Category: Sociology Essay Examples

See our collection of sociology essay examples. These example essays are to help you understanding how to write a sociology essay. Sociology is the only science specifically devoted to the study of society in the broad sense of the term, meaning the social world and the open field of the social. Like many of the social and human sciences it does not have a clearly defined subject matter. Also, see our list of sociology essay topics to find the one that interests you.

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Essay on Positive Deviance

Dodge (1985: 17) formally introduced positive deviance into the sociology of deviant behavior to broaden the field beyond simply negative deviance – the ”offensive, disgusting, contemptible, annoying or threatening.” Sagarin (1985) immediately contested the term, calling it an oxymoron, initiating a ”fiery debate” over the concept’s viability, leading …

Essay on Positivism

While it has been customary to distinguish between the quasi-political movement called ”positivism” originated by Auguste Comte in the 1830s and the more strictly philosophical movement called ”logical positivism” associated with the Vienna Circle of the 1930s, both held that the unchecked exercise of reason can have disastrous …

Essay on Post-Industrial Society

Following the Keynesian response to the Great Depression, the Allies’ defeat of fascism, the Marshall Plan and the reconstruction of western Europe and sustained economic growth in the western bloc from 1945 into the 1960s, Raymond Aron (1967), Daniel Bell (1960), Ralf Dahrendorf (1959) and John Goldthorpe et …

Essay on Postmodern Culture

Postmodern culture is a far-reaching term describing a range of activities, events, and perspectives relating to art, architecture, the humanities, and the social sciences beginning in the second half of the twentieth century. In contrast to modern culture, with its emphasis on social progress, coherence, and universality, postmodern …

Essay on Postmodern Feminism

Postmodern feminism confronts and rejects essentialist practices, understandings and explanations of society as established in and by modernity. Merged with postmodern theory, this form of feminism challenges claims of a unified subject, such as one common definition of ”woman”; and instead recognizes differences, of having all views and …

Essay on Postmodern Sexualities

Sexuality is often located within various epochs -classic, premodern, modern, and the like – and the most recent stage has been controversially identified as ”postmodern.” Here human sexualities are not seen as well-fashioned patterns, solid identities, grand truths, or essential natures. In contrast, new social accounts of sexualities …

Essay on Postmodern Social Theory

Postmodern social theory is a field which is both difficult to define and rejects being defined. It is, in fact, a field that struggles against definitions, against norms, against protocols. Instead, it seeks to deconstruct, decenter, and delegitimize scientific claims to universal truths. With these characteristics in mind, …

Essay on Postpositivism

In the twentieth century the heritage of positivism as a philosophy of science underwent major changes. Earlier intellectual developments in the century led to logical positivism (and, with some variation in ideas, logical empiricism). The continuity with classical positivism was maintained in terms of opposition to metaphysics, but …

Essay on Poststructuralism

Like postmodernism, this relatively recent coinage encompasses a wide range of intellectual schools and levels of analysis. These approaches tend to cluster around two somewhat overlapping camps: the ”literary” theorists interested in describing the structure of language and culture, and the ”sociological” camp consisting of sociologists and anthropologists …

Essay on Poverty

Poverty is often thought of as economic privation — a lack of resources such as food, shelter, clothing, and financial assets that contribute to material deprivation — but poverty can also be understood as a ”diminished capacity” to engage in society — social relationships, cultural traditions, politics, the …

Essay on Power

Power is an ”essentially contested and complex term” (Lukes 1974: 7). Some theorists define power as the capacity to act (”power to”). Hobbes’s (1985 : 150) definition of power as a person’s ”present means . . . to obtain some future apparent Good” is a classic example of …

Essay on Theories of Power

In contemporary sociology, the term power is used in two distinct but interrelated ways. In the broadest usage power refers to a structural capacity for an actor A to cause any change in the behavior of another actor B. This meaning of power captures the potential for power …

Essay on Power-Dependence Theory

Power-dependence theory is the name commonly given to the social exchange theory originally formulated by Richard Emerson (1972). The dynamics of the theory revolve around power, power use, and power-balancing operations, and rest on the central concept of dependence. Mutual dependence brings people together, increasing their likelihood of …

Essay on Practice Theory

The label ”practice theory” refers to a group of approaches in late twentieth-century social and cultural theory which highlights the routinized and performative character of action, its dependence on tacit knowledge and implicit understanding. Besides, these approaches emphasize the ”material” character of action and culture as anchored in …

Essay on Pragmatism

Pragmatism began in the USA in the 1870s, in the wake of the intellectual revolution touched off by Darwin, as a term for a method designed to clarify disputed, abstract intellectual concepts by defining them with reference to their concrete behavioral consequences. It later took on a broader …

Essay on Praxis

Praxis is a term most commonly associated with the ability of oppressed groups to change their economic, political, and social worlds through rationally informed reflection and deliberate social action. As advocated and critiqued by contemporary theorists, the term itself is often loosely associated with the melding of theory …

Essay on Prejudice

Prejudice is the judging of a person or idea, without prior knowledge of the person or idea, on the basis of some perceived group membership. Prejudice can be negative or positive. Some writers, in defining prejudice, stress an irrational component; others maintain that it is incorrect to do …

Essay on Primary Groups

Cooley (1909) coined the term primary group to denote intimate, comparatively permanent, and solidarity associations of mutually identifying persons, and a century of sociological research has increased our understanding of primary groups in their variety of forms and multifaceted, contingent functions. According to Cooley, primary groups are primary …

Essay on Primitive Religion

While there is no universally accepted definition of ”primitive religion,” typically it is understood to mean beliefs and practices in nonliterate, small-scale societies with limited technological and material culture. Nonetheless some contemporary social scientists are ill at ease with the label ”primitive” because of its pejorative connotations and …

Essay on Privatization

Privatization is a transfer of public services provided by various levels of governments in national states to the private sector of business. It is a relatively recent transformation of governance and markets in countries worldwide. In fact, it is an extraordinary, rapidly expanding phenomenon that is rising in …
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