soc chapter 2

theory

a framework that can be used to comprehend and explain events

sociological theory

a set of principles and definitions that tell how societies operate and how peopel in them relate to one another and respong to their surroundings

function

the contribution part of a society makes to order and stability within the society

manifest functions

intended or anticipated effects th part of a society has on order and stabilty within the society

latent functions

unintended or unanticipated effects tht part of a society has on order and stability within the society

dystfunctions

disrupted consequences to society or to some seqment in society

manifest dysfunctions

a parts anticipated disruptions to order and stability

latent dysfuntions

unintended, unanticipated distruptions to order and stability

facade of legitamacy

an explanation that members of dominant groups give to justify their actions

social interaction

everyday event in which two eopel cimmunicate, interpret, and respond to each others words and actions

symbol

any kind of physical phenomenon to which people assign a name, meaning or value

research

a data gathering and data explaining enterprise governed by strict rules

research methods

techniques that sociologists and other investigators use to formulate or answer meaningful research questions and to collect, analyze, and interpret data in ways that allow other researchers to verify th results

scientific method

an appoach to data collection in which knowledge is gained through obersavtion and its truth is confirmed through verification

objectivity

a stance in which researchers personal, or subjective, views do not influence thier observations or the outcome of their research

concepts

thinking and communication tools used to give and recieve comples information efficiently and to frame and focus observatons

research design

a plan for gathering data that specifies who or what will be studied and the methods of data collection

methods of data collection

the procedures a researcher follows to father relevant data

traces

materials or other forms of physical evidence that yield information about human activity

documents

written or printed materials used in research

territories

settings that have borders or that are set aside for particular activities

households

all related and unrelated persons who share the same dwelling

small groups

groups of 2 to about 20 people who interact with one another in meaningful ways

populations

the total number of individuals, traces, documents, territories, households, or groups that could be studied

samples

portions of the cases from a larger population

random sample

a type of sample in which every case in the population has an equal chance of being selected

represenatative sample

a type of sample in which those selected for study have the same distribution of characteristics as the population from which it is selected

sampling frame

a complete list of every case in a population

self-administering questionaire

a set of questions given to respondents who read the instrictions and fill in the answers themselves

inerviews

face to face or telephone concersations between an interviewer and a respondent, in which the interviewer asks questions and records the respondents answers

structured interview

an interview in which the wording and sequence of questions are set in advance and cannot be changed during the interview

unstrucutured interview

an interview in which the question and answer sequence is spontaneous, open-ended and flexible

observation

a research technique in which the researcher watches, listens to, and records behavior and conversations as they happen

nonparticipant observation

a research technique in which the researcher observes study participants without interacting with them

paricipant observation

a research technique in which the researcher observes study participants while directly interactiong with them

hawthorne effect

a phenomenon in which research subjects alter their behavoir when they learn they are being observed

secondary sources (archival data)

data thathave been collected by other researchers for some other purpose

variable

any trait or characteristic that can change under different conditions or that consists of more than one category

dependent variable

the varaible to be explained or predicted

independent variable

the variable that explains or predicts the dependent variable

hypothesis

a trial explanation put forward as the focus of research; it predicts how independent and dependent variables are related and how a dependent variable will change when an independent variable changes

operational definitions

clear, percise definitions and instructions about how to observe and or measure the variables under study

reliability

the extend to which an operational definition gives consistent results

validity

the degree to which an operational definition measures what it claims to measure

generalizability

the extent to which finding can be applied to the larger population from which a sample is drawn

correlation coefficiant

a mathematical representation that quanifies the extent to which a change in one variable is associated with a change in another variable

spurious correlation

a correlation that is coincidental or accidental because the independent and dependent variables are not actualy related; rather some third variable related to both of them makes it seem as though they are

control variables

variables suspected of causing spurious correlations

ascribed characteristics

any physical trait that s biological in origin and or cannot be changed, to which people assign overwhelming sigificance