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From the moment they lived in groups, humans have defined rules to make it easier for them to interact with each other. The study of this phenomenon is called sociology. If you’ve never heard about it before, this is your chance to dig deeper into this topic. You will be thankful for its utility in your life.

In this section you will find:

  • The two main branches of research in sociology and definitions.
  • An alphabetical list of popular words and definitions.

Read on to find out!

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Research Vocabulary in The Sociology Department

The two main branches of research in sociology:

Basic Research

It’s an experimental or theoretical work to broaden and deepen knowledge about phenomena’s foundations and observable occurrences, without a concrete purpose of implementation.

Applied Research

Original work is undertaken to acquire further insights. However, unlike the Basic research, it is primarily directed towards a concrete practical end or objective.

a man writing in a notebook

Letter A:
AdaptiveThe aptitudes to live through changes. People may evolve in their features to adjust to their environment, but this happens slowly and stealthily
ADLActivities of Daily Living. The things we do to take care of ourselves and our body like washing, eating, etc.
AdultismA hold that adults have over younger people or children, for example by dictating their life choices.
AffinityPeople who have the same interests in life and who recognise each other, they often desire similar things and share their activities
AgriculturalismA society that has founded its means of survival on growing crops and raising livestock. Mainly life in the countryside or in the open air
AlienationIt can refer to a person who is deprived of his or her abilities, faculties or rights.Its meaning can be extended to a society that deprives members of their rights, their actions are dictated by a higher authority in the social hierarchy
AllophoneAn individual, excluding indigenous people, who speaks a main language other than the official languages of the country
Letter B:
BabyboomStrong increase in births. Refers to certain periods from 1940’s to 1960’s in Europe.
BigamistAn individual in a marital relationship with two people
Bobby-soxerYoung people who followed a fashion trend in the 1940s. Mostly comprising a full skirt, short socks and flat shoes
Body PositivismA social movement that advocates self-acceptance and recognition of the human body’s beauty in its cultural diversity. It rejects stereotypes
BondingA commitment to the recognition of norms and institutions in a community or family. An awareness of belonging to them
BrewingAction of mingling, merging. It can be referred to the mixing of populations
BridgingThey are means that associations set up to link people beyond a divide in a society, such as race, class or religion. They serve as a ‘bridge’ over the barriers of difference
Letter C:
CainismAn impulse to commit murder to someone very close, either biologically or emotionally
CharismaticSomeone who has a natural attractiveness that makes him/her popular with the people around him/her.
ClanCan be families bound by real or fictitious kinship, supposedly descended from a common ancestor, and sharing moral and cultural values
ClassThe category which is assigned to a group of people depending on their position in a community
CocooningTo build a protective shell and to try to maintain the coziness of life as much as possible
Letter D:
DedicatedAn individual or an institution which is loyal, dutiful, devoted in doing something
De ParentalisationSubordinating parenthood and patriarchal authority to other socially imposed imperatives
Digital NativesThe new breed familiar with the use of new technologies and the language of computers
DiscriminationUnfavourable treatment on an individual, based on a social or personal feature, and often in opposition to the society’s laws or values
DiversityRefers to the variety of human traits and behaviours that can be encountered in a society
Letter E:
EcologyEnvironmental awareness leading to study the interaction between society’s activities and their impacts on the natural habitat.
EquationMatching ratio amongst different social groups
EthnologyComparative and explorative analysis of all social and cultural characteristics
EvolutionismA theory of the species development in humans’ history. It assumes that any civilisation is the result of a continuous progressing process
Letter F:
FavelaBrazilian word for a slum, built of makeshift dwellings on the outskirts of big cities
FrancisationProcess to behave or look like a native French
FringeThis theory conveys an opinion or belief that differs from the currently prevailing conventional teaching in a particular domain
FrontAccording to Erving Goffman, people behave in public as if they were actors, as though they were in a theatre at the head of the stage
Letter G:
Gender theoryA multidisciplinary field of studies on the social relations between the sexes
Good societyIt’s the ideal society that we intend to build around fundamental values such as equality, democracy and sufficiency
Letter H:
HabitusDesignates a lifestyle, a general look, clothing, a mindset
HeterogamyAn individual seeking a spouse from a different socio-cultural background or country. It’s a phenomenon that wants to bring together unrelated entities in every possible way
HomogamyAn individual who seeks a spouse in a social background that matches his or her own
HordeTemporary and unsettled human grouping, often prone to destruction and evil acts
Letter I:
IdentityIt’s the perception of belonging to a community, in relation to the individual’s representations of the social realities
InstitutionA social structure that is stable and long-lasting. It embodies a set of beliefs, norms, attitudes and practices
IntegrationDescribes the ways in which members are connected to a community or society
Letter L:
LinkA set of relationships binding members of one social group
Low populationQualifying the population density by measuring it. In this case, it’s small
Letter M:
MarginalizationThe fact that an individual or a group of people strays or is removed from social standards. They are being excluded from society by breaking social ties
MatriarchyIt is a social group in which the woman hold the leading role
Melting PotMembers of various nationalities constituting a society that becomes homogeneous, the several cultures merge and form a new rich and harmonious whole
Letter N:
NomadismIt’s a way of living characterised by the movement of human groups to sustain themselves
NuclearityA family structure composed of a man and a woman, and their children. A model that meets the social norms
Letter O:
OmnivorismEclectic nature of the individual who used to consume a variety of foods or goods
OpennessThe opportunity of people in a community to have access in all equity and freedom to its multiple resources
Letter P:
PatriarchyIt is a social group in which the man hold the leading role
PhobiaThe concept that individuals can instil fear in society to influence people to further their political or professional goals by invoking emotional pressure
PhratryA group of families with a shared parentage
PolygamistAn individual in a marital relationship with several people thanks to the social system’s tolerance
Letter Q:
QuotidianisationTransforming life’s unpredictability into a certain faith built from everyday situations
Letter R:
RaceA group of people with a common heredity and skin colour, seeing themselves or being seen as distinct from other groups
RadicalizeGoing to the extremes, toughening up a standpoint
ResilienceThe individual’s ability to cope with trauma and to recover from it
Letter S:
SexismInvolvement to gender or sex-based discriminatory or prejudicial beliefs
SocietyPeople living in a community, with shared standards, patterns of behaviour and culture
SociocraticSociocracy describes the social structure of an organisation whose governance is determined by a mutual consultation of its members
Letter T:
TanguyA social tendency for young adults to be reluctant to leave the family nest
TestimonialAn evidence provided to corroborate an individual’s assertion
TribeIt represents an early social structure made of individuals grouping together mostly by family ties
Letter U:
UnivorousPeople with very wide ranges of consumption tastes. Often referred to wealthy consumers and of high status
UrbanologyIt’s a study of the interactions on the society’s organisation and its result in the shape of the city

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