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Sociology & Society

The study of human societies is an important tool for the improvement of living conditions. It analyzes the innumerable factors that are the makeup of human behavior and that can cause social injustice, stratification, and societal disorder in the form of crime, deviance, and revolution. It helps to find the best possible solutions to issues such as economic inequality, race relations, and gender discrimination. The discipline of sociology has grown by leaps and bounds in the last century with the contribution of scholars from different schools of thought.

Sociology & Society Encyclopedia Articles

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Conrad Taeuber and Irene Barnes Taeuber
Conrad Taeuber and Irene Barnes Taeuber, American demographers, statisticians, and social scientists whose scholarly work helped found the science of demography and made them authorities on population movements in the United States. Conrad Taeuber was educated at the University of Minnesota (Ph.D.,...
Biography
First lady
First lady, wife of the president of the United States. Although the first lady’s role has never been codified or officially defined, she figures prominently in the political and social life of the nation. Representative of her husband on official and ceremonial occasions both at home and abroad,...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
First Lady Barbara Bush (centre) with her predecessors at the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, November 1991. (From left) Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Nancy Reagan (back row), Bush, Rosalynn Carter, and Betty Ford.
Sociology
Sociology, a social science that studies human societies, their interactions, and the processes that preserve and change them. It does this by examining the dynamics of constituent parts of societies such as institutions, communities, populations, and gender, racial, or age groups. Sociology also...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Charles Booth
Criminology
Criminology, scientific study of the nonlegal aspects of crime and delinquency, including its causes, correction, and prevention, from the viewpoints of such diverse disciplines as anthropology, biology, psychology and psychiatry, economics, sociology, and statistics. Viewed from a legal...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Beccaria, engraving by Carlo Faucci, 1766
Kinship
Kinship, system of social organization based on real or putative family ties. The modern study of kinship can be traced back to mid-19th-century interests in comparative legal institutions and philology. In the late 19th century, however, the cross-cultural comparison of kinship institutions became...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
An 18th-century family register listing births, marriages, and deaths within a kin group; in the National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League, organization founded by north German towns and German merchant communities abroad to protect their mutual trading interests. The league dominated commercial activity in northern Europe from the 13th to the 15th century. (Hanse was a medieval German word for “guild,” or...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Hanseatic port of Hamburg
Governance
Governance, patterns of rule or practices of governing. The study of governance generally approaches power as distinct from or exceeding the centralized authority of the modern state. The term governance can be used specifically to describe changes in the nature and role of the state following the...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Anthropology
Anthropology, “the science of humanity,” which studies human beings in aspects ranging from the biology and evolutionary history of Homo sapiens to the features of society and culture that decisively distinguish humans from other animal species. Because of the diverse subject matter it encompasses,...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Forensic anthropologist examining a human skull found in a mass grave in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2005.
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage, the practice of marriage between two men or between two women. Although same-sex marriage has been regulated through law, religion, and custom in most countries of the world, the legal and social responses have ranged from celebration on the one hand to criminalization on the...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
same-sex marriage
Cultural globalization
Cultural globalization, a phenomenon by which the experience of everyday life, as influenced by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, reflects a standardization of cultural expressions around the world. Propelled by the efficiency or appeal of wireless communications, electronic commerce, popular...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Indian businessman using a cell phone on a train.
Social service
Social service, any of numerous publicly or privately provided services intended to aid disadvantaged, distressed, or vulnerable persons or groups. The term social service also denotes the profession engaged in rendering such services. The social services have flourished in the 20th century as...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Addams, Jane
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology, a major division of anthropology that deals with the study of culture in all of its aspects and that uses the methods, concepts, and data of archaeology, ethnography and ethnology, folklore, and linguistics in its descriptions and analyses of the diverse peoples of the world....
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Terminology of Anthropolgical Disciplines in North America and Continental Europe
Archaeology
Archaeology, the scientific study of the material remains of past human life and activities. These include human artifacts from the very earliest stone tools to the man-made objects that are buried or thrown away in the present day: everything made by human beings—from simple tools to complex...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Pachacamac, Peru
Interest group
Interest group, any association of individuals or organizations, usually formally organized, that, on the basis of one or more shared concerns, attempts to influence public policy in its favour. All interest groups share a desire to affect government policy to benefit themselves or their causes....
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Linguistics
Linguistics, the scientific study of language. The word was first used in the middle of the 19th century to emphasize the difference between a newer approach to the study of language that was then developing and the more traditional approach of philology. The differences were and are largely...
Encyclopedia / Sociology & Society
Wilhelm, baron von Humboldt, oil painting by F. Kruger.

Sociology & Society Encyclopedia Articles

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