Sociology Concepts and Theories

Socilogy Concepts and Theories

Sociology is a social science that studies the origins, development, organization, and functioning of human societies. It is primarily concerned with the factors that give rise to group behavior, social interaction, and culture.

If you are looking for ways to improve your sociology homework, this article is the best because we have focused on some major concepts on this subject. 


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What are Sociology Concepts?

Sociology concepts are:

  • The basic assumptions.
  • The core of beliefs.
  • The theoretical foundations or “theories” drive research within a given sub-discipline.

Key Concepts in Sociology

One of the challenges that students face in sociology is confusing the concepts and theories. The concepts and theories have been explained to you to ease your level of understanding. There are five key concepts in sociology. They include:

1. Functionalism

The concept of “functionalism” suggests that how society is structured determines how well it functions or how satisfied people are. Functionalism emphasizes equilibrium, adaptation, and adjustment to social structures and institutional arrangements as the key elements in understanding social change. It is a framework for examining how things work rather than for understanding why they exist.

2. Marxism

Marxism, the theory of Karl Marx, holds that the key to understanding history is to understand the economic system. In Marx’s view, the economic system affects all other aspects of society. For example, he believed that Capitalism kept many people trapped in poverty and that eventually, would be replaced by a different type of economy.

3. Feminism

Feminism is the belief that gender, or the social and cultural division of women and men, has shaped the course of history in patriarchy. The leading view within feminism is that women are disadvantaged in society because they must work to support themselves. In contrast, men can work to support themselves, living off their labor earnings.

4. Social Action Theory

Social Action Theory examines how people learn to be moral and usually relates social reality to morality. It is a theory that suggests that most people act to improve their situation and fit in with the rest of society.

5. Postmodernism

Postmodernism is the belief that modern society constructs out of reality. This theory argues that the need to organize society in a certain way distorts reality. How society structures itself defines how people react, which creates social change.

Key Theories in Sociology

As a sociology student, you should be aware of the existing theories.

1. Symbolic Interactionism Theory

One of the most important sociological theories is the symbolic interactionism theory. It was developed by George Herbert Mead and Charles Horton Cooley in the 1930s. This theory is based on human thoughts and actions. The key idea of symbolic interactionism is that people interact with others based on their perceptions of others.

The way we perceive others, our perceptions are formed by these interactions. Everything we learn about ourselves and others is learned through interactions with symbols since symbols mediate all social practices and beliefs. The symbols in this theory are the people we interact with, including other individuals, groups, and institutions.

2. Social Conflict Theory

The theory of social conflict is a social approach to studying power, domination, and the organization of society. It originated with Karl Max Becker and has been developed by many scholars since its publication.

The key idea of Social Conflict Theory is that all societies are based on conflict and power. According to this theory, social conditions create a struggle between different groups or institutions within the same society. The result of these struggles is an increase in power and control, which leads to changes in the social structure of society.

3. Structural-Functional Theory

The structural-functional theory is an approach to the study of social organization. The key idea of this theory is that society is organized into social institutions to serve a function within a society.

This theory goes beyond any given society to suggest that all societies have a similar structure and that these structures evolve according to the needs of their members. This theory stresses that society is a product of social processes. This theory also emphasizes that culture and social structure must understand how a society functions.

4. Feminist Theory

Feminism stems from the desire to break free from the traditional and conservative gender roles enforced throughout history. In addition, it is a socio-political movement that seeks to end discrimination and exploitation of women by establishing equal rights between men and women.

Feminism challenges accepted social norms; consequently, it is an ideology based on a set of beliefs to accomplish its aims. Feminism is rooted in the belief that society needs to change and that traditional gender roles are why women are treated as second-class citizens in social and political settings.

Sociology is a vast field of study, and the concepts we reviewed here are only the tip of the iceberg. Before understanding sociology, you should be exposed to many more concepts and theories, enabling you to understand one particular sub-discipline in depth. 

Sociology Homework Help is an informative resource for sociology students, regardless of their academic background. We have provided an in-depth study tool that will benefit both beginners and advanced students. Sociology Homework Help provides a textbook overview, with detailed and illustrative content review questions at the end of each chapter. The best way to study sociology is on your own.