Home >> Basic Concepts >> Terms of Sociology - M

Terms of Sociology

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M
N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

Macro- Sociology
The study of large communities and entire societies.

Magic, witchcraft and sorcery
These three are an interdependent complex belief and practices in many tribal societies. Considerable work has been done on this topic by E.Evans Pritchard in his book 'Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic' among the Azande 1937.These are the art of performing charms, spells and rituals to seek to control events or govern certain natural or supernatural forces. Usually in the tribal societies it is believed that misfortune occur to people because their moral relations with their fellows have been disturbed. Magic is the employment of substances rites and spell to achieve aims by means not under sensory

Malthusian Doctrine
The view that human reproduction increases by geometric progression and thus eventually outstrips the available food supply which increases by arithmetic progression. Famines therefore would be an inevitable necessity from time to time; the only way of retarding famines are either to voluntarily control reproduction or to kill off people in wars.

Managerial Sociology
The sociological analysis of the methods and purposes of management in industry.

The ceremony which unites a man and woman into a family. The legal partnership of a man and a woman. The person to person relationship between a husband and wife which is made up of their respective roles involving the duties and the privileges of each toward the other.

Marxian theory of population
The view that capitalistic countries must necessarily have problems of population surplus because low wages make it difficult for workman to support their families. On the other hand according to the theory the socialistic countries cannot possibly have problems of population surplus because compensation for labor would be on the basis of need; this would allow energetic proletarians to have large families since full employment and adequate income were guaranteed.

Mass society
The concept of mass society holds that modern industrial society is acquiring the following characteristics- decline of individuality,routinised and alienating work, declining influence of religion, absence of deeply held and important social values although masses are prone to ideological fanaticism.The relationship between the individuals are weak and ties of kinship have lost their importance. The masses are politically apathetic and open to manipulation by dictatorship and bureaucracy.

Material Culture
Culture objects anything tangible that is man-made.

Matriarchal family
A family group, in which the wife has the highest status, controls the other family members and makes important decisions affecting the family group.

A society, a social group, or organization which is dominated by women.

Matrilineal descent
Tracing descent through the female line only.

Medical sociology
The study of the sociological aspects of public health problems and conditions.

Methodology is a system of method or procedures with which the study of a problem is approached. Methods and methodology are not the same while method is a part of methodology. Methodology is a system which combines or integrates certain methods. Methods are the tools or techniques which help to implement a methodological approach or perspective. Methodology gives us an understanding of the overall approach of thinkers to the problem under study.

The study of the behavior and organization of small communities and small groups.

Middle range theory
This term was coined by R.K Merton who believes in the necessity for sociological theory constructed between minor working hypothesis and master conceptual schemes.

Miscegenation, The mating of people of different races is known as miscegenation.
This says that mating of people of different races should be encouraged as it would produce a superior stock of people.

Mixed marriage
A marriage between two people of different religions, nationalites or races.

A change in social status. The process of changing residence.

The philosophical view that everything is reducible to one principle or substance .The view that all social facts may be explained in terms of one basic principle or kind of cause.

A form of marriage in which there is only one spouse to each sex as distinguished from polygamy in which a person may have two or more spouses of the other sex.

Worship of only one god .Monotheism preludes the existence of any plural number of Gods.

Moral restraint
Pre- marital chastity and the postponement of marriage as a means of keeping at a minimum the number of births in a population.

Two or more primary subdivisions in a political or kinship grouping is called moiety. Levi Strauss refers to it as dual organization.

According to Gore modernization is not a philosophy or a movement with a clearly articulated value system. It is a process of change. According to Eisenstadt modernization is the most important feature of the contemporary scene. It refers to both firstly the structural aspects of social organization and secondly the socio-demographic aspects of societies.Rustow and Ward say that the basic process in modernization is the application of modern science to human affairs. Talcott Parsons explain modernization by reference to the onset of the process of structural differentiation which can be done by changes in either technology or values. As a result of this the institutions multiply and the simple structures of traditional societies are transformed into complex ones of modern societies.

These are the norms that are considered to be very important by group and vital for its welfare. Violation of the mores evokes an emotional response and instead of the mere raising of eyebrows or ridicule a strong group action follows. Thus mores are norms of a higher order than folkways.

A myth is a narrative organizing data such as beliefs about transcendental powers about the origins of the universe and of social institutions or about the history of people. Its function for a society's members is to record, present and allow a reflective exploration of the moral system and relational features therein presented.

Current Affairs Magazine