906 when one's own group is centre of everything and all others are scaled, rated and compared with reference to it.

Ethnography, ethnology
Study of one society is called ethnography while comparative study of many societies is called ethnology. Thus ethnology is dependent on ethnography. Ethnographic study is done by in-depth analysis and personal contact over a period of time in a society.

According to Duncan Mitchell ethno methodology emphasizes on the incarnate character of social phenomena i.e. sociological terms such as culture or organization refer to the doings and sayings of people the situated nature of sociological research i.e. professional sociologists study society from within. According to Garfinkel ethnomethodology means the study of the methods used by people. It is concerned with examining the methods and procedures employed by members of society to construct account for and give meaning to their social world. Ethnomethodoligists either suspend or abandon the belief that an actual or objective social order exists. Instead they proceed from the assumption that social life appears orderly to members of society. Zimmerman and Wieder state that the ethno-methodologist is concerned with how members of society go about the task of seeing, describing and explaining order in the world in which they live.

According to Francis Galton the science of eugenics is to study those factors which may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generation either physically or mentally.

Enfunctional activity contributes to the maintenance or survival of another social activity or of the social system as a whole.

Emic & Etic Analysis
Emicist concentrate on describing the indigenous values of a particular society while eticists apply broader theoretical models across a number of societies. The Emic approach became popular in the late 1960's as part of the movement towards cultural relativism (Oxford dictionary of Sociology)

Elite theory
Italian sociologists Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca are associated with Elite Theory which argues few people (elite) regulate the affairs of society and rule over the masses. Although Pareto is usually considered to have derived the idea from Mosca, it was Pareto who has got the credit of creating elite theory.

Exchange theory
According to Oxford Dictionary of sociology, exchange theory views social order as the unplanned outcome of acts of exchange between members of society.

A large family unit of three or more generations who are related along the male or female lines who live in a cluster of houses.

An ethnic group; a tribal society.

The basic character of pattern of an ethnic group which makes it distinct from all other ethnic groups.

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